Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 26th Aug 2011 22:06 UTC, submitted by Morgan
Legal And we have another contender for the stupidest technology-related lawsuit of 2011. Do you remember RealNetworks? The scourge of '90s web users? Lucky for us, their horrible media player is no longer a requirement on the web. Also lucky, for those of us who occasionally run into content encoded in any of Real's codecs, there's Real Alternative (download here). Well, apparently, RealNetworks is not happy with Real Alternative (download here), as the US company has completely destroyed the life of the Dutch maintainer of a website who dared to link to Real Alternative (download here).
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I just don't get it Thom
by Berend de Boer on Sat 27th Aug 2011 06:56 UTC
Berend de Boer
Member since:
2005-10-19

Thom, please explain:

1. Google gets a $500,000 fine because it displays ads with medication, and you think that's great.

2. Someone steals someone else's code, and the sky is falling.

I just don't see the consistency.

Reply Score: 3

RE: I just don't get it Thom
by Neolander on Sat 27th Aug 2011 07:36 in reply to "I just don't get it Thom"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Perhaps it makes more sense if said another way.

1. A mega-corporation helps the economy of the US sink even further by allowing people to buy drugs without paying the regular fee to the state. It has to pay a small fraction of its ridiculously high benefits as a punishment.

2. A young individual links to an alternate implementation of a crappy AV codec from the dark ages of the internet. He loses all of his computers, more than a year of revenues, and his independence from his family (in the form of the house he was planning to buy and the ability to sustain himself financially without borrowing).

Disproportionate retribution much ?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: I just don't get it Thom
by Alfman on Sat 27th Aug 2011 08:43 in reply to "RE: I just don't get it Thom"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Neolander,

"Disproportionate retribution much ?"

Not to defend the crime, but man versus corporation is not really balanced.

Morally it seems that harm to a person is greater than harm to a corporation. It's true that the corporation is formed on behalf of shareholders who may be people (or recursively other corporations...), but legally shareholders/employees are independent non-responsible entities.

I'm not so sure it's ethically right to entitle corporations the same rights as individuals (as in the US). In the biological sense, a corporation doesn't have a home, it doesn't have a family or dependents, it doesn't have to worry about educating itself, it doesn't have to worry about getting a new job if it gets shut down, it doesn't get sick...

Corporations shield the employees/owners/etc who committed the acts from any liability. So even the exact same legal punishment wielded against a man and a corporation have entirely different repercussions.

It's not really fair that between two men who've committed the same crime, one as an individual, the other behind a corporation, only the individual risks loosing his home and personal assets.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: I just don't get it Thom
by steogede2 on Sat 27th Aug 2011 09:13 in reply to "I just don't get it Thom"
steogede2 Member since:
2007-08-17

There's no point explaining it, if you had the capacity to understand it, you wouldn't need it explained to you.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: I just don't get it Thom
by SaschaW on Sat 27th Aug 2011 18:13 in reply to "I just don't get it Thom"
SaschaW Member since:
2007-07-19

Thom, please explain:

1. Google gets a $500,000 fine because it displays ads with medication, and you think that's great.

2. Someone steals someone else's code, and the sky is falling.

I just don't see the consistency.


Google is a large corporation. $500mi is pocket change to them. That's like a speeding ticket for average Joe.

In this case however it's destroying a human beings life, and for what? It's disgusting!

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: I just don't get it Thom
by narcissus on Sat 27th Aug 2011 22:58 in reply to "I just don't get it Thom"
narcissus Member since:
2005-07-06

You missed a few zeros there, it's $500,000,000.00

Reply Parent Score: 1