Guilty Because We Say So

Remember that whole business of requiring someone to be proven guilty of a crime before being punished here in the US? You know, with actual evidence?

When it comes to copyright infringement, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), believes they should be able to collect damages from people without any of that proving infringement stuff.

“Mandating such proof could thus have the pernicious effect of depriving copyright owners of a practical remedy against massive copyright infringement in many instances,” MPAA attorney Marie L. van Uitert wrote Friday to the federal judge overseeing the Jammie Thomas trial.

“It is often very difficult, and in some cases, impossible, to provide such direct proof when confronting modern forms of copyright infringement, whether over P2P networks or otherwise; understandably, copyright infringers typically do not keep records of infringement,” van Uitert wrote on behalf of the movie studios, a position shared with the Recording Industry Association of America, which sued Thomas, the single mother of two.

The MPAA’s concept is the same philosophy (although certainly not on the same moral level) behind accusing people of being terrorists and locking them away without the bother of a trial.