The MPAA got seriously bent out of shape over a movie being downloaded on a Ohio town’s public (and free) WiFi. Sony Entertainment Group’s evil eye gazed down upon the sleeply little town of Coshocton, Ohio when it found out that some lone miscreant may have been downloading one of their incredibly awesome movies. Since the MPAA and RIAA now have police like powers and the legal ramifications of copying a Britney Spears song is worse then stealing a car the city was quickly cowed into turning off their WiFi. The fine for downloading one song or movie can be as high as $150,000.
After Sony’s winged monkeys left the premises they were asked why would they turn off the entire town’s WiFi – a service used by hundreds of people every day – the MPAA was more concerned about preaching how piracy was bad and supported terrorists and gangs.
In the mean time, the city lost the following benefits from the free WiFi:
Mike LaVigne, IT director, said the number of people who access the Internet using the connection varies widely, from perhaps a dozen people a day to 100 during busy times such as First Fridays and the Coshocton Canal Festival.
It’s used by Coshocton County Sheriff’s deputies who can park in the 300 block and complete a traffic or incident report without leaving their vehicle. Out-of-town business people can park and use their laptops to make connections.
During festival times, vendors find it a convenience to check the status of credit cards being used to make purchases, LaVigne said.
LaVigne has done some homework and found a program that would prevent the illegal downloads from happening in the future; however, it would cost the cash-strapped county about $2,900 to implement, $2,000 for equipment and then $900 annually for the filtering program.
So, thanks to one miscreant, the MPAA and Sony bully a town into taking away the free service used by hundreds of people, made life easier for the police, and benefited local businesses. Way to go MPAA!