I'm outraged that the Obama administration is supporting the RIAA on the case against Jammie Thomas, a single mother of four who has to pay them $1.92 million for downloading songs. That's more expensive than murder and six other crimes:
• Child abduction: Fine of $25,000 and up to three years in prison, which can be accounted as $50,233 per year (that was the median household income in 2007, probably down because of the economic crisis). Total: $175,699.
• Steal the CDs: A total of $275,000, $52,500 fine for the CDs.
• Steal a lawnmower from your neighbour: A total of $375,000.
• Burn someone's house while playing The Doors: Another $375,000.
• Stalk a Gizmodo editor (yes, you know who you are): A Class 4 felony that will result in just $175,000.
• Start a dogfighting ring: $50,000.
• Murder someone on the second degree, a Class 1 felony: $778,495, which accounts for a $25,000 fine and four to 15 years in prison.
Heck, you can do all these crimes, and the total amount will be only $2.2 million. Of course, you can't really quantify years spent in prison using dollars, but I don't care. The case of Jammie—and many like hers—is still absolutely outrageous.