Unfortunately the Supreme Court refused to take up the absurd statutory award that was put forward in the Jamie Thomas case despite overturning the much (smaller proportionally speaking) Exxon Valdez award.
If the SCOTUS thinks that those absurd statutory awards are okay, what's the use of lower courts deciding otherwise, even if it is a whole string of cases? Couldn't the rights holders simply refer to the SCOTUS decision as overriding any kind of lower jurisprudence to enforce their claims and claim carte blanche to destroy peoples' lives with the help of the judicial system?
IMHO, the whole system, where special interest groups and corporations with deep pockets can buy their own laws, laws that are then backed by the courts, is broken beyond repair and can't be fixed from within. Even decent judges like Otis Wright can't fix a problem that runs much deeper than this. Nonetheless, it is still a bright day to see a little bit of sanity light up here and there, even though I don't think it would be enough to stick.
Sorry "artists" but you don't deserve 10 million for your "creation". You deserve, at BEST, 200k a year for your work.
People rarely get what they deserve. They usually get that what the market gives them, and they deserve that which makes them useful to others. Say, a pop singer gets some millions selling his songs, while medics who save lives get far, far less than that. What said singer and those medics deserve though is something quite different... but that can't be determined by any kinds of objective criteria.
I'm sure the poster meant "copyright maximalist", a.k.a. "copyright taliban", "copyright extremist", etc...
Is it a physical thing? Is it an immaterial form? Is it a sequence of bits?
Mathematically, an MP3 file is nothing more than a BIG number. Nothing more, nothing less.
Think about this carefully. A couple of years ago, before someone invented the MP3 format, that very same number would have been nothing but a big number without any significance. It would have been uncopyrightable. In a couple of centuries, when the MP3 format would have become forgotten, that very same number would again become uncopyrightable, even with perpetual copyright, because it would have become meaningless (again).
The thing is, any modernized country in the world has the same access to this type of technology and could be proposing similarly oppressive actions
... and yet most of them are not.
Well... actually they are. There's a world wide push for real-time scanning and deep packet inspection. Blame 9/11 or nonchalance and an apathetic populace for it, but that's the way it is.
What are the alternatives for email services?
None, actually. If you need privacy, end-to-end encryption as in PGP is your only recourse... and it won't protect you against traffic analysis (they know with whom you communicate, when and how often, even if they can't decrypt). If you need something against traffic analysis as well, perhaps a an ip2p- or freenet-based darknet with enough family and friends as members would do? You can send e-mails on top of those networks just fine.
For those who object to this behaviour, write to congress.
Unless your letter contains a big monetary donation as well, it's likely to be