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Nearly 100,000 P2P Users Sued In the Past Year

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the cholesterol-for-the-courts dept.

The Courts 254

An anonymous reader writes "The avalanche of copyright infringement lawsuits in the United States, mainly against BitTorrent users, are about to hit a dubious milestone. In total 99,924 defendants have been sued in the last 12 months, and new cases are being filed at a rapid rate. Adult companies in particular have embraced the profitable pay-up-or-else scheme where tens of millions of dollars are at stake." Though, as other readers point out, both judges and cable companies are getting tired of the endless subpoenas in P2P porn cases.

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No way (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35111890)

that I can be first post

400 million to go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35111892)

while rapist sand murderers wait for trials, lets think of missing children er missing tunes ya thats it.

Re:400 million to go (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112012)

Rapist sand murderers? My, America is worse than I thought.

Re:400 million to go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112086)

I think he is referring to the recent trouble in the judicial system of the Tusken Raiders.

Re:400 million to go (3, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112630)

Rapists and murders don't effect the media giant's revenue stream. In fact they enhance it due to 'made for TV movies' and pseudo 'news commentatry' shows that come out of the drawn out court cases.

P2P= (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35111898)

Pr0n to Pirates.

problem solved (3, Interesting)

thehodapp (1931332) | more than 3 years ago | (#35111902)

don't be a victim. Use a proxy.

Re:problem solved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35111932)

How do you find one? Any tips?

Re:problem solved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35111966)

I used a pixy.

Re:problem solved (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35111998)

For downloading the torrent files:

- proxy.org
- proxy4free.com

Downloading through p2p:

- btguard.com

Re:problem solved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112120)

Won't relying on DHT and never using trackers work, so long as the bad guys aren't seeding themselves?

// knows hardly anything about bittorrent

Re:problem solved (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112564)

Oh, but they are. Well, maybe not seeding, but certainly with logging P2P clients which log your IP when you share with them.
The only way to be really protected is using a proxy/VPN.

See http://bitaudit.com/ [bitaudit.com] for example.

Re:problem solved (2)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112334)

Proxies are seriously slow unless you configure your own in some way, or know someone with a nice low-user high-speed setup in an anonymous location.

How about the rest of the relevant statistics? (4, Insightful)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#35111916)

How about the rest of the relevant statistics? Ie. how many of those actually went to court, and in how many of those did the judge actually rule in benefit of the porn company? Just saying that 100,000 people got sued doesn't really tell enough.

I'm not too good with spreadsheets and I can't see such information in the article itself.

Re:How about the rest of the relevant statistics? (4, Insightful)

mickwd (196449) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112106)

Speaking of statistic, 100,000 is starting to be a big group of.....voters. Especially if you include the families of those affected.

Big enough to make the difference in some marginal seats.

Perhaps it's time to start asking questions of which politicians do and don't support these legal actions.

Politiians are whores for your votes - perhaps it's time to start using that fact.

Re:How about the rest of the relevant statistics? (3, Insightful)

muuh-gnu (894733) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112506)

> Perhaps it's time to start asking questions of which politicians do and don't support these legal actions.

And when they promise not to support this but then do?
And then you look for somebody else for the next election, and then they also promise not to but then do?

The fundamental problem here is: you cant punish politicians for outright lying other than not voting for them the next time. But because there always pass several years between the elections, the electorate simply forgets who broke what promise years ago. They tend to trust their guts and weight recent believeable promises way more than on long forgotten lies. Knowing that, in order to get elected you merely have to make believeable promises. After being elected you then can base your decisions on what to actually _do_ solely on who pays the most.

If we had a system like in Switzerland, where any law the public does not agree with can be invalidated with a successful referendum, the politicians could be trained to not to introduce laws which with a high probability would be invalidated anyway _and_ would damage their party's chances to get reelected next time. Also Switzerland has a real and more dynamical multi party system with more than merely two (identical) choices, but thats a another story.

Three-fourths of the states (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112560)

If we had a system like in Switzerland, where any law the public does not agree with can be invalidated with a successful referendum

Then we'd have three-fourths of the states being able to pass federal laws right over the Congress's head. Such an amendment process already exists if 34 state legislatures call a convention to propose an amendment to the Constitution and 38 state legislatures ratify the amendment.

Re:Three-fourths of the states (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112636)

To fix pasting into comments in Chrome: Open a comment in a new tab before replying, or compose in a text editor first.

That's not a "fix", it's a "workaround".

MPAA studios own TV news (5, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112528)

Politiians are whores for your votes

Major copyright owners can provide more votes than concerned members of the public because major copyright owners control the major U.S. television news media. This lets major copyright owners manipulate voters' awareness of both issues and candidates [pineight.com] .

So what's a "victim" to do? (4, Interesting)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35111930)

So you get an extortion note. Then what? Do you settle? If not, do you hire a lawyer? Do you do nothing and wait to see if an actual trial happens?

Who's to say that someone isn't being naughty and spoofing your address? Or perhaps someone has sniffed enough of your wireless AP traffic to divine the password and go to town downloading crap?

Re:So what's a "victim" to do? (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112054)

This is prohibition 2.0
Smiting the random, in an attempt to hold back the tide.

Re:So what's a "victim" to do? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112448)

LOL. typical self righteous bullshit from a slashdot pirate.
Prohibition was stopping anyone MAKING alcohol. This is stopping you helping yourself to other peoples work, or 'theft'.
Grow up moron.

Re:So what's a "victim" to do? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112088)

... how about you suck it up, acknowledge you got caught, and pay the fine?

99.9999% of these people are guilty of an illegal act. Pretending otherwise is ridiculous and deliberately trying to avoid that point.

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

Re:So what's a "victim" to do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112130)

Citation please?

Re:So what's a "victim" to do? (1)

dougmc (70836) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112168)

99.9999% = all but 1 in 1,000,000. So are you really claiming that less than one of the people sued in the last year wasn't guilty?

Unfortunately, these are civil issues, not criminal issues, so the ideas of "innocent until proven guilty", "guilty beyond a reasonable doubt", "you are entitled to an attorney, and if you can not afford one, one will be appointed to you" and even "you have the right to remain silent" do not apply. In particular, "guilty beyond a reasonable doubt" is replaced by a "preponderance of evidence" -- so if the jury thinks there's a 51% chance you're guilty -- that means guilty.

Re:So what's a "victim" to do? (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112260)

I think the numbers we have regarding HADOPI had much higher false positives.

Re:So what's a "victim" to do? (3, Insightful)

Danse (1026) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112558)

... how about you suck it up, acknowledge you got caught, and pay the fine?

99.9999% of these people are guilty of an illegal act. Pretending otherwise is ridiculous and deliberately trying to avoid that point.

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

Hmm... made-up statistics, presumption of guilt. The new American justice.

Re:So what's a "victim" to do? (4, Informative)

VanessaE (970834) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112576)

So, if I decide a TV program is out of the question for some reason (either because I can't receive it at all, or because I won't be there at broadcast time), then it is still a genuine crime that should be punishable by destroying my life with insane charges? Even though that TV content is available over free-to-air broadcast as well as freely accessible places like Hulu? Even though I am one of those who doesn't respond to commercials? Thankfully that hasn't happened to me, as I choose not to download if only to avoid the assholes out there who can't see the damage they're doing to their own brands.

The "crime": Downloading a copyrighted work.

The "fine": A demand for remittance to a private company, who claims to act on behalf of the copyright holder of the work in question, initially for an amount that is often thousands of times the fair market value of that work, and which is issued in such a manner as to bypass the courts and ignore due process entirely. If it goes to the courts, it can become a civil judgment reaching into the millions-of-dollars range (see Capitol v. Thomas, the defendant lost to the tune of $1.5M). At no point does it become a criminal charge.

The "time": Anywhere from a serious financial headache if you pay off the initial demand, to just plain bankruptcy if you lose in court. To most people, the latter may as well be life in prison.

Sorry, your argument doesn't fly here.

Re:So what's a "victim" to do? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112132)

If they just send you an angry letter, you can laugh at them. In their faces for preference*.

If presented with an actual lawsuit, you will have to consult a lawyer. Remember that some lawyers are good at trials and others are good with technicalities. It's best if you know whom in your area to trust with what. But not always possible, I'm afraid. Never trust only your own interpretation of the law, it WILL BE biased in cases concerning yourself. Consult multiple lawyers if you feel the suit warrants it.

And NEVER, EVER do you not show up at the court**. If a date has been set and they later say they won't pursue the suit, you're better off showing up anyway. Sure, it's expensive and you could possibly have a default judgement reversed if you can show they lied, but prevention is way better than cure in this case.

Yes, the above is expensive. It's a system designed to make money.

Now take note: IAANAL, IANA American. But the above is a good rule of thumb in most places in the western world.

* If you did everything they claim, don't laugh in writing. They might give it to the judge, who might not like it.
** Or at least send your lawyer.

Re:So what's a "victim" to do? (4, Insightful)

MikeURL (890801) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112188)

It just doesn't matter. You are expected to secure your wifi and not doing so isn't a blanket excuse. If it were then everyone would leave their wifi open and there would be no suits.

Personally I think it is time to just stop with the torrents. They expose people to too much risk. Even if they aren't exposing you to risk then you are exposing your neighbor by using their wireless. And if you are using TOR you're slowing that down for everyone and stop it.

Seriously, if you want the content then pay for it. if you can't afford it then don't watch/listen. I can almost guarantee that losing the latest stuff that the porn industry has turned out will in no way impair your enjoyment of life. If it isn't available in your country then it isn't. The same caveat applies...not having it probably won't hurt you much.

In short, they are slowly tightening this noose and eventually they are going to catch all but the most leet hackers. As opinion leaders I really wish /. readers would start to make a wholesale shift on this. Namely, pay for it or live without it. If the DRM is too onerous--live without it. If you can't get it in your country--live without it. If you want to make 12 backup copies and mod it to run on your linux tablet--live without it.

We can vote with our dollars here. I personally gave up torrents probably two years ago and I really don't miss it. There are a few legal avenues that work and are not too expensive. For the stuff that is too hard to get I ignore it. It will either eventually be legal to buy cheaply or I'll just simply never see it. Can we start to agree to stop playing this sick game with the content creators where they try to make us pay and we try not to?

Re:So what's a "victim" to do? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112276)

You are expected to secure your wifi a.

Uh, what? You are? Where is that written?

Re:So what's a "victim" to do? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112284)

Almost all wifi routers set up by cable companies are using WEP. A billion years ago the FBI had a news conference about WEP security which is anything but secure, and demonstrated it can be broken in 2 minutes. That was well after anyone with a remote interest in network knew how bad it was.

Most people can use applications they download, most people have no idea about different security protocols. A secure icon and entering a password has every indication they are secure. My entire neighborhood believes they are secure, all but one is using WEP. Anyone can be using their network, just park behind the fence, do the deed. Move on.

You think a consumer should understand minutia of a specialized field? That's BS. Do you service your own car, assuming you can afford something remotely modern?

Re:So what's a "victim" to do? (5, Interesting)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112292)

Seriously, if you want the content then pay for it

Mod parent up.

It's time to face facts - Torrenting copywritten videos and audio files is eventually going to get you bitten - And you can make all the academic arguements you want about 'data wanting to be free' and blah blah blah but the fact remains that as things sit today the law isn't on your side. Do I rip my DVDs and put them on my iPod? Absolutely. Do I share those rips online? No damn way.

Re:So what's a "victim" to do? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112494)

Seriously, if you want the content then pay for it

Mod parent up.

It's time to face facts - Torrenting copywritten videos and audio files is eventually going to get you bitten - And you can make all the academic arguements you want about 'data wanting to be free' and blah blah blah but the fact remains that as things sit today the law isn't on your side. Do I rip my DVDs and put them on my iPod? Absolutely. Do I share those rips online? No damn way.

Go away mom.

Re:So what's a "victim" to do? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112326)

So, in your twisted little world, you consider it perfectly allright for someone to sue a kid, a college student, or someone who might not have top not security skills for millions of dollars for a movie that might cost $15 to watch at a theater.

You are the type of person which causes a lot of people here in the US a lot of misery because you condone extreme penalties for relatively small infractions. No wonder why our jails are packed with nonviolent inmates. But, I'm sure you have Corrections Company of America stock, so every person in jail is more cash in your pocket.

Realistically, each violation should be something like $50 to $100 or something like that. Condoning far greater amounts just means you condone tyranny.

Re:So what's a "victim" to do? (3, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112338)

It just doesn't matter. You are expected to secure your wifi and not doing so isn't a blanket excuse. If it were then everyone would leave their wifi open and there would be no suits.

Of course it matters, as it inserts 'reasonable doubt' into the equation. There are also viruses, etc that factor into this.

Just beacuse they THINK i did something wrong does not make it true, and they need to prove it was *me*. I am speaking from expirence to the extent that years ago my Linux based router ( back in the dialup days, not recently ) was hacked into and was turned into a Russian porn IRC bot for a day ( it was quickly discovered and remedied, and I notified the next guy in the chain as a good citizen ). But who knows what could have happens for those 8 hours or so. Major corporations are hit to, it really can happen to the best of us.

The only thing i'm guilty of if i get hacked is violating my AUP with my ISP. Its not much different than if someone steals my locked car and uses it in a crime. I didn't commit a crime.

Re:So what's a "victim" to do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112392)

It just doesn't matter. You are expected to secure your wifi and not doing so isn't a blanket excuse. If it were then everyone would leave their wifi open and there would be no suits.

So people secure their wireless APs just to avoid lawsuits? Can I have some of what you're smoking?

Re:So what's a "victim" to do? (1)

McTickles (1812316) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112482)

I'd be glad to not watch/listen when the media corps stop advertising and forcing me to watch and listen...

If it's not available in my country I'll just get it anyway, I see no justification for this sort of thing... could be considered discrimination ? yes it could! and that is against the law, if someone wants your product, you are required by law to sell it to them without prejudice.

The media would come begging for us to watch/listen to stuff if we suddenly decided we could live without it (which we can, in fact i recommend it)

Re:So what's a "victim" to do? (3, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112496)

<i>if you want the content then pay for it. </i>

Ah, sorry, I consider supporting antidemocratic forces with money unethical. I'd rather pay for proxies and VPN tunnels.

<i>not having it probably won't hurt you much.</i>

Certainly not. But someone else might want it, in which case I can help them by sharing.

<i>In short, they are slowly tightening this noose</i>

Hardly. With nextgen f2f and darknets it'll slip permanently out of reach.

<i>Can we start to agree to stop playing this sick game with the content creators</i>

You misspelled content controllers. The content creators are on the sidelines as they, as a general rule, are already getting screwed out of any money by the industry.

This is not a game. The economic burden of IPR is unmaintainable in a free market economy and will become ever less bearable as production costs in the rest of the economy fall and the monopoly effects of IPR render the affected economies uncompetitive. The control burden is incompatible with free speech and freedom in general. The political burden of having private taxation rights like IPR automatically lead to corruption and alienation from voters.

Re:So what's a "victim" to do? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112634)

It just doesn't matter. You are expected to secure your wifi and not doing so isn't a blanket excuse.

Is there a law, anywhere, that says as much? Unless it is illegal to have an open wifi, we are not expected (by who?) to do anything.

Re:So what's a "victim" to do? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112374)

I suspect that that is why(in addition to the fact that there are a lot of independent porn outfits, rather than the comparatively small number of feature film publishers, with the biggest often working through the MPAA) the porn guys find the extortion notes so convenient.

All else being equal, most people would much rather go to court and create a public record of the dispute over whether or not they downloaded $OSCAR_NOMINEE than whether or not they downloaded "Weapons of Ass Destruction, Vol. 14"...

Re:So what's a "victim" to do? (1)

McTickles (1812316) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112428)

I'd do nothing and just throw away the letter
they aint gonna do shit, they cant afford to

i leave my wifi fully open on purpose, it is part of my network policies; my LAN is my LAN, my rules, WAN is a different story but by the time it leaves the gateway there is no way for them to know what happened

Worst part - it doesn't even work (4, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35111948)

100,000 P2P users means that if you illegally download something you have approximately a %0.25 chance of being sued. If you're trying to deter people from a behavior, you have to increase the chance that there will be negative consequences for that behavior.

And of course it doesn't help that many of those 100,000 may well be guilty of nothing. Being sued doesn't necessarily make somebody actually liable, but the RIAA's tactics are all about making the cost of defending yourself higher than the cost of settling, as NewYorkCountryLawyer has made very clear for a while now.

Re:Worst part - it doesn't even work (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112024)

but the legal system's tactics are all about making the cost of defending yourself higher than the cost of settling

FTFY.

I wish this problem were limited to the RIAA. That'd be an improvement. Fact is there are two sets of law. If you are wealthy you can afford to throw lawyers at any legal challenge and tie it up in court for years even if you truly are liable. If you are an average person a lawsuit esp from a corporation is an immense threat to your livelihood even if you have broken no law.

This has been so well-known for so many years ... the fact that no one in power has even attempted to change it is evidence that it's intentional.

Re:Worst part - it doesn't even work (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112066)

I think the strategy is to raise the expected costs of piracy. It doesn't matter if you have such a low probability if there is a high cost and low benefit. The expected value is equal to the sum of the probability and its corresponding outcome. So let's say this case the movie is a $30 value, there is a .25% chance of getting caught (this assumes a 100% chance of paying even if you are caught) and a resulting fine of $300,000. The expected value of stealing the movie is .9975*30 + .0025*(-300,000). Therefore, on average the pirate loses about $720. But if you lower the damages, or the likelihood of caught, the value of theft goes up. That is why the damages and fees in the cases can reach the insane. It is to make piracy not worth it.

Re:Worst part - it doesn't even work (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112204)

Your formula is correct but a little misleading. It also assumes that you lose the benefit of the movie and the fine. It doesn't not factor in that you get to enjoy the movie in all cases.

Re:Worst part - it doesn't even work (1)

MrOctogon (865301) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112346)

Sound logic, but the person who gets caught should not have to pay for their inability to adequately enforce the law. The fine should be proportionate to the crime, not proportionate to the number of people they can catch.

Re:Worst part - it doesn't even work (3, Insightful)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112486)

That is why the damages and fees in the cases can reach the insane. It is to make piracy not worth it.

I can make up fairy tale reasons for things too. The earth goes around the sun because banana!

The reason damages are so high is because the laws were originally written with large-scale commercial copyright infringement in mind. That used to be the only kind of copyright infringement that was feasible. The penalties have simply never been adjusted because the *AA likes it the way it is.

Re:Worst part - it doesn't even work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112644)

The reason damages are so high is because the laws were originally written with large-scale commercial copyright infringement in mind. That used to be the only kind of copyright infringement that was feasible. The penalties have simply never been adjusted because the *AA likes it the way it is.

I do not think that invalidates the GP's position at all. They like it for a very important reason that goes back to the expected value. Whether it is many different people who are unconnected or large scale piracy operation, they have the high cost to keep piracy low. In the former, there is a low chance to get caught, which lowers the value of the fine. In the latter, there is a higher chance to get caught through low level people leading to higher ones but the benefit through profit is higher. Either way, the fines need to be big to offset those factors which increase the value of piracy to the pirates. That is why the *AAs like the penalties high and fight tooth and nail that they are not excessive.

Out of print, now what's the value? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112574)

So let's say this case the movie is a $30 value

What's the market value of a copyrighted work whose copyright owner has declined to offer copies for sale to the public? Case in point: Disney's Song of the South, and Nintendo's Mother and Mother 3 outside Japan.

Re:Worst part - it doesn't even work (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112650)

Therefore, on average the pirate loses about $720.

Yes, and the average person has one testicle, half a uterus and less that two legs.

Re:Worst part - it doesn't even work (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112794)

It turns out the penalty for being caught doesn't make much difference. One thing criminologists generally agree on is that it's the chance of getting caught that matters much more than the consequences when you do get caught. Part of it is that our monkey brains don't do a good job calculating the situations with a really small chance of something bad happening but really nasty consequences if it happens.

Re:Worst part - it doesn't even work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112094)

You can't just look at it as percentage chance of being caught. If people think rationally (I know, might be a bad assumption) then they'll look at cost vs benefit. Let's assume the benefit of downloading an album is actually $15. The cost of getting caught is 0.25%*(750*15), or $28.13. But that's only if you go to court. Say you expect a settlement offer for $3,000. That's only a cost of $7.50 on average, so it is worth it if you can expect the settlement offers.

Re:Worst part - it doesn't even work (1)

ldconfig (1339877) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112290)

The RIAA was not the first to use these tactics. It was DirecTV

Re:Worst part - it doesn't even work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112768)

It's not that simple though. You only have a chance of being sued if you download something with a lobby. So basically only mainstream movies/albums will get you nailed. The smaller companies either don't care enough to go around suing people or can't afford it.

Title is misleading (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35111954)

Nearly 100,000 alleged P2P Users Sued In the Past Year

FTFY

Re:Title is misleading (4, Informative)

Smauler (915644) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112040)

You know, using P2P is not illegal, and has many non-copyright infringing uses...

Re:Title is misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112156)

Thanks, YFTFM!

What if all 100,000 turned on the companies? (5, Interesting)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 3 years ago | (#35111980)

I know that most cannot afford to even spend the time. But if they did, they would bankrupt these guys under a sea of legal expenses. They would be forced to respond in thousands of jurisdictions. It would be like getting devoured by fire ants. Just a thought.

Re:What if all 100,000 turned on the companies? (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112230)

They'd just drop the weakest suits, and nail the others for millions. Remember, they can walk away from the suit pretty much whenever they want.

Re:What if all 100,000 turned on the companies? (1)

MrOctogon (865301) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112354)

But they can't walk away from a counter-suit.

Re:What if all 100,000 turned on the companies? (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112360)

So pull the leverage to your side. If you sue them for lost wages in dealing with their frivolous harassment, then they don't have the option of dropping that suit. If you sue for harassment in general, they don't get to say "Nevermind, we weren't harassing you...suit dropped".

It may be an expense they expect, but the time suck will make it completely worthless for them to continue with that tactic.

I2P (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35111982)

This is why I now only use I2P Postman (anonymous bittorrent) for movies and games. Demonoid for books.
I2P usually takes a few days to download a 1080p movie, but it is worth the wait with the security and anonymity.

Re:I2P (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112028)

I can't quite figure out, with all the free porn out there, why anyone would want to actual pirate any of it. I mean, fucking is fucking, right?

Re:I2P (1)

John.Banister (1291556) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112212)

If that was the case, then there wouldn't be all that free porn out there. I don't think the advertising revenue, would pay for a free porn site if no one downloaded porn more than once. I mean, who would go back for a second video clip, fucking is fucking, right?

Re:I2P (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112044)

I use StrongVPN, which is super cheap, like $10 per year or something, and feel very safe downloading anything I want with anonymity. Plus, over VPN, all your traffic is encrypted, including email, etc.

Re:I2P (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112194)

Interesting, the website says $55 a year and up for specials. I'm guessing regulars are even more expensive?

Re:I2P (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112306)

Which is fine until StrongVPN get subponaed. See for example hushmail.

Re:I2P (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112672)

If you use a VPN from a different country it should be mostly fine. I doubt they'll spend the time and money to ask a different country's legal system to subpoena the company and get the logs back - even if it's legal.

Re:I2P (2)

Smauler (915644) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112070)

Anonymity is essentially non-existant on the internet. You can make it difficult for people, but you'll never be 100% anonymous.

Re:I2P (3, Interesting)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112078)

Great. Clog up the exit nodes of I2P and TOR so that users with a real political need can't access the web.

At least get a VPN that terminates in Scandinavia.

Re:I2P (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112684)

From their website:

Many applications are available that interface with I2P, including mail, peer-peer, IRC chat, and others.

They also have the sections "I2P BitTorrent", "I2Phex" and "iMule". I'm pretty sure they don't discourage it.

Tor is different, and yes, you should keep P2P out of it.

Re:I2P (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112128)

Bittorrent is a legitimate use of I2P. The devs have even made their own bittorrent client, I2PSnark, which is fully integrated with the network and with I2P's Postman tracker.

Re:I2P (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112220)

Demonoid? Here, a little tip for you, "private tracker" doesn't mean a damn thing. Your actions aren't private.
Your actions are as public as any other tracker.
The term private tracker should be erased from existence since it gives people a false sense of security with the word private.

If you managed to get in to an invite-only tracker, you can bet your ass that media companies got in long before you did.
They have people dedicated to searching sites and chats for new information on trackers, invites and general banter to see what to do.
At least, the terribly greedy ones.

Good! (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112002)

Remember saying "Napster is just a search engine, sue the users who are actually committing copyright infringement"? It's good to see the recording industry is doing that. Those who are guilty deserve to be convicted and fined. They should be fined around the $1-$10 per item cost of the materiel they're warezing, but that's a different matter.

Re:Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112328)

By making the penalty so close to the price point of the product all you are doing is saying "go ahead and steal it, if we catch you then you'll have to pay for it." There needs to be a real penalty involved, none of this "but product x costs y so the penalty should be no more than 1.5*y" crap.

Re:Good! (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112372)

Nobody is stealing here, and the penalty should be reasonably close to the amount of harm done.

A Momentous Occasion (1)

kyle5t (1479639) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112048)

What a milestone! It will be the first time ever that 100,000 people were sued for copyright infringement in 12.00913 months!

Copyrighting information (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112056)

The U.S: government should just copyright all it's confidential documents. Then any newspaper publishing the diplomatic cables given to Wikileaks would be liable for copyright infringement. So would the thousands who download any other leaked document. And so would Wikileaks for received the documents and not destroying them right away.
Copyright law sure is awesome.

Re:Copyrighting information (1)

Professr3 (670356) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112236)

Who would own the copyright? Most people seem to have forgotten that everything the government owns is public property - copyrighting something in the name of the public domain doesn't really have much effect. This is why you can request copies of any government documents (of course, they make you pay a fee, and they redact them, and take years, etc.). The only reason you don't always get the documents you request is if they've been deemed secret for reasons of "national security".

Re:Copyrighting information (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112312)

So is that why I can go into every square foot of any Federal building? Oh, wait, I can't. Or any military installation? Oh, wait, I can't do that either.

Re:Copyrighting information (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112256)

Isn't there a requirement for removal before 24 hours in up? So, couldn't they just bounce it around systems every 20 hours or so?

Is the government copyrighted something, and they are made "of the people," does that mean any US citizen can file an action for the information, but they can also view it as they own it?

All in all, this sounds like an interesting legal battle if the government did copyright things.

Re:Copyrighting information (1)

McTickles (1812316) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112532)

Yes 24hours
copy to another harddrive every 24hours, sorted...

Re:Copyrighting information (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112368)

The British actually do this. Copyright of the Crown.
http://www.opendemocracy.net/media/copyright_con_3746.jsp

Re:Copyrighting information (1)

t0p (1154575) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112412)

Written works (which obviously includes "confidential documents" are, by international convention, covered by copyright as soon as they are created. No one has to "copyright them" (whatever that's supposed to mean).

Re:Copyrighting information (2)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112524)

The Federal Government cannot own copyrights by law.

Re:Copyrighting information (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112704)

Actually, they can. They just can't originate them.

profitable, you say? (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112092)

Has there actually been any evidence that any plaintiff has even made their lawyer's fees back? If not, calling it profitable is questionable

Re:profitable, you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112134)

When the lawyers work for the company, any money made past what the lawyers earn in salary is profit. Lawyers may get a bonus for winning a BIG case but there is still profit. You don't think they actually hire freelance lawyers do you? As you said where's the profit in that?

Re:profitable, you say? (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112234)

I'm not entirely sure how the lawyer payment thing works, but I know that the RIAA has lost money on their lawsuits despite 'winning.' I understand that some parties in the mass p2p suits have collected some money from those that settled, but that doesn't mean there's a net profit involved.

Business model... (1)

noodler (724788) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112148)

Upload some porn material for which you own the copyright and then sue all the people that download it.
I say it's brilliant.

Re:Business model... (1)

ldconfig (1339877) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112310)

The RIAA has been pulling that one for years

halp (2)

drougie (36782) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112394)

I'm one of the guys who received one of these letters over a porn torrent. It instructs me to log into their website (I haven't) to find out how much they want, offer's off the table March something yada yada. My ISP guy suggests I just lie low and ignore the thing.

What do?

Re:halp (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112538)

Consult a lawyer. You don't want to be caught out in any trickery their lawyers pull, and them requiring a website visit instead of spelling everything out in the letter is suspicious in and of itself. Even if you decide to settle, if you've got a lawyer he/she can at least tell you whether your payment to these creeps will end the matter or if it'll somehow open you up to additional legal problems.

Re:halp (1)

McTickles (1812316) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112582)

ignore
especially if they have a website that means they arent serious...

Re:halp (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112706)

Call a lawyer.

Off-topic, but actually on-topic (5, Insightful)

Andy Smith (55346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35112504)

Settle-or-else cases need to be made illegal.

Last year I was driving in Glasgow city centre for the first time, and I drove along an unmarked bus lane. (Signs in the wrong place, no markings on the road, etc.) Two police officers stopped me and although they knew the lane was inadequately marked, they had been told to give everyone a ticket so that's what they did. They said it would never go to court and, even if it did, I was sure to win. They were really nice about it, or so I thought at the time.

Months later I received notice of court action, with an offer to avoid court action by paying a £60 fine. That's when I spoke to a lawyer for advice. His advice with to just pay it, because the system is stacked against you.

Here's what would happen if I didn't pay:

1. I'd have to go to court TWICE in a city hundreds of miles away. Let's say £40 fuel each time. If I had to stay overnight then let's say another £40 for a hotel each time. So that's £160.

2. Courts are known for ignoring the law on bus lanes. Legally the lane must be marked in certain ways, but courts don't take that in to account. If the lane is registered with the council as bus-only then you've broken the law.

3. In the very unlikely event that you win, you can't claim back your fuel / hotel costs, or any kind of compensation.

This has been going on for decades.

All the record / movie companies are doing now is exactly what the police have been doing for a very long time. They give people two choices:

1. Pay a relatively small fee to avoid court action, or
2. Prove yourself innocent and pay more.

As much as I can see the bad side of what I'm about to say, I believe the law needs to change so that settlement offers are outlawed. Police, councils, individuals, copyright holders, or whoever, must either take you to court or leave you alone. Intimidation, which is the intent of settlement offers, should be a criminal offence.

Good Scheme but Ineffective Long Term (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112678)

The vast majority of porn downloaders will be unwilling to purchase porn legally because they don't want the credit card paper trail. This is the exact same reason the vast majority will settle rather than go to court even if the evidence is too weak. So you'll never convert the downloaders to buyers and you'll lose any spillover/publicity from the p2p scene. On net, nothing will happen to your revenues. Still, it's an attractive scheme to make a lot of money in the short term.

and zero were ruled guilty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35112776)

how many of them were condemned?

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