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Crime Piracy The Courts Your Rights Online

In Mississippi: 15-Year Jail Sentence For Selling Pirated Movies and Music 339

New submitter patella.whack writes "A guilty plea for six counts of selling counterfeit media gets a defendant 15 years in Mississippi. An undercover reporter from the Attorney General's Intellectual Property Theft Task Force managed to buy a total of five copied movies and one music CD from the defendant, who had 10,500 pirated discs at home and two prior convictions: one for assaulting a police officer 17 years ago and one for CD piracy that got him a year under house arrest. Says the RIAA: '[This] highlights the fact that the individuals engaging in these activities are frequently serial criminals for whom IP theft is simply the most convenient and profitable way they could steal from others.' Frequently serial criminals? 15 years? I wonder how much of his sentence can be attributed to his priors rather than to other factors."
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In Mississippi: 15-Year Jail Sentence For Selling Pirated Movies and Music

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @05:24PM (#41973603)

    Maybe this career criminal should have stuck to misdemeanors like bank robbery and murder; he would have received an easier sentence.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @05:28PM (#41973649)

    I'm more shocked that he got 5 years for assaulting a police officer. Seriously? Like someone getting arrested takes a swing at a cop (and then suffers a serious beatdown, taser-fest, etc., etc.) and gets 5 years? Most cops are corrupt fascists who bully society. Cops are just a gang.

  • However... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @05:30PM (#41973689) Homepage Journal

    I RTFA this morning. This isn't Joe Blow getting a few movies from the pirate bay, this is a counterfeiter. Copyright infringement isn't theft, but I'd say this is, as the criminal is getting the money that should have gone to the movies' producers.

    Also, the guy was imprisoned for the very same offence before, as well as going to prison for some violent crimes.

    This isn't Joe Nerd getting fifteen years for sharing movies, it's Joe Beentoprison making money off of someone else's work.

  • by SomePgmr ( 2021234 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @05:31PM (#41973699) Homepage
    This kind of thing is ridiculous, and I'm not surprised the RIAA would say something so absurd and disgusting. But one has to wonder, wouldn't you shy away from selling pirated entertainment on physical media after your conviction and house arrest?
  • by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @05:31PM (#41973701)

    I gotta say that if you already were busted once for selling pirate media you should be aware they're out to get you. I think it's harsh but I can't feel sorry for him. It's not like he was using it for his own viewing, he was selling it for income.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @05:34PM (#41973751)

    Actually, cops protect society, mostly from people like you.
    The penalties for assaulting them should be very severe.

  • jailbait... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Yaa 101 ( 664725 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @05:34PM (#41973757) Journal

    It seems you got more chance to get a minimal sentence when you shoot your procecutor than copy a few disks.

    This sort of imbalances in the judicial system will cost the country dearly in the end.

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @05:36PM (#41973771) Journal

    Three strikes laws should be thrown out as unconstitutional. If you've done your time for the first two strikes, then you've done your time. Any additional punishment for those crimes falls afoul of double jeopardy.

  • Re:However... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @05:39PM (#41973813) Journal

    All that considered the punishment is still overly severe. 15 years for non-violently misappropriating a couple thousand dollars? The amount that this person "stole" wouldn't even pay for one year of his imprisonment.

  • The right target (Score:3, Insightful)

    by neghvar1 ( 1705616 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @05:45PM (#41973885)
    These are the people the RIAA, MPAA, etc. should be focusing on and suing for the large sums of money. Not the little sharer that makes no money off downloading media.
  • Michael Jackson? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Frederic54 ( 3788 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @05:46PM (#41973915) Journal
    Let's say...
    Sell a CD copy of Michael Jackson : 15 years in jail
    Kill Michael Jackson : 4 years in jail

    makes sense...
  • by maz2331 ( 1104901 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @05:50PM (#41973977)

    I'm no fan of the *AA, but it sounds like the judge made the sentences run consecutively instead of concurrently for each count. I am sure the 10,500 copies ready for distribution had more than a little bit to do with that decision, as well as finding weapons in the posession of a felon (which the Feds might still prosecute, if the state turns over the evidence to the ATF - they could tack on another 5 years).

    And only a true idiot spends years in jail for something, and keeps on doing it, anyway.

  • by ljaszcza ( 741803 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @05:51PM (#41973993)
    Actually, he should have gotten a job with one of the big banks. Goldman Sachs or such. Lighter sentence yet. Rob a liquor store, get 20 years. Rob 20,000 people of $200,000 in life savings, the feds don't have a case to pursue.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @05:55PM (#41974067)

    Actually, cops protect society, mostly from people like you.
    The penalties for assaulting them should be very severe.

    No, actually cops protect the people who have money and power.

    The have-nots are ignored by the police as much and as often as possible.

    If you think the cops are on the side of the common man you are either naive,
    or an idiot, or maybe you are a cop yourself and engaged in self-delusion.

    Plenty of cops are assholes. I've met more than a few. The job attracts people who
    have a desire to bully, and the decent people are not attracted to the job, so the very
    job itself self-selects for assholes. And fuck you if you don't agree with me, I could care less
    what some cop-loving twat "thinks".

    capcha = inequity

    The irony doesn't get any better than that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @06:00PM (#41974125)

    The average penalty for rape in the U.S. is 11.8 years. OP's specifics may be wrong, but the idea's the same.

  • by thomasw_lrd ( 1203850 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @06:15PM (#41974313)

    What about all the cops not caught on video abusing their authority, not lying about the facts, not comittig crimes, etc.?

    It's kinda like the IT business, for every time some guy steals all the passwords to San Francisco, there are a hundred thousand of us, that do absolutely nothing wrong.

    Of course there are bad cops, there are also bad pizza delivery drivers, bad waiters, bad soldiers, and so on and so forth.

    It's not like they are politicians or lawyers, where everyone is bad.

  • by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @06:19PM (#41974361)
    Well, hey... at least it's a story about actual piracy in the legal sense, rather than just uploading or downloading.
  • by hazem ( 472289 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @07:14PM (#41975057) Journal

    No one said he was smart. Assault of a police officer takes real brains...

    Actually, it doesn't take much to be charged with assault of a police officer. Say you're being arrested and they twirl you around to put the cuffs on you and you stumble into one of them. You've now committed assault if the officer feels like charging you with it.

    Want to take it to court? It will be you, a scumbag defendant, vs. that upstanding officer and defender of the public in his sharp uniform, with a jury that's been purged of anyone capable of critical thought.

  • by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @08:07PM (#41975553) Journal

    If you assault a police officer, YOU'RE GUILTY. PERIOD.

    If the police officer said that you assaulted him , YOU'RE GUILTY. PERIOD.

  • by DeadCatX2 ( 950953 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @08:12PM (#41975611) Journal

    Any time a "good cop" observes a fellow police officer committing a crime and chooses to do nothing (or worse, publicly campaigns for them to be above the law []), then they are no longer a "good cop".

    Here's my opinion.

    You're a cop, and you get caught breaking the law? You lose your pension.

    You know a cop broke the law, and you didn't turn him in? You lose your pension.

    You know a cop broke the law, and you *did* turn him in? You get his pension added to yours.

    Implement this system and watch how fast the cops begin policing themselves.

  • by Zimluura ( 2543412 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @08:27PM (#41975743)

    never trust the police. in the united states their goal is to make arrests. if they start talking to you, they're trying to get you to incriminate yourself. []

  • by blade8086 ( 183911 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @09:03PM (#41976035)

    The kind of thing where a repeat, professional, career criminal (aka 'organized criminal') is awarded a tough sentence for manufacturing large amounts of illegal counterfit goods for resale aka establishing his own 'criminal enterprise' ?

    What exactly is the problem here?

    Yes, I agree that some aspects of copyright law are rediculous - but this case, no.

  • by tragedy ( 27079 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @09:32PM (#41976307)

    Real cops are nothing like the way they are portrayed on TV or in films.

    The cops portrayed in TV and films these days seem to violate the constitution a few times per episode but are still portrayed unquestioningly as the good guys. Since it's fiction, they also have ridiculously high closure rates on their cases. They also have a ridiculously high number of "ticking time bomb" situations where such things are portrayed as necessary and right. I would be fine with it as fiction, as long as people still maintain a realistic view of police in the real world, but too many people don't seem to be able to distinguish reality from fantasy.

  • by tragedy ( 27079 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @09:42PM (#41976391)

    The problem is that it's completely non-violent white collar crime being treated as if it were a murder. There are some white collar crimes that can be considered to be in that ballpark, such as Bernie Madoff's giant Ponzi scheme. Of course, the scheme Madoff ran actually did lead to quite a few deaths. It seems very unlikely that the piracy scheme in this case did much more than cost the entertainment industry a relatively tiny amount of money.

  • by Jafafa Hots ( 580169 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @03:59AM (#41978127) Homepage Journal

    Charges were dropped. Because it was obvious BS. And nobody including the judge believed it, but these kinds of charges were routine.

    Sue for false arrest?

    You've been watching too much TV.
    When you're a 18 year old kid and two cops lie on the police report, you don't sue.

    You consider yourself lucky that the charges were dropped and that your lawyer only cost you $350.

  • by xenobyte ( 446878 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @04:01AM (#41978139)

    Actual piracy? - Where's the peg leg, the parrot and the ship?

  • by Hillgiant ( 916436 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @11:01AM (#41980187)

    All suspects are guilty. Otherwise, they would not be suspect.

"I will make no bargains with terrorist hardware." -- Peter da Silva