×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

BitTorrent Trial Makes Australia's High Court

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the which-is-totally-success dept.

Piracy 98

daria42 writes "Australia's highest court has agreed to hear the long-running BitTorrent case between one of the country's largest ISPs, iiNet, and a group of film and TV studios represented by a copyright organization known as AFACT. The case has the potential to determine once and for all whether Australians who download content via BitTorrent can have their Internet connections disconnected upon the request of the studios. It's lawyers at ten paces!"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

98 comments

Frosty piss? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37065664)

First AC?

Im supprised it got this high. (3, Interesting)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 2 years ago | (#37065670)

The High Court usually only hears cases that people argue goes against the Consitution and doesn't hear appeal cases too much.

Re:Im supprised it got this high. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37065686)

Same.

Re:Im supprised it got this high. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37065712)

That's not necessarily true. The high court hears appeals against Supreme Court decisions, Constitutional challenges, and all areas of contract and other law - particularly in very high value disputes.

Constitutional challenges are a small minority of the work the High Court does.

Re:Im supprised it got this high. (0)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#37069490)

The High Court also addresses cases where two jurisdictions have a differing ruling on something relating to federal law (say, if the 9th circuit and 7th circuit each rule opposite ways).

But you can't appeal a Supreme Court decision. They're the final authority. The "high court" IS the Supreme Court.

Re:Im supprised it got this high. (1)

Macgrrl (762836) | more than 2 years ago | (#37102724)

I'd need to go look it up, but I thought you could dispute a High Court ruling to the Privy Council in the UK.

Re:Im supprised it got this high. (-1, Flamebait)

strack (1051390) | more than 2 years ago | (#37065722)

its the *australian* high court. duh. fuckin americans. its not always about you.

Re:Im supprised it got this high. (3, Informative)

tick-tock-atona (1145909) | more than 2 years ago | (#37065780)

Australia also has a constitution [wikipedia.org] . We just don't treat it like Moses brought it down off the mountain.

Re:Im supprised it got this high. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37065848)

Australia also has a constitution [wikipedia.org] . We just don't treat it like Moses brought it down off the mountain.

Hey now, we yankees don't do that! For a while, we amended it every few years, whenever we got tired of what it said. Eventually we realized changing it was unnecessary work, and just started pretending it said something new.

Re:Im supprised it got this high. (1)

wdef (1050680) | more than 2 years ago | (#37065898)

Australia also has a constitution [wikipedia.org] . We just don't treat it like Moses brought it down off the mountain.

Please explain. The Constitution in Australia establishes the structure and powers of government and the law. How is that less sacrosanct than the US Constitution? And it gets interpreted in new ways just as the US Constitution does. But there is no Bill of Rights and only a few rights are expressed or implied which makes it an inferior document in my view to its US counterpart. I don't know but I imagine Australia's citizens back then must have thought Common Law protections were good enough - but those can and have changed as we have seen.

Re:Im supprised it got this high. (4, Insightful)

adona1 (1078711) | more than 2 years ago | (#37065970)

One was written by revolutionaries, the other by lawyers. Guess which one doesn't have guaranteed rights? :P

Re:Im supprised it got this high. (4, Informative)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#37065994)

You're exactly right. It is legally just as sacrosant as the US Constitution. Hell, large parts of it were based ~on~ the US Constitution. And indeed you aren't the only one to note that it lacks one of the US Constitution's most well-known features.

The introduction of a formal Bill of Rights in Australia has been a hotly debated jurisprudential topic on and off for much of the last few decades. The arguments against include (broadly speaking), things such as:

- Common law protections and the principles of equity are good enough (there is some truth to this - common law protections in the UK and Australia are reasonably comprehensive); or
- To list or precisely define rights, is to limit them (to those explicitly mentioned). Therefore no Bill of Rights please! (again, I can see some merit in this argument - the rights that are important today might not be important in the future, or rights we haven't even thought of today might become relevant, so if your Bill of Rights is difficult to amend it may become 'out of date' rather quickly)

The arguments for a Bill of Rights are obvious: the same ones that led to the US one. There is also some debate about whether such a Bill would actually be in the Australian Constitution (pretty unlikely IMO), in entrenched legislation ('normal' legislation, but with extra requirements to amend it that make it very difficult to overturn or change), or just a normal Act (with the standard options for repeal and amendment available).

Apologies if you knew all this already - unclear from your post whether you are American or Australian. But could be interesting reading for someone. :)

Re:Im supprised it got this high. (2)

TheNastyInThePasty (2382648) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067372)

- To list or precisely define rights, is to limit them (to those explicitly mentioned). Therefore no Bill of Rights please! (again, I can see some merit in this argument - the rights that are important today might not be important in the future, or rights we haven't even thought of today might become relevant, so if your Bill of Rights is difficult to amend it may become 'out of date' rather quickly)

Well the Ninth Amendment [wikipedia.org] is supposed to protect us Americans against that but politicians and political shills often find it more convenient to ignore that :) ("You have no constitutional right to _blank_ so the government can _blank_ you hard in the _blank_ any time they want")

Re:Im supprised it got this high. (2)

0111 1110 (518466) | more than 2 years ago | (#37072958)

You may already be aware of this but the US bill of rights, an explicit enumeration of our rights, was quite hotly debated here as well. It was felt by many at the time that any explicit enumeration of rights would seem to imply that those are the only rights we had and that as long as the government did not infringe on those it could do absolutely anything else it wished.

Predictably enough that is precisely what has happened. The US government most definitely does not recognize any rights that are not in the bill of rights. For instance, airline travel is considered a privilege, not a right. Only walking and possibly travel by horse or bicycle are considered rights. If a certain technology was not around at the time the first 10 constitutional amendments were written it is automatically a privilege that can be revoked at any time and not a right.

The 9th amendment states: The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.. AFAIK, it has never been successfully used to protect a single human right that was not mentioned in the bill of rights. Effectively it has always been ignored completely. Maybe we would have been better off with a bill of rights for the government instead of for the people. Oh wait...that is what the constitution was supposed to be, a limitation on their power. What a joke.

The only way to limit the power of a government is through large scale organized violence. That is the only real power. In the end, words scribbled on a piece of paper mean very little. And the English language is much too vague anyway. It can always be interpreted by those in power to mean whatever they want it to mean. Or when that fails, just it can just be ignored like the 9th amendment.

Re:Im supprised it got this high. (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 2 years ago | (#37066574)

Also people arguing against reality.

Re:Im supprised it got this high. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37066966)

The Australian High Court commonly hears appeals against reality ..... if for no other reason than to put an end to it.

As for the comments against the US above, the reason is fairly simple. It is incredibly expensive to run something through the High Court and the odds that a case will come along that is actually interesting enough to attract their attention is fairly slim (Constitutional matters are heard more often because the High Court is the only place really suited to decide them .. and because it is normally the State Governments that are paying for it). Typically a matter like this would be run in the US because they have a better chance of enforcing the decision and actually getting money out of people. We are hearing this case here because it has already hit a roadblock in the US, and most likely it will be blocked here as well.

Impact is no laughing matter (2)

GoochOwnsYou (1343661) | more than 2 years ago | (#37065684)

All it will take is a dubious copyright or patent claim against Linux get someone's connection cut. Make no bones about it: AFACT has been much more organised and persuasive than the RIAA & MPAA and too are attempting to force ISP's to do their dirty work for them.

Re:Impact is no laughing matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37065700)

Won't someone think of the penguins!?!

Re:Impact is no laughing matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37065746)

I think you mean the koalas. There's a slight resemblance, but you got the continent wrong. :P

Re:Impact is no laughing matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37065776)

Australia has penguins, around the bass strait.

Re:Impact is no laughing matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37065934)

We also have them around Balmoral.

Re:Impact is no laughing matter (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#37066006)

Actually Australia has penguins in various coastal locations anywhere in the southern half (approximately) of the continent. They aren't the same species as the stereotypical penguins you would think of when you think of Antarctica, though. Some of them look very different.

Re:Impact is no laughing matter (2)

femto (459605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37065796)

We have penguins here in Australia. In fact, the reason [wikipedia.org] Linux has a penguin as its mascot is that Linus contracted Penguinitis when bitten by a Little Penguin [wikipedia.org] , while visiting Australia.

I download distro iso's via bt! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37065718)

I download (Linux) distribution ISO's via bittorrent! Its all GPL software, all fully legally redistributable! I'm tired of clownshow outfits deciding to chuck out the baby with the bathwater! People get killed in cars, so ban all cars! People die in planes, so ban all planes! People drown in water, so ban all water! Take premise A, extrapolate with universal consequences (instead of existential), and over react!

iiNet (5, Insightful)

liamoshan (1283930) | more than 2 years ago | (#37065744)

This is why I've been a a happy customer of iiNet for nearly a decade

When AFACT wanted ISP's to pass on copyright infringement notices to their users, Telstra, Optus etc were happy to roll over and do as they were told. iiNet effectively said "If you have proof of a crime being commited, take it up with the police. We're not here to have our customers harassed just because you say so". AFACT took exception to this, hence this trial

Re:iiNet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37065760)

[citation needed]

I've read from multiple sources both Telstra and Optus ignored AFACTS requests.

Re:iiNet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37065988)

"I've read from multiple sources both Telstra and Optus ignored AFACTS requests."

[citation needed]

Re:iiNet (1)

SebZero (1051264) | more than 2 years ago | (#37066758)

This is why I've been a a happy customer of iiNet for nearly a decade

Ditto. I like my ISP providing the service I pay for and not terminating it because a third party (ie NOT the police or a court) says they should.

Nonsense (1)

qxcv (2422318) | more than 2 years ago | (#37065748)

I see a lot of over-reactions here. Just because the High Court has agreed to hear the trial does NOT mean that the outcome will be any different this time. IANAL, but AFACT's claim seems like absolute bullshit. From Copyright Act 1968 [austlii.edu.au] :

A person (including a carrier or carriage service provider) who provides facilities for making, or facilitating the making of, a communication is not taken to have authorised any infringement of copyright in a work merely because another person uses the facilities so provided to do something the right to do which is included in the copyright.

That seems like some pretty strong legalese in favour of iiNet.

Re:Nonsense (1)

wdef (1050680) | more than 2 years ago | (#37065912)

But the Copyright Act is not the Constitution. Isn't the whole point of going to the High Court is that they have the power to overwrite lesser statutory law?

Re:Nonsense (1)

qxcv (2422318) | more than 2 years ago | (#37065976)

Copypasted from Wikipedia [wikimedia.org] :

The High Court's appellate jurisdiction is defined under Section 73 of the Constitution. The High Court can hear appeals from the Supreme Courts of the States, from any federal court or court exercising federal jurisdiction (such as the Federal Court of Australia), and from decisions made by one or more Justices exercising the original jurisdiction of the court.

It seems that the High Court was originally reserved for matters pertaining to the Constitution and Commonwealth offices, but now has a much larger jurisdiction. Of course, IANAL, so can anybody confirm/deny/correct this?

Re:Nonsense (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#37066030)

Only if AFACT's lawyers are actually challenging iiNet on something in the Constitution though. That is, AFACT would somehow have to argue that that provision from the Copyright Act is somehow unconstitutional, which seems a very long bow to draw. I suspect therefore that this case is just a standard appeal to the High Court on some other legal matter, not a Constitutional one.

Then again I haven't actually read the previous cases or the article so I could just be wrong. I just have a gut feel the Constitution doesn't have much in it that you could use to knock down the carrier provisions from the Copyright Act with...

Re:Nonsense (4, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 2 years ago | (#37066428)

I'm totally ignorant of the issues but I still have an opinion.. welcome, this is what Slashdot is for :)

Re:Nonsense (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37067056)

I'm totally ignorant of the issues but I still have an opinion.. welcome, this is what Slashdot is for :)

Well yes, but you post failed to voice that opinion loudly.
You are also supposed to just guess what the TFA and TFS says by only reading the headline and then complain that the TFS doesn't say the same thing as the TFA and that both were written by morons.

Time flies (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37065762)

When I was young, I sang "go speed racer go". Today I think of secretly singing "go Shean Parker go".
Just as Fry recently experienced in his time traveling adventures: [frustrated] No! They did it! They blew it up! [The camera pans to reveal a monkey Statue of Liberty.] And then the apes blew up their society too. How could this happen?
[Camera pans to reveal a bird Statue of Liberty.] And then the birds took over and ruined their society. [Camera pans to reveal a cow Statue of Liberty.] And then the cows. And then...
[Camera pans to reveal a strange slug-like Statue of Liberty.] ... I don't know, is that a slug, maybe?
[screaming] Noooo!

Yeah, people do dance until the music has stopped
But this isn't Kansas anymore. It's 2011. Yet only handfull had taken the red pill.
Sux

Copyright Theft? FAIL! (1, Insightful)

xenobyte (446878) | more than 2 years ago | (#37065794)

Illegal file sharing is copyright INFRINGEMENT, not theft! - Get it right, people! Or are you too stupid to get it?

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (1)

qxcv (2422318) | more than 2 years ago | (#37065820)

Every time somebody uses the word "copyright" to refer to the copyrighted work itself, I die a little inside...

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37065828)

Illegal file sharing is copyright INFRINGEMENT, not theft! - Get it right, people! Or are you too stupid to get it?

ooooh.... if I steal your copyright, does that mean I can sue you for infringement?

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (0)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37065880)

Care to explain the difference? In my view, it is the same.

Theft - take something from someone. For example, take an iPhone. The owner is deprived of his property while the thief benefits from the property against the will of its (former) owner.

Copyright infringement: Deprive the copyright owner of his right to distribute his material as he see fit. The owner is deprived of his right, the thief benefits from the material against the will of its copyright owner.

Very close in my book. YMMV.

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37065910)

I don't think it's a very good way to describe it because the situations are quite different. Typically, when someone thinks of theft, they probably think of the loss of physical property, not the loss of a mere idea (or a "right").

And you've just deprived someone of the ability to believe that copyright infringement isn't the exact same thing as theft! You thief!

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (5, Insightful)

Professr3 (670356) | more than 2 years ago | (#37065946)

The copyright owner still has the right to distribute his material as he sees fit. You're merely obtaining the material through a side channel. Do you think the copyright owner wakes up one morning and says, "Gee, I'd really like to sell this material to you, but someone downloaded it on the internet. This means I no longer have rights to distribute my material, so I can't sell it to you. Sorry! Woe is me!"

That doesn't mean "copyright infringement" is a good thing, but you're going to have to come up with a better argument than that.

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (2)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37066128)

The copyright fdoesn't gives you the right to distribute, it gives you THE EXCLUSIVITY to distribute. When some random dude download your stuff and distribute it for free, he doesn't deprive you of the exclusivity? How can you view it that way?

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067044)

Once you exercise your right to exclusivity (i.e. you give someone a copy), you have lost your exclusivity, according to your reasoning. If you think about it a little, you will realize that it doesn't matter how a second party obtains a copy; the exclusivity is the same.

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37069260)

Actually copyright theft would be when someone else tries to prevent you from distributing your own works because they claim the copyrights to them (wrongfully).

Usually this is done by a large copyright cartel against an indie.

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (1)

Professr3 (670356) | more than 2 years ago | (#37076772)

Another thing to think about: Let's say some random dude downloads a content provider's work, and, by your argument, deprives said provider of exclusivity. At that point, the exclusivity is gone, so what further crime remains if *I* download the work?

Are you going to make the case for "levels of exclusivity"? If so, how will you objectively define those levels, and how many copies will it take to get to "level zero"?

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37065958)

If I take your iPhone you can nolonger use it.

If I copy your material, you can still sell it to anyone you please.

You think I was going to buy it from you anyway? If I placed a value of "free" on it in the first place, how can you expect me to pay anything more than free? You lost nothing.

However if I copy your material and sell it to others, undercutting you, then you've lost income

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (2)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37066120)

1. First, you say that if you copy my material I can still sell it. Is it still true if you copy my material and then offer it to the world for free? Because that's basically how P2P networks work. You actually say it in the end of your post, but whenever you download on BitTorrent, you leech as well (that's for most people using BitTorrent, you may have altered your client)

2. Second, I have the right to sell my work, but society grants me something more: I am the only one to have the right to distribute my work. When you take over and distribute it yourself, you kind of deprive me of my exclusivity don't you think?

3. Last, nobody cares if you would have bought it. But if you wouldn't thet you shouldn't have had access to the material. That's the law, plain and simple.

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (4, Insightful)

AmonTheMetalhead (1277044) | more than 2 years ago | (#37066590)

1) When you download using bittorrent you aren't also leeching but also seeding. Leeching means downloading something without uploading much/anything in place.
Furthermore, despite the fact that all music is available to me through illegal channels, I still buy loads of music, even more so then before it was feasible to download anything.
The ability to access loads of music has given me the opportunity to sample a lot more music then radio alone allowed.

2) Piracy will deprive you of exclusivity to distribute, but so does broadcasting.

3) Broadcasting means people have access to your work beyond your control.

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37069148)

1) You still buy music. Fine. This is completely besides the point though.

2) Sure. Not all artists choose to broadcast, so I fail to see what that proves... If the artist chooses to broadcast, it doesn't deprive the artist of the ability to choose so, since he just did !

3) See #2

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37072292)

You are forgetting that copyright law includes compulsory licensing. For example, I can record a cover of any song that has already been released, and so long as I pay a predetermined royalty and meet a few other statutory requirements, I can distribute my cover of that work (which includes distributing the composition) even if the original artist absolutely despises my rendition. The author of the composition doesn't have the right to control distribution of covers after an authorized recording has been performed.

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067096)

If a buy a car and turn around and sell it, that sale is not called theft. If I steal a car and turn around and sell it, that sale is not called theft. (Sale of stolen property is not, in and of itself, theft).

Doing the same with an electronic copy of a song, book or movie does not magically turn the sale (or gift) into theft. It is what it has always been -- infringement of the copyright.

Please remove from your mind the idea that a lost sale is theft. That is logically unsupportable. To paraphrase the sig of another /. poster, you now owe me millions of dollars because you haven't bought my iOS app!

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067464)

If you read both my posts carefully, you will see that I am not talking about lost sales. At all. So maybe you answered to the wrong person...

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37065998)

actually, the right is to STOP others from producing COPIES of a work without the copyright holder's permission. What happens with copyright infringement is that someone produces copies without the holder's permission. They are NOT deprived of that work or even the rights to that work, but instead, have had that right INFRINGED upon.

If you absolutely need to fall back on a comparison to physical property violations, it's much more like trespassing, but it's much better to consider it on it's own merits instead of shoehorning a metaphor in.

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37066138)

If society decides to give someone the exclusivity to something, and then a bunch of dudes do the thing anyways, you're saying the owner still has the exclusivity on that thing? How twisted is that?

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37066194)

If someone trespasses on your land (and thus violates your right to exclude), do you lose your ability to stop other people from trespassing on your land?

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37066312)

Go back to 4chan you loser.
I don't go over the internet distributing land when I trespass someone's land.
There is a difference and you know it.

You getting an illegal copy would not make too much damage, but you distributing the copy makes a lot of damage because you are enabling others to get a copy.
Furthermore, due to the very nature of BT, the downloaders are also the uploaders, therefore they are the infringers.

Most of the copyright violators would actually pay for the work, they don't because it is easier to download!

P.S.
mininova.org has a very good piracy policy, TPB does not!

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (4, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37066394)

There is a difference and you know it.

There is also a difference between copyright infringement and theft, and you know that. For the particular question, the right to exclude acts in largely the same way in both trespassing and copyright infringement. It's also similar in many ways to the right to not be assaulted. If I punch you in the face I have assaulted you, and violated your right to not be assaulted. If someone else punches you in the face, they have also violated your right to not be assaulted. Even if a hundred people punch you in the face, any further assault is going to be a violation of your rights. It's a bit awkward to think of it this way, but you have the right to exclude yourself from acts of assault. If "a bunch of dudes" assault you anyways, you still have the right to exclude people from assaulting you. Now, please don't think I'm saying that copyright infringement is assault or is similar outside of violation of the right not resulting in the loss of the right. Copyright infringement is copyright infringement, and claiming it to be anything else is almost certainly a bad idea.

You getting an illegal copy would not make too much damage, but you distributing the copy makes a lot of damage because you are enabling others to get a copy. Furthermore, due to the very nature of BT, the downloaders are also the uploaders, therefore they are the infringers.

True, but mathematically, the peers average 1 copy downloaded and 1 copy uploaded, and they are only halfway responsible for that traffic, making them, on average, responsible for the creation of 1 illicit copy

Most of the copyright violators would actually pay for the work, they don't because it is easier to download!

You're going to need a citation for that, as most of the studies I've seen show that those that illegally download end up having more than they could afford to acquire legally. Your wording does seem to indicate a major part of the underlying cause, though, as illicit channels often provide a better, easier product than legitimate channels. If legitimate channels made it is easier for consumers to get what they want, copyright infringement would likely decline or at least not grow as quickly.

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#37066164)

Bringing your own drink into a movie theater deprives the management from its right to sell you stuff, and benefits from the movie which is subsidized by those side profits. Even if you paid for the movie, you get it cheaper than someone who bought the drink.

I guess that's theft too?

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (0)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#37066290)

If I build an identical house than you have, I don't steal your house.
If I buy an identical car than you have, I don't steal your car.
If I wear identical clothes than you, I don't steal your clothes.
If I copy your book line by line, I don't steal your book.

Just because some act damages your financial outcome, it's not automatically theft.
Just because some act gets me value, and deprives you of value, it's not automatically theft.

If I walk through your garden and thus disturb your privacy, I don't steal your garden. It's trespassing.
If I damage your reputation and get the job you were applying for too, I am not a reputation thief. It's libel.
If I beat you up to get street cred, I am not a health thief. It's serious bodily harm.

There are so many things I can harm you with and be better of myself after that, and most of them are not theft.

Call them, for what they are. Call a copyright infringment copyright infringment and not "IP theft". Call assault and battery assault and battery, and not "health theft". Call libel libel and not "reputation theft".

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067524)

The usual argument is that infringement is not theft because it doesn't deprive the IP owner of anything. I'm merely trying to point out that it's not true.

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37069064)

It's a rather bizarre semantic argument. The value of a album, a film, or a computer game is not in the physical material. The disc, the case, the artwork has an insignificant value - the value is in the licensing. If there is no exclusivity of that licence, then there is no value of that licence.

Ethically, there is little difference between theft and copyright infringement.

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#37070744)

Ethically, there is also little difference between the other examples I mentioned and theft. In all cases one causes damages to others for personal gain.
But that's exactly the point! If you label all cases of "causing damages to other people for personal gain" as theft, then the special case for theft (removing an object out of the reach of the rightful owner without his consent to use it yourself) needs another name.

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#37071172)

The main difference for me is that something that was stolen can used by the new owner the same way than the old, rightful owner could have used it.
If I steal a car, I can drive it as its rightful owner could drive it. If I steal money, I can go shopping or put it in a savings account as the rightful owner could have done.
But if I infringe on someone's copyright by unlicensed copying, I can not use it as the copyright holder could. I can not sublicense it for instance.
There are types of copyright infringement where sublicensing would be possible (e.g. plagiarism), but to create a plagiat, I have at least to create a little myself, so the original copyright owner cannot sell my plagiat as his own work, he can only demand the erasing of the plagiat.
So neither unlicensed copying nor plagiarism (as two main types of copyright infringement) are similar to theft in that way that the object can be used by either party as if the party was the rightful owner.

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37066618)

Care to explain the difference? In my view, it is the same.

I'll give this a shot, because you explain it yourself, you just don't seem to see it.

Theft - take something from someone. For example, take an iPhone. The owner is deprived of his property while the thief benefits from the property against the will of its (former) owner.

All well and good. Excellent example by the way!

This next one we must pull apart a bit however.

Copyright infringement:

Copyright infringement, another name for a reason.

Deprive the copyright owner of his right to distribute his material as he see fit.

In your example, The person you label 'thief' did not distribute anything.
Someone else distributed your material to Mr Thief. That someone else doing the distributing however has committed the act of copyright infringement and broke the law.

The owner is deprived of his right, the thief benefits from the material against the will of its copyright owner.

Mr. Thief as you call him has done nothing illegal, it is not a crime nor is it mentioned in copyright law, that he cant benefit from your copyrighted material.

The act that is against the law is distributing the material against the copyright owners wishes, however that is someone else whom you don't mention.

See the difference? You don't even mention a single bad thing about the person who did the crime, and you just committed the crime of libel by calling the other innocent person a thief, when he committed no crime in your description.

That is the difference

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067622)

You're telling me that downloading stuff from a place you know is not legal is not against the law?

In other words, if a law enforcement agency came to your house, found 1000TB of movies on your hard drive and you couldn't produce a proof of purchase for any of them, you wouldn't be in trouble ?

Laws seems to be different in your country than in mine. My mistake.

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37067920)

Your question was explain the difference between "copyright infringement" and "theft"

Even if copyright infringement will get you into trouble, it doesn't mean it's the same as theft (as explained by GP and many others). Lots of things could get you into trouble

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37074820)

I'm the GP poster by the way...

You're telling me that downloading stuff from a place you know is not legal is not against the law?

Only if you then (re)uploaded that material would you be committing copyright infringement.
If 'a place' is a website, then no you are not committing copyright infringement by downloading it. Note however that if you are using BitTorrent, you are both uploading while you download, so you are distributing (parts) of it. That IS copyright infringement. This feature however is pretty unique to peer-to-peer type transfers, and is not guaranteed to happen for every otherp2p protocol.

In other words, if a law enforcement agency came to your house, found 1000TB of movies on your hard drive and you couldn't produce a proof of purchase for any of them, you wouldn't be in trouble ?

Correct. Unless by some rare against-all-odds chance that the law enforcement agents that came into your house are also the copyright holders for any of that material, then they would have a civil case against you. This doesn't mean they can invoke any criminal proceedings against you however.

Only the copyright holder would potentially have a civil law case against you, and even then only if you distributed any of that holders material.

Laws seems to be different in your country than in mine. My mistake.

It's OK, it's partially my fault too. I should have specified I was referring to US law only. I thought that was obvious from the topic of the article, but then again you did go off topic with a hypothetical situation, so that could have happened in any country, including the one you live in.

My comments are for American law only.

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (1)

EuclideanSilence (1968630) | more than 2 years ago | (#37066936)

Copyright infringement: Deprive the copyright owner of his right to distribute his material as he see fit.

Isn't that really just "deprive the copyright owner of the ability to deprive others of the ability to copy information" ? Either way, it's not a right since the government isn't a party to the transaction, merely an arbiter. It's just a simple law, not all laws are rights.

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37067018)

EVERYTHING from food to language to human learning to behavior to sexual reproduction is based on copying. Copying is the natural state of things, it's how life works, take a biology class.

Someone taking something and therefore removing it from someone else is stealing. Copying is just reproducing. Telling humans not to copy is like telling a baby not to cry and you shake it until it stops.

Someone takes your DNA, you die, someone copies your DNA, you have a kid. See a difference? If you can't see the difference between life and death, then go win a Darwin award.

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37068110)

Hello Universal Studios. I have just downloaded a copy of your new movie, "Crappy teen holiday horror movie". You must now remove it from all cinemas and cancel those plans you had to press DVDs and sell it in shops, as I have deprived you of your right to distribute your material as you see fit.

Don't think so somehow. Of course you could be referring to them seeing fit to sell it to a single person, to which the obvious counter-argument is "It's got crappy in the name for crying out loud, you think I would have acquired it if I the only option was to pay for it?".

Not so close in mine, and my kilometreage does indeed vary.

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37066098)

Illegal file sharing is copyright INFRINGEMENT, not theft! - Get it right, people! Or are you too stupid to get it?

I dunno... I'm downloading off usenet... not bittorrent

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37066118)

Or are you too stupid to get it?

Seriously, some of you really deserve a good beating. But now I that think of it, I guess you are getting it at school already.

Re:Copyright Theft? TROLL! (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 2 years ago | (#37066160)

Illegal file sharing is copyright INFRINGEMENT, not theft!

What are you, a troll? Nobody mentioned theft until you came along. I just browsed at -1 to make sure I didn't miss something, but only occurence of the word happened in the thread that you started. It wasn't in the article and it wasn't in the original submission.

So what possessed you to become so indignant about the term?

Re:Copyright Theft? FAIL! (1)

trytoguess (875793) | more than 2 years ago | (#37069312)

Yes, people DO get it. Now do you get that people use the word theft because they wish to stretch the definition of the word for whatever reason (exaggeration, to empathize, emotional appeal, belief that copyright violation deprive enough to equal theft, etc). It's not a case of stupidity, just yet another case of where language is perhaps too mutable.

Headlines (1)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | more than 2 years ago | (#37065806)

RIAA gets their way, ISPs forced to shut down from substantial losses.

Re:Headlines (1)

thefatchuckster (1534655) | more than 2 years ago | (#37066198)

if AFACT gets some kind of win in the High Court, the best it can hope for is the challenged legal issue to go back to the Supreme Court in WA for further consideration. Likelihood of the entire case being thrown out is is highly unlikely in the extreme given that it has passed muster at trial and at appeal.

So again the victims are left out (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 2 years ago | (#37065824)

The people who can have their internet connection ended without trial are of course no party in such cases. Silly me. How could they?

Re:So again the victims are left out (3, Interesting)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#37066052)

No ... there ARE no victims ... yet. That's what the case is about.

AFACT tried to make iiNet disconnect its users. iiNet refused (hence no victims). AFACT took iiNet to court. If iiNet lose, then yes there may be victims in the future. But as of yet, the end users of iiNet's service haven't suffered anything and hence aren't party to the case.

Gah (1)

freman (843586) | more than 2 years ago | (#37065844)

How much money have they wasted on this... how much money has it got them back?

Re:Gah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37065984)

How much money has how got back?
The lawyers? the law firms? the executives getting kickbacks from the law firms for dumping shareholder money on their front porch?

Re:Gah (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067048)

AFACT hasn't waisted any of their own money. All of it, so far, has been tax payer funded. If they loose this, the MAFIAA will have to pay.

AFACT is desperate and has too much money (3, Interesting)

Janacek (925490) | more than 2 years ago | (#37066180)

The last judgment against AFACT in the case against iiNet was explained very well by the judge in charge of that trial. This just goes to show that the music industry and the movie industry are desperate to protect their tenuous hold on the music and movie distribution business and have the money to fight all the way to the top.

Re:AFACT is desperate and has too much money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37066670)

Another day, and another story about how the studios just don't get it.

They lost.
They lost again.
I hope they lose this one too.

But I'm guessing they got this far because someone in the studios is sucking up to someone in the government and giving them a sob story on how this really needs to be ruled in their favour because everyone internet user is a criminal that must pay them for no real reason and they stand to lose billions blah blah blah.

Can't wait to get disconnected! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37066796)

Phone rings: The shit is hitting the fan can you remote in and fix XYZ....
Me: Nope, got no netz :) ...

huh wha (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#37067028)

I thought Australia was already AFACT's bitch. Maybe I'm just being profetic, er whatever it is called.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...