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RIAA MediaSentry, Dead In US, Is Alive In Australia

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the down-under-up-for dept.

Music 305

newtley writes "Disgraced and discredited 'private investigator' MediaSentry, fired by former patrons Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music, and Sony Music and their RIAA, may be dead and buried in America, but it's alive and well, resurfacing in Australia where it's once again plying its trade, probably under new management. 'I currently (but not for long) reside at a student dormitory... in Brisbane, Australia,' says a p2pnet reader, continuing: 'Yesterday I got called into the Managers office because the network manager had been contacted by MediaSentry and emailed one of the generic copyright infringement emails as a result of me downloading Angels and Demons. Now instead of studying for my exams and working on my final assignments I must take time to find a place to live before the 29th of May (2009).'"

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Angels and Demons (5, Funny)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054913)

Damn, you could at least lose your dormitory for a movie worth watching.

Re:Angels and Demons (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054999)

Damn, you could at least lose your dormitory for a movie worth watching.

Even worse result:

<RIAA> See? Illegal file sharing is why Angels and Demons did poorly at the box office and got an average rating of 38% [rottentomatoes.com] ! It isn't the economy or quality, folks, our formula has never failed therefore it must be the file sharers! </RIAA>

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time, don't (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28055167)

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time, don't do it.

Words to live by.

Re:Don't do the crime if you can't do the time, do (0, Troll)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055773)

If it only were a crime...

Hint:
- Giving away stuff that you do not own because all you got was this lousy license, is breaking that contract.
- Downloading stuff that someone offered you without any license (as in: free for everyone), is not anything. No breaking of any contract (Beause: Which contract would that be?), and no breaking of any law. (It was offered to you without any terms. How can you know if that person is not the rights holder. He claimed he holds that rights. You are not the one who has to check for this.)
- Murdering **AA officials in their beds is a crime... unfortunately. ^^

Re:Angels and Demons (0, Flamebait)

the_macman (874383) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055029)

If he did break the law, he needs to accept the consequences. If he didn't break the law, he should rebut the accusation.

The same thing could be said about Rosa Parks [wikipedia.org] . She was also breaking the law. Just because it's a law doesn't make it right.

Re:Angels and Demons (1, Insightful)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055109)

Yeah the illegallity of sharing movies is a gros affront to human dignity. Downloading free movies is exactly like what Rosa Parks did. Shithead.

Re:Angels and Demons (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28055157)

Yeah the illegallity of sharing movies is a gros affront to human dignity. Downloading free movies is exactly like what Rosa Parks did. Shithead.

Maybe if Rosa Parks could download the movie she wanted to watch, she wouldn't get the bus to go to the movies in the first place.

Re:Angels and Demons (4, Insightful)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055333)

What the fuck is wrong with Slashdot??? The guy saying that your right to download movies for free is the same as your right to sit on the bus regardless of your skin color, he gets a +5 and hailed as a god among men, and the guy who says that's a retarded comparison is modded Troll. Every last one of you honestly believes that downloading Angels and Demons is exactly the same thing as refusing to give up your seat on a bus because of the color of your skin? Honestly? HONESTLY?

Re:Angels and Demons (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28055413)

no just today's mods

Re:Angels and Demons (1)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055419)

Mod parent 'troll for inconvenient truth'.

Re:Angels and Demons (1)

keithius (804090) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055449)

Every last one of you honestly believes that downloading Angels and Demons is exactly the same thing as refusing to give up your seat on a bus because of the color of your skin? Honestly? HONESTLY?

No, that's what we call an ANALOGY, or for the nitpicky among us, a SIMILE. Even though the poster did say "exactly like," its clear from context that they were not speaking literally. No need to get so worked up about it. (Unless, y'know, you enjoy getting worked up like that.)

Re:Angels and Demons (2, Insightful)

Miseph (979059) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055709)

Sure it's an analogy, or simile, but that doesn't make it a good one. Sorry, but comparing some kid wanting to watch Angels and Demons for free to a Civil Rights leader taking a stand against legalized overt racism is complete BS.

A better analogy (simile) would be something like :comparing Rosa Parks to file sharers is like comparing apples to tentacle rape.

Re:Angels and Demons (1)

grahamd0 (1129971) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055457)

The AC was right, but he probably should have left of the "Shithead" part. Or someone with mod points left their sarcasm detector at home.

Re:Angels and Demons (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055489)

Calm down, he's not +5, he's +1 and since Mike Buddha was marked Troll he has since been modded +5
insightful.

Give it time, this article is new. Given the situation now I think it's safe to say that most readers
will see the first comment, go "what an ass" and then see the second and go "yeah, OK, I was going to
post but Mike took care of it. ./ moderation is not real time but it, for the most part, works really
well as shown by these two comments.

Re:Angels and Demons (4, Insightful)

Tikkun (992269) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055651)

I believe that people have a right to read, listen, watch, remix, rebuild, modify, reverse engineer and otherwise contribute or take part in our culture. Obviously laws around the world today don't match my beliefs, and many people disagree with this statement.

I believe that a commons, a public library by and for everyone is a better model for creation and distribution of content than one that is limited by an unnatural monopoly. That everyone stands on the shoulders of giants and no man is an island of information.

The student that got kicked out of their dorm is not Rosa Parks. They are likely not oppressed in their day to day lives, just the victim of an IP scheme that has outlived it's usefulness.

Re:Angels and Demons (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055691)

The only difference is one of degree. The illegality of sharing data is a small injustice, but an injustice nonetheless.

Moderation often sucks on /. (0, Offtopic)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055729)

On the one hand, /. is one of the only web-sites I've seen with a moderation system for comments, which is kind of cool. On the other hand, the way the moderation system works on /. will sometimes lead to crappy moderation.

On an article about a UK plan to provide universal free broadband internet, I got modded 0:Troll for this post [slashdot.org] . Not sure how that is a troll given what the main article was about.

It happens, take a breath, move on. Don't put too much faith in slashdot moderation.

Re:Angels and Demons (3, Insightful)

hagardtroll (562208) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055807)

From where I'm standing you are getting a +5 for mis-quoting and mis-representing what that person meant. Also, creating a gross generalization of the slashdot crowd.

Re:Angels and Demons (5, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055371)

This is true. Likewise, just because laws can be broken doesn't mean that every crime is a protest.

What Ms Parks did was absolutely, positively, NOT in the same league as what this student did.

To claim so diminishes both Civil Rights and the arguments against Intellectual Property.

There are things in the IP realm to protest, but the 'right' to download Angels and Demons is NOT among them.

Re:Angels and Demons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28055035)

Nah. He wasn't kicked out for copyright infringement, he was kicked out for demonstrating such poor taste.

Re:Angels and Demons (4, Funny)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055441)

In my day most people got thrown out of university accommodation for having wild parties and trashing the joint or for dealing drugs.

How things have changed.

Not that sympathetic (4, Insightful)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054937)

You chose to break the law and were punished for it.

Re:Not that sympathetic (3, Insightful)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054981)

He choose to break the RIAA rules and got judged in a kangaroo court.

Or was that extortion?

Re:Not that sympathetic (4, Insightful)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055105)

I don't really see too much room for debate when the accused states the matter as simply as "...a result of me downloading Angels and Demons". I don't read this and feel that the person is genuinely feeling remorse for what was done, only for getting caught.

Re:Not that sympathetic (4, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055189)

Not having read TFA, I'm assuming that he was actually kicked out of his residence for violating some sort of agreed upon terms of residence/bahaviour which he did admit to violating. If it's because he broke copyright law, there should be at least some sort of due process. The universities in North America have been amongst the few that have generally stood up to RIAA bullying tactics. Sounds like a different ball game in Australia.

Re:Not that sympathetic (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055421)

I don't know. The word 'allegedly' is missing, is it not? Confessions usually aren't up for a lot of debate, are they?

'Innocent until proven' is fine, but it sounds like the accused caved in the face of the evidence. If the accusation was false, THEN due process would likely have attached due to the assertion of innocence.

The same thing happens in the US all the time. After the arrest you are given the opportunity to confess. Those that do confess DO NOT go to trial.

How exactly is this ethically/morally different from that?

Re:Not that sympathetic (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055761)

He admitted, presumably only *after* he was punished. He never got a chance to defend himself, now did he? If he wasn't guilty, would he have had a venue or opportunity to defend himself? What if it were you accused, and you *hadn't* downloaded the movie in question (maybe it was a roommate using a shared computer or somebody using your computer as a wifi access point).

Re:Not that sympathetic (1)

ChefInnocent (667809) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055721)

Maybe he has no remorse for the download. I think that misses the point. He was evicted because of the download. That seems extremely draconian. What I have issues with is the extent the .+AA will go through to ensure their "IP". It is a $15 movie or ($30 MSRP when it comes out on DVD), yet they had this person evicted, and have on many other occasions forced people into bankruptcy. Some even contemplated suicide over a lawsuit stemming from a fsking $30 movie. The .+AA has no sense of equal proportion. They will devastate lives over stupid shit.

Re:Not that sympathetic (5, Interesting)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055005)

It seems he got a damn fast judgement. And a damn fast judgement done by a private company.

Does anyone remember 'Judge Dredd'? 'I am the law!!!'

Re:Not that sympathetic (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055265)

It seems he got a damn fast judgement. And a damn fast judgement done by a private company.

Does anyone remember 'Judge Dredd'? 'I am the law!!!'

I do remember Judge Dredd and the Supreme Court of the United States of America does too [theonion.com] --it was totally badass!

Re:Not that sympathetic (4, Insightful)

chabotc (22496) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055269)

+1 on this sentiment.

He was punished based on an accusation, not on being found guilty.. that's skipping over an incredibly vital step in the justice system.

Really that's only a small step away from how 'justice' was administered during the 'Dark Ages'. I thought we had left that behind us, but apparently having lawyers and money means you don't have to bother with such pesky details anymore. More so because we're not talking of a fine or something small, but of evicting someone!

Oh while we're at it: What if someone accused you of having *something* illegal on your computer, be it a non licensed picture, an bit of software you didn't obtain legally, or some content you've downloaded. Would you be so happy to instantly loose your home without any independent parties being involved in judging what's true and appropriate ?

Re:Not that sympathetic (4, Insightful)

tsalmark (1265778) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055675)

I have a strong feeling that he admitted to the act (I won't call it a crime). That in a school setting is enough for action. I expect that if he had said "no not me" then he would still have accommodations and probably a lot more scrutiny of his internet actions than before.

Re:Not that sympathetic (4, Interesting)

TheSambassador (1134253) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055677)

Not to mention that the severity of punishment is a jump away from the severity of the offense.

Yes, downloading movies should be illegal, but why are the charges so incredibly much more than shoplifting the DVD out of a store? If he'd done that, he'd probably still have his dorm room.

Re:Not that sympathetic (4, Insightful)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055741)

How do you people know he didn't get due process? How can you even assume that? Considering the fact that he confessed to this on a public website, I'm thinking his conversation with the manager went something like this:

Manager: Hey, kid. I got this letter here from a company called MediaSentry claiming that they traced a download of Angels and Demons to your PC. Is that true?
Kid: Yes.
Manager: GTFO.

That's due process, right there. The kid decided to use his study time to search for, download, and presumably watch a movie which he wasn't entitled to download, and now he's crying because he has to use his study time to find a new place to live.

The only thing newsworthy about this story is the fact that MediaSentry is operating in Australia, the kid who got what he deserved is not the story.

Re:Not that sympathetic (1)

Yaur (1069446) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055759)

I read it as his college is throwing him out of the dorm, not that he was judged by a court. If he admitted to the network admin that he used school resources to pirate content taking those resources away seems like a reasonable thing for the college to do.

Re:Not that sympathetic (3, Insightful)

Psyborgue (699890) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055051)

There is something called due process. He got none.

Re:Not that sympathetic (3, Interesting)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055447)

There is something called due process. He got none.

While that is true... He really would have got much more sympathy, even on /., if he had the brains to write:

"the network manager had been contacted by MediaSentry and emailed one of the generic copyright infringement emails as a result of me (allegedly) downloading Angels and Demons."

Honestly, students today... what is education coming to? Seems too easy to get into Uni these days. Innocent until proven guilty, but if you are admitting your guilt, then there's a good chance you are. He would have had a reasonable grounds for fighting this if he'd denied any wrong doing and shifted the burden of proof. Not very smart not to.

Re:Not that sympathetic (1)

johnlcallaway (165670) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055483)

He goes to a university, they kicked him out. The only due process he is allowed is whatever they granted him when he agreed to go there in exchange for him paying them money.

I have no sympathy for him. He knew it was wrong to download it without paying for it. Instead of whining here, he should be addressing the issue with whatever governing boards are at his school.

Or look into transferring his credits to another school and getting on with his life.

Re:Not that sympathetic (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055719)

Just because he wasn't technically entitled to any due process doesn't mean it's right. Regardless of where it happens, you deserve a right to defend yourself from accusations.

even if he was "guilty", in a court of law, would that same evidence be admissable? think about it. Private corporations shouldn't be allowed to play police.

Re:Not that sympathetic (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28055081)

You chose to break the law and were punished for it.

Noooooooooo! There's no law against it. Show me where there's a law against it. Where's there a law against it? That's not piracy that's copyright infringement and that's not copyright infringement it's not illegal. Nothing physical was stolen! That proves nothing at all was wrong because intellectual property sucks so long as it isn't stuff I made. And I wasn't going to buy it anyway so there's no sales lost, so I have the right to watch it! There's no explicit license! I agreed to nothing! I don't have to pay money to do anything I didn't agree to if the contract was not written on parchment made with specific paper, written in blood, and a million other trivial technicalities that PROVE I'M INNOCENT AND I HAVE THE RIGHT, NAY, DUTY TO DOWNLOAD EVERYTHING EVERYONE ELSE MADE FOR FREEEEEEEEEE!!!!1!1! Freedom liberty my rights privacy free

ps plz dont tell them where i am

Re:Not that sympathetic (4, Informative)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055199)

Had he committed an actual crime (as in criminal offense) and stole the DVD on a store, he would probably only get fined [retail.org.au]

"Infringement notices not only provide a prompt and direct response to shop theft under $600, they significantly reduce the cost and paperwork associated with prosecution. The ARA would therefore expect that authorities continue working to reduce shop theft and improve deterrence with firmer enforcement measures," Evans said.

From July 1 2008 police will be able to issue infringement notices for seven common offences, including shop theft of less than $600. The infringement fine for this offence will be two penalty units ($227). Guidelines for the use of infringement notices for this offence provide that police will consider factors such as the person's criminal record, whether the matter appears to be part of a wider criminal operation and whether restitution is an issue before deciding whether to issue an infringement.

Notice that even in the case of an actual criminal activity, police will take many variables in context before to punish.

Re:Not that sympathetic (2, Insightful)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055343)

And in this case, he only got emailed. Media Sentry didn't demand that the university terminate his residency contract.

That was the result of a contract he willingly entered into between himself and the university about behaviour. He admits he did as described in the letter, and as a result, the university is asking him to leave the dorms.

Should have considered, perhaps, that they might actually have desired and expected that he adhere to the contract that he as an adult signed.

Re:Not that sympathetic (1)

johnlcallaway (165670) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055527)

Notice that even in the case of an actual criminal activity, police will take many variables in context before to punish.

Cops can use discretion on whether or not to arrest, it's up to judges to issue punishment.

Re:Not that sympathetic (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055795)

Had he committed an actual crime (as in criminal offense) and stole the DVD on a store, he would probably only get fined

Well that depends, doesn't it? Was the store a university-run store, or did he use university resources to help him steal it? Because, in this case, he used the university's network to download the copyrighted material. That's different than walking into an unrelated store and shoplifting, the university has a responsibility to police its own resources.

Re:Not that sympathetic (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055843)

What would have happened if he'd have stolen it from the University DVD shop? Presumably he used the university's network to download it in violation of the contract he signed with them.

This is fascinating. (3, Interesting)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055215)

I'm going to pretend I have no opinion in this post and instead make a "meta-comment:"

What I find fascinating is that, just a year ago, an overwhelming majority of Slashdot readers would have defended this student, written posts to the effect that it is justifiable to download copyrighted work, made angry statements about the MP/RI-AA, and the like. Now, I see many more posts (and story tags -- currently "righttosteal") like yours. Sure, the old pro-pirate posts are still around -- they are probably even still the majority -- but I think that the percentage is lower. I wonder if this means that attitudes are changing, and whether this is due at all to the RIAA's campaign.

Re:This is fascinating. (2, Funny)

mftb (1522365) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055547)

I approve. Blind pro-piracy is extremely childish. Oh wait, slashdot.

Re:This is fascinating. (1, Redundant)

grahamd0 (1129971) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055569)

Or it could that the rational part of Slashdot's audience never actually supported anyone's right to download copyrighted material without paying, but objected their to their hijacking and circumventing the legal system to protect said material.

In this case, the poster freely admits he did exactly what he was accused of. He isn't being persecuted by the RIAA, he is in blatant violation of the terms of his residency and his university is simply enforcing the policy he agreed to (perhaps without reading the contract).

Punishment does not fit the 'crime' (4, Insightful)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055299)

I put crime in quotes, because I believe it's only a civil infraction (although, I don't know much about Australian copyright law). In any case, getting kicked out of a dorm room for one 'count' of copyright infringement seems a little harsh, no? I mean, they could have started by just cutting his Internet access for a couple days or a week or something.

I mean, I really fail to see how it is even *legal* to kick someone out of a dorm room/apartment/etc for copyright infringement. Don't you guys have any tennants' rights laws in Australia?

Re:Not that sympathetic (1)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055667)

Laws and their sentences are written down for anyone to see.

If part of the tenancy agreement said that they'd boot you out for copyright infringement fair enough. If they've just said that they can evict you at their discretion (as I suspect) then this is very unlike breaking the law and getting judicially punished for it.

Re:Not that sympathetic (2, Insightful)

Sasayaki (1096761) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055711)

Millions of people break the law every day; this particular issue of law, specifically. Copyright infringement. Why do all of those people deserve no punishment at all, while this guy deserves to lose his home?

My issue is not that he should be allowed to do what he did, but that the punishment is:

a) Extremely excessive, even for a habitual, repeat offender. We allow rapists to keep their homes (and even provide them with a new one!); is this worse than rape?

b) Extremely sporatically enforced. Would you support a law that said you stood a one in a million chance of being executed for jaywalking?

A new low (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054945)

Getting students evicted by putting pressure on the dorm management? That's setting a new standard in scumbag behavior, so what's next now? How do you go deeper when you've already dug a six feet trench underneath the sewer lines?

Re:A new low (1)

IndieKid (1061106) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055255)

It's probably part of the tenancy agreement, "you agree not to break the law within these premises" etc. He could probably go to court to claim his innocence, but since he's just delcared on slashdot that he did indeed download the film illegally using P2P I somehow doubt that's the route he'll be taking.

Re:A new low (2, Insightful)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055409)

There is NOTHING in the story to suggest that MediaSentry put any pressure on the university to evict. They'd probably not even be aware that he lived on campus (in Australia, the VERY vast majority of students do not live on campus, and I don't believe a single university has even a single year where you are required to live on campus).

They sent an email informing the college as owners of the IP address of the infringement. He admitted to it, and while looking over the agreement for use of his dorm, which almost certainly included a clause along the lines of "not using your ethernet port in your dorm for ...", they decided to terminate his residency.

Stop looking for a way to spin this into "the new lows that RIAA will go to". It ain't.

Re:A new low (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055601)

Yeah, you're probably correct. Because they did nothing wrong, immoral or generally unethical in the united states so far, right?

What's the problem? (2, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054957)

'Yesterday I got called into the Managers office because the network manager had been contacted by MediaSentry and emailed one of the generic copyright infringement emails as a result of me downloading Angels and Demons. Now instead of studying for my exams and working on my final assignments I must take time to find a place to live before the 29th of May (2009).'"

Exactly what is the student's complaint?

If he did break the law, he needs to accept the consequences. If he didn't break the law, he should rebut the accusation.

Re:What's the problem? (0, Troll)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054987)

Don't be silly. It was just a matter of time before the movie was uploaded. If the movie cartels want to stay in business, they'd better find a way to give away all their product for free.

Otherwise, they won't have any customers left.

Re:What's the problem? (2, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055103)

They will have plenty of customers left. There are millions of people who are willing to pay money to watch movies; which took a lot of time and money to create.

Re:What's the problem? (2, Interesting)

Psyborgue (699890) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055213)

And how, exactly, could he rebut the accusation? What venue could he use if he was falsely accused?

Re:What's the problem? (2, Insightful)

johannesg (664142) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055219)

'Yesterday I got called into the Managers office because the network manager had been contacted by MediaSentry and emailed one of the generic copyright infringement emails as a result of me downloading Angels and Demons. Now instead of studying for my exams and working on my final assignments I must take time to find a place to live before the 29th of May (2009).'"

Exactly what is the student's complaint?

If he did break the law, he needs to accept the consequences. If he didn't break the law, he should rebut the accusation.

I believe his complaint is that, for stealing ~$10 worth of books, he is now being punished by losing his house and possibly an academic year.

Some of us still believe that crime and punishment need to be in balance somehow, and that simply isn't the case here.

Re:What's the problem? (1)

Necroman (61604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055301)

Uhh, I'm guessing he means the movie: http://www.angelsanddemons.com/ [angelsanddemons.com]

Re:What's the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28055847)

So instead of ~$10 worth of books, exchange that for ~$15 DVD. The punishment still vastly exceeds the crime.

Re:What's the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28055243)

I think it is odd that they are forcing him to move. The university I attended would have disabled is network access upon receiving the complaint and possible banned him from using university computing resources. They would not force him to move, however.

Re:What's the problem? (3, Insightful)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055433)

My guess would be either that is not the first time, or that there have been other issues. Seems odd that they'd evict on a first time infraction. Perhaps he got shirty about "Information wants to be free!" or somesuch and wanted to be hardline about it, so they decided to be the same.

Seems there's more to it, I suspect.

Re:What's the problem? (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055289)

I'm with you on this one.

Where, exactly, exists the possibility that downloading Angels and Demons is a morally/ethically acceptable thing to do?

You can dismiss the usual complaints immediately. The student was not:

A) replacing a purchased copy

B) circumventing unreasonable restrictions

C) using the internet as another medium for broadcast content

D) rebelling against the cost of a ticket

etc, etc, etc

So if the student is innocent, this needs to be yelled from the rooftops. Otherwise punishment seems perfectly reasonable to me.

Further, if THIS is not actionable, is ANYTHING related to digital media ever going to be?

Re:What's the problem? (3, Insightful)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055479)

If he did break the law, he needs to accept the consequences. If he didn't break the law, he should rebut the accusation.

Let me help you understand: the problem is that the consequences are inappropriate to the conduct. Your line of reasoning would have everyone accept whatever consequences are in place, no matter how draconian.

There, now, that wasn't so hard, was it?

Re:What's the problem? (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055611)

My point of view is that copyright infringement (which is not theft), should warrant, at most, a bill for the goods copied and, at most, a 50% penalty fee on top of that. Getting kicked out of your home for downloading a movie is grossly out of line with the actual damages that occurred (and most copyright infringement penalties are... such as $700 for a $1 song).

Re:What's the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28055647)

Every fucking comment with a high score is an attack on the kid. Are you guys trying to claim all of a sudden that you don't break copyright law and never download random shitty, blockbuster movies? Because otherwise you are all fucking hypocrites. The problem with this copyright thing is simply that absolutely every young person does it, and so the only fair way to enforce it is to throw every single young person in jail, anything else is totally arbitrary and random. When every single human does something it ceases to be immoral by default, and instead becomes part of the definition of normal human behaviour and therefore acceptable by default.

Re:What's the problem? (1)

PMuse (320639) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055839)

If he did break the law, he needs to accept the consequences. If he didn't break the law, he should rebut the accusation.

That's harsh to the point of hypocrisy coming from this site. Slashdot has spent years scheming about how to rebut such accusations even when they're true. Slashdot has spent years arguing that such downloading shouldn't be a crime, or should be punished only lightly (e.g., fine = retail price). Where are those posters today? Where are those moderators today?

Even those of us who think that what he did was wrong ought to be offering him a chance to crash at their place for a month or so.

Boo hoo.... (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054967)

"Now instead of studying for my exams and working on my final assignments I must take time to find a place to live before the 29th of May (2009).'""

Wah?

I mean come on, you're paying the price for doing what you knew would get in hot water at school. you DID read the acceptable use policy before you signed it right?

Re:Boo hoo.... (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055209)

You managed to take time out from studying and doing assignments to watch the movie. Pity you just didn't go to the cinema and shell out the measly $5 like the rest of us.

If you are looking for sympathy, don't be so bloody blase about what you did. At least show some remorse. You sound like you consider this acceptable behaviour, and are only griping because you got caught this time.

And thank your lucky stars it was an informal e-mail to your network admin, and not one of the "pay us $5000 dollars and we'll leave you alone" kind.

Absolutely no sympathy for you, sorry.

Seriously - losing your housing is appropriate (3, Interesting)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055393)

Do you *seriously* contend that losing your housing with like 2 weeks' notice or something ridiculous like that is a fitting response to the activity in question? I totally have sympathy for this guy. I don't see why anyone should lose their housing over copyright infringement. I mean, just disable his ethernet ports for a week or something. I fail to see how kicking someone out of the building with short notice is an appropriate response for minor copyright infringement.

Re:Seriously - losing your housing is appropriate? (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055467)

There should have been a question mark at the end of the subject line of my previous post, for those confused. I just forgot it when typing out the subject.

Re:Seriously - losing your housing is appropriate (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055699)

He incurs a possibly many tens of thousands of dollars of liability against the housing unit and all you want done is to have him stand in the corner for a couple of minutes? Besides you didn't read his rental agreement.

Re:Boo hoo.... (5, Insightful)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055379)

you DID read the acceptable use policy before you signed it right?

He must have missed the part in the AUP where it said dorm management would evict you for violating network policies based on the accusation of a private third party.

Seriously, WTF /. Half the comments are along the lines of "you deserve this." Sure, he was downloading infringing material and violating the AUP - cut off his internet access. But throwing someone out of a dorm?

Hint: what's to stop a creative student who is pissed at someone from spoofing an e-mail from MediaSentry to the management, and having someone else thrown out?

The real ire should be directed at the management for throwing someone out of housing for violating network policies. What next - run an open access point, and you get expelled? Download a song, and your landlord throws you out of your apartment?

Re:Boo hoo.... (2, Insightful)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055661)

You of course also have no knowledge of any action or investigation management took before throwing him out as we only have his half of the story. I hate to go all Les Miserables on people but he did steal the loaf of bread and he readily admits it. ( that's a simile people or even perhaps a metaphoric loaf of bread that he metaphorically stole)

Due Process (4, Insightful)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055477)

"Now instead of studying for my exams and working on my final assignments I must take time to find a place to live before the 29th of May (2009).'""

Wah?

I mean come on, you're paying the price for doing what you knew would get in hot water at school. you DID read the acceptable use policy before you signed it right?

Um ... where's the due process. A third party, which has been discredited in another country and fired by the copyright cartels there because their ability to track offenders has been so abysmal and inaccurate, has made an accusation. One that, based on their track record in the United States, should be taken with a mountain of salt.

Based on that accusation, someone has been evicted from their home at a time when they should be studying for exams. As far as I can tell, there's been no disciplinary due process, no hearings, no opportunities for appeal, just a summary eviction with no opportunity for the student to put their case forward. Maybe s/he is guilty. Maybe his/her roommate is a prick and used his equipment to do something stupid so they wouldn't pay the price. Maybe someone else did it entirely, and spoofed his IP address. Or maybe, like in so many cases in the US that the company had to close their doors, no one in the dorm was involved at all, and they're barking up the wrong tree completely.

Doesn't matter. Summary punishment has been meted out, on the barest of accusations. That is a problem, the student's guilt or innocence not withstanding, and if I were considering sending a kid to university, that's one school I would avoid quite possibly wasting my hard earned money on.

If you're going to pirate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28054985)

at least be somewhat smart about it. Make some kind of attempt to hide your IP. Piggyback on someone else's wifi. Or better yet, just stop doing it.

How is this not awesome? (1)

ZiakII (829432) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054991)

Not sure about what colleges you went to but off-campus housing > *, only reason I thought people live in the dorm was because it is required for the first two years for new students.

Boo-hoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28054997)

You got caught doing something illegal and it hurts.

nothing to see here

Oy (3, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055063)

"Now instead of studying for my exams and working on my final assignments "

It seems to me that if you were really concerned about studying, you'd have done it before downloading Angels & Demons.

Re:Oy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28055303)

I presume this is a very boring movie, and he watched it to make studying look more interesting.

Re:Oy (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055401)

It seems to me that if you were really concerned about studying, you'd have done it before downloading Angels & Demons.

Maybe he was downloading it to watch after exams :-)

Yeah right (2, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055065)

Now instead of studying for my exams and working on my final assignments I must take time to find a place to live before the 29th of May (2009)

Yeah right, that's what I used to say when I was in college too. If you had actually been studying for your exams and working on your final assignments instead of watching movies, you wouldn't be in this situation, would you?

Re:Yeah right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28055473)

Lots of hypocracy flying around here (not talking about the copyright infringement), FFS, everyone bleating on about how he should have been working instead of watching a film - whilst studying for exams did you never take any breaks, have some rest/relaxation, ever?

Re:Yeah right (2, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055577)

Sure, I did. On the other hand, I never tried to make people feel sorry for me by saying, "X external factor will now prohibit me from doing well in school." If he were REALLY worried about not having enough time to study, he should have A) not procrastinated or B) spent his time studying instead of posting on slashdot and reading the responses (yeah, you know he is reading the responses).

And if you want to call that hypocritical, it's not: sure, I procrastinated too, but it was a stupid thing to do: things very often come up at the last minute, and if you aren't prepared, you're going to get nailed. That's how life is, welcome to it.

They want to play hardball? (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055091)

Find out the names and addresses of the management of MediaSentry and.......

Fair's fair (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055111)

Of course he could have also been studying and working on assignments instead of downloading crappy movies and infringing on the copyright rights of those that hold them.

cry baby (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28055113)

Last I heard it COST MONEY to MAKE a movie. Yeah, movies don't grow on trees. I guess kids just expect things for free, but sorry it doesn't work that way in the real world. You broke the law, your knew you were breaking the law, got caught, and now it's time to pay the price. Boo-hoo. You should be studying now instead of crying on Slashdot.

Stupid replies ignoring the point. (5, Insightful)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055169)

As expected, there are a large number of replies by people who didn't even bother to read the summary. (Or, have poor reading comprehension, or even both, I guess.)

The submitter is not the same as the student.

Anyway, the point is, MediaSentry is still "alive", and still sending out automated messages.

Now it seems that the student admitted to downloading the file ("as a result of me downloading Angels and Demons"), which sort of screws over any real complaint they may have had.

Personally, I think it's disgusting that the manager paid any attention to the "generic copyright infringement email" at all. Seriously, if I were in that situation, I would delete the email and forget about it.

I wonder, who is MediaSentry acting for in this situation? Does that company know that MediaSentry is doing this? Do MediaSentry have the right to sue on behalf of that company?

And, is MediaSentry keeping track of these emails and watching for responses?

Appropriate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28055203)

You want sympathy, for being punished for theft?
You got what you deserved.

Re:Appropriate (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055271)

Theft implies he could have and would have purchased it otherwise. It also implies he took the opportunity to watch the film away from somebody else, which is not the case.

Re:Appropriate (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055537)

No theft implies he acquired it illegally nothing more.

let the punishment fit the crime (3, Insightful)

howlingmadhowie (943150) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055247)

this is weird. i'm i the only one here who finds this punishment (eviction) to be totally over the top for this copyright infringement?

Re:let the punishment fit the crime (4, Insightful)

rhsanborn (773855) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055361)

No, not in this case. If the dorm manager had evicted him for scratching the paint, it's a direct issue betwene the manager and the student. This, on the other hand, is the student bringing issues down on the dorm via legal issues with a third party. It looks like the dorm doesn't want to deal with fighting legal battles that aren't it's problem. The student likely signed an acceptable use policy, and so long as the student admitted fault or there was acceptable level of evidence, there shouldn't be a problem. The only issue would be blindly evicting based on every letter sent to the dorm management. It doesn't look like that's the case given the admission of downloading the film.

Re:let the punishment fit the crime (0)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055563)

Perhaps you are but if it was in his rental/lease agreement that this would be the result then he got what he asked for.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28055339)

Also why not use some sort of VPN service while downloading things not allowed and using someone elses network? at least TRY to hide it a bit :)

I'm surprised that p2p isn't blocked already if they are that hard on him. And if he was using some sort of VPN yet still got into this situation.

Admit stuff much? (2, Insightful)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055359)

... as a result of me downloading Angels and Demons.

Haven't you learned anything?
Your correct phrase should be: "... me allegedly downloading ..."

Doh! (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055513)

Let me see if I understand this correctly. You want our sympathy for doing something illegal, getting caught by someone and losing your residence. You then publicly admit you did it, and hope that you won't lose the lawsuit that is sure to follow! I don't really understand the purpose of your post other than to admit to being a pirate.
I certainly have no sympathy for you, I have no animosity towards the people that caught you but if they did anything illegal you should certainly hold them accountable.

Cry me a river (0, Troll)

dave562 (969951) | more than 5 years ago | (#28055549)

"I got caught breaking the law and now I have to deal with the consequences." There is a reason that I stopped hacking computer systems after I turned 18. In today's legal climate with regards to the internet, downloading torrents is almost as dangerous as using Craigslist to solicit prostitutes or drugs. Whatever your stance on the morality of the laws, the reality of the situation is that for whatever reason (got $$$?), the law enforcement community and the courts are up in arms and on a witch hunt.

I'm not sure what life is like in Australia, but here in Los Angeles, anything that I download from a torrent site, I can purchase on any train or Metro bus at one for $5, three for $10 (including Angels and Demons). The way I look at it, that's the much better deal. I get to contribute to the local economy, and my odds of catching a law suit are next to none. I haven't bought any movies that way because I am content with my NetFlix subscription, but the point I'm making is that if you are going to obtain pirated content, doing so via a college internet connection is probably the absolute highest risk way to do it right now.

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