A lot of comments are being made on DrunkenBlog about the legal case Apple is bringing against the persons who leaked a copy Tiger (next version of OS X). Most of them seems to be in the theme of “they (the defendants) are poor students and can’t afford to defend themselves, so let’s go easy on them”, or “they didn’t mean any harm, suing them is too heavy handed by Apple”, or “Apple has made their point, these people have been punished enough already”, etc.
Speaking in a personal capacity (Adriaan, my ecto partner, had already made an ‘offical’ comment) I think everyone need to take responsibility of their own action. Whether you are poor, rich, young, old, illiterate, or educated; you are still doing wrong. Just because these people did not leak the copy of Tiger in malicious intend, that doesn’t mean they did not do wrong. If they were found guilty of their accused crime, their personal circumstances should, in an ideal world, be taken into account by the judge when sentencing is served. Not that we are living in an ideal world, mind you, but that is the concept nonetheless.
Of course one can argue that since they are poor, they are unable to hire attorney to defend themselves against a multi-billion dollars company that is Apple. Guess what? They should have thought of the possibility of being sued when they shared the file.
I doubt that if the defendants are middle aged software engineers earning 6 figure salaries, there will be as much ‘sympathy’ towards them as these young students. I think fair should be fair, no matter the circumstances.
In closing, I can’t honest believe the defendants are completely innocence about sharing any files on BitTorrent.
I made the foolish assumption that since I wasn’t a developer, and I had a copy that it would be ok if I shared it with 5 or 6 fellow mac fanatics.
“Foolish” is right and he admitted that he is a frequent BitTorrent downloader. So he must knows that once the file is in the open, there is no stopping at “5 or 6 fellow mac fanatics”. Blind trust is a great thing but the real world doesn’t work that way.