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Comment Re:Sale origin difficult to pinpoint (Score 1) 532

You sir, deserve modding.

I believe you hit the nail right on the head.

This type of taxation seems like a tax grab, and as another poster mentioned, would be a nightmare to keep track of in accounting software, because instead of just doing the sales tax for all sales in the state the company is headquartered in, they would then need to know what state's tax rules to apply, which, as you've demonstrated, could be difficult to figure out, and near impossible to automate.

Kudos to Amazon for taking a stand.

Comment Re:There's no way to think she didn't do it (Score 4, Interesting) 439

Indeed, but its that way for a reason.

The original intent of statutory damages was 2 fold:

1. To ensure that the infringer does not do it again, and to send a message to other potential infringers, that this behaviour will not be tolerated.

2. To punish commercial infringers for any infringements they may have done that could not be accounted for through actual losses.

It's obvious from the plain evidence in this case that she is not a commercial infringer, and never intended to re-sell the 24 songs, which leaves the other option: To send a message.

I'm pretty sure everyone can agree that $80,000 is insane damages for a single song. So then, in a range of $750 to $150,000, what *IS* fair?

The evidence seems to say that she is guilty, and thus should be held accountable. Actual damages would not send the message that the industry wants to send, but at the same time, ridiculously high damages seems to have the same effect.

Is $750 acceptible? For a total damage award of $18,000? The question is not "Could she reasonably pay the damages?", because the law doesn't care if you can pay it. The question is "How much would make a reasonable deterrent for future infringers?".

Unfortunately, these days, I believe the problem is already out of control, and no amount of damages, reasonable or not, would serve to deter future infringement. Indeed, the same person, after resolving all these issues, being left penniless and bankrupt, is likely to learn from these mistakes and use an encrypted client in the future, and simply download all their music in the future.

Punishing an avid music collector (it's reported that she actually *owns* 200+ cd's) over 24 downloaded songs seems to me to betray all of your future customers.

I don't honestly think theres any way the recording industry can drive this mess for a positive outcome for them. They'll never get the money from *any* damage award, and they're reputation is irreversibly and forever scarred by this lawsuit campaign.

Comment Re:An Ethical Quandry without an easy answer (Score 2, Insightful) 847

This really doesn't seem to be about religion to me.

Religious fervor seems perfectly reasonable and rational to the religious.


Part of the thrill of parenting, is the gamble about what kind of child you will end up with.

Perhaps there are others that don't enjoy this "thrill" and find it offputting or at best a trade off that they must currently make in order to be a parent. Just because you seem to enjoy the "gamble" as you put it, is not a good reason for pushing that belief on others.

So why be a parent at all then? If your not willing to accept the full package, if you only want to be a parent on your own terms, why bother? If you want a child that has certain features, that is free from genetic defects, that takes away the risk of child birth, that is completely under your control? Why not adopt?

In reality, I'm not pushing my opinion on anybody. I disagree with the process. I personally believe that it pollutes the very meaning of being a parent to be able to choose your childs physical traits.

If it were only genetic testing, if it were only to ensure that you had a healthy child free from birth defects, then maybe it would be okay in my mind, maybe I could find a way to ethically justify it in my mind.

But to go through this process so that you can have a child of the right gender? The right eye and hair color? It makes the process of having a child at all meaningless. A designer child, like a designer purse or pair of shoes. It's somehow cheapened.

Comment Re:An Ethical Quandry without an easy answer (Score 1) 847

I'll recycle a comment I made to another response earlier...

You don't have children do you?

Parenting is all about emotions. The discovery that your wife (or you, in the case of women) is pregnant, the wonder and amazement that comes with meeting your child for the first time, the entire process through empregnation, birth, and ultimately raising the child is an entirely emotional experience. So to say that emotions don't matter in a case like this is hogwash.

When it comes to arguments about children, it will always be wrought with emotion. Sure, everyone has opinions. I'm as open-minded as the next person, and have listened to my fair share.

At the same time, to screen potential children for any reason (genetic diseases, physical traits, etc...) based solely on the reasoning that it could make the parents life easier?

*THAT* my friend is the biggest cop out ever. Parenting is hard. There are no manuals, no pre-written instructions. Every child is different, some are harder to raise than others (I learned this the hard way). Nothing that you can screen for will ever change that.

Are there scientific facts and reasons not to allow a choice like this? Probably not. But my original response was geared towards somebody who seemed to think this was about a religious choice.

Its not a religious choice, even though some people make it one. Its an emotional choice.

Part of what makes us human is the fact that we are all different. If we start introducing choice in what traits we contain, then how long before we can choose everything? How long before we become a race that is all about genetic fads (think gataca)? How far can we take it before we lose our humanity? Do you really want to know?

Comment Re:An Ethical Quandry without an easy answer (Score 4, Insightful) 847

This really doesn't seem to be about religion to me.

I have 2 children. I love them dearly, and would never change anything about them. Part of the thrill of parenting, is the gamble about what kind of child you will end up with. To be able to choose the traits of your children, seems to make it all a bit superficial to me. Why not just grow them in a test tube?

Hell, why not just make baby farms as described in the Matrix? If we're going to take the gamble out of genetics, whats left for us?

As far as "Playing god" or whatever name you want to give it, "God" in this instance does not neccesarily refer to any given diety, but simply refers to the unknown force that normally determines the traits of your child.

I believe that there are forces in this world that we do not understand, that we should not understand, and that we should not meddle with because we don't understand them. Whether the decry came from the pope himself, or some guy living on the streets in new york, the message is still the same. By letting people choose their babies traits, we are taking away something that is profound.

When my first child was born, the first thing the nurse said to me was "Her eyes are brown... that never happens". I would not trade that moment for anything in the world.

User Journal

Journal Journal: What to do... What to do...

SO now that I've dicovered this wonderous place... called a journal... what do I do with it?

I suppose I could spew my guts about my entire life, and advertise it to the whole world... but who would care?

I don't think anybody is even reading this. :)

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