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Anti-Piracy PI Talks About Building Cases Against File-Sharers

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the full-clips-and-blank-cdrs dept.

Piracy 109

An anonymous reader writes "Torrent Freak has an interesting interview with a former private investigator who was hired to track people who pirated software and movies. He relates some of the tactics used to make evidence more appealing to police, the media and lawmakers. He said, 'We discussed the formula for extrapolating the potential street value earnings of "laboratories" and we were instructed to count all blank discs in our seizure figures as if they were potential product. Mr. Gane also explained that the increased loss approximation figures were derived from all forms of impacts on decreasing cinema patronage right through to the farmer who grows the corn for popping.' Regarding the head of AFACT, the article notes, 'Gane understood that the media was an essential tool towards AFACT's goal of getting tougher copyright legislation in place. And for this purpose, it was a good idea to bend the truth a bit.'"

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Impressive... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 years ago | (#37596754)

Has this guy considered a career with the DEA?

Re:Impressive... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37596800)

Wow what an asshole this guy is.

Re:Impressive... (2)

Moryath (553296) | about 3 years ago | (#37597820)

No kidding.

When the phrase "bend the truth" passes your lips as a PI, you should be fired and then barred by the courts from ever working as a PI again, and any lawyer who ever has to examine or cross-examine you should simply start out by asking why you're barred from working as a PI.

End of discussion.

What this guy did was completely disgusting, wholly reprehensible, and in any sane legal system would count as perjury.

Re:Impressive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37599536)

Exactly what I thought. The busted dealer only had 2 oz of marijuana; but, he had 10,000 zip lock baggies. Hey! That's over 156 lbs of marijuana he's attempting to deliver! Score!

Re:Impressive... (1)

macs4all (973270) | about 3 years ago | (#37600218)

Exactly what I thought. The busted dealer only had 2 oz of marijuana; but, he had 10,000 zip lock baggies. Hey! That's over 156 lbs of marijuana he's attempting to deliver! Score!

You jest; but in marijuana cultivation arrests, they count every single 2 inch tall seedling/clone as a kilo of processed marijuana, even though many won't make it to adulthood, and even in indoor growing operations, where the per-plant yield is likely to be closer to an ounce than a kilogram, due to the radically smaller size of indoor plants.

Re:Impressive... (1)

anyGould (1295481) | about 3 years ago | (#37601600)

Exactly what I thought. The busted dealer only had 2 oz of marijuana; but, he had 10,000 zip lock baggies. Hey! That's over 156 lbs of marijuana he's attempting to deliver! Score!

You jest; but in marijuana cultivation arrests, they count every single 2 inch tall seedling/clone as a kilo of processed marijuana, even though many won't make it to adulthood, and even in indoor growing operations, where the per-plant yield is likely to be closer to an ounce than a kilogram, due to the radically smaller size of indoor plants.

The local police got caught weighing the entire pot (leaves, stem, roots, the pot itself, and all the dirt inside), and reporting *that* as "weight of drugs found". Anything to make it look like a Big Deal instead of just finding some dude with a few plants.

First Post! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37596756)

And I'm going to use it to say that the former PI is a dick.

Re:First Post! (0)

moozey (2437812) | about 3 years ago | (#37597398)

No dice.

$75 trillion in "extrapolation" (1)

qxcv (2422318) | about 3 years ago | (#37596764)

I knew there was something odd about the fact that Limewire was claimed to have caused damage in excess of global GDP [slashdot.org] . Now we have a name for it ;)

Re:$75 trillion in "extrapolation" (2)

MadKeithV (102058) | about 3 years ago | (#37597036)

You knew it was coming: obligatory XKCD - Extrapolation [xkcd.com] .

Re:$75 trillion in "extrapolation" (1)

syousef (465911) | about 3 years ago | (#37597492)

I knew there was something odd about the fact that Limewire was claimed to have caused damage in excess of global GDP [slashdot.org] . Now we have a name for it ;)

We always had a name for it: Fraud.

Why aren't these people being arrested and jailed???

Re:$75 trillion in "extrapolation" (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 3 years ago | (#37598576)

Because they have money. Money talks, and bullshit walks. That is the name of the game in Washington.

lies and exaggeration (1)

locopuyo (1433631) | about 3 years ago | (#37596792)

When you exaggerate and lie it comes back to bite you in the ass when the truth comes out. Does anyone sympathize with the record companies anymore?

Re:lies and exaggeration (2)

Tomato42 (2416694) | about 3 years ago | (#37596828)

Unfortunately yes.

Re:lies and exaggeration (2)

yacc143 (975862) | about 3 years ago | (#37596840)

Well, not exactly, the truth is always written by the winner, and the truth that looser had, well, is forgotten.

"The Truth" is always something linked to the point of view. (E.g. there are enough situations where obviously all parties or none of them are responsible for something, still the parties claim it's the fault of the others. In a subjective view, their truth is certainly correct, and in an objective view you cannot easily cast the situation either as a simple 2-state boolean affair)

Re:lies and exaggeration (2)

Kjella (173770) | about 3 years ago | (#37597096)

"Understanding is a three edged sword: your side, their side, and the truth." -- J. Michael Straczynski, creator of Babylon 5

I like this quote, even if it's from a sci-fi - so often it goes into a binary mode where one side is right and the other is wrong. Very often both sides are exaggerating and using spurious logic and arguments, even if one side is fundamentally right. A complete misinterpretation is that the truth is always in the middle and that flat-earthers and round-earthers be given equal weight though.

Of course their damage claims are ridiculous, but I see some pretty ludicrous claims on the other side too. Ask anyone who's tried to make a living on donations how that "pay if you like it" model is working out for them. So many people are happy to make a savings where they can, so if they can avoid paying they simply will. They could have found the money somehow, but it'd have to be taken from something else and they don't want to do that. And the "free marketing" argument that only works if it ends up in sales, otherwise it's "we make $0 on each pirated copy, but we make up for it on volume". Actually probably negative because even pirates like to use your support system.

Re:lies and exaggeration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37597210)

Ask anyone who's tried to make a living on donations how that "pay if you like it" model is working out for them.

There are plenty of homeless living off 'donations'. Charities do it too. What's your point?

And the "free marketing" argument that only works if it ends up in sales, otherwise it's "we make $0 on each pirated copy, but we make up for it on volume".

Even with the rampant 'piracy' lately, the music/movie industries are making record profits.

Re:lies and exaggeration (1)

Smallpond (221300) | about 3 years ago | (#37598240)

A clever Toronto survey [ehow.com] found that panhandlers made about $30 a day. That's not much of a living. I spent about 20 minutes chatting with a panhandler outside the Chinese Garden in Vancouver who told me a wonderful hard luck story. It was well worth the $5 I gave him.

Re:lies and exaggeration (1)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | about 3 years ago | (#37600736)

Even with the rampant 'piracy' lately, the music/movie industries are making record profits.

Exactly, I have a hard time feeling sorry for them when they and the rest of corporate america are raking in the cash. [nytimes.com]

Re:lies and exaggeration (1)

atisss (1661313) | about 3 years ago | (#37598410)

Not true, Radiohead earned more for pay-what-you-want sales of "In Rainbows" than from their previous album: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2010/07/15/caring-with-cash-or-how-radiohead-could-have-made-more-money/ [discovermagazine.com]

And there was option to pay 0.00

Re:lies and exaggeration (3, Informative)

DinDaddy (1168147) | about 3 years ago | (#37598852)

I see some pretty ludicrous claims on the other side too. Ask anyone who's tried to make a living on donations how that "pay if you like it" model is working out for them.

Show me a single person who has claimed artists could completely support themselves with a "pay if you like it model". People opposing the the industry point out that you have to find a new way of monetizing music, because charging X$ for a "copy" of the music won't work anymore when that copy can be made for essentially nothing. They need to add value in some other form.

The whole "pay if you like it" exercise is to demonstrate that the claim of the RIAA that "non one will pay for music if they can get it for free" is false, that many still will pay. Most of the bands trying this exercise also have other purchase options, like including signed physical copies, access to limited concert tickets, or other things that a fan will care about.

Poor attempt to make the two sides out as equally unreasonable.

Re:lies and exaggeration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37600194)

So many people are happy to make a savings where they can, so if they can avoid paying they simply will. They could have found the money somehow, but it'd have to be taken from something else and they don't want to do that.

Apparently, your side of the triple-edged sword is the same as those who believe that nothing has any intrinsic value (human life, art, music), but only has value if it can be monetized. Another side of the sword is that, in this instance, culture/art/music have an importance that transcends the financial well-being of one artist. I purchase a great deal of music, books, and film. I also pirate a great deal of film and scanned comic books. Copyright law is broken. If it were fixed so that all works would enter the public domain after, say 14 years, I would cease any illicit trading in protected works. I think that is a fair trade. Big media, however, does not want to negotiate. Therefore, as long as they violate their end of the copyright agreement (by bribing congressmen to perpetually extend copyright) I will violate my end of the agreement. It is null and void. Big business can invite me to the negotiating table whenever they decide to be sensible.

Re:lies and exaggeration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37596842)

Depends. How much did they pay you?

Integrity is not a car brand (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 3 years ago | (#37596988)

Does anyone sympathize with the record companies anymore?

Well, yes.
The recording industry "invested" over $16 million in Washington, D.C. last year, and naturally expects a return from everyone who accepted the 30 silver shekels.

And everyone here who buys from the record companies or their subsidiaries like Blizzard.

Re:lies and exaggeration (0, Flamebait)

erroneus (253617) | about 3 years ago | (#37597054)

I have an unpopular comment to make about this:

"The Holocaust." Not saying the Jewish people of europe weren't treated horribly -- they were -- it was probably among the largest crimes against humanity the world has ever seen. But many of the details are either lies or huge exaggerations and the holocaust museums and organizations are acknowledging this as they remove various claims from their piles of evidence.

When I see crap like this, I see more of the same. The victims wanted to see the people who did it punished with death. They saw that it happened and it did not matter to them how outrageous the claims they made might have been. "Killed more Jews than ever existed in Europe?" "Loss of more money than the nation's GDP?" Yeah... the tactics fit.

I know the fate of even mentioning things like this... the message gets lost because the topic is verboten.

Re:lies and exaggeration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37597316)

Alright, so you want to hijack this conversation. Just understand that there is a slight difference between some corporations exagerating about how much income they may have lost and a group of people exagerating about how many of them were murdered and their possessions taken. Or maybe I'm just exagerating about these differences too...

Re:lies and exaggeration (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 3 years ago | (#37597468)

There is a difference. Huge difference. In one case, the cost is mostly money and injustice. In the other, it's money, injustice and death. So yeah, I get your point. The holocaust "justice" was far worse than the lies of big business buying laws. Point taken.

Re:lies and exaggeration (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 3 years ago | (#37597896)

The only problem with this is that Germans like to keep meticulous records.

They even liked to make movies about their exploits. Why not? They had no shame.

You could probably sit down in the German archives and verify every so-called "exaggeration". The American media industries probably aren't so studious.

Re:lies and exaggeration (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 3 years ago | (#37598606)

Yes, Germans kept great records. And in those cases, I believe they are accurate. But there have been and are claims that are not supported by these records.

Re:lies and exaggeration (1)

Smallpond (221300) | about 3 years ago | (#37598348)

One difference is that the claims of exaggeration by Jews is a lie made up by Holocaust deniers like you. The estimates of the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust wasn't made by the Jews, it was made by the war historians from still-available evidence.

The exaggerations by the record companies were made by the record companies and are based on "lost sales" with no evidence.

Re:lies and exaggeration (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 3 years ago | (#37598600)

Actually, no. The exaggerations and lies I speak of are the ones acknowledged by the current holocaust historians and museums.

In case you didn't know, many claims and historical points have been removed from those sources.

Go back and read what I wrote. If there is "denial" going on, it's by the official holocaust historians themselves... in which case that doesn't make it denial, but acknowledgement of false or otherwise unsupportable claims.

Re:lies and exaggeration (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 3 years ago | (#37603288)

You think that you are arguing against the OP when in fact, you support his statement. He acknowledges the Holocaust, and explicitly states "it was probably among the largest crimes against humanity the world has ever seen", and yet you call him a "Holocaust denier" because he sees inconsistencies in specific details. Your refusal to even acknowledge what the OP said in your knee jerk reaction of name calling an affirmation of the OP's statement.

Re:lies and exaggeration (1)

PoopCat (2218334) | about 3 years ago | (#37605888)

Show the class where the OP claimed that "the number of Jews killed was exaggerated" was made by the Jews, or that the OP denies the holocaust.

Re:lies and exaggeration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37597066)

When you exaggerate and lie it comes back to bite you in the ass when the truth comes out.

Kind of like how this article says this is about file-sharing, when in fact it's about offline cases of actual hard-copy counterfeiting?

Yeah, it does bite you in the ass. It also makes you look like a dumbfuck when you get all worked up about it and post to slashdot.

What goes around comes around. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37596806)

This is why I don't care what happens to the record companies.
These companies needs to provide what the customer wants to buy, it is as simple as that.

And yes, I do not pirate copy music or movies. I buy mine.

Re:What goes around comes around. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37596808)

So you're supporting the system, then.

Re:What goes around comes around. (1)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | about 3 years ago | (#37596844)

No, I make my own music by hitting two sticks of wood together. I guess that to, will be banned soon enough.

Re:What goes around comes around. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37596864)

No, I make my own music by hitting two sticks of wood together. I guess that to, will be banned soon enough.

It only takes four chords to infringe.

Re:What goes around comes around. (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | about 3 years ago | (#37596884)

So 99% of all hits in the last ~30 years infringe on each other?

Re:What goes around comes around. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 3 years ago | (#37596932)

Many of them probably would, if not for the fact that they're owned by the same four companies that consider suing themselves to be bad for business.

Re:What goes around comes around. (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 3 years ago | (#37596982)

I'd be pretty impressed by someone who could make four different chords with two sticks, although such an instrument may exist. Also, practically speaking, chord progressions aren't protected by copyright, although that's probably not going to stop the RIAA or ASCAP from threatening to file a frivolous lawsuit if you don't pay into their protection racket.

Re:What goes around comes around. (1)

moozey (2437812) | about 3 years ago | (#37597442)

Nope, chord progressions aren't protected by copyright- only melody and lyrics are. If you want to get technical, I believe it only takes 5 bars to infringe... Someone may be able to correct me on that though.

Re:What goes around comes around. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37597526)

So .. if we are able to find all four chords combinations in classic music well be able to say whatever music we do is based in classic music so it does not infringe anything doing new music.

Re:What goes around comes around. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 years ago | (#37597140)

Actually it IS illegal for you to do that if you have not paid your ASCAP and BMI fees to have the right to do it.

Re:What goes around comes around. (1)

neokushan (932374) | about 3 years ago | (#37596974)

There's a difference between supporting the system and not caring about what happens to the system but using it anyway.

If Slashdot shut down tomorrow, I'd go to some other Tech news site. In a way, I don't care what happens to Slashdot but while it's here and is a reasonable source for geek news, I'll visit it and use it.

Re:What goes around comes around. (1)

PoopCat (2218334) | about 3 years ago | (#37605908)

By using slashdot you are supporting it.

No proof (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 3 years ago | (#37596816)

Note that these are the allegations of an angry fired employee, and while I could easily believe everything what he said it's in no way proof.

Re:No proof (1)

yacc143 (975862) | about 3 years ago | (#37596860)

Well, proof enough for the BSA to audit companies. Such an audit in itself is a punishment, even if it's not declared so, because you need to provide the resources to handle the audit on your side. (Same applies to an IRS audit btw, where the handling of it can cost a bundle in working hours of your tax advisor/accountant to answer the audit).

So by the standard the IP industry uses, it's more than enough to raid their offices, bother their employees, wreak havoc on them. Does not matter to much if it's true or not, right? A claim from a disgrunted ex-employee is enough.

Re:No proof (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 3 years ago | (#37603628)

I believe you misunderstood me. I was saying that there is no proof about AFACT forging evidence other than the word of an employee, who, at least as he claims, participated in all of these shady businesses before being fired. Not the most trustworthy source.

Creative accounting (5, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 3 years ago | (#37596848)

Years ago, I decided to get rid of my car and go by bicycle for personal transportation. For fun, I tried to evaluate the impact of my choice on the economy as a whole, taking into account, amongst other things:

- On the pro side: lesser oil consumption on my part, lesser burden on the national insurance system because I'm healthier, supporting the bicycle industry by purchasing bike parts, etc...

- On the con side: hurting automobile sales, which in turn contributes to layoffs, unemployment, hurting indirect jobs, etc...

I found that I had to make wild assumptions to come up with figures, and the further I went from the immediate impact of my decision, the dicier it was to come up with believable figures. But what I also found is that I could come up with an impressive and very serious-looking spreadsheet sheet that either proved that I had caused millions in damage to the economy, or vice-versa, depending on the premises I had chosen.

In short, you can make figures say anything, and even if they're BS, if they're presented in a synthetic, professional way, they still look credible.

Re:Creative accounting (1)

benjamindees (441808) | about 3 years ago | (#37596888)

lesser oil consumption on my part

More oil consumption for the war machine.

lesser burden on the national insurance system because I'm healthier

Making it easier for the insurance companies to leverage up before they ultimately implode and destroy the global economy.

Re:Creative accounting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37598168)

Making it easier for the insurance companies to leverage up before they ultimately implode and destroy the global economy.

"National insurance" suggests Mr. Coltrane is in the UK, where the money trough for medical insurance is nowhere near the cash-filled chasm it is in the US.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_insurance

Re:Creative accounting (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37597234)

Years ago, I decided to get rid of my car and go by bicycle for personal transportation. For fun, I tried to evaluate the impact of my choice on the economy as a whole, taking into account, amongst other things:

...

In short, you can make figures say anything, and even if they're BS, if they're presented in a synthetic, professional way, they still look credible.

But it works because you were starting from a BS premise, that you have to justify your individual actions to society as a whole. You don't: if you want to ride a bike, that's your right, end of story.

Re:Creative accounting (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 years ago | (#37598464)

But it works because you were starting from a BS premise, that you have to justify your individual actions to society as a whole. You don't: if you want to ride a bike, that's your right, end of story.

If you want to ride a bike, it is your right... because society says so. You do have to justify your individual actions to society as a whole; we have a thing called law that makes it so, though it is frequently perverted.

Re:Creative accounting (2)

moozey (2437812) | about 3 years ago | (#37597462)

Con: You're another annoying bicycle rider on the road that every driver hates.

Okay, I kid...

But seriously.

Re:Creative accounting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37598550)

Interestingly, you are just another annoying car driver that us bicycle users hate.

See how that works?

Re:Creative accounting (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | about 3 years ago | (#37599814)

Ah yes, but there are more car drivers than bicycle riders, so since we live in a democracy the car drivers win. Isn't democracy great?

I am a cyclist (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 3 years ago | (#37603724)

Now even from the point of a car driver, the optimal number is not zero. If everyone used a car you couldn't move from the traffic jams. But if everyone used a bike you would have to drive 1m to the left then you would normally do . I think there exists a balance wich is the best, like Amsterdam.

Figures don't lie, but liars figure (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37597488)

it's the old adage. Go figure..

Re:Creative accounting (2)

SeeSp0tRun (1270464) | about 3 years ago | (#37597918)

I had a professor explain this to me as the "shoes in China" theory. Basically, it says that you can make any assumptions you want, but unless they're based on cold hard facts, and 100% true, you're just FOS.
If I sell shoes in china, I could *in theory* be rich off of a 1/1000 success rate. It may never happen, but it looks like an easy goal on paper...

Re:Creative accounting (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about 3 years ago | (#37600096)

I like the "hurting automobile sales, which in turn contribute to layoffs." It's right up there with not breaking windows anymore, hurting glass sales, contributing to layoffs. You monster.

Re:Creative accounting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37601458)

... lesser burden on the national insurance system because I'm healthier ...

Actually, by being healthier you'll live longer and consume more health care resources. If you really want to lessen the burden, die young.

Re:Creative accounting (1)

ewibble (1655195) | about 3 years ago | (#37602742)

Actually riding a bike actually increases the the likely hood of dying young. The chances of dying in a bike accident here is about 10 more than a car. But if you really want to die young use a motorcycle.

bad title? (2, Insightful)

fireylord (1074571) | about 3 years ago | (#37596856)

The title is misleading, just by looking at the summary you can see this is about actual copyright infringement, not 'file sharers'. Guess this was submitted by a **aa shill.

Re:bad title? (1)

qxcv (2422318) | about 3 years ago | (#37597204)

These people were sharing files too, only they did it on physical media for profit. You're very clever, young man, very clever - but it's data all the way down!

Re:bad title? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37600056)

So sharing a file is automatically copyright infringement now?

Re:bad title? (1)

desdinova 216 (2000908) | about 3 years ago | (#37603596)

it is according to the **aa

Re:bad title? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 3 years ago | (#37597558)

If we're calling bullshit on terminology, then how many file "sharers" do actually share a single copy rather than making new ones every time they up- and download?

If you're under any delusions that making and particularly distributing copies is legal or defensible in any Berne Convention signatory, then I invite you to peruse the wide variety of judgements which will scoff at you far more effectively than I can. And I give good scoff.

Re:bad title? (2)

jedidiah (1196) | about 3 years ago | (#37597922)

I don't give a sh*t about the Berne Convention.

The ethics of the situation has really nothing to do with what a bunch of corporate minions manage to come up with behind closed doors somewhere.

Re:bad title? (1)

hitmark (640295) | about 3 years ago | (#37597854)

And what makes you think they are not employing similar tactics to inflate damage estimates for file sharing cases?

But what about ... (1)

MacTO (1161105) | about 3 years ago | (#37596862)

If someone contributes to the economy by buying counterfeit DVDs, wouldn't they also contribute to the economy by buying counterfeit popcorn?

Seriously though, the honour of lying is right up their with piracy in my books. And embellishment is a form of lying. Any serious analysis of piracy would take into consideration that the habits of people who buy are different from the habits of people who take. Even marketers know that: they will gladly give away goodies to grab people's attention, get people to try their products, or lock them into contracts because people will hesitate if they have to pay for something and grab up almost anything that is free. The same goes for piracy. It's not hard to come across stories of people who pirate more than they could ever consume, and even taking that into consideration is still leaving you with the assumption that they would pay for what they do consume.

And the popcorn thing is just silly. I realize that a lot of people are stupid enough with money to go to the theatre's vending stand, but a lot of people don't. Heck, you could go out for a decent dinner before or after the movie and still pay less than you would for a bunch of junk food at the theatre.

Re:But what about ... (1)

n30na (1525807) | about 3 years ago | (#37597648)

I'm pretty sure most pirates tend to download more than they can consume, at least in my experience.

Re:But what about ... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 3 years ago | (#37597952)

They also tend to download more than they are capable of paying for. They may or may not actually pay for some of what they consume.

When you drop the price down to zero, the situation becomes quite unlike any situation where people are even paying 1 cent for the works in question.

Re:But what about ... (1)

AdamJS (2466928) | about 3 years ago | (#37598992)

They also tend to buy more than people that download less than them.

Seems obvious (1)

mikepost (2462284) | about 3 years ago | (#37596894)

Am I alone in always having assumed that this would be the case? In any litigation that I've ever been involved in everyone assumes that a compromise will need to be reached and so piles in every cost they can justify in any way at all, no matter how flimsy. The main aim of any initial filing is to raise the litigation risk for the other party, ie the amount that they would maybe have to pay if they lost. It forms a starting point for the negotiation over the course of the action.

Why stop there... (1)

benjamindees (441808) | about 3 years ago | (#37596906)

A single CD-R could feasibly contain a thousand copies of some expensive custom embedded control code. That's easily a million dollars per CD.

Or, what is the value of some of the better HFT algorithms? They're basically propping up the big investment banks, so like 10 billion dollars? That could probably fit on a single CD-R.

You've got to think bigger than farmers growing popcorn. Sheesh, amateurs...

Re:Why stop there... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37599776)

Yeah, just fill a few spindles of DVD's with AutoCAD.

Or better still, get a terrabyte drive, and keep saving copies of the ISO into different folders until the drive is full.

*BAM*, the GDP of the global economy on one HD. I'll be the richest person in existence!!!

How does he sleep at night? (0)

intnsred (199771) | about 3 years ago | (#37596946)

What a low-life pond scum, willing participating in such a corrupt scheme/racket. Some people will do anything for money.

May the worms eat his dead body from its casket and vomit his remains.

Re:How does he sleep at night? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37597084)

What a low-life pond scum, willing participating in such a corrupt scheme/racket. Some people will do anything for money.

May the worms eat his dead body from its casket and vomit his remains.

I'm not sure how busting people for making counterfeit hardcopy and selling them for money qualifies as a "corrupt scheme/racket". Most people would consider plain old fashioned theft to be just that... theft.

Oh, I'm sorry, you must have just read the slashdot title and immediately posted your rant without reading either the summary OR the article. Maybe you should stop doing that, it makes you look like an idiot.

Re:How does he sleep at night? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37597536)

you also sound like an idiot. way to go.

Re:How does he sleep at night? (3, Insightful)

intnsred (199771) | about 3 years ago | (#37598770)

First, piracy is a copyright violation; piracy is NOT theft. [debianhelp.org]

But to a address your point:

I'm not sure how busting people for making counterfeit hardcopy and selling them for money qualifies as a "corrupt scheme/racket".

The corrupt scheme is the inflating of the value of the so-called piracy by counting every blank disc as a pirated copy and lying like this for political purposes. This is the same immoral/sleazy tactic used by police to inflate the "street value" of seized marijuana plants. The corrupt cops count seeds, seedlings, leaves, stems, root balls, etc. when they know that only the bud of the pot plant gets sold and has real value. They lie this way to make the "crime" seem bigger.

This is the same reason the corrupt PI lies about the value of pirated material. But in this case, they're also doing it to influence corrupt, corporate-funded politicians to pass harsher laws.

What else is new? (1)

xmorg (718633) | about 3 years ago | (#37597038)

IT wouldn't be the first law, totally based on a lie, for the self enrichmen tof big c...

Its what Big Business does (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37597042)

to get their way.

Look at the methodology of the Murdoch Press (News International) [wikipedia.org] . Sleazebags use sleazy methods.

Shocking (1)

ledow (319597) | about 3 years ago | (#37597064)

Anybody genuinely shocked by this?

And if you extrapolate enough, you can take anything to extreme and prove just about anything. That's why statisticians and experts are supposed to come up with what's reasonable, not something that exceeds global GDP because of someone copying a single CD.

There was a British comedy called Only Fools and Horses which contains the following exchange, which I consider no different to these methods:

Rodney: It doesn't matter what they use it for, Trig, it's still knocked off - and it's still illegal.

Del: Yeah, but it's good for the country though Rodney, innit?

Rodney: Come on Del, how can nicking off British Rail be good for Britain?

Del: (To Trig) He amazes me you know Trig, he's got a GCE in Maths, and he still acts like a total wally-brain.

(To Rodney) I'll tell you why this is good for the country, shall I Rodney? 'Cos British Rail have to hire more security guards to protect this paint thus lowering the unemployment figures - plus, their insurance company will need more people to handle British Rail claims that means redundant insurance clerks will be snatched from the dole queues and handed back their dignity. Right?

Now these people may very well celebrate their good fortune by buying a car and taking their wife and kids on a touring holiday round Britain. This will result in a much needed boost to our ailing car industry, higher revenue for North Sea Oil and a vital cash injection into seaside resorts and depressed areas.

On the other hand, they may decide to take a holiday abroad, right, thus forcing foreign hoteliers, restaurateurs and bar owners to buy more British beer, food and goods. This will result in higher export drive which, in turn, will be very good for our balance of payments surplus! Soon this country will be rich and famous again - the starving shall be fed - the homeless will be homed. Right?

When you're taking your court case straight from the mouth of Del Trotter, you *KNOW* you have a serious credibility problem.

Re:Shocking (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about 3 years ago | (#37597430)

You can extrapolate the destruction, or the propping up of an entire economy based on pirating of one CD ... if you try hard enough

Most stock traders do this and more every day, a rumour of a minor potential difficulty can sink a single company, and industry or a whole economy ...

Breeds complete disinterest (1)

White Flame (1074973) | about 3 years ago | (#37597410)

I don't even care anymore about music & movies coming out anymore, purely because of all this crap that's in association with and being supported by my potential purchases.

Re:Breeds complete disinterest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37600140)

Thank-you, that does sum it up nicely!

What I do now is put a "value" on items, so to me, a movie I'll watch more than once is worth $5, to watch it once is $3, CDs are worth $1, and video games worth $10. I won't buy the item until it reaches that price point, and if it doesn't, I just don't buy it! I do occasionally buy a new "just released" item (about 3-4 times a year - this was in the 60-100 times a year 5 years ago). The funny part is that I have more money now (older, been working longer) and have more time (as well as kids to enjoy the items with) but these tactics have, for all intensive purposes, pissed me off; and I've come to the conclusion I don't need their stuff so if they won't provide it to me at the price point I consider it worth it, I just don't buy. (I do not take stuff without paying (I won't say steal or pirate as they are not valid terms for this), it's not philosophical, but I just can't be bothered to waste the time to do it)

I always find these things funny:
1 Movie = $23, soundtrack to the movie: $23 .... HOW the #@#$@ can the soundtrack cost as much as the whole movie! Yes, I understand supply and demand and economics but at some point logic has to come into it!

Cable TV = $120/month ... What are you paying for? 90% of the channels are over the air and paid by the commercials (and why some of the channels are having financial problems), so you are paying the cable company for some specialty channels (and looking at the cable companies profits I believe this is NOT a very large percentage) and then for the wire they ran to you house 50 years ago.... How much amortization do they really need? Especially since the government gave them tax breaks and incentives to run all those wires in the first place!

Phone = Again, installed a LONG time ago, no new services, capabilities (unless you pay) and yet every chance they get they keep raising the price. Why? Where are the supply issues and problems? What features are being added or provided for the increase? Why increase at all? The equipment to run the lines is getting cheaper and smaller so maintenance is getting cheaper as well...

Electricity = (this may be unique to where I am living right now) the hydro company wants to increase rates because there has been a decrease in usage!!!! Screwed if you do, screwed if you don't! What is the point of spending $100's to make your house more efficient if the power company just raises the rates to maintain their profits so your costs stay the same, or go up, anyways!

Anti Piracy PI (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 3 years ago | (#37597682)

is that different from the normal PI (3.14156265...

I eat more popcorn watching movies at home (1)

a2wflc (705508) | about 3 years ago | (#37597740)

stale $5/tub popcorn does nothing for me. But I'll go through a couple bags of microwave stuff during a movie at home. Maybe I'm not the norm, or maybe they need to redo their figures, or maybe they don't care.

Re:I eat more popcorn watching movies at home (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 years ago | (#37598524)

Out of curiosity, do you own a pot, and a range?

I used to eat microwave popcorn but my lady won't let me own one. Whatever I think about that, it's not worth having a war over the microwave. As a side benefit, I started making all my own popcorn, bought bulk at the health food store for practically nothing. It's cheaper than all but the crappiest microwave popcorn on sale, even when cooked in EVOO. I am a butter addict and cook with it, slather it on pancakes or waffles, and so on, but I actually prefer my popcorn with nothing but the EVOO it's cooked in (if you use enough... heh heh) and I cook it in the salt as well. It's a quick job, cleanup is quick since it's oily, you can flavor it a zillion different ways right in the pot...

I love being lazy too, but you can do better for less money and it is honestly not that arduous.

Re:I eat more popcorn watching movies at home (1)

Leebert (1694) | about 3 years ago | (#37600352)

I used to eat microwave popcorn but my lady won't let me own one.

Since we're asking "Out of curiosity" questions, why exactly is she opposed to microwave ovens?

Re:I eat more popcorn watching movies at home (1)

DanTheStone (1212500) | about 3 years ago | (#37600938)

I was about to ask the same question.

Stupid terminology. (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | about 3 years ago | (#37598028)

was hired to track people who pirated software

Should read: Was hired to track people that sold content that had been cracked.

Good for him. He was getting rid of a menace to society, pirates. People that crack then post the content to the web in retaliation to DRM or just to show the public the content was all hype are not pirates. Lumping the two together is the reason they are having so much resistance. The fact that they are using the same funny math calculations to show damages in cases against people trading/sharing music is the real crime.

I have to admit (1)

AdamJS (2466928) | about 3 years ago | (#37599072)

That sounds like a pretty fun job. You just get to make wild guesses and accusations about what something is worth based off of completely arbitrary guesses on what effects what.

War against culture (2)

alexo (9335) | about 3 years ago | (#37599228)

subject says it all

Piracy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37600170)

One day a high level judge is going to realize its just a 99 cent download each.
If I steal a car and get caught I might have to pay for the car not the steel mill and the union wages.

Put Him in Jail (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 3 years ago | (#37600586)

This PI should be in jail for what he's done.

Re:Put Him in Jail (1)

folderol (1965326) | about 3 years ago | (#37602312)

That would achieve nothing. There are plenty more where he came from. It is the people employing him that should be in jail.

Agreed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37603710)

They're not supposed to be misrepresenting facts. That's the lawyers' jobs.
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