As usual, it is the unwitting who are harmed, collateral damage in other people’s wars.
Take the sledgehammer raid by police on a 9 year old girl’s home in Finland. Her crime? Downloading an album. Now possibly she shouldn’t have, possibly she should have gone out and bought it but equally possibly, as it was available to download via torrent, she thought that that was fine.
The girl’s father was hit with an extortion demand for 600 euros by a firm CIAPC, based on a profile based only on an IP address. The news has been all over Finland and the main victim is the artist herself:
Chisu, the artist cast into the middle of the scandal, has been forced to defend herself after she faced accusations that she was somehow involved in targeting the child. She wasn’t – and this has been confirmed by her label Warner Music – but she herself said that she doesn’t need this kind of attention and felt compelled to offer an apology to her young fans.
Then there is the question of the disproportionate force and misuse of taxpayer’s money. And then there is the effect on the average user:
Because the public are angry, politicians will be nervous too, and uncooperative politicians are bad news for tougher copyright law. But in the short term anyone sent a “pay-up-or-else” letter from CIAPC (if they even dare to send any more) will be thinking long and hard about paying. The chances of the police coming next time must be slimmer than last week.
I don’t download things because the very act of downloading uses up my internet allocation and there are other ways, e.g. youtube. For example, just taking vids from the Olympics on the volleyball saw me hit with a £50 BT bill on top of what I pay. So no thanks.
However, as a general principle, these sledgehammer tactics make my mindset directly oppose such outfits as CIAPC, no matter how legally right they may be and I would certainly not cooperate with them in any way, shape or form. In fact, if I could legally throw a spanner in their works, I’d not hesitate. This is the effect these people have on the listening public.