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MPAA Seeks $15 Million From The Pirate Bay

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the pushing-their-luck dept.

Media 110

praps writes "Having tasted blood with its victory over TorrentSpy, the MPAA is now stepping up its attack on The Pirate Bay. The association is claiming damages of over $15 million, based on The Pirate Bay's distribution of four films and a TV series — Harry Potter, The Pink Panther, Syriana, Walk the Line and the first season of Prison Break. The Swedish court is unlikely to be as generous as the one in California, although the four Pirate Bay founders are already facing charges of being accessories to breaking copyright law." TorrentSpy, in the meantime, has declined to pay the settlement awarded to the MPAA on Wednesday. In addition to appealing the decision, they have filed for bankruptcy.

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TorrentSpy (5, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23347316)

TorrentSpy's big problem was the destruction of evidence.
http://www.google.com/search?q=torrentspy+destruction+of+evidence [google.com]

Once they did that, the Judge essentially said "we can't have a real trial, you're guilty"

No legal precedent was set in the TorrentSpy case, because no legal analysis of any copyright claims happened.

Re:TorrentSpy (4, Insightful)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 6 years ago | (#23347340)

That's the law, but it's not how it will be upheld. I always get modded down for saying this, but "Since when has the law meant anything in court?". The MPAA and RIAA will just keep driving at this "precedent" they seem to have won, regardless of whether it's a real precedent or not.

Re:TorrentSpy (5, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23347452)

The **AA might be able to use this "precedent" to influence some ignorant politicians who aren't given all the facts, but there's no way in hell that type of nonsense will pass muster with a Judge.

This might surprise you, but most Judges actually read the cases (or summaries of the cases) cited in legal briefs.

I'm also not quite sure what you mean by "but it's not how it will be upheld," since all this trial has established is that tampering with evidence during discovery is bad... and that isn't exactly a new legal principle.

Re:TorrentSpy (3, Insightful)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 6 years ago | (#23347830)

I've seen a lot of crazy and ridiculous rulings by courts, since I started reading slashdot a few years back. If there's one thing I've learned it's to never underestimate the stupidity and/or blindness (in the metaphorical sense, not the literal) of any one person, or group of people. You always end up surprised, and seldom pleasantly.

Re:TorrentSpy (3, Insightful)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 6 years ago | (#23348386)

Citations?

In most cases I've read I've been pleasantly surprised at how good judges are.

Re:TorrentSpy (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 6 years ago | (#23351538)

I've seen a lot of crazy and ridiculous rulings by courts, since I started reading slashdot a few years back.
Actually, what you have seen is a lot of bad summaries of various rulings. Quite often the ruling is much more reasonable than is reported on /.. There are exceptions of course.

Re:TorrentSpy (3, Funny)

ElizabethGreene (1185405) | more than 6 years ago | (#23349336)

With the way the economy is going, it might be funnier just to pay it.. 15M us is like what, $100 Euro? o_O

-ellie

(Yes, I realize the exchange rate is actually closer to 1.75:1 but reality isn't always funny without hyperbole.)

Re:TorrentSpy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23355944)

Also jokes are usually funnier without explanations. You can assume some of us aren't autistic. 1.45876%...definately 876

Re:TorrentSpy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23355976)

SO fifteen mega-united states is worth one hundred eurodollars?

what's that in LoC?

Re:TorrentSpy (5, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 6 years ago | (#23347394)


But what they really did was destroy users access records to protect their visitors. That may make them guilty as far as the judge thinks, but it was actually their only means of protecting the identity of visitors. It was a very brave act on their part, if that's the case.

Re:TorrentSpy (5, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23347500)

But what they really did was destroy users access records to protect their visitors.
http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9835333-7.html [news.com]

TorrentSpy operators intentionally modified or deleted directory headings naming copyrighted titles and forum posts that explained how to find specific copyrighted works; concealed IP addresses of users; and withheld the names and addresses of forum moderators, the court found. They had earlier been fined $30,000 for violations of discovery orders and were warned of severe sanctions if they continued to ignore the orders.
Yes, they were trying to protect their visitors.
But they were also sanitizing the forum and then they lied about various things under oath.

Heck, read the /. comments about it when it happened
http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/12/19/1444229 [slashdot.org]

/I'm not really interested in rehashing any of those arguments

Re:TorrentSpy (1)

Kuros_overkill (879102) | more than 6 years ago | (#23357788)

Which is why I think this is a victory. Torrent Spy went down a martyer. Viva la resisteance...

Who would day (3, Funny)

badran (973386) | more than 6 years ago | (#23347320)

Yeah right, who would want to Pay to watch those movies and that TV show...

Re:Who would day (1)

Zibri (1063838) | more than 6 years ago | (#23353082)

Syriana was actually quite good, imho. Not USD 15M good, but still...

Ambiguities (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23347346)

I'm puzzled about whether the pirate bay guys are just attention seekers, or if they are actually willing to potentially screw up the rest of their lives for this cause.

They must have seen it coming and they've had a lot of time to back down.

Either way, big balls.

Re:Ambiguities (3, Insightful)

BSAtHome (455370) | more than 6 years ago | (#23347412)

Well, they do not live in US jurisdiction. Big difference.

Re:Ambiguities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23351864)

http://www.videosift.com/video/The-Pirate-Bay-2007

Are they really martyrs or just kids who think because they CAN infringe copyright, it makes them entitled to do it?

That's not to mention all the ad revenue they generate from their site off others' work.

Re:Ambiguities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23355184)

Unfortunately, the US and the rest of the world seem to differ on their definition of "US jurisdiction"

Re:Ambiguities (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#23360386)

But nowadays TPB aren't only here in Sweden, does that affect anything?

Re:Ambiguities (4, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23347804)

It's easier for them than someone in say the states. In the states you'd be screwed, it would be the end of your life, it would be the end of the story.

In Sweden they have both public support and political support from many serving politicians. As such any legal ruling against them has the potential to lead to a political shit storm to the point where political supporters of the ruling simply wont ever be elected ever again.

In many countries citizens like file sharing, they disagree with rulings against it and support of the RIAA/MPAA but simply don't care enough to do anything about it. In Sweden it's a big enough issue for people to both care and act.

Nations like Britain, the US and so forth have bigger worries from terrorism/wars in Iraq/Afghanistan to economic worries to general social problems and issues with their health care systems (or in the states, lack of).

Re:Ambiguities (4, Insightful)

cliffski (65094) | more than 6 years ago | (#23348112)

I think you overstate the percentage of the voting public who give a shit. 99% of people I know have no idea what thepiratebay is, or what it does. I'd guess pretty much all of them would realise the site is breaking a law (or at least encouraging its users to do so) and wouldn't have much sympathy,
Yes, there are a lot of people on slashdot who get very defensive about their right to take copyrighted stuff, but try stopping someone in the street and asking the ten most important things that affect their votes. I'd reckon:

Crime
Income
Taxes
Transport
House Prices
Education
Health
Pensions
Terrorism
Inequality

I reckon the rights of people with broadband to download free rips of Hollywood movies might come in at number 70 or 90, but its sure isn't swinging most peoples vote.

Re:Ambiguities (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23348160)

Three things,

In Sweden it has actually hit mainstream Politics, and there is a Political Party with legalising P2p on its agenda.
The current activities of the PirateBay are fully legal in Sweden,
The Chief prosecutor who broke into their offices and illegally siexed their gear got a well paid job with the MPAA within a month of resigning from the force.

Re:Ambiguities (3, Informative)

Markspark (969445) | more than 6 years ago | (#23348204)

almost correct, it was a police who was heavily involved in the investigation, and it wasn't illegal, they had a warrant. However they seized not only TPB servers, but several others.

Use of police force was if not illegal, irregular (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 6 years ago | (#23359950)

IIRC, the use of police forces in raids in Sweden is limited (if not by law, then by internal police policies) to crimes where the punishment involves imprisonment. The raid on the servers of TPB didn't qualify. In fact, some high government official had to intervene in the ordinary affairs of Swedish law enforcement for it to happen.

Re:Ambiguities (4, Insightful)

I_Voter (987579) | more than 6 years ago | (#23352260)

The Anonymous Coward who wrote ...
In Sweden it has actually hit mainstream Politics, and there is a Political Party with legalizing P2p on its agenda.
The current activities of the PirateBay are fully legal in Sweden.

... makes an interesting point, but I hope that most people are aware that "mainstream politics," has less to do with the average U.S. citizen than it would in Sweden.

It is my view that although the pile of democratic nations in the world has been growing, when the ability of U.S. voters to influence their government is considered, the U.S. voter is close to the bottom of that pile!

The U.S. has few majority or runoff elections for state or national office. It has no proportional representation elections using multi-member districts at the same level. In fact the federal government has outlawed such elections for U.S. House elections.

Jury nullification, probably the average U.S. citizens strongest influence on government granted by the U.S. Constitution has been gutted by the U.S. Supreme court!

Unlike Sweden, the U.S. no longer has political parties in the traditional sense. Such parties, with enforceable party platforms, have been effectively outlawed. U.S. political parties do not have public agendas, except in both rare and partial instances. ( see below )

I_Voter

Attempts at Party Platforms

The Democrat's 100 Hours Plan
http://tinyurl.com/5kmmu5 [tinyurl.com]

The Republican's Contract with America
http://tinyurl.com/5bkkd3 [tinyurl.com]

New and incomplete web site
Political Power in the U.S.
http://tinyurl.com/2sdtvk [tinyurl.com]

Re:Ambiguities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23348474)

> I think you overstate the percentage of the voting public who give a shit. 99% of people I know have no idea what thepiratebay is..

Idiotic, up to 15% of Swedish people use TPB (maybe more now) and you can except at up another 30% to be aware of it.

Those numbers might be inaccurate -5% even more, but it doesn't matter. Those percents are only growing and more importantly they represent the next generation the one that will take over and they have a huge indirect influence on politicians.

Re:Ambiguities (3, Interesting)

cliffski (65094) | more than 6 years ago | (#23349406)

A quick question:

does 'the next generation' of Swedish voters assume they will be working for free making movies for everyone? or do they want to continue a system where foreigners (Americans mostly) do all the work making stuff, where the swedes just get to take it all for free whilst sat on their ass?

Just asking.

Re:Ambiguities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23350934)

Yes, it's really that simple.

Re:Ambiguities (3, Insightful)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23353094)

Why do you think that doing away with copyright would mean anything at this point? Copyright in the digital age is unenforceable. People already know this. People already download whatever they want, whenever they want. I don't remember hearing about any major studios going under recently, what about you?

You're doing what the RIAA does, assuming that every download is a lost sale. It just does not add up that way, in Sweden or in any other country. People still rent movies, still go see them in theatres (which is where most of the money is at anyway), and still pay for movie-related toys and product tie-ins. There's just as much money to be made making movies as there ever was, even though you can't guarantee your distribution channel anymore.

Besides, even if there were no money to be made making movies, people would still make them. I have friends who did a short film [youtube.com] (shameless plug!), for free, on a weekend, that are going to Cannes soon because of it. It's probably cost them a couple thousand dollars each to do that. Worth it? Hell yes.

Your suggestion is analogous to the closed source view on the GPL. "How can there be money in that?" How can there not be? People want software/movies/whatever, and they're willing to pay for it, whether or not they can get it for free. Kinda obvious, really...

Re:Ambiguities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23353400)

FYI most films in Sweden is funded by the Swedish government, because most movies don't bring in enough funds to break even, so in the end it doesn't matter if swedes download movies.

And it will always be people that buy movies if they are good!

Re:Ambiguities (0, Flamebait)

cliffski (65094) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355138)

what people will buy the movies? other 'lesser' people who don't understand how to steal them?
Face facts, if you pirate all your content, then you are leeching off people who are honest. your actions are only possible because other people make your lifestyle viable by paying for what they want to see.
I don't see how fanatical pirates don't see that they are the ultimate leechers, always hoping some other mug will pick up the bill for their life...

Re:Ambiguities (2, Informative)

at0mjack (953726) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355624)

And how is this different to the USA refusing to recognise or honour European copyrights for most of its history? Charles Dickens' novels were widely published in the US without any payment whatsoever to him. It's only when the US developed a big enough internal copyright industry (who wanted their copyrights recognised in Europe) that any attention was paid to any non-Americal "intellectual property". Before that, the USA "took it all for free whilst sat on their ass", as you so delicately put it.

Re:Ambiguities (1)

rtechie (244489) | more than 6 years ago | (#23356334)

does 'the next generation' of Swedish voters assume they will be working for free making movies for everyone? or do they want to continue a system where foreigners (Americans mostly) do all the work making stuff, where the swedes just get to take it all for free whilst sat on their ass?
Two answers:

1) Yes. It's good for the Swedes isn't it? Why shouldn't they act in their own self-interest?

2) The Swedes are way ahead of the curve on content distribution. Bittorent, or another very similar P2P protocol, is the future of ALL content distribution because it's the most efficient. Media companies are whining about a fundamentally superior technology (gee, when has THAT ever happened?). Media companies want to charge higher prices for inferior quality media on the Internet, that's why piracy has taken off in a big way. They could end it in a week but they're too greedy.

Re:Ambiguities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23359130)

"Media companies want to charge higher prices for inferior quality media on the Internet, that's why piracy has taken off in a big way. They could end it in a week but they're too greedy."

what total bullshit.

First everyone whined they couldn't get music online so they had to steal it.
then they started selling online.
then everyone pretended it was too expensive and needed to be a dollar a track
then they made it under a dollar per track.
Then everyone suddenly moaned that the DRM was not acceptable
then they removed the drm.

What' the excuse to steal this week? is it that old chestnut about every musician being a billionaire? What's the excuse to rip off the hundreds of people working behind the scenes on movies and TV shows?

The Swedes are welcome to live in a little isolated world where they don't respect foreign laws, fine, but no US ISP has to allow US customers to connect to Sweden purely to rip off US companies.
By all means leave TPB alone, but block connections to it at the undersea cable level.

Re:Ambiguities (1)

rtechie (244489) | more than 6 years ago | (#23360030)

$1 a track is a ripoff. $0.05 is reasonable. I know EXACTLY what is involved in this distribution and I know that pricing is totally doable. $0.10 if they're greedy. And for that I'd expect absolutely perfect quality rips off the studio masters in FLAC and a variety of other formats of my choice. DRM-free of course. I'd also expect an account system that would allow me to redownload any track I had ever purchased an unlimted number of times. I'd expect a social networking system that would use the aforementioned account allowing me to share my track lists and let my friends listen to to download music in my collection and make suggestions, etc.

This is not what i"m getting now. I'm getting $1 a track poorly-encoded MP3s (or AACs, iTunes is the worst) made from CD rips on inferior equipment operated by monkeys. I could do much better myself at home, and have. This is the main reason why I still buy music on CD. When the online music stores can't compete with P2P on QUALITY there is something seriously wrong.

Re:Ambiguities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23356748)

Just asking in a stupid and generalizing manner

Fixed.

Re:Ambiguities (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23357276)

When you take into account the fact the US is screwing other nations industries and ignoring WTO organisation rulings against them why do you think people would care about other countries screwing one of America's industries?

Or is it simply that you believe the US deserves to have it's industries protected whilst simultaneously damaging those belonging to other nations?

Re:Ambiguities (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 6 years ago | (#23348974)

Download and watch the film in my sig and you'll see that the PirateBay guys clearly don't give a fuck and are quite happy to say so during interview..

For completeness, get 'Steal This Film' (I) first; they have a more in-depth interview with the PirateBay guys.

A solution... (1, Insightful)

siyavash (677724) | more than 6 years ago | (#23347386)

...could perhaps be if we all stopped consuming their products! No buying, no selling, no copying, no nothing. I'm pretty sure if people did that for a month or two, you would see these corps either disappear or back off right away.

Re:A solution... (1)

Xtense (1075847) | more than 6 years ago | (#23347440)

Yeah, like that'll ever happen...

Re:A solution... (4, Interesting)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23347878)

To quote Orwell, "The Proles will never revolt."

As long as we HAVE our X-Factor, our America's Next Top Model, our Pop Idol, and our never ending Lost series, we'll let them do whatever the fuck they want.

Bah... Baaaah...

Re:A solution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23348048)

Speak for yourself. I ditched cable last November and haven't looked back. If anything I'll watch a movie before a TV show.

Just because *you are* addicted to lame reality TV doesn't mean we all are.

Oh and about this P2P mess, how about, oh, I dunno, stop violating copyright? If you really really really want to watch the movie or show, pay for it. If it's not worth that much to you, then you obviously don't want to see it.

Re:A solution... (1)

Collapsing Empire (1268240) | more than 6 years ago | (#23357954)

Proles is plural. A few individuals out of the body doesn't mean shit.

Re:A solution... (4, Funny)

statemachine (840641) | more than 6 years ago | (#23348068)

To quote Orwell, "The Proles will never revolt." As long as we HAVE our X-Factor, our America's Next Top Model, our Pop Idol, and our never ending Lost series, we'll let them do whatever the fuck they want. Bah... Baaaah...
Why didn't you also mention "Big Brother" -- the popular TV show that makes this so ironic?

Re:A solution... (5, Funny)

MadMidnightBomber (894759) | more than 6 years ago | (#23348854)

Today on Big Brother: Winston finally comes to love Big Brother and then gets shot in the back of the head. The rest of the housemates fight over how to divvy up his possessions.

Re:A solution... (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 6 years ago | (#23348918)

Damn.. and no mod points today.. Good job!

Re:A solution... (1)

Thought1 (1132989) | more than 6 years ago | (#23351098)

Wait, wasn't that a Dr. Who episode? (:

Re:A solution... (1)

lazyforker (957705) | more than 6 years ago | (#23351670)

Surely the rest of his housemates will simply deny he ever existed at all?

Re:A solution... (1)

init100 (915886) | more than 6 years ago | (#23348194)

No, they would just blame it on piracy anyway.

Re:A solution... (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354456)

Uhm, isn't their problem that we are already supposed to do that? I already do most of it ;)

Is the Pirate Bay rich ? (3, Interesting)

Rastignac (1014569) | more than 6 years ago | (#23347466)

Does it gain a lot of money from its site ? How many millions do they get from ads and such ? Can the court force them to publish the real numbers ? Or will its fortune stay secret ?

Or does it gain nothing at all (really no profit) from their activities ?

Re:Is the Pirate Bay rich ? (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 6 years ago | (#23347534)

Well, that's a good question. Unfortunately I am not sure the fact that they are rich or not is relevant.

Re:Is the Pirate Bay rich ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23347558)

There was a couple of emails in the investigation report that showed some numbers, they've probably had a add revenue of at least $350k. That would clearly have to pay for equipment, bandwith, electricity etc... It's also known that they do not live a luxurious life so I highly doubt that they have money to pay any demands. We'll know in a year or two though as this one will probably go as high as it can.

Re:Is the Pirate Bay rich ? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23347662)

I'm no lawyer, but first of all they certainly won't be able to pay since the numbers are RIAA pulled out of the ass, "we lost this much" numbers and hence one or two orders of magnitude above any real figure.

However, this shouldn't matter since the chance that they are found liable is probably rather small ( "assisting copyright infringement" is not a crime in Swedish law, yet that is what they are being sued for ).

Now if they are found liable anyway, it would still be the company that is held responsible. The individuals in question probably would not suffer from it at all, and even if they killed all of their servers it would just be weeks ( if not days ) before somebody else created a similar page with slightly different implementation, thus forcing a new investigation and court process.

Even if the RIAA do win this case all they achieve is make TPB into martyrs and ensure that whoever succeed them will be even more difficult to stop.

Re:Is the Pirate Bay rich ? (2, Informative)

init100 (915886) | more than 6 years ago | (#23348218)

Now if they are found liable anyway, it would still be the company that is held responsible. The individuals in question probably would not suffer from it at all

That only applies to aktiebolag (direct translation: "stock company"). For other types of companies, their owners are personally liable for any debts. Compare with the general partnership [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Is the Pirate Bay rich ? (1)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 6 years ago | (#23350904)

I'm no lawyer, but first of all they certainly won't be able to pay since the numbers are RIAA pulled out of the ass, "we lost this much" numbers and hence one or two orders of magnitude above any real figure.

If by "ass", you mean, "a market analyst and a lawyer looking for another summer home in Tahiti", you'd be correct. The analyst informs them of an earnings shortfall, and the lawyer tells them it's losses due to piracy rather than mismanagement and over-fleecing their artists.

Re:Is the Pirate Bay rich ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23348042)

I don't think it has $15m in liquid assets tbh....

Having said that, I'm surprised at the MPAA in this case, asking for what seems like a reasonable figure. If everyone had gone out and paid retail for the thing that they were downloading, I think the ballpark figure would be about $15M, if not more (whether or not they would have paid for it given no other recourse is another issue entirely). Having said that, it's equally disheartening that the group that have a large portion of the entertainment industry by the balls are so clueless they STILL don't understand the politics and legal jurisdictional issues involved here (i.e., Sweden).

Re:Is the Pirate Bay rich ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23348646)

According to one of the legal threat responses on TPB website, their activities are loss-generating. http://static.thepiratebay.org/whitestripes_response.txt [thepiratebay.org]

The Marketplace (0, Redundant)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 6 years ago | (#23347476)

Whoever wins the suit doesn't matter.

Ultimately the Marketplace will decide.

If we, the consumer, who made up of a large part of the Marketplace, decide that MPAA should not get to enjoy anything, then, we should stop participating/contributing to the establishments that support MPAA.

In other words, vote with our pocketbooks, people !!!

Re:The Marketplace (4, Insightful)

Xtense (1075847) | more than 6 years ago | (#23347496)

Just to point out:

We are not "the consumer". We are nerds who participate in friendly discussion on an Internet News Site. That means that we are just a tiny, microscopic fraction of all consumers everywhere (or, in this case, in the US) and, as such, have no power over the rest of the consumers. Thus, preaching like "Vote with your wallets!" HERE will not accomplish anything - we already know this (though most of us probably don't care). The only thing we CAN do is raise awareness - and somehow, I don't see any big protest signs on the streets criticising MAFIAA for their actions.

To sum it up: Why don't we actually DO something about it, not stand idle and repeat the old phrases that every one of us heard a dozen times?

(Reply: The sun. IT BURNS USSSS! :) )

You are so right - but... (2, Insightful)

Animaether (411575) | more than 6 years ago | (#23347948)

I'm pretty sure that picketing outside some local MPAA/RIAA/whathaveyou office is going to have absolutely zero effect, unless you manage to get a few hundred people - I suppose you might get on the local/regional news.

Donating to the EFF might help in defending against frivolous lawsuits against individuals (amicable briefs and such), and that's laudable, but that's not quite what we need in this case either.

So, where do I go to find a party that will take on the MPAA/RIAA/the law* and say "It ends here. These sites do not host illegal material, they do not make it available, they merely tell you where to get it - and that in itself is not illegal*." ?

(* to note - that actually -is- illegal in some nations, so the actual law would have to be changed.. which is a long and difficult road especially when faced with an extremely wealthy lobby wanting such a law in place and kept in place )

Re:You are so right - but... (2, Interesting)

Xtense (1075847) | more than 6 years ago | (#23347986)

This is, of course, correct, but while we are not a significant part of consumers out there, well, there are sure a lot of us anyway :) . This is why picketing might have some success, but it would of course require lots of organizing and thinking through. I am looking right now at the Anonymous protests. Last time I've checked, there were a lot more anti-MPAA/RIAA blokes around the internet than /b/tards, EDiots and others who joined their protests. My point being, if the *chans were able to muster such large numbers, i think we could, too. We just require a bit more, forgive the term, "nerdrage" :) .

Re:You are so right - but... (1)

Thought1 (1132989) | more than 6 years ago | (#23351184)

Actually, I think the best thing you can do is promote artists from non-*AA labels (buying their DVDs/CDs/merchandise/concert tickets/etc). This legally reduces the money flowing into the *AA coffers, and promotes those who are outside of it's little club of bullies.

Re:The Marketplace (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23348020)

Thus, preaching like "Vote with your wallets!" HERE will not accomplish anything - we already know this (though most of us probably don't care). The only thing we CAN do is raise awareness - and somehow, I don't see any big protest signs on the streets criticising MAFIAA for their actions.

To sum it up: Why don't we actually DO something about it, not stand idle and repeat the old phrases that every one of us heard a dozen times?
That quite neatly sums up the difference between a consumer and a citizen.

Re:The Marketplace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23348062)

>Why don't we actually DO something about it, not stand idle and repeat the old phrases that every one of us heard a dozen times?

You must be new here.

Re:The Marketplace (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23350358)

Just to point out:

We are not "the consumer". We are nerds who participate in friendly discussion on an Internet News Site. That means that we are just a tiny, microscopic fraction of all consumers everywhere (or, in this case, in the US) and, as such, have no power over the rest of the consumers. Thus, preaching like "Vote with your wallets!" HERE will not accomplish anything - we already know this (though most of us probably don't care). The only thing we CAN do is raise awareness - and somehow, I don't see any big protest signs on the streets criticising MAFIAA for their actions.

To sum it up: Why don't we actually DO something about it, not stand idle and repeat the old phrases that every one of us heard a dozen times?

(Reply: Because you have Linux kernels for brains :)
There. All fixed.

You're all a bunch of fucking followers. You can't think for yourselves, so you jump onto any bandwagon you can, just to try to part of a group. You heard someone bashing MS, and thought "Wow, they're, like, soooooo fucking kewl, man, cuz they're, like, against society", so you started regurgitating their arguments, like they were your own. You've been doing it for so long, that now you actually believe they're true. How long has Linux been around? You haven't seemed to raise anyone's awareness of that yet. If it was that good, dontcha think it would speak for itself? What the hell makes you think you can defeat the RIAA/MPAA?

So, here we go again, regurgiting the same old arguments:

Whiney McFaggot: Why should they, like, be able to profit for the rest of their lives off of, like, one work, man? It's, like, not fair.
Me: I don't know but, wouldn't it help if you first explained why they shouldn't be able to?

Whiney McFaggot: It's not, like, theft, because I'm not depriving the owner of anything. You can't prove that they, like, lost a sale because I downloaded it illegally.
Me: Right, I can't prove a sale has been lost, just like you can't prove that the sale will actually take place. So, so how about we just call it theft, up until the point that you've actually paid for it?

Whiney McFaggot: The MAFIAA's are, like, nothing but a bunch of theives, like, stealing from the artists.
Me: Umm, didn't they both enter into a contract, where all the terms were laid out beforehand? All parties knew what they were getting into, and nobody forced them to sign on the dotted line. And why do you use the term stealing when the MAFIAA's do it, but not when you do it?

Whiney McFaggot: Taken to a, like, logical conclusion, like, this means that, like, remembering a, like, song is, like, copyright violation.
Me: STFU, retard!! That's not the spirit of the law.

Whiney McFaggot: Like, I'm, like, not, like, a, like, lawyer, but, like, when you, like, . . .
Me: Stop right there. Yeah, I know you're not a lawyer. So, stop trying to twist the law in your favor. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.

Whiney McFaggot: Like, like, their, like, like, like, like, business model, like, like, like, needs, like, to, like, like, change, so, like, I, like, like, can, like, get, like, like, like, more, like, free, like, shit, like, man, like, dude, like, like . . .
Me (clenching fist): **Pow!!!**
Whiney McFaggot: Wuu-Wuuu-Wuuu-Waaaaaahhhhh!! I got what I deserved!!!

All you fucking thieving nerds know who you are. You're all just trying to ease your collective consciense and justify the effortless nature of your illegal activities. It's kinda funny how we never heard any of these arguments before the internet. How come none of you were ever brave enough to advocate stealing CDs from your local record store? Before the internet came about, I never so many people complaining about the cost of CD's. I mean, shit, if you paid for them in the past then, you must have thought the price was fair? (hmmm, you can't argue that) The only thing that has changed since then is that now it takes no effort to steal. So if it's easy to break the law, then I guess it should just be legal, right? Well, there are plenty of schizoids out there that find murder rather easy, too. So, why don't we just make that legal?

I'll take my troll mod now. I wouldn't expect anything else from a bunch of sheep who can't think for themselves.

Re:The Marketplace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23352052)

That was quick. I guess that's what happens when you hit a little too close to home.

The truth hurts, huh?

Re:The Marketplace (1)

Zibri (1063838) | more than 6 years ago | (#23353250)

Linux kernel for brain would be pretty cool though. :)

Re:The Marketplace (1)

statemachine (840641) | more than 6 years ago | (#23358188)

I can't get Windows XP to stay up more than a month without something going wrong to make it unusable. I feel sorry for him. Imagine going to sleep and then once a month not being able to wake up without a power cycle? What if his face just disappeared every couple of weeks? Damn, that'd be disorienting.

Re:The Marketplace (4, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#23347824)

Really, I don't give a damn either way. Pirate Bay is cocky and arrogant and makes money from other peoples work, and the movie industry is a cynical money grabbing cartel. I tolerate the Pirate bay because I like to get free stuff, and movie industry for the few decent films they actually do produce.

Re:The Marketplace (4, Interesting)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | more than 6 years ago | (#23348268)

How does Pirate Bay make money from other peoples work?

If by that you mean they sell advertising space because they are a popular indexing site, then how is that 'making money from other peoples work'?

It isn't, any more than Google providing a search service then selling advertising space is.

What strikes me is that the target market in the Pirate Bay's case is (according to the **AA spin) a bunch of freeloaders and pirates who won't pay for anything, so why would advertisers pay good money to access that market?

Obviously the users of the service must have some interest in purchasing whatever is advertised there - so there's a message for the **AA there somewhere :o).

Re:The Marketplace (1)

Golashes (972383) | more than 6 years ago | (#23350820)

What strikes me is that the target market in the Pirate Bay's case is (according to the **AA spin) a bunch of freeloaders and pirates who won't pay for anything, so why would advertisers pay good money to access that market?
Most of the advertising on TPB, if you haven't noticed, isn't for things that can be pirated or freeloaded easily, if at all, but rather for services like web hosting, personal ads, vacations, weight loss plans, etc. etc. Unless you've come up with a way to download a torrent of any of these (web hosting apps don't count, since even a huge majority of semi-tech-savvy users like those on TPB don't have a decent box and/or connection to host on), it sounds like the freeloading quality of the audience doesn't have any impact on the result.

Re:The Marketplace (1)

orlanz (882574) | more than 6 years ago | (#23351506)

And yet somehow the **AA have lost absolute revenue from these "freeloaders and pirates who won't pay for anything."

Re:The Marketplace (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 6 years ago | (#23356684)

How does Pirate Bay make money from other peoples work? [...] It isn't, any more than Google providing a search service then selling advertising space is.
That's a bad analogy. The Web's founding principle was to provide a way for content publishers to openly distribute. Google just rides on top of that open model, providing an additional service.

The Pirate Bay is a key link in a distribution network that focuses on "pirating" material that was never meant for open distribution. They make money by facilitating copyright infringement.

The company that spends millions making a movie for profit is not the same as somebody that just wants their work to be read by lots of people.

Re:The Marketplace (1)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | more than 6 years ago | (#23360636)

Not really - the Web's founding principle was to provide a way for information to be shared.

I don't think Berners-Lee had commercial usage in mind when he invented the Web - I may be wrong, but commercial considerations probably aren't top of the list at CERN.

OK, so the Pirate Bay facilitates copyright infringement, but they make their money by selling advertising, not by infringing copyright.

There's a market demand for free digitised content, and it was a failure of imagination on the part of the content providers not to realise that by digitising their content they would themselves facilitate the free exchange of such content.

They obviously still make millions off their product - the moot point is whether they would make much more if the freeloaders could not get free content.

Personally I doubt they would - your view may differ.

Re:The Marketplace (5, Insightful)

aleph42 (1082389) | more than 6 years ago | (#23347990)

That's a really idealized vision of the system.

Capitalism is a game in which buyers and sellers are oppenents.

Saying "the market decides" means that the power is all in the hands of the buyers: that's when you can say that "the market will make better products appear": better meaning better for the buyer. This is the ideology which justifies capitalism: the people are the buyers, and the law are (supposed to be) made for the people's sake.

But this is just one extreme in the balance of power between the two players; and just finding a good example for it is difficult. The best one is probably gas stations: you know exactly what you are buying, and you can easily check an other one, so the margins are (I guess) pretty low.
But in many cases, the balance weights heavily toward the seller. We all know the reasons: using people's mistakes (lottery, complicated billing), forced buying (bundling, etc), monopoly (or any alliance of sellers against buyers), control of the information, control of the law (lobbying).

All thoses are limitted or forbidden by the law, because they all go against the people's interest. Even marketing, when you think about it, is pretty absurd since it openly tries to make a deal seem better than it really is for buyer.
The only moral justification you can think of to allow marketing is that a company will only have the money to run ads if it is successful; this takes for granted that success is mostly the result of the company's real usefulness to the people.
In short, marketing is only justified if it does not change the relative success of companies!
(Note: you can't justify marketing just by freedom of speech, which is intended for cases when the law should stay neutral in the fight between two parties, as in a trial; there is no reason not to favor the people against the sellers. Except for international competitivity; it's often an easy excuse, but it's a valid point and a wider discussion).

Of course, the other cases (monopoly, bundling) are even harder to justify; but the worse is certainly lobbying. The simple idea that sellers could affect the law is utterly absurd, and lobbying is the best indicator of the power balance. In France -and I guess most countries- it's simply called corruption (which does not mean it doesn't happen).

And by the way: the internet has the potential to take a lot of power away from the sellers. Before Ebay, some companies made profit just by providing the organisation that buyers lacked.
Things can really change; that is, if we don't let them rewrite the laws too much with the power they have left.

1, 2, 3... Fight! [eff.org]

Re:The Marketplace (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23348952)

The best one is probably gas stations: you know exactly what you are buying, and you can easily check an other one, so the margins are (I guess) pretty low.
(...)
Even marketing, when you think about it, is pretty absurd since it openly tries to make a deal seem better than it really is for buyer.
Funny that you should say both in the same post. Sure in a theoretical model where they have perfect information you don't need marketing, but it's very detached from reality. True advertisements are important to give people information, which is also why we have laws against false marketing. I guess you could say people should carry the cost by doing research, but the line between an enticement to research and advertising is slim and none, particular not when the customer doesn't know the product would fulfill a need he has.

marketing != advertisment (1)

aleph42 (1082389) | more than 6 years ago | (#23349466)

I said marketing, that is, the art of making things look better than they are. You can advertise your product without using marketing techniques, the same way that you can ask for some laws (and say why) without lobbying. (I didn't add that distinction in my post because it was long enough already.)

For example, paying millions to a specialised firm to realise a TV spot falls in the marketing category. If there was a will to reduce marketing, you could forbid claims that are not proven, intrusive ads, put a cap on marketing budget (*), etc.

I'm not saying that it would be easy to forbid marketing; only that you can't justify it in the ideology of capitalism. Actually, I don't mind marketing that much (I don't listen to it), I was just showing that even marketing, which is regarded as completly normal, goes against the interest of the buyers. An other way of saying it is that, from a global point of view, marketing is counter-productive. I think it makes it the perfect example to prove that sellers are opponents, and not your friends.

As for the fact that ads are a source of information, come on. If there were no ads, and if we still felt a need for information on some products, normal medias would fit the gap nicely. When you decide to shop for a computer, do you watch ads on TV or do you look up some specialised websites/newspapers?

(*) We have that in France for elections.

Re:The Marketplace (2, Insightful)

mdielmann (514750) | more than 6 years ago | (#23349014)

Even marketing, when you think about it, is pretty absurd since it openly tries to make a deal seem better than it really is for buyer...In short, marketing is only justified if it does not change the relative success of companies!
You fail to acknowledge the (perfectly valid) circumstance where marketing is an attempt to raise awareness in the market of a superior product. To use a car analogy, this is where the manufacturer notes how many airbags a car has, active traction control, and (once upon a time) ABS.

Re:The Marketplace (1)

Cabriel (803429) | more than 6 years ago | (#23350018)

Speaking as one who works in sales, businesses never stop at just raising awareness. Non-profit groups, charities, and public groups might, and maybe even some for-profit small-businesses, but not the run-of-the-mill for-profit businesses. Any chance they get to embellish the worth of their products, they take.

In short, what you suggest happens too rarely to really be considered a valid exception.

A car manufacturer doesn't just note how many airbags a car has, it alludes to being unsafe with fewer.

only $15m? (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 6 years ago | (#23347504)

TPB is much larger than TorrentSpy was and has still operating. Shouldn't MPAA seek more than they got from TorrentSpy. Something like... One... Hundred... BILLION DOLLARS!

Entertainment (4, Funny)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23347508)

Sending legal threats to the Pirate Bay, MPAA? Yeah, how's that working out for you? [thepiratebay.org]

Re:Entertainment (2, Funny)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23347644)

Truely a great site, for when your board:

Hello and thank you for contacting us. We have shut down the website in
question.

Oh wait, just kidding. We haven't, since the site in question is fully
legal. Unlike certain other countries, such as the one you're in, we have
sane copyright laws here. But we also have polar bears roaming the
streets and attacking people :-(.

Hello, my dear sir(s)!
We all like Evangelion a lot. This, however, does not mean that we like
YOU.

Dear Sir(s), Madam(s), and/or Slimemold(s), ....
I would also advise you to
a) not write the subject all in UPPERCASE, as it makes spam filters go
nuts
b) not attach meaningless data from trademark registrys in PDF format
and
c) stop lying.

Please sue me in Japan instead. I've always wanted to visit Tokyo.
Also, I'm running out of toilet paper, so please send lots of legal documents
to our ISP - preferably printed on soft paper.
No, but seriously. That's simply not how international law enforcement
works. Using the same logic, a country where web sites are forbidden could
press charges against you for having one.
Dont suppose anybody could recomend a good sweedish -> english translator, for the few that are in sweedish?

Re:Entertainment (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23347790)

Google just upgraded their translation service to include swedish.
http://www.google.com/translate_t [google.com]

Re:Entertainment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23347896)

Dont suppose anybody could recomend a good sweedish -> english translator, for the few that are in sweedish?
Have you tried Google [google.com] ? Not sure how good it is, though. But "Swedish" is an option.

Re:Entertainment (2, Informative)

statemachine (840641) | more than 6 years ago | (#23348124)

Dont suppose anybody could recomend a good sweedish -> english translator, for the few that are in sweedish?
Here's Google's Swedish search [google.com] and a translator site [utexas.edu] .

Re:Entertainment (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23347776)

It's true that TPB have a rather amusing attitude to legal threats.

But a funny reply to an e-mail saying "if you do not stop we will sue you" is possible. A funny reply to an actual lawsuit is not possible; you have to play ball in some way. So thisis not quite the same situation.

What they want is meaningless. (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 6 years ago | (#23349402)

Yeah, I "seek" a couple of hours with a compliant Eva Mendez, I've probably got better odds than them.

Re:What they want is meaningless. (1)

HappySmileMan (1088123) | more than 6 years ago | (#23350028)

Don't worry, pretty much all her money goes straight to the movie industry, pretty soon she won't have a choice but to sell herself off at the nearest street corner

Re:What they want is meaningless. (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 6 years ago | (#23351986)

And what street corner would this be, and any idea when?

Both Swedish and foreign downloads (3, Interesting)

the_arrow (171557) | more than 6 years ago | (#23347720)

The MPAA does not differ between downloads from Sweden and from abroad, which I think is not going to fly well with the court. Unlike US courts that (apparently) doesn't care about things like national jurisdiction, Swedish courts do (at least I hope so).

Re:Both Swedish and foreign downloads (4, Insightful)

messerschmidt (1286594) | more than 6 years ago | (#23347818)

Exactly. MPAA seems to have based their case on different set of laws. Swedish court will rule according to swedish law (hopefully).

One of the policemen involved with the investigation was on warners payroll, how that didnt turn into a bigger scandal than it has is upsetting to say the least.

MPAA and their associates have put alot of effort into this case, let's hope tpb are equally prepared, should be an interesting showdown.

Re:Both Swedish and foreign downloads (1)

Gregb05 (754217) | more than 6 years ago | (#23348750)

Exactly. MPAA seems to have based their case on different set of laws. Swedish court will rule according to swedish law (hopefully).

One of the policemen involved with the investigation was on warners payroll, how that didnt turn into a bigger scandal than it has is upsetting to say the least.

MPAA and their associates have put alot of effort into this case, let's hope tpb are equally prepared, should be an interesting showdown.
List of assets owned by Time Warner [wikipedia.org]
Oh look, they own CNN!

Re:Both Swedish and foreign downloads (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#23359634)

This is wrong, he was later employed by Warner, that do not mean that he was during the time of the investigation. So unless you have proofs don't put it forward like a fact.

Fan vs Air (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23347726)

It feels like trying to fight piracy through legal threats is kinda like trying to fight air by waving a fan around.

Sure you move it about a bit, but in the end you accomplished nothing.

Posters please remember PiratByran is SWEDISH ! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23347882)

Now before you all go getting your panties in a bunch waffling on about Intellectual Property, multi million $ damages, legal technicalities blah, blah, blah... please remember one thing.

PyratByran is run by Swedes. Sweden is not part of the United States. Your silly American laws do not apply in Sweden.

I look forward to the usual barrel of laughs that will ensue.

Re:Posters please remember PiratByran is SWEDISH ! (3, Funny)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#23350384)

PyratByran is run by Swedes. Sweden is not part of the United States. Your silly American laws do not apply in Sweden.

That's true, right up to the point that Al-Qaeda operatives are revealed to be hiding in TPB's server room and Sweden is declared part of the Axis of Evil.

Give it time, the American military-industrial complex will figure out some way to bone Sweden over it, even if it screws itself more in the process.

Re:Posters please remember PiratByran is SWEDISH ! (1)

orlanz (882574) | more than 6 years ago | (#23351768)

Bush's Sweden to English (provided by MPAA):

PyratByran: Terrorist!

The MPAA are theives stealing ftom the artists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23348352)

The thing that really annoys me is that id tpb is guilty for providing links to illegal material then search engines like google are also guilty of the same thing (and probably to a much greater degree).

The MPAA and the RIAA extortionist criminal cartels are simply going for the smaller target that don't have the same financial backing as a big search giant to defend themselves. They are being allowed to do this by a clearly corrupt legal system that turns a blind eye to other organisations that do exactly the same thing as it is not in their interests to sue them too.

Schoolyard bullies do exactly the same thing, pick on the weaker kids, and a schoolyard bully is exactly what the MPAA is.

I boycotted all music and film that puts money into their pockets ages ago. It isn't like they actually pay the artists what they should anyway, they just leech money of people who have a talent.

As an American, I can honestly say... (2, Insightful)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 6 years ago | (#23348764)

The MPAA is detrimental to me. It is a harmful organization hell-bent on damaging American citizens. Now citizens of other countries too.
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