To a certain extent, I’m afraid to write this. Though they’ve already seized my computer and copied my hard drive, I have no guarantee they won’t do it again. For the past four years, they’ve been threatening me, making demands for trial, deposing my parents, sisters, friends, and myself twice – the first time for nine hours, the second for seven. I face up to $4.5m in fines and the last case like mine that went to trial had a jury verdict of $1.92m.
When I contemplate this, I have to remind myself what I’m being charged with. Investment fraud? Robbing a casino? A cyber-attack against the federal government? No. I shared music. And refused to cave.
No matter how many people I explain this to, the reaction is always the same: dumbfounded surprise and visceral indignance, both of which are a result of the amazing secrecy the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has operated under. “How did they get you?” I’m asked. I explain that there are 40,000 people like me, being sued for the same thing, and we were picked from a pool of millions who shared music. And that’s when a look appears on the face of whoever I’m talking to, the horrified “it could have been me!” look. […]
in August 2007, I came home from work to find a stack of papers, maybe 50 pages thick, sitting at the door to my apartment. That’s when I found out what it was like to have possibly the most talented copyright lawyers in the business, bankrolled by multibillion-dollar corporations, throwing everything they had at someone who wanted to share Come As You Are with other Nirvana fans.
I had assumed that as an equal in a court of law in the United States, my story would be told and a just outcome would result. I discovered the sheer magnitude of obstacles in your way to get your say in court. And even if you get to trial, (which only one other person, Jammie Thomas Rasset, has done) you’re still far from equal with the machine controlling 85% of commercial music in the US. […]
My sisters, dad and mother have all been deposed. My high-school friends, friends of the family too. My computer’s been seized and hard drive copied, and my parents and sister narrowly escaped the same fate for their computers. And the professor who supervises my teaching is continually frustrated with my need to have people cover for me, while my research in grad school is put on hold to deal with people whose full-time job is to keep an anvil over my head. I have to consider every unrelated thing I do in my private life in the event that I’m interrogated under oath about it. I wonder how I’ll stand up in a courtroom for hours having litigators try to convince a jury of my guilt and the reprehensibility of my character.
Er der nogen af mine læsere, der kan genkende denne følelse af “det ku’ have været mig!”, som jeg har fremhævet?
Tak, Morten Jørgensen!
Link: How it feels to be sued for $4.5m, Joel fights back