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Anti-Piracy Lawyers Accuse Blind Man of Downloading Films

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the you-wouldn't-download-a-seeing-eye-dog dept.

Piracy 302

souravzzz writes "As the mass-lawsuits against BitTorrent users in the United States drag on, detail on the collateral damage this extortion-like scheme is costing becomes clear. It is likely that thousands of people have been wrongfully accused of sharing copyrighted material, yet they see no other option than to pay up. One of the cases that stands out is that of a California man who's incapable of watching the adult film he is accused of sharing because he is legally blind."

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Big ol' curses (-1, Offtopic)

hrmcurse (2439208) | more than 2 years ago | (#37114690)

Don't read this... it is a curse...

In 2007, a little boy named Timothy was standing in the hallway inside of his house. He then turned towards the place where the hallway connects with his mom's bedroom and spotted a box of graham crackers. This made him realize that there was a new rule in his house: anyone who walks past the box of graham crackers must allow the large black man standing near it to fuck their ass! Then, for some reason, he tried to run past the box of graham crackers and was grabbed by the large black man. The large black man looked at his bootyass naked ass and screamed, "There is no hole!" Timothy then escaped and ran into his mom's closet, and the black man followed. The black man then bumped into a cabbage patch kid in the closet and angered it. Timothy managed to escape outside while the black man's ass was turned into a rumblehouse. Then, Timothy noticed that a close friend of his had his car parked in front of his house and was signaling him to get inside. Timothy did so, and the car took off down the road at great speed while Timothy explained his situation to his friend.

While Timothy was celebrating the fact that he escaped, the car began slowing down; his friend then said, "Now, now, now's the time right now!"

Timothy asked him what he was doing. His friend grinned evilly and replied, "What slowness can I offer you? I'm copyright owner Madow!" and turned into an old man wearing a butler's outfit.

The car continued to slow down, and the cabbage patch kid was catching up to them. Timothy then got out of the car (since he could run faster than it was moving) and began running. However, what seemed to be an invisible entity lifted him into the air and thrusted him ass-first around the world at a speed greater than the speed of light! Eventually, Timothy's bootyass naked ass crashed directly into the very cabbage patch kid he was trying to escape from! The cabbage patch kid was then sucked into Timothy's ass as if his ass was a spaghetti noodle (just like grandma)! At that point, his ass became a bouncehouse for the cabbage patch kid, and major tickle was inflicted upon it!

Now that you have read this, the very same cabbage patch kid will get sucked right up your ass as if your ass is a spaghetti noodle, and major tickle will be inflicted upon it!

You can prevent this by doing the following: post this comment in three different threads.

That ain't a curse... (-1, Offtopic)

hamburgler007 (1420537) | more than 2 years ago | (#37114710)

This is a curse, go fuck yourself you troll.

Re:Big ol' curses (1, Redundant)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 2 years ago | (#37114840)

tl;dr

IT WAS A "PRE-CRIME" ARREST (1, Offtopic)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115100)

In anticipation of the innovation of digital "Smell-o-Vision", by pornographers.

Wait a minute... (5, Funny)

SpeZek (970136) | more than 2 years ago | (#37114702)

What if the movie he downloaded caused his blindness in the first place!? Check his palms!

Check his palms for what? (0)

intellitech (1912116) | more than 2 years ago | (#37114780)

Cum shot residue?

Re:Check his palms for what? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37114792)

hair you numbnut, its the oldest joke in the freakin book

Re:Check his palms for what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37114820)

i don't get it.

Re:Check his palms for what? (2)

tibit (1762298) | more than 2 years ago | (#37114978)

So, you never looked at your hands afterwards? :)

Re:Check his palms for what? (1)

M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115070)

maybe the lady shaves...

Re:Check his palms for what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37115222)

i still don't get it.

Re:Check his palms for what? (1)

tibit (1762298) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115284)

Whooosh. I'll ruin the joke, but I guess it has to be explained. When you masturbate, you're likely to pull your pubic hair out (no matter your gender). They may well get stuck between your fingers and other areas of your hand. intellitech was thinking about "cum shot residue" -- that's close enough, but it'd be too obvious to make a good joke IMHO. The joke is, thus, that you can check if someone masturbates by looking inside their palms/between their fingers for pubic hair. Of course it's only a joke: if for nothing else than men and women still like to occasionally scratch themselves on their privates, and may as well pull a pubic hair or two without having to masturbate. Is that clear?

Re:Check his palms for what? (2)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115314)

When you masturbate, you're likely to pull your pubic hair out (no matter your gender).

Surely this depends on how you masturbate, how well endowed you are, how hirsute you are, whether you're mutilated or not, and a bunch of other factors.

Re:Check his palms for what? (3, Informative)

SpeZek (970136) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115396)

Yeah, no. That makes no sense, and that's not the joke. The joke comes from the very old myth that masturbating makes one grow hair on their palms (hence everyone will know you're a bad person).
Don't explain if you don't know the explanation.

Re:Check his palms for what? (2)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115420)

Yeah, no. That makes no sense, and that's not the joke. The joke comes from the very old myth that masturbating makes one grow hair on their palms (hence everyone will know you're a bad person).

It's not a myth so much as it is a way for nosy parents and priests to check whether kids have started masturbating. Mention this lie while talking between adults, and if the kids sneak looks at their palms, they probably have. Not that it's any business of the adults.

Re:Check his palms for what? (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115490)

I'm pretty certain that it's very much a business of an adult raising a child to know that his/her child has started masturbating. Problem arises when they (adults) react in a childish/stupid way to it. A good parent will put this information in good use.

Granted most parents that come from puritan cultures tend to react to this information very badly.

Re:Check his palms for what? (1)

tibit (1762298) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115620)

I guess meta jokes are not all the rage anymore, huh? Anyway, obviously the real answer is that masturbation is what makes blind people get beautiful eyelashes. There.

The discussion that follows is hilarious enough, that was my intent, if half-assed. Mission accomplished?

Re:Check his palms for what? (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115554)

"When you masturbate, you're likely to pull your pubic hair out (no matter your gender)."

Pubic hair?

How old _are_ you?

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115560)

I was just thinking he was a pervert listen to women masturbating and might actually be guilty of the crime.

Not that I have a problem with him being a pervert, listening to women masturbating, or pirating the film.

Really just curious how big is the collection of this dirty perverted and blind pirate.

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37115578)

And considering how confusing the porn sites are - how did he find anything at all?

And? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37114718)

So what? Why is him being blind mean he couldn't have still downloaded it? Does his blindness somehow make him unable to download movies as opposed to any other type of file? If someone is deaf does that mean there is no possibly way they could have downloaded cds?

Re:And? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#37114812)

It sure makes it a lot less likely.

Re:And? (0)

P01d4 (867778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37114956)

Is there any possible way to download physical media?

Re:And? (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115280)

If you have a 3D printer at your end with which to reconstruct it, perhaps... :-)

Re:And? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37115084)

And in that same vein, where are the stories excoriating the habitual downloaders who are doing it for the fun of free entertainment? Is the one-sided coverage supposed to prove some sort of "ethical" point beyond "Slashdotters shove their fingers in their ears when they're hearing something they don't like"? I mean if it's greedy of the copyright holders to protect their property, how is it not greedy of the collectors who download more movies than they'll ever watch just because they can't bear to be bored for 5 seconds and they feel entitled because they were born?

Re:And? (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115158)

Because all of those people probably have nearly identical stories. And, really, I don't think it'd be all that interesting.

how is it not greedy of the collectors who download more movies than they'll ever watch just because they can't bear to be bored for 5 seconds and they feel entitled because they were born?

That depends on someone's opinion of copyright and such.

Re:And? (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115360)

mean if it's greedy of the copyright holders to protect their property, how is it not greedy of the collectors who download more movies than they'll ever watch just because they can't bear to be bored for 5 seconds and they feel entitled because they were born?

One doesn't preclude the other.
The guy can be guilty of downloading and sharing copyrighted porn movies and lying about it, and the copyright holders can be assholes at the same time
I know this is an alien concept for those who prefer black-and-white dualism, but it's nevertheless true.
So don't for a second think that if I slam a downloader that I side with the lawyers. Nor vice versa.

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37115812)

Let's see: MAFIAA wants to forcible deprive you of your money, and enlist government (first the legislature, then the courts) to that end.
Hoarders don't deprive anyone else of anything, except the use of some bandwidth, which they pay their ISP for.

Is it inconceivable that someone could see one of those as greedy and the other not, or at least as qualitatively different types of greed?

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37115470)

It's a civil matter; the word "proof" isn't applicable.

His blindness influences how likely someone would look at the evidence and guess he probably did it, versus probably didn't do it.

That is, if he hadn't settled. Now the whole question is moot.

BTW, one might expect that people with various handicaps will have a harder time with employment, therefore (on average) be less likely to have the resources to defend themselves. Thus, finding blind people and accusing them of [anything] might be a good idea for generating revenue in the service of evil. It sounds bad at first (if it goes to trial you're less likely to win, than if you picked "normal" victims) but if the costs of litigation are high enough, it could still pay off. We should expect this formula to eventually become finely tuned by MAFIAA's expert lawyer/game_theorists.

Re:And? (5, Informative)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115480)

As someone that knows, you might find it interesting to understand the definition of "legally blind" vs. more functional blindness.

I lived with a blind girl for a while. She was functionally blind and could see only extremely bright and extremely high contrast objects. For the most part, she couldn't see anything and was around five years old before she realized other people could see things.

A friend of the blind girl's was "legally blind". This meant that she couldn't get a driver's license but otherwise was quite functional. She could certainly watch TV, go to movies and read large-print books.

Legally blind does not mean "can't watch a movie" in any respect.

Question not answered (5, Funny)

iYk6 (1425255) | more than 2 years ago | (#37114720)

Was the film in braille?

Re:Question not answered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37114730)

He downloaded it for the mood music. yeah yeah, oooooh

Re:Question not answered (1)

SGDarkKnight (253157) | more than 2 years ago | (#37114750)

no no, the film was entitiled "Braille -- Bump Bump Bump"

Re:Question not answered (1)

MokuMokuRyoushi (1701196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37114916)

Brasil - Bump Bump Bump? I'll watch that.

Did it ever occur to the article author that... (1)

theillien (984847) | more than 2 years ago | (#37114726)

the guy is legally blind because of all the porn he downloaded and the activity he presumably would have partook in afterward?

Re:Did it ever occur to the article author that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37114984)

You cant go blind with huge quantities of porn. You are living proof of this ;)

Re:Did it ever occur to the article author that... (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115506)

i'm posting from a braille terminal, you insensitive clod!

Sharing is not watching (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37114736)

Uh, you are aware that he is accused of SHARING the movie, not watching it, right? Being sighted is not a requirement for sharing a movie.

Re:Sharing is not watching (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37114778)

No, but it does require some degree of explanation as to why somebody is passing off a movie which he didn't watch. The most likely explanation would be that he wasn't the one that was sharing it.

Re:Sharing is not watching (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37115054)

No, the most likely explanation is that he was sharing in order to pad his ratio at his favorite torrent site.

Re:Sharing is not watching (2)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115164)

How do you know he didn't watch it? Lots of blind people enjoy movies, and even go to movie theatres. Who's to say he didn't get turned on by the moaning?

And he's not blind either, but legally blind. Big difference. So am I, and I read and type this without a problem.
This guy could use a computer through magnification. That means he could also watch video through magnification. Whether blurry or not, it couldn't have been blurrier than the text he's able to read, and likely better perceived quality than the 320x200 16-color animations people downloaded as porn from BBSes in the 80s.

Re:Sharing is not watching (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37115738)

No, but it does require some degree of explanation as to why somebody is passing off a movie which he didn't watch.

1. Legally Blind is a technical term, it means you have poor vision NOT blindness.
2. Even if he were missing both eyes, that does not mean he doesn't listen to the movies.
3. There is value to having the software for use as barter material even if it's useless to him. For example, it might make a good swap for some text-to speech software for the blind.
4. Maybe he's just being a dick, or has some kind of personal crusade to bankrupt the porn industry by giving away all their shit online. Yes, that's a bit of a stretch and sounds fairly crazy, but so does anything out of the Westborough Baptist Church.

Sticky situation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37114738)

According to TFA the "accused" works in the "network security division of a Seattle-area software company"... and yet didn't bother putting a password on his WiFi? Besides, maybe he just downloaded it for the music...

Re:Sticky situation... (2)

dido (9125) | more than 2 years ago | (#37114868)

Well, Bruce Schneier [schneier.com] doesn't put a password on his WiFi either for that matter from what I hear.

Re:Sticky situation... (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 2 years ago | (#37114876)

passwords dont do much, he probably just did most private stuff over wired anyway

Not implausible... (4, Funny)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37114754)

Maybe he just wanted to listen to the deep conversation and intricate plot points. You know, just like some people buy playboy to read the articles...

Re:Not implausible... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37114848)

"oooh, baby... make an illegal download in my ass."

Re:Not implausible... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37114902)

THERE ARE ARTICLES IN PLAYBOY? holy cow! i learned something today

Re:Not implausible... (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115080)

In all seriousness, the Playboy issues I've read really do have some good articles, it's just kinda odd to have that kind of material and the pictures of nekkid women int he same magazine.

Re:Not implausible... (2)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115702)

In all seriousness, the Playboy issues I've read really do have some good articles, it's just kinda odd to have that kind of material and the pictures of nekkid women int he same magazine.

That's nothing compared to 4chan.

Re:Not implausible... (5, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115094)

You're joking, but blind people do listen to movies, and even go to movie theatres. The sound is still there, and your imagination does the rest.

And this person isn't totally blind either - he is able to use a computer monitor with a magnifying lens. That can just as well be used for video as for text.

Whether he's innocent or not, we'll never know. He settled.
If he hadn't, I would have considered him innocent unless he was proven guilty, but now we'll never know.
We know he lied about not being able to enjoy movies, though, because many completely blind people do.
And I know I wouldn't hire him as a computer security expert, if he claims that his wi-fi setup was done by his wife clicking OK a few times.

Re:Not implausible... (2)

hozozco (856621) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115694)

My 3 year old daughter is legally blind. She is currently watching here favourite TV programme (ABC Playschool). She also loves the Wiggles. She watches at a distance of about 10cm (4 inches), but certainly sees a lot.

Audio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37114774)

He may be blind, but I'm sure his hearing is excellent!

At least the UK Govt gives a concession.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37114786)

http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one/for-your-home/blindseverely-sight-impaired-aud5/

from the page ..
You can get a 50% reduction on the TV Licence fee if you’re blind/severely sight impaired.
  Your licence will also cover anyone who lives with you.

You need a TV Licence if you wish to watch or record television programmes as they're being
  shown on TV. This includes the use of devices such as a TV, computer, mobile phone,
games console, digital box or DVD/VHS recorder.

Free Internet (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37114790)

the network-security professional recounts the rookie mistake that got him into this mess.

"I didn't have time to set up the wireless network in my old apartment,"

This is not a mistake. Providing a free wireless Internet connection to neighbors is legal. An IP address is not a person.

Don't be so sure. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37115044)

I would be cautious about that, some ISP contracts do require you to take steps to secure your wireless if you have one, and otherwise make you agree to be liable to anything that happens with the internet access they are providing to you.

It may not be a crime, per se, but it can be illegal as a contract violation.

Threshold for filing suit (3, Insightful)

l2718 (514756) | more than 2 years ago | (#37114794)

Currently the minimal threshold for filing suit is way too low. The "rights holders" here surely have some colorable claim that infringement happened (i.e. some kind of network monitoring log, and a claim from an ISP that the monitored IP address belonged to this guy). So far US courts have decided that this is enough to file a lawsuit, something which creates a lot of work for lawyers and greatly advantages those who file extortionate suits -- the cost of actually defending a suit like this (tends of thousands of dollars) is much higher than the cost of settling. Worse, by filing suit the plaintiffs get the right to use the courts to coerce the defendant into assisting in the investigation (and to pay the costs of that!).

A second problem is that even if you are successful in defending a lawsuit you are unlikely to get your legal (let alone indirect) costs reimbursed.

So, the solution is: first, to require more evidence before a lawsuit can be filed, and, second, to make cost shifting the default when a lawsuit is dismissed on the pleading.

Re:Threshold for filing suit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37114958)

More evidence before a lawsuit is filed?

GREAT, thanks, with that idea you'll be playing right into the hands of the corporations instead.

Injured parties will suffer because of that idea, and you can bet that it will be to the detriment of regular folks more than corporations instead.

Especially since one of the reasons why a lawsuit happens is BECAUSE they can't legally get evidence first any other way, and I'll be honest, I don't want them acting outside the auspices of the courts. Or do you think they'd just sit on their hands and go off crying?

That's quite optimistic.

I get that you want to fix the system, I get that you're concerned about abuses, but sometimes things exist for a reason, and sometimes that reason is because the other way of doing things is worse.

At least come up with some way to avoid the clear problems with your ideas. I don't want you making it hard for us to sue them to fix a problem with them suing us.

Re:Threshold for filing suit (1)

cheaphomemadeacid (881971) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115834)

you know, in a real country you could probably go to the police and report them for extortion and mafia practices...

real reason..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37114804)

He's worried that the downloaded porn could jeopardize his Network Security job?

I'd be more worried about them finding out about the unsecured home wireless he's blaming for his 'unwholesome' listening habits.

Legally blind != Totally blind (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37114882)

Just because someone is legally blind, does not mean they have no sight whatsoever. There is a massive difference. I do know people who are legally blind who download and watch plenty of things. They can see, but just not very well. It is possible this guy could watch porn, he just can't legally drive a car.

Re:Legally blind != Totally blind (1)

Amyntas (1774358) | more than 2 years ago | (#37114980)

Precisely. I was about to make the same point, but I found yours. ;)

Stolen off the internet: ( I'll probably be in court next week for this! ) :P
"In North America and most of Europe, legal blindness is defined as visual acuity (vision) of 20/200 (6/60) or less in the better eye with best correction possible. ... Approximately *ten percent* of those deemed legally blind, by any measure, have no vision. "

So, as you said, by no means does 'Legally Blind' make him totally blind.

Re:Legally blind != Totally blind (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115220)

Just because someone is legally blind, does not mean they have no sight whatsoever. There is a massive difference. I do know people who are legally blind who download and watch plenty of things. They can see, but just not very well. It is possible this guy could watch porn, he just can't legally drive a car.

Being legally blind doesn't necessarily hinder one from driving a car either. The blindness can be situational, for a situation that never occurs in a car.

But more to the point, this movie is a moaner, and blind people enjoy listening to porn as much as seeing people enjoy watching it, so even if he had had no vision at all, he could still "enjoy" the movie.

That's some great detective work they're doing. (1)

rebelwarlock (1319465) | more than 2 years ago | (#37114894)

So far they've brought lawsuits on dead people, children, and now a blind guy. What's next, someone who doesn't even own a computer? Oh wait, they totally did that already. [arstechnica.com]

Re:That's some great detective work they're doing. (1)

vgerclover (1186893) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115378)

Or a printer [washington.edu] .

Downloaded for the Audio? (1)

Peebz (2085162) | more than 2 years ago | (#37114948)

Playing devil's advocate here, but did it occur to anyone that maybe he downloaded it for the audio? A solid audio track can let the imagination run wild :)

Re:Downloaded for the Audio? (1)

nloop (665733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37114988)

Or that "legally blind" can still mean usable vision. He uses a screen magnifier according to the article.

Re:Downloaded for the Audio? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37115000)

Might as well download some ASCII porn then.

Re:Downloaded for the Audio? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115180)

You need to try an experiment. Find a TV with a 72inch or larger screen. Play a movie on it. Now, place the tip of your nose on the screen. Enjoy, you can see the movie better than he can with the magnifier.

Legally blind doesn't NECESSARILY mean a person can't watch a movie, but in many cases, it does. TFA also noted he has 1/100 normal vision, so about 20/2000 and that he doesn't watch movies.

Re:Downloaded for the Audio? (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115618)

If he can read text on a computer with that magnifier, I think he can make out female anatomy. And that notwithstanding, you think blind people can't listen to porn?

Not saying he did it, but his disability is definitely not a particularly strong alibi. And wow, his excuse that he never even thought to secure his home network doesn't help either his case or his credibility in *network security*!

Why wouldn't a blind man watch a movie? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37115002)

Why on earth would anyone make the assumption that a man is incapable of watching a movie because he is legally blind? First off, the standard for being legally blind includes a wide range of low vision conditions that would most certainly make it possible for the person to watch movies visually. Secondly, even totally blind people often enjoy movies (and will use the idiom of 'watching' a movie routinely) because many movies can be enjoyed quite well without being able to visually see them (sometimes with minor or moderate verbal commentary from a friend or so).

Clearly, visual impairment and blindness is still majorly misunderstood.

Always so quick to judge... (1)

Spodi (2259976) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115024)

There are plenty of reason why a blind individual could be downloading porn. Audio being one. Or for boosting ratio. Or just for the heck of sharing. Maybe he downloaded it for a friend? Maybe his neighbor was using his internet connection. Hell, maybe it was his wife. There are plenty of reasons, even if they are stupid ones. I'm all for torrenting, but to think someone is innocent because they downloaded a movie they can't see is just stupid.

Re:Always so quick to judge... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115066)

The dog did it.

meh (1)

ajzimm3rman (1695434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115048)

"tracked his Internet protocol (IP) address, the unique number assigned to a computer when it connects to the Web"

Jeopardizing his career? (1)

phizi0n (1237812) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115062)

"The amusement quickly turned to anxiety. Doe, then living in Santa Clara, Calif., had just accepted a job in the network-security division of a Seattle software company. (He is able to work using a pair of computer programs that read his e-mails aloud and magnify a portion of his computer screen.) The mere suggestion that he swaps illicit smut online could jeopardize his career."

"'I didn't have time to set up the wireless network in my old apartment,' he says. 'I was working 18-hour days so I just told my wife to go to Best Buy and pick up a router. She installed it, hit next, next, finish, and boom, that was it. We lived in a very upscale building, there was no riffraff. We just assumed we didn't have anything to worry about.'"

Isn't the fact that he's working in network security and didn't secure his own wireless network, assuming there was nothing to worry about, much more damaging to his career than whatever porn he may or may not have pirated.

Re:Jeopardizing his career? (3, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115098)

The mere suggestion that he swaps illicit smut online could jeopardize his career.

At very least, HR would have questioned the status of his being blind and taken away his handicapped parking privileges.

Re:Jeopardizing his career? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37115238)

HR: "You downloaded a porn flick via bittorrent?"
blind guy: "Unfortunately, Comcast thinks so.."
HR: "That's it, you faker! Park in the Scratchy Lot like everyone else. The tram runs every 10 minutes..."

Re:Jeopardizing his career? (2)

vgerclover (1186893) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115390)

You people give handicapped parking privileges to legally blind employees?

Re:Jeopardizing his career? (2)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115628)

Hopefully they would have done that the first time the *blind* guy parked his car in that spot...

Presidential Appointments are Important (5, Informative)

Jodka (520060) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115082)

A former RIAA lobbyist, Beryl Howell, is a now a federal judge ruling on these copyright extortion cases and siding with the extortionists:

Most cyber-pirates are prosecuted in the nation's capital. More than 85,000 John Does are currently caught in ongoing litigation in the district's federal court, according to the EFF. Not only is D.C. the home court of Dunlap, Grubb and Weaver, it is also the jurisdiction of Judge Beryl Howell, who worked as a lobbyist for the RIAA from 2004 to 2009, during the peak of the organization's anti-piracy campaign....

Naturally, Howell's background has prompted skepticism about her impartiality when it comes to ruling on John Doe cases. She was paid $415,000 to lobby on the RIAA's behalf as the Executive Managing Director and General Counsel at Stroz Friedberg LLC, a consulting firm, according to the Center for Responsive Politics and the implu Corporation, a company that tracks spending by lobbying firms.

This appointment mischief was covered previously [slashdot.org] on Slashdot.

As pointed out previously [slashdot.org] , Beryl Howard is a Obama appointee, and not his first RIAA appointee.

Assholes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37115088)

I've had enough of this. From now on I won't pay anything for "artistic work". Stupid fucks. Any artist here? Tough luck. Get a job.

Okay, I Get That The Guy Didn't Download It, But.. (2)

crackspackle (759472) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115166)

For those that do use bittorrent for movies, why do you still do it ? The question isn't about the propriety but rather the risk. It takes a $1 to rent a movie from Redbox and about an hour to rip it on a Core i7. That's as opposed to 3 hour/day/months to download it from the Net and you could wind up getting a bad encode as well as a case of the lawyer - ISP crabs. Granted Redbox doesn't do porn, but places like SugarDVD do and you get to choose what you want.

Re:Okay, I Get That The Guy Didn't Download It, Bu (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115200)

The question isn't about the propriety but rather the risk.

The risk is probably pretty small if you know what you're doing.

It takes a $1 to rent a movie from Redbox and about an hour to rip it on a Core i7.

Well, for people that do pirate these movies, they might not want to make any trips or sign up for any services. Or, if they're "greedy" by most peoples' standards, they might just want to save a dollar.

And perhaps the time it takes them to download it and such is irrelevant to them. All they're really doing most of that time is waiting, and typically, they can do other things while they wait. Maybe it just doesn't matter to them if it'll take a bit longer.

and you could wind up getting a bad encode

Probably not likely if you pay attention to comments (assuming they exist).

Re:Okay, I Get That The Guy Didn't Download It, Bu (1)

Jiro (131519) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115210)

If you don't do it, that won't get rid of your risk. Cue the stories about people without computers being sued.

Re:Okay, I Get That The Guy Didn't Download It, Bu (1)

crackspackle (759472) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115488)

A fair point, but that number is probably small compared to the ones who were actually downloading.

Re:Okay, I Get That The Guy Didn't Download It, Bu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37115340)

For those that do use bittorrent for movies, why do you still do it ? The question isn't about the propriety but rather the risk. It takes a $1 to rent a movie from Redbox and about an hour to rip it on a Core i7. That's as opposed to 3 hour/day/months to download it from the Net and you could wind up getting a bad encode as well as a case of the lawyer - ISP crabs. Granted Redbox doesn't do porn, but places like SugarDVD do and you get to choose what you want.

If you live in a country with decent internet speeds/prices and use private trackers, it takes 5-10 mins to download a 20 minute porn scene in 1920x1080 resolution (about 500-600mb)... or so I have heard :p

Private trackers have a very low risk of "ISP crabs" and usually have screenshots and comments so you can see if the quality is good. Anyway, who actually pays for porn?

Re:Okay, I Get That The Guy Didn't Download It, Bu (1)

crackspackle (759472) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115716)

Private trackers have a very low risk of "ISP crabs" and usually have screenshots and comments so you can see if the quality is good.

My experience is that only newer stuff is available at reasonable speeds. Most seeders stop seeding soon after their share ratio gets over one and that really hurts the longevity of less popular or older data. Nothing's worse than getting >90% of a a huge file only to have the last seeder with a full file drop off. Second, there's no such thing as a safe private tracker unless you're the only one who has access, along the same lines of the only way to keep a secret is not to tell anyone. Once you start adding people, even those you know well, the risk of a compromise goes up. If unknowns are ever added, then it's definitely not safe. That's compounded by the fact you need a reasonably sized population to get enough variety and seeders to make it worthwhile.

All that aside, I think the risk with bittorrent is too great now and getting worse. 100,000 [slashdot.org] users in the United States were sued last year and while most may get off, that's a large number compared to the number of people who actually use bittorrent in the U.S. . As money is made of these cases, you can expect that count and the number of lawyers participating to go up. Combined with the shame of being caught downloading porn, and I have no doubt you'll soon see some porn studios using shills to release their warez on the Net with the express purpose of suing those who download it.

( Meant as food for thought. I am not telling anyone what they should or shouldn't do).

Re:Okay, I Get That The Guy Didn't Download It, Bu (4, Insightful)

travbrad (622986) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115632)

I think the biggest reason people pirate movies is simply convenience. It's the same reason people use Redbox and Netflix. The problem with Redbox is the selection is extremely limited. It really only works if you are interested in the newest and most popular movies. Redbox also requires a physical trip, and while a few mile drive may not seem like much, a few miles is still a lot more than none (particularly if you live through Minnesota winters like me).

Netflix has a lot better selection, but it still doesn't come anywhere close to what is available to pirate (there are even out-of-print movies). A lot of Netflix's movies aren't available for streaming either, so a 15min torrent download is about 2 days faster than waiting 2 days for mail. I'm not sure what kind of internet you have that it takes days to download a movie, but a typical ripped/encoded movie torrent is only about 2GB.

Now I'm not saying these reasons excuse/justify movie piracy, I'm just giving some thoughts on why people still do it. I bet a lot of people don't even know about these anti-piracy lawsuits either (it seems like common knowledge to a slashdot user), and probably assume they aren't going to be sued for millions of dollars because that would be insane. ;)

Re:Okay, I Get That The Guy Didn't Download It, Bu (1)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115838)

See!? 2GB / 2 days = 12.13 kB/s. [google.com] Netflix is barely better than dial-up!

Re:Okay, I Get That The Guy Didn't Download It, Bu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37115638)

1. Small private trackers -- I don't see any reason MAFIAA agents can't infiltrate private trackers (despite the bullshit some people spew about "entrapment"), but they go for the big places where they can catch more pirates for the same efforts.

2. How the fuck do you get months? Even on dialup, you could transfer a 1.4GB 720p x264 in under 3 days; at 1 Mb/s it's less than 4 hours, and anything over 2Mb/s is basically real-time (i.e. torrent the next movie while you're watching this one, or use a seedbox to leech one down in 10 minutes, then stream it direct). Of course, with a fast connection you'll probably spring for a 4.4GB 1080p version, but it's still not an issue, since you don't watch movies 24 hours a day. rsync and cron are your friends!

(To be fair: I do spend nearly the cost of a streaming-only Netflix subscription on extra disk space for my VPS, so I can haul down multi-season TV packs and transfer them at leisure -- if I didn't download movies/TV, I'd still have the VPS, but I'd save that $6 a month on HDD space. But for torrenting single movies, 10 or 20GB is plenty.)

3. Bad encodes? Oh, don't tell me, you've only ever used public trackers. Get on any private tracker, and you won't have to worry about that -- people who upload shit get their uploading permissions revoked.

Re:Okay, I Get That The Guy Didn't Download It, Bu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37115940)

How crappy is your internet?
An average 700mb movie takes 10 minutes, TOPS to download.

Also, streaming. That includes porn.

copyright is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37115182)

The authors of the article still don't get it. They talk as if suing 1000s of Does is a bad answer to the problem of how to enforce copyright. Despite the critical tone of the article, they still worship at the altar of Holy Copyright, and never question the law itself, just the tactics of the lawers.

Copyright isn't the goal, copyright is the problem. The goal is to encourage progress in the arts and sciences. Copyright is only a means, one that always had a lot of problems, and which now works so poorly that it should be replaced.

Psychic (1)

lopaka1998 (1352441) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115292)

He can see the movie magically in his head as it plays. He envisions the movie's "psychic vibe rays" in the air as it is projected across to the wall. He can do this in real time, before the light actually hits the wall, so he can see the movie's end before anyone else can. All good psychics can, you know!

legally blind doesn't mean he can't see porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37115424)

That just legal excess playing stupid to get people worked up...
legally blind means vision is too impaired to drive, etc... it does not mean he cannot see colors, shapes, movement... "legally bilind" is not sufficient to rule out enjoyment of porn films... adtually, legally blind people can see with powerful eye glasses in many cases, or other vision augmenting systems.

Downloading is Not Theft (1)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115444)

"because of the nature of the swarm downloads . . . every infringer is simultaneously stealing copyrighted material."

No, not stealing. Stealing copyrighted material is going into the store and shoplifting a DVD. Don't they teach grammar in law school?

Gibbon said the Roman empire failed... (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115518)

...because of the loss of 'civic virtue'. Me, I'm trying to figure out whether the institutionalized acceptance of any immoral act as long as it is for profit is a separate and distinct cause, or just a symptom of the loss of 'civic virtue'.

Re:Gibbon said the Roman empire failed... (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#37115894)

It is a separate and distinct case, because it is specific to one country in one historical period. Everyone else either had people openly acting in blatantly immoral manner, hid harmful actions as still being shameful, did not have the harmful nature of some traditions and activities widely recognized, or invented excuses downplaying harm and emphasizing supposed virtues and benefits provided by wrongdoers.

Modern US ideology is the first (and I hope, the last) case in the history of mankind when desire to something widely accepted as harmful and immoral is used as an excuse. Greed is not even alone in this list -- for example, look at how popular culture lionizes pimps.

legally speaking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37115698)

legally blind != blind

Legally blind does not mean sightless... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37115804)

...you insensitive clods. Legally blind means visual acuity of 20/200 or less on the Snellen scale. Movies are still quite watchable, albeit at 10+ times closer to the screen than normal viewing distance.

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