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Anti-Piracy Lawyers Caught Pirating Each Other

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the dog-eat-dog dept.

Music 131

An anonymous reader writes "We would like to think that the lawyers that are prosecuting alleged copyright infringers are practicing what they preach, but it looks like one of the most high profile firms involved in such cases are just as guilty of stealing others' work as those who are downloading illegal media."

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131 comments

No "creative value" though (4, Insightful)

siddesu (698447) | more than 3 years ago | (#33779624)

Since there is no creative value in the things they lift from each other, it is hard to argue they are "pirating" it. Can I steal a verb they use, and just call it "stealing"? :)

Also, the general population surely should be held to higher standards than the scum of the earth.

Re:No "creative value" though (4, Funny)

Barrinmw (1791848) | more than 3 years ago | (#33779632)

I dunno...according to apple, all words beginning with i belong to them.

Re:No "creative value" though (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 3 years ago | (#33779690)

Yeah, but they call it "trademarks", which, I was told by a lawyer once, give you the rights without creativity by definition.

Re:No "creative value" though (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33780054)

So why should we listen to the scum of the earth?

Re:No "creative value" though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33780134)

Because they can easily charge us in excess of $500 an hour.

Re:No "creative value" though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33781730)

No problem, just use a captial I.
I was surfing the web with IBrowse way before apple started with their iWhatever.

Re:No "creative value" though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33782350)

Well damn, iSn't that just iRritating?

i seriously don't understand how iT iS possible for them to iMplement such nonsense like this.

Come at me Apple.

Re:No "creative value" though (4, Funny)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#33779788)

There is only no creative value in their work if you can convince a judge, who once was a lawyer, that what lawyers do has no creative value.

I've seen some pretty creative lawyers in my day.

Re:No "creative value" though (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 3 years ago | (#33780490)

I've seen some pretty creative lawyers in my day

But you're talking about the lawyer's definition of "creative", not the legal definition.

Re:No "creative value" though (1)

egibster (1913920) | more than 3 years ago | (#33780062)

What happens is you now pay to distribute your music, and then it's legally downloaded from sites... maybe somebody buys a CD or an mp3 and you never see the money... at all. Eric

Re:No "creative value" though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33780486)

I hope your not trying to claim by implication that there is creative value in anything Brittany Spears sings!

Re:No "creative value" though (2, Interesting)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 3 years ago | (#33780582)

No there is a great deal of creative value. Winning these types of cases can mean the difference of millions of dollars and these letters work to win such cases. That is a lot of value. It might not be artistic value but it is still value.

Re:No "creative value" though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33780662)

Hey! I've seen critters (vermin/slugs/creeping-crawling-insects) that have claimed "scum of the earth" status. Your comparing them to these lawyers gives them a dis-proportionally bad name! These really are lower than a snakes belly in a wagon rut. But you can't degrade moles by comparing to them. The only ones you can compare these lawyers to is those who claim the underworld. I'm not talking about Trolls or Orcs either, but deeper than that. These lawyers are accustomed to sulfur and heat. To lie, cheat, steal and bring suffering to others while receiving personal gain is what these are all about. Extorting the life out of other people is their game. They claim moral authority over others, but are quick to sod truth in every situation (sometimes, even if it doesn't help their cause). Gangsters are at least clearly criminals. Gangsters may commit crimes outside of the law. These commit crimes with the full blessing of the law (albeit a very twisted version of the law).

Re:No "creative value" though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33780718)

Also, the general population surely should be held to higher standards than the scum of the earth.

I'm pretty sure that's the marketing department, and not the lawyers; They're a close second though.

Re:No "creative value" though (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33783306)

Well, the question here is rather "did Devonport Lyons" copyright their cases and put a no-reproduction notice on them. Probably not...

That is still not common in the UK. In the USA quite a lot of the legal documents flying around have one nowdays and this is for a reason.

You Don't say (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33779630)

Lawyers are hypocrites. Its not about the law its about making money.

Re:You Don't say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33780150)

They're not writing the laws or telling you how to behave, so how could they be hypocrites?

Re:You Don't say (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#33780500)

Right, because public defenders and District Attorneys make six figure salaries all the time.

Re:You Don't say (-1, Troll)

pgmrdlm (1642279) | more than 3 years ago | (#33780520)

/.'rs are hypocrites. Just watch their arguments about rights when it comes to open source software. Than watch them support illegal downloading.

Actually, /.'rs have a lot in common with lawyers. They pretty much are disgusting cowards. Just look at you AC.

Re:You Don't say (2, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#33780616)

/.'rs are hypocrites. Just watch their arguments about rights when it comes to open source software. Than watch them support illegal downloading.

Actually, the open software advocates you're referring to are consistent -- I don't think you'll hear any of them saying that someone should be able to incorporate downloaded MP3's into commercial products that are then resold to others. They are absolutely fine with open source software being downloaded and used for free, where they have problems is when the open source software is incorporated into other products and sold rather than given away for free. So there's no double standard.

Of course, many (most?) open source software advocates (myself included) don't bother with downloading illegal content because it's easier to go to Amazon or iTunes and click the "Buy" button than to track down a torrent with a full and complete copy of the music we want to listen to. Once people get out of college and realize that their time costs money, the cost to pirate music exceeds the benefit for many people. There are, of course, the hardcore downloaders that download every album known to man in the genres they are interested in, but hey, it's not like they would have bought those 2000 albums so the music industry isn't losing much real income..

Re:You Don't say (2, Insightful)

pgmrdlm (1642279) | more than 3 years ago | (#33781136)

My point about most slash dot open source advocates(which I am one) is they will be the first to sick the lawyers on anyone they feel is not respecting the rights of the authors of said software. But they will be the first to disrespect the work of musicians, movie personnel, or game personnel by illegally downloading their content.

Don't you find it hypocritical that this thread like most threads do nothing but trash lawyers. But what profession do they automatically run to when they are pissed off over a specific subject and THEIR reading of the law?

Re:You Don't say (1)

bit01 (644603) | more than 3 years ago | (#33781774)

Don't you find it hypocritical that this thread like most threads do nothing but trash lawyers. But what profession do they automatically run to when they are pissed off over a specific subject and THEIR reading of the law?

The hypocrisy is people like you who can't cope with the fact that tools can be used for both good and evil. The law is nothing but a tool, a very abstract tool but a tool nonetheless. You'd use a gun if somebody attacked your family with a gun, right?

People often trash lawyers because of hypocritical lawyer behavior. Lawyers frequently claim they do what they do only because their clients tells them to and that they have no responsibility. Nonsense, as the lawyers themselves say "the responsibility is joint and several". Being paid doesn't magically absolve such lawyers of responsibility.

I have high respect for lawyers like Lawrence Lessig. I do not agree with everything he says but he is fighting a good fight. However, the bottom feeding scum suckers supporting artificial scarcity and the victimization of the less fortunate in society who are costing society nothing are in another category altogether.

---

Like software, intellectual property law is a product of the mind, and can be anything we want it to be. Let's get it right.

Re:You Don't say (3, Insightful)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 3 years ago | (#33781820)

Don't you find it hypocritical that this thread like most threads do nothing but trash lawyers. But what profession do they automatically run to when they are pissed off over a specific subject and THEIR reading of the law?

No, not really. Because the organization that typically pursues violations of the GPL etc. in the US is the EFF and they have a very solid reputation for trying to solve matters in an amicable fashion first. Only when the other party categorically refuses to play ball do they start involving the justice system.

There is a group of people that feel they have the right to download anything and everything on the planet. There's also a group of people that supports open source and doesn't appreciate it when the license under which it is distributed gets violated. Both of these groups can be found on Slashdot, but that does not mean they consist of the same individual people.

Re:You Don't say (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 3 years ago | (#33782424)

Slashdot is made up of thousands of people, some of whom have different opinions to others. The people who actively contribute to and defend Free Software are not necessarily the same people who torrent loads of music and movies. Sure, there are some people who do both, and a lot of the torrenters will make noise about Free Software, but that doesn't make me a hypocrite.

Re:You Don't say (1)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 3 years ago | (#33782466)

Perhaps because the RIAA doesn't represent the interests of musicians, the MPAA doesn't represent the interests of movie personnel, and EA doesn't represent the interests of game personnel?

Just saying.

Re:You Don't say (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33783144)

I think you're missing the point that things like creative commons licenses were created in the first place as a response to IP law becoming too far reaching. It's the community saying fine, if you want to be overly restrictive we can play that game too. Therefore it's entirely consistent when the same community both actively wants to see an end to overly restrictive copyright and at the same time is strongly pursuing those who infringe on OSS licenses. It's like saying, we'd rather live in a world where there were none of these licensing issues, but until we get to that utopia, you guys have to play by your rules too.

Re:You Don't say (3, Insightful)

Again (1351325) | more than 3 years ago | (#33780626)

Possibly some of us who frequent slashdot are hypocrites. But to label everyone who visits slashdot as a hypocrite is quite arrogant.

There are in fact quite a few different individuals who post here and people tend to post in articles that interest them. Some days it seems as though nearly every user hear uses nothing but Linux. Other days it seems as though everyone is talking about the benefits of Windows 7. You see? There is no one opinion here. And to claim that there should be is ridiculous.

Re:You Don't say (2, Insightful)

pgmrdlm (1642279) | more than 3 years ago | (#33781082)

Possibly some of us who frequent slashdot are hypocrites. But to label everyone who visits slashdot as a hypocrite is quite arrogant.

Can't argue your point. You are quite correct. It just seems the hypocrites are the most vocal.

I stand corrected and apologize.

Re:You Don't say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33781090)

So, what? I do IT work and write software. It isn't about the software for me; it is about the money. Something silly like wanting to feed myself, buy a few things, and send my kids to school. Unless you are independently wealthy it is ALWAYS about the money.

Surprise, Surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33779636)

Anti-piracy lawyers turn out to he corrupt. A shocking twist in the plot! /sarcasm

"Illegal media"? (4, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33779642)

What the hell is that? And how do you download any sort of media?

Re:"Illegal media"? (4, Funny)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 3 years ago | (#33779682)

Well, I know CDs are a form of media, as are books and cassette tapes, so clearly "illegal media" must be some sort of way to record hot new blockbusters on disks made of a plutonium-cocaine alloy.

Re:"Illegal media"? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33779714)

Plutonium-cocaine is a hell of a drug.

Re:"Illegal media"? (5, Funny)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 3 years ago | (#33779728)

I hear the kids are saying it's pretty rad.

Re:"Illegal media"? (5, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 3 years ago | (#33779796)

I hear the kids are saying it's pretty rad.

The kids are certainly curieous about it.

Re:"Illegal media"? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33779862)

The kids are certainly curieous about it.

that was a terrible pun

Re:"Illegal media"? (5, Funny)

euxneks (516538) | more than 3 years ago | (#33779880)

What the hell is [Illegal media]? And how do you download any sort of media?

Well, according to dictionary.com, Media is the plural of medium, which is, as we all know, "a person through whom the spirits of the dead are alleged to be able to contact the living". Thus, "Illegal Media" are illegal shaman immigrants. I'm guessing "download" would be to make them carry lots of stuff? I guess making them work isn't that bad..? Unless they start channeling me-maw, then you're in for a world of tongue lashings.

Re:"Illegal media"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33781388)

no that would be an "Upload," to "download" would be to relieve them of what they carry, obviously.

Lawers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33779678)

Morally bankrupt lawers are morally bankrupt? News at 11.

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33779688)

The summary was copied verbatim from the first paragraph of tfl.

Ouroboros (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33779698)

We should encourage this: we can hope they'll fight each other to death, and we can disbar the survivors.

Re:Ouroboros (5, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 3 years ago | (#33779930)

We should encourage this: we can hope they'll fight each other to death, and we can disbar the survivors.

And, for good measure, we can then rebar them.

Re:Ouroboros (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#33783252)

'The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers' - William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Act IV, Scene I

Some things never change.

Noel Jerry (-1, Offtopic)

DateCover (1914432) | more than 3 years ago | (#33779782)

Bottom line, we need to quit regulating everything. No matter what, people are going to find a way to steal, and make things free. I like this company called Three Spoon Theory. They make great things, but give it to everyone for free always, a bit like google does. Their best product so far is http://www.datecover.com./ [www.datecover.com] Have a look, and... share it with everyone lol.

Re:Noel Jerry (4, Insightful)

nloop (665733) | more than 3 years ago | (#33779904)

I hate you and I hate your lame attempts at increasing your pagerank. You are the scum of the earth.
 
Also, your website looks terrible. When I opened it I assumed you linked to the wrong page and that was a domain filler. Really bad graphic design.
 
Now, kindly go away.

Article has problems with facts (4, Informative)

Sierran (155611) | more than 3 years ago | (#33779794)

The article presents the situation as Andrew Crossley being in conflict with ACS:Law over the use of templates. The problem with that is that Andrew Crossley is in fact the proprietor ("principal?" Don't know the correct term) of ACS:Law, so it would be difficult for ACS:Law to steal his work. To quote WikiP: "The main partner of the company, and its only registered solicitor is Andrew Crossley."

Re:Article has problems with facts (2, Informative)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 3 years ago | (#33780106)

It's all just a big misunderstanding. The person with the issue here is another (completely unrelated) man named Andrew, who crossly told them they were stealing from him.

They probably don't care. (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#33779830)

There is no hypocrisy. Their job is to work with their client and defend their IP. They are not required to be passionate nor they have to personalty believe in it, their job is to defend their clients.
     

Re:They probably don't care. (4, Informative)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#33779906)

Actually, as officers of the court, their job also includes dissuading their client from suing if they don't have good cause (rather than wasting court resources and everyone's time and money). When the client DOES have good cause their job becomes vigorous representation (either as plaintiff or defendant).

Re:They probably don't care. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#33779940)

Well it still doesn't mean they have to reflect their own values. The law does state that piracy is bad/illegal, and if someone is doing such is breaking the law. Although they may not agree with the law their professional opinion could be that it would be an appropriate mater to bring to court.

Re:They probably don't care. (2, Informative)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#33780124)

Yes, they are maintaining that the act of copying without permission rises to a level where the defendant should be smacked down in court for their wrongdoing. Certainly they make that claim while in court as the plaintiff. That is their official position. They then go on to do exactly what they just got finished claiming to be anything but innocent.

That's what hypocrisy IS, maintaining that others should behave in a particular way (with a claim of sincerity) and then behaving differently yourself. I add the qualifier only because an actor playing a role is not hypocritical if they are not the same as their character.

Re:They probably don't care. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33780560)

Except lawyers, as officers of the court, are supposed to look at a client's case and make a first-look decision whether or not they should even bother bringing the case to court. Its not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing with the law, its a matter of "hundreds of these cases are either lost or simply settled out of court. Unless you have some rock-solid, smoking-gun evidence, I have to dissuade you from bringing this to court."

Re:They probably don't care. (1)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 3 years ago | (#33781036)

A really good lawyer finds a good cause in almost any situation.

Who cares if it is some obscure rule in a footnote, or some procedural glitch that the other party has overlooked.

Re:They probably don't care. (1)

oiron (697563) | more than 3 years ago | (#33781370)

If it's an obscure footnote or a procedural glitch, nine times out of ten the judge (or jury if you're in one of those countries) will throw it out anyway

Why do you think laws like the infamous "everyone do archery practice" one from Britain are never enforced?

A good lawyer may use a loophole to force the other party to settle out of court, by scaring the shit out of them - they may even bring the matter to court as a scare tactic, but it's really not (or should not be) an exercise in sophistry...

Re:They probably don't care. (1)

Peeteriz (821290) | more than 3 years ago | (#33782120)

Obscure laws can be enforced if anyone wants to. The state doesn't enforce the rights belonging to the state (like the archery requirement and some stupid prohibitions), but if there is an obscure law that says that some people owe *me* money, then I can go to court and there is no way that the court can ignore the old, obscure law.

Case in point - there is an old, obscure law which states that owners of certain plots of land (that were associated with the church in ~1200's) are required to pay for repairs of left wing of that church; which resulted in one church finding it, and asking a homeowner who recently bought a family home to pay for its repairs an amount of ~200.000 pounds, and after some litigation the homeowner was forced to pay around half a million pounds - including the opponent's legal costs and some additional fancy repairs that the church did afterwards; pretty much bankrupting the guy in process.

Re:They probably don't care. (1)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 3 years ago | (#33780366)

Their job is to work with their client and defend their IP. They are not required to be passionate nor they have to personalty believe in it, their job is to defend their clients.

Let Me tell You A Story, Children: Once upon a time, "the law" and "lawyering" was all about a mysterious thing known as "justice".

Sue them and lose... Set a good legal president (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33779838)

Sue them and lose... Set a good legal president

Re:Sue them and lose... Set a good legal president (1)

oiron (697563) | more than 3 years ago | (#33781350)

The president doesn't want you to set that precedent

Re:Sue them and lose... Set a good legal president (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33781442)

Wow, you're smart... You must have studied the liberal arts... Does your employment as a spell checker pay well?

I got my doctorate in physics... In the hard sciences, we aren't subject to the memorization of historical ambiguity.

In nature, truths build upon each other until the story is told... You can keep your man made imperfect system of definitions and memorization. In a few hundred years when your truth is part of a dead language, my truths will be the foundation of even greater truths.

Enjoy your smug little world!

Re:Sue them and lose... Set a good legal president (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33781724)

To translate the scientific language, the above poster is too clever to bother with proper spelling. Doesn't sound like the approach of someone who would do quality work, so is unlikely to ever discover a real truth.

Or to put it another way he is a lazy asshole.

The FA is a joke! (2, Informative)

ygasuasu (803351) | more than 3 years ago | (#33779936)

FTFA: Andrew Crossly claims that the firm contacted him for help, which he provided, but instead of just using his templates as a guide, ACS:Law began to use them as their own without consent. The name is Andrew Crossley. From Wikipedia article on ACS:Law: The main partner of the company, and its only registered solicitor,] is Andrew Crossley. How could ACS:Law steal from its main partner?

Re:The FA is a joke! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33779988)

Rationality isn't part of the Slashdot way. These people here who want to scream about DRM and IP being part of the validation of their breaking the law aren't looking for logic, they're doing anything possible to make themselves for justified for being a bunch of thieving fools.

Re:The FA is a joke! (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33780136)

"DRM"

Perfectly legitimate reason to pirate something. I certainly know that if I was looking forward to a game or something and they installed crippling DRM in it, I'd pirate it. It's certainly better than buying it, thereby rewarding them with your money.

"breaking the law"

Irrelevant. The law isn't always 'right'.

"thieving fools"

Alright. What is it that pirates are stealing? We know they aren't stealing the software itself, as they're just copying data, which doesn't deprive anyone of anything. So,what is it that they are 'stealing'?

Re:The FA is a joke! (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 3 years ago | (#33780882)

Alright. What is it that pirates are stealing? We know they aren't stealing the software itself, as they're just copying data, which doesn't deprive anyone of anything. So,what is it that they are 'stealing'?

Imaginary sales.

Re:The FA is a joke! (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 3 years ago | (#33781822)

The 'guilt' of ACS lies in where the work originated from

The work that Crossly claims was stolen from him was actually copied from yet another firm, Davenport Lyons, who helped Crossly set up his own business

He claims that he acquired the rights to the work legitimately, but whether that's true or not isn't particularly clear. Also, I'm not sure of what degree of protection legal notices have in the UK and the US. I would think it might be reasonable to argue against copyrighting them should fall within fair use/dealing, since different wording can be interpreted quite differently in court, and courts would benefit from not having to constantly re-evaluate subtle nuances in various clauses that strong copyright protection for legal notices would create. However, IANAL, and I'm not even aware of any kind of case on this subject.

No, NO! They are SHARING !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33779978)

Learn to learn. It's SHARE, not steal,

Not as bad as it sounds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33779992)

If you think about it for a minute, they wouldn't have paid for those phrases if they were for sale, they would have gone without - so it's not really fair to sue them.
Then again, that sounds like the same argument they are attacking... hmmmm...

Lost sales? I think not. Lost potential sales. I think not.
Same with piracy.

AC

Re:Not as bad as it sounds (2, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33780166)

You're forgetting that it's completely possible to steal money (the pirates money) that only exists in the future of an alternate dimension where the artist/business made more money. Also, if a sale could ever have occurred and something prevented it from happening, potential profit was stolen and whoever made this sale not happen should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!

They are just proving their greatness (1)

Drishmung (458368) | more than 3 years ago | (#33780020)

As Pablo Picasso said:

"Good artists copy, great artists steal"

Re:They are just proving their greatness (2, Funny)

gutnor (872759) | more than 3 years ago | (#33780126)

Yeah, he could have had better taste when stealing.

Re:They are just proving their greatness (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 3 years ago | (#33781836)

Actually, Steve Jobs said that Picasso said that, but he didn't. Stravinsky is reported to have said something similar except about composers, while T.S. Eliot actually said something that both of these quote are likely derived from:

Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.

There's no telling where Eliot took that notion from, but they probably didn't come up with it either.

Rip-off artists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33780092)

I'm getting the distinct impression that some or all of these independent "copyright enforcers" are actually just rip-off artists looking for easy cash hand-outs.

A More Factually Correct Article (5, Informative)

Fnord666 (889225) | more than 3 years ago | (#33780314)

If you want to read about what is actually going on, please see this article [arstechnica.com] . The article linked in the summary is riddled with factual inaccuracies.

Re:A More Factually Correct Article (1)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33780598)

"The article linked in the summary is riddled with factual inaccuracies."

Translation: "The article linked in the summary makes for interesting reading."

Re:A More Factually Correct Article (2, Insightful)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#33780982)

Interesting, thanks for the link.

Maybe the best line in that article:

It turns out that the settlement letter business is terrible for the corporate image.

This may explain why there are so few law firms actually involved in the settlement business, which in a way reeks of easy money. All they have to do to get settlements, it seems, is sending out those letters. The law is pretty much on their side, and most people don't have the resources let alone the guts to take it to court.

However with this much public backlash I would hope it's a matter of time before no law firm dares to pick up the tab any more, and even the RIAA and it's international counterparts don't want to do it themselves any more due to the strong reactions. And with that I don't mean just being DOSed by Anonymous.

The true change will of course have to wait until public opinion has gone far enough that mainstream politicians can gain political points (and votes) by arguing for file sharing legalisation. And that point will be quite a while off.

Re:A More Factually Correct Article (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 3 years ago | (#33781938)

This may explain why there are so few law firms actually involved in the settlement business, which in a way reeks of easy money. All they have to do to get settlements, it seems, is sending out those letters.

What they are doing is a variation on the old scam of bogus invoicing.

The law is pretty much on their side, and most people don't have the resources let alone the guts to take it to court.

IIRC ACS:Law hasn't actually won any any contested court case. The only chance of their "winning" is if the defendant dosn't turn up to a hearing. Which in the case of a large corporation vs an individual (in the UK) is likely to be held at a court of the individual's choosing.

Re:A More Factually Correct Article (3, Informative)

opposabledumbs (1434215) | more than 3 years ago | (#33781996)

Except the law is not on their side. This is from an article about this on Wired.com, though, so you're welcome to take it from whence it comes.

the basic gist of this is that in the UK, where these guys have been practicing, there is no statutory claim to damages, and the lawyers in the UK system in a case like this would usually be able to claim only as much as the retail price of one item in damages. That would mean 75p in the case of a single downloaded music track.

The law firms are sending letters of demand for much more than this, and sending them to people in financial difficulty - who cannot afford to get legal representation, and who often pay up to make it go away. Hearing about massive damages awarded in cases similar to this in the States probably is a factor.

The lawyers typically don't go after people who haven't paid, and bring them to court. But one of them is considering moving from the UK to the US just because of the statuary damages angle that RIAA have managed to make law.

The wired article is here -http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/10/the-legal-blackmail-business/ [wired.com] - so everyone can ignore that one, as well, and write whatever comments they feel.

Re:A More Factually Correct Article (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#33781322)

The article linked in the summary is riddled with factual inaccuracies.

That's because the Slashdot editors stopped torrenting it too soon. Those inaccuracies will disappear once more people start seeding the article overnight.

Why is anyone surprised? (1, Informative)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 3 years ago | (#33780424)

In this modern day and age, lawyers exist solely to abuse the legal system by screwing as much money as possible out of somebody.

Sometimes it's the defendant, sometimes its their own client, sometimes it's just JimBob-Taxpayer-via-the-government.

I'm not saying that lawyers/soliciters/etc do not understand the meaning of hings like honesty, integrity, common decency and justice - but all they *care about* is how to use those terms to their own benefit.

"Lawyering" as a business is the practice of justice-for-hire. He who has the deepest pockets wins (almost always).

Jason Scott (2, Interesting)

doronbc (1434117) | more than 3 years ago | (#33780458)

just talked about this in his defcon talk, "You’re Stealing it Wrong" http://ascii.textfiles.com/archives/2714 [textfiles.com]

Re:Jason Scott (2, Interesting)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#33780736)

I just wanted to say thanks for pointing that video out to me. I had never heard of Jason Scott and I found his talk very interesting, even though it was over an hour long. I'll definitely be checking his site out: http://textfiles.com/ [textfiles.com] .

absolutely no excuse for this (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 3 years ago | (#33780470)

I would expect the riaa and mpaa to drop all their lawsuits tomorrow. There are numerous incidents of them pirating, they cannot even follow their own expectations.

Reminds me of... (1)

luvirini (753157) | more than 3 years ago | (#33780532)

Said by a lawyer: "Not all lawyers are crooks, it is just the 99% that make the rest of us have a bad reputation."

Pedant alert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33782268)

practicing what they preach,

This should be practising

Practice with a c is a noun; Practise with an s is the verb.

Back on topic, ACS:Law is the company currently under threat for exposing personal details of BT and Sky customers. Whatever your opinions on "digital Darwinism" and the people who choose to subscribe to such companies, this egregious release of their details should not go unpunished.
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