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November 21, 2004
Copyright Odyssey 2010
Ed Foster takes the MPAA lawsuits and the ever-ratcheting penalties for copyright infringement to their illogical conclusion, imagining what kind of punishment lies in store for us when/if file sharing actually harms the off-the-charts successful movie business:
Members of the jury, it is my sad duty today to now present the closing arguments in the prosecution's case against the defendant you know as Ms. X. I say it's sad because we all hoped that the passage of new copyright statutes last year -- popularly known as the Maintaining Mickey Mouse Mandates Act of 2010 -- would sufficiently deter crimes of this nature. As we have seen in this court, that unfortunately did not prove to the case with Ms X.
The facts here are not in dispute. On or about a week ago last Sunday, Ms. X did willfully and illegally obtain on the Internet a pirated copy of the 2008 cartoon feature 'Cinderalla Meets the Little Mermaid.' You heard the government's expert witnesses testify that secret detection technology indicated the film was indeed subsequently played on her television set. And you heard the defendant herself freely confess that she and she alone was involved in this heinous crime.
As this is one of the first prosecutions under the MMMM Act, you may also not understand why the defendant is not represented by counsel. Let me just assure you that the intent of Congress in this respect was very clear. Movie piracy is a crime that threatens the very fabric of American society. There can be no defense.
Finally, I know even the most hard-hearted of you might feel the state is going little too far in asking for the death penalty in this case. But under the MMMM Act, we in fact have no choice. If the infringement is willful, it is a capital offense.
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