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23,000 File Sharers Targeted In Latest Lawsuit

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the go-big-or-go-home dept.

The Internet 386

wiedzmin writes "Subpoenas are expected to go out to ISPs this week in what could be the biggest BitTorrent downloading case in US history. At least 23,000 file sharers are being targeted by the US Copyright Group for downloading The Expendables. The Copyright Group appears to have adopted Righthaven's strategy in blanket-suing large numbers of defendants and offering an option to quickly settle online for a moderate payment. The IP addresses of defendants have allegedly been collected by paid snoops capturing lists of all peers who were downloading or seeding Sylvester Stallone's flick last year. I am curious to see how this will tie into the BitTorrent case ruling made earlier this month indicating that an IP address does not uniquely identify the person behind it."

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Busy Work... (5, Interesting)

yeshuawatso (1774190) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079208)

Comcast and Time Warner are going to be busy. Just IDing and notifying the downloaders is going to be a pain in the ass, and God forbid the customer moved, switch, and/or can't be found. As a manager, I would file a motion to stop this just to keep my cost down. Furthermore, this is a witch hunt and the sitting Judge needs to step down for being incompetent. While I may not have a JD, any rational person can see that the company is just trying to start a legal phishing scheme.

What really irks me, is that they'll try to sue these people into paying rather than engaging them as customers. MPAA, here's an idea, instead of sending notices to ISPs about someone stealing a movie, how about you work with ISPs to send the downloader a link to pay for the movie instead. Give the option to rent or buy it, and play with the price until you find a sweet spot these el cheapo's are willing to fork over. Threatening them with lawsuits because it seems like a great way to set an example hasn't worked thus far, why keep beating this dead horse then?

Re:Busy Work... (5, Interesting)

Aryden (1872756) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079226)

I can't wait till a few Governors, Congressmen, Senators, Justices get hit because their kids downloaded content.

Re:Busy Work... (5, Insightful)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079284)

i have no doubt in my mind that there is a "safe" list of IPs that will never receive a subpoena. i'm sure getting added is just an embarrassing phone call away.

Re:Busy Work... (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079794)

A safe list of IPs wouldn't be practical. It'll be rather less hi-tech than that. When the subpoena results come back, someone is just going to be given the task of reading them all, running a quick google on each name, and striking off the list anyone they find who might pose a problem.

Re:Busy Work... (4, Informative)

feedayeen (1322473) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079292)

I can't wait till a few Governors, Congressmen, Senators, Justices get hit because their kids downloaded content.

There are about a thousand individuals in the US with enough political power to get the ball rolling for change in this matter. Of them, their demographics put them with an average age of upper 40's to lower 50's making well over a million each year. Among those who still have kids living at home, to most of them, their thousand dollar settlements is chump change.

Given a US Internet population of about 200 million, and the assumption that 50 thousand will face legal action of similar nature, statistically, there is not even a 1% chance that someone with political sway has dealt with this.

Re:Busy Work... (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079594)

Spoof an IP address. Make friends with their kids. Break their WiFi. Probably some I missed. Not that I advocate breaking the law, just pointing out ways it could be done.

Even better idea, hypothetically, do the same with the 'Copyright Group' members. Or their lawyers. Haven't heard from Anonymous recently. But I would never advocate anything illegal.

Re:Busy Work... (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079626)

I think another thread really captured it though ... any such case would get dropped, and I am sure that the AAs have their lawyers at least doing a cursory check to try and make sure that no such embarrassing/risky case gets filed in the first place.

Re:Busy Work... (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079718)

Ah, must have missed it, though I still think it would be possible to these guys, somehow. Not that I advocate anyone. I have to stop trying to speed read stuff- seems I'm not good at it.

Re:Busy Work... (1, Interesting)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079812)

Be a fun time making the original IP lists gathered disappear in discovery, should they be requested. You lose the 'Oh, we didn't realise...' argument used in personal jurisdiction disputes and whatnot if it's found you've been doing SOME kind of homework on the IP addresses gathered.

Somewhat related, is there any comparable tactic to Selective Prosecution that can be used in civil disputes?

Re:Busy Work... (0)

kimvette (919543) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079300)

I can't wait until MPAA members' and attorneys' get hit because their kids downloaded content.

Remember: if a movie isn't worth paying for, it's not worth "pirating," because then the MPAA members will claim a "loss" because they are able to buy one less yacht and three fewer exotic cars and five fewer rolexes than usual this year.

What really irks me.. (1, Insightful)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079360)

...is the great possibility that a U.S. Copyright Group stooge put the movie out there in the first place.

Re:What really irks me.. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079496)

I'd expect it to be tossed. The US Copyright Group can't provide the torrent and then sue people for using a lawfully provided torrent. Unless of course the US Copyright Group didn't have the right to distribute those files, in which case they'd be liable for say, eleventy billion dollars.

Re:What really irks me.. (1)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079558)

Why would they?

It's not like they need to. The movie's gonna end up on BitTorrent the day it's released (or, more likely, beforehand), whether or not they put it there. It's not worth the extra hassle.

Re:What really irks me.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079588)

...is the great possibility that a U.S. Copyright Group stooge put the movie out there in the first place.

If you download a file that's being offered by a copyright owner (or agent thereof) over a public network, via a public file list repository, that provides no way of payment; Couldn't it be assumed that the file was being offered for free to the public by the owner?

Re:What really irks me.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079790)

You park your car, and leave the keys on the sunshade. The Governator gets them, and drives away. Couldn't it be assumed you just gave a present to Arnold?

Re:Busy Work... (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079462)

TWC and Comcast are just conduit providers connecting their subscribers to the rest of the world. I'm sure they don't like having to rat out their own customers. But the law is the law, and subpoena's can't be ignored.

Re:Busy Work... (1)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079840)

But, as TWC have already done once, they can prevent having an 'undue burden' being placed on their business operations, and stem the flow of responses to a reasonable level; after all, they have other requests from government agencies that take precedence. Finally, National Security is helping us!

Re:Busy Work... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079516)

23,000 * $5 rental = $115,000

They stand to make a lot more money by suing these people and pretending it is to recoup losses.

Re:Busy Work... (4, Informative)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079804)

    But....

    They aren't paid per rental. Video stores (if they still exist) buy videos licensed for rental use. They're a bit more expensive, but the individual payments go to the store, not to the studio.

    From what I understand, the licensing for a new-release DVD for rental is higher than a new-release DVD for retail. But companies who do bulk purchases also enjoy price breaks.

    Then the math gets fuzzy. How much was lost between the pirates, purchase DVD's and rentals?

    Say the movie cost $29.99 retail (I didn't bother to check the price). 23,000 * 29.99 = $689,770. Oohhh, over half a million dollars lost.

    But what if they were all renters? We can assume not everyone watches the movie in the same night. Say 500 DVDs were purchased, at a rental-licensed rate of $35.00 (again, arbitrary number), and all the customers rented it over the next month and a half. 500 * $35.00 = $17,500. And then your number comes into play. Assuming $5/ea for video rentals, the rental companies took in $115,000, so after the cost of the DVDs, the rental companies made $97,500.

    So exactly who lost out there? The MPAA, or the local rental stores? Well, the MPAA likely still made exactly what they would have before, as the stores still needed to stock their stores. If I was a rental store, and I lost $97,500 because of piracy, I may be a bit miffed.

    But...

    Not all of those 23,000 are going to buy it, nor rent it.

    [cue soothing music]

    [In a Mr. Rogers-like voice]

    Long ago, it was a simpler time... People had just discovered the wonders of indoor plumbing, microwave ovens, color television, and then the home video cassette player. This was long before most of you were born. A video cassette, in simple terms, was a box roughly twice the size of a netbook, which could hold up to 90 minutes of low quality analog video with two channel sound. This wonderful innovation allowed you to view movies in the pleasure of your own home.

    This was before "The Internet", Netflix, Redbox, Hulu, YouTube, or BitTorrent ever existed, so what was this simple culture to do? They would get into their cars, and drive to local video stores to rent movies... But they cost approximately $5/day to rent. Lets not forget that this was during the era of Reagan Economics, so that was roughly equal to the monthly income for a family of 4 hard working Americans. Not everyone could afford a video cassette player, nor the cost of the rental of the video cassettes. Friends and family would get together to watch movies on home video cassette players, and promptly rewind and return the video cassette to the rental establishment.

    Then the evils of piracy was invented by evil one eyed people who lived on ships and sang drinking songs before looting and pillaging.

      ok, I'm making myself nauseous with the sarcasm now, so I'll stop.

    23,000 people downloading does not equal 23,000 purchases, nor 23,000 rentals.. Assuming all 23,000 people were interested in viewing the movie if there was a cost associated with it, they may watch in groups of 2 to 10 (we'll say 5 for comfortable seating). That's 4,600 rentals or purchases. And lets not forget that those who purchase are likely to lend out movies to friends, which would lower the number even more. Say 75% of the original set would be willing to spend a few bucks on a rental or borrow it from a friend. That brings the number down to 17,250 people intending to watch. At an average of 5 viewers a session, that lowers the number down to 3,450, which could still be comfortably managed by movie rentals rather than movie purchases, which means the original price paid to the studios for rental movies is still $17,500, which is pretty close to breaking even for the video stores. Luckily, we have chains like "Blockbuster" who are too big to fail, and we'll always have somewhere to rent from.

  [ring][ring]

    Excuse me for a second..

    Hello? What? Blockbuster went under? Ok. Thanks.

[click]

    Well, you still have Redbox, Netflix, and Hulu. :)

Re:Busy Work... (2)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079680)

While I may not have a JD, any rational person can see that the company is just trying to start a legal phishing scheme.

The **AAs know that the courts can't handle a flood of 23,000 cases.
The **AAs know that the major ISPs can't handle a flood of ID requests.

I think that longterm, this is part of a **AA plan to change the way civil copyright cases are dealt with.
They're going to engaging in mass lawsuits until Congress passes ACTA or some similar lawyer enabling regime.

The **AA were created by man. They evolved. And they have a plan.

Re:Busy Work... (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079824)

The courts wouldn't see 23,000 cases. The usual procedure here is settlement. The copyright holder just has to make an offer that cannot be refused: Either settle for $7,000 or so, or go to court and face tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees even if you win.

As for the ISPs, I imagine the **IAs would love to see them inconvenienced even further by piracy. It means more of an incentive to put in place technological measures to stop piracy like blocking popular trackers, traffic shaping and tiny usage quotas.

This can't be right. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079214)

23,000 people downloaded The Expendables? Really?

Re:This can't be right. (3, Insightful)

micheas (231635) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079220)

23,000 people downloaded The Expendables? Really?

And 23,000 were saved from having to ask the theater for their money back.

Re:This can't be right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079446)

I saw it at the theater. I know, it's shit and I want my money back.

Re:This can't be right. (4, Funny)

plover (150551) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079310)

I think that really means 3,000 people wanted the movie, and 20,000 screwed up their searches and accidentally tried to download "The".

It's the only rational explanation.

Questionable Legality (4, Insightful)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079218)

Since the court ruling of IP address != identity. I would certainly like to see said copyright group charged with extortion.

Re:Questionable Legality (3, Insightful)

Aryden (1872756) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079230)

and as one, the world cried out just a single word... RICO.

Re:Questionable Legality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079386)

Courts are hierarchical -- a single decision affect only that case, an appeals court/superior court decision affects everybody under them, and a supreme court decision affects everybody. It's like when you're at a linux user's group and you're pissing on a twink while a bear is pissing on you. The twink is pissed on twice, you're pissed on once, and the bear stays dry. Don't even ask about an ass-to-mouth 69.

Re:Questionable Legality (2)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079396)

Moreover, I really wonder how things will pan out with people who downloaded but didn't seed. The wording of the court order seems to suggest that they're assuming all downloaders infringed on multiple copies, but most would only have viewed one. Even with punitive fines, there's no way the typically insane awards should hold up in court.

Re:Questionable Legality (1)

Dedokta (1991898) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079416)

Are you responsible as the contract holder with your ISP to which an IP address belongs responsible for the data downloaded on your connection? If I share my connection with others is it up to me to ensure that illegal activities do not occur on it? Perhaps this would be their point and case?

I wonder what would happen... (4, Insightful)

Sparx139 (1460489) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079232)

If all 23,000 customers refused to settle. Would the Copyright Group drop the charges, or would they take them all to court?

Re:I wonder what would happen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079246)

The movie in question is also a very bad movie. I rented it and I it wasn't worth it.. :(

Maybe they are trying to get the money they sunk into this titanic??

Re:I wonder what would happen... (3, Interesting)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079272)

They'd pick the richest hundred or so of the group and destroy them in court, and drop the rest.

Re:I wonder what would happen... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079614)

But the 100 richest would be the ones who could hire expensive lawyers and take off work to fight the them in court just for fun.

Re:I wonder what would happen... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079686)

What if all 23,000 file sharers each ponied up $50 dollars to make the problem go away? And by make the problem go away I mean hire some professional hit men to brutally kill a bunch of the lawyers who thought suing 23,000 people would be a good idea. I reckon that for 11.5 million dollars you could buy yourself a great big heap of dead lawyers.

In response (5, Funny)

Ghjnut (1843450) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079236)

They should countersue for the time they lost watching the movie.

Re:In response (2)

rwyoder (759998) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079532)

They should countersue for the time they lost watching the movie.

Can I join that class-action suit even though I rented it from NetFlix? :-(

Re:In response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079660)

They should countersue for the time they lost watching the movie.

Can you sue for being bored to tears by a movie? If so M. Night is screwed!

Re:In response (1)

hawkingradiation (1526209) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079770)

Plus punitive damages should they ever try to harm or otherwise traumatize another person who watches, or will watch another one those movies ("The Crap"). With poetic justice, no one group will be allowed to Copy the Copyright Group brining a halt to all such waste of the courts time in addition to the time spent watching the movie. Sounds fair to me.

An interesting statistic, I'm sure (1)

AnonymmousCoward (2026904) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079244)

How often is the average american sued?

Re:An interesting statistic, I'm sure (1)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079586)

I also wonder about the exceptional American.

Hard to believe (2)

rogerdugans (902614) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079296)

That 23,000 people downloaded that movie intentionally.

I feel sorry for the poor folk who wasted drive space on that piece of crap.

Re:Hard to believe (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079556)

Saw it in the theater... Wasn't so bad for what it was... over the top action flick. Now "Vampires Suck" I want my money and dead brain cells back.

Who cares? (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079298)

how it'll tie in. If you've got the resources to fight it they'll probably drop it fast and move onto easier pickings...

The only real question is, will they ever attack enough people to result in real copyright reform? I doubt it. The judges have been careful to keep this under control, and that's probably why...

This IP/person issue...it's obvious to me. (2)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079322)

I am curious to see how this will tie into the BitTorrent case ruling made earlier this month indicating that an IP address does not uniquely identify the person behind it."

Why did it require a visit to the court system in order to establish this 'obvious' fact?

The IP in my opinion only identifies a service/hardware to which it's tied. Not a human being. Seems obvious to me.

Re:This IP/person issue...it's obvious to me. (0)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079376)

Even if it did point to a specific person, downloading a movie should not ever be a crime under any just legal system.

Re:This IP/person issue...it's obvious to me. (1, Insightful)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079492)

Yes, I agree. The producers don't deserve any monetary reward for the movie they made.

Re:This IP/person issue...it's obvious to me. (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079522)

That's a mighty fine straw man you've got there. It'd be a shame if somebody were to say, point out that copyright is about controlling distribution not consumption.

Re:This IP/person issue...it's obvious to me. (1)

AcidPenguin9873 (911493) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079708)

Yes, exactly. The producers get to control how their movie is distributed. Torrents are not one of the distribution methods they chose, so any torrent is by definition a violation of their exclusive distribution rights.

Re:This IP/person issue...it's obvious to me. (1)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079732)

copyright is about controlling distribution not consumption

Hold on, are you claiming that downloading a movie isn't distribution (not to mention those who seeded as well)?? Consumption would be watching the movie.

Re:This IP/person issue...it's obvious to me. (1, Informative)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079760)

You're right, they don't "deserve" anything.

An artist is not entitled to be paid by people who watch their movie or listen to their music. Now, I think they should be paid, and Richard Stallman came up with a way to do that which I think would be fair to everyone which involves a small tax on internet use with money being distributed to artists based on a cube root formula. Additionally users can press a button to give one or two dollars at a time based on their genuine desire to support artists, and not out of fear of being sued. People who are too poor to pay don't have to, and the extra cost to their internet would only be a few cents. Everyone who should get paid does, culture remains free, and people can share everything they want like they should be able to.

Re:This IP/person issue...it's obvious to me. (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079382)

Doesn't matter how obvious something is until either a law or a precedent says so. It's better that way. The problem is when aging judges who think televisions are the bees' knees fail to understand what we know to be obvious. See the WoW Glider case, and the ruling that copying a program from your harddrive to your RAM constitutes copyright infringement.

Re:This IP/person issue...it's obvious to me. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079666)

Kind of like how a license plate doesn't identify the operator of a vehicle so you can't get a ticket just from an officer or camera or meter maid identifying your license plate? Oh wait...

I downloaded that, twice even (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079332)

You coming for me?

I'll be waiting, bitches!

They sure make it easy... (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079338)

...for me to expand my list of artists to avoid supporting financially. Too bad; I kinda liked tuning in for the last 5 minutes of Rocky whatever.

Rent, Rip, Return, Encode (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079342)

Rent movies cheaply (ie Redbox for $1), Rip to HDD, return movie, then encode to DivX or other bitrate-efficient codec. Only costs $1 per movie, and is 100% offline and thus untraceable.

Re:Rent, Rip, Return, Encode (3, Interesting)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079380)

Rent movies cheaply (ie Redbox for $1), Rip to HDD, return movie, then encode to DivX or other bitrate-efficient codec. Only costs $1 per movie, and is 100% offline and thus untraceable.

As much as I hate these lawsuits, I really don't feel sorry for the people getting sued. There are plenty of ways to get movies really cheap, or even free, without getting sued. And seriously, are you really that desperate for "entertainment" (and I use that term VERY loosely) that you're downloading some shitty Sylverster Stallone movie? WTF?

Re:Rent, Rip, Return, Encode (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079620)

Why bother encoding it? With 3TB drives around $170, just keep the full DVD9 image.

Re:Rent, Rip, Return, Encode (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079846)

Convenience. Piracy isn't just about saving money, though that is part of it. It's also the ability to watch whatever you want, when you want. Even if it's not been released yet in your country, or very old and obscure. All without needing to leave the house or wait more than a couple of hours.

MAFIAA at it again (1, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079354)

Another round of shakedowns by corporate America. The only sane reaction would be for them to be laughed out of the court room for even suggesting something this absurd. You can gauge how free your country is by how much action the government takes in stopping this type of behavior.

USA! We're number #1! (in extorting our citizens for corporate greed)

Re:MAFIAA at it again (1, Informative)

fdawg (22521) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079488)

What type of behavior? Stealing? Call it what you want and use whatever technical detail to obfuscate the fact that a subset of 23,000 people took something from someone else without paying for it.

And seriously. All that for a Stalone flick?

USA! We're number #1! (in extorting our citizens for corporate greed)

This is the MPAA going after (with almost 99.9% certainty, illegal) downloaders. Not Haliburton lobbying congress for a no bid contract to deploy security and infrastructure services in Iraq to the Army (which already has it's own security and infrastructure services). Or Morgan Stanley not claiming their debts to inflate their growth numbers so the gov't no longer has a say on executive bonuses.

Re:MAFIAA at it again (5, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079530)

The issue is that if any of those 23,000 people didn't do it, then we've chucked our values down the toilet to bend over for corporate greed. If they've got the goods fine, but they should have to go through the process of filing separate suits for each and every one of those people, unless they can demonstrate that the IPs belong to the same person or they're acting together.

Filing suit is their right, but it isn't their right to do it in such an economical way, make them pay for all the suits necessary and see if they still feel that this is a valuable use of the court's time.

What's more, I doubt very much that all those addresses really correspond to people for which that one court has jurisdiction.

Re:MAFIAA at it again (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079604)

Stealing? what exactly was stolen?

Re:MAFIAA at it again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079648)

Shit's nothing compared to the fucking banksters.
No law for shit turds who steal trillions, lie about wet ink mortgages, and run a legalized counterfeit printing press.
And then expend all resources for poor ass idiots who probably couldn't buy the fucking $20 movie anyway.

Recently someone got life for two fucking ounces of pot.
Eric Holder is a domestic terrorist.
All these fuckers in government are domestic terrorists.

I'll save you the bandwidth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079364)

It sucked.

And if you still want to see it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079432)

Enjoy.

http://goo.gl/S3bh [goo.gl]

Re:And if you still want to see it (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079634)

I clicked on this because I thought it might have been something relevant but generally disapproved of. I was greeted with my speakers blaring the meatspin song and my monitor spinning the meatspin dicks. At work.

To the poster: fuck you. To the cowardly moderator who used overrated: fuck you much, much more.

UNLICENSED Private Investigators (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079372)

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: All of these cases are based on the work of unlicensed private investigators, working behind closed doors, doing who-knows-what. There is absolutely no proof that ANY of their "evidence" is real. These "investigators" and their shyster lawyer accomplices are the real criminals. They are the ones who should be fined and imprisoned. And given a good flogging.

Thank God, that I live in a free country, (1)

Blackout for Hungary (1970198) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079390)

(well, mostly, at least more free than USA), and torrenting movies and music is legal, and free.

Re:Thank God, that I live in a free country, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079422)

What a sad, sad definition of freedom you have.

Re:Thank God, that I live in a free country, (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079540)

Indeed, there are ways in which the US has been embarrassing itself lately, what with the TSA groping and warrantless wiretapping, but torrenting movies isn't a right, let's keep in mind the real freedoms that we've lost.

That's not to say that I think this sort of abuse of power is right, because it's clearly not, but even the worst consequences of it aren't as bad as some of the other things happening in even the other developed nations.

Re:Thank God, that I live in a free country, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079456)

Are any of those movies and music made in the US? Could you, you know.. pay for that, please? We're kind of broke over here . . .

Re:Thank God, that I live in a free country, (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079494)

Are any of those movies and music made in the US? Could you, you know.. pay for that, please? We're kind of broke over here . . .

No wonder you are broke! Why did you let Hollywood waste money on Expendables?

Re:Thank God, that I live in a free country, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079520)

Yes. The Anonymous Coward above can't afford to buy iPads for his kids. :( Think about the children!!!

Paid Snoops (1)

Dedokta (1991898) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079428)

Is this to get around Peer Blocking software?

Revenue Stream (5, Insightful)

drmofe (523606) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079436)

The movie grossed $103 million at the US box office

Assuming a movie ticket price of $20, this means that 5.3 million people saw the movie in theatres. These guys are suing 23222 people, or about 230 times fewer

At $150K per defendant, the potential works out to $3.48billion or roughly 33 times the US gross (and $700million more than the highest grossing movie ever - Avatar

My business pitch to the movie studios would be: "Straight to torrent then litigate - that's where the money is..."

Re:Revenue Stream (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079616)

Perhaps... but you realize that the 23222 people they are suing probably transferred dozens of duplicate copies to other people which can't be sued easily. Therefore the $150k per defendant is really more like $1500 per distributed copy. Still a rip off, agreed. Especially for such a horrible horrible movie. Good god.

Re:Revenue Stream (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079714)

You think that every person who downloads a movie distributes ten copies of it over sneakernet? Are you high?

Re:Revenue Stream (1)

Dishwasha (125561) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079782)

Nobody really mentions this, but if ever I download something whether legitimate or not, I rarely if ever see my seed ratio exceed 10:1. So even if I let 10 people fully download a movie from me, the real loss of distribution is only $200 assuming the inflated $20 a box office ticket. Even if we take a potential loss of 100:1, that's still only $2000 and I highly doubt anyone ever really seeds to this amount. Even a $2,000 fine is incentive enough to get someone to stop torrenting copyrighted works and doesn't use ridiculous Dr. Evil math.

Not Plausible (2, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079442)

They would have us believe 23000 people took the time to download a Sylvester Stallone flick?

Big problem (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079448)

I was going to blame it on shitty reporting, but the motion is fucked up, too. Downloading is not a crime. Uploading (ie, to reproduce and/or distribute [copyright.gov] ) is covered by copyright law [copyright.gov] , with $150,000 penalties. But downloading? Nope. I can buy the DVD for $9 on Amazon ($16 for BluRay). That's the market price, that's the lost revenue for downloading.

I recommend everyone leech their torrents to remain legal.

Re:Big problem (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079546)

I think they'll likely argue that torrenting involves uploading as well as downloading. I'm sure though that they don't have any evidence that any of those people also uploaded to a party not authorized to receive a copy. I'd expect this to get shot down on the grounds of it being a rehash of the discarded making available theory.

Re:Big problem (1)

thynk (653762) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079740)

Can they file suit if you only share part of the file? If so, how much?

Did I download the movie? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079464)

Or a random block of data....

If I didn't download the movie 100% than I didn't download the movie because it won't play or behave as a movie.

Not identifying the downloader is irrellevant (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079478)

It still identifies the account holders with the ISP, who can, quite reasonably, be held accountable for damages caused through their accounts, unless any of the subscribers can provide further assistance to identify the actual parties who should be sued, I can see no reason why they should not have to pay damages here.

Maybe when people realize they can be civilly liable for damages if they don't properly secure their network access, people will actually start practicing respectable security policies at home, resulting in a safer Internet for everybody.

Re:Not identifying the downloader is irrellevant (2)

codepunk (167897) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079536)

I am not one to condone copyright theft however if I leave my front door open it does not make me a criminal. The person that enters that door locked or not however is very much a criminal.

Re:Not identifying the downloader is irrellevant (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079548)

Note that at no time in my prior post did I suggest that the holder of the account should be held criminally responsible for the actions of the downloader, only that they could reasonably be held accountable for civil damages.

Re:Not identifying the downloader is irrellevant (1)

jroysdon (201893) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079606)

Akin to leaving your keys in the car - someone uses it and damages another's prorperty - then you would be liable.

I think the same could be said of your unsecured wireless Internet connection that you don't take reasonable measures to protect from harming others.

I'm not a lawyer, just throwing that out there.

Re:Not identifying the downloader is irrellevant (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079632)

Its funny how people keep making analogies to things being stolen as a counterpoint to my statement when the general concensus seems to be on slashdot that copyright infringement is not theft.

It's a lot more like if your kid breaks something in a store and you have to pay for it. If you don't want to be accountable for what your kid breaks, don't bring him into the store. If you don't want to be accountable for what people you don't know do with your internet connection, then don't let them use it. Simple.

Re:Not identifying the downloader is irrellevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079806)

Still wrong. Breaking something is similar to theft in that the original object is affected, which is obviously completely dissimilar to piracy.

Re:Not identifying the downloader is irrellevant (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079646)

Akin to leaving your keys in the car - someone uses it and damages another's prorperty - then you would be liable.

Right, because as we all know, leaving the keys for anything in plain sight is an open invitation for people to come and use that thing, even though they know that the thing does not belong to them.

That's right up there with the "Did you see what she was wearing? Dressed like that, she was just ASKING to be raped!" line of "reasoning."

Re:Not identifying the downloader is irrellevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079638)

"civil damages" = criminal damages

To prove this to yourself, imagine what the state does when you don't pay the civil damages.

Or else, what's the difference between the two?

Re:Not identifying the downloader is irrellevant (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079664)

The difference is that only one of them leaves one with a criminal record.

Re:Not identifying the downloader is irrellevant (1)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079716)

I am not one to condone copyright theft however if I leave my front door open it does not make me a criminal. The person that enters that door locked or not however is very much a criminal.

Actually, if you leave your front door open, and leave a gun on your coffee table, and someone comes into your home, takes the gun and uses it to commit a crime, you could be liable for civil damages. The doctrine is known as "attractive nuisance". I imagine similar reasoning might apply to deliberately unsecured WiFi connections.

Re:Not identifying the downloader is irrellevant (0)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079654)

Car analogy. If someone swipes your car, and uses it to rob a bank, and steals the radio out of it, you should be sent to prison for the robbery unless YOU can prove who the actual robbers were.

Shouldn't you be responsible for your car security too?

Re:Not identifying the downloader is irrellevant (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079738)

A better comparison is being financially responsible for the actions of people that an argument exists you could reasonably be held accountable for.... for example, the actions of your child... the gas that somebody else uses driving your car, etc...

Extortion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079528)

The X makes it sound cool. But it's still a crime.

Unless you're a big company i guess.

An no mod points (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079562)

Lots of good comments here I'd love to mod up, but alas.. I got them on a weekend when the stories sucked. Typical.

At least 23,000 file sharers are being targeted by the US Copyright Group for downloading The Expendables. My ass, this movie just sucked.

Would be interesting (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 3 years ago | (#36079640)

To download the torrent now, then show up in court with the copy I bought like 3 months ago. Actually won't be a bad idea to try and push the trademark, pirating, owning, multiple copy, whatever else ideas they try into court. Probably too expensive though, since it wouldn't fall under "frivolous" or "malicious," and wouldn't be able to recoup lawyer costs.

Why I figure this one won't go very far: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36079850)

Wasn't there a story on slashdot last time a company tried to do this, that the judge threw it out and told them if they wanted to sue several thousand people, they'd have to file one case per defendant?

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