Sunday, 6 March 2011

Conviction for downloading films

A man in Scunthorpe has been convicted of copyright and trade mark offences after being caught downloading films, according to the This Is Scunthorpe website. He made copies for himself and for family and friends, and made no profit from it: 4000 is the total number mentioned. For some reason he doesn't seem to have understood that there was anything wrong about it, and even a warning from the trading standards department didn't give him pause for thought.

I thought the sole redeeming feature of these criminal offences was that they are squarely aimed at activities that have a commercial dimension to them - where consumers are being ripped off, and perhaps where organised crime is involved. Those features justify the expenditure of public money and the use of public resources. They appear to be wholly lacking in this case. And why the trade marks prosecution too? Kitchen-sink pleading?

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