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153 comments

What are you doing here? (5, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31010050)

Seems like universities don't understand who's paying the bills... this job shouldn't have existed in the first place. Nobody from the school should be in the business of making copyright accusations. That's the RIAA's job, and they're doing a heck of a job.

Re:What are you doing here? (1, Informative)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31010072)

Doesn't seem like that was actually a part of his job, he was just blackmailing them with information he misappropriated from work.

Re:What are you doing here? (5, Informative)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31010212)

Mods on crack as usual. GP (modded "Troll") is correct (according to the article, anyway) and parent (modded "Informative") is wrong.

Dehelean was employed in IT security support, according to police. He reportedly was in charge of monitoring illegal music downloads on university computers.

Re:What are you doing here? (2, Interesting)

kkwst2 (992504) | more than 4 years ago | (#31011550)

Not sure who's on crack, but I disagree with you. His job from your quote was monitoring, which says nothing about "making copyright accusations" and certainly not extorting the students. So the GP (your parent) is more correct in my book.

The GGP seems to think that just because the students are paying tuition that the university should just turn a blind eye to illegal activity on their network? That just doesn't make sense. Whether or not you think it should be illegal is another thing, but the school certainly has every right to monitor their networks.

Re:What are you doing here? (2, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31011870)

"but the school certainly has every right to monitor their networks."

I disagree - strongly. The school is NOT supposed to be a police force, period. The ONLY things a campus should police is the physical safety of it's staff, students, and visitors. No school should attempt to be the moral enforcement arm of government, or of corporate America. I find it offensive to think that some schools aid and abet the extortion racket that RIAA engages in.

Re:What are you doing here? (4, Insightful)

tkohler (806572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31012776)

TFA says the position was to monitor "University Computers". The university DOES have a right and obligation to keep their own computers (I assume this means office workers, staff, labs and etc.) free of "illegal" downloads, especially since the RIAA would likely see the university as a deep pocket, not to mention viruses, malware and other costly IT problems. I agree with your point for student-owned computers, even using the university network.

Re:What are you doing here? (4, Interesting)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 4 years ago | (#31012814)

Yeah, his job only existed because they received so many RIAA requests that they needed a full time person to handle them...what a waste of money.

For those who don't know...the setup with academic institutions (maybe tied to some payment/government funds/agreement) is that all the RIAA has to do is send them a letter with the IP and content. The school will then go and find the kid and give them some sort of a slap on the wrist and tell them not to do it again. At my university, they kicked you off the network until you talked to the assistant dean of students. First offense was a slap on the wrist (delivered with the apathetic "yeah...we have to do this...its wrong...don't do it again" that you would expect). Second offense was a $2000 fine. Third offense was unclear but involved a disciplinary hearing...doubt anyone ever got past the second offense.

Compare this to how it works with a normal ISP: RIAA sends a letter with IP and content, ISP says "wtf is this?", RIAA says "we want their info", ISP says "as soon as you have a court order". ISP's have a bottom line to worry about and aren't going to pay someone to do what universities do (and their service agreements probably prevent it) and they are not going to turn over customer information without a subpoena (well...in theory). At the same time, the RIAA is not going to waste lawyer dollars getting a subpoena for every single infringer. It is much easier to spend the lawyer dollars writing letters to offenders with IP's in an academic institutions block--it kicks off one filesharer and scares them and their friends into being more careful in the future since they know that someone can see what they are doing.

Re:What are you doing here? (1, Redundant)

JerryLove (1158461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31011896)

He reportedly was in charge of monitoring illegal music downloads on university computers.

Wouldn't this be more useful to stop than just monitor?

In Soviet Russia: Music downloads you.

Carefully poised attack against RIAA/MPAA (1)

fibrewire (1132953) | more than 4 years ago | (#31012948)

I can see it now...

Dehelean - "I just wanted the students to be protected, and i provided a valuable service"
RIAA - "Well you were blatantly extorting the students, and do not own the product in question"
Dehelean - "We'll you don't own the product in question either"
RIAA - "We are directly responsible for the security of our primary source of income - consumers"
Dehelean - "And I am directly responsible for the security of my primary source of income - students"

It should have been patented! (4, Funny)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31010068)

This is why we need business method patents!

Re:It should have been patented! (4, Informative)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 4 years ago | (#31010792)

This is why we need business method patents!

The Mafia would have prior art claims over the RIAA and MPAA.

Re:It should have been patented! (5, Funny)

zill (1690130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31011230)

This is why we need business method patents!

The Mafia would have prior art claims over the RIAA and MPAA.

I thought "Mafia" was just Italian for RIAA?

Re:It should have been patented! (4, Insightful)

ClarifyAmbiguity (683603) | more than 4 years ago | (#31011580)

This is why we need business method patents!

The Mafia would have prior art claims over the RIAA and MPAA.

And the government would have prior art claims over the Mafia!

Re:It should have been patented! (4, Funny)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 4 years ago | (#31012658)

This is why we need business method patents!

The Mafia would have prior art claims over the RIAA and MPAA.

And the government would have prior art claims over the Mafia!

I think the prostitutes are eventually going to win this argument.

Re:It should have been patented! (1)

burkmat (1016684) | more than 4 years ago | (#31012202)

...and since when has prior art actually mattered when BigCorp is obtaining a patent?

I want that job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31010084)

He reportedly was in charge of monitoring illegal music downloads on university computers. Dehelean's position paid nearly $50,000, according to state records

I want that job and I'd actually do it ethically and legally.

$50K/yr to look at the output of some scripts? Where do I sign up!

Re:I want that job (2, Informative)

PuckstopperGA (1204112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31012956)

I work at UGA. While I didn't know this guy, I do know he did a lot of work in campus-wide anti-virus. So his job was a lot more than just e-mailing students who sparked a DMCA letter.

Re:I want that job (1)

PuckstopperGA (1204112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31012980)

Er that should read "he did a lot of work in campus-wide anti-virus SOLUTIONS." That's what I get for posting while eating lunch at my desk.

Re:I want that job (2, Informative)

millia (35740) | more than 4 years ago | (#31012966)

Well, he did have another job function that I know of, but they didn't mention it in the article.

Always fun when you see your place of employment in a newspaper article.

University Legal Services? (5, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31010126)

I don't know about UGA, but when I went to college all students were covered with free lawyers and lawyers-in-training from the law school on campus for any dispute that didn't involve the university. They helped me fight off an MPAA attack when they didn't like my posting on Slashdot.

It should be a selling point to students that they'll be okay if they just need a little help by proving they did nothing wrong. Again, what side is UGA on here?

Re:University Legal Services? (-1, Troll)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31010224)

>It should be a selling point to students that they'll be okay if they just need a little help by proving they did nothing wrong. Again, what side is UGA on here?

Ah, yes, because people go to university to engage in illegal activities...

Re:University Legal Services? (4, Funny)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 4 years ago | (#31011018)

Children, there's a time and a place for everything. It's called college.

--Chef

Re:University Legal Services? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31011126)

"Proving they did nothing wrong" might be tough. Baseless accusations are easy to form substance around in real life... turning all against the one is an art that's hard to teach, but lawyers do it pretty well.

Re:University Legal Services? (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31011374)

Proving they did nothing wrong might be tough, true.
Handling an independent extortionist is easy.
1 fueled chainsaw + 1 injection well where human eyes will never pry over the lifetime of the species + 1 extortionist who obviously hasn't contacted any authorities and has no plans to = service to mankind/ priceless.

Re:University Legal Services? (3, Interesting)

calibre-not-output (1736770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31011382)

The thing is, they don't have to prove they did nothing wrong. They just have to prove that the accusation's "proof" that they did something wrong is bull. The wonders of our legal system: innocent until proven guilty, much to the dismay of patent and copyright trolls everywhere.

Re:University Legal Services? (4, Interesting)

SnapShot (171582) | more than 4 years ago | (#31010234)

Sounds interesting, is there a story behind that? What did you post on /. that got the MPAA's panties in a bunch?

Re:University Legal Services? (4, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31010324)

Yes, I'm intrigued to know too as it implies that Slashdot possibly handed over his details in response to a complaint from the MPAA.

Re:University Legal Services? (3, Interesting)

Bagels (676159) | more than 4 years ago | (#31010984)

...or that it was publicly available from his account (in the form of email address or homepage link) at the time.

I think I remember Slashdot being forced to turn over details in a Scientology case, but I don't remember any others.

Re:University Legal Services? (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#31012130)

I think I remember Slashdot being forced to turn over details in a Scientology case, but I don't remember any others

Or, they've happened, but Slashdot is keeping quiet about it... </conspiracy>

Re:University Legal Services? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31010596)

I bet it was trollish lies.

Re:University Legal Services? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31010696)

Nope, no lies. I, Anonymous Coward, will personally attest:

1) The MPAA kicked LostCluster's basket of kittens, meant for a local Nunnery;
2) The MPAA used LostCluster's late Grandmother's casket as a toboggan last winter;
3) The MPAA peed, and continues to pee, in LostCluster's Cheerios;

Re:University Legal Services? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31010370)

I never had to fight off the MAFIAA when I was in college, but I once got a lawyer from my university's Student Legal Services after my landlord refused to repair a pretty serious problem in my apartment.

For better or worse, though, he got the problem fixed before I was able to lawyer up.

Re:University Legal Services? (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#31010828)

My guess is that the university hired this guy to avoid having to provide legal aid to students -- i.e., catch them before the RIAA does and handle the matter internally. It would be nice if they took a hard line in defense of students' rights instead, but you can't necessarily expect them to do that. It seems like universities' responses to the RIAA's anti-student campaign have been all over the map. A few do defend their students to the end, more actively collaborate with the RIAA, and most are somewhere in the middle. State schools are in a particular bind, of course, since (a) most of them are having serious financial problems these days, and (b) they depend for much of their budgets on easily-bought state legislators.

Re:University Legal Services? (-1, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31012614)

Yes, the universities are wrong for trying to uphold the law.

WTF

Don't like the law? CHANGE IT, don't bitch at people following the rules.

Re:University Legal Services? (1, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#31012762)

So Rosa Parks was wrong for not giving up her seat.

Right.

Re:University Legal Services? (2, Interesting)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 4 years ago | (#31013190)

Legally, yes. Should the law have existed, no. Just because Rosa Parks was used as a banner for a movement that needed to happen does not mean that her individual crime was good. The law must be upheld or we have chaos (I know, some of you would like this). I am glad that there is now greater equality between people (largely as a result of citizens acting within the law rather than, as with Rosa Parks, against it, however unjust - lawful assemblies, petitions, freedom marches, etc. - and even some of these were assaulted, though this was usually outside the law).

Are there times when breaking the law is appropriate? Definitely - but over music or which seat/not-seat you are going to be on in a bus? I think not. If it is a matter of life or death (for instance with those who are oppressed in China, then breaking the law, which will have consequences, strikes me as appropriate).

And yes, sadly I don't match my own standard, but we have to start somewhere.

Re:University Legal Services? (3, Insightful)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 4 years ago | (#31013278)

Are you equating the battle for equal civil rights to allowing people to freely download songs they don't want to pay for? Really?

Re:University Legal Services? (3, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#31011212)

?It should be a selling point to students that they'll be okay if they just need a little help by proving they did nothing wrong.

The fact that the burden of proof is on the students to begin with shows how fucked up the system is.

Aaaah, the double standard. (3, Interesting)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31010166)

If you own the content and threaten to sue, it's good business. If you don't own the content and threaten to help someone sue, it's extortion.

The blackmail is despicable. But the whitemail is hardly pristine.

Re:Aaaah, the double standard. (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31010228)

How can you possibly "own content?" I believe you mean, "hold a copyright on the media."

Re:Aaaah, the double standard. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31010836)

How can someone possibly "hold copyright on the media"? I believe you mean "hold copyright on a creative work".

Re:Aaaah, the double standard. (2, Funny)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 4 years ago | (#31012454)

How can someone possibly "hold copyright on the media"?

Blu-Ray, anyone?

Re:Aaaah, the double standard. (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#31012786)

Circumventing DRM on a bluray disc counts as circumvention of a copyright protection measure. That is DMCA territory, related to copyright, but not totally the same thing.

And yes, the DMCA is absolute bullshit, I agree.

Re:Aaaah, the double standard. (1)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 4 years ago | (#31011114)

I believe you mean, "hold a copyright on the media."

Ah, it shows again why discussions on copyright are so often confusing, as people don't even understand the underlying concepts.

You can "hold a copyright" on the content. That is: the data (or recorded signal in case of analog media), the intangible asset. What you "hold" is basically a legal agreement between a group of people (read: in the form of copyright laws & international treaties). No less, no more. This is the valueable part, and is what's usually meant when referring to "content owner". In the case of end-user, he/she owns nothing here.

The media OTOH, is just the physical representation, the real-world hardware that carries the data. This is the tangible, and not-so-valueable part, since it's easy to reproduce physical media at will, or make countless digital copies. But as end-user, this you do own, and for the full 100% (since you are free to physically manipulate, destroy, cut in half, or shoot into space your precious DVD's/harddisks/USB-sticks/audio tapes etc.).

So: you don't "hold a copyright on the media". You hold a copyright on the data (the content), or you own the physical media that carries it. And these 2 options can apply at the same time.

There's nothing wrong with protecting ones rights (5, Insightful)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#31010600)

I'm really sick of all the idiots on the Internet who really see no difference between someone protecting the legal rights granted to them by Congress (who received a mandate [or if mandate is too strong a word, at least explicit permission] to do so directly from the Constitution), and some idiot who has no right to ask you for money.

Now, I know someone is going to bring up an argument that RIAA are a bunch of rent-seeking squatters who screw the artists, and it should be the artists who hold the copyrights, not RIAA which is a third party, so how is the RIAA any different from the guy in this article? Here's the simple truth: the difference is that the artists agreed to the terms offered to them by the RIAA member labels, and received compensation. Now, I'm no fan of the RIAA. I think the best thing that could happen to music would be for a few other labels to arise that truly compete with the RIAA (both competing to sign artists with more favorable terms, and competing to sell the products to customers with more favorable terms), but the fact remains that the artists signed away their copyrights and accepted the money. Even though they may have been in a position where they didn't think they could get better terms from any other labels, ultimately they are adults who voluntarily accepted those terms, and made a business deal, and the RIAA has done nothing illegal. The copyright statutes allow for the transfer of copyright.

So long as the RIAA-members have legally obtained their copyrights, they are well within their legal rights. If you don't like the way the copyright laws currently exist, then you need to work hard to get them changed. But, it's easier to just violate copyright law than to actually effect change (either by getting a popular movement started to change copyright and convince people that the changes are just and necessary, OR by starting up some competition and letting the Free Market solve the problem - both of which are hard work), so people take the lazy way out. They just make illegal copies, and blame everybody else.

Re:There's nothing wrong with protecting ones righ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31010786)

Law != Justice

Re:There's nothing wrong with protecting ones righ (1)

calibre-not-output (1736770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31011502)

I feel the need to point out the exception of "fair use". That is predicted in the law and the RIAA, MPAA et. al. choose to ignore it anyway. when they do that, they're acting illegally, committing blackmail and just being general assholes. Of course they're assholes either way, but in the other cases they do it legally.

Re:There's nothing wrong with protecting ones righ (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 4 years ago | (#31011934)

Congress (who received a mandate [or if mandate is too strong a word, at least explicit permission] to do so directly from the Constitution)

Mandate is too strong a word. The Constitution empowers Congress to grant copyrights, or not, as they see fit, subject to a few restrictions, but it neither requires them to do so, nor encourages them.

Re:There's nothing wrong with protecting ones righ (5, Insightful)

JerryLove (1158461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31011980)

And if the RIAA were practicing due dilligence to avoid accusing the innocent, and if the RIAA were making sure to only persue copyrights it actually owns, and if the RIAA were behaving legally and ethically in its investigation, and if the RIAA was attempting a good-faith protection of copyright (they seem to just see this as a revenue stream), and if the penalties were sane, then I would agree with you.

I support copyright, though I oppose that it's been extended to a century or more here in the US. I oppose piracy when there are good legitemate alternatives. That's a far cry from supporting an organization that takes exorbitant money from the innocent because it can.

Re:There's nothing wrong with protecting ones righ (1)

fibrewire (1132953) | more than 4 years ago | (#31013076)

the difference is that the college agreed to the terms offered to them by the Network Administration member labels, and received compensation.

Re:Aaaah, the double standard. (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31010896)

The RIAA isn't threatening to sue, its more you broke the law, here's a settlement and we don't go to the courts who are going to fine you 2x what we are offering.
 
That being said I would like to see a requirement that the courts need be notified of these dealings.

Re:Aaaah, the double standard. (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31011090)

> The RIAA isn't threatening to sue...

Yes they are.

> ...it's more you broke the law...

The law gives them the right to sue by making copyright infringement a tort.

> ...the courts who are going to fine you...

It is not a fine. It is an award of damages. Fines go to the government. Damage awards go to the plaintiff.

Shoulda stayed away from crack. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31010190)

Couldn't live off his 50k cuz he's a crack feind.

Isn't about RIAA/copyright, is social engineering (5, Interesting)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 4 years ago | (#31010194)

This is actually a pretty common scam.

1. Find something that the target group is aware of that "threatens" them
2. Build up a cover that you are in a position to make that happen to them sooner
3. Claim you can make it go away for $$$. Enough so you make some money, but low enough that the target can scrounge it up.
3. ALTERNATE Pretend to be on the targets side. Say you can call a guy and do them a favor and be all sly and help a brother out for a few bucks compared to massive fines or legal action.
4. Cover your tracks and don't get too greedy and be ready to drop and run. This is where the guy in the article failed.
5. Profit

Re:Isn't about RIAA/copyright, is social engineeri (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31010236)

It's called a "Protection Racket", and it's not a 'scam' as much as 'extortion'. 'Scam' would imply more fraud than demanding something under threat.

Re:Isn't about RIAA/copyright, is social engineeri (4, Funny)

berashith (222128) | more than 4 years ago | (#31010430)

That sure is a mighty fine music and movie collection you have downloaded. Sure would be a shame if something were to happen to it.

Re:Isn't about RIAA/copyright, is social engineeri (2, Funny)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 4 years ago | (#31011306)

Do I read this correctly, you're threathening the Anonymous Coward?

Re:Isn't about RIAA/copyright, is social engineeri (3, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#31012344)

Do I read this correctly, you're threathening the Anonymous Coward?

What, like he's going to threaten the Anonymous Hero?

Re:Isn't about RIAA/copyright, is social engineeri (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31012200)

Protection Racket implies the one taking the money is also the one doing the damage.

In this case, it's blackmail; the blackmailer is providing information to someone else who will do the damage.

1) Student downloads copyrighted material
2) Shifty university "copyright monitor" tech detects download
3) Tech contacts student and says "Pay up, or I'll turn you in"
4) PROFIT!

Re:Isn't about RIAA/copyright, is social engineeri (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31010322)

This person speaks the truth. It works up to a trans-national scale, too:

1) "Terrorism"
2) "You're either with us, or against us."
3) Hosting a "War on Terror" all while supporting nations like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Yes, both the step and its alternate are practiced at the same time!
4) Run away like the US in Afghanistan. Also, limit independent media access to Afghani and Iraqi battlefields.
5) Profit

Re:Isn't about RIAA/copyright, is social engineeri (1)

sn00pers (1005173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31010514)

Exactly. This has nothing to do with the RIAA or their methods. This is simply a scan artist conducting an illegal scam by making false copyright claim. As opposed to the RIAA who represents people who have actual copyright material that is actually being stolen. If anyone here had property of theirs stolen, they would immediately call the police. The artists and record labels don't have the ability to call the police and legal action is their only protection. And now everyone can unleash their negative karma points because someone dare not support stealing other people's property so long as it's music or movies.

"a" not "an" :) (0, Offtopic)

bassdrop (693216) | more than 4 years ago | (#31010252)

Just a quick grammar Nazi point, it should be "a University", not "an University"...

Sorry this one annoys me, just because a word or acronym begin with a vowel does not mean you should use "an".

Re:"a" not "an" :) (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31010320)

Here is *a* useful article:

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/540/01/

Re:"a" not "an" :) (1)

Luthe_Faydwire (700369) | more than 4 years ago | (#31010532)

This is why I hate English. The amount of code that would be necessary to check if "a" or "an" should be used in any instance is insane.

Re:"a" not "an" :) (1)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 4 years ago | (#31012000)

In a procedural way it'd be impossible, but it's simple enough to check if the next word begins with a vowel or an H. It would nab most, though not all. The only problems would be stuff like acronyms beginning with H (so non-silent). These are the same problems that plague auto-capitalization (for instance, a word processor trying to deal with someone writing about "U.S. foreign policy", which it would auto-correct to "U.S. Foreign policy"), but 'a' vs 'an' isn't a huge jump from that.

Re:"a" not "an" :) (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31012868)

The only problems would be stuff like acronyms beginning with H (so non-silent).

Is that an universal rule? An helpful tip, if so. Honestly, though, a clear and consistent English rule is about as rare as an unicorn. ;)

Re:"a" not "an" :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31010592)

And, from the relevant part of the article:

  • a + singular noun beginning with a consonant sound: a user (sounds like 'yoo-zer,' i.e. begins with a consonant 'y' sound, so 'a' is used); a university; a unicycle

Re:"a" not "an" :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31011568)

an understatement; an umbrella

Re:"a" not "an" :) (1)

meldex (1255142) | more than 4 years ago | (#31010694)

...but shouldn't it "a university" not "a University". If you going to be the "Gramar Nazi", please do it right.

Re:"a" not "an" :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31012096)

...but shouldn't it be "a university" not "a University". If you are going to be the "Grammar Nazi", please do it right.

FTFY

Re:"a" not "an" :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31010714)

Sorry this one annoys me, just because a word or acronym begin with a vowel does not mean you should use "an".

Wow! An honest slashdot poster! ; )

"begins" not "begin" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31010774)

This one doesn't annoy me, but just because you're talking about one of two possibilities does not mean you should refer to it as plural.

That feigned, sarcastic apology people make before making a statement? That annoys me.

Re:"a" not "an" :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31011762)

Looks more like a typo to me. Don't let it get your panties in a bind. There are more important things in the world to worry about.

There's a word for this... (3, Interesting)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 4 years ago | (#31010268)

...and I think it's "asshole". Wow, what a jerk.

That said, this is the sort of situation that inevitably arises when violating the law. If you steal cars, and someone steals your stolen goods -- or tries to extort protection money from you, who are you going to call? A considerable proportion of organized crime exists because of this quandary. Ergo, my guess is that the lid was blown off this situation when the miscreant, probably carelessly, tried to lean on a student who wasn't actually pirating anything.

Re:There's a word for this... (1)

moeinvt (851793) | more than 4 years ago | (#31011794)

Agreed, the guy's a complete arsehole

Recall however that in a "protection racket" ,contrary to popular fiction, there is often an actual service provided, and a profit motive involved. In your analogy, the person stealing cars is financially motivated, and is giving up a share of the profits for protection. This guy's scheme is simple blackmail. "Give me money, or I'll rat you out". If the person had been downloading content for financial gain and the guy had offered to keep the log files clean in exchange for a cut, at least it would have been a business transaction. This guy was just an extortionist, and also a jerk.

Re:There's a word for this... (2, Interesting)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 4 years ago | (#31012046)

This is known as a Mexican Standoff - when two groups who are in trouble with the law, and neither group is able to turn the other in without incriminating/exposing themselves. The idea of police reducing sentences for people who provide evidence was designed to stop this; people then have a better chance of being able to turn in fellow criminals and not suffer as much as they would be if they had been turned in. The problem is that no "solution" to this problem is perfect, and there are endless Game Theory-esque permutations that arose when people tried to find one.

Re:There's a word for this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31012092)

If you steal cars, and someone steals your stolen goods -- or tries to extort protection money from you, who are you going to call?

Someone I can trust, who knows how to keep their mouth shut
and won't freak out in the event that someone is [un]expectedly killed.

Re:There's a word for this... (1)

jimthehorsegod (1210220) | more than 4 years ago | (#31012906)

That said, this is the sort of situation that inevitably arises when violating the law. If you steal cars, and someone steals your stolen goods -- or tries to extort protection money from you, who are you going to call?

Well, I would have thought that was obvious [imdb.com]

The rotten apple in the bag (3, Insightful)

Logibeara (1620627) | more than 4 years ago | (#31010354)

Can anyone name a carreer field where corruption hasn't existed? Seems like there's always at least one guy(or girl) figuring out if it's profitable or not.

Re:The rotten apple in the bag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31011088)

The Church.
Id love to go into detail but Father Cardagin said he needed to have a word with me in private. Something about adding me to his movie collection

Copyright Paranoia (4, Interesting)

ari_j (90255) | more than 4 years ago | (#31010892)

In a related issue, I recently had an eBay listing pulled, stating that a copyright holder had ordered it to be taken down for violating their copyright. It was in fact an original, unopened DVD package (not salable through Half.com). Not an unlawful copy, and explicitly allowed by the first-sale doctrine, which is part of US copyright law. I contacted eBay and they gave me an e-mail address to contact the "Verified Rights Owner (VeRO)", who has an agreement with eBay that requires them not to abuse their power to take down listings.

In this case, the VeRO is well-known for taking down legitimate listings in order to ensure that nobody buys their product second-hand. The VeRO, of course, has zero incentive to do any investigation into whether they were incorrect, since (a) they already got their cookies by eliminating a market competitor and (b) eBay will not do anything about it if they were wrong. In my case, the VeRO contact person actually bragged to me about taking down "hundreds of listings every day."

I've heard of similar stories involving other VeROs. The best part is that you can't relist the item safely, since it'll get taken down again and eBay will be happy to revoke your account if you have a couple of strikes for "copyright violation." It's a really crummy deal, but it's part of the copyright idiocy that we live with today. If you run a used bookstore or music store, I hope you have a good insurance policy and a lawyer on retainer. Someone is going to come in with the torches any day to make sure that people only buy new copies of their content. If we could do this to make other consumer goods more rapidly consumed, we'd be a step closer to a Brave New World.

Re:Copyright Paranoia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31011166)

The problem is eBay. GTFO from eBay and you'll be a happy man.

Re:Copyright Paranoia (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 4 years ago | (#31012524)

I'm trying to talk to eBay to resolve it still. In the meantime, I am not giving them a dime, even though there are items that I want and cannot find for sale anywhere else. :)

Re:Copyright Paranoia (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31011258)

Sounds like something to let the media blow out of proportion. Ars Technia might give half a shit if you have enough documentation, CNN won't.

Re:Copyright Paranoia (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 4 years ago | (#31012550)

I was hoping it would get blown out of proportion by a class-action attorney. ;)

Evidence??? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31010966)

So we have the accusation of one student to school security. This student has no apparent proof and noone else is corroberating the story. I would err towards taking the word of the business professional over the college student who admits breaking the law by downloading copyright works... but I guess it's not as good a story if you question the premise.

Re:Evidence??? (3, Informative)

PuckstopperGA (1204112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31012924)

Police set up a sting operation and had a plain clothes officer meet the employee who demanded the money.

How 'bout them dogs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31011296)

Piss on 'em (for stealing from others)

Obligatory IANAL, but... (1)

Sardaukar0 (541236) | more than 4 years ago | (#31011304)

...seems to me that this could end up being a good thing. IT staffer extorts students, making sure to conspicuously duplicate the RIAA's methods, and in court, he offers the RIAA defense. The jury rightfully swats this down and convicts him of extortion. Now, future victims of RIAA extortion lawsuits have a precedent to point to. Maybe he planned this whole thing to make noise and draw attention to the despicable RIAA methods, but then maybe I'm interpreting altruistic motives where none exist.

Re:Obligatory IANAL, but... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31011520)

Umm, no. While the RIAA is despicable, they have actual legal standing to claim damages (as much as I may disagree). They can go to a court and use the legal process (i.e. laws on the books) to exact money out of file sharers. The IT guy is not using the legal system (he has no standing to do so) and is in fact committing actual crimes.

This IT Guy . . . (1)

hduff (570443) | more than 4 years ago | (#31011342)

. . . is on the path to an MBA or law school and then into politics.

Be very afraid.

Question About Universities' Position on Copyright (4, Interesting)

dragmar (808158) | more than 4 years ago | (#31011670)

If there is a position at a University created to monitor copyright violations, are they not acknowledging a copyright violation on their network is their responsibility and if violated can now be held accountable? (Please forgive my English, its my primary language)

He'll be sleeping with the fishes soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31012324)

The MAFIAA doesn't like it when somebody tries to grab a piece of the action without first clearing it with the don and giving him his cut.
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