The week before last, the folks who run The Pirate Bay were on trial for violating copyright laws in Sweden. The Pirate Bay is one of the largest and most popular Bit Torrent sites. They host millions of torrent files that allow people to connect with each other and share music, movies, video games, and other media. That’s right, they don’t actually have any illegal music or movies on their servers, they’re just showing you how to talk to other people who do. But what, you ask, does this trial have to do with Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google? Read on to find out.
In a legal move being widely hailed as a new and innovative interpretation of the law, the MPAA has claimed in court
that it shouldn’t need to prove someone actually infringed their copyright to collect up to $150,000 per song, movie, or other work that the MPAA/RIAA claims the person illegally downloaded. In fact, they claim that they should be able to get large sums of money from every single person who has ever connected to a P2P service and has an open shared folder. I really cannot imagine a better way to make movie and music fans like you than to sue people with no evidence and tell the court that you shouldn’t need to prove that the defendant actually broke the law to get money from them. Of course, at $150,000 per song, this new business model may actually be more profitable.