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$4 Million In Fines For Linking To Infringing Files

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the even-the-fringe-infringers dept.

The Courts 317

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The MPAA won judgments totaling $4M against two sites which merely link to infringing content. They're not arguing that it's an infringement of their distribution right, like the RIAA has with their 'making available' argument. Instead, they got the sites for 'contributory copyright infringement', just like RIAA v. LimeWire. To translate all that legalese into English, search engines which primarily index copyright-infringing material and the people who run them may not be safe in the US. That applies even if the sites in question do not host any infringing materials, participate in, or encourage the infringement done by their users. And, even honoring DMCA notices in order to take advantage of the DMCA Safe Harbor provisions hasn't prevented the **AA from suing."

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Copywrong. (5, Interesting)

Odder (1288958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535715)

So now any service can be DoS'd by the RIAA and MPAA. You know they will stuff any independent index with their crappy content and so destroy all alternative distribution channels.

Re:Copywrong. (5, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535777)

This is actually something I hadn't considered before. Say some industry thugs go out and find some techno-thugs who just happen to operate in a jurisdiction outside the reach of U.S. law and monitoring. Said techno-thugs inherit big bags of money for all the infringing content they can get placed on competing independent distribution systems alongside "legitimate" tracks.

Unfortunately for them, said independent distribution guys just happen to be inside U.S. jurisdiction. Bad day...

Re:Copywrong. (5, Informative)

Odder (1288958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535945)

Anyone can be shut down with this, not just "thugs". Google's YouTube service has been in the crosshairs for a while now. All the legacy copyright owners have to do is stuff the channel to shut it down. Copyright must be changed to prevent that kind of denial of service. One of PJ's first entries was about P2P and industry's fear of a richer world [groklaw.net] .

Freedom is more important than profit. (2, Interesting)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536015)

Personal and verbatim, non commercial copy should be allowed. The denial of service angle is one of many things most lawyers miss when trying to bend paper based copyright law to electronic publications. In their zeal to preserve the publishing industry as it exists, they overlook the unexplored benefits of electronic publications. Lessig has managed to balance freedom with changing technology but I don't think even he saw the DoS problem. Things are easier when you break it down to moral terms. Is it wrong for me to give you a copy of a paper for research? I don't think so. How about a song or movie? That might bother you because of the expectations current movie makers operate under, but those expectations should not be a barrier to change. If things changed tomorrow, movie makers would know the deal and everyone would be comfortable with that. An industry that has extended copyright several times does not deserve such consideration, but we should not stoop to their level. When you consider the whole problem, the natural right to free speech must trump the created rights of copyright. If we blindly persue industry interests, we will eliminate freedom of press. We must all be allowed to share what we have because only the most draconian measures will preserve copyright in a digital world.

Re:Freedom is more important than profit. (4, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536219)

Personal and verbatim, non commercial copy should be allowed.

And commercial copying should simply be taxed and the revenues handed to the creator of the copied work (to the extent with which such creative works need to be funded and monetized beyond other incentives). The whole monopoly aspect is what prevents and hampers the creation of wealth and flow of information. It needs to go.

It's annoying that many politicians in capitalistic countries can see the economic market damage created by state-run monopolies, but somehow fail to acknowledge the same damage caused when you hand out state-sponsored monopolies to private interests.

Re:Freedom is more important than profit. (1)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536395)

On the bright side, the netroots is attracting the attention of politicians primarily for our "death by a thousand papercuts" fundraising ability (and irritating habit of picking apart speeches and doing troublesome fact checking). There's a chance we might actually get some sane IP reform legislation to shut down or at least sedate rackets like the RIAA.

Re:Copywrong. (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536023)

Great idea. I just happen to have this network of high-bandwidth servers in need of financial support.

Besides, I would absolutely love to accelerate the implosion of copyright. The more abuse the RIAA throws around, the more people will take notice and discuss the issues. Hell, someone might actually grow a brain and get their good pal the Governator kicked out of office.

No, wait... I forgot one thing: the US/UN legal systems are corrupt and fucked up beyond repair.

(goes back to TPB)

Re:Copywrong. (5, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535883)

Index stuffing doesn't quite do it, as far as I can tell from TFA.

both were found guilty of contributory copyright infringement, according to the judges' opinions, because they searched for, identified, collected, and indexed links to illegal copies of movies and TV shows.
That goes quite a bit beyond mere running a forum, that's actively seeking out illegal content and indexing it up for others to download (probably with some ad revenue for your trouble). I don't know what kind of site they was, but it's far between the "there's a bunch of torrent links" and "here's a sorted index by TV show with verified links without fakes or dupes that we compiled". The former is one of "meh, we can't control everything our users do" while the latter is "here's a service we offer specificly to help you all find pirated stuff", and clearly the latter is exactly what contributory copyright infringement is supposed to cover.

I mean, apart from these sites do you know any other site that so blatantly and directly markets themselves to people breaking the law? It'd be on the level of a water pipe store with a posted map to nearby pot salesmen. Aside from my feelings on copyright, if something first is illegal I think there should be limits to how far you can go assisting them, marketing to them, turning a blind eye to them and so on. Whether you call that "aiding and abetting", "conspiracy" or "contributory infringement" is more of a legal issue, but clearly some of these sites overstep what I'd consider natural. It's like seeing a gun marketed as "Cop killer*" and in 2pt font "*only applicable when said cop is on drugs, shooting wildly around him and shooting him would be in self-defense". Some of the piracy sites are equally blatant, like "Get the latest TV shows here*" and in 2pt font "*no responsibility for 3rd party content."

Re:Copywrong. (4, Interesting)

Odder (1288958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536045)

You are stepping around the issue by claiming these companies "actively" indexed content owned by the MPAA. The issue is that any service can be stuffed by the MPAA. If you bother to index it and eliminate duplicates and noise files, you will get burnt. Indexing should be allowed and sharing should be allowed. You can't have those things and give copyright holders the ability to police things. What you are left with is a rather stark choice: freedom or copyright. There may be some middle ground, such a allowing personal copy, but it's hard to imagine a way to enforce copyright that won't sabotage everyone's network freedom, free press and free speech.

Why condemn what you don't know? (1)

westbake (1275576) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536079)

I don't know what kind of site they was

So you just take it for granted that they specialized in MPAA content?

Re:Copywrong. (2, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536083)

It's like seeing a gun marketed as "Cop killer*" and in 2pt font "*only applicable when said cop is on drugs, shooting wildly around him and shooting him would be in self-defense".

Problem is, the guns are there SPECIFICALLY to kill cops. Well at least that's what the right to bear arms was for. I'm not saying you should mow down every pig you see, but the whole point of arming plain citizens is to (theoretically) protect themselves from the threat of a totalitarian regime. Obviously that definition has little meaning anymore, the gov't is out of control and on a rampage, but the intent was there.

There's nothing in your constitution that states "Citizens have the right to download copyrighted content without retribution". That's why these issues are being decided in courts of law.

The fact that much of this indexing and filtering can be fully automated blurs the line a fair bit. Google could be doing the same thing as any torrent tracker, all it takes is basic web scraping and community moderation (explicit or implicit, the latter being Google's tendency). Google would stand to profit quite a chunk from such gray-area activities (hint: it already does).

So why is it that Google is not in court over file sharing ? They're as big a facilitator as any other index, if not more since it actually indexes the indexes. Google is like one monster torrent search that aggregates TPB, Mininova, IsoHunt and hundreds more.

Google is not in court, because the RIAA/MPAA doesn't have enough money to beat them. That's all.

Re:Copywrong. (4, Insightful)

JPLemme (106723) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536131)

I agree.

Breaking the law and then complaining that the punishment is unfair because it leans too heavily in favor of corporate interests is not the right way to go about it. The right way is to refuse to purchase the *AA's products (thus depriving them of ammunition), and then becoming politically active about IP policy.

This isn't a situation where you need to break the law to make a living or to feed your kids. It's just music and movies. Learn to play the piano. Go see a play.

(And to strike pre-emptively, yes I know that the entire system is unfair and tilted against the little guy. But for all its warts this is the best system so far devised. And when enough people get angry the politicians will jump on the populist bandwagon, too.)

Re:Copywrong. (2, Insightful)

10101001 10101001 (732688) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536485)

Breaking the law and then complaining that the punishment is unfair because it leans too heavily in favor of corporate interests is not the right way to go about it.

Um, it's called civil disobedience (well, so long as people are accepting the punishment to prove a point) and rebellion (against absurd laws). How *else* do people find out about or really even take much consideration about laws which, otherwise, might only be applied in a much more conservative and "accpetable" fashion? Those who approve of the relevant laws can always claim "well, it'll only be applied in extreme cases". And the further the "extreme case" turns to the "common case", the more people realize just how much such laws shouldn't be written because the promises will be broken.

This isn't a situation where you need to break the law to make a living or to feed your kids.

By the same token, this isn't a situation where there needs to be a law for artists to make a living or feed the kids. This holds not only because copyright already exists and this is yet another example of an absurd extension to "further protect" what is already legally protected, but it is also the case that aritsts can live and feed their kids without copyright.

Learn to play the piano. Go see a play.

And in this, I wholeheartedly agree. Everyone should be copyright holders, further proving the point that *anyone* trying to make or extend a living off of some sort of government monopoly under some guise that it's a inherent right is an abuse of society*. Besides that, everyone being artists furthers societal development because most people won't go through the effort to try to enforce their copyright when people are merely trying to enjoy it; and that extends to being able to reuse with attribution, again without much fuss from most people. But, then, attribution is pretty much the only part of copyright I like; and attribution is not even a certainty of copyright (copyright is transferable away from the original author or can be obtained through work-for-hire to complete attribute exclusion of the creator(s)).

So, yes, let's all work to turning copyright into a pointless and futile exercise. I try to do my part. In the mean time, I'm just not willing to shun all other, potentially asinine, copyrights+licenses. Perhaps some day I'll have the will to be RMS-like and not compromise.

*Some restrictions may apply. Feel free to come up with clever examples where a government monopoly is an inherent right to a person and appropriate.

Re:Copywrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23536545)

that's actively seeking out illegal content and indexing it up for others to download
Like downloading, caching (reproducing and storing), and put available to the world something as simple as the copyrighted IBM logo? That's what I thought all the search engines did, maybe I'm wrong.

Re:Copywrong. (1)

ATMAvatar (648864) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536581)

I mean, apart from these sites do you know any other site that so blatantly and directly markets themselves to people breaking the law?

whitehouse.gov [whitehouse.gov] ?

Some notable dirty tricks. (2, Informative)

inTheLoo (1255256) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536189)

If the past is any guide, shutting down alternate channels of distribution is what this is all about. Here are some dirty tricks MediaDefender and their paymasters have pulled in the past:

The MPAA is desperate because it knows it will follow the RIAA's decline soon. They can't match the diversity of free networks and will do what they can to disrupt them. People can and will make music and movies to entertain themselves without copyright protection if they are allowed to share their works.

Just turn the internet off (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536355)

Simple solution really. That will instantly also take care of the **AA too. Nobody needs the spam coming from the USA anyway...

Re:Copywrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23536389)

Yet another thread dominated by Twitter and his sockpuppets replying to each other. Sigh.

The sockpuppets in question for this thread are Odder, InTheLoo, and Westbake in case anyone still doesnt know. Why Twitter insists on playing this game even when he has legitimate points to make is very confusing to me.

Google is likely to sued real soon as well as many (5, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535717)

Google is likely to sued real soon as well as many other web sites.

Re:Google is likely to sued real soon as well as m (2)

DKP (1029142) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535767)

I hope it is google then maybe the iaa and mpaa will be put in there place

Re:Google is likely to sued real soon as well as m (2, Interesting)

MoonFog (586818) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535803)

And what if Google were to lose? It's sad when we have to wait and hope for these organizations to sue someone big instead of picking on the little guy to have some hope that they might actually be struck down.

Re:Google is likely to sued real soon as well as m (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535847)

if google would lose that kind of case, they wouldnt be able to fight back the anti net neutrality law or affect the wireless spectrum auction as they were. they are not an outfit that would lose that kind of case.

Re:Google is likely to sued real soon as well as m (1)

MSZ (26307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536153)

Which is eaxctly the reason they will not be attacked openly. Aside from that, Google has agreements with large part of MAFIAA members and nicely and friendly removes content from Youtube or Google Video on any hint of possible theoretical infringement. Why make them into enemies and spoil such convenient arrangement?

OTOH we cannot underestimate stupidity of some lawyers...

Re:Google is likely to sued real soon as well as m (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536357)

And what if Google were to lose?

Then they'd probably get the fuck out of the States rather than see their business suffer in America. Probably some sort of tax haven.

Great idea, let's give American companies even MORE of a reason to leave our shores.

Re:Google is likely to sued real soon as well as m (1)

jgarra23 (1109651) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536223)

I hope it is google then maybe the iaa and mpaa will be put in there place

Not that I disagree with you but I would also like to see Google put in their place. That company's do no evil is the biggest crock of shit I've ever heard.

Re:Google is likely to sued real soon as well as m (5, Insightful)

UnxMully (805504) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535793)

I see this as a very bad thing all around. Surely the point of search engines is that they provide access to all corners of teh interweb and can only do this by hitting every site and indexing it. If they become responsible for the content on those sites, or rather not providing links to "illegal" content, how do they continue to provide that access when they may potentially have to vet every link they index?

OK, so they can filter but surely that's as much of a minefield as indexing everything? Imagine the law suits when their filtering algorithms start excluding one company and include their opposition.

Not sure I like the sound of this.

Re:Google is likely to sued real soon as well as m (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535851)

good call UnxMully, thats the way I see it too, I wish I had mod points I would bump your comment up :^)

Re:Google is likely to sued real soon as well as m (5, Interesting)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535863)

OK, so they can filter but surely that's as much of a minefield as indexing everything? Imagine the law suits when their filtering algorithms start excluding one company and include their opposition.
No, they can't filter without running a much higher risk of being held responsible for the content. Google's "SafeSearch" feature sort of skirts the fine edge of this reasoning, but hasn't been challenged yet (i.e. Google getting sued because someone found kiddie porn being "make available" via their search engine). Their broad filtering of search results in some non-U.S. markets might be "iffy" as well.

Although not meeting the strict legal definition as such, search engine providers like Google could conceivably angle for the protections afforded common carriers [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Google is likely to sued real soon as well as m (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535937)

if i was in charge of a search engine and my web spiders found some kiddie porn i would most definitely forward that information to the police as quickly as possible, (i am sure Google already does that)...

Re:Google is likely to sued real soon as well as m (1)

UnxMully (805504) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535959)

if i was in charge of a search engine and my web spiders found some kiddie porn i would most definitely forward that information to the police as quickly as possible, (i am sure Google already does that)...

Agreed. Though if you're not filtering the content and looking at every URL, this ruling sort of implies that even hosting the link makes you liable. OK so from TFA that sounds a bit of a stretch, and I do hate to invoke the thin end of the wedge, but I do sometimes wonder where common sense comes into law...

Sounds horrible to me.

Re:Google is likely to sued real soon as well as m (1)

UnxMully (805504) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535939)

No, they can't filter without running a much higher risk of being held responsible for the content.

I see what you mean. An even worse can of worms to open.

Google's "SafeSearch" feature sort of skirts the fine edge of this reasoning, but hasn't been challenged yet (i.e. Google getting sued because someone found kiddie porn being "make available" via their search engine). Their broad filtering of search results in some non-U.S. markets might be "iffy" as well.

I would have thought the visibility of the safe search function would mitigate against this - it's very clearly there and easy to turn on and off.

Although not meeting the strict legal definition as such, search engine providers like Google could conceivably angle for the protections afforded common carriers [wikipedia.org].

I would hope so, otherwise the whole concept of a searchable internet falls on its arse there and then.

Re:Google is likely to sued real soon as well as m (5, Insightful)

reebmmm (939463) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535811)

Well, no. These sites' purpose and content consisted substantially of indexing and enabling the search for unlawful copies of copyrighted works. While Google certainly has some capability to do this as well, I don't think most people would see that as a substantial portion of their content or their purpose.

This case really isn't that surprising.

Re:Google is likely to sued real soon as well as m (1)

Entropy2016 (751922) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535867)

I don't think most people would see that as a substantial portion of their content or their purpose.
Isn't that irrelevant?

A judgment was made: If you link to copyrighted material, you can be taken to court.
I didn't notice any conditions that exclude this based on "substantial portions of content".

And why wouldn't Google be suable, for general reasons & the fact that a cached-page of those indexing sites can be just as useful as the original sites?

How can you tell? (2, Interesting)

Odder (1288958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535897)

How do you know that these two sites did not intend for people to share their own movies? How can you keep the MPAA from loading up any "legitimate" site with all of their own files they way they have with Media Sentry? The ability to DoS legitimate services mandates a change in copyright law. If cases like these continue to win, there will be no alternate distribution channels or free press on the internet.

Re:How can you tell? (3, Insightful)

glrotate (300695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535969)

How do you know that these two sites did not intend for people to share their own movies?

The same way I know the bridge being offered to me isn't really for sale - because I'm not a schmuck.

Don't be one either.

Re:Google is likely to sued real soon as well as m (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23535981)

Isn't this too broad? I mean, the say "copyright" infringement. Newspaper information is copyrighted. Meaning that any search engine will return copyrighted results.

Just look for "copyright" in google, and for sure you'll get all the pages with the "copyright" notes at the end of the page. Does that mean that "links" to copyrighted information are also illegal?

On the other hand, if google, for example, decides not to link any copyrighted information, then absolutely no "copyrighted" information will be available online, and therefore, many sites (including the UN [un.org] ) will "cease to exist to the world". If they are not indexed, they just simply don't exist, period.

Re:Google is likely to sued real soon as well as m (1)

UnxMully (805504) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535989)

Well, no. These sites' purpose and content consisted substantially of indexing and enabling the search for unlawful copies of copyrighted works. While Google certainly has some capability to do this as well, I don't think most people would see that as a substantial portion of their content or their purpose.
Agreed. Although google does index Torrent search sites which probably makes their position somewhat ambiguous.

This case really isn't that surprising.
Agreed for the specific example sites.

Re:Google is likely to sued real soon as well as m (4, Insightful)

Dragoon412 (648209) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536127)

Actually, it is. What does Google link to that isn't copyrighted? For example, try a Google Image Search for virtually any topic you can think of, and you get Google-created thumbnailed versions of copyrighted works that link directly to the often-infringing images themselves.

Our copyright in the US works largely on the owners' good graces, apathy, and ignorance. Copyright infringement, in a technical sense, happens constantly. And not just from music and movie downloaders, but ordinary people. Tattoos of cartoon characters, playing some popular song on your guitar, hosting images someone else created on your own server.

This may, in fact, have appeared on Slashdot before, but John Tehranian, a law professor at the University of Utah, estimates that a typical person could easily rack up $12.45 million in copyright liability doing ordinary things like sending email, sketching on a notepad, the afore-mentioned cartoon tattoo, writing poetry, and singing "Happy Birthday." And then there's this:

At the end of the day, John checks his mailbox, where he finds the latest issue of an artsy hipster rag to which he subscribes. The 'zine, named Found, is a nationally distributed quarterly that collects and catalogues curious notes, drawings, and other items of interest that readers find lying in city streets, public transportation, and other random places. In short, Jogn has purchased a magazine containing the unauthorized reproduction, distribution, and public display of fifty copyrighted notes and drawings. His knowing, material contribution to Found's fifty acts of infringment subjects Jogn to secondary liability in the amount of $7.5 million.

You can find the entirety of Professor Tehranian's article in PDF here [turnergreen.com] .

The entire structure of our copyright law in the US is based on what strikes me as being the courts' absolutely blind willingness to enforce laws, the language of which criminalizes the day-to-day acts of normal people, and therefore makes the system open to the sort of hyper-technical abuse characterized in the article.

Of course, our national legislators are to blame for the sloppy language, not the courts. But the courts are still the agents enforcing these laws that just fly in the face of any reasonable or well-considered social policy.

Re:Google is likely to sued real soon as well as m (1)

reebmmm (939463) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536277)

Actually, it is. What does Google link to that isn't copyrighted?

Not the same. I said, "UNLAWFUL copies." If a news agency wants to put up their copyrighted photos on a website, then someone browsing their site isn't a copyright infringer. Ditto for a search engine that POINTS to those sites. The index is to a bunch of LAWFUL copies.

In this case, we have UNLAWFUL copies of copyrighted works. Someone ripped them from a DVD, CD, or TV and posted them on the internet. It's not the copyright owners actions, it's a direct infringement by a third party (hence indirect copyright infringement in this case).

That said, I do think (and have always thought) that Google's position is legally precarious when is massively archives, stores and repurposes copyrighted works. But, that's not the issue here.

Re:Google is likely to sued real soon as well as m (3, Informative)

Dragoon412 (648209) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536363)

Not the same. I said, "UNLAWFUL copies." If a news agency wants to put up their copyrighted photos on a website, then someone browsing their site isn't a copyright infringer. Ditto for a search engine that POINTS to those sites. The index is to a bunch of LAWFUL copies.
What you're neglecting to take into consideration, though, is that Google isn't just indexing the copyright-owners' own sites.

Try looking for Transformers on Google. That fan site with the picture of Optimus Prime? That's infringement; it's unlawful. The wiki hosting a sound clip of some exchange between Star Scream and Megatron? That's infringment. The fanfic? Infringement. Google's linking to it all. They're even hosting thumbnails of some of it.

The distinction between linking to lawful and unlawful copyright works is something that can't be sustained in the face of a modern search engine. It would be asinine to tell Google that it couldn't link to anything without first ascertaining that the site has a clear and lawful copyright on the substance. A search engine just couldn't work in such a case. Likewise, saying a search engine is guilty of contributory copyright infringement when it does link to infringing material is no more sustainable, because the internet is a minefield. The liability imposed would be so monstrous as to either destroy the entire industry or create such legal liability that we're left with the last situation: search engines only able to link to things after they verify the owner's valid copyright claims.

For this to be good precedent, there needs to be a distinction made by the courts as to what makes these sites different from Google, Yahoo, and the like, and it can't be based on a post hoc determination of the host site's copyright validity.

Let's all help the MPAA (1)

wytcld (179112) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536217)

How easy would it be to write a front end to Google that would zero in on links to copies of copyrighted works? I, for one, would be delighted to help the MPAA find these violations. With a simple Google front end (rather than having to learn complex and sometimes arcane search terms and methods) many good citizens could join in this distributed endeavor.

To make clear the point of this software, a "Report this to the MPAA" button should appear beside each potential violation. As part of the volunteer MPAA vigilante association, it will be your duty to actually view what you find, to be sure that you are not reporting files merely coincidently similar to copyrighted, restricted works. A lack of MPAA staff time to do this has led to embarrassments for them in the past. Let's show them how much the open, distributed approach can help!

Re:Google is likely to sued real soon as well as m (1)

Palinchron (924876) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536257)

These sites' purpose and content consisted substantially of indexing and enabling the search for unlawful copies of copyrighted works.
Actually, I think these sites' purpose consisted mostly of indexing and enabling the search for copies of works, regardless of their copyright status and legality. In this scenario, it would be the downloaders' responsibility to verify whether they could legally download said works.

Re:Google is likely to sued real soon as well as m (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23536573)

And who decides that? What about premium newsgroups providers? I'm sure to most people their main "purpose" is to allow high speed download of binary newsgroups which are 99% illegal materials.

But on the other hand, they cannot support all newsgroups without this being true. So their choice is either to censor groups or be sued now? How do you decide which groups to censor?

Re:Google is likely to sued real soon as well as m (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535875)

Don't think so. The ??AAs are much like school bullies. They prefer picking on the weaker kids, they rarely try it on the ones that can push back.

Re:Google is likely to sued real soon as well as m (4, Interesting)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535891)

Of course not. **AA would be crazy to try to take on Google. Their case would be much weaker for two reasons. First of all, Google has the cash to put together a stellar legal team. They would do so, because linking to stuff is pretty much at the center of the business model. Second of all, Google links to all kinds of content, of which infringing content is just one, while ShowStash and Cinematube primarily linked to infringing content.

Re:Google is likely to sued real soon as well as m (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535973)

This is different to google, these 2 sites were linking specifically to mostly infringing content (and from a quick google, they were clearly indicating the fact that they link to feature films and TV shows, both things that generally imply content produced by someone who isn't going to give a random web site permission to host their content)

Google links to anything and everything.

If I run a newspaper and someone places a classified ad to sell a stolen TV, I am not breaking any law by running that ad. (especially if, like google, I have no idea the TV was stolen). But if the majority of the classified ads in the paper are for stolen items and/or I was promoting the use of the paper to sell stolen goods, I would be in trouble.

Re:Google is likely to sued real soon as well as m (4, Insightful)

nihaopaul (782885) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535991)

easy, find an XSS vulnerability in either the MPAA or the RIAA site and link it to copyrighted material, then also target government websites with the same XSS vulnerability and do the same, repeat over again until change.

Re:Google is likely to sued real soon as well as m (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23536225)

Ahh, so you've heard about the new Google Torrents service?

It's set up to allow people to easily post/find torrent files. Google of course doesn't host any infringing material, and will take down any torrents that are intended to share infringing content that unscrupulous users might post.

The thing that takes the biscuit is Google have set up the service to turn a profit in ad-revenue. That's fine, but they expect almost all their users will be accessing it looking to torrent files to grab content that violates copyright law.

If a company provides a service who's business model relies on facilitating copyright infringement they need to be called on it.

Stop the Insanity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23535823)

The only way to fight this is to make it even more difficult for them.

We've been able to identify where their "thugs" come from, injecting fake names and bogus content, scanners. It may be time to develop more clever P2P technologies.

I think being able to sue someone for merely linking to content elsewhere is going to far.

I remember getting a DMCA notice years ago, but it's because someone hacked my Windoze PC and put something on there (I use Mac now). These bastards have been at it for a long time, and while I don't encourage copyright infringement, I think it's time we fought back. However that manifests.

If I am reading this correctly (5, Insightful)

doomedpr0digy (1143953) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535843)

This will break the internet.

Re:If I am reading this correctly (2, Informative)

ijakings (982830) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535865)

This will break the internet.
"The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it." -John Gilmore

Re:If I am reading this correctly (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535889)

But it protects the all important profit. Didn't you get the memo, you may cause whatever damage necessary to protect your outdated business model.

Re:If I am reading this correctly (3, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536021)

protect your outdated business model

Yeah, that whole "not stealing people's work" way of looking at things is so quaint, isn't it? When you really respect an artist, and are glad they've managed to spend a couple of years and tons of money laboring over something that will be available for you to pay a latte's worth of cash to enjoy, the REAL way to show your respect for that artist is to rip off their work. Ideally, as a real monument to that artist, nobody would ever pay them, and they can just be your bankrupt entertainment slave. In fact, the more popular their work, the LESS rights they should have to influence how it's published, right? The best way to encourage new creative efforts is to punish the people who risk doing them. Because that, of course, will inspire them to spend a bunch more money and time making the next movie that you'll also rip off. Yeah, that's a much better, newer, hipper business model. Out of curiosity, do you enter into business transactions in which you have no say over whether or not you'll get paid for your work? Are you willing to invest years of your life and your financial credibility on something that, at the end of the project, someone else can say, "thanks, but if you don't mind, I'm now going to steal that from you..." ? No? You're cool with people ripping you off? Man, you sure have embraced the powerful new business model! No outdated old crap like "integrity" or anything getting in YOUR way, no sir!

Re:If I am reading this correctly (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536101)

Ideally, as a real monument to that artist, nobody would ever pay them, and they can just be your bankrupt entertainment slave.

Save for the really successful and heavily marketed artists, the record companies hardly pay them, either. Most of the money artists make come from live shows. The majority of the price of an album goes toward an overly bloated business.

Still, that mostly applies to records and not music. For movies, you do realize that the amount people who actual act in and direct the movie make from DVD sales is pretty much nil, right? I agree that copying movies still in theaters hurts the creators, as it's like their live show, but otherwise the money goes to an overly bloated business.

And given all that, I buy used CDs/DVDs on the very cheap and go to live shows/the movies for things I really want to hear/see, where artists are truly supported. The only reason I'm not running Bittorrent/Limewire is because it simply isn't worth the risk, not because I believe that it hurts the artists I support for actually creating good music/movies.

Re:If I am reading this correctly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23536143)

I hope for your sake you're intentionally misreading Opportunist's post.

Business must either adapt to the marketplace or perish. People hand over cash when they feel they're getting value. But business has found another way and that's to infiltrate our government. Now, profits can be maintained through the erosion of freedoms and the setting of dangerous legal precedents.

Re:If I am reading this correctly (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536661)

Business must either adapt to the marketplace or perish. People hand over cash when they feel they're getting value

So, do you sit down at a restaurant and eat a meal, and then decide what you'll be paying, or if you'll even pay?

It is not a marketplace when only one party involved is honoring the offered deal. If I offer to sell you a copy of a movie I've made, and you don't like the offer, or the packaging I put it in... just walk away. Or are you suggesting that you have a right to what I've created, regardless of my willingness to meet you in the marketplace and strike a deal? Business must adapt to the market in which they operate, but having your work ripped off is not something to which you can adapt... because that's not happening in a market, it's happening outside of the market. The vendor isn't participating when you choose to steal what they're selling. You and the vendor ARE participating when you look over their offer and walk away. That's honorable, and the business involved can choose to alter their sales pitch or product, or not.

Now, profits can be maintained through the erosion of freedoms

So, before you had the freedom to rip off an artist's work, and now your freedom to have them work for you for free has been eroded?

business has found another way and that's to infiltrate our government

So, George Lucas has infiltrated the government and you are now forced to go see Indiana Jones AND pay to do so? Or, do you just want to see movies without paying the people who invest in them and bring them to market the price they're asking, and without consequence? Which is it? If you're simply saying that you don't like what people charge for the services they're providing and the products they produce, why not simply stand up and show the intellectual integrity to not also go outside of the market in which that artist has chosen to work, and steal what they do? Whose freedoms are actually being eroded, in that situation? Not yours. You have the freedom to take, or leave, the offer that an artist gives you. When you make a third choice (to rip them off, instead), YOU'RE the one that's attacking the freedom and integrity of the marketplace. Don't want to pay, but still want someone to entertain you? Then find another artist who doesn't want to charge you. Any other choice is morally bankrupt. If the person who DOES want to charge you decides they'd like to chase you down and make a different offer under different terms, that's THEIR choice. Ripping them off means that you don't think they should have choice, and you would like to dictate to an artist the way they should spent their time and risk their capital. You can respect the artist by choosing whether or not to do business with them as they ask, or you can steal from them, in the name of dictating to them how you think they should do business. Gee, I wonder which of those positions is the one that isn't hypocrtical.

Re:If I am reading this correctly (3, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535961)

This will break the internet.

No, this will just damage the "business" plans for those that set out, specifically, to direct people to content that the search engine and the people using it all know are pirated resources. When these sites promote themselves as ways to find ripped-off DVD images, have an entire atmosphere that revolves around perpetuating that notion, and show search results that are loaded with (rather than links to RottenTomatos.com or IMDB) bootleg copies of commercial material when you search by, for example, movie title... that's what this is all about. Running a web site that bumps into and indexes such content while also returning lots of legit links is very different than building a web site expressly to draw in people looking to rip off movies so that they can generate a few cents worth of click-through revenue by running "Hook Up With A Hottie" banner ads throughout the list of places you can get hold of a leaked Indiana Jones review DVD ISO or Season Two of Deadwood. When you run a web site that says or implies, "come here for help with ripping off the entertainment you want," then you shouldn't be surprised when the people who invest the money to make that entertainment go to some trouble to stop you when you deliberately, publicly, state that you'll help people (people too cheap to spend $3 so that they and their friends/family can watch a movie) rip them off.

Re:If I am reading this correctly (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535983)

Hopefully it will do the opposite and build a much stronger, robust internet, resistant to attempts at sabotage by the authorities. More mesh. More encryption. Making censorship and unwanted tracking impossible is of the utmost importance. As the man said, "...extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice!" Do whatever it takes. These people must be put down.

Re:If I am reading this correctly (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23536043)

Not really, it will only purify the Internet to the paradise of pr0n that we always wanted to be!

I mean, let's assume that if Google finds a "Copyright ©" note in a webpage, they stop indexing that domain, what would be useful for?

Re:If I am reading this correctly (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23536067)

Friend, you misunderstand...

We must all do our part to protect the big businesses that keep us safe by making America #1!

Remember:

1. Destroy all CD's and DVD's when you are finished with them rather than selling them. Also, remember to re-purchase all your favorite MP3 downloads whenever you buy a new music player.

2. Ask your friends where they get their MP3's and movies. If they tell you they were free from the internet, give us their names and addresses to us so we can tell them how exciting it is to be a good citizen protecting our economy!

3. Download and install our Friends of America toolbar to show your support. Be sure to use it to protect you from visiting sites that don't promote our economy, and click the "Report" button every time you see music or movies available online. You'll be just like a futuristic police officer, patrolling the net for America!

If you follow all these steps, you can ensure a better future, and who knows? If you do your part there may be a free download in it for you!!

Stardock and Starforce (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23535859)

So, does this mean that when Starforce posted a link to a pirated copy of Galactic Civilizations II to try to encourage Stardock to use their copy protection (http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/03/11/2049230) [slashdot.org] , they opened themselves up to a lawsuit from Stardock?
 
I'd love to see a company that is part of the problem get snared by the laws that they were pushing for themselves.

digital TV... (4, Interesting)

3seas (184403) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535911)

I have a 32" working just fine non digital TV and don't have cable but use an antenna. I have no intention on getting a converter box or new TV. But I'll use the TV for DVD's and VHS, for which I buy inexpensive previewed media.

Since I'm no longer going to support the broadcast markets, including PBS, its advertisers and won't buy new media, there is one obvious things that is going to happen.

The MPAA is going to really get spoiled baby scream noisy and make all sorts of claims about piracy destroying their business when this digital only broadcast TV switch happens. From this they will pursue any and all non-authorized outlets, further isolating the property of their scope, away from me.

But the fact of the matter is, it is the entertainment industry attacking consumers, that is the biggest turn off, where the digital TV switchover will be turning off the set for the consumer, whom will not turn it back on so quickly...

Out of sight, out of mind.

Re:digital TV... (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535995)

Sadly, you will be standing virtually alone in a world of teenyboppers who simply have to see every blackhead on Britney's nose.

Re:digital TV... (2, Insightful)

thereofone (1287878) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536013)

You do realize that your viewing habits are in the fringe and that these companies couldn't give less of a shit? The solipsism of your post is mind boggling.

Re:digital TV... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23536229)

I haven't watched or owned a television in over 10 years and haven't missed it at all. On the contrary, I find that without the distraction and "in-your-face-hurry-hurry" crap around, I have been more calm and focused. I have more drive to do things that are both fun and productive in my free time at home.

Re:digital TV... (3, Interesting)

ndege (12658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536273)

But the fact of the matter is, it is the entertainment industry attacking consumers, that is the biggest turn off, where the digital TV switchover will be turning off the set for the consumer, whom will not turn it back on so quickly...
I mostly agree. However, you miss the big picture. As was recently mentioned in a post here on /. ... In televison, the people are the PRODUCTS being delivered to the advertisers; the real customers. Let me say that again. The person watching television is merely a product being delivered to an advertiser. It does not matter what television content is produced or broadcast for it is merely the lure and mechanism to attract the most people into watching the advertisements.

Having not really thought about it much, is there a similar situation occurring with the **AA?

Re:digital TV... (3, Insightful)

3seas (184403) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536603)

"In televison, the people are the PRODUCTS being delivered to the advertisers; the real customers."

lol, there is a difference between a broadcasters POV in effort to obtain advertising dollars and the consumers POV in whether or not they actually watch the advertisements.

In verification, an advertiser does not get my number, name or person by my just watching a commercial. But I get the advertiser number if I chose to watch and write it down and I get the product or service if I chose to by it. Advertisers are being delivered to me, the consumer, via commercials. It is this delivery media which the broadcasters are selling to the advertisers and nothing more than abstract an sales pitch that makes it sound like its the other way around.

I call it "bit flipping", the act of taking something and making it sound to be just the opposite of what it really is. As its all advertisement/promotion, be it a commercial I might see or a sales pitch the broadcaster pitches to the advertisers to "buy" air time.

But lets ignore facts and assume you are correct. Come February 2009, broadcasters inventory of consumers get reduced by the federal government. So how many broadcasters think they own me or more specifically, my attention? And how much of it does each own? I bet it adds up to much more than 24hrs of my attention a day. Doesn't that sound rather silly? Do not get so caught up in sales rhetoric that you lose sight of reality.

Come February 2009, I won't be watching broadcast TV. And I will have lost sight of whatever "Reality TV" is broadcast.

Listening to the radio this morning (I suppose radio will be the next thing to go totally digital) and there was a talk on how this Y generation is really DUMB, as in stupid, as in uneducated, as a result of computer technology. Even here in Gerogia the school test scores are so bad they actually through out all history tests with the conclusion that it can't be that bad, over 80% failed...

I suppose with the drive to use internet connection to broadcast TV shows and movies.... their will be a further contributing to the educational downfall. Another thing to add to teh list of student with pocket sized entertainment distractions.

And of course it all comes back to blaming piracy and suing the consumer.... Gotta teach them consumers not to watch.

oblig (4, Interesting)

Fallen Andy (795676) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535935)

First they came for the indirect links and I did nothing. Then they came for the doubly indirect links and...

Think about it. If a site links to a site which links to illegal content?

This nonsense needs to be stopped real soon now. (OR inject "offending" links into **AA company members websites and let them sue each other to death).

... and here is a little thought experiment for all my fellow programmers etc. out there - consider a "torrent" which is supposedly a movie. If you only seed blank frames (but claim you have the whole movie), then you aren't violating anyone's copyright (since every movie has blank frames). So, no one can say it's their movie (you're lying about the actual content but since no money is involved I guess not fraudulent in a legal sense (IANAL).).

Same principle should work for most programs if done carefully. (consider the code from the C etc. run time library).

On a large enough scale the resultant false accusations and legal actions from the **AA could get them into serious trouble.

Andy

Re:oblig [N degrees of separation] (1)

yerM)M (720808) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536249)

Absolutely.

First they came for the indirect links and I did nothing. Then they came for the doubly indirect links and...

Perhaps they should just take the $4 million dollar fine and divide it by the exponentially increasing number of sites that link. We could all link then and just pay our 0.2 cents, this way they could get the ipod tax they always wanted...

Re:oblig (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536281)

How am I supposed to know whether or not the site I'm linking to has proper authorization from the copyright holders to reproduce that content?

- RG>

Re:oblig (1)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536477)

Oh dont worry about them linking to each others stuff... They're a Cartel. Cartel's dont shoot their own, they only shoot other people trying to get in on their own action.

Usenet next? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23535947)

To translate all that legalese into English, search engines which primarily index copyright-infringing material and the people who run them may not be safe in the US.
Probably only a matter of time before the Usenet indexing sites starts getting hit then. Some have recently gotten warnings, which is likely a sign of things to come.

Re:Usenet next? (1)

Is0m0rph (819726) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536367)

Shh the first rule about the Usenet is we don't talk about the Usenet.

wait for the appeal (2, Informative)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535967)

Just a FYI, the appeal on this would most likely win and find them guilty of nothing. Assuming they're smart enough to do so...which they probably won't, unfortunately.

If there is an appeal, then it will be a bigger deal on this one.

Welcome to Canada (3, Insightful)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535979)

We would like to welcome our new search-engine overlords! Seriously, Microsoft a few years ago was considering jumping ship to Vancouver, BC. We are working on a more open set of copyright laws (vs the draconian U.S.) and I'm sure there would be some HUGE tax incentives. Granted the RIAA/MPAA's northern arms will want the same thing but I suspect it will be denied. Money trumps pretty much everything, and up here Google et all would have a lot more then the CRIA.

Re:Welcome to Canada (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536507)

Seriously, Microsoft a few years ago was considering jumping ship to Vancouver, BC.

That's just because the girls are hotter and the traffic is (a little bit) better. Don't go getting all technical and righteous on us.

Short memories (3, Informative)

DaHat (247651) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536005)

My /. has a short memory... this was exactly what the old 2600 case over DeCSS was about.

Re:Short memories (2, Interesting)

DigitalSorceress (156609) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536135)

That case was the first thing I thought of when I read the article.

Actually, didn't the 2600 DeCSS case kind of set a precident? I remember Eric saying that he'd keep publishing or coming up with ways to obey the letter of the rulings but still provide access somehow until they either stopped, or until the judge got to the point of ordering him not to think, speak or even HEAR about DeCSS. I think the intention was to push so hard as to expose the insanity of the current direction of IP. At one point, they even started printing TeeShirts with the code on them to see if that would get banned.

Unfortunately, instead of people waking up to the danger these bad IP laws posed to freedom of speech and expression, the ruling that even a link to infringing material was somehow contributing to distribution stuck, and we end up with absurd stuff like the rulings referenced in the article.

FTFA:
"The organization apparently hopes that others will merely feel threatened by the prospect of paying out millions of dollars and shut down voluntarily."

Some serious "chilling effect" going on here... people worrying about what they link to, and maybe even what they say in case they get swarmed with lawsuits and armies of lawyers they can't possibly hope to afford to defend against. I mean, ok, in these particular cases, the intent is kind of obvious: sharing information on where to find copies of protected intellectual property, but where does it stop? Will it get to the point where you can't tell someone to search for the 'foo bar baz' on Google"? Will it get to the point where you can't even tell someone they can search for movies / songs with the right keywords?

okay... /preaching-to-choir

Those two-faced liars. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23536069)

Looks like they have it both ways again. The requirement to honor DMCA complaints without a court order is balanced by the privilege to host information without having to check it for copyright violations first. If they don't want to allow the latter, why should we allow them to take a short cut when they want some information taken down?

Why base your service in the US? (2, Insightful)

Nichotin (794369) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536179)

After many years of cases like this, why are people still basing their services in the US? I live in Norway, and due to some legal precedents set in this country, I would not ever have my torrent trackers or ed2k indexers hosted here. In fact, I would not even have my name associated with that service because I would be paying anonymously to a host in a country were the laws are more suitable.

Everything in the internet is linked to each other (1)

ancient_kings (1000970) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536191)

so; therefore, the entire internet is illegal, according to these clowns...

If you can't do the time... (0, Troll)

iconic999 (1295483) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536309)

If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.

Re:If you can't do the time... (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536405)

Except that *linking* should NOT be considered a crime, regardless of how you view IP rights.

That is as bad as simply writing a book on how to make an explosive device and being sued into nonexistence.

Re:If you can't do the time... (1)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536427)

Yup.. linking shouldn't be.

Running a searchable, well maintained database of links to primarily infringing material with the sole purpose of helping more people find and take it illegally faster, while collecting ad revenue from the traffic that generates for your site. that might be a little different.

Re:If you can't do the time... (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536437)

Its not different enough. its still not housing the content.

Re:If you can't do the time... (1)

coreconcern (891742) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536637)

It sets a chilling precedent. Where ownership of the equipment, content, and facilities providing it are all subtracted from an otherwise innocuous web interface. I agree that the 'virtual medium' tends to route around. It should bring up some interesting conversation.

Yes, get ready for it... (2, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536331)

completely dark Internet 3.0 sites that give you links to sites outside of the USA in 3.... 2.... 1...

Bad laws are bad laws, the community will 'route around them' and that will be that. Also get ready for the court cases that the **AA will lose because the content was not infringing etc.

It's not possible to continue their berserk legal campaign and not injure some parties. I believe that the blowback will always be expensive for them, and continued elucidation of their antics to the public will be harmful to their standard revenue streams. There will be NO new CD's or DVD's in my house from now on. I can live without them. period. it's not so difficult.

In the USA in particular, any effort to educate the populace should be squarely aimed at government legislators. That is to say: When you publish, publish in the form of:

Look what we sent to Senator XYZ? All this information about IP and how the law is not good, and why it's not good. Senator XYZ doesn't care about your rights, here is how s/he voted on issues relating to your rights.

If 800 legislators have to be swift boated, meh, who fscking cares. That's what happens when you volunteer for public service.

Once the issues become election issues, it will get sorted out because they cannot begin to help the lobbyists if they are serving biggie sized burgers in their home city after the election. They have to get elected, and if doing so means forsaking their **AA lobbyist friends, believe me, they will.

That is how the people shut down a bad law campaign. Elect only people that do not support those laws.

Re:Yes, get ready for it... (1, Insightful)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536515)

In a more perfect world thats how things would work...

Unfortunately this is the real world where the little guy does not have the access or exposure to set these politicians on fire. Look at all these bullshit political ads that come up around election time... Unless you can afford to air this around the clock 24/7 in commercials you're boned because noone will see your message.

And if you think the media is gonna give a damn... they're in bed with Hollywood and the Politicians, they're not gonna buck a good thing. Wikileaks is what journalism SHOULD be.

Re:Yes, get ready for it... (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536549)

You are absolutely right, and that is why Anonymous is a good thing. They are informing the public on a specific issue. This is what might be required for any issue these days because of the roadblocks that you have pointed out. It will take the Internet and groups of demonstrators to make the public aware of what is happening.

I'm hoping that those monitoring the government and legislators will start to grade politicians, and widely publish their grade marks. If your senator is getting an F or D- you might want to read more about that. Anything that would get joe sixpack's attention would help. Perhaps parodies of reality tv? Something! The people have to become more politically aware in order to exercise their rights and duties.

WTF? (0, Redundant)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536391)

So, information has become illegal. Knowledge is forbidden.

Freedom is screwed.

Step Away From the Slippery Slope (2, Insightful)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536393)

Please put down the mallet and quit sounding the deathknell for personal freedom. I still have mine. You still have yours. Try to stay within the law, and you'll probably keep it. If you don't like parts of US law, then vote and lobby to change it. Research the issues and write your congressmen real paper letters with convincing arguments and evidence. Post cogent, pertinent comments on their web sites. If you don't like paying for movies and music, you certainly are welcome to make your own [subject to copyright and pornography laws, of course]. Contrary to some opinions, the US is still a free country. As evidenced by this rant here today.

[Flame Off]

It's the slippery trapdoor that's the problem (1, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536605)

The problem is that these kinds of decisions open up new slippery slopes in places where there wasn't any sign of one. People have settled and paid substantial chunks of change to the RIAA and MPAA when they weren't even the ones infringing, because they were afraid that if they fought they'd end up paying more. It's only been recently that any of these false lawsuits have been successfully fought. Once they get their foot in the door they'll start throwing the "linking" argument in their bag of dirty tricks, and who knows how many people will end up getting nailed by this who had no idea that there was a slope anywhere near them.

This has NOTHING to do with whether I object to "paying for music or movies". My shelves full of CDs and DVDs should answer that. This isn't about me, I don't run a music search engine. This is about bad law and bad precedents creating new ways for people to unwittingly infringe.

Re:Step Away From the Slippery Slope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23536635)

Contrary to some opinions, the US is still a free country.
It may be a free country, but it used to be free-er.

Re:Step Away From the Slippery Slope (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536645)

*sigh*... unlike the **AA, the paper I write on isn't green and doesn't say "This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private..." on it. So, it'll likely be ignored by any congress-critter.

/P

Re:Step Away From the Slippery Slope (1)

celle (906675) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536653)

At what point does "staying in the law" become non-free? How much freedom do we have to loose before it becomes wrong? When you're responding in fear you're already not free.

Surprised it didn't happen sooner. (2, Interesting)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536417)

They didn't "merely" link to these sites. Google "Merely" links to the sites.

These guys appear to have run sites who's sole de-facto purpose was to make finding infringing material easier. They can't claim they didn't know good and well what was going on.

Re:Surprised it didn't happen sooner. (1)

coreconcern (891742) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536541)

That is exactly the case. It's a step beyond being over zealous with your personal link site. Dare I say idiots? I think I should be able to store my own purchased content for personal use on a remote server. Anything more than that and you are on a slippery slope. It isn't 1994 anymore.

Well, we now know how the RIAA can win! (1)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536447)

They just need to send Pretty leading Man/Woman of the month around to the court house to blow a judge or three.....

In 4 easy steps... (2, Insightful)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 6 years ago | (#23536463)

1) Translate name of movie into Chinese
2) tudou.com / 56.com / youku.com / any chinese video site
3) ???
4) PROFIT

Good luck getting Chinese sites shut down. Even if you get rid of the indexing sites, mildly creative people will be able to just search foreign video sites.

I picture places like tv-links.co.uk (Oh, how I miss thee) reemerging, perhaps as some sort of decentralized P2P darknet. There's no host to take down, and you couldn't possibly target all of the members. A good use for Freenet, I think, that doesn't involve pedophilia (unless they index Alice In Wonderland).

Re:In 4 easy steps... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23536615)

I hate to say this, but I think I'm already too old to learn Chinese. Thanks for the tip though.
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