On Monday, the Strib reported that Some Minnesota counties struggle with empty jails.
In Hubbard County, some officials say without that outside revenue, it would actually be cheaper for them to shut the jail down and send their inmates elsewhere… It appears that region-wide, fewer people are going to jail.
Rice County does not have this problem but at the County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, administrators proposed a program to prevent it. “We’d like to ramp up enforcement of illegal music file downloading and sharing,” said Administrator Cary Weers.
With the RIAA’s successful 2007 prosecution of Jammie Thomas, a 30-year-old woman from Brainerd, and the rapid increase in broadband penetration throughout the county, Weers thinks “this situation is a major O in our SWOT analysis for keeping the jail full. Northfield’s college population in particular is low-hanging fruit.”
Also of particular interest to county officials is the RIAA’s effort to stem the increase in people who publicly whistle or hum copyrighted songs without permission. “It’s fine to engage in these activities in the privacy of one’s home,” said Commissioner Gabe Malkovich. “But people have to realize that musicians are artists who need to be paid for the use of their work. Publicly using music without paying for it has to be stopped.”
With apologies to the Motley Fool, August, 2000.