Re: 10 years?
And remind me, why is this a reason for treating online copyright infringement any differently than offline (physical) copyright infringement, which is the actual point at issue?
Because online copyright infringement is mostly not done for profit. Copyright infringement, and in fact the whole concept of "copyright" was built upon the idea that you would own the rights to sell copies of stuff you created for a limited time (the "limited time" has been subverted by every single copyright extension where the term is "life + something" as opposed to "a fixed length of time"), and it was made to avoid someone else making a profit off the original creator's work. For a limited time. Once those works fell into the public domain, anyone would be able to copy 'em and make a profit.
Most of what passes as copyright infringement these days has the whole "profit" part cut away, which is why it wasn't even considered before the DMCA and similar laws. Yes, it does hit content creators, but the "1 illegal copy == 1 lost sale" rule gets kinda murky there. Sometimes, that illegal copy causes the "pirating" party to actually buy a legit copy later down the road. Yet the RIAA/MPAA trade bodies still want to slam these kind of infringment cases under the same case as actual copyright infringment cases (i.e. the ones made for profit). Which ends up causing really stupid things, like that single mother getting $222k fines for 24 songs. A far milder option would be to simply ask the person who has the illegal copies to "go legit", that is, actually purchase the stuff at normal prices, not magic inflated prices. Then maybe, MAYBE you'll get some goodwill back from the people you alienated in the first place.