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Mass Piracy Lawsuits Come To Australia

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the america-exports-quite-a-bit-of-some-things dept.

Piracy 183

daria42 writes "Remember when the RIAA started sending tens of thousands of letters to Americans who it had alleged had infringed copyright online, trying to get them all to settle out of court? Yeah, good times. Well that style of mass-lawsuit has now arrived in Australia, courtesy of a new company which dubs itself the 'Movie Rights Group.' The company is currently seeking to obtain details of at least 9,000 Australians it alleges has infringed copyright on one film, and it has a number of other films in the pipeline. Sounds like a good time to know an IP lawyer."

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That's because it's summer (2)

tech4 (2467692) | about 3 years ago | (#37586904)

It's not really surprising. Almost always anti-piracy groups start making noise when summer is starting. Feels like they're trying to scare off kids.

Re:That's because it's summer (0)

mattventura (1408229) | about 3 years ago | (#37586990)

This confused me for a minute until I realized your seasons are different.

Re:That's because it's summer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587002)

No, they're the same seasons as everyone else has. Australia just uses a different offset than the US.

Re:That's because it's summer (4, Funny)

planimal (2454610) | about 3 years ago | (#37587030)

also, aussies are upside down, all their blood is in their feet, their water is demonic and vortexes in the wrong direction, and they aren't actually people.

Re:That's because it's summer (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587134)

No your seasons are different. Everyone else has one called Autumn

Re:That's because it's summer (1)

Macgrrl (762836) | about 3 years ago | (#37587326)

Demonic water - that must explain all the beer...

Re:That's because it's summer (2)

sjdaniels (610777) | about 3 years ago | (#37587546)

also, aussies are upside down, all their blood is in their feet, their water is demonic and vortexes in the wrong direction, and they aren't actually people.

Yep.! And we have kangaroos hopping down the street and are all related to Paul Hogan. !!

Re:That's because it's summer (2)

digitig (1056110) | about 3 years ago | (#37587822)

"When we went to Australia, people told us that they have winter at a different time to us. It turns out that they have winter at the same time as us, it's just that we have another one from October to March." -- Michael Flanders (or was it Donald Swann?)

Re:That's because it's summer (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 3 years ago | (#37587328)

Actually I am in Aus and I am confused, spring has just started, summer is still 2 months away.

Re:That's because it's summer (0)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 3 years ago | (#37587608)

Southern hemisphere. The seasons are inverted compared to the north - summer in the US brings winter weather in Aus, and vice versa.

Re:That's because it's summer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587272)

I'm pretty sure it's Spring down here right now...

Re:That's because it's summer (1)

Macgrrl (762836) | about 3 years ago | (#37587330)

*Checks the calendar* Yup, spring. Though the OP could argue that they were confused by the start of DLS down here.

Re:That's because it's summer (1)

moozey (2437812) | about 3 years ago | (#37587508)

Or that by the time this company actually starts harassing Bittorrent users it will be summer... but who cares, right?

Golden Girls! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37586908)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you ever knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

Just Say Nigger! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37586954)

Why do you dumb niggers keep posting this crap? At least make a post where you say nigger a lot so the liberal pantywaist bedwetters get all offended and piss themselves and their beds. Even if you love black people. Even if you ARE a black person. Just say nigger. Like Nancy Reagan on drugs. Just Say Nigger!

Re:Just Say Nigger! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587182)

Why do you dumb niggers keep posting this crap?

troll success

With any luck (1)

Mick R (932337) | about 3 years ago | (#37586922)

these "Movie Rights Group" parasites will get the rough treatment from the courts that they deserve.

Re:With any luck (2)

causality (777677) | about 3 years ago | (#37586970)

these "Movie Rights Group" parasites will get the rough treatment from the courts that they deserve.

Failing that, the Australian people can turn to a time-tested method of dealing with assholes: tar and feather them. Then post the videos all over the Internet. With a Creative Commons license.

Re:With any luck (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 3 years ago | (#37587142)

Failing that, the Australian people can turn to a time-tested method of dealing with assholes

Not a chance. They're too cowed. The "Job Creators" are in charge now.

And to think "the courts" are going to give them "rough treatment" is even sillier. Who wants to bet that somewhere there is a member of "The Movie Rights Group" and an Aussie judge are playing a round of golf this very minute.

Barring that, there is probably a solution somewhat like what's happening in the US. Here, we have a banking system that is carrying a huge number of fraudulent mortgages on the books. They are so fraudulent, that judges are starting to throw out foreclosures (even in red states where the judges are very bank-friendly). The solution? At least in Florida, the super-villian governor has decided the solution would be to cut the courts completely out of the foreclosure system, creating something called "non-judicial foreclosures" where the foreclosure doesn't need to go through all that messy legal court stuff. Bank of America is carrying just about $100 billion of these fraudulent mortgages, which were cut-and-pasted in order to take care of all that free CDO money that was going around back in the early 2000's.

Good times! If I were you, Australia, I would seriously consider behaving, unless you're willing to actually throw the pro-corporatists out of your government, which is doubtful because all of the information you use to vote comes from the corporatists. So just grab your ankles and quit your crying.

Unfortunately the most reasonable approach to current events seems to be what the kids in the Occupy Wall Street protests are doing, and as the corporate media tells us, they're just a bunch of rowdy hippies who need to get jobs and haircuts and shut up.

History lesson (1)

anubi (640541) | about 3 years ago | (#37587198)

The French Revolution.

The governed will put up with so much, but when the government gets too out of hand, it will be replaced.

Someone here has a tag line down the order of the boxes of government: soap, ballot,ammo. Use in that order.

Looks like the soap box for now.

( hoping the owner of the clever tag line throws in a comment )...

Re:History lesson (2)

causality (777677) | about 3 years ago | (#37587258)

You forgot "jury". It goes between "ballot" and "ammo". Although the same egomaniacs who must have control have largely ruined the jury box.

Jury nullification is mostly unknown these days. It's a final check against tyrannical laws. But in the USA it's not mentioned to those who serve on juries. That wasn't always the case at all.

Now it's more like a technical procedure where every step has nice, neat, clear instructions. The idea that the jury is a way to refuse enforcement of a law one feels is unjust or tyrannical is not officially allowed or endorsed anymore.

I'd argue that the ballot box is mostly irrelevant at the federal level, but can be truly important at the state and local levels. It's not a matter of the candidate for which one should vote. It's a matter of how an unknown person gets to become a famous political candidate, the financial and political support it takes for this to happen, the even larger levels of support it takes to win, and who gets to receive such support. That machine determines elections far more than ballots.

Voting doesn't mean very much when all available candidates are part of the same system. This is an inevitable outcome of a system where the "common person" would never achieve high office. It boils down to something other than merit and personal achievement. Those have been replaced with cronyism, corruption, and cynacism.

The most effective box these days is the soap box. The Internet is something different. Bullshit ideas actually have to defend their merits. It's not like TV with its unilateral, one-to-many nature. The soap box available to the average person has never been bigger or more powerful.

Re:History lesson (1)

sjames (1099) | about 3 years ago | (#37587424)

We tried the soap box, then we cast our ballot for change and got more of the same anyway. That leaves us at jury.

Re:With any luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587288)

Is a "fraudulent mortgage" one where the lender extends credit to someone who never intends to pay?
Why is it wrong to foreclose on the fraudsters?

Re:With any luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587290)

If I were you, Australia, I would seriously consider behaving

Thanks for the tip Movie Rights Group guy, I'll take it under advisement but im not likely to just bow to your demands because you threaten me.

Re:With any luck (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 3 years ago | (#37587408)

You have a problem in the US which the MAFIAA have tried and failed to import to Oz. This new group are not doing anything that AFACT hasn't been doing for years, so it's kinda silly to expect anything other than failure.

PS: Australia's economy is in great shape.

Re:With any luck (1)

artor3 (1344997) | about 3 years ago | (#37587270)

And get sued for infringing on a scene from some old cowboy flick? Not a chance!

Re:With any luck (4, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 3 years ago | (#37587370)

Aussie's already have a time-tested method of dealing with these parasites, we ignore them. Downloading copyright material is NOT illegal in Australia and this new front group will have as much success as AFACT has had in the past when it has tried the same thing; a few ISP's will pass on the letter, no ISP will give out customer information (it's illegal to do so without a court order, good luck getting one), not one individual has ever been sued.

Re:With any luck (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about 3 years ago | (#37587702)

The big problem is if those letters manage to scare some poor kids into sticking a cheque for settlement in the post. As you say, the cases would never survive a court hearing- but that doesn't stop the threat of a court appearance sounding very scary. It amounts to little better than extortion, and I hope the Australian authorities take as firm a line with it as the UK authorities did with MediaCAT/ACS:Law.

Re:With any luck (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | about 3 years ago | (#37587740)

Downloading copyright material is NOT illegal in Australia

Probably not terribly relevant as people are probably uploading too in the most common case (ie bittorrent). Uploading is almost always the issue because it allows more room for magical losses math.

Re:With any luck (1)

opposabledumbs (1434215) | about 3 years ago | (#37587282)

But they probably won't go to court. These particular parasites tend to ask for out-of-court settlements up front, and if you have the balls to weather a stream of increasingly threatening legal letters, they leave you alone.

There was a slashdot article on this earlier this year or last year:

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/08/09/1518258/patent-troll-lawyer-sanctioned-over-extortion-tactics [slashdot.org]

Re:With any luck (1)

QuantumG (50515) | about 3 years ago | (#37587666)

It doesn't cost anything to ignore toothless threats.

Re:With any luck (1)

opposabledumbs (1434215) | about 3 years ago | (#37587692)

Many of the people getting these threats don't know they're toothless, though. And with high-profile craziness like the Jammie Thomas fine being one of the first things that will come up for anyone searching for information after getting a letter from these scumbags, I think many people will happily settle just to make it go away.

The lawyer in the case I linked to above is British, but is trying to move his operations to the States because British law frowns on this kind of racket. Someone pointed out in the comments below that Oz also doesn't take kindly to this, so we can hope that people there realize quickly that it is toothless.

But you never know, and it can be a very lucrative game for the lawyers.

Re:With any luck (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 3 years ago | (#37587354)

these "Movie Rights Group" parasites will get the rough treatment from the courts that they deserve.

Indeed, when they cant prove their claims they cant simply drop the case without exposing themselves to deformation counter suits under Australian law.

Re:With any luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587648)

Never mind the courts it needs a few door knocking sessions in the early hours of the morning knock hard enough and they will understand the message like maybe a Drott or a JCB used as a door knocker

On a Side Note (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 3 years ago | (#37586932)

On a related side note, Pirate Bay has been unreachable all evening.

Re:On a Side Note (2)

papafox_too (883077) | about 3 years ago | (#37587306)

On a related side note, Pirate Bay has been unreachable all evening.

TPB's main feed Serious Tube Networks (based in Stockholm) 194.68.0.0/24 AS50066 seems to be blocked. Could be hardware/config issue or it could be deliberate.

Hmmmm.... (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 3 years ago | (#37586978)

Comment EULA:

By reading this comment, you agree to be bound by the terms listed herein; If you are a member, employee, associate, business partner, or affiliate of the RIAA or MPAA, you owe me one million ($1,000,000.00) USD, payable in full immediately. Thanks to your f*cked up interpretation of the law, this is, in fact, perfectly legal. Any attempt to evade this legally binding contract will be grounds for me to sue you at three times the requested amount, waive your right to a trial, and hold me utterly and totally immune to any form of legal challenge by you and/or your employer, until at least 150 years after my timely and natural death. Everybody else... I love 'ya. Stay awesome.

legal BS Foster's Australian for Beer. (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 3 years ago | (#37587036)

legal BS Foster's Australian for Beer.

Re:legal BS Foster's Australian for Beer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587124)

As of last month Fosters is British for diluted pisswater.

No one in Oz drinks Fosters (2)

mjwx (966435) | about 3 years ago | (#37587192)

legal BS Foster's Australian for Beer.

No one in Australia drinks Fosters, that is only for export.

Nothing is too bad for the rest of the world.

In all seriousness, it's not even brewed here in Oz any more, Heiniken International owns the license so it's not even owned by Fosters Group any more. The last time I saw a Fosters was in Singapore. I had the choice between Fosters, Pure Blonde or some local brew I'd never heard of, I took the local brew.

Re:No one in Oz drinks Fosters (1)

causality (777677) | about 3 years ago | (#37587278)

I took the local brew.

Good fucking choice. Seriously.

Re:No one in Oz drinks Fosters (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | about 3 years ago | (#37587640)

Why let truth get in the way of good commercials? Besides, there are plenty of US brews way worse than Fosters. Milwaukee's Best, anyone?

Re:No one in Oz drinks Fosters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587748)

Fosters is IMHO just as bad as most american beers (if you can call them that) especially, Budweiser and Coors Lite.
Yet the masses seem to want to drink this piss coloured 'stuff'.

Mines a pint of Harvey's fine Sussex Bitter thank you very much.

Re:No one in Oz drinks Fosters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587668)

Fosters makes Carlton Draught, Victoria Bitter and Crown Larger to name a couple of popular beers that are drunk in Australia. There are many Fosters beers drunk in Australia just not the Fosters brand. All three of these beers are brewed either in Melbourne or The Gold Coast. Fosters beer however is brewed under licence in other countries.

Re:No one in Oz drinks Fosters (1)

strack (1051390) | about 3 years ago | (#37587764)

you can get it ricking a roll. you can get it buryin a troll. you can get it cool storyin a bro. matter of fact i got it now. vic. vic bitter.

Re:Hmmmm.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587038)

Thanks for putting that * in the phrase "fucked up". I'd be extraordinarily offended if it weren't for that little *. Since you put that * in place of the u, it makes it really hard to determine that you swore.

Re:Hmmmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587046)

Lucky I only skimmed over your comment then...

Re:Hmmmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587100)

That's what, 180000 dollars they might have made on a dvd, but they're going to spend millions on lawyers to get nothing?

Re:Hmmmm.... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 3 years ago | (#37587104)

...until at least 150 years after my timely and natural death. Everybody else... I love 'ya. Stay awesome.

Actually, given the way that the USA and European Union continue to play leapfrog with copyright extensions, even 150 years after your death the copyright on You will still validly belong to somebody.

Re:Hmmmm.... (2)

bryan1945 (301828) | about 3 years ago | (#37587652)

Until you come back as a zombie and reclaim your copyright. Hmm, I wonder if being undead and walking around is cause for an automatic renewal of the time frame for claiming copyright? Same thing if they reanimated Walt Disney's head a la Futurama.

Re:Hmmmm.... (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | about 3 years ago | (#37587122)

By reading this comment, you agree to be bound by the terms listed herein; If you are a member, employee, associate, business partner, or affiliate of the RIAA or MPAA, you owe me one million ($1,000,000.00) USD, payable in full immediately. Thanks to your f*cked up interpretation of the law, this is, in fact, perfectly legal. Any attempt to evade this legally binding contract will be grounds for me to sue you at three times the requested amount, waive your right to a trial, and hold me utterly and totally immune to any form of legal challenge by you and/or your employer, until at least 150 years after my timely and natural death. Everybody else... I love 'ya. Stay awesome.

Incantations don't work too well for witches. I doubt they'll work well for you.

Arrr! (3, Insightful)

coolstoryhansel (1827480) | about 3 years ago | (#37587018)

Join an organisation like the Pirate Party and help advocate for changes in the law. This sort of predatory litigation is only going to get worse because the law enables it.

As an Australian and an Author... (5, Interesting)

Sasayaki (1096761) | about 3 years ago | (#37587102)

I'm in the process of writing a book, called Lacuna: Demons of the Void, seen here [lacunaverse.com] . The first three chapters are available for free, and are CC-BY-SA-NC; this means that you can legally and safely write whatever fanfiction you want, or pass the sample chapters around, or change and remix them or do whatever you want basically as long as you don't sell it, don't change the licence and credit me appropriately.

I did this because if the book (and subsequent sequels if any) gets popular, I didn't want to get old and fat and retarded and turn into the next George Lucas, grabbing hold of my precious precious IP and never letting go.

Anyway.

Regarding piracy, I wrote on my webpage:

First up I don't like the term "piracy". Bleh. But language is fluid and you all know what I mean, so let's go with it.

Real pirates, like those guys in Somalia, are evil. They're not Jack Sparrow, they're not Captain Hook, they're murderers and rapists and kidnappers and deserved to eat a Tomahawk missile in their sleep. They're scum. They're villains. They're evil. They're not some kid who just wants to read the next (awesome, awesome, aweeeesome) Harry Potter book for free or whatever.

I've never understood musicians, writers and artists who get all messed up about digital piracy. It just strikes me as entirely retarded, especially if they're not in full compliance with every piece of software, hardware, music and movies they've ever seen or owned. I'm sure their $2,000 copy of Adobe Photoshop is fully legitimate now and was when they were 14, and I'm sure they've never downloaded an MP3 in their life.

I see this crap everywhere. I see rap artists thumbing their nose at society, waxing lyrical about sticking it to the man, pimping hoes, glorifying robbery, murder and pushing drugs, while at the same time appearing bereaved that their latest forgettable album appeared on The Pirate Bay the day after it appeared in iTunes. I see armies of cocaine huffing, hooker bashing, Harvard educated RIAA trust-fund babies who've never wanted for anything in their life but a full head of hair, going on about how Limewire costs them the GDP of the entire world ($75,000,000,000,000 dollars) in lost revenue and also, simultaneously, claiming to have had one of their most profitable years ever. How do you even rationalize that kind of blatant, intrinsic wrongness?

Fuck those guys.

I don't give a shit if you got my book from The Pirate Bay. It costs $2 to buy and is available in DRM free PDFs, or even DRM free plaintext if you really want it and you're Richard Stallman (I met you once, by the way, and you were cool. You hated my iPhone though. Sorry bro). If you make $15 Aussie dollars an hour, minimum wage, then $2 represents about eight minutes of your time. If you spent more than eight minutes bringing up the highly overloaded Pirate Bay page, finding a correct torrent, loading the torrent into uTorrent, downloading the file, moving it around on your NAS, putting it into iTunes, getting the book's coverart then syncing it to your iPhone, then yeah you pretty much just robbed yourself.

Just saying. You're probably saving money by buying it vs pirating it, since time=money. LOL. This is why CD's shouldn't be so fucking expensive.

But hey, a lot people have genuine and interesting philosophical beliefs against paying for services rather than physical objects ("it's just bits, man! You can't own bits...!"). Other people are unemployed (or underemployed) and couldn't afford the book anyway. How both these types have high-speed internet is a mystery for the ages, but for those people, well, go forth and torrent... I don't care. I just ask that if you believe all that crazy crap and do like the book, then subsequently you think I deserve some kind of reward for creating it, I beg you not to compromise your principles. Instead, just donate $2 (or whatever) to Child's Play, run by the infinitely-more-talented-than-me dynamic duo of unfathomable awesome which is Penny Arcade.

Seriously, these two guys do so much good work in the world, generating literally millions of dollars every year for sick children, that they deserve your money far more than I ever can. Tycho is basically my idol as a writer; he's the man I want to be right down to his molecular composition... if I had but the power I'd assume his form like some kind of twisted Australian doppleganger, claiming his perfect mind, his perfect body, for my own. His body with his... his bare, ripped chest, his inviting lips that whisper the sweetest nothings to me right as I'm going to sleep, arms that are gentle and tender, wrapping around me, comforting like a warm blanket and a cup of lemon tea...

I'll be in my bunk. ...

Ahem.

Anyway. The important thing is to not kill yourself if you pirated my book because you weren't sure if it was shit or not (just in-case you couldn't tell from the prologue and three sample chapters). If you decided it was shit and not worth a couple of bucks, that's cool, I'm totally up for constructive feedback. Just e-mail me. If you decided it was good, well you can just buy a copy on iTunes or Kindle and then you can get updates the moment they come out and I'll enjoy spending both your hard earned bucks on another solid gold yacht and on buying more multi-terabyte hard drives for my media server... then filling them up with high-def copies of TV shows I downloaded from The Pirate Bay.

Re:As an Australian and an Author... (2, Informative)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about 3 years ago | (#37587154)

If you make $15 Aussie dollars an hour, minimum wage, then $2 represents about eight minutes of your time. If you spent more than eight minutes bringing up the highly overloaded Pirate Bay page, finding a correct torrent, loading the torrent into uTorrent, downloading the file, moving it around on your NAS, putting it into iTunes, getting the book's coverart then syncing it to your iPhone, then yeah you pretty much just robbed yourself.

Just saying. You're probably saving money by buying it vs pirating it, since time=money. LOL.

Time = money is only true when you paying someone. If you are paying someone $15 per hour, then yes, 8 minutes is worth $2. However, when you are sitting at home and not getting paid then 8 minutes of your time, or 8 hours, or 8 days, is worth exactly zero.

Re:As an Australian and an Author... (1)

Sasayaki (1096761) | about 3 years ago | (#37587294)

Perhaps so, but if you are sitting at home and not being paid (assuming you just worked a full day and are tired), how much is extra hours in the day worth to you? Would you pay a couple of bucks to get an extra 15 minutes in a day of relaxation time?

That's what I'm trying to say here. You can either spend, say, 15 minutes torrenting or take a few clicks to get the thing through the Kindle store (when it's up there). What you're buying is those extra few minutes, and spending a couple of bucks to do so.

Re:As an Australian and an Author... (1)

Binestar (28861) | about 3 years ago | (#37587460)

Bah, that 15 minutes it took them to download the song provided entertainment as well, so your argument is moot. For a large portion of people, they will be willing to "work" for less when they "work" for themselves. So even if it took them 15 minutes to download one song, it is still worth it.

Re:As an Australian and an Author... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587586)

That's what I'm trying to say here. You can either spend, say, 15 minutes torrenting or take a few clicks to get the thing through the Kindle store (when it's up there). What you're buying is those extra few minutes, and spending a couple of bucks to do so.

Not that I necessarily disagree with you but your reasoning is based on an idea that it somehow takes longer time to get something through piratebay than through Kindle store. By searching for the title and sorting by number of seeders you will get a crowdsourced sorting that places the good torrents at the top, this way you find torrents quicker than you can find the equivalent thing on Kindle store.
The only time this doesn't work is when you want obscure stuff that no store in the world would carry, then you might have to pick something as far down as the tenth result. (If you want to find stuff like The Battle for the Heavy Water [imdb.com] torrent sites are pretty much your only alternative since the movie only has a historic value and not a commercial one and we have to rely on enthusiasts to preserve that kind of work for future generations.)

Re:As an Australian and an Author... (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 3 years ago | (#37587638)

Would you pay a couple of bucks to get an extra 15 minutes in a day of relaxation time?

If surfing the net or moving a file on your computer is a stressful event then you're doing it wrong.

Yes I'd gladly take the money not to be at work.
No sitting at home in front of a computer doing something I want as opposed to something someone else wants does not count as work.

Re:As an Australian and an Author... (1)

bug1 (96678) | about 3 years ago | (#37587478)

Time = money is only true when you paying someone. If you are paying someone $15 per hour, then yes, 8 minutes is worth $2. However, when you are sitting at home and not getting paid then 8 minutes of your time, or 8 hours, or 8 days, is worth exactly zero.

Your time is finite, its irreplaceable, you cant get it back if you waste it.
Your time should be valuable to you even if you cant sell it to others.

Very naive to think you can measure its value with dollars and cents.

Re:As an Australian and an Author... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587578)

Yes. If you live in a first world country. Some of us don't. And strangely enough media costs more here than it does in a first world country. And they wonder why piracy is more rampant in the third world.

Re:As an Australian and an Author... (3, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about 3 years ago | (#37587236)

+1, insightful

Time = money works only to a certain extend, but is still a good rule of thumb. I have used it for a long time to decide whether something was worth my money.

The only exceptions I remember at the moment are DVDs and CDs that I cannot copy on my computer or (as in the case of some music CDs) that I cannot play on my computer. Or that have horribly long and annoying unskippable advertising and threats when played.Bad usability is a mood-killer and far more expensive than the time it consumes. So is insulting the customer on video.

I do have to admit that I did not get the music I could not play from the net. I just dropped the artists entirely.

I do something else some people may consider "criminal" or "amoral": Whenever ads on web-pages are animated or otherwise annoying, they go into my ad-blocker.

One flaw. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587254)

You mention $15 AU. That assumes a minimum wage slave has this cash flow 24 hours a day.

WRONG.

Re:One flaw. (2)

Sasayaki (1096761) | about 3 years ago | (#37587364)

Correct, except that "after hours time" is generally the working person's most valuable commodity, especially for people earning above minimum wage. That's why, especially for something so cheap, I reckon it's just cheaper to pay the small cost and have those couple of minutes back. That's why people have super-fast internet, why they eat fast food, and why they grumble about the commute to and from work -- because a few minutes here and there does add up.

Plus, buying the book legitimately means that if I issue updates or special features (such as alternate endings, or short stories, or whatever) those come through automagically.

Re:One flaw. (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about 3 years ago | (#37587734)

You're probably wrong there. If you work minimum wage, you're probably short of cash. The money you have is probably spread pretty thinly amongst your necessities (food, rent, utility bills, transport). People in this situation will probably be willing to do a little evening "work" to make their money go further; whether it be mending something that's broken (instead of just buying a new one), washing their car themselves (instead of going to a car wash), home cooking (rather than take-away food).

It might take 5 minutes to find the latest Lady Gaga song on Amazon, 10 minutes to find a torrent of it (although I debate that- for popular things it's no more difficult to Google "[title] torrent" than it is to navigate to Amazon and find it using their internal search), so that means if it were £3 a song, that's £3 for 5 minutes work. Which is no small change when the minimum wage is £5.50 or so.

That said, I really admire your attitude. There's no point worrying about the people who will pirate your works- it's going to happen, so be zen about it. If you price your work sensibly (and $2 seems very reasonable to me), and don't act like a dick with DRM or licences, then the people who can buy from you legitimately WILL buy from you legitimately.

Re:As an Australian and an Author... (0)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 3 years ago | (#37587300)

If you make $15 Aussie dollars an hour, minimum wage, then $2 represents about eight minutes of your time. If you spent more than eight minutes bringing up the highly overloaded Pirate Bay page, finding a correct torrent, loading the torrent into uTorrent, downloading the file, moving it around on your NAS, putting it into iTunes, getting the book's coverart then syncing it to your iPhone, then yeah you pretty much just robbed yourself.

That's only true if you have a job that allows you to work additional hours at your whim and in those 8 minute batches and pays you for them, that involves no additional traveling/etc time to work those hours, and for which you pay no taxes on said wages.

My job for example doesn't meet two of those. I'm on a salary if I work back an extra 5 minutes one day I get exactly $0 extra pay. And I pay taxes on what they do pay me.

In fact I'm willing bet most people don't have a job that lets them work for a few minutes one Saturday while waiting for breakfast to cook, And hence spending 2 minutes kicking off a torrent to do the downloading while they're out doing whatever on Saturday isn't robbing themselves.

Re:As an Australian and an Author... (1)

Sasayaki (1096761) | about 3 years ago | (#37587338)

Except that "after hours time" is generally the working person's most valuable commodity, especially for people earning above minimum wage. That's why, especially for something so cheap, I reckon it's just cheaper to pay the small cost and have those couple of minutes back. That's why people have super-fast internet, why they eat fast food, and why they grumble about the commute to and from work -- because a few minutes here and there does add up.

Plus, buying the book legitimately means that if I issue updates or special features (such as alternate endings, or short stories, or whatever) those come through automagically.

Re:As an Australian and an Author... (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 3 years ago | (#37587382)

Which has exactly nothing to do with the original claim which related it to "hourly income" when in fact the value of "after hours time" is more dependant on how many hours are worked (since the more worked the less you have).

And I really doubt it makes a different in the scheme of things whether you kick of a torrent download, or read the ingredient list on the back of the cornflakes, or just stare out the window while you wait for your toast to toast.

Re:As an Australian and an Author... (1)

Sasayaki (1096761) | about 3 years ago | (#37587410)

Eh. At the end of the day, you're right, it's $2. Doesn't make a difference in the scheme of things. Either buy the book or don't. Heh. ;)

Re:As an Australian and an Author... (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 3 years ago | (#37587442)

Torrenting a book seems remarkably pointless to me. In fact torrenting stuff in general seem silly. Just not because of what I would earn if I was at work in the two minutes involved :)

Re:As an Australian and an Author... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587360)

By the way, here's an excerpt of Lacuna: Demons of the Void in case you're interested:

...Zeldar was the chief torturer of the underworld, and he enjoyed sodomy. The latest capture, a burly and hairy barbarian named Bril, was bent over a beam with his ankles and wrists restrained by rusty but stong metal braces which could not be bent or broken by the hands of man or beast.

"Prepare your anus," Zeldar snarled through a crooked smirk. Bril grunted and struggled, desperately attempting to free himself from the ordeal. Zeldar's penis was conical, long and tapered; it was well-suited for torturous sodomy because its thin tip could swell up to the size of an Earth fruit known as an orange. "Ung, unh...uhhhhhhhh," Bril grunted and squirmed as the lengthy member wormed its way into the tail of his colon. Zeldar was a humanoid demon with a hairless head and long, razor-sharp teeth who looked like Baraka who was in an Earth video game called Mortal Kombat. Zeldar engaged his swollen tip and Bril Screamed. "Ahhhhhhh, you bastard!" Bril clenched every compromised muscle in his lower colon to resist the swelling of Zeldar's bulbous head, so much that Zeldar was forced to unplug himself. When this happened, Bril's feces were ejected all over Zeldar in a concussive blast, with much force. The event sounded like a Human loading an Earth shotgun full of mud and firing it at a brick wall.

"Bah," Zeldar grunted, disgusted and humiliated, "I'll be back for you." Zeldar stuck two of his fingers in the crap smattered all over his abdomen and chest and flicked it across the floor as he exited the chamber, leaving Bril squirming but relieved.

- Sasayaki

Re:As an Australian and an Author... (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 3 years ago | (#37587456)

I don't give a shit if you got my book from The Pirate Bay. It costs $2 to buy and is available in DRM free PDFs, or even DRM free plaintext if you really want it and you're Richard Stallman (I met you once, by the way, and you were cool. You hated my iPhone though. Sorry bro). If you make $15 Aussie dollars an hour, minimum wage, then $2 represents about eight minutes of your time. If you spent more than eight minutes bringing up the highly overloaded Pirate Bay page, finding a correct torrent, loading the torrent into uTorrent, downloading the file, moving it around on your NAS, putting it into iTunes, getting the book's coverart then syncing it to your iPhone, then yeah you pretty much just robbed yourself.

Get the torrent, start the download, and then do something else while you wait.

And not everyone works all the time (or highly values a bit of time).

Re:As an Australian and an Author... (1)

Sasayaki (1096761) | about 3 years ago | (#37587632)

That's cool. If you don't want to pay for it, or you think $2 is too much to pay for a book, as the post clearly indicated I don't really care. You don't have to justify why you're not buying it, just... don't buy it.

Re:As an Australian and an Author... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587534)

Heh. My publisher bought into that DRM Free argument. Started releasing books in DRM free format. The thing about increasing sales? It's BS.

Apparently when you release a book in DRM Free format, people feel entitled to post your book all across the 'net. These DRM free versions that you can just download off random websites come up in the first page of a Google search query. To say that this kills sales is an understatement. If you look at the bookscan data, you can pretty much tell the point when a DRM free version of a book posted without permission made it to the front page of Google. Sales fall off a cliff. As one reader helpfully pointed out on an amazon review "I loved this book, but why would I pay to have it wirelessly delivered to my Kindle when I can just download it for free?"

Publishers are responding to this by slashing advances. I've played around with self-publishing, but getting a good copy editor to go through a manuscript costs money and if you're targeting the "under $3" kindle market, you've got to sell a pretty decent number of books to pay off your copy editor (the good ones don't work for royalties and nothing fucks up book sales like the phrase "poorly edited" and "bad grammar" on a review).

In the long run making money authoring is going to be like making money out of YouTube videos. I was good enough than I was able to make enough money as a writer to sustain a healthy middle class lifestyle. These days there is more money in teaching people who have aspirations as authors than there is in actually writing books. The audience is no longer willing to pay for books. Heck, as Cory Doctorow found recently, you'll only get a few hundred bites if you release a super-duper premium edition. KickStarter limited editions can work if you're absolutely top shelf, but most on the midlist don't have more than a couple of fans who are enthusiastic enough to part with that sort of money.

If you want to charge money for them that's great, there are thousands of other authors that won't and the digital anarchists will provide your work for free on their site anyway and there is basically fark all that you can do about it.

Re:As an Australian and an Author... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587674)

You do realize that book torrents typically include about a gig of books or so?

Re:As an Australian and an Author... (1)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | about 3 years ago | (#37587676)

But hey, a lot people have genuine and interesting philosophical beliefs against paying for services rather than physical objects ("it's just bits, man! You can't own bits...!").

I am one of those people and such a belief is based on an in-depth analysis of what is "private property" and what are its characteristics and how they are utterly incompatible with the characteristics of information. Note that the objection is not to "services" - which are indeed quite subject to commercial exchange and are in fact one of the pillars of economy - but to the idea of "ownership" of particular patterns of information.

But that does not mean that I am against artists making a living, and I have to say that you appear to be a genuine artist, unlike a lot of the "properties" (their term) of the RIAA behemoths who purport to be "artists".

Our objection is to the corrupt, and inadequate for the modern age, method of being paid, i.e. a pig-headed, arrogant attempt to go against the very laws of physics in order to pretend that information can be someone's private property, an attempt that is extremely dangerous to our future because it ultimately requires a draconian police-state regime to sustain - it has, after all, laws of physics to deny - and as if that was not enough, it can (and will) be used as means of creating a neo-feudal "landed gentry" system in the area of human knowledge akin to the one that once governed real lands before the age of enlightenment and rural reforms.

Fortunately, many other ways exist. One of them being direct audience patronage, which is what you yourself are doing, and at which I wish you great luck and much income.

As to the rest of your post, it has always been my belief that ultimately the point of art is for the artist to share his ideas and thoughts with the audience and that financial aspects of art were always, to true artists, far secondary. That is what makes them distinct from kitsch peddlers whose whole idea is to "get rich quick and be famous", irrespective of what they supposedly "create" as a tool to achieve that goal. And it is my belief that those who are dedicated to their art sooner or later find financial success without having to resort to outright legal thuggery, which is again quite different from the depths of filthy lies backed by brutal force to which kitsch peddlers must descend to make their wares "financially viable".

Re:As an Australian and an Author... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587718)

Hi. I liked your comment except the weird fanaticism in this part. "Real pirates, like those guys in Somalia, are evil. They're not Jack Sparrow, they're not Captain Hook, they're murderers and rapists and kidnappers and deserved to eat a Tomahawk missile in their sleep. They're scum. They're villains. They're evil."

Please have a glance at this article if you have the time entitled 'You Are Being Lied to About Pirates'. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/you-are-being-lied-to-abo_b_155147.html

IT IS GOOD (0, Offtopic)

capsclothings (2475466) | about 3 years ago | (#37587116)

http://www.caps-clothings.com/ [caps-clothings.com]

Re:IT IS NOT SO GOOD (1)

Handover Phist (932667) | about 3 years ago | (#37587144)

Someone tar and feather the parent, like an IP lawyer.

Re:IT IS GOOD (1)

causality (777677) | about 3 years ago | (#37587202)

http://www.caps-clothings.com/ [caps-clothings.com]

It's easier for me to believe that you are intending to defame this company. I find that more plausible than the idea you're going to successfully drum up sales by spamming an audience with a particularly advanced disdain for spam.

Not that it would surprise me. It's not like spammers would be the smartest or wisest sort of people who think things through and look at whether something is a good idea in the long term.

AUUUUUSSSSSTRAAAAAALIAAAAAA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587126)

It's great to see so many stories about Aussie on Slashdot. We've been ignored for far too long.

This could get interesting (2)

dbIII (701233) | about 3 years ago | (#37587262)

Here the crime of "demanding money with menaces" could probably be laid on these guys if they have some sort of autobot making threats demanding money instead of demanding that you turn up in court (with an option to settle). Rememebr SCO? They were relatively quiet in Australia because if people gave into their demands and they sold one bogus linux licence somebody at SCO Australia may have ended up doing time. I'm aware of some people that rang SCO to attempt to buy a licence (for entrapment, general mischeif or just to see how far they could get) and they were put off with the end result that SCO didn't sell any linux licences in Australia.
Judges really hate lazy lawyers and the idea of spam autobot legal threats on slim evidence is likely to piss them off enough to really want to hurt these guys as much as possible. It will be interesting to see when it happens.

Re:This could get interesting (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587368)

You are correct, and there's one additional thing... as usual, all of the "investigation" has been done behind closed doors, by unknown people, who are probably not licensed to conduct investigations. So any "proof" they have is no proof at all!

Re:This could get interesting (1)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | about 3 years ago | (#37587428)

you're forgetting that these people aren't honest, they buy judges and politicians, and eventually the lawyers they hire become the judges who rule on cases. http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/03/riaa-lobbyist-becomes-federal-judge-rules-on-file-sharing-cases.ars [arstechnica.com] These people aren't bound by the same rules you and I are. They know the people they need to know, and they buy their way into anything they need to buy. In Canada the new conservative majority is tabling a canadian DMCA, even though its absolutely terrible for canadians. The governments no longer fear the people, and they're outright bought out by various corporations and lobby groups.

Re:This could get interesting (1)

Techman83 (949264) | about 3 years ago | (#37587760)

That might work in America, but I'm not so sure it will work here. Time will tell I guess.

You forgot it's not the US system (2)

dbIII (701233) | about 3 years ago | (#37587796)

Bribery and conflicts of interest in the Judicary is taken a little more seriously in Australia where it is not an elected post but chosen by existing members of the Judicary - theoretically entirely by merit. It's only the high court that gets appointed by elected officials and they have to choose among existing Judges.
Any barrister that is going to be working for this copyright group is at least a couple of decades away from the high court, and for the sort of corruption you are talking about it has to make it all the way to the high court before it would be effective (otherwise grossly injust decisions get overturned).
We've had a few blatantly corrupt state governments in Australia over the lifetime of the current high court judges and they appear to see a major part of their job as keeping corruption out of the Judicary.

gun tech lawyer in Australia (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587336)

"Remember when the RIAA started sending tens of thousands of letters to Americans who it had alleged had infringed copyright online, trying to get them all to settle out of court? Yeah, good times. Well that style of mass-lawsuit has now arrived in Australia, courtesy of a new company which dubs itself the 'Movie Rights Group.' The company is currently seeking to obtain details of at least 9,000 Australians it alleges has infringed copyright on one film, and it has a number of other films in the pipeline. Sounds like a good time to know an IP lawyer."

I know a really good one! Chris Micallef at Marshalls & Dent Lawyers (Melbourne). Tell him you love slashdot and he'll be good to you ;-)

Disgusting. (1)

Bruce McBruce (791094) | about 3 years ago | (#37587356)

“Everybody knows that the Internet is the ultimate unkillable beast,” he said. (Walker)

That's pretty much the entertainment industry's view on the internet. It's this big scary beast which steals profit from them, and they should make no attempt to reconcile that by making property available at a rate which people will pay for. There's no good faith here, and there's no good will. Australia's the obvious target because the companies are smaller and the law is less geared towards the people. Nice little test site to set an international precedent, no?

Which movie? (2)

Macgrrl (762836) | about 3 years ago | (#37587366)

If over 9,000 people downloaded it, maybe it's worth a watch. Gimmie a sec to fire up NZB.

Re:Which movie? (2)

Macgrrl (762836) | about 3 years ago | (#37587386)

Hrm... I should have RTFA, the film was Kill the Irishman [imdb.com]

I don't recall the film being released down here, though if it was, it was only a very small number of screens. Chances are it's yet another example of Aussies downloading content not yet available in this market because Hollywood still thinks it's a good idea to do regional staggered releases in these days of digital 'prints'.

Re:Which movie? (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | about 3 years ago | (#37587484)

How ironic, considering that film glorifies the life of a gangster who abused his position as a union leader to steal goods from ships in Cleveland. Not to mention that he killed dozens of people and used his status as an FBI informant to further his criminal agenda.

Re:Which movie? (3, Informative)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 3 years ago | (#37587690)

Chances are it's yet another example of Aussies downloading content not yet available in this market because Hollywood still thinks it's a good idea to do regional staggered releases in these days of digital 'prints'.

How about films that don't even get shown like Submarine [rottentomatoes.com] . Now here's a film that came out more than a year ago at the film festivals around the world, and generally was released in March and June in the UK / US respectively. It showed in Australia last month ... in New South Wales. We did a lot of digging and found one independent cinema in my state was showing this film which we've heard rave reviews about. It was showing the film on weekdays at 2pm.

I would have happily paid to see the film. I would have happily paid a premium to see the film at an independent cinema in the city. But I was simply not given that option.

JrMC,Au (1)

Nethead (1563) | about 3 years ago | (#37587374)

So is this why I can't find a torrent of the current season of Junior MasterChef Australia? Best damn food show in the world.

Real world Example of how this is BS (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587454)

Can I please give an example of how this is complete BS.

IP Address does not equal a Person or Company.

This is a real world example. We get repairs in from customers from time to time that have uTorrent running while the computer is booting, it is sometimes seeding a file or what have you. We have all of these either plugged in via ethernet or wireless as we have to do a series of checks on the machine (internet, video stress testing etc) to make sure that it is ready to be sent back to avoid other issues that may have arisen. I am sure a lot of you guys are familiar with this being a lot of IT professionals here.

It is not our responsibility to go around and close uTorrent or any other programs that may be running, and some of these machines may be bench tested for 72 hours or so. We deliberately try and not to close these programs as we are trying to test it in a 'real world' scenario so we let the customers programs run how they should be running.

So am I/ The Company liable for inadvertently downloading pirated files or uploading them as well because of our customers software? I don't think so. Nor do i see how successful they would be at prosecuting this.

apache (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587714)

I wonder what webserver they use ? Is it the same one as Sonys that had a weekness?

http://httpd.apache.org/security/vulnerabilities_22.html

-CA

Good time to BE an IP lawyer... (2)

chirone (643355) | about 3 years ago | (#37587732)

Sounds like a good time to BE an IP lawyer...

so.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587744)

When can we start killing lawyers?

I'm pretty sure the world would improve... It's at least worth a try anyway. If it doesn't help i'll give an insincere apology just like a lawyer.

They just choose to lose customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587762)

Despite the fact that I could rip an entire tv show in 1080p from youtube, I bought it on itunes because I liked the show and wanted to see more. However I bought it even when I had to strip off the itunes drm (required requiem 2 + a video capable ipod/iphone) to play it on my linux box, so the legal way youtubedownloader would have been easier.

It has been ruled in the Netherlands that only uploading is illegal, so if I wanted to, I could have just gotten a youtube ripper or newsgroup downloader and got the content to my disk for free, legally. I think the only reason those groups stay out of europe is because they're lobbying hard to make downloading a criminal offense instead of a civil one. If they ever do implement the criminal offense, I'm going to set up a second internet connection, use it ONLY for a tor exit node and make damned sure nothing ever happens that could break this fucked up law. As far as I can tell, the burden of proof for a criminal law is still 'innocent until proven guilty', so good luck for them proving it was me. Or do they want to have the owner of the line be responsible? What about viruses, spam and rootkits?

Its right there on their website - "monetization" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37587854)

[http://www.movierightsgroup.com/]
Our expert team of legal and technical associates will provide Copyright Owners with a unique range of solutions to protect and enforce their rights, including but not limited to;
  • Copyrighting
  • Ongoing Protection
  • Monetization
  • Law Suits
  • Collections & Settlements

Q: WTF is monetization of copyright?
A: nothing but setting up a permanent stream of income i.e. people who cave to these trolls and pay up.

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