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Comment Re:I'm thinking..... (Score 1) 62

"hacking someone else's device, regardless of the reason, is not a legal activity"

I was waiting for this comment. "Access" is the crime regardless of what you do to the system.
The hacker Max Butler wrote a worm to patch a vulnerability in BIND, but the FBI prosecuted him for "unauthorized access" to government computer systems. "Hey! I made your system MORE secure!" didn't fly as a defense.

Comment Re:Interesting, but probably irrelevant (Score 1) 117

However, if you load up your torrent manager and say "download please!" you are making your own copy, which is then stored locally, just like pushing the button on a copy machine.

Only if you actually made a durable copy of the file, and they won't have any evidence of that from the network traffic. All they know is that someone else sent a copy of the file to you. That would support a case against the uploader, but not the downloader. It might be enough to get a warrant to examine the downloader's device for a stored copy of the file, but it's unlikely anyone would go to the effort of actually serving a warrant to recover, at most, a small multiple of the retail value of one copy of a single work, and until they do so there is nothing to support a charge of copyright infringement.

Of course the root of the problem is copyright. This is just one of the more notably absurd, and yet inevitable, consequences of trying to impose artificial scarcity on something that can be duplicated by anyone at effectively zero cost.

Comment Re:and if I shoplift a rack full of CD's it's just (Score 1) 117

Suppose I download a song to the same computer twice, as can easily happen. Technically because the thing I did wrong was copying, ...

No, you're making the same mistake as the judge in the article. The one who makes the copy and distributes it across the Internet is always the uploader, not the downloader. You didn't make a copy, the person who uploaded the file to you made a copy. The DMCA should not be considered applicable to "mere downloaders" because "mere downloaders" aren't doing anything which would infringe on copyright, namely making or distributing copies or publicly performing the work. That's all on the uploaders.

You do make a very good point, however, about the way the impact to the copyright holder for each copy is grossly overestimated when calculating "damages".

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