Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Don't Copy That Floppy!

Don't Copy That Floppy!

Ah yes, about to listen to that downloaded album or that pirated movie of whatever is showing at the local multiplex in 3D.. Well, you better be careful as you're downloading said file on the internet super highway because it looks like the lawsuits are going to start flying again - 50,000 New Lawsuits Against Movie Downloaders
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a group known as the "U.S. Copyright Group" has quietly targeted 20,000 Bit Torrent users for legal action in federal court in Washington, DC. The targets are accused of having downloaded independent films, including "Steam Experiment," "Far Cry," "Uncross the Stars," "Gray Man" and "Call of the Wild 3D," without authorization. The group plans to target 30,000 more individuals for legal action in the coming months.

This time, the lawyers involved are being explicit about their motivations: it's all about the money. "We're creating a revenue stream and monetizing the equivalent of an alternative distribution channel," said one of the attorneys involved. The cases are taken on a contingency basis, designed so that quick settlements will prove lucrative for both the firm and the copyright owners involved.

The attorneys involved are reportedly relying on technology provided by Guardaley IT that claims to enable real-time monitoring of movie downloads on torrents. The IP addresses and information gathered using this technology are then used to file "John Doe" lawsuits and issue subpoenas to ISPs seeking the names and addresses of subscribers associated with those IP addresses. Settlement demands are then sent.

This is not the first time we've seen mass litigation (a.k.a. "spam-igation") used as a profit-center—DirecTV pioneered that tactic by sending demand letters to more than 170,000 Americans accused of satellite piracy. And the major record labels followed up by targeting more than 30,000 people for legal actions between 2003-08.

If this story is correct, it's the latest evidence that copyright law has become unmoored from its foundations. Copyright should help creators get adequately compensated for their efforts. Copyright should not line the pockets of copyright trolls intent on shaking down individuals for fast settlements a thousand at a time.
First off, I can't believe 30,000 people have even heard of any of these films. Being sued for watching Far Cry is only adding insult to injury. Those poor people have suffered enough. Let's demonize and punish thousands of times more severely for victimless crimes than for actual physical violent theft just because it resembles a boogey man economic system that is a direct threat to legislators' decadent way of life.

How delusional do you have to be to expect movie pirates to be a source of income? I mean especially considering the shear level of litigation, the high chance of appeals de rigueur because of the controversial nature, and what's more if they win a judgment it's going to get appealed simply because the people likely won't be able to ever pay it. You don't pirate movies because you've got money laying around.

Though I imagine they expect a payout the same way spammers do. You cast a wide new and people too cowed or poor to do anything else will instantly settle, they sue 50,000 and 40,000 appeal and win or make it unprofitable and so they make up with 10,000 cases they do win and collect on.

It makes me wonder if they got better evidence than a screen shot of the peer ip's this time.
It really is pretty hard to get in trouble for this when you are doing it over someone else's wireless. I'm just saying.. that's why the screen capture was worthless as it proved nothing as to who actually downloaded it. But even with that, I wonder if pursuing copyright cases ever has been profitable because I'm pretty sure in 99% of all previous cases either the defendant won or they couldn't pay anyway.
Joel Tenenbaum has lost his trial against the RIAA and was ordered to pay $22,500 for each of the 30 songs he shared via Kazaa. Tenenbaum, who pleaded guilty to downloading and sharing files earlier this week, will be left paying off the $675,000[,b] to the music labels for the rest of his life.

Tenenbaum, a graduate student from Boston [b]admitted to downloading and sharing 30 songs in 2004, faced a fine up to $4.5 million – $150,000 per infringement.
After a week long trial the jury eventually decided to award the RIAA $22,500 per song based on “willful infringement” mounting up to a total fine of $675,000 for Tenenbaum.

From the start it was clear that the only thing that the jury had to decide on would be the the size of the fine. The fair use defense was thrown out a few hours before the trial started, which shut down the only escape route left.

Tenenbaum’s defense team, headed by Harvard Professor Charles Nesson and his law students, were left powerless. “Undoubtedly, we were a creative and nontraditional legal team. But going into trial, we were stripped of all our attempts to mitigate Joel’s liability, so today’s outcome has been in the cards all week,” student Debbie Rosenbaum wrote.

This is the second win in little over a month for the RIAA. In June, Jammie Thomas-Rasset lost her retrial against the RIAA and was ordered to pay $1.92 million for the 24 songs she shared via Kazaa.

RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy told TorrentFreak that the ‘damages’ will not go to any of the artists, but to more anti-piracy campaigns. “Any funds recouped are re-invested into our ongoing education and anti-piracy programs,” he said.

In total, the RIAA has spent over a million dollars on this case alone, to set an example to the millions of people who share files every day. Time will tell whether or not the verdict will have any impact at all, aside from ruining a student’s life and alienating a few million music fans.
I'm pretty sure that instead of paying installments to a record label for the rest of my life I would just move to another country. I'm serious. If I had to pay millions of dollars to some retarded fucking record company I would just go Abigael Guzman and hide in the Chilean forests while randomly attacking and beheading landowners and their families.

Copyrights are so worthless. Intellectual property is a myth that serves as the symbolic high fructose corn syrup stunting those who know no better than fearful compliance to media witchhuntery. The music/movie industry needs to accept reality and adjust their business models in order to provide a service that's worth paying for.

All this really does is make their shareholders feel a lot better as an excuse as to why the profits are down instead of owning up to the fact that their product was total shit to begin with. It gives the recording industry a scapegoat for falling profits as they can say "We're doing something about it!" How can you be a litigator and assume that your goal in life is to sue a bunch of college kids at random and call it a business model?

The biggest fuckery of all of this is that it rests on the presumption, albeit a presumption that doesn't get factored into law, that these people would be paying for their music if they couldn't pirate it. Most likely they just wouldn't be listening to any music or watching much TV. But hey, fuck logic. That shit's for pussies.

Seriously, how much would it cost me if I got caught physically stealing 30 songs worth of CD's from an actual music store? I know for a fact at Walmart it would be ZERO DOLLARS as they wouldn't even prosecute you if you've attempted to steal less than $50 worth of merchandise. Imagine the conversation in jail.
"Well, well boy, what are you in here for?"
"I illegally downloaded a specific sequence of 1s and 0s."
My only comment... Shoulda used usenet. I guess the biggest problem I have with this is that the movie business and the record companies just sound like a mob racket with all this. I don't see why shakedowns should be a source of income for them.

Just think, if you get sued for millions you can still declare bankruptcy but does that mean you'll have to be a slave to Disney for the rest of your life? Hate to break it to you like this but you already are, my friend. You already are...

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