Does The Punishment Fit The Crime? Is Manslaughter An Equivalent Crime To Copyright Infringement?

Via ZeroPaid, we learn of a fun article in the French publication Numerama, which tries to compare the length of time in jail one could get for file sharing in France to a few other crimes (Google translation from the original French). The results are telling, in terms of just how extreme current copyright laws really are. The article includes two lists. The first is of crimes that can get you about the same amount of time in jail. This list includes:

  • Manslaughter
  • Sending death threats
  • Doing biomedical experiments on a person without consent
  • Provoking someone to commit suicide.
  • Theft
  • Escaping prison
  • Forgery

Clearly, sharing a few songs in an unauthorized manner fits with that list. As for the list of crimes that will get you less punishment, there are some surprises:

  • Exposing yourself in public
  • Sexual harassment
  • Domestic violence
  • Identity fraud
  • Abandoning a family
  • Getting a minor drunk
  • Making sexual advances on someone less than 15 years old
  • Abuse and cruelty to animals
  • Destruction of property

Somehow, it’s difficult to see how infringement belongs in that first list. But, that’s what you get in this day and age.

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