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Judge Allows Subpoenas For Internet Users

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the naming-names dept.

Privacy 338

crimeandpunishment writes "A federal judge has ruled that the company holding a movie copyright can subpoena the names of people who are accused of illegally downloading and distributing the film. The judge ruled that courts have maintained that once people convey subscriber information to their Internet service providers, they no longer have an expectation of privacy."

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So... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33545346)

... being an anonymous coward is the only way to protect my privacy?

Poooh (4, Funny)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545354)

Am I glad that my ISP account is registered to my cat.

Re:Poooh (5, Funny)

SQL Error (16383) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545382)

When cats are outlawed, only outlaws will have cats. Also, internet access.

Re:Poooh (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545658)

"Am I glad that my ISP account is registered to my cat."

Am I glad I'm mooching off your cats router! (Cue new Prison Cat meme.)

Re:Poooh (1)

codegen (103601) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545930)

(Cue new Prison Cat meme.)

iCanMoochCheezburger.com?

Re:Poooh (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33545844)

Am I glad that my ISP account is registered to my cat.

My cat refused to let me register it in his name :(

Hrm (4, Insightful)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545358)

Not sure if I agree with this or not. Subpoena's for information are generally thought to override any concern aside from providing the information requested (or, if an order to appear in court, than appearing in court). As a matter of privacy-rights, I think this judge is off his/her rocker. Seriously.

Re:Hrm (5, Insightful)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545662)

RIP
Privacy
December 15, 1791 - September 11, 2001
You had a good run...
You were too good for us.

Re:Hrm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33546166)

September 11, 2001

Hmm... changing the subject, or typo?

Re:Hrm (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545680)

As a matter of privacy-rights, I think this judge is off his/her rocker. Seriously.

Why? As someone recently said in a discussion on software and business method patents, adding "on a computer" changes nothing significant. Making something available for download is no different than putting a garage sale sign in your front yard - you've voluntarily given up your right to privacy by announcing to the world that you have something available for the public to take advantage of.
 
Nor is this really any different than someone in a civil case who has your license plate number subpoenaing the DMV for your name and address, or subpoenaing your credit card records. (Both of these happen all the time.) You can't create a 'right' (to privacy) out of thin air or contrary to other principles of the law.

Re:Hrm (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33545754)

Nor is this really any different than someone in a civil case who has your license plate number subpoenaing the DMV for your name and address, or subpoenaing your credit card records. (Both of these happen all the time.)

Do they, though? Without, say, a police report showing evidence of an accident, with ensuing criminal penalties for plaintiffs for filing a false police report? Or an adversarial hearing (with both parties present) for the defendant to protest the release of private information?

Re:Hrm (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33546044)

>>>Why?

Because if I have "no expectation of privacy" from my ISP, then that means they could publish all my information on their website in public view of everyone. My name, address, phone, credit card name (BofA), which sites I like to visit (sleepysex.com), or files download (sexygrandma.torrent). It is a lousy, lousy ruling.

Maybe it's time for us engineers/programmers to quit our jobs and become lawyers/judges because it's clear the current persons don't know jack about technology (see yesterday's ruling that says software can not be resold by a customer).

Re:Hrm (1)

Xyrus (755017) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545770)

They can subpoena your phone records from your service provider. How is this any different?

If you're infringing or breaking the law and someone has adequate proof of such, then I don't see where the problem is. You may be opposed to the law, but that doesn't change the fact that they can sue your ass and subpoena information.

You're right to privacy goes out the door once you're breaking the law. After that, they can get warrants and subpoenas to invade your privacy in any number of ways.

Re:Hrm (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545916)

Thats actually not true. If they have sufficient proof that its possible you did something illegal, they can only search areas of your house specifically outline in a warrant. For example, they can't tear your entire house apart without discretion if they have a reason to believe you are hiding illegal substances in a wall safe. The problem with this in particular is that an IP address is not sufficient "proof" that any particular person is breaking the law. Any computer connected through a router, or wireless router to an internet connection could be the offending machine. Too often this law is abused by sue happy lawyers trying to extort money from people in settlements, since it costs way more money to defend yourself than to just settle. Even if you did absolutely nothing wrong you still may be forced to settle for financial reasons. What it boils down to is that this ruling is a blatant attempt at allowing these lawyers to continue abusing the law for profit.

Re:Hrm (2, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33546082)

Warrants? Ha.

Police now write their own warrants. And apparently you've not seen the videos on youtube where cops bust into citizens homes SS-style, shoot the pet dog or cat, and then start tearing into everything to find that gram of marijuana (you evil drug-sniffing scum).

The US is no longer the "free" country the Founders created in the 1780s. The Constitution is now just an inconvenient piece of paper that they pretend to pay lip service too but ignore, because they'd rather treat us like Wards of the government, rather than Sovereign individuals with rights.

Re:Hrm (5, Informative)

besalope (1186101) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545956)

They can subpoena your phone records from your service provider. How is this any different?

If you're infringing or breaking the law and someone has adequate proof of such, then I don't see where the problem is. You may be opposed to the law, but that doesn't change the fact that they can sue your ass and subpoena information.

You're right to privacy goes out the door once you're breaking the law. After that, they can get warrants and subpoenas to invade your privacy in any number of ways.

Law enforcement can subpoena for your phone records if you've been accused a breaking a criminal law. This ruling is saying a Privately held company that is accusing you of committing a civil infraction can now subpoena for your information.

Law enforcement has a right, as we've given any hopes of privacy from them away years ago. A private company however should not have the right to start subpoena issuing based of their "investigation" work we've seen thus far. Case in point: That old lady that had been sued by the RIAA a couple years ago that didn't even have a computer. [afterdawn.com] or RIAA suing the dead [theregister.co.uk]

Re:Hrm (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33546120)

>>>That old lady that had been sued by the RIAA a couple years ago that didn't even have a computer. or RIAA suing the dead

Or RIAA suing teenagers that are not yet legal adults, and have no money (no job) to buy songs even if they wanted to. RIAA truly is out of control, and I still think a bullet in the CEO's head would do a lot of good for the American People. Yes I know they'd replace him but maybe the next CEO, fearing for his life, would stop terrorizing the public with extortion letters/lawsuits.

"From time to time the Tree of Liberty must be watered with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants. Rebellion is its natural manure." - Thomas Jefferson, 3rd president, author of Declaration of Independence, founder of the Democrats, and author of the phrase "separation of church and state"

Re:Hrm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33546196)

Or RIAA suing teenagers that are not yet legal adults, and have no money (no job) to buy songs even if they wanted to.

Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize that not having money for trivial items was adequate justification for stealing them.

Re:Hrm (3, Insightful)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 3 years ago | (#33546216)

You're at a membership-only swimming pool at 3 pm on the 11th. There are four other people at the pool. Your wallet is stolen. The owners of the pool refuse to tell you who the other four members were. What do you do?

First you call the police. But if they don't help, you file a John Doe lawsuit and subpoena the pool for the identities of the other four members present. Then you speak to each one. And if you can figure out which one did it, you amend the lawsuit replacing John Doe with that individual.

That's how it's done. That's how it's been done since I don't know when. What makes you think the Internet should be any different?

Re:Hrm (2, Insightful)

FridayBob (619244) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545816)

... As a matter of privacy-rights, I think this judge is off his/her rocker. ...

... or corrupt.

It's 1984 all over again (2)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545386)

It's amazing how prescient George Orwell was. His timing was off, but his prediction of a surveillance society police state was right on the money.

Re:It's 1984 all over again (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33545592)

You know, it never ceases to sicken me how people compare things to 1984 without having a clue about the book. 1984 wasn't the real date in the book - no-one knew the real date and they guessed it as 1984. Also surveillance wasn't done by companies like your ISP, it was done by the government through telescreens. He also predicted we'd have no shoes and various other things.

1984 is a great book. So do us all a favor and go and fucking read it before you compare anything to it.

Re:It's 1984 all over again (-1, Troll)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545698)

Do fuck off little troll. I've no doubt I first read it before you were born. And there's nothing wrong with my analogy.

Re:It's 1984 all over again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33545874)

Yes there is. Orwell wasn't pretending to be a prophet or a stage mystic. The book is in no way a prediction, it's a novel, a fiction, but one in which the author expresses various ideas, opinions, misgivings, reactions and fears. The date 1984 was chosen only because Orwell wrote the book in 1948 (it was published the following year); to pick a date for the title he merely reversed the 4 and the 8.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four#History_and_title

"Moreover, in the novel 1985 (1978), Anthony Burgess proposes that Orwell, disillusioned by the Cold War's onset, intended to title the book 1948. The introduction to the Penguin Books Modern Classics edition of Nineteen Eighty-Four, reports that Orwell originally set 1980 as the story's time, but the extended writing led to re-titling the novel, first, to 1982, then to 1984, because it is an inversion of the 1948 composition year."

pot meets kettle (1)

sum.zero (807087) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545966)

you call out the op for being too literal in their reading of the title, but then go on to rant about people not being literal enough in their interpretations of the rest of the book.

sum.zero

Re:It's 1984 all over again (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545992)

Its the same thing. Surveillance is surveillance. GTFO of here.

Re:It's 1984 all over again (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33546162)

You're right.

Our current situation is more like a cross between 1984 and THX-1138. Neither story is spot on, but when you cross the two, you have a Consumer-driven economy where people buy worthless crap, only to toss it into the trash (1138). And the government spies on you via two-way CRTs to make sure you are doing your part (1984), or else they'll drag you in for reeducation.

It is the ultimate hell of Corporate-Government working together to suppress citizens. Like some new twisted form of Feudalism where the "Lord" is RIAA & Congress, while you are just a Serf required to "till the field" from 9 to 5, and then go out and buy shit, or else be jailed.

Re:It's 1984 all over again (4, Insightful)

SQL Error (16383) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545596)

1984 was written in 1947-48, when the Soviet Union was busily suppressing any kind of freedom in Eastern Europe. Orwell wasn't prescient, merely observant.

Re:It's 1984 all over again (2, Informative)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545732)

I think Animal Farm is a much better example of that.

Re:It's 1984 all over again (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545936)

I think Animal Farm is a much better example of that.

1984 and Animal Farm are stories, not operations manuals.

Re:It's 1984 all over again (2)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33546222)

You ought to tell that to the current crop in the White House.

And no I'm not talking about Obama..... like George Duh Bush he's just a puppet. I'm talking about the people doing the real work, and who consider 1984 & other novels not just interesting stories, but a good place to extract useful ideas. You guys thought VP Cheney was evil? He looks like Mussolini compared to folks like Van Jones and Anita Dunn.

Looks like Mr Bribe paid a visit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33545410)

And Mr/s Federal Judge might be enjoying a nice chewy steak later on, perhaps even some lobster if they feel like it.

Also, simply for copying Far Cry, they almost deserve it...

Still, this is a pretty messed up thing to see happen.
It is almost as if they are trying to grasp at anything they can in order to get money in to the federal sys... oh wait, nevermind.

Talk of bribery is for losers. (2, Informative)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545722)

And Mr/s Federal Judge might be enjoying a nice chewy steak later on, perhaps even some lobster if they feel like it.

Don't go down this road.

It leads nowhere.

From 1797 to date there have been only fifteen impeachments of a federal judge.

Ten ended in removal or resignation, five in acquittal.

There is only one impeachment trial pending, that of Judge Thomas Porteous of Louisiana. If it goes to trial, it will be the first since that of Bill Clinton in 1998.

As of January 2009, a total of 3,168 individuals had been appointed to federal judgeships, including 2,645 district court judges, 687 courts of appeals judges, 50 judges to the now-extinct circuit courts, and the 9 Supreme Court justices. This adds up to 3,492 total appointments United States federal judge [wikipedia.org]

Basically... (1)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545412)

If you can have no expectation of privacy when you send information to your ISP, then use a fucking VPN, proxy, etc.

Re:Basically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33545508)

This is not referring to information transferred over the internet. They are talking about when you subscribe to say, Comcast and you provide them your name, phone number, address, social security (if they need it) etc. etc.

Re:Basically... (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545538)

That won't help.

The ISP knows what IP address they've assigned your modem, and they know the mac address of the modem because it has to be registered with your account before they will provision it. Your account with the ISP has your billing information, which includes your name and address.

Re:Basically... (1)

sabernet (751826) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545756)

Yes it will. By going via a VPN or proxy, the IP address they collect on the other side will not be your own but that of the remote agent through which you're doing the dastardly deed.

So long as that agent keeps no usable logs or traceable info, there really isn't anything they can do.

Re:Basically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33546038)

In which case, the IP address in question will not belong to the ISP, therefore they won't receive requests for the pirate's name and address.

Re:Basically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33545624)

That's exactly why we went into the VPN business... http://www.ipanonymous.zxq.net

I2P (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33545718)

I2P will allows real anonymous P2P communication using any technology, although you should be sure to use an application not leaking your identity.

Therefore I2P also includes anonymous bittorrent (IPSnark), webmail, "eespsites" (an anonymous www using http), IRC, etc. It works out-of-the-box with no modifications.

You can also tunnel your own applications, for private use, like a distributed Hamachi, although it will be slower, it works across firewalled hosts with no inbound connections.

Using I2P, you can do bittorrent, without exposing your traffic as "bittorrent traffic" to your ISP, or your real IP-address to peers (DHT, PeerFinder etc. will expose your real identity real quick). It will be a bit slower, but since each node is contributing to this "darknet", "the more the merrier" applies. I2P should scale and is in active development - open for more developers.

http://www.i2p2.de/ [i2p2.de]

No affiliated with I2P, but would like more people to protect their internet usage against censorship and spying. Since I2P is encrypted end-to-end, it'll give sufficient protection for now.

Far Cry (5, Funny)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545440)

Sued for watching a Uwe Boll movie. My god, haven't they suffered enough?
 

Eh? (5, Insightful)

pr0nbot (313417) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545488)

Er... how exactly do you get an internet connection from an ISP without giving them any subscriber information?

Is there such a thing as an anonymous ISP subscription?

Re:Eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33545560)

Pay some kid to take the cash (small bills and change only) to the ISP's business office: "Here's narcopedoterror's payment for this month!". Tell the kid to put the receipt under the second rock on the north side of the blue trash can in the park. That should be sufficient.

Re:Eh? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33545586)

Is there such a thing as an anonymous ISP subscription?

Yes. It relies on a technology called 'unsecured wifi'.

Re:Eh? (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545692)

If there were, many would not allow it. There are no anonymous bank accounts. Things like "credit card 'gift cards'" as payment are on the edge of matters and are closely associated with money laundering.

Basically, there is no anonymous money. That freedom disappeared quietly long ago under the guise of many reasons -- war on drugs, war on terror and a lot more. Of course, we all volunteered much of it away by shifting from a cash and saving based society to one that is based on credit and debt.

Re:Eh? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545964)

Of course, we all volunteered much of it away by shifting from a cash and saving based society to one that is based on credit and debt.

In 1900 your savings went into a bank.

The availability of consumer credit means that change comes quickly: there are 22 million cars on American roads in 1920. "You can afford a Ford."

Re:Eh? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33546096)

That is an interesting theory. But it results in what we have today... massive waste, massive pollution and, of course, massive personal debt. So sure, "debt is good for you" right? It is until you have to pay it back and cannot.

Re:Eh? (2, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33546306)

National Debt (credit extended to US by foreign nations) == over $140,000 per US household
Personal Debt == about $80,000 in mortgage and $10,000 in credit cards per USH
Unfunded Liabilities = $110,000 promised to Medicare and SS recipients (future retirees) per USH
==
TOTAL $230,000 currently owed plus $110,000 promised but unfunded = $340,000 per USH (approximately)

Yeah this cashfree, live on nothing-but-credit society is working out really great isn't? Oh and the claim the US is the "richest nation" simply isn't true. When a person is in debt, he is poor not rich. Now maybe we are not "as poor" as Greece (we don't owe as much per home) but we're still not as rich as Norway or Saudi Arabia with their abundant stocks of wealth, and zero debt.

Source (plus some googling)
- http://usdebtclock.org/ [usdebtclock.org]

Re:Eh? (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33546244)

Credit has nothing to do with it.

Open any type of bank account and they want your life story - no thanks to the PATRIOT Act.

No problemo! (1)

capt.Hij (318203) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545740)

I have no problem with getting anonymous access. The first step is to search for the SSID "linksys"....

Re:Eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33545790)

You would be surprised. I signed up for AT&T Uverse with the name "Bill Brasky" (Google it) and a fake SSN. I don't think they care so long as they get money every month.

Re:Eh? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33545794)

Prepaid mobile internet is pretty anonymous me thinks..

Anonymous ISP (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#33546128)

Only if you suck wifi off your neighbors or the local starbucks.

This precedent is really scary, if taken to its extreme if you conduct ANY business you have fortified your rights to privacy to the government and any other company that just happens to feel like getting your data.

No expectation of privacy? (4, Insightful)

Jessified (1150003) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545526)

That isn't really a reason. That's just, "There's no expectation of privacy because I said so." That's like saying you have no expectation of privacy in your home as soon as you are granted a mortgage.

Re:No expectation of privacy? (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545612)

It's just another example of the government whittling away at common carrier status for ISPs. Soon, there won't be anything left, and ISPs will become unwilling extensions of the entertainment industry's enforcement division.

Re:No expectation of privacy? (3, Informative)

smallfries (601545) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545776)

My god man, have you tried thinking before writing?

Common carrier status means that the ISP is not liable for the actions of its customers. That in any legal action the customers would be the ones on the receiving end of a lawsuit or criminal conviction. Rather than whittling away at common carrier status THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT COMMON CARRIER status is.

I also suspect that you don't know what whittling it, but I'll let it go as that is merely the tip of the iceberg that is your stupidity.

Re:No expectation of privacy? (1)

ewieling (90662) | more than 3 years ago | (#33546178)

ISPs do not have Common Carrier status. Regulated telephone companies are common carriers. Even if a regulated telephone company has an ISP, the ISP is not a common carrier. "ISP is a common carrier" is simply wishful thinking.

Re:No expectation of privacy? (1)

smallfries (601545) | more than 3 years ago | (#33546194)

Err, yes. True. What I meant was "if" ISPs had common carrier status. Still, at least you have proved that the GP is even more of a brain-dead tool than I thought.

Re:No expectation of privacy? (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 3 years ago | (#33546238)

There is no common carrier status for ISPs in the US. There is something called Safe Harbor which seems to have stuck around between COPA and DMCA, but it isn't anything like a common carrier status.

So no, there isn't any whittling away of it because it doesn't exist.

Re:No expectation of privacy? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545950)

That's like saying you have no expectation of privacy in your home as soon as you are granted a mortgage.

Come on, we need a car analogy here. How about, you have no expectation of privacy in your car as soon as you give the dealer your name and address.

Re:No expectation of privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33546068)

That isn't really a reason. That's just, "There's no expectation of privacy because I said so." That's like saying you have no expectation of privacy in your home as soon as you are granted a mortgage.

There's no expectation of privacy because you live in America. What other reason do you need?

Phones? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33545610)

So... I convey my subscriber information to the Phone company... do I lose my expectation of privacy for making phone calls?

Re:Phones? (3, Informative)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545884)

If your call records are subpoenaed... absolutely.

Re:Phones? (1)

easterberry (1826250) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545986)

if you are running a scam using that phone and get your number reported? yes.

If.. (1)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545642)

If you can't run your own internet service, and there is no anonymous internet service offerings, then basically they can always get your information through subpoena. But, I'm not entirely sure that's a bad thing, it's not like you can buy a house and live there "anonymously". If you committed a crime, they'd be able to subpoena you. Of course, "crime" is subjective, I guess that's the real worry..

Re:If.. (2, Insightful)

Xuranova (160813) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545872)

You can buy a house under a shell corporation and hide the owners of that if you want to put forth the effort.

Re:If.. (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 3 years ago | (#33546218)

You want to remain anonymous? Fine. Fund a trust have it invest in bonds and use the proceeds to pay for Internet service for yourself. The account is in the trust's name, period. You can have the administrator of the trust be very, very careful about disclosing who is behind the trust, even in the face of a subpoena.

If you are really worried, have the trust administered somewhere fun, like Lichtenstein. If someone wanted to try to pierce the trust they would have to file in Lichtenstein - good luck with that by the way.

You could also try using Venezuela or some other venue that is extremely hostile to the US. I think a Venezuelan court would through out such a request out of hand. While the Venezuelan government might ignore even their own laws to go after someone doing so on the behalf of the US (even the government or maybe especially the US government) would go nowhere.

lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33545646)

This country is going down the shit "tubes".

This is going to be a bit unpopular, but.... (2, Insightful)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545706)

Don't download movies without paying for them?

Yes, yes, I know, there are far broader implications of the loss of privacy on the interwebs, and so forth.

However, my point still stands. Don't download movies you don't have permission to and this case never would have come up in this manner.

Re:This is going to be a bit unpopular, but.... (1)

Barrinmw (1791848) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545854)

But what if I own a copy of said movie and I can't find it in my house so I download it instead?

Re:This is going to be a bit unpopular, but.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33545960)

If you don't have the physical printing in hand, do you really own it? your crackhead sister might have sold it for dope 6 months ago

stop it with this silly what if bullshit, you either have it or you dont, what is so difficult to understand?

Re:This is going to be a bit unpopular, but.... (1)

eugene2k (1213062) | more than 3 years ago | (#33546138)

My dog ate my copy of said movie.

Re:This is going to be a bit unpopular, but.... (1)

mikkelm (1000451) | more than 3 years ago | (#33546304)

You don't own the copy of the movie that's on the medium that you purchased. You hold a license to play the movie stored on the medium under certain conditions.

Re:This is going to be a bit unpopular, but.... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33545890)

You mean don't be accused of downloading movies. Even assuming this would never be used by someone solely for the purpose of discovering someone's identity and assuming that the ip addresses are accurately identifying computers sharing copyrighted material without permission, both of which are HUGE assumptions, the number of people who did not download movies but have their information released and get extorted simply because of clerical error is almost certainly non-negligible given the large number of people getting sued in this way.

Re:This is going to be a bit unpopular, but.... (1)

jmerlin (1010641) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545904)

Like I've brought up many times, if the big media companies would just make the movies available soon after theatrical releases ON THEIR OWN WEBSITES in digital form for a premium, streaming, a license for a direct download, and we know they'd want to put some kind of shitty DRM on it (see: DVD), at a REASONABLE price, who the fuck would pirate a movie? If I could go pay $2 to watch a movie that came out 2 weeks ago in HD streaming with unlimited rewatch time for 24 hours, I wouldn't bother downloading the movie because I'd only watch it once anyway. Instead of embracing technology, the media companies seem to be fighting it. What piracy in movies says is that people don't want to have to go to a theater, especially alone, crowded or not, which is often a cesspool of diseases and obnoxious people, instead we just want to watch a movie in the comfort of our home with ultimate convenience. Is that too much to ask? No, the internet grants us that with ease. Media companies for some reason are incredibly hesitant to join the "digital" age. We still have to go watch a movie at a theater or rent a fucking DVD (yes, a PHYSICAL COPY) which requires delivery, when streaming online is immediate. As soon as they wake up, open their fucking eyes to the possibilities of massive profits by simply embracing what we're telling them we want, they won't have to worry about piracy. Are you seriously telling me if you could spend an entire day watching NEW movies in crystal clear HD from your home and only spend $20 for that it wouldn't be worth it? Renting a movie costs $6 from stores. Netflix is $10/month and their delivery is slow and they have very few good movies available for streaming. Going to a movie theater is going to run you $8-12 FOR ONE MOVIE.

This isn't a difficult concept is it? Surely it isn't.. I should go patent this. It is the future of movie distribution, I'm sure. And when they do it, I'd love to sue for hundreds of millions just as a kick in the nuts for being so fucking opaque.

Re:This is going to be a bit unpopular, but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33545982)

Like I've brought up many times, if the big media companies would just make the movies available soon after theatrical releases ON THEIR OWN WEBSITES in digital form for a premium, streaming, a license for a direct download, and we know they'd want to put some kind of shitty DRM on it (see: DVD), at a REASONABLE price, who the fuck would pirate a movie?

People keep breaking into my house to hold parties. Now, I hold some really wild, kick-ass parties about twice a year, but apparently that's not often enough for some people so when I'm out of town they pick my front door lock, come inside and have a wild time.

I may not like it, but it's my own fault for not offering more parties in my home that are awesome enough to satisfy these people. Thus, I deserve to have my home broken into. I'm just that cool, dude. So cool that people disrespect my private property rights.

That's what you're saying, right?

Re:This is going to be a bit unpopular, but.... (1)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 3 years ago | (#33546112)

Uhg, thats not even close to the same. They have physically damaged your property. It will cost you something to fix it. What this is more like is if they like your house for parties and get a copy of your diagrams and build themselves another one just like it to have parties in.

Re:This is going to be a bit unpopular, but.... (2, Insightful)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 3 years ago | (#33546176)

Why would you pay $2 when you can have it for free?

A high percentage of pirates are just "collectors" anyway - they aren't watching the movies or listening to the music, they are just collecting. They aren't going to pay, ever.

Another high percentage of the folks downloading are doing it because they are sure what they are downloading is crap. They are just checking it out to make sure. They watch it and, yup, it is crap - they would never pay for crap like that.

There are a few people with high disposable incomes that would pay $2 online rather than $10 to buy the DVD. But then they are going to save it and share it with the planet. Where else do you think all the stuff that is available for downloading is coming from? Or, it is paid for with stolen (er, "borrowed") credit cards.

The people that aren't sharing what they get however they get it and are actually potential customers for such a service are so few that nobody is interested in even exploring that market. It is so small that is doesn't exist.

Another way to answer this is "So, how many ringtones have you bought this week?"

Re:This is going to be a bit unpopular, but.... (4, Insightful)

PPalmgren (1009823) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545972)

You are missing the forest for the trees. People are against these kinds of decisions not because of the results for the pirates, but because the laws can be abused. Copyright law is currently being misused to quash political campaigns, as an example. The "First they came for the Jews..." quote is incredibly appropriate for any privacy issue.

Do you not see the implications of any company being able to request private information from your ISP on a subpoena, even when that private information doesn't always reflect the person using the IP?

Re:This is going to be a bit unpopular, but.... (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#33546076)

What if you do not agree with copyright law? Should we not disobey unjust laws? Im not saying download every new release and not pay for it. What I am saying is that media companies are literally trying to control every path you get your media from. If they had it their way you would have to buy the DVD, and then also buy digital copies for your computer and then after 5 years you would have to renew your license to view it. Meanwhile, if you show your video to other people in your household, you would have to pay a "viewing fee". You could not simply rip it off your DVD to watch it on your computer or let your friends borrow your movies like most people agree is fair. Media companies do not give a rats ass about fair use of their material, they just want to nickle and dime every aspect of it. I actually purchased many albums in the past, but one day all of my CD's got stolen. Should I not be allowed to download these songs again? I already paid for it once. Copyright and I.P. law is flagrantly corrupt. Everything is derived from something else, you are able to produce your works, are inspired to create your works, and profit from them because society exists. You owe your work back to society at some point.

Re:This is going to be a bit unpopular, but.... (0, Troll)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 3 years ago | (#33546274)

Don't download movies you don't have permission to and this case never would have come up in this manner.

This case would always have come up. The correct solution to preventing it is not to make movies. Movie studios are like a woman in a low-cut top who complains about being stared at--they have no one but themselves to blame.

Anonymous VPN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33545724)

This is exactly why we got into the VPN business... http://www.ipanonymous.zxq.net

Robert Bork (3, Insightful)

mounthood (993037) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545726)

When this happened to US Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork the politicians were so outraged they created the Video_Privacy_Protection_Act [wikipedia.org] . After all it's unfair to pry into a persons privacy, like what movies they watch. That's the principal right? Or is it all different if it's "pirates" on the "internets"?

Re:Robert Bork (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33545846)

Don't be obtuse. Of course there's a difference between the privacy of the list of videos you legally rent and your right to hide behind your IP address when infringing copyright!

Re:Robert Bork (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33546240)

> That's the principal right?

Well played, mounthood.

Re:Robert Bork (1)

digitalPhant0m (1424687) | more than 3 years ago | (#33546286)

I propose the Video Piracy Protection Act.

Blind (2, Interesting)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545830)

Of course, the judge probably never bothered to consider the fact that the studio in question played the exact same recording industry end-run around legal procedures by first suing a bunch of "John Does", subpoenaing the ISP for their names and numbers, then dropping the case without prejudice and suing the individual "John Does" using their real names-- a clear misuse of the courts that wastes time and resources, but thus far unchallenged and thereby silently encouraged, to my recollection. The judge also probably never bothered to consider that the names obtained in this fashion are notoriously unreliable, especially considering dynamic address allocation and the widespread use of wireless networks and the poor access security thereof.

No, the judge decided that this was permissible either because he (she?) believes that kids downloading movies online is a grave affront to justice akin to mass looting, or that the arguments that this judge can consider were filtered by a overly narrow consideration of the case. While young kids and their families are squeezed for millions of dollars (often sent straight to the media industry's legal counsels), the bootleg industry in Asia makes off with billions of dollars' worth of undeserved revenue.

What Privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33545832)

It's a Corporation. At what point did I EVER expect to have privacy when giving my information over to them. Yes there are laws about what they can't do with that information, but I don't put much stock in that since money reigns supreme in the courtroom.

So the more important question is, where DO I have privacy? Banks? Nope. Actively monitored by our Government. Credit Card Companies? Nope. Monitored more than the banks, but by themselves. Inside your home? Mostly, but that can be skirted with the single 'probable cause' by a knock at the door.

So I ask, what privacy? I maintain there is no privacy. Only true privacy is what you keep in your head. It doesn't exist in the physical world anymore.

Even better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33545848)

I too can play that game.. but only better..

"Once your parents name you, you give up the right to anonymity."

There's a tension here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33545934)

That's interesting in light of McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Comm'n, 514 U.S. 334 (1995), which recognized a right to anonymous speech in the First Amendment.

Protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical, minority views . . . Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. . . . It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation . . . at the hand of an intolerant society.

Don't get me wrong, as a matter of law I think they ought to be able to subpoena identities once there's probable cause, and in most of the cases before this judge there very well might have been probable cause. But to say there is no expectation of privacy on the Internet would seem to mean that crucial aspects of the First Amendment don't apply.

No expectation of privacy?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33545944)

So, by the judge's reasoning, if my ISP wishes to sell or post all of my personal information, they are free to do so???? I think not.....

like lies, an even further stretch (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545974)

Since I am a registered voter, are my privacy rights, null and void, anytime, anywhere?

Re:like lies, an even further stretch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33546298)

Yes. Your rights were void when you agreed to be born in the US.

At least that is what both the Bushed administration and the O'Bummer administration claim.
If necessary, they'll just claim that whatever they did was in the interest of national security, and the
lawsuit you filed against them must be shut down immediately because of national security.
They also cannot state how national security was impacted; that information would
also endanger national security.

And just how do companys (2)

Stan92057 (737634) | more than 3 years ago | (#33545998)

And just how do companies know where to send the monthly bills???? The judge is a moron. When i give my address to an ISP its for billing and maintenance ONLY. I don't expect the company to give,sell my name address its not there to give,sell. Thats how i see it but since when does what we say mean anything anymore?? And since when do lawyers and judges live the life's of normal citizens??

Aewsome for website owners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33546032)

Have a blog?

Someone makes a comment you don't like?

File a subpoena on the grounds that they infringed a copyright of yours! Actual proof isn't needed, you can just fabricate it. Get their real address, and voilà! You can know harass them in real life.

Phone companies have subscriber information too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33546108)

So, if the judge pays her phone bill she has no expectation of privacy? Can I get a transcript of all her calls to make sure she isn't infringing my copyright, then offer a baseless accusation to get her home address? Just because tech makes it easy, that doesn't make it right.

That ofcourse works the other way around too ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33546140)

The judge ruled that courts have maintained that once people convey subscriber information to their Internet service providers, they no longer have an expectation of privacy.

Assuming that that judge and the head honchos of the companies suing have internet connections too they can have no expectancy of privacy either ? I may stalk them all I want because they use a, nowererdays pretty-much, commodity and even necessity ?

Thank you very much mister Law. :-)

Renting & Leasing (3, Insightful)

meerling (1487879) | more than 3 years ago | (#33546142)

I guess that judge would consider renting and leasing to also have no expectation of privacy. So anybody that's renting or leasing something, especially a home or car, is screwed. Heck, even having cable tv would make your entire viewing habits obtainable with that his interpretation.

IMO the judge is an idiot. To have ANY paid for service, you have to provide that information to the provider. In no way does providing information necessary to the provider a waving of rights to privacy other than the minor level done with regards to the information the provider needs, and then, only with regards to the provider.

Sorry, but I think we need to get rid of a lot of these judges that would rather screw the public than to be fair and just. I know in some places you can vote them out, and others, it's a till they die/retire thing. Are there any other means like yelling at politicians until they do something? (Maybe letting the individual judges know how you disagree with their B.S. might help, but I doubt those types would give a rodents donkey about the public and what it/they think.)

The rising wave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33546246)

Seems the rising trend of government is to slowly whittle away your
rights, like the right to privacy, until there are no rights.

Only when pushed back will they take a step back and slowly continue
to insist their status quo. It's really only a matter of time.

Technology is sophisticated enough to implement 24 hour monitoring of citizens.

Backscatter vans, indeed.

----
Everything you do
Everywhere you go
Anything we want
Anything

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