Time is relative too. If you and I are in the same room we appear to be in the same "time" the same way that the Earth appears to be flat, because the difference is too small to notice. But the "time" of you or I or any given particle is as distinct as its space. Of course, the ramifications are not quite that simple (because of time's arrow, etc), but it seems well within accepted theories.
At least, that is my take. I am a physics hobbyist, so it is entirely possible that I have completely misinterpreted the underlying theory. If I did, uh, well, sorry, and best of luck with all that photon stuff!
It should be a fine, like $100, that can be charged to the owner of the IP, a lot like automated speeding tickets. Enough to be a deterrent, but not enough to ruin anyone's life. Like speeding, we know that it is technically wrong, but sometimes we want to do it anyway and run the risk of getting caught. And like speeding, piracy will never be eliminated.
The other thing it would do is eliminate these type of shakedowns. Because there is the risk that one day it is a not so sensible judge, and people's lives are ruined because one time they downloaded a Steven Seagal movie or Paul Blart Mall Cop.
I am probably the lone wolf (in particular on slashdot) when it comes to being apathetic towards this sort of thing, but I don't see the point in being alarmist without documenting something specific. Near as I can tell it is a sophisticated way to to online advertising, not profiling for the KGB. This whole "tracking is Orwellian" thing, well please, what specifically are they doing with this information that is Orwellian? If they are tracking me for advertising purposes (which they most certainly are) what could possibly be more pedestrian and less alarming than that?. All it means is that there are occasionally ads that I care about (though still remarkably few at that).
And yes, there is potential to do something evil, but potential is not the same as doing. If it was we would all be in jail.
From the article:
"Police say up to 18,000 vehicles a day drive through the village, which links some big employers with I-75."
The population of the town is somewhat immaterial. Also as someone noted earlier they are speed cameras, not red light cameras. To be honest, the article does not mention why they are considered a scam, although it gives some (in my opinion weak) arguments against them. I think their biggest concern is the impact on the local businesses from the people who drive through.