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IsoHunt Guilty of Inducing Infringement

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the i-didn't-know-isos-were-endangered dept.

News 243

roju writes "The MPAA has won a summary judgment against torrent indexing site isoHunt for inducing copyright infringement. Michael Geist notes that '[t]he judge ruled that the isoHunt case is little different from other US cases such as Napster and Grokster, therefore concluding that there is no need to proceed to a full trial and granting Columbia Pictures request for summary judgment.' Attorney Ben Sheffner, who worked on the case for Fox, explains some of the implications, noting that 'the most significant ruling in the opinion was the court's holding that the DMCA's safe harbors are simply not available where inducement has been established.' This case could have implications on other indexing sites, and creates a gap in the DMCA safe harbor provisions that could have far-reaching implications on other sites."

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243 comments

Is there a way for a US judgement to be enforced? (4, Interesting)

IshmaelDS (981095) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546332)

I mean ISOHunt is in Canada, can this be used to shutdown ISOHunt? or is this mostly about posturing?

Re:Is there a way for a US judgement to be enforce (4, Interesting)

Sirusjr (1006183) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546354)

Well even if it was enforceable, ISOhunt can always appeal the grant of summary judgment and perhaps the appeals court will reverse and call for an actual trial.

Liberalism: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30546416)

The belief that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd from the clean end.

Re:Liberalism: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30547048)

Dubya? Is that you?

Re:Is there a way for a US judgement to be enforce (0)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546462)

Yes, they just ask Canada to extradite the owner.

Re:Is there a way for a US judgement to be enforce (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30546548)

Hey moron 5there is no extradition for civil cases.

Re:Is there a way for a US judgement to be enforce (5, Informative)

chocomilko (1544541) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546856)

We also thought there was no extradition for crimes that go unpunished in Canada. Marc Emery [wikipedia.org] , the DEA, and the Canadian government proved us wrong.

Re:Is there a way for a US judgement to be enforce (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30546996)

He might not be able to travel to the US without the risk of being arrested and prosecuted.

Remember that Russian guy Dmitry Sklyarov[1]? He was arrested in 2002 in the US for an DMCA offence that he committed in Russia and which isn't an offence according to Russian law. While he was eventually allowed to go home, he was still subject to prosecution in the US.

[1] http://www.freesklyarov.org/

Re:Is there a way for a US judgement to be enforce (4, Funny)

Snaller (147050) | more than 4 years ago | (#30547194)

If they don't comply, the US will invade and liberate those IsoHunt hold captive!

Huh? (5, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546388)

A U.S. federal court in California has issued a summary judgment against Canadian-based isoHunt (and its [Canadian] owner Gary Fung)

Why is a US Court adjudicating a case involving a Canadian citizen and his Canadian website?

Re:Huh? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30546404)

A U.S. federal court in California has issued a summary judgment against Canadian-based isoHunt (and its [Canadian] owner Gary Fung)

Why is a US Court adjudicating a case involving a Canadian citizen and his Canadian website?

The Yanks try to be the world's police in every other way, so this must be a new growth area for them.

Re:Huh? (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546486)

And that, my children, is how USA rolls. Fuck yeah! [youtube.com]

Team America: World Police (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30546420)

Distributing their own brand of fascism to the world.

Re:Huh? (2, Informative)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546444)

Are you familiar with the Berne Convention? [wikipedia.org] My guess would be proving infringement in the US is a first step to getting it shut down in Canada.

Re:Huh? (4, Insightful)

schon (31600) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546554)

Are you familiar with the Berne Convention?

Are you? Are you familiar with Canadian Law?

My guess would be proving infringement in the US is a first step to getting it shut down in Canada.

Um.... WHAT!?!?!?

I would imagine that suing in Canada would be the first step to getting it shut down in Canada.

Re:Huh? (2, Informative)

roju (193642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546624)

Well, the MPAA knew that it could rely on Grokster to get a judgment in the US. Given the lack of case law in Canada covering the subject, if they were to sue in Canada now, they could then refer back to that American victory, which might provide additional ammo in their suit. For example, the recent Supreme Court of Canada judgments that expanded libel defences referred to case law in the Commonwealth and the US as part of the rationale.

Re:Huh? (2, Insightful)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546802)

Actually Grokster shouldn't apply since the materials hosted on IsoHunt don't actually contain any materials belonging to MPAA. Nor does any MPAA material pass through the IsoHunt system.

Nor am I certain that the judges decision that a provision of federal law can just be thrown out because he wants to is going to stand up to an appeals decision.

Finally, suing a Canadian company with no assets in the US is a crock of shit. Since the courts are continually complaining about their load, I would really hope that more of them would start to throw these cases out based on jurisdiction.

Re:Huh? (3, Insightful)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546898)

Grokster does apply, because it created the precedent of "inducement".

http://w2.eff.org/IP/P2P/MGM_v_Grokster/ [eff.org]

The "Safe Harbor" defense is a red herring. That doesn't apply because IsoHunt wasn't hosting material and then taking it down when asked. It was inducing users to click links which allowed copyright infringement.

The Berne Convention agreement, in conjunction with a closed court case, makes it very likely that Canadia will throw the book at this guy.

Basically, this is the final patch of the legal loophole that allows linking to content as long as you're not hosting it. You have to be a generic search engine, not one dedicated to finding illegal software. (The name "ISO Hunt" does not have that many non-infringing connotations, especially the comments made on the site about being the best place for juarez).

Re:Huh? (5, Insightful)

Venik (915777) | more than 4 years ago | (#30547100)

The name "ISO Hunt" does not have that many non-infringing connotations

Apparently, you are not a Linux user.

Re:Huh? (2, Interesting)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546696)

I would imagine that suing in Canada would be the first step to getting it shut down in Canada.

Same here. The Berne Convention would be merely used to establish that copyright existed in Canada.

What I find curious is that the judgement refers to Does 1-10. Are those additional parties in the US?

Re:Huh? (2, Informative)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546598)

Well, I don't know how the Canadians handle it, but I can tell you that the Berne Convention is not of any use in an American court. No one has rights in the US pursuant to Berne; rather, copyrights here are entirely governed by our domestic law, which only extends as far as our borders.

Re:Huh? (1)

Xenaero (1223656) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546914)

I would assume that there were some measure of having a judiciary 'link' to where the US could provide its proof to the Canadian courts and have them decide the matter with their own system using the information the findings of the US courts provided.

International "Commerce" (2, Insightful)

Phoenix Rising (28955) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546446)

Because the MPAA could legitimately claim that his service was available to U.S. citizens, U.S. based equipment, and/or passed over U.S. network lines, the court (correctly) ruled that the MPAA had standing in this country.

If isoHunt turned off access via U.S. IP address blocks, it would theoretically no longer be in violation of U.S. law - only potentially Canadian law (which Fung states he is not violating...).

Re:International "Commerce" (3, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546706)

If isoHunt turned off access via U.S. IP address blocks, it would theoretically no longer be in violation of U.S. law - only potentially Canadian law (which Fung states he is not violating...).

Isn't it the USERS in the US who are violating US law?

Anyway, it'll all be moot in the next couple of decades, as it gets to the point where software-generated 3d movies and pro-quality music will be able to be generated by anyone in their own home with consumer-grade hardware and software.

We're already seeing self-publishing getting a toe-hold in the literary and music worlds, and it's freaking out the old school. When everyone can generate content, who needs the content rent-seekers?

Re:International "Commerce" (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546972)

Anyway, it'll all be moot in the next couple of decades, as it gets to the point where software-generated 3d movies and pro-quality music will be able to be generated by anyone in their own home with consumer-grade hardware and software.

YouTube wants to beat you over the head with a clue-by-four until you come to your senses.

Re:International "Commerce" (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546994)

Anyway, it'll all be moot in the next couple of decades, as it gets to the point where software-generated 3d movies and pro-quality music will be able to be generated by anyone in their own home with consumer-grade hardware and software.

YouTube wants to beat you over the head with a clue-by-four until you come to your senses.

I *did* say "a couple of decades".

BTW, why not participate in the end-fo-year unzombie contest [slashdot.org] ?

Re:International "Commerce" (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#30547042)

I *did* say "a couple of decades".

You think practice is going to help these folks? You sir, are an optimist of the most impressive degree.

Re:International "Commerce" (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30547242)

I *did* say "a couple of decades".

You think practice is going to help these folks? You sir, are an optimist of the most impressive degree.

This is Christmas, so I'll overlook the tiny mistake :-)

Try http://www.starwreck.com/ [starwreck.com]

Seriously, even if 99.44% is still garbage, that leaves some good stuff. It's like literature - there's a lot that comes in on the slush pile, but that doesn't mean that it's *all* slush.

Re:International "Commerce" (2, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30547276)

You think practice is going to help these folks? You sir, are an optimist of the most impressive degree.

A little bit. But more importantly, as the cost of production reaches joe sixpack prices, there will be many more folks creating. Hollywood likes you to think they have a monopoly on talent when all they have is a monopoly on distribution. Even if 99.99% of the independently created stuff is crap, when you have millions of folks creating, you will still get thousands of gems.

The rent-seekers will lose the war, if for no other reason than they've chosen to make it a war of attrition and they are vastly outnumbered.

Re:International "Commerce" (1)

Venik (915777) | more than 4 years ago | (#30547134)

Anyway, it'll all be moot in the next couple of decades, as it gets to the point where software-generated 3d movies and pro-quality music will be able to be generated by anyone in their own home with consumer-grade hardware and software.

In the future there will be robots.

Re:International "Commerce" (4, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546712)

Say a foreign country bans use of encryption without a license. So is every HTTPS site in the world in violation if it doesn't firewall off all the country's IP ranges?

Re:International "Commerce" (5, Interesting)

shaitand (626655) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546840)

People may be illegally importing said material into the U.S. but ISOHunt is doing what its doing in Canada and therefore falls under their laws.

If you download a file from a Canadian server then you acquired the material in Canada and imported into the U.S. That's on you, the importer.

Re:International "Commerce" (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546904)

I don't do the whole mod thing any more. Having said that, I think this deserves to be modded up.

Re:Huh? (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546454)

And were legally allowed to download music for personal use in Canada, yes he can't make it available for download but this should be up to Canadian courts to decided the sites faith.

Re:Huh? (1)

Wrexs0ul (515885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546460)

Same reason there's no direct flights to Cuba. If Gary is found to be owing a bazillionty dollars to the MPAA and doesn't pay then TSA cavity searches will be the least of his concerns next time he crosses the border.

I have a strong feeling this is also a way to leverage support for ACTA (international DMCA) in Canada. With enough fingers pointing at us and our yarrrr Piratey ways the hope is MPs will give support to this life-changing copyright law.

-Matt

Re:Huh? (4, Informative)

roju (193642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546464)

The judgment mentions that the US believes it has jurisdiction over an infringment so long as one of the parties is in the United States. Additionally, the person doing the inducing doesn't have to be in the US.

On page 18:

In the context of secondary liability, an actor may be liable for 'activity undertaken abroad that knowingly induces infringement within the United States.'

Re:Huh? (5, Interesting)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546660)

I wonder how American proponents of such a principle would react to an American citizen being sued and convicted in China for posting information that China considers illegal to a US website that is nevertheless available to Chinese citizens.

Re:Huh? (-1, Troll)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30547146)

They'd freak out since Americans are rarely smart enough to understand "unintended consequences" of international law.

International law is surrender of sovereignty and should be viewed as such.

The idea of regulation and micro-management of nations by laws their publics didn't vote for is quite popular with politicians, but treaties work both ways.

Re:Huh? (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 4 years ago | (#30547188)

Unfortunately, that's the problem with national sovereignty - nations can do whatever they want and consider their decisions binding on everybody on the planet. The only thing that prevents that is standing armies.

If you don't want to worry about some country's legal system subjecting you to trials in-absentia then it is best to avoid travelling to that country, or to nations that readily extradite people to that country.

The problem isn't really that the jurisdiction is wrong - anybody in the US can seek relief from the US courts against anybody - and the US will do what it reasonably can to grant that relief. The problem is that the laws are slanted to one extreme, and we have groups like those running this website that retaliate with the opposite extreme.

Somewhere there is a balance between massive restrictions on even the most casual copying, and one-person-buys-everybody-else-downloads. I doubt we'll see it in the US while the legislature is on the RIAA payroll...

Re:Huh? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546496)

The judgment says why the court believes they have jurisdiction.

Of course getting a judgment enforced is another matter, but not one that the court worries about.

Re:Huh? (3, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546500)

Why is a US Court adjudicating a case involving a Canadian citizen and his Canadian website?

Beause the court finds that he has induced infringements taking place in the US. I think it's the same legal theory that'll let a US court prosecute you if you shoot someone standing on the US side of the border from Canada, though the Internet tends to make such logic absurd. Don't expect any sudden bursts of logic though.

Re:Huh? (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546524)

I didn't shoot you. You came over to my Canadian property across the border and then I shot you.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30546920)

In that case, you're in serious trouble. You don't have a right to defend against trespass with lethal force in Canada. You should have been standing in Texas where they'd give you a medal.

Re:Huh? (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546502)

Anticipation of ACTA?

Re:Huh? (1)

tdc_vga (787793) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546504)

It's known as a long arm jurisdiction ( link [wikipedia.org] ). Generally, the test is if the entity had sufficient contact with the jurisdiction. In this case I would guess it was based on the fact that the website was reachable, and more importantly, foreseeably reachable by American (Californian) citizens.

Or jurisdiction may have been waived. I didn't bother to pull the filings off PACER --sorry.

Re:Huh? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546732)

So are all web sites required to censor themselves according to Chinese law if they don't explicitly firewall off Chinese IP addresses?

Re:Huh? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546508)

I blame Mexico.

Re:Huh? (1)

eddy the lip (20794) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546678)

Admittedly, I don't get it either, however we're pretty much joined at the hip with NAFTA and various other treaties. I'm really not sure what standing a ruling like this would have up here. It's almost certainly a bad thing for isoHunt, though.

More worrisome is that our currently (partially) elected government so desperately wants us to be the US that they've been going so far as to get the RIAA and the MPAA to consult on bills, so I wouldn't count on much government support for a Canadian citizen who has lost an American court case. Hell, they won't even go to bat for citizens held in other nations for various shady political reasons, in the US or other countries.

The only time you hear anything about Canadian sovereignty anymore is over the Arctic, during an election cycle.

Well. I went completely off topic. That's either rum or bitterness.

Re:Huh? (1)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546682)

A U.S. federal court in California has issued a summary judgment against Canadian-based isoHunt (and its [Canadian] owner Gary Fung)

Why is a US Court adjudicating a case involving a Canadian citizen and his Canadian website?

You forgot to add, "on behalf of predominately foreign owned companies".

My interpretation of the summary judgement is that this Canadian was facilitating copyright infringement that occurred on US soil - ie the clients doing the downloading.

Those web sites are guilty as hell. The evidence is that the sites specifically advertised copyrighted torrents, openly declared the intent of the site as facilitating infringing downloads, and 95% of the available torrents were for copyrighted material. It's the jurisdiction and enforceability that are in question. At least Pirate Bay could claim ignorance and lack of control over the torrents on their site.

Re:Huh? (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546812)

According to U.S. law U.S. courts assume jurisdiction in pretty much all cases they hear. They usually justify it with particulars but that is the bottom line.

Just ask anyone who is stupid enough to draw a trust document under foreign jurisdiction and gets dragged into a U.S. court.

Hell, in trust cases where the trust is U.S based the courts will generally ignore U.S. law in favor of screwing over a trust in any instance where it isn't being used by the rich to control their children's lives or to dodge estate taxes.

U.S. lawyers think they apply everywhere... (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546940)

Let me tell you of a common occurrence with U.S. lawyers and tech support.
(This happens a lot, usually when they insist on you knowing they are a lawyer, as if that has anything to do with computer savvy.... The ones that only bring up being a lawyer in passing, tend to be normal.)

Call comes in, introductions proceed, lawyer makes a point of letting you know he's a lawyer.
For whatever reason, you have to have the caller read something off the screen. (sysinfo, error message, whatever)
Caller claims they can't read it.
After checking why, the reason is that the caller has usually set the highest screen res and the smallest font size. End result, it's too bloody small for them to read.
Tell them to change settings so the text is readable.
Caller refuses, insisting that they have to have 2 pages of text on screen at the same time...
Techie fumes, why does this moron need two pages of text too small to read on screen at the same time when he's called into tech support to fix a problem not related to those two pages?!?!?!

Please note the inability of the caller to read anything on his screen, but his absolute insistence that he must keep it that way so he can display two pages of (unreadable) text.

Yeah, those types suck. The other ego-moron job you have to deal with is the ones that insist that you call them Doctor. (And I don't mean Doctor Who.)

And they call us geeks...

Re:Huh? (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30547104)

"Why is a US Court adjudicating a case involving a Canadian citizen and his Canadian website?"

Canada will be assimilated sooner or later. Consider this a practice run. :)

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30547216)

more favorable for MPAA to bring the case into the US (obv) - and then diversity of citizenship between parties means it goes to federal court in this case Cali (because of citizenship of MPAA)

what I'm unclear about.. (3, Insightful)

roju (193642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546426)

What neither writer makes clear is why isoHunt and Fung, both Canadian, are participating in a lawsuit in California.

Re:what I'm unclear about.. (1)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 4 years ago | (#30547114)

What neither writer makes clear is why isoHunt and Fung, both Canadian, are participating in a lawsuit in California.

Much of the material indexed in IsoHunt is copyrighted by U.S. companies, and many of the users of IsoHunt are based in the U.S. That's more than enough to give them a nexus.

link to the judgment (5, Informative)

roju (193642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546510)

The judgment itself [michaelgeist.ca] (pdf) is quite an interesting read. It gives a good overview of the relevant case law, explains how contributory infringement works, as well as why the court is claiming jurisdiction.

I've read the court order and... (5, Informative)

The Real Nem (793299) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546780)

... it seems like Fung's downfall was his own arrogance. The judgment states that Fung's failure to filter out copyright content alone would not have been sufficient grounds for contributory infringement. Contributory infringement was established because, in addition to this, Fung made forum posts detailing how to rip specific copyrighted works for his site and suggesting search terms to help find specific copyrighted works on his site. He also bragged about having certain copyrighted works available on his site and facilitated access to such content via top 20 lists.

Seems like other torrent sites should take note. Never acknowledge the existence of copyrighted content on your site or specifically facilitate access to it (e.g. "top 20" lists) or use copyright suggestive terminology (e.g. "blockbuster") or profit from your site, and you might just escape unscathed. You want to offer about as much assistance as google does when searching for torrent files. Do this and the 5% legitimate content might just save you.

Re:I've read the court order and... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30547210)

Seems like other torrent sites should take note. Never acknowledge the existence of copyrighted content on your site or specifically facilitate access to it (e.g. "top 20" lists)

Unfortunately, this would make them suck real bad as the reason things are decent is that fakes, crap, viruses and whatnot is filtered. Even if not by the site owner then a set of moderators and editors and administrators with whoever runs it on top, and those rules and organization will be put at your feet. However they are trying to do something similar with magnet links, and basically say this is just a simple link that points elsewhere and we're discussing it. Not sure if that'll help though.

Re:link to the judgment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30546928)

Agreed. I read all 46 pages. It's entertaining to watch a judge take slashbots favorite armchair legal defense for torrenting, rip its head off, and s**t down its neck.

Good to know... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30546528)

Good to know that Fox News isn't the only reason Rupert Murdoch should be roasted on a spit for eternity.

Re:Good to know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30547196)

How about having pairs of slashdot readers spit roast him for eternity?

Or maybe just the slashdot editors...

Summary judgment (4, Informative)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546544)

For those wondering about summary judgment, what it means, and how this can happen without a case going to trial in front of a jury:

Summary judgment requires that the judge consider the evidence in a manner most favorable to the non-moving party (i.e., the party not moving for summary judgment, in this case isoHunt). If, after consideration of the evidence in that light, there is no possibility that the non-moving party could prevail at trial, then summary judgment can be entered instead.

Essentially, this stems from the concept that juries are intended to be finders of fact, not judges of law. If there are no factual issues that need to be considered, then the jury has no job left to do - no matter what factual conclusion they reach concerning the evidence, the outcome as a matter of law will be the same.

Re:Summary judgment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30546614)

Yeah, it was done in the EULA case by Apple against Psytar too, and it was as unconstitutional then as it is now. The Constitution's clause on right to trial by jury in civil cases doesn't include an "unless the judge thinks that the case against oppressive Copyright is irrelevant" clause. Soap, ballot, *jury*, ammo.

Noticing a pattern?

Jury is trier of fact (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546760)

The Constitution's clause on right to trial by jury in civil cases doesn't include an "unless the judge thinks that the case against oppressive Copyright is irrelevant" clause.

The Seventh Amendment to which you allude talks about "no fact tried by a jury", not "no law interpreted by a jury".

Re:Jury is trier of fact (1)

slashqwerty (1099091) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546936)

The Seventh Amendment to which you allude talks about "no fact tried by a jury", not "no law interpreted by a jury".

The seventh amendment actually says:

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

"no fact tried by a jury" has to do with the appeals process. The right to trial by jury is declared before that. On the other hand, if the court has the ability to reexamine matters other than the facts then it is a moot point since the court can go ahead and interpret the law any way it wants regardless of what the jury says.

Re:Summary judgment (4, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546670)

Essentially, this stems from the concept that juries are intended to be finders of fact, not judges of law.

Yes, but where does that erroneous concept come from? Chief Justice John Jay said "It is presumed, that juries are the best judges of facts; it is, on the other hand, presumed that courts are the best judges of law. But still both objects are within your power of decision... you [juries] have a right to take it upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy"

Re:Summary judgment (3, Insightful)

shaitand (626655) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546888)

"Essentially, this stems from the concept that juries are intended to be finders of fact, not judges of law."

Which is ridiculous. The entire point of a jury is to determine if it is just to apply a black and white law in a specific full color world scenario.

This is the only direct power the people have to check government. Well that and the right to bear arms but both have been subverted at this point.

The power of juries has been subverted by the courts who decided they no longer had to inform juries of their rights and obligations in this area (a recent development in truth) and the right to bear arms by both the legislative and the executive.

MPAA Pretends to Write International Law (3, Interesting)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546552)

Why are you all surprised that a case against a canadian was heard in California?

The MPAA have pretended for the last decade that US copyright law has worldwide jurisdiction, and their attorneys have generated lawsuits or cease-and-desist letters reflecting this belief. Dreamworks sics the DMCA on Pirate Bay [thepiratebay.org]

Between the EU and the MPAA there's always someone trying to concentrate their own power by making their favorite local laws the international rule.

Re:MPAA Pretends to Write International Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30546606)

Simple. There are lots of politicians in the world, each liking their palms greased to do minor favours for whoever has the funds. Killing torrent sites won't improve the content peoples' wealth, it'll simply kill interest in the product. Movies will follow music into the whambulance. Consumers will spend their money elsewhere, probably gaming now that we have both serious and casual markets.

Re:MPAA Pretends to Write International Law (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546886)

I know you Yanks love Yooroe bashing because we're all so ungrateful or whatever but I'm not sure where the EU comes into this. Which EU law(s) are you referring to?

Ignore the gyrations of management (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546580)

I used to read stuff like this and get upset. But then I realized that my entire generation knows it's baloney. They can't explain it intellectually. They have no real understanding of the subtleties of the law, or arguments about artists' rights or any of that. All they really understand is there is a large corporation charging private citizens tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, for downloading a few songs here and there. And it's intuitively obvious that it can't possibly be worth that.

So what's happened is that this entire generation has disregarded copyright law. It's become a moot point. They could release attack dogs and black helicopters and it wouldn't really change people's attitudes. It won't matter how many websites they shut down or how many lives they ruin, they've already lost the culture war. At this point the only thing these corporations can do is shift the costs to the government and other corporations under color of law in a desperate bid for relevance. That's pretty much what they're doing.

But what does this mean for the average person? Well, it means that we google and float around to an ever-changing landscape of sites. We communicate by word of mouth via e-mail, instant messaging, and social networking sites where the latest fix of free movies, music, and games are. If you don't make enough money to participate in the artificial marketplace of entertainment goods -- you don't exclude yourself from it, you go to the grey market instead. And all the technological, legal, and philosophical barriers in the world amount to nothing because there's a small core of people like you and I, here on slashdot, that do understand the implications of what they're doing and we continually search for ways to screw them over and liberate their goods and services for "sale" on the grey market. It is, economically and politically, structurally identical to the Prohibition, except that instead of smuggling liquor we are smuggling digital files.

Billions have been spent combatting a singularily simple idea that was spawned thirty years ago by a bunch of socially-inept disaffected teenagers working out of their garages: Information wants to be free. Except information has no wants -- it's the people who want to be free. And while we can change attitudes about smoking with aggressive media campaigns, and sell people material goods and services they don't really need, we cannot change the fundamental aspects upon which our generation has built a new society out of.

You can't stop people talking -- and just as we have physical connections to each other, increasingly we have digital connections to one another as well. These connections have, and continue to, actively resist attempts at control because doing so fundamentally impedes the development and nature of the relationships we have with one another. We will naturally seek the methods which give us the greatest freedom to express ourselves to each other. That is a force of nature (ours, specifically) that has evolved out of our interconnectedness, and it goes far, far beyond copyright. Ultimately, this is a battle they cannot win -- they can only delay, building dams and locks to stem the tide, but they will fail. Forces of nature are unpredictable and in the end it always wins.

Re:Ignore the gyrations of management (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546742)

And thats why you shouldn't clone dinosaurs with Frog DNA.

Re:Ignore the gyrations of management (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546842)

And thats why you shouldn't clone dinosaurs with Frog DNA.

Because somehow a complex organism will spontaniously change its sex and demand equal rights? Because I betcha that was the scariest part of the movie for republicans. Oh yeah... and velociraptors.

Re:Ignore the gyrations of management (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30546876)

Bullshit.

Information may want to be free but it still must pass through the hands of a telco or other carrier. I'll give you three guesses where the roadblocks of the digital realm are going to be set up. I'll give you another three guesses as to whether the suits are going to be on the side of "information wants to be free" or not.

Re:Ignore the gyrations of management (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546978)

I think the point wooshed over you. They can set up the road blocks at the ISP's all they want. It won't stop the tech savvy, they'll find a way around it. And the tech savvy either teach their friends or develop apps to mimick what they've learned.

Point being, they only way they'll stop the communication now is if they physically stop people from talking or stop people from using computers. Which is, to the best of my knowledge, not practicle.

Re:Ignore the gyrations of management (1)

broken_chaos (1188549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30547038)

The internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it. It's an older quote, but it's still accurate. If the telcos start putting in more and more blocks, people will find ways around them. Strong encryption (as is already used in some BitTorrent clients), stenography, more decentralisation, and even, if things get pushed so far that such 'digital' techniques are hard to avoid censorship with, a return to the 'sneakernet' (or smaller, semi-private neighbourhood/town/city-wide, possibly wireless, networks).

The cat is long out of the bag. No matter how much they do, they're never going to get it in there again. The best they can do, in the long run, is limit the damage by giving people what they evidently want -- no DRM, low prices, convenient access, among other things.

Re:Ignore the gyrations of management (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546970)

That was a beautifully written post and a pleasure to read. Thank you for that.

I seem to have a bit of cynacism about it, though. I'd like to get rid of that, but I think it has a solid foundation. Your reference to Prohibition was absoutely right. The problem is, this country has not learned from it. Prohibition taught us that you cannot stop a powerful economic force, and if you try too hard to do it, you will create a black market and you will provide fertile soil for organized crime. No one fought with submachine guns and died in the streets over alcohol until it was made illegal. Alfonso Capone would be an anonymous figure if not for Prohibition. Imagine all the tax dollars, buildup of increasingly paramilitary police forces, involvement of the federal government in basic law enforcement issues and lives lost just to enforce a law that should never have been written, a law designed to enforce one group's Puritannical moral objections on everyone else.

For anyone who's actually familiar with American history and tradition, it's hard to imagine anything more un-American than using law to micromanage the personal lives of others. You cannot tell a person what they may put into their body without also, implicitly, claiming ownership of their body. Yet that happened, right here in the "land of the free." And we tolerated it, because we were told that it was for our own good.

Then consider that we haven't really learned anything from it because we still have Prohibition. We still have The War on (some) Drugs. Only the object of the prohibition has changed, but the process is the same. So are the problems. We have learned nothing.

I would like to think that when iron-fisted copyright proves to be a failure, we will learn from this and find more reasonable approaches. But the utter failure of Prohibition hasn't stopped us from implementing similar laws. I would like to believe that a cultural war has been won, that when the old guard retires those who replace them will have a more enlightened viewpoint. I truly want to believe that. But I really don't see much precedent for it.

Re:Ignore the gyrations of management (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30546976)

I think the fact that you can now buy songs for less than a dollar online pretty much invalidates your entire point here. Stealing is stealing, just like the assholes at grocery that eat grapes before they get to the checkout.

Re:Ignore the gyrations of management (0, Flamebait)

bartwol (117819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30547280)

Watch out about calling it "stealing." That usually gets you a lecture about why it's not the same as stealing (i.e. there's no taking/depriving of an object/material).

There is, however, a breach of contract behind every instance of copyright infringement. So congratulations to all the non-thieves...their behaviors still depend on, and capitalize on, somebody screwing somebody else.

A proud generation? The virtues of good law are likely to prevail. May vote is for the party of greatest integrity. The GP's argument is weak in ethics, and strong only in the everybody-is-doing-it way...the same underlying strength as we saw behind the dot-com bubble and sub-prime mortgage borrowing/lending.

Yes, too often the many are wrong.

Re:Ignore the gyrations of management (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546998)

You can't stop people talking -- and just as we have physical connections to each other, increasingly we have digital connections to one another as well.

Neat theory. You might want to double-check how that's working out in China.

Re:Ignore the gyrations of management (3, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30547064)

You've proven her point. We know what is happening in China. We read blogs about people in China. People who obviously know whats going on in China.

See how well they locked it down? Not as well as you might think.

Re:Ignore the gyrations of management (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30547012)

Baloney. If the MPAA shuts down all the major torrent indexing sites then about 80% of pirating will go away. Sure, extremely tech-savvy people will still pirate, but 99% of people are not tech-savvy enough.

Re:Ignore the gyrations of management (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30547128)

I used to read stuff like this and get upset. But then I realized that my entire generation knows it's baloney. They can't explain it intellectually.

They don't have to, since they have bought the legal system.

Re:Ignore the gyrations of management (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30547220)

tl;dr: ZOMG INTERNETS! you have no chance to survive make your time.

Inducing copyright infringement (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546630)

I assume this is one of those charges that they don't intend to pursue fairly, as FBI warnings, and DVD encryption have done a lot more towards "Inducing copyright infringement" than isoHunt.

Re:Inducing copyright infringement (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546688)

I can understand the DVD encryption argument, but the FBI warning? Is there some sort of subliminal message that makes you want to hit Bittorrent and download copyrighted stuff? Do you have some sort of strange Pavlovian condition where seeing the warning triggers an insatiable desire to hit the Pirate Bay?

Re:Inducing copyright infringement (4, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546834)

Yes. Legitimate copies won't let you skip it. Sometimes even the ads are unskippable. That's minutes of your life wasted for every single legitimate disk you watch. Bootleg copies on the other hand will let you just start watching the movie you wanted to watch.

Something is broken horribly in a world where the knockoffs have full feature and quality parity with the originals and in addition are superior in other ways as well.

Re:Inducing copyright infringement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30546916)

He's talking about the "noskip" function on DVD players that requires you to sit through the FBI Warning and whatever other content has noskip set. People just want to watch the movie they legitimately bought/rented, so they rip the disk and toss out the FBI Warning and whatever other junk the publishers decided was "required watching".

Of course, most people on here probably use a DVD player that ignores noskip, so they don't get too upset about it.

Re:Inducing copyright infringement (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546958)

I think it is more of a case of seeing injustice inspiring a psychological rebellion which in turn ultimately manifests in the form of civil disobedience.

Do you download 20gb of mp3's because you want them or need them? Is it to show off to others? Perhaps, in vary degrees from individual to individual. But for most people, that is reason to download an album or even a few. Escalating that beyond what you want or need is about making a statement. It is also about collecting but the reason for choosing that particular collection goes back to civil disobedience.

Be it conscious or not amassing such a collection is an active statement of disrespect and outrage.

It worked for Gandhi, it worked for black americans, perhaps it can work for copyright restriction as well.

Eh, so what (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30546654)

Private media "clubs" are already taking care of this little problem. This is just another lesson that those who violate the law, no matter how unjust, shouldn't be bragging about it.

Welcome to the 1970s (2, Informative)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546874)

Long live sneakernet, and in the case of the more tech savvy, and private communications.

Oblig. (0, Offtopic)

Supurcell (834022) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546668)

If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could ever imagine.

Re:Oblig. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30546926)

*looks around for Pope Vader / Darth Benedict*, nope, just the DCMA.

I propose an alternative quote

Darth Helmat: I said fire across her nose, not up it!

Suck my nuts fags (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30546728)

I hope you all do time for this.

And for the fucktards who think that piracy only harms corporations? Think again. I find a ton of stuff from small shops and indie artists floating around these sites. So much for the bullshit arguement of 'I would support them if most of the money goes to the artist'

Re:Suck my nuts fags (2, Interesting)

Arker (91948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30547260)

And for the fucktards who think that piracy only harms corporations? Think again. I find a ton of stuff from small shops and indie artists floating around these sites.

That means it is *benefiting* small shops and indie artists as well as the big corporations, actually. You completely misunderstand/misrepresent the dynamic. Grey-market downloads, *particularly* those from "small shops and indie artists" increase their exposure and (if the content isnt total crap, and the seller doesnt shoot their own foot by making the product for sale obviously *inferior* to the grey-market version) drive sales up, not down.

Search Engine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30546736)

This judgement basically all search engines are guilty of the same. So long Internet. Enjoy it while it lasts. It will all be pay as go from now on.

Most BitTorrent sites submit entries to Google (3, Interesting)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546766)

so will the MAFIAA then sue Google for caching the Torrent entries and listing links to them in their search engine?

Don't believe me, do a Google search by adding the word "torrent" to any downloadable product type.

Google "$show torrents" sometime and see what happens.

Google "Windows 7 Ultimate torrent" and see what happens.

Google "Elvis torrent" and see what happens.

Did you find some links to torrent sites and entries that allows a person to download a torrent? Google is becoming a massive torrent search engine. But the MAFIAA won't sue Google because they are too big a target and have expensive lawyers on their side.

All ISOHunt and other torrent sites are just search engines like Google, but they differ from Google in that they host BitTorrent trackers and torrent files.

Blame Canada ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30546844)

Here -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7UKllR0Edo

If a lawyer attains a high level of scumbaggery... (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 4 years ago | (#30547204)

...he becomes a judge.

This stinks of a fix. I hope somebody can find grounds for an appeal.

Effective (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#30547234)

I'm so glad sites like this and especially The Pirate Bay get shut down. Oh, wait...

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