The Price of $1 of Punishment Varies

by Colin Berkshire

Colin here.

If you get caught stealing a 99¢ song you can be subject to hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Plus, the United States government will step in and provide free legal services and prosecution on behalf of the music labels.

If you steal a 99¢ candy bar from 7-Eleven the police won’t take any interest in you at all. At best, the 7-Eleven will get you to pay for the candy bar. Probably, you can just get away with stealing it. United States government is not going to provide 7-Eleven with free legal services nor are they going to prosecute a person for stealing one or even 30 of these candy bars.

I don’t understand this. Why do we treat the soul differently?

In the case of the candy bar, 7-Eleven had to buy the candy bar and so they’re actually out cash when it’s stolen. In the case of the song, nobody bought the song first and nobody’s out any hard money.

If you copy and sell a DVD movie you can go to jail for a decade or more. We’re talking about a $10 item here. If you still attend dollar item from 7-Eleven you would be unlucky if you got a 30 day jail sentence.

Is our system messed up or what?