Monday, March 07, 2011

Linking to Copyright Material May Land You in Prison.

Have you every linked to copyrighted material or passed on a copyrighted video? If you are a regular Internet surfer, of course you have!  Who hasn't?

In fact, Curt Schwaderera, technology editor at Compact PCI Systems, in an analysis of Internet traffic, Year 2009 to Year 2014 window (left) "shows that by the end of this year, Internet video will surpass peer-to-peer file transfer as the highest single percentage of traffic on the Internet."

This brings me to, Brian McCarthy, who found out the hard way that the simple act of linking can land you in prison (because they need another reason to cram people in our more than overcrowded prisons). Anyway, his now  lifeless website,, which did not host any copyrighted material, just linked to it, led to his arrest for “criminal copyright infringement  for the ‘reproduction and distribution’ of copyrighted material.” He could spend up to 5 years in jail. 

Bryan McCarthy did not possesses, did not broadcast, nor did he copy copyright material. If linking is distribution, then anyone with a blog or website is guilty of breaking the law.  Oh, but  he made $90,000 from the advertisements on his site. Okay, but since when is profiting a crime in the good ol' US of A? Why is it that only the big wealthy corporations are allowed to participate in cutthroat competition? Why is it that ICE-HSI (Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations) can make examples out of the "little" people for finding a way earn a few bucks, while the big and powerful can plunder trillions of dollars from "We, the People", and face no repercussions, except an endless stream of reward?

The sad thing is that most Americans will side with Homeland Security in this situation, because they're so conditioned into the belief that our government, our institutions, the law have our best interest at heart, when the only best interest they have at heart is that the wealth and power remain in the hands of the wealthy and powerful...who already own 90% of the world's resources.


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