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Mistrial for RIAA's first file-sharing victory (Download Squad)

Sep 26th 2008 9:42AM I applaud the mistrial for swinging the pendulum back toward the individual. So as to be absolute in clarity and culpability: I HAVE IN THE PAST, AM CURRENTLY WHILE TYPING THIS, AND WILL CONTINUE TO DOWNLOAD COPYRIGHTED MOVIES AND SONGS. Why would I admit to this? Because I have already purchased these copyrighted materials legally. My parents' basement, where I had stored a collection of old VHS cassettes like Die Hard and Spies Like Us, had water leaks and the movies and their paper cases sustained water damage and subsequent mold. I bought all of those movies, including the rights to make back-up copies for personal use. About 8 years ago I had dozens of music CDs stolen from my car while I was working as a pizza delivery driver. Did I file an insurance claim? No, because the hundreds of dollars I lost in those CDs did not go over the $500 deductible. I have other CDs and DVDs that simply have suffered from age, use, and exposure to the elements. The physical conveyance of the content has deteriorated, but as I said, I have legally paid for these songs and films when I bought them. That I would replace these CDs shouldn't be considered a crime- the criminal act was when they were stolen- unless the RIAA now considers the thief the copyright holder as he assumed possession. Later today I will try to complete downloading the Guns N Roses record Appetite for Destruction, because my MP3 player continues doesn't play magnetic cassettes, and my Sony Walkman is now old enough to vote in the upcoming elections. I am grateful for the filesharing networks like Frostwire and Limewire and Kazaa and the Torrent system, because I can restore my media library. I download songs and bands that I really liked when I was growing up, like from the Miami Vice Soundtrack, which I also bought. When I was 11. So Yes, I download copyrighted music. I have purchased usage rights in the past. The Media companies should consider that by replacing these files, which I already paid for, I now have retained more spending money which I could now spend on new titles. This McCarthyist File-Sharing Inquisition/Witchhunt against Thomas for 220,000$ is sickening, perverse, and a gross injustice. BMG Music Club sent out millions of CDs with cloaked install rootkit encoding to block ripping their CDs to computers- this malware is HACKING your computer to prevent you from making rightful copies. This issue is only going to become more polarized. These companies are not victims in the least, and tying nooses at the corporate headquarters for hanging the individual who buys a music CD or a DVD is a sure way to go bankrupt from all of us here in Sherwood Forest...

Thanks to everyone on the filesharing networks who helped me recover some of the movies and songs which I lost.