They’re asking for 6 months in prison for the guy who was the first uploader of a Guns N’ Roses album before the release date. It’s always very tragic when something gets leaked, but there are good ways to deal with it and bad ways. Prison sentence goes a bit far, a fine would be more appropriate. Also, they’re charging him for every single download made - with estimates based on the statistics of 30 out of over 1300 websites offering the album for download.
Cogill’s attorney, David Kaloyanides, told the court that no jail time was warranted. (.pdf) He added that, “There is no way to determine how many downloads were made.”
In the end it’s only moving us closer to a better system. If we can measure more exactly how many downloads there are made, we can start taxing internet users for their downloads, based on a flat fee - as suggested by media futurist Gerd Leonhard and others.
By the way, the RIAA said it would be willing to accept $30,000, instead of $2.2 million in restitution, if Cogill “was willing to participate in a public service announcement designed to educate the public that music piracy is illegal.”
I’d take that deal. Although that $2.2 million is quite a steep estimate.