×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Film Piracy, Organized Crime and Terrorism

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the fair-and-balanced dept.

Movies 198

flip-flop writes "The RAND Corporation has just released a lengthy report titled "Film Piracy, Organized Crime, and Terrorism" which attempts to link all three. The authors suggest that organized crime might be financing itself in part through movie piracy (PDF) — and in three out of 14 of their international case studies, they claim that profits from piracy end up with suspected terrorist organizations. But now for the interesting part! Quote from the preface: 'The study was made possible by a grant from the Motion Picture Association (MPA).' Ah, what a surprise..." The RAND Corporation has made a video summary of the report as well. TorrentFreak has an article disputing some of the report's claims, focusing criticism on RAND's interchangeable use of the terms "piracy" and "counterfeiting" — the report deals with the physical distribution of DVDs, making only brief mention of digital downloads. The MPAA and others have barked up this tree before.

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

198 comments

me thinks that RAND doth protest too much. (5, Insightful)

senorpoco (1396603) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112277)

Download Torrents, stamp out terrorism.

Re:me thinks that RAND doth protest too much. (5, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112379)

exactly. if you pirate movies are music make sure you get the online free version instead of the half price fake cd/dvd version.

In fact Organized crime would most likely love to have online P2P stopped. their low prices can't beat free.

speaking of interchangeble terms (5, Funny)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112545)

Organized crime would most likely love to have online P2P stopped.

Of course the MPAA would love that, they keep saying so every chance they get!

Re:speaking of interchangeble terms (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112767)

Organized crime would most likely love to have online P2P stopped.

Of course the MPAA would love that, they keep saying so every chance they get!

I thought the MPAA was organized crime...

Re:speaking of interchangeble terms (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112851)

Whooosh!

Re:speaking of interchangeble terms (5, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#27113387)

No, the MPAA are a bunch of thugs.

RAND corporation, however, a sickening organization that profiteers by preparing "research papers" that deliberately misrepresents facts for the purpose of twisting social and economic policy to serve the agendas of big lobby groups, is the worst kind of organized crime; the kind that has government backing.

Re:speaking of interchangeble terms (1, Interesting)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112921)

Hrrrm, organized crime and terrorists want to have p2p stopped and the MPAA wants p2p stopped; thus the MPAA must be either a terrorist organization or organized crime or both.

Re:me thinks that RAND doth protest too much. (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#27113197)

exactly. if you pirate movies are music make sure you get the online free version instead of the half price fake cd/dvd version.

Of course, the same argument applies to the full-price MPAA version: the only way to reduce the potential for misuse of funds is to cut out as many middle-men as possible.

Re:me thinks that RAND doth protest too much. (5, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112423)

Indeed - by this reasoning, the Government should be promoting, and certainly not opposing, free downloading, as part of its War On Terrorrr. Surely, the threat of terrorism is far more serious than any alleged loss of a few sales? "If it saves just one life" etc :)

Re:me thinks that RAND doth protest too much. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112655)

Indeed - by this reasoning, the Government should be promoting, and certainly not opposing, free downloading, as part of its War On Terrorrr. Surely, the threat of terrorism is far more serious than any alleged loss of a few sales? "If it saves just one life" etc :)

my babies going to kindergarten poem [nsid.xorg.pl]
describe a beach [nsid.xorg.pl]
worksheet for grade kg [nsid.xorg.pl]
sore throat dry cough aches and pains [nsid.xorg.pl]
dr seuss activites for pre k [nsid.xorg.pl]

Re:me thinks that RAND doth protest too much. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112757)

What's with the linkspam?

Re:me thinks that RAND doth protest too much. (4, Interesting)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 5 years ago | (#27113205)

Indeed - by this reasoning, the Government should be promoting, and certainly not opposing, free downloading, as part of its War On Terrorrr. Surely, the threat of terrorism is far more serious than any alleged loss of a few sales? "If it saves just one life" etc :)

Moreover, the government should immediately stamp out all movie production. This RAND study has clearly proven that movies are merely fodder for the illicit money-making activities of terrorists and organized crime.

Re:me thinks that RAND don't protest too much. (5, Interesting)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112435)

Ah - these days we have the 'terrorist ghost', earlier we had the 'communist ghost'.

I wonder what's next.

The worst thing is that the gullible public falls for it. Especially those that aren't up to date with all details - like members of various courts.

It is of course possible that there are terrorist factions that makes money from counterfeiting and duplication of music&movies, but considering that counterfeit products often are cheap and sometimes have bad quality it must be a minor source of income when all production costs are paid. And download from torrents must be a very thin source of income.

It must be a lot easier to make money from cocaine and other drugs since they have a much higher price when they are offered to the consumer. Weapons are also more interesting to trade in for terrorists. Transfer of a load of AK47:s and other items to an African country can provide a decent profit. Think Somalia & pirates and where they did get their weapons.

Extortion and various types of scams are also good income sources. Check out Hells Angels, Bandidos and other organized crime gangs. Just be aware that those gangs are the soldiers on the field, connect the traces and you can end up in surprising places.

Re:me thinks that RAND don't protest too much. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112697)

Ah - these days we have the 'terrorist ghost', earlier we had the 'communist ghost'.

I wonder what's next.

The worst thing is that the gullible public falls for it. Especially those that aren't up to date with all details - like members of various courts.

Do you really think it is so implausible that organized crime would profit from an illegal industry? Al Qaeda is a "terrorist group." On a day to day basis, it is an organized crime group.

You seem to think that the proceeds from bootleg DVDs is small. If it was, nobody would bother bootlegging. Al Qaeda is known to have substantial capital, and they are the kind of group that requires a (relatively) fixed source of income to continue their operations. DVD sales would do fine in this respect. So would Afghan opium, which the Taliban has extensively invested in.

Considering that the RAND Corporation has done actual research -- and you have done nothing --I see no substantial reason to doubt their conclusions. Even the MPA connection is fine by me, despite the submitter's insinuations.

Re:me thinks that RAND don't protest too much. (5, Interesting)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112883)

Al Qaeda is known to have substantial capital

Reading this [amazon.com] I rather got the impression that they were strapped for cash most of the time, and what they had they had got through legal dealings with the US of other Bin Laden family parts.

So would Afghan opium, which the Taliban has extensively invested in.

Blatant misrepresentation. By 2000 the Taliban had banned opium production and by 2001,

U.N. drug control officers said the Taliban religious militia has nearly wiped out opium production in Afghanistan -- once the world's largest producer -- since banning poppy cultivation last summer.

. -- http://opioids.com/afghanistan/index.html [opioids.com]

One wonders how important that was for the US to start the war in Afghanistan, considering that a lack of Afghan opium would be a severe problem for the so-called "War on Drugs" in the US, a war that the government wages against its own citizens.

I said in a private offline conversation (so I unfortunately cannot provide a link) at Christmas 2001 that I expected the Afghan opium production to be back at the world's number 1 within five years, and lo and behold,

Illicit opium production, now dominated by Afghanistan, was decimated in 2000 when production was banned by the Taliban, but has increased steadily since the fall of the Taliban in 2001 and over the course of the War in Afghanistan

-- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium [wikipedia.org] (follow the references)

Last year 80% of the world's opium came from Afghanistan and production is up over 239% since 2003, according to U.S. government estimates.

-- http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/2005_Afghan_opium_harvest_begins [wikinews.org]

Re:me thinks that RAND don't protest too much. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27113469)

the resurgence in opium is due to the Taliban. They had initially allowed it while they were in power as long as it was for export only they viewed it as a weapon against the infidels. yes in 200 they did ban it but after the U.S. invasion a they need money and b it is once again seen as a weapon against the infidels. cant fight a war if you are all doped up or over dosed. But it really should be no surprise, this just in illegal groups use illegal means to fund their illegal activities more at 11. bake sales are too high profile and too low profit margin to make any money.

Re:me thinks that RAND don't protest too much. (3, Insightful)

SleepingWaterBear (1152169) | more than 5 years ago | (#27113473)

Considering that the RAND Corporation has done actual research -- and you have done nothing --I see no substantial reason to doubt their conclusions. Even the MPA connection is fine by me, despite the submitter's insinuations.

You're right that there's plenty of real money to be made from bootlegging, and in that respect the research is probably right, but the conclusions that they come to based on their research are completely wrong.

The fallacy here is that RAND is equating online piracy with bootlegging, and concluding that since bootlegging helps the terrorists, online piracy helps the terrorists. The reality is that online piracy and bootlegging are completely at odds. People who download torrents generally don't buy bootlegs because they can get better quality and cheaper online. If anything, online piracy hurts the bootlegging industry.

People respond irrationally when they're afraid, and the MPA is hoping to take advantage of this to get Americans to believe that torrents 'helps the terrorists' even though a rational look at the situation suggests exactly the opposite. This is a cynical and calculated PR move in the MPA's ongoing campaign against piracy.

It probably is true that buying bootleg dvds supports terrorism, so if you're a patriotic American, you should download torrents instead of buying bootlegged copies!

What's Next? (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112871)

There may be no 'next'. Terrorism is timeless and can be milked forever.

And the fear of not being 'with us' sill squelch a lot of people that disagree.

Re:me thinks that RAND don't protest too much. (3, Insightful)

ToxicBanjo (905105) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112909)

Ah - these days we have the 'terrorist ghost', earlier we had the 'communist ghost'.

I wonder what's next.

That would be the ghost of common sense. Pretty sure that poor bastard is dead these days.

Re:me thinks that RAND don't protest too much. (1)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 5 years ago | (#27113379)

The connection between terrorism and movies is plausible. I mean, I'm pretty sure that "Battlefield Earth", "Catwoman", and "The Love Guru" all have to be part of some kind of Al Qaeda plot.

Re:me thinks that RAND don't protest too much. (1)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 5 years ago | (#27113475)

"I wonder what's next."

The Nationalization Ghost.

Look for it to become a household word just in time for the healthcare reform debate.

RAND doth protest too much, methinks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112651)

I fixed the title for you.

Re:me thinks that RAND doth protest too much. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112901)

Oh yeah! Allahu Akbar!!!

Ummm.. (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112293)

Since when does commercial counterfeiting have anything to do with public policy surrounding P2P?

And as the **AA is well aware, their high prices are the main driver of commercial counterfeiting.

Re:Ummm.. (4, Insightful)

perlchild (582235) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112301)

They're both based on "intellectual property". So they're gambling that laws protecting "IP" will be good for them.

"Intellectual Property" (4, Informative)

D4C5CE (578304) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112377)

They're both based on "intellectual property".

Which you surely put in quotes for a reason (as in the words of Richard M. Stallman [gnu.org]):

The term "intellectual property" [...] leads to simplistic thinking. It leads people to focus on the meager commonality in form that these disparate laws have - that they create artificial privileges for certain parties - and to disregard the details which form their substance: the specific restrictions each law places on the public, and the consequences that result. This simplistic focus on the form encourages an "economistic" approach to all these issues.
[...]
Thus, any opinions about "the issue of intellectual property" and any generalizations about this supposed category are almost surely foolish. If you think all those laws are one issue, you will tend to choose your opinions from a selection of sweeping overgeneralizations, none of which is any good.

Re:Ummm.. (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112659)

Yup. It's a common deceit. Commercial piracy and P2P have very little to do with each other, but they fact that they have the same name and basic concept, they get lumped together and considered exactly the same thing.

Only one solution then... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112295)

If something's available for less there's always someone who will buy it. The only solution therefore is to make this stuff available for free and starve the "terrorists" and "organised crime syndicates" of money. Anyone who opposes peer-to-peer networking supports terrorism.

Re:Only one solution then... (0)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112331)

Your post is pure schlock.

There is a price that is lower than free: negative cost. Users would actually be paid to receive the goods. Now if you really want to put the pirates out of business, you only have to force them to pay their customers, which they will never do.

Re:Only one solution then... (3, Insightful)

Dolohov (114209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112405)

My understanding is that the supposed "terrorist-counterfeiters" are selling physical media. Forcing them to compete with a free product could indeed put them in the red - they would not be paying customers, but rather their suppliers of media.

Re:Only one solution then... (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112457)

It's not clear to me what you're saying here.

Now if you really want to put the pirates out of business, you only have to force them to pay their customers, which they will never do.

No, the argument isn't that you force the commercial pirates to change their pricing, rather, you put them out of business by making it available at a lower price, i.e., for free.

Sure, it also follows that the Government could put the usual p2p sites out by paying people to download. I don't see how that's a flaw in the argument. However, there's no need to do this, as p2p sites are not funding terrorism.

I'm with the original OP - next time anyone tries to bring in stupid laws or court cases against p2p, they should be accused of supporting terrorism.

Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse at work (1)

D4C5CE (578304) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112299)

Yeah, sure, al-Quaeda and the mob have got be in it for all the ginormous heaps of money to be made e.g. from sharing ripped screeners for free on P2P networks, or selling camcorder copies on backyard markets at pennies above the price of the blanks.

Occam's razor points elsewhere: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Horsemen_of_the_Infocalypse [wikipedia.org]

Re:Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse at work (1)

Alcoholist (160427) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112439)

Next thing you know they'll be saying Tony Soprano was responsible.

Re:Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27113463)

Actually, several episodes of the show DID have him involved in bootlegs.

Re:Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse at work (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112519)

No, these pirates are the ones the *AA should have been fighting all the time, not the people downloading a few things.

These pirates are the ones who attempt to make an exact copy down to the packaging. They use professional grade DVD hardware that will read/write the disk CSS, serial number, media ID and all. Unlike the people they like to sue, these pirates pass their copies off as originals (with varying degrees of successs). They offer them at a substantial discount so people won't look too close.

When you see the guy with a cart on the street corner selling new releases for $8, you can be sure he got them from these guys. Look closely at the package and you'll notice the printing is a bit grainy, like it was printed from a scan (it was).

Re^2:Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse at work (1)

D4C5CE (578304) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112803)

[...] these pirates are the ones the *AA should have been fighting all the time, not the people downloading a few things.

These pirates are the ones who attempt to make an exact copy down to the packaging. They use professional grade DVD hardware that will read/write the disk CSS, serial number, media ID and all.

It is still implausible why The Godfather or the average warlord would want to catch their share of cuts from a falling knife too, and should have found no avenues to criminal proceeds that are more profitable and rather effortless in comparison to imitating the burdensome physical distribution (against equally illegal "competition" from the dark side of P2P that has no such expenses) which makes it difficult to turn a profit even for studios themselves these days.

To get rich quick, anyone looking ahead to a life in jail if caught for running a sophisticated crime syndicate would probably rather want to deserve their time as a drug kingpin than for peddling fake DVDs.

Re:Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse at work (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112633)

*BSD is not doing so well. I am sorry to sound a pessimistic note, but I think that this poor excuse for an operating system should be humanely euthanized. *BSD is going to die anyway. Let me explain.

Once I had a cat who had feline leukemia, and we tried to keep him alive, with numerous trips to the vet. But, in the end, the disease just overwhelmed him. He had such a hard time. If I had another cat with the same diagnosis, then I would just have it put away immediately. Not being dismissive, but just realistic.

You are a very kind to have nursed *BSD along and looked after it. At least this pathetic OS is being looked after. It is not out there frantically searching for a "home". No, it's found its final resting place.

If *BSD does have to be euthanized, this is not a cruel act - it will pass away immediately without suffering.

Nice script... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112309)

It's the wet dream of any business to get protection from the government, financed by taxpayers by classifying themselves as target that needs to be protected from organized crime and terrorists. We could just send all the people who have torrent installed on their computer to Gitmo as a preventive measure. I can't believe the nice people we see on Oscar night are plotting this.

Sad day for Crime (1)

Ontheotherhand (796949) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112333)

Is the current economic downturn responsible for organised crimes' inability to make a profit without being subsidised by "piracy". I hear that drugs are equally unprofitable these day. what would they do without copyright infringement, eh?

Organised crime link probably true (5, Funny)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112343)

If you are talking about the sales of illegal copies of CD's, then this is likely to be a source of income for organised crime. In Hong Kong the sales of pirated disks is as a matter of fact a source of income for the triads, highly organised crime. And besides that, the whole sale of infringing materials is illegal (possibly a crime: not everything illegal is a crime), so almost by definition the organisations doing this are organised crime.

The link with terrorism is not too far fetched, as again terrorism is for sure illegal and presumably criminally so, and it tends to be organised, thus lots of terrorist organisations fall under organised crime as well simply for being criminal and organised.

Luckily (in a way), most piracy a.k.a. copyright infringement these days is file sharing between individuals, and no money changes hands in the process. Well maybe some advertising income for the torrent tracking site or so, but that's all then, and if even The Pirate Bay can barely cover cost, most other tracker sites will be running at a loss. Not much money for funding crime there, then.

Re:Organised crime link probably true (2, Insightful)

schon (31600) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112427)

If you are talking about the sales of illegal copies of CD's, then this is likely to be a source of income for organised crime.

Perhaps, but they didn't say "a source of income", they said "funding their activities" - as in "subsidizing our extortion and illegal drug operations" by selling bootleg copies of Gigli.

I tell you, it's a sad, sad day when the Mafia can't make ends meet with cocaine and heroin, and instead has to resort to movie piracy!

Organised crime link probably true, (2, Informative)

American Terrorist (1494195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112733)

BUT NOT TERRORISM. In Shenzhen, the huge Chinese city right next to Hong Kong, they shut down almost all the street vendors selling unlicensed DVDs right before the Beijing Olympics. For a while you couldn't even find pirated Wii games in this city, it was crazy. After the Olympics they stopped caring too much, and a few of them re-opened, but most remain gone for good. (You used to be able to find a vendor every hundred yards or so on average, now perhaps one every 500 yards.) I asked the seller near me why the cops haven't shut him down yet, and he said it's not something he has to worry about, he's never going away. He sells from a ten foot by five foot table with a large canopy overhead. The cops could easily shut him down if they wanted to, they know he's there every day, they just don't care(there is a huge gov't building/police station less than 1km away). He pays them/the triads off, everyone makes money and goes their own way. From TFA:

The RAND report says that counterfeiting levels are not likely to decline unless governments worldwide commit more resources to fighting counterfeiting and devise tougher laws to protect intellectual property.

Probably the only useful piece of information in the entire report, and something everyone already knew anyway. Thank you RAND. How much did the MPAA pay you for the "report"? I want to get in on that action.

Re:Organised crime link probably true (1)

Velska1 (1435341) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112765)

Selling illegal copies of copyrighted material and having a division of labor (somebody methodically produces the copies for someone else to sell) is by definition organized crime (IANAL, but still, it's criminal and it's organized), so I suppose there's no contest there. No matter what one thinks of copyright law (I'm no great fan of DMCA).

But it's quite true, that you could take a lot of cold-war era propaganda material, do a "find and replace" to replace "communism"/"communist" with "terrorism"/"terrorist"; then update references to obsolete technologies - and get what's coming out of the official propaganda machine right now.

The angle, brought up in these comments, that P2P doesn't fill the coffers of mafia or al Qaida, is interesting.

That said, I am all for letting an artist/writer stipulate the conditions for using the material she/he produces. My son-in-law is an artist, who is counting on making a living by teaching people to play different instruments. He does believe, though, that if people want to hear music he makes, they will be willing to honor his modest requests for compensation. He's not dreaming of retiring as a gazillionaire at 35.

Again, that said, I know that the members of RIAA/MPAA (and their counterparts in other OECD countries) are out there only to make money for their owners, and have no compunction over bleeding struggling artists who are desperate for exposure.

Re:Organised crime link probably true (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112975)

Almost any standard operating practice for business supports terrorism. For instance, UPS sends revenue for it's package insurance branch offshore. This procedure is commonly called money laundering, which is commonly used for all sorts of illicit activity. By allowing legitimate business to launder money, we make it harder to stop not so legitimate businesses from doing so, as the legitimate infrastructure already exists. Furthermore, UPS does not pay taxes on that laundered money, which means that for every soldiers, for instance, are funded at lower level than they would be if UPS did pay it taxes.

We see the same thing in government. For years your tax records were given to private contractors who sorted through unpaid taxes and the like. There was no real reason for this other than to redirect tax money from security and defense to private corporations. The corporations are then free to use that money to covertly fund terrorists, and sell those records to terrorists who then use them for whatever they wish.

The issue is not what funds terrorism, almost anything has a credible link, but what we care enough to stop. Bin Laden is a terrorists, but we fund the destruction of Hussein. Drugs probably do fund terrorism, yet we had no problem with a leader that spent his entire youth funding terrorism through drug use. Honestly, anyone focusing on the 'terrorism' link is just not seeing the big picutre.

financing through movie piracy ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112357)

I guess it is not impossible, but I think there are easier ways to finance crime than going out to sea, raid ships and steal the DVD's on board.

Money from pirate copies (1)

kaffesumpen (973732) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112397)

So there would be less money for organized crime if everyone downloaded music and movies, in stead of buying pirate copies?

Making sure no money can be made from "piracy"... (1)

D4C5CE (578304) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112475)

Precisely, by this logic, giving tax dollars to major torrent trackers and making their use compulsory (and probably even taught in schools ;-)) would cut off financing for mobsters and terrorists... ;-/

Fight Terrorism (5, Funny)

sjames (1099) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112403)

So, commercial movie piracy is funding terrorism. But if people can make their own bootleg copies, they won't buy the commercially pirated movies, and so the terrorists will go belly up.

So fight terrorism, put that movie on p2p today!

Meanwhile, the commercial pirates often pass their copies off as legitimate. Even retail outlets can be fooled sometimes. Don't risk supporting terrorists, download that movie!

Re:Fight Terrorism (1)

stiller (451878) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112745)

So, commercial movie piracy is funding terrorism.

And organized crime is funding legitimate projects. News at 11.

aXXo, FXG, FXM... (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112409)

I pay nothing for any of their releases. Some of them have gone on the record stating that they do it just because they like to. Now I suppose if someone burned those rips and sold them they could fund terrorism. Or alcoholism, or about anything else.

Re:aXXo, FXG, FXM... (2, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112503)

they could fund terrorism. Or alcoholism, or about anything else.

      Even politicians? I know, I know - I'm going to far. Surely no one could be THAT terrible.

Re:aXXo, FXG, FXM... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112763)

When was the last time you saw "pirated" DVDs sold in a Western country? It works in some East Asian countries because governments don't care much and labor is cheap. Maybe also because many people still lack the bandwidth or skills to download them for free, and "legit" copies are too expensive or not available at all. In a Western country selling physical media just isn't worth the risk.

Fundamental Difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112445)

There is a fundamental difference between economic and non-economic piracy. The first is making money on the works of others while the other one is sharing the works of others without any interest in money. It's a bit sad that piracy is a term that could mean either one or the other. You must clarify what kind of piracy you mean when debating. I usually call it non-profit-piracy.

Re:Fundamental Difference (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112485)

There is a fundamental difference between economic and non-economic piracy.

      Yes, economic pirates go for the galleons and merchantmen as well as plundering small, poorly defended towns; whereas non-economic pirates attack frigates and other warships, however these are usually referred to as privateers.

      Oh wait, what were we talking about?

      Copyright infringement is not the same as "piracy". No one dies. No ships get sunk. And nothing gets STOLEN. Copyrighted works get digitally copied, though.

Re:Fundamental Difference (2, Funny)

the donner party (1000036) | more than 5 years ago | (#27113481)

So... what you're saying is that P2P aka non-commercial copyright infringement is not piracy, it's privateering?

Eurêka!!! We found the missing step for profi (5, Insightful)

gapagos (1264716) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112453)

Suppose we are a terrorist organization.
Step 1: Stop producing and selling opium, even though we already make FOUR BILLION $USD PER YEAR doing it. [wikipedia.org]
Step 2: Purchase a web server, and host a torrent indexing site for free.
Step 3: Profit!!!

THANK YOU GOD WILLING, IT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE!!!!

suspected terrorists (1)

rpillala (583965) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112473)

It seems that the definition for terrorism has been broadened (see USA Patriot Act) and that it doesn't take that much these days to be a "suspected" terrorist. Also consider that you're now prohibited by law from being aware of this official suspicion. The Obama DOJ, just this past week, did some legal maneuvering to avoid a ruling on whether the president can detain someone indefinitely without charges. That is, they filed charges, which is the Right Thing, but they did it in order to render the pending lawsuit moot. Just like the Bush DOJ did with Jose Padilla. In the current climate, RAND could write some pretty far fetched things that would not end up being that far fetched.

Re:suspected terrorists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112667)

You can't fault the DOJ for doing the right thing. The only problem is that they weren't doing the right thing already, which is a criticism you can level everywhere. We're still wasting resources in Iraq, for example. You didn't really expect everything to suddenly and magically change once Obama entered office, did you?

Osama bin Laden! (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112477)

Bringing down western civilization by downloading episodes of Battlestar Galactica instead of paying for cable.
Thank you MPA for saving the day!

Re:Osama bin Laden! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112523)

that's not what it says at all but i guess you're just too cool to read the article. fucking shitball.

well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112489)

For a fast solution, ban movies.

Then again (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112525)

Buy a legitimate copy and a good deal of the profits end up in the hands of terrorists via the huge amount of drugs abused in Hollywood anyway.

If you love America(/your country), use p2p.

Then Again (1)

Richy_T (111409) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112575)

If you purchase a movie legitimately, a good chunk of the profits end up in the hands of terrorists via rampant drug abuse anyway.

Conclusion: If you love America (/country of choice), use p2p

Study is too ironic to exist in this universe (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112585)

Seriously, they propose that movies about drugs, murder, sex, and other illegal things go to fund drugs, murder, sex, and other illegal things? I'll just wear these earplugs while the universe pops out of existence.

Re:Study is too ironic to exist in this universe (4, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 5 years ago | (#27113419)

I hate to break it to you, but sex isn't illegal. Those women have just been trying not to hurt your feelings.

The RAND Corporation (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112589)

RAND was set up in 1946 by the United States Army Air Forces as Project RAND, under contract to the Douglas Aircraft Company, and in May 1946 they released the Preliminary Design of an Experimental World-Circling Spaceship. In May 1948, Project RAND was separated from Douglas and became an independent non-profit organization. Initial capital for the split came from the Ford Foundation.
According to the 2005 annual report, "about one-half of RAND's research involves national security issues."
Many of the events in which RAND plays a part are based on assumptions which are hard to verify because of the lack of detail on RAND's highly classified work for defense and intelligence agencies.
The RAND Corporation has been criticized as militarist. Due to the nature of its work, the RAND corporation also frequently plays a role in conspiracy theories.
In April 1970, a Newhouse News Service story reported that Richard Nixon had commissioned RAND to study the feasibility of canceling the 1972 election.
RAND has approximately 1,600 employees and five principal locations.
Seems like a fine objective non-profit think tank to me, helping to improve policy and decision making through objective research and analysis.

Re:The RAND Corporation (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112643)

And the can fix this or they will cease to exist. Nobody likes think tanks that are this easy to bribe who can't hide it.

I am lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112695)

Am I downloading communism or terrorism now?

Wait, wait! (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112725)

Whoah there cowboy! If I'm downloading films for *FREE*, how can that be financing anything? I mean, to "finance" something means getting money, right?

Re:Wait, wait! (1)

The Creator (4611) | more than 5 years ago | (#27113239)

Whoah there cowboy! If I'm downloading films for *FREE*, how can that be financing anything?

Well it's this wery *FREE* that thousands of devoted terrorists around the world, are doing their work for! *que dramatic music*

will you p (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112739)

But now for the interesting part! Quote from the preface: 'The study was made possible by a grant from the Motion Picture Association (MPA).' Ah, what a surprise..."

And if a study saying the opposite was funded by a grant from the EFF, none of you would even mention it. RAND is not going to sell out just because one study was funded by the MPAA. If they had been, they sure as hell would have found more than 3 out of 14

focusing criticism on RAND's interchangeable use of the terms "piracy" and "counterfeiting" -- the report deals with the physical distribution of DVDs, making only brief mention of digital downloads. The MPAA and others have barked up this tree before.

So...they release a study saying that the physical distribution of DVDs funds terrorism in some cases, and the response is well what about P2P? If they wanted to analyze the link between digital downloads and terrorism, then they would have done so. Has anyone here even done research design? At some point you have to limit what you're looking at.

Re:will you p (2, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112885)

Please turn in you slashdot membership id. We're not about rational, objective analysis of the facts here; were about enforcing people's existing beliefs! In fact, slashdot's new motto is "Slashdot: Like CPAC, but for nerds!"

The biggest takeaway I get from this report is that you can never be certain physical media isn't counterfeit, so the only way to make certain you aren't financing criminals is to get all your music and video via P2P. But then, I'm only about the 100th person on here to say that. The MPAA fails to distinguish between unauthorized distribution of free copies and sales of counterfeit media in it's propaganda, referring to both by the inaccurate pejorative "piracy". Even if the study is valid, the MPAA's use of it to back up their misleading claims is highly suspect.

Here's where P2P comes in (1)

D4C5CE (578304) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112893)

they release a study saying that the physical distribution of DVDs funds terrorism in some cases, and the response is well what about P2P?

Because the existence of P2P (and DVD writers in most PCs these days) doesn't exactly lend plausibility to the assertion of counterfeit movies as an easy way to substantial funding?

Re:will you p (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27113171)

RAND is not going to sell out just because one study was funded by the MPAA

I don't think it would be possible for RAND to sell out. That would imply that they had some objectivity or integrity to start with. I find RAND a good filter word. Just as when someone says 'beowulf' it's a sure sign that they don't know anything about cluster computing, when someone quotes a RAND report (or, worse, puts 'RAND Fellow' on their business card) it's fairly safe to assume that they don't have the faintest clue about economics.

Counterfeiting is the word your looking for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112821)

I believe counterfeiting is the word were looking for here. Unless Terrorism is being funded by the ads hosted on Pirate Bay...

Every time you rip a Netflix DVD ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27112829)

a building gets blown up.

Stop Piracy!!!

It doesn't have to make money (3, Interesting)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112835)

Note that, like buying lottery tickets from winners, selling pirated movies and music and software doesn't have to be profitable. It can be used for money laundering, which used to be a huge need for groups like the IRA and Al Queda, both of which relied on political contributions for their political causes. The IRA collected quite a lot of money from expatriates in the USA and throughout the UK: Al Queda gathers plenty of its funding from Saudi Arabian contributors, like Osama Bin Laden himself.

I know how this story goes (3, Funny)

Herkum01 (592704) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112869)

The RAND corporation will be employing Jack Bauer to help with their investigation torturing suspected grandmothers and little kids for the source of their illegal DVD copies of Sesame Street. Nevermind they don't have a DVD player, in which there are also unamerican so they deserve what is coming to them.

GOD BLESS MPAA.

Wait, the story is not a movie script? Nevermind...

Free downloads (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112889)

Well, it's the sale of counterfeit movies which can provide revenue to the groups producing them...
When you go to buy a movie, it's hard to tell wether it's counterfeit or not, so you *could* be giving money to these evil groups, wether they be terrorists or the MPAA.

So the answer?
Download for free, that way nobody evil makes any profit.

Piracy? Organized Crime? Terrorism?? (1)

portnux (630256) | more than 5 years ago | (#27112997)

As long as they're pulling things out of their butts, why not add global warming and the japanese whale hunting?

Street price DVD and CDs (1, Troll)

zogger (617870) | more than 5 years ago | (#27113011)

Those replicated disks sold on street corners and at flea markets are a lot closer to what the official studios and producers should be pricing their legit disks at. If they would have gotten a little less price gougy way back when it became so cheap to stamp out disks, they would have nipped so called piracy in the bud. They weould have made it back on much larger volume sales then. Instead they just fixated at a ridiculously bloated "per unit" price and margin level they pulled out of their collective millionaire pointed haired media bosses asses, and now wonder why sales drop off.

  Same with digital downloads, the old allofmp3 prices are a lot closer to what online download prices should be. Everyone on the planet knows what it costs to dupe media on disk or download, real legit prices should be just a little more than that and no more. You make entertainment media be closer to impulse buy pricing levels that actually reflect modern tech replication advances, you'll sell a LOT more, and still make profit, but they waited too long to even think about that. All those decisions on prices are made by multi millionaires living a muilti millionaire lifestyle, they have no idea what 10 or 20 bucks is to regular working class folks, they are clueless, zero frame of reference.

Heck, go ahead and absolutely double street pirate prices, that would still be far cheaper than what the **AA members offer now. 10-20 bucks for a download or a stamped disk is ridiculous price gouging.

Semi car analogy, gas prices. If all the biz news said-example- that a barrel of crude was 50 bucks but the prices at the pump were 20 bucks a gallon, people would know they were being price gouged, and no matter how much the oil producers and refiners tried to spin it with "well, it costs us so much to do this and.." people would know that was complete bullshit.

  Same with these stupid media prices. I started buying and paying full retail for music in the *50s* and was a pretty loyal albeit smaller scale consumer all the way to the 90s (when disks took over the format) and it become beyond apparent they were systematically and in a huge fashion price gouging. I stopped, no more new entertainment media at those inflated prices. I voted with my wallet, they get zero from me when they used to get a few hundred a year (like I said, not much, but that doesn't count concerts and going to the movie theater either, and that used to be a little closer to serious money than it is today for that matter).

      When I start seeing music CDs at two bucks a disk and brand new movies at three bucks a DVD, I'll start buying brand new again, and not until then. Right now, only marked down severely in the bargain bin to those levels or used at pawn shops and yard sales, etc, that's it. And downloads? Even 99 cents for a few megs of music is a huge rip. It needs to be like around a dime. I don't pirate their stuff, but neither will I pay bloated millionaires fantasy prices either. The personal computer and advanced software and disk duplicators has made production costs, especially for music, a *lot* cheaper than it ever was, but official per unit pricing hasn't kept up with that cost savings.

government = terrorism... (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 5 years ago | (#27113133)

at least as long as they keep scaring us with terrorist acts unless we support their policies...

hmm, or maybe they can be seen as organized crime, in the racketeering kind of way?

yay, i just proved that government is criminal. this cant be good...

They're idiots. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27113141)

I didn't rtfa, because I'll probably get an anurism. Can someone briefly describe to me how these idiots linked free downloading with profiting? Because I want to start doing this right away...

Of course... (1)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 5 years ago | (#27113195)

Of course they are connected with each other - after all, there's a good reason to why we call a certain organization MAFIAA...

Hahahahaha!! But seriously... (3, Interesting)

nicodoggie (1228876) | more than 5 years ago | (#27113223)

This is so damn ridiculous that I couldn't help but laugh. How the hell can organized crime or terrorists make money out of free downloads?

But then again, as I considered it, they could make money out of bootlegs from the stuff they downloaded from torrents. There are mass disk burning operations where I come from, and since bandwidth isn't as cheap here (the highest bandwidth for residential accounts is, IIRC, 2Mbps) as it is in the US, people come to "bootleg bazaars" in droves to buy 16 movies-in-one DVD9s for PhP50 (~US$1).

This could indeed fund organized crime. It is certainly a possibility, as there is a market for bootlegs even though movies and other such content is freely available online. I myself bought more than 150 disks since DVDs went mainstream here (about 8 years ago) and I was still on dial-up, and almost everyone I know did the same.

Banning file-sharing won't actually do anything to stop this though, maybe if the damn movie/music industry would price their stuff more reasonably rather than spiking the price of every crappy new release, none of this would happen.

Right now, I blame RIAA/MPAA. If anyone's funding organized crime and terrorists, it's them.

This just in... legitimate jobs funding terrorism. (1)

urbanriot (924981) | more than 5 years ago | (#27113257)

I'm sure if you try hard enough, you can find a way to link the sale of any services or goods to terrorism. People with legitimate jobs have been found to be funding terrorism... they should write a paper linking that next.

The Four Steps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27113365)

i) Film Piracy - check
ii) Organized Crime - check
iii)Terrorism - check
iv) Pedophiles - fail

These RAND guys, they are absolute amateurs at this propoganda game.

I never knew! (1)

mizzouxc (985151) | more than 5 years ago | (#27113397)

That my love of free pr0n would make me a terrorist!

I'm glad this report placed me properly in society.

What's next, running Linux will make me a terrorist? What will my parents think? They tried to raise me right and all!

All of this MPAA/RIAA FUD only makes sense to politicians because they're on the receiving end of a nice fat check. Publishing this garbage to the masses is like pissing uphill and into the wind.

Fake DVDs "support" drug dealers (1)

benwiggy (1262536) | more than 5 years ago | (#27113439)

I love this great riposte to the argument that buying knock-off DVDs "supports" drug dealers, by the Glaswegian comedian Frankie Boyle:

"This heroin just isn't selling at all. People can take it or leave it. Thank God for the Harry Potter DVDs!"

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...