How Misleading Can You Get?

The RIAA has a website,, which among other obviously misleading statements has a page on the law that strongly implies visiting a copyrighted web page could get you a $250,000 fine and five years in jail.

What the Courts Have to Say About Illegal Uploading and Downloading

[…] “When a person browses a website, and by so doing displays the [copyrighted] Handbook, a copy of the Handbook is made in the computer’s random access memory (RAM), to permit viewing of the material. And in making a copy, even a temporary one, the person who browsed infringes the copyright. […]”

[…] If you do not have legal permission, and you go ahead and copy or distribute copyrighted music anyway, you can be prosecuted in criminal court and/or sued for damages in civil court. Criminal penalties for first-time offenders can be as high as five years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

Of course they omit the fact that these criminal penalties are only for those who have willfully copied more than $1000 (retail value) of material in a 180-day period. And I really hope the RAM argument is invalid; I much prefer the server makes a copy theory.

[Aaron Swartz: The Weblog]

This proves how clueless the RIAA really is. They just don’t get technology, as we’ve seen by how frequently their site has been hacked.

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