I have been waiting for this crop up, and quite frankly I’m surprised it hasn’t. Well, maybe it has, but in true journalistic disregard I will forge ahead. I mean, come on – if I haven’t heard about it means it ain’t true right?
Oops. Gettin’ off track. A group of students from UMass are threatening litigation against the knucklehead turned drop out turned enabler who founded i2hub. For those who tend to fly the straight and narrow, Wayne Chang created i2hub two years ago while a sophomore at UMass, then dropped out to work for a software company while he ran the service on the side. The service relied on an ultra-speedy network that links more than 240 universities, corporations and government organizations that belong to a consortium called Internet2. Chang promptly caved to what would appear to be a lapse to common sense and took one for the team last November and killed the server. (they have a nice wittle rest in peace photo – brings a tear to my eye) for more info on that tragedy, read this article.
So how is that these jerks get to enable other jerks to steal music and get away with it? If it’s perfectly legal, then why do they all immediately bend over and grab their heels when they see the RIAA on the caller ID? Because it’s not, you thumb twiddling, keyboard pounding nerd cakes! As quoted from lawyers.com (not a word either…):
Aiding and abetting is a theory of criminal liability. You can be guilty of a crime either as a principal perpetrator or as an aider and abettor.
Aiding and abetting applies to someone who assists in or facilitates the doing of a crime. To be held accountable as an aider and abettor, you must know of the criminal objective and do something to make it succeed. For example, if you drive your friend to a meeting where you know your friend is going to buy drugs, you may be an aider and abettor in the drug transaction.
The key here is knowledge. While the level of participation of the aider and abettor may be relatively minor, the prosecution must show more than presence in a vehicle carrying drugs or association with conspirators known to be involved in a crime.
In other words, mere presence at the scene of a crime, even with guilty knowledge that a crime is being committed, isn’t enough to make you liable for the crime itself, unless and until you do something to help the crime succeed.
Under federal law, the punishment for someone who aids and abets a crime is the same as the punishment for the person who principally committed the crime. In some states, the punishment may be less.
The RIAA should spend just as much time harassing these idiots as they do trying to squeeze a few duckettes out of various 12 year olds and women without computers. If there were a more harsh response to those who make this crap possible, then it would be harder to get away with. It’s simple as hell to write software that would disallow mp3’s or m4p’s or whatever p’s to be shared over the net. I’ve seen it in action – it’s not hard. And that’s dumb software too, nothing like what someone could write if they put some serious thought into the code.
If you use a P2P network, chances are good that you are stealing some sort of media from someone. Probably better than 80%, and I’m trying to be nice – realistically it’s probably better than 95%. I don’t know a single person, nor have I ever heard of anyone using any of the P2P apps out there for anything other than scoring music or videos. Why? Because it’s easy to get away with, and the folks who develop the stuff are virtually untouchable, they just stop making the app – so it morphs and becomes share… err.. slackware… err more like hackware.
I’m sorry, but if you start-up some random company, especially now, and expect that you can get away with just allowing folks to do illegal things with it – wake up and smell the shite you’re shoveling. It seems to me that P2P tends to help people do illegal things, sure you could still do it without them – but then you wouldn’t have the illusion on anonymity.
It’s not like I’m in favor of the RIAA either, as far as I am concerned the RIAA can burn in hell. I hope they never get a red cent. It’s the music industry in general who started this crap. Through their ineptitude and inability to react to the changing landscape of music and how they could play a defining role in digital music distribution. They deserve to lose the money they are currently watching pass to iTunes and others.
The torch between my toes is the fact that ultimately, I pay more for music. And it pisses me off. So there.