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Judge Ends Massive Porn Lawsuit

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the an-end-to-silliness dept.

The Courts 181

eldavojohn writes "A recent offensive of porn producers using copyright law against many anonymous P2P users has been terminated by a West Virginian judge. Initially, Ken Ford of Adult Copyright Company planned out nine lawsuits against some 22,000 file sharers, starting with 7,000-person and 9,000-person suits in the first wave. Unimpressed, the judge reduced everything down to one lawsuit against one file sharer, telling the Adult Copyright Company that they are to prosecute each individual separately, as the accused neither participated in the same transaction nor collaborated in these offenses. So, if you're looking to hit 22,000 people with such a lawsuit, the $350 court filing fee will require an investment of $7.7 million ($1.8 million for the individuals listed so far). Ars points out the hilarious fact that 'Ford has sued enough people that lawyers are taking out ads on his company name,' providing an image of an advertisement for such a search. This is separate from a similar showdown in US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois."

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181 comments

So, given the name of the representative... (3, Funny)

alfredos (1694270) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590442)

Do we get a bad car analogy down the line?

Re:So, given the name of the representative... (5, Funny)

skuzzlebutt (177224) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591466)

So, it's like this: Tommy Lee is driving the BangBus down the interstate, picking up every hooker and frat boy he sees. They can't all fit and do their business, as it's a 1994 Ford Aerostar and not, like, an Econoline or a cargo unit. After a couple of near-crashes and a blown shock (no pun intended), he tells all of them to get out, except for a guy in a white wig and black robe, and a girl wearing nothing but ten packages of PostIt notes stuck to her body. She is coming home from the courthouse, where she is filing for divorce from her cheating bastard of a husband, and really needs the hundred dollar bill that Ray LaHood, US Secretary of Transportation and part-time porn director, is waving in her face. Like any reasonable girl you find on the roadside, is willing to work for it. Ray is just there to make sure that they are all safe.

And that is how the steam engine changed modern warfare. Questions?

Re:So, given the name of the representative... (1)

bobmorning (316459) | more than 3 years ago | (#34592112)

OMG, you are seriously deranged.....and funny as hell. What a good laugh to start the weekend with!

Re:So, given the name of the representative... (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591606)

Do we get a bad car analogy down the line?

Yes, copyright infringement is like when you put a Mercedes star on your Ford's hood.

Is this bad enough, or do you want worse?

Re:So, given the name of the representative... (1)

sgrover (1167171) | more than 3 years ago | (#34592132)

That would be trademark infringement, not copyright infringement.

Pulling out early? (4, Funny)

drumcat (1659893) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590454)

Clearly he didn't want to finish...

Re:Pulling out early? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34590648)

No, he just wanted the money shot.

Re:Pulling out early? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34591486)

creampie > money shot

Re:Pulling out early? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34590716)

It definitely left a bad taste in his mouth.

Re:Pulling out early? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34591000)

that's what she said

Damn! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34590490)

I was looking forward to _this_ gangbang.

Stiff Competition (5, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590518)

The fact is that the real downfall of the porn industry isn't illegal file sharers, it's the fact that there appear to be a growing number of amateur exhibitionists willing to do filthy things to each other for discount prices, or in some cases for free. Mom and pop (and various other combinations) porn films are kicking the crap out of "mainstream" porn, because the Internet, that great leveler, has given this new wave of pornographers a cheap and universal distribution mechanism.

Re:Stiff Competition (1)

thbigr (514105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590626)

Limp Competition.

watching a bunch of out of shape people go at it, isn't something I enjoy watching... Not that I would every watch such a thing...

Re:Stiff Competition (4, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590760)

Actually, one might argue that there is a real social problem in female body image [webmd.com] (and judging from the proliferation of drugs intended to increase penis size, male as well) in western society.

It could further be argued that much of this has to do with both the "soft porn" of the fashion industry, and the exaggerated bodies of "hard core" porn as well.

To have realistic body portrayals - perhaps not the morbidly obese, unless you're someone with a fetish for that, but not "Olive Oyl and Brutus" caricature-bodies either - regain the mainstream spotlight might not be such a bad thing.

Re:Stiff Competition (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590788)

I agree. I think porn involving more realistic people, rather than the foot-long dong and silicon-sculptured types might at least go some distance towards getting rid of some pretty ludicrous stereotypes.

Re:Stiff Competition (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34591212)

I agree. I think porn involving more realistic people, rather than the foot-long dong and silicon-sculptured types might at least go some distance towards getting rid of some pretty ludicrous stereotypes.

You sound like you have a small penis or little boobs.

Or both.

economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34590890)

People aren't interested in seeing realistic body portrayals. The extremes are hotter, and more entertaining, and hence more people will pay more money to see them.

You really can't fault the media producers for simply supplying the product that is in-demand. Nor can you expect forced attempts at changing this basic facet of human behavior to work very well.

Re:economics (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590940)

Judging by the success of niche markets like BBWs and amateurs, I'd say that you're only half right. Yes, lots of people, maybe even the majority, like the sort of Barbie-and-Ken porn, but there seems to be a rather substantial fraction of the porn-viewing population that likes less-idealized body types having sexual relations on-camera.

Re:economics (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591320)

It really depends on taste. For instance, I think that proportions are very important. If the breasts are out of proportion to the rest of the body the person becomes rather unattractive to me. If I see someone who isn't exceptionally tall with a D cup I'm going to find that repulsive rather than erotic.

Likewise people who are too thin. I admit I like slender people but that's a lower limit, not the ideal spot. Also, there's a reason why a German magazine has admitted they photoshop models to look heavier - the anorexic look isn't universally appealing.

Plus, "thin is good" isn't hardwired into our brain. We do have "universal" preferences but those are a cultural thing. If we stop pushing ultra-thin large-breasted models exclusively then our generation probbly won't change but future ones won't grow up expecting it to be the sole definition of beauty.

Re:economics (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591414)

I don't think the "heroin" look had much to do with sex at all, to be honest with you. I have yet to talk to any heterosexual male who thought a 90lb woman was attractive. I think, as far as the fashion industry goes, the female figure they promote has more to do with how women judge women.

Re:economics (1)

edremy (36408) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591672)

I think, as far as the fashion industry goes, the female figure they promote has more to do with how women judge women.

Half right. It has more to do with how gay men judge women- voluptuous is out, male-like (no hips, no boobs) is in. The best way to achieve that look on women is to turn them into skeletons.

Re:economics (1)

tdelaney (458893) | more than 3 years ago | (#34592098)

90lb ~= 40kg. I had a girlfriend who was 45kg and I found her to be about the perfect weight. Of course, she was also only 150cm (5ft) tall ... 180cm (6ft) and 40kg ... urgh!

Re:Stiff Competition (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591306)

>>>"soft porn" of the fashion industry

I've never understood the use of this phrase. For me "porn" only applies if there's sex (either with a partner or self). It either is porn or isn't porn. Since the fashion models are clothed, there's no sex. And even in those shots where they are nude, there's still no sex. So the word "porn" doesn't apply.

If I were to apply a word to ads in magazines, et cetera I'd use "suggestive" or "attractive". Not porn; not sex.

BTW I agree with your point about body image and the negative impact on anorexic teens. But "thin" is still preferable overall, if only to avoid overweight-related diseases like clogged arteries, heart attack, or brain stroke. Perhaps if doctors could image the inside of our bodies, and show us the degeneration, we'd all eat a hell of a lot less.

C64_love (was banned for twenty hours)

Re:Stiff Competition (1)

jahudabudy (714731) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591994)

For me "porn" only applies if there's sex (either with a partner or self). It either is porn or isn't porn.

While I agree that fashion isn't really porn, there is a bit of gray area. What is sex? Penetration? Licking another person's genitals? Licking another person's face? Kissing? Petting? Where does "not sex" become "sex", and thus depicting it become porn?

Re:Stiff Competition (2)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591646)

We certainly DO have a body image problem. The problem isn't just with the magazines and movies though. It is also with the government and doctors. It is perticularly bad for men. It is bad enough that even if I got down to 0% body fat, the government, medical, and insurance industries would still call me fat. Well, "overweight" to be exact, but that's the same thing. My lean body mass puts me into the overweight category. Now, I do have a little extra fat on my body. Not enough to hide my stomach muscles mind you, but I am no work out guy either. This means that I am classified as 'obese', even though I am in far better shape and healthier than many of the Olive Oyls who are called healthy.

Now, I am smart enough to be able to know that the government is wrong, the insurance industry is wrong, and yes, even my doctor is wrong. Imagine how hard it is for the general public though. It must be horrible to have a doctor telling you that you are fat, when it is physically impossible for you to ever reach what they call normal. Heck, no wonder we have little girls with eating disorders when on the one hand they are getting bashed for being anorexic, and on the other hand, their doctors are telling them that they are fat at the same time.

On a side note, Brutus would be considered grossly obese by today's standards.

Re:Stiff Competition (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591826)

Actually, one might argue that there is a real social problem in female body image [webmd.com] (and judging from the proliferation of drugs intended to increase penis size, male as well) in western society.

It could further be argued that much of this has to do with both the "soft porn" of the fashion industry, and the exaggerated bodies of "hard core" porn as well.

To have realistic body portrayals - perhaps not the morbidly obese, unless you're someone with a fetish for that, but not "Olive Oyl and Brutus" caricature-bodies either - regain the mainstream spotlight might not be such a bad thing.

I've noticed that there is a range of extremely hot girls, none chubby, from the skinny-but-not-annorexic petites I love to the shapely-but-extremely-curvy sweeties that are eating just a bit more pie.

The funny thing is there's a LOT of girls like this.

It's not a matter of working their ass off doing 5 hours of aerobics a day. Any girl that plays a sport is going to stay in shape (lacross, soccer). Sure they might not be the "slim/athletic" girls that go in "super hot model" jobs, but they're not going to be "a little chubby" either... there's a size in between where they're slim, shapely, and extremely curvy. Most girls that aren't shoving down unhealthy amounts of food manage to have a soft body with just enough padding that they're girl shaped, not egg shaped (or columnar for that matter).

Healthy bodies are different: humans are sexually dimorphic, and there is a point where you stop looking like a man/woman and start looking like a fat asshole. That is where you're going downhill. There's no shortage of happy, healthy girls though. It's a little ridiculous when they're 130 pounds and complaining they need to lose 10 pounds ... they're just going to lose hips, or boobs, or soft curves along the legs... no cellulite, no ugly unsightly ripples or bulges, just shape. 180... 200 pound girls that are 5'2 and carrying 50% body fat are well out of shape though.

Re:Stiff Competition (2)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590780)

Out of shape???

I humbly suggest you adjust your search parameters to include the words "teen" and ("mirror" -or- "dorm sex"). You'll see humans in peak physical condition and better than the Penthouse crap with man-made boobs and fake moans.

Re:Stiff Competition (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34590838)

So basically, in addition to being one of the dumbest people on the planet, you're also a pedophile.

Re:Stiff Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34590886)

You must be american. You're the only ones who think your local laws and cultural values apply all over the globe.

Re:Stiff Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34591304)

So, there are Countries out there on par with West Virginia? Wow...

Re:Stiff Competition (2)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591030)

Anon. Coward writes:
>>>in addition to being one of the dumbest people on the planet, you're also a pedophile

No. That would mean I loved pre-adolescent children and I don't. Ick. Sick. Disgusting. "Ephebophile" is the word you're looking for (i.e. 18-22) (aka college aged) which also happens to be the main age group published by Playboy and other mags*. So to act if their is something wrong with that only displays your own Puritan close-mindedness and nudity phobia.

*
* Except the Danish "Seventeen" which is self-descriptive.

Re:Stiff Competition (1)

ziggyzaggy (552814) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591076)

you'll be happy to know the Netherlands has adopted the same standards for porn actor/actress age as other first and second world nations, and that "seventeen" has for some time now features eighteens and up.

Re:Stiff Competition (1)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591298)

"seventeen" has for some time now features eighteens and up.

Oh? I heard that’s just the version they sell to prudish countries like the US now.

Re:Stiff Competition (2)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591458)

18-22 is ephebophilia? I doubt that. Ephebophilia covers only adolescents and I don't think you can call people aged 20+ adolescents. 18-19 can be argued as ephebophilia but 20-22 is, well, a preference for young adults.

But yeah, anyone who thinks that "teen" porn involves anyone under 18 is too busy knee-jerking to actually investigate the matter they're clamoring about.

Re:Stiff Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34591036)

Pedophilia is pre-teen, and certainly not college. Once a girl starts growing boobs and hips she starts being uninteresting to most pedophiles, the same with boys and body hair.

Re:Stiff Competition (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591196)

The problem here is definitions. From a sociological and psychological perspective, pedophilia is strictly prepubescent. But, from a legal prespective, having a photo of a teenager one day shy of her eighteenth birthday is no different than having a photo of a toddler being gang-raped. There isn't much distinction in law, and the situation looks set to continue as reform is politically infeasable.

Re:Stiff Competition (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591514)

>>>having a photo of a teenager one day shy of her eighteenth birthday

The US Supreme Court has ruled that nudity, regardless of age, is not illegal. That's why you can find books filled with naked children and teens in amazon.com, or at Barnes&Noble brick stores. Of course you'll still get arrested for possession of the 17.9-yr-old nude photo, so the local Prosecutor can brag he is "getting tough on crime", but if the judge follows the SCOTUS decision, you'll eventually be let go.

Re:Stiff Competition (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591056)

18 and 19's not legal anymore?

When did that happen?

Re:Stiff Competition (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591876)

They do get counted as "Teen pregnancies" though.

So, a woman who has dated the same guy for 3 years, is out of school, has a job, votes, and maybe even owns her own home, gets married and on her wedding night gets pregnant from her devoted husband; this woman will be counted as a tragedy. She will be lumped in with 13 year old floozies who got knocked up by exchanging sex for a six pack of beer with guy that hangs out in front of the liqueur store.

Re:Stiff Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34591110)

I'll just remind you that paedophilia (because I'm a britfag) is actually lust or desire or sexual conduct with pre-pubertal children. That rarely includes teens and if you look up 'teen titties' on the internet you certainly aren't going to get any of that. What you will get is 18yr olds, completely legal, and more than a few sexually mature (and active) 14-18yr olds of dubious legality depending on your jurisdiction.

There is a word for lust or sexual conduct with those young adults but its a nonsense word really, and its not paedophilia.

Re:Stiff Competition (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591468)

I personally prefer amateur porn with realistic looking people (but not fat people). It is easier to be turn on when they are turn on and when you know they were not paid.

Re:Stiff Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34590650)

Consider as well the "acting" in the pro films, it is over the top and ruins the film with some skinny skank screaming and moaning while some dude/gal slaps her vag with vibrating dong, as well as some of the most vile things being done and women that really need to eat something. protruding hip bones are not sexy

Re:Stiff Competition (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34590742)

some skinny skank screaming and moaning while some dude/gal slaps her vag with vibrating dong

I would like to subscribe to your news letter.

Now then, can you start again? Only this time say it a little slower...

And for the record, you had me at "skinny skank screaming..."

Re:Stiff Competition (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590824)

Agreed. Honestly the best site for porn I have EVER found is Flickr. You can find ANYTHING that you like on there.

Re:Stiff Competition (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590926)

Well there's amateur porn and there's "amature" porn where they just pretend to be, I think people are downloading much more pro porn than they think except they don't all have boob jobs and tramp stamps. Their primary problem is that the market is completely oversaturated, your basic fuck flick has now been done a million times before and counting. Unless you have AAA supermodel material that somehow ended up in porn or some niche site, you're in a rat race for the bottom.

Re:Stiff Competition (2)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591084)

they don't all have boob jobs and tramp stamps.

Are you implying that only porn stars have those things? If that's the case, then my wife and most of her friends are all porn stars.

Re:Stiff Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34591300)

He may or may not have implied that all porn stars have boob jobs and tramp stamps, but in no way did he imply that only porn stars have them. Learn to fucking read. Oh, and you're wife may not be a porn star, but she is a whore.

Re:Stiff Competition (3, Funny)

Xaositecte (897197) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591736)

I have some shocking things to tell you about what your wife and her friends did in college...

Re:Stiff Competition (5, Funny)

Beerdood (1451859) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591744)

Please don't ever use the phrase "Mom and pop porn films" again. I can't unsee the thought that came to my head after reading those words, no matter how hard I try.

Isn't this the same thing that happend to the **AA (1)

SirGeek (120712) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590526)

Didn't they have to begin filing against each individual infringer ?

Re:Isn't this the same thing that happend to the * (5, Funny)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590592)

Yes, but this case is about porn, and therefore more newsworthy.

E-commerce strikes again (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590536)

So, what would the internet version of an 'ambulance chaser' be, considering how easy it is to attach ads to search terms?

Finally, a win for privacy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34590548)

Thank god, I didn't want the public to know I was downloading "Anal Sluts 13: The Fistening".

--

John Davidson

somerradicaldude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34590568)

Perhaps the id10t judges hearing similar cases from the MPAA and the RIAA should do the same thing.

Re:somerradicaldude (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590674)

They already did. This judge's decision was based on a prior decision that went against the RIAA doing the same thing.

Re:somerradicaldude (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590738)

Wouldn't it be funny if the pornsters and the RIAA wound up teaming up?

Might get a bit tricky with all the "protect the children" stuff - but hey - money is money.

Re:somerradicaldude (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34590816)

I think the differences between the two industries are too great. One is a disgusting, sleazy and exploitive, and the other sells images of people having sex.

So Hollywood can do it but not the porn people ? (5, Interesting)

bobjr94 (1120555) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590570)

Seems somewhat biased the riaa and other lawyer heavy companies can send out millions of lawsuits but when it comes to the porn companies it's different. What does that do for all the other mass lawsuits that have been or will be sent to other downloaders ?

Re:So Hollywood can do it but not the porn people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34590614)

I imagine short-term nothing unless those Hollywood suits are in the same jurisdiction; but, hopefully, other jurisdictions will take similar actions.

Hollywood can't do it either (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34590670)

Class Action lawsuits are different from individual suits. A class action can lead to much more money, and cost less to file. Usually a class is many people suing one large corporation. In this case, a corporation wanted to file a class action against many individuals as a group & the judge said "no".

Hollywood, or the RIAA, also must file separate actions against each person. The separate court fees aren't big enough to scare the RIAA away like the guy in TFA.

Re:So Hollywood can do it but not the porn people (1)

StormReaver (59959) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590758)

Seems somewhat biased the riaa and other lawyer heavy companies can send out millions of lawsuits but when it comes to the porn companies it's different.

Laws will be handled differently by different jurisdictions. In this case, it's not a matter of who has more lawyers; it's a matter of where the filing occurred.

Re:So Hollywood can do it but not the porn people (1)

AvderTheTerrible (1960234) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590830)

Also seems like it's judicial roulette whenever a group files a massive copyright infringement lawsuit against a large number of people. On rare occasion, the bullet is in the barrel and the judge is willing to apply the law and make the mass filing party jump through the same procedural hoops everyone else has to or apply actual common-sense protections to the defendants.

wonder if the others are watching? (1)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590712)

Does this set a precedent making it harder for the 'Dunlapp, Grub and Weaver' lawsuits?

The RIAA/MPAA, and their advocates are going to be pissed....

Re:wonder if the others are watching? (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591144)

Probably not, at least not directly. Those suits were filed in DC, which has its own appeals circuit. The Northern District of West Virginia is in the 4th Circuit. Defendants in the Dunlap suits may still be able to point to this case in an attempt to convince the judge to go along with it, but the judge wouldn't be under an obligation due to precedent.

Re:wonder if the others are watching? (1)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591720)

Thanks. I wasn't sure how that worked, (and was silently hoping i wasn't going to get flamed for not having RTFA or something...)

so cheers!

The lets hope the court in DC does take the cue. I'd like to see the business model change rather than massive lawsuits against P2P.

I acknowledge the business model is changing with the likes of Netflix online, Hulu etc, and i'd like to see progress in that direction - internationally. (many of those services are not available outside the USA).

Massive Copyright Infringements and the Law (2, Interesting)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590718)

Eventually something's going to break. The reality is such:

1) 10,000 people can "steal" your digital goods easily
2) You can't currently sue more than one person at a time if they didn't collude
3) It's too expensive to sue 10,000 people separately
4) It's not really the ISPs fault so you can't sue them either

So what DOES someone do who has bankrolled their digital creation and would like to recoup their investment, even make a profit, only to find that it's spread amongst 10,000 people without a penny returned. My thinking: make one copy cost what you hope to earn. So if you make a little software program and it takes you 30 hours at, say, $60/hour...charge $1800 for it. That way, when someone "steals" it, you can sue that single person and get your money back.

Yes, that's a dumb idea. But really, money is going to start failing in terms of something that is essentially eternally renewable. What would clothes be worth if we could 100% recycle them into fresh ones? You have that going on now with software, movies, etc. It's a tricky spot we're in.

Re:Massive Copyright Infringements and the Law (4, Insightful)

zeroshade (1801584) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590906)

It's not a tricky spot at all. For example with music, Artists make more money now than they have in a long while. This is due, partially to piracy, to the downfall of physical CD purchases and the increase in live performances. The point is that the piracy has acted as free advertising for them.

Have some artists not done as well, perhaps due to piracy, most likely. But it's economics. If people like your music, they will pay you money to continue to make it. Whether they are giving you money for live performances, merchandise, or even donations, you'll get money. The people who want to hear more will support you.

If your music is crappy, more people will have heard of you and that means more people will have heard the music and less will buy it.

It's supply and demand. The songs have an infinite supply but merchandise, live performances, and experiences do not. The songs have become the free advertising that lead the consumers to the other things. The situation for movies has become similar.

Re:Massive Copyright Infringements and the Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34591042)

Your naive post shows you have no idea how the music business works. Artisis are making the same as they always have. And for every artist that is turning a rpofit on a label, there are 35 artists that are not. The contract percentages have not gotten any better for the artists. Whether or not your music is "crappy" or not matters a lot less than your budget for marketing. Labels pay to get their music played, pay to get their albums in major music retailers, etc. The only way the actual bands make any real money is by touring and selling merchandise themselves. For every $15 CD sold by the label, the artist will see less than $1. And if you are in a band with say 4 people, you are getting 25 cents per member for every CD sold.

Re:Massive Copyright Infringements and the Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34591178)

Labels pay to get their music played?
Wrong, we pay the labels to play their music (on public radio).

Re:Massive Copyright Infringements and the Law (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591256)

And this is where music artists and porn stars are alike. Both are getting screwed. At least the porn stars have a decent shot at enjoying it.

Re:Massive Copyright Infringements and the Law (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34591418)

Used to be that the "name" porn ladies mainly used the movies as promotional material for the much-more-profitable strip-club tours. Sounds a lot like the same argument here for the musicians; the recorded material drums up attention for the live touring, where they make the real money from.

Re:Massive Copyright Infringements and the Law (2)

AJWM (19027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591336)

It's starting to happen with midlist authors too. Self- or indie pubbed books on Amazon or Smashwords may not sell as many copies as a mass-market paperback from a New York publisher, but the royalty difference (70% vs 10%, say) can more than make up for that. Freebies (to an extent) are advertising, which just helps. (Look at what the Baen Free Library has done for those authors.)

The difference between all that and movies is for the most part that movie making is still a high-budget operation. Writing books or writing and performing songs are small operations, taking one or a few people. Movies involve actors, directors, writers, artists, set builders, cinematographers, musicians, etc, etc. Less so for animation, of course, and modern tools make it easier for a small crew to do a professional-looking job with fewer resources. But even a low-budget movie like Moon cost $5 million. Primer, a great indie SF film, was shot using a single camera, cheap film stock (expired or short ends -- and yes, today it would probably be done direct to digital), not much in the way of sets or props (and much of what they did use was scrounged), etc, etc and cost $7000 to shoot. It doesn't cost anywhere near that to write and publish (epub or POD) a novel. (No idea what studio costs for recording might be; obviously cheaper done in a garage with good amateur gear.) Mind, that $7K was just shooting cost. To convert the film to 35mm stock (for Sundance, etc) cost $28,000. And again, with the advent of digital projection, that will go away to some degree.

To compare, movie-making today is still in the era that publishing was when writers had to use manual typewriters. Too many people and too much expensive equipment involved (who owns their own Linotype? or soundstage?) for individual-level players to have much influence. But that's changing.

Re:Massive Copyright Infringements and the Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34591730)

I for one would appreciate live porn performances, especially if they interact with the audience

Re:Massive Copyright Infringements and the Law (1)

debrain (29228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591068)

One response is the creation of a procedural mechanism whereby a class of defendants for whom the common issues of fact and law are determined together can be used to expedite the determination of fault by the masses. While a class of plaintiffs is certainly more common and intuitive, it's certainly not the only possible mechanism for Courts resolving issues that affect large numbers of individuals.

Some jurisdictions have had such mechanisms since the early 1990's.

Re:Massive Copyright Infringements and the Law (1)

starcraftsicko (647070) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591322)

(In the US at least) This could run afoul of the rights of (ex) an accused person to confront an accuser. In an era of excessive statutory damages and vigorous collections, the rights of those accused, even in civil cases, need to be considered. I don't this is a cash-grab exercise, an won't be settled with a one time payment of $16.88 per defendant and a 10% H&R Block coupon...

Re:Massive Copyright Infringements and the Law (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591248)

The approach here in Europe has been legislative action that allows lesser penalties (internet disconnection) to be imposed without the requirements of proper procedure of a civil action. Then it becomes practical for a copyright holder to use automated means to send of tens of thousands of complaints, and get people kicked off the internet. There will unavoidably be false positives, and innocent people punished, but that is the price of making copyright once again somewhat enforceable.

Re:Massive Copyright Infringements and the Law (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591706)

The approach here in Europe has been legislative action that allows lesser penalties (internet disconnection) to be imposed without the requirements of proper procedure of a civil action.

Mostly just France really, and even they have barely started after doing a lot of legal rounds. I think everyone else is just waiting to see how that experiment goes. Many, many other countries in Europe don't have any plans like that at all.

Re:Massive Copyright Infringements and the Law (2)

bl968 (190792) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591362)

But the reality is that content producers will continue to produce content, because not everyone will download it illegally.

It's like in news, I would love for the corporate media to put their content behind a paywall. It would be the best gift they could give my small news web site.

Then you have the fact that the vast majority of content can trace its roots to other peoples works from the past, Just look at the music in early Disney cartoons, did they use classical music out of a desire to instill a love of classical music in children, or did they instead use it because it was free. The availability of free content creates a boom in new content, new culture.

Re:Massive Copyright Infringements and the Law (2)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591404)

So what DOES someone do who has bankrolled their digital creation and would like to recoup their investment, even make a profit, only to find that it's spread amongst 10,000 people without a penny returned.

Since this is about porn, I guess amateur porn will keep killing the industry. And I'm not complaining.

Re:Massive Copyright Infringements and the Law (4, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591440)

I don't think it's a tricky spot. Don't think of "Piracy" as one big block, but as two distinct chunks.

On one hand you have your Pirate-Anything-No-Matter-What pirates. If you lowered your prices to a penny per song and included a free gold nugget with each purchase, these pirates would still be uploading and downloading songs from P2P. Don't consider these people your customers or lost sales in any way. If you removed their ability to pirate your works, chances are they wouldn't have pried open their wallets to pay for the merchandise.

The other group, are people who pirate due to price, availability or convenience. For these people, think of piracy as a competing product. If you offer your product for a reasonable price with appropriate availability and convenience to purchase, piracy will drop. If you overcharge, restrict availability or make your customer jump through hurdles before they can buy, then piracy will climb.

If 10,000 people are pirating your works, you shouldn't be asking "How can I best sue them into oblivion", you should be asking "What can I do to win back most of those pirates?"

Re:Massive Copyright Infringements and the Law (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34592104)

Except that's not how it works. Repeated studies have shown that while some people never buy, most of those that do buy also pirate a lot because they can get so much, much more. People seem to choose how much to pay whether the creators like it or not by buying just a fraction of what they consume. They don't like it because a) the demand are dictating the terms, it's not "pay our price or do without" it's "lower your prices or I'll go pirate it" and b) you're not very likely to buy the CD/DVD when everyone around you got it for free on P2P. There's a huge mental attitude change in the younger generation they're very, very afraid of with good reason. As long as you think of it as a bad habit you should quit or reduce as soon as you get more disposable cash, they will eventually make money off you. If it becomes normal and accepted as the natural state of things, they're lost forever.

Who said life is fair? (2)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591842)

So what DOES someone do who has bankrolled their digital creation and would like to recoup their investment, even make a profit, only to find that it's spread amongst 10,000 people without a penny returned.

Invent a different business model. Reality is like this, not everything that's valuable will bring you a profit.

I think a good analogy for this is oxygen. There are many companies selling bottled oxygen, which is a valuable gas for medical and industrial purposes. Those companies get their oxygen from the atmosphere and they don't pay anyone for that.

On the other side are farmers whose plants ingest carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen as part of their life cycle. Those farmers are giving away for free something that gas companies sell.

If there existed some kind of absolute justice like the *AA want, the farmers should get paid for the oxygen their plants release in the atmosphere, but there is no practical way of doing it.

Progress of arts and sciences (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590776)

Is it possible that defense lawyers could make an argument that copyright law doesn't constitutionally cover Batman XXX because it doesn't advance arts and sciences [wikipedia.org] ?

(I'm not referring to their 1st amendment protection, but rather ability to prevent copying and distribution.)

It's true that it seems that that argument would be going into "viewpoint discrimination" territory, but I would think that's only in reference to banning expression, not restricting its distribution.

A landmark for music lawsuits? (2)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590778)

Perhaps this may end the RIAA's offense of suing hundreds of people at once?

Re:A landmark for music lawsuits? (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590988)

no. they simply file as a class action and the courts seem to be sympathetic to permitting them to do that.

Re:A landmark for music lawsuits? (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591238)

Perhaps my legal knowledge is rusty, but isn't a class action where a group of people file suit together against one defendent? (More accurately, they file a lot of individual lawsuits which get bundled together.) The RIAA (or some other big company) can't simply say "Class Action!" and sue a thousand people in one stroke.

Re:A landmark for music lawsuits? (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591480)

Or so you think. This is going to get ugly the next time that the RIAA tries to sue people, hopefully. Since the porn dudes got their stuff twisted up, if I was the porn industry, I would sue the RIAA or whatever state allows the class action lawsuits to go through

Re:A landmark for music lawsuits? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34591390)

AHHH, no. A class action suit involves separate plaintiffs charging a single defendant. This is the opposite scenario of a single plaintiff charging several defendants. Each defendant in a civil or criminal trial has a right to defend themselves, so you cannot sue everyone at one time unless they are co-conspirators. In defense of your argument, though, VA is probably not a sympathetic jurisdiction for the porn industry, so getting a judge there to go along with your wacky scheme would be harder there (ha!). The lawyers for the music industry, being the best in the business, can probably come up with some sort of co-conspirator claim that sticks, but it ain't easy.

What about the one remaining John Doe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34590856)

That poor bastard. It can't be fun being the whipping boy for the entire universe of illegal online porn downloaders.

Unless you like that sort of thing. Unrelated note: my CAPTCHA is for this post is creamers. What are the odds?

p2p (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34590982)

pecker to pussy!

My ISP already gave them my name and address (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34591516)

My records were subpoenaed in one of these cases and my ISP turned them over before it was quashed. I've already received a nasty letter demanding $5,000. Am I still in jeopardy here?

Huh? (4, Interesting)

thethibs (882667) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591982)

Ford has sued enough people that lawyers are taking out ads on his company name,' providing an image of an advertisement for such a search.

What the hell does that mean? The words are english, but...

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