Thursday, March 10, 2005

Teen Convicted of Illegal Internet Piracy - But Under State Law

From the article:

An Arizona university student is believed to be the first person in the country to be convicted of a crime under state laws for illegally downloading music and movies from the Internet, prosecutors and activists say. University of Arizona student Parvin Dhaliwal pleaded guilty to possession of counterfeit marks, or unauthorized copies of intellectual property.
Under an agreement with prosecutors, Dhaliwal was sentenced last month to a three-month deferred jail sentence, three years of probation, 200 hours of community service and a $5,400 fine. The judge in the case also ordered him to take a copyright class at the University of Arizona, which he attends, and to avoid file-sharing computer programs.


The interesting thing about the case, from a standpoint of legal doctrine, is the enforcement of copyright is strictly FEDERAL, under the Constitution. Up to now, states have not been involved much at all in these cases.

More: Federal investigators referred the case to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office for prosecution because Dhaliwal was a minor when he committed the crime, said Krystal Garza, a spokeswoman for the office. "His age was a big factor," she said. "If it went into federal court, it's a minimum of three months in jail up front."