Kevin Cogill, the blogger at Antiquiet who got busted by the FBI for hosting leaked tracks off Chinese Democracy, has set up a defense fund:
I am trying to take full responsibility for my predicament. I consider the burden of legal fees ultimately mine to bear; I have independently raised the funds required to retain my attorney. However, it has definitely been by far the biggest expense I have ever faced in my entire life, and my resources are very limited while formidable costs shall continue to pile up. It’s beyond daunting, being a single independent citizen facing a full-force prosecution by the most powerful government in the world.
Fight the power…or something. Whatever.
Also, while initial reports claimed that the tracks were made “available for streaming, but not download,” one commenter on Antiquiet’s site claims that the MP3 files had been re-tagged with Antiqiuet’s site info and were readily downloadable. Remember kids, if you can listen to it, you can copy it. We’ve been telling you that shit since 2001!
4 thoughts on “GNR leaker creates defense fund”
On the one hand, I feel for this guy. Going head to head with the feds—(over)zealous prosecution with unlimited resources—is something I only desire for the most evil of people and/or corporations. But then again, I have zero tolerance for those who freely disseminate other’s work (and often times benefit financially from it) without compensating them. This is one of the very, very, very few times I’ll agree with the loathsome Gene Simmons on anything:
“It’s only [the record industry’s] fault for letting foxes get into the henhouse and then wondering why there’s no eggs or chickens. Every little college kid, every freshly-scrubbed little kid’s face should have been sued off the face of the earth. They should have taken their houses and cars and nipped it right there in the beginning. Those kids are putting 100,000 to a million people out of work. How can you pick on them? They’ve got freckles. That’s a crook. He may as well be wearing a bandit’s mask.”
I don’t disagree with the fact that theft is wrong. I don’t disagree with the fact that the file-sharing-for-free situation should never have been allowed to get as bad as it did, what with Napster rev1, LimeWire, Kazaa, etc. But the fact stands that the music industry went blase about its business while their goods were being stolen in ways that they hadn’t even thought possible. All of a sudden, after what would seem to be an unreasonably long timeframe in ANY OTHER INDUSTRY*, the music biz decides to bring down the hammer and get sue happy with little old ladies and twelve year olds. Brilliant strategy there, RIAA. And I know this is recap, but because the music industry’s response has been so varied and baffling, it’s easy to see how average joes might think that posting a track here or there is okay.
It’s not out of line for the music biz to take legal action against flagrant file sharers. The way they chose to do it just seems extreme. The more appropriate tactic for this situation could have been a cease-and-desist letter on legal letterhead. If said offendant doesn’t respond immediately, stronger measures can be taken. Taking a blogger from his home by gunpoint by five federales is akin to giving the death-penalty to jaywalkers.
*you think the auto industry would ever be cool, turn a blind eye, if college students and housewives sneaking cars out the back door of the plant?
Note that this is not a case of the music industry suing this kid. It’s the Federal Government of the United States of America enforcing the 2005 Family Entertainment and Copyright Act law. That makes this different, and bigger, than the RIAA lawsuits.
Don’t get me wrong: the RIAA lobbied hard (and probably wrote) the FECA law that made it a separate federal crime to pirate music and movies before they are released to the public. This is the same law that was used to sock it to some Ryan Adams fans back in 2006.
Also, a note of legal clarification: under the law, “infringement” does not equal “theft.”
Theft implies removing a good from someone else so that the original owner can no longer use it. That’s not the case here. Stealing a CD or a car is theft; copying a CD is infringement. They’re different. Although the RIAA’s propaganda machine wants us all to forget that.