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Is Being In the Same BitTorrent "Swarm" Equal To "Interacting"?

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the my-closest-friends-are-ip-addresses dept.

The Courts 166

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In the new wave of bittorrent downloading cases, the plaintiffs' lawyers like to lump a number of 'John Does' together in the same case in order to avoid filing fees ($350 a pop). Their excuse for 'joinder' is the allegation that the defendants 'interacted' with each other by reason of the fact that their torrents may have emanated from the same 'swarm.' In Malibu Media v. Does 1-5, when John Doe #4 indicated his intention to move for severance, the Court asked the lawyers to address the 'swarm' issue in their papers. So when John Doe #4 filed his or her motion to quash, sever, and dismiss, he filed a detailed memorandum of law (PDF) analyzing the 'swarm' theory in detail. What do you think?"

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Sounds a little hokey (5, Insightful)

Narrowband (2602733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40500841)

Did you interact with someone if your telephone call to party A was carried on the same transatlantic phone cable as someone else's call to party B?

Re:Sounds a little hokey (5, Funny)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#40500865)

But this involves the internet which makes it different.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (2)

Narrowband (2602733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40500895)

Sort of, but in this day and age, don't many carriers use packet-switched comms rather than circuit based for long distance telephony anyway?

Re:Sounds a little hokey (5, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#40500899)

Or to use a mixed car-superhero analogy, if you're parked in a parking lot when the Incredible Hulk goes on a car-smashing spree, can you be held liable for the other cars being smashed?

Re:Sounds a little hokey (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40500949)

I put forward something a little closer to the topic: Is sitting on a toilet connected to the same sewage "system" equal to "giving a sh!t"?

It's all tubes, after all!

Re:Sounds a little hokey (5, Funny)

koolfy (1213316) | more than 2 years ago | (#40500997)

This may very well be the worst analogy I have read in a long, long time.

It's perfect.
Perfectly broken.
In every way possible.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501229)

Well if you're in a Torrent swarm, doesn't that mean you're uploading (no way to turn it off), and isn't that legally defined as copyright infringement? (shrug). It appears to argue that Doe 1 did not upload to Does 2,3,4,5 and therefore did not collude with them.

I still think the best thing to do when you receive a "Pay $5000 or get sued" letter is throw it in the trash. They send-out thousands of those things and the odds they will actually drag you to court are small. It's just a scare tactic and way to generate cash.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40501403)

incorrect, there are ways to not upload data
I do it all the time

Re:Sounds a little hokey (5, Funny)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501411)

>>>incorrect, there are ways to not upload data. I do it all the time

Please share.
Wait wrong term.
Please tell us how you do it.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40501461)

It's not a secure protocol, and there are/were many custom clients with options available to do anything from not uploading anything useful at all, to faking upload/download numbers for sites that thought ratio was such an important thing.

The tracker could always do a little work to find cheaters, but who's going to do that on a public swarm.
If I connect to a tracker and someone makes a list of ip's seen, all they can say is that I connected. Unless I actually downloaded something important from said person, then they can say I downloaded something from them. No one can say I sent any pertinent data to anyone else. I could even be poisoning the swarm rather than no upload at all. A lot of the functionality of torrents is built on trust, and that generally works until someone doesn't want to play by the flimsy rules.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501519)

The problem with this is that the whole system doesn't work unless people are sharing.

What's needed is an option in clients to not upload to other users who have IP addresses in the USA. Even better would be a public list of IP blocks used by the MAFIAA, so those can be blacklisted automatically by the clients.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501565)

So your big plan is to have an option where users outside the US can leech from US users, but not share with them? You really think that should be a legitimate option in torrent software?

Re:Sounds a little hokey (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501583)

Also, I forgot to add that there are already blacklists for known RIAA/MPAA IP ranges. Both entities frequently work around it in a game of cat and mouse that neither side will ever win or lose.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (3, Interesting)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501901)

People outside the US wouldn't need to block US users; only other US users would need to use this option. It's not like the MAFIAA is going to go over to Latvia or wherever and start suing people there.

However, there probably are similar groups in other countries that might sue people there. So instead of just blocking US users, the real objective is to block uploading to other users in your own country, whatever it may be (Canada, UK, etc.), if your country's MAFIAA-equivalent is in the business of suing BitTorrent users.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40501271)

We just interacted. You're now partly responsible for the next guy to kill himself after reading this:

Hey you, your life is pointless. Go on, do it.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40500901)

That's not the same thing as a swarm though. You make it sound like people were prosecuted because their neighbours used BT, that's on the same cable too.

A swarm is more like a conference call. You share the same line, but you also pass data between each other. As much as I hate the *AA litigation - I think the interaction thing holds up. How the hell else are you going to download from / upload to a swarm if not by interacting with it?

Re:Sounds a little hokey (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#40500975)

I think this is probably it. If you are in a conference call you interacted with it. If you disagreed with whatever was decided at the conference call, and then never participated again you could make the argument that 'he offered me drugs, I said no' sort of interaction applies, but if you stuck around you're probably screwed.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (2)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501591)

Let's say you were in a conference call on VoIP, with your microphone and speaker turned off. You are still in the conference but you receive nothing and transmit nothing.

Or if you send the "join" command to join a multicast group, but never send or receive packets. All you do is join and remain active as a node (thus never pruned).

In the case of BitTorrent, it's a bit harder to argue, but there are still cases. An academic researcher who desires not what is being shared but a knowledge of how many people send vs receive and how numbers vary with time would need to have a probe connected to the swarm but if it transmitted OR received it would alter the system it was observing and that would violate the purpose of any such research. It would have to be a passive observer. This is not something Joe Average could argue, but I'd say that any sociologist "caught" in such a dragnet would be able to cast reasonable doubt.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (1)

Narrowband (2602733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40500983)

Wouldn't quite go that far... more like saying you and your neighbor are both being prosecuted together rather than being tried separately because you both used BT. You may be right about it holding up, but I would see the question more as one of whether you're two individuals interacting with the same technical resource, versus two individuals interacting with each other.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (1)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501005)

The memo points out that the plaintiff here did not even allege that the accused Does passed data between each other. They may have downloaded the porn at different times.

The memo also calls foul on a hashtag argument. I haven't seen the opposing memo, though, to know if it was any good.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (4, Insightful)

dark12222000 (1076451) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501053)

The law here is a bit more complex. It's not just a matter of "interacting", it's a matter of having committed the same crime, at the same time, at the same place.

So, a nice example would be a bank robbery. Lets say you and me robbed a bank together. Clearly, we would be litigated against together, since we clearly interacted.

However, lets say I robbed a bank, and then 20 minutes later, without knowing about my robbery, you rob the same bank in the same way. In this instance, we have not interacted.

How this applies to Swarms is where it gets tricky. If I join a swarm several hours after you've gotten the file, seeded, and left, are we interacting?

Re:Sounds a little hokey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40501263)

That fact that you have to go through several thought experiments, analogies, and still cannot come up with a solid answer shows that all of this great for lawyers, and a bunch of crap for everyone else.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (5, Insightful)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501421)

I think it's worth backing up a step and asking why we have these rules in the first place. The robbers in your first example committed the same crime under the same circumstances, they've acted as mutual facillitators, and evidence against one of them is pretty much going to amount to evidence against the other. So it makes sense to have a rule that that level of interaction can result in a joint case.

For the bittorrenting, however, where the crime actually occurs is at the other end of a computer terminal, and those terminals are in very different places. You are probably not going to send a detective to the computer used by one defendant and find any evidence against the other defendant. The defendants don't know each other, and they haven't communicated with each other. You will have to present different cases to prove the identity of the person at the other end of the IP address--one might have a router and claim his friend was using his connection, another might have been at a coffee shop. Information about one of the crimes is just going to be utterly irrelevant to the other in any way other than being the same charge. If the law does allow lumping them together, that would seem like a bad feature.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502077)

You are probably not going to send a detective to the computer used by one defendant and find any evidence against the other defendant. The defendants don't know each other, and they haven't communicated with each other.

If clients kept logs you could probably find substantial evidence on other peers they've downloaded from/uploaded to. Their BitTorrent clients have communicated, or if not directly then the swarm has. Persons A and B may very well be convicted of a conspiracy even if they've never talked to each other but to a mastermind C. Since you need uploaders to have downloaders you can't say you've committed any copyright violation alone. I would focus on the lack of coordination, imagine a secure door. The first seed opens the door, the other peers take advantage of it by holding it open (seeding) but they're not really cooperating with anyone. Each person just does as he wants and when the last person holding the door opens (the last seed disappears) the door closes.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501981)

It's like saying if you say a number, say 42, and I say the same number, 42, a couple hours later, we must have interacted somehow. How else could we come up with the same number?
While in fact all there is that we have some bit of common knowledge, like having read Douglas Adams. Or having received a hash.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (3, Interesting)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501085)

But YOU are not interacting with other people, your computer or bit-torrent program is interacting with other computers/bit-torrent programs.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (3, Interesting)

thoughtlover (83833) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501349)

But YOU are not interacting with other people, your computer or bit-torrent program is interacting with other computers/bit-torrent programs.

I think this is a little closer to the truth. You can't control who you connect with... Bittorent chooses who you connect with.

My main concern with the 'swarm' argument is this: If I configure my client to only send and receive encrypted data, there stands a chance I may not get one byte of data unless some of the people in the swarm have their client configured similarly.

Therefore, I think the real question is, "If someone connects to a swarm and only gets an incomplete file (or not even a byte of it), are they liable in any way?

Re:Sounds a little hokey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502023)

But YOU are not interacting with other people, your computer or bit-torrent program is interacting with other computers/bit-torrent programs.

I think this is a little closer to the truth. You can't control who you connect with... Bittorent chooses who you connect with.

My main concern with the 'swarm' argument is this: If I configure my client to only send and receive encrypted data, there stands a chance I may not get one byte of data unless some of the people in the swarm have their client configured similarly.

Therefore, I think the real question is, "If someone connects to a swarm and only gets an incomplete file (or not even a byte of it), are they liable in any way?

But you don't need to share the whole file to be prosecuted for copyright violations. If I share the first half of Star Wars, I'm just as busted as someone sharing the second half. Whether either of us has a whole movie doesn't matter.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502115)

Therefore, I think the real question is, "If someone connects to a swarm and only gets an incomplete file (or not even a byte of it), are they liable in any way?

Well, in that case you would still be trying to participate in illegal file sharing. Kind of throwing a rock in a window of a jewelery store to get some loot, but the rock not even breaking the glass.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (4, Interesting)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501355)

As if the computer did this on it's own. Might as well argue that you didn't hire that hit man, he just acted based on hearing the mechanical vibrations caused by electrons going over the phone line.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501391)

You "hired the hitman", but you did not interact with everyone the hitman interacted with when under your employ (you did not even know they existed or give any more specific orders then to kill some guy).

That is like saying you interacted with the pizza delivery boy who delivered the pizza to your hitman, the night before your hit.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40501609)

Who hires a hitman over the phone? That's just stupid.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501905)

As if the computer did this on it's own. Might as well argue that you didn't hire that hit man, he just acted based on hearing the mechanical vibrations caused by electrons going over the phone line.

Actually, I think the hit man analogy is the best one so far.

This swarm thing is like you hired a hitman, and someone else hired a hitman, and both of your hitmen decided to team-up without running it by either of you.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (5, Informative)

dshadowwolf (1132457) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501099)

Nope. A swarm is nothing like a conference call, because you aren't interacting with every member of the swarm, but just a few members at a time - restricted by how many connections your bandwidth can actually handle at a given time. Regardless, the reported "offenses" are so separate in *TIME* that there is no guarantee that the Doe's in this case were actually online and part of the swarm at the same time as each other. Even if they were the chance that they actually shared parts of the movie between each other is so low as to be nil.

You really should read the documents linked to - they might be in legalese, but it is close enough to english for just about anyone to follow. And it does explain things simply enough for anyone to be able to understand them. Yes, there is an explanation for how a BitTorrent swarm works in the actual motion and it was written in such a way as to be understandable by any of the legal professionals - including the judge in the case.

And regardless of whether or not "participating in the same swarm" is a legal theory that holds water and fulfills the requirements of the rules, well... There is the fact that these "joinders" benefit only the plaintiffs in the case and create hardships for the joined defendents that break the required "fairness" of the legal system. (Yes, the legal system is supposed to be fair - surprising, no ?) So the joinder should be undone anyway :)

Again, read the actual motion. These arguments are covered in depth and explained in excruciating detail inside it. To tell the truth, I will be surprised if this motion doesn't go through. Doe #4 has a *LOT* of legal precedent on his side :)

Re:Sounds a little hokey (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501603)

Nope. A swarm is nothing like a conference call, because you aren't interacting with every member of the swarm, but just a few members at a time - restricted by how many connections your bandwidth can actually handle at a given time. Regardless, the reported "offenses" are so separate in *TIME* that there is no guarantee that the Doe's in this case were actually online and part of the swarm at the same time as each other. Even if they were the chance that they actually shared parts of the movie between each other is so low as to be nil. You really should read the documents linked to - they might be in legalese, but it is close enough to english for just about anyone to follow. And it does explain things simply enough for anyone to be able to understand them. Yes, there is an explanation for how a BitTorrent swarm works in the actual motion and it was written in such a way as to be understandable by any of the legal professionals - including the judge in the case. And regardless of whether or not "participating in the same swarm" is a legal theory that holds water and fulfills the requirements of the rules, well... There is the fact that these "joinders" benefit only the plaintiffs in the case and create hardships for the joined defendents that break the required "fairness" of the legal system. (Yes, the legal system is supposed to be fair - surprising, no ?) So the joinder should be undone anyway :) Again, read the actual motion. These arguments are covered in depth and explained in excruciating detail inside it. To tell the truth, I will be surprised if this motion doesn't go through. Doe #4 has a *LOT* of legal precedent on his side :)

Why, thank you.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502053)

Just to confuse the 'issue' a bit more, if I joined a crowd of people in Seattle, 1999, in order to protest the WTO ministerial, and some of that group smashed windows (the glass kind), could I be held liable for having interacted with the larger group? Probably not.

But if I joined the group with intent to smash windows in the 1st place, and I was assisted, at one point or another, by some subset of people who were all communicating with each other and shared the same illegal goal, should I not be held liable, since my participation in the subgroup can be shown to be illegal, purposeful and organized?

Re:Sounds a little hokey (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502121)

John Doe #4 may have some serious legal chops in his skillset, but keep in mind that a lawyer's primary function is to figure ways to bypass the law. And the legal teams fielded by the *AAs tend to be high priced, high powered, and goddamned good at what they do, or they wouldn't bother doing it.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (3, Interesting)

slaker (53818) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501147)

In theory, you can tell your client to download the .torrent file and join the swarm without allowing it to download any of the associated files. You might do this to harvest addresses from other clients or to otherwise monitor the torrent.

It's pretty suspicious behavior, but merely being in a big blob of chattering IPs doesn't necessarily indicate that yours has specifically done anything criminal.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (2)

thoughtlover (83833) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501367)

In theory, you can tell your client to download the .torrent file and join the swarm without allowing it to download any of the associated files. You might do this to harvest addresses from other clients or to otherwise monitor the torrent.

It's pretty suspicious behavior, but merely being in a big blob of chattering IPs doesn't necessarily indicate that yours has specifically done anything criminal.

If this is the case, I'd have to say this technique of harvesting IP addresses would make the person/company just as liable to infringement as all the other people connected to the swarm. After all, how did the **AA agents get the IP addresses in the first place? I'm assuming they hired a company to harvest addresses to popular torrents so they could get IPs of all the Does, bring them to court and profit... maybe.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (2)

slaker (53818) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501651)

That is in fact exactly how the *AA harvests IPs from torrents, but torrents in and of themselves are not illegal, only the infringing behavior of sending copyrighted material to another person is illegal.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (2)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501357)

Not at all. It's more like a party line.

I use the common line to contact person B. Later, person C uses that same party line to contact person D and E. Person E used that party line to contact person F a week before my contact with person B.

According to the **AA, all parties interacted together by virtue of access via the party line, despite the massive temporal gaps between those discrete contacts and the fact that, at most, only 3 people were in direct contact with each other, ever.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502013)

The program does this for you. You do not choose who else the data is being sent to. The legal reasonings here are whether or not these people knew each other or aided each other.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502065)

That's guilt by association, which is unconstitutional, is it not? After all, just because you and I are downloading the same torrent content from the same torrent server from the same torrent indexer, doesn't mean that that action is illegal for both of us.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40500903)

Depends on if you you're speaking realistically, or riaalistically.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40500981)

NIce Term: riaalistically. Can I use this elsewhere or have you trademarked/copyrighted/patented it? LOL. Seriously though nice use of language.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40501039)

I'll sue your pants off!

Here's another one: miaasma. :)

Re:Sounds a little hokey (5, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501113)

I'll sue your pants off!

Does that work? Would it be possible to sue a blouse off?

Just asking theoretically, you understand.

On interaction in communication media (2)

Looce (1062620) | more than 2 years ago | (#40500973)

Your example assumes you called a certain known endpoint (a person, or an automated telephone answering system) and interacted directly with it.

BitTorrent downloads from, and uploads to, unknown endpoints that happen to have or want the file, respectively.

On the one hand, you authorise your BitTorrent client to communicate with these hosts on your behalf, and your goal is the same (to get and give the file); this may constitute a form of interaction.

On the other hand, you have no control over which hosts your BitTorrent client contacts. These people may be people you know or strangers; people in the same or another jurisdiction. The link may be difficult to establish.

Re:Sounds a little hokey (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501339)

"Did you interact with someone if your telephone call to party A was carried on the same transatlantic phone cable as someone else's call to party B?"

Poor analogy. It would only work if the parties were is different swarms. If parties A and B are on the same conference call, along with others, are they interacting?

Not gonna fly (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40500891)

If you're connecting to a torrent, it's pretty damn obvious you're expecting to swap chunks of the target file with peers who also want that exact same file; it's how the protocol works for pity's sake. Unless the plaintiff's techs failed to keep records demonstrating that all named Does in the complaint were part of the same torrent, I expect #4 here to get bitchslapped by the court.

Re:Not gonna fly (4, Insightful)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40500931)

If you're connecting to a torrent, it's pretty damn obvious you're expecting to swap chunks of the target file with peers who also want that exact same file

Except when you connect to a swarm just to see who is in the swarm, like the media companies do. Who's to say that I didn't do the same thing?

Re:Not gonna fly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40500987)

And when someone is playing a game that uses BT to push updates to peers and downloading (x insert popular title here x)? What then? Everyone playing the game can be linked via another vague unexplainable connection that they were unaware of. We are so screwed.

Re:Not gonna fly (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501131)

but, don't you need to have the file in order to connect to the swarm?

isn't the swarm protected by an encrypted hash tag?

doesn't connecting via that encrypted hash tag grant permission to the downloaders by way of the file being present on the swarm shared by those authorized to do so?

Re:Not gonna fly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40501165)

rtfm, the hashtag argument is addressed in the memo.

Re:Not gonna fly (3, Insightful)

meerling (1487879) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501345)

"but, don't you need to have the file in order to connect to the swarm?"
No.
In most cases of file sharing, the very reason to join the activity is to gain the file you don't have, which clearly indicates you do NOT need to have the file in order to connect to the swarm. (Honestly, do you keep looking for your keys after you find them?)

Re:Not gonna fly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40501469)

Except when you connect to a swarm just to see who is in the swarm, like the media companies do. Who's to say that I didn't do the same thing?

Unless #4 here can trot out evidence that he routinely does that for a plausible purpose, that isn't going to even come close to passing the bullshit test. It's a civil case so "preponderance of the evidence" is enough, "beyond a reasonable doubt" isn't needed.

Re:Not gonna fly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40501481)

Uhm, the media companies ... when you attempt to get files from them, because if you aren't moving data, you're just watching the tracker, not part of 'the swarm'.

But don't let the way it actually works change your view.

Re:Not gonna fly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40500937)

ip addresses aren't sufficient evidence of anything, anyway.

Re:Not gonna fly (5, Informative)

fish waffle (179067) | more than 2 years ago | (#40500967)

From TFA, being in the same swarm does not mean any given pair (let alone 5-tuple) of participants actually exchanged data. In fact:

Here, the activity alleged in the complaint not only did not take place simultaneously with each other, but took place at five discrete times involving a single defendant over an 88 day period extending almost three months. The moving defendant (Doe 4) allegedly accessed the swarm at issue on February 3, 2012 at 2:48 a.m. The closest preceding “hit”, that of Doe 5, allegedly occurred 50 days earlier, on December 16, 2011. The closest succeeding “hit”, that of Doe 2, allegedly occurred 15 days later, on February 18, 2012. Such temporal gaps compel a finding that the five Does did not act in concert with each other

That is not acting "in concert".

Be that as it may... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40501153)

...the law is currently imbalanced and unjust. I personally don't care about which minute details do and do not fall afoul of this farce.

Copyright law does not accomplish its ostensible purpose. Far from ensuring a reward for creation, it ensures that a small group of very rich people stay very rich while the rest of us suffer culturally harmful limitations on artistic expression, appreciation, and participation. Even if the spirit of this law is good, its letter profanes that spirit to the detriment of everyone (except, of course, the established wealthy).

This is a perfect example of a law that should be purged. If the powers that serve us are reluctant to purge it, then they must be forced to do so.

Re:Not gonna fly (4, Insightful)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501055)

You're overlooking the fundamental fact that to interact with someone, you need to actually engage in an action with them at some point. Just because you're in a swarm does not mean that you interacted with every single person who ever joined that swarm over the entire life of the swarm, yet that's the sort of logic being applied by the plaintiff's lawyers in this case. They're alleging that Doe #4 interacted with the other Does, despite the fact that there were weeks or months separating his presence in the swarm from theirs. In fact, their own records are damning them in this matter.

Re:Not gonna fly (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501139)

it's like being in an irc channel when someone makes specific threats about something.

Are you responsible for those threats? Did you interact with that person simply by being there in the channel?

Re:Not gonna fly (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501751)

Are you responsible for those threats?

No, because you didn't make any threats.

But all participants in the swarm are being accused of infringing copyright.

However although that part of your analogy fails, it does suggest another point.

Suppose you are being accused of actually making threats into that IRC channel... but 5 weeks before someone else did.

Can you two be tried jointly for the same crime? We're you "interacting" ? That's pretty much what happened here.

Multiple particpants of a swarm are being accused of infringing the same file, which is fine. But for them to be charged as a group they must be 'interacting'... according to the records they were often weeks apart on the swarm... they were not acting in concert, they were not interacting. They were just using the same swarm to infringe copyright... just as you and that other guy used the same irc channel to make threats. You should both be charged... but charged separately.

Re:Not gonna fly (5, Informative)

dshadowwolf (1132457) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501193)

Simply connecting to the same swarm does not mean you are acting in concert with any given other member of the swarm. In fact, you can only interact with a relatively small portion of a large swarm at any given time.

In this case, however, there is no proof that any of the Does were even *ONLINE* and in the swarm at the same time, regardless. Due to large amounts of legal precedent from other cases (there are several pages of precedent cases quoted in the motion) it is clear that for you to be considered "acting in concert" with another member of the swarm you have to have actually exchanged parts of the file(s) in question with them. In this case there is zero proof that the Does "acted in concert" as the law requires.

And anyway, the burden on the defense that any of these "joined" 'John Doe' copyright cases places on the defendants - in effect causing there to be a separate "mini-trial" within the overall trial for each separate defendant... To put it simply, there is no guarantee any of the Doe's in any of the cases will be using the same defense. This will place an (and this is a legal term) "unfair burden" on the defense if a given case remains joined.

But thats besides the point. The "joined Doe Case" is used for an ex parte expedited discovery period so that the plaintiff can then attempt to gain an out of court settlement from the defendents. They then dismiss the "Joined" case and file separate actions against each of those defendants that refuse the settlement offer. And since it is not a "sure thing" they don't want to do that - because the only identity you can get by serving a subpoena on an ISP is that of the account holder - who cannot be proven to have been the actual "criminal" in the case. In fact, it could be a "Significant Other", child, relative, friend or even neighbor of the account holder. Hell, in the case that the account holder has either an unsecured network or one secured with an easily broken security system (such as WEP) the actual "criminal" in the case could have been a complete stranger sitting outside the account holders house in the dead of night.

Because of the numerous possible defenses that can be argued by each individual defendant, separate cases should - technically *MUST* - be filed instead of a joined case like the one in question. These points are actually made in the motion and they make so much sense that I can see the case severed and the subpoena's on Does 2-5 quashed. (with any information gained via those now quashed subpoenas destroyed and made illegal to be acted upon)

In case you have not read the motion, please do it before posting. Its shameful to not have all the facts available when you attempt to argue something.

Don't need any of that.... (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501043)

Arguing the validity of allegations of interaction and conspiracy and the subsequent joinder hardly seems necessary when the entire point of the whole process is to avoid legal proceedings entirely via extortion. The lawyers initiating these actions only need the courts to compel the discovery that allows the extortion to continue... since money can't be extorted from an unknown person. Why not focus on the extortion and illegal motives and ignore everything else?

I was wondering the same thing... (1)

sirwired (27582) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501117)

I could totally see the law firm saying "Okay. We give up. We'll file suits against the 5 Does separately." I'm sure that well over 5 Does received notice of intent to sue, and were extorted for settlements.

Of course, the law firm doesn't actually WANT to go through with a trial or anything (or even file suit, really), but if they don't file suit, even half-awake judges are starting to realize that these plaintiffs have no real desire to do anything but extort IP address owners for money with relatively little work and are denying the John Doe subpoenas necessary to obtain victim information.

Interaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40501079)

It all depends on the definition of "interaction". The Does themselves likely didn't interact at all. Their torrent clients *may have communicated with each other* but is that to be classified as 'interact' the way the law makers intended?

Make them prove the joinder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40501089)

Innocent until PROVEN guilty. If they want to joinder defendants, they should have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the joinder is necessary. Otherwise they will continue to subvert the law as they obviously are, to give them economies of scale they should not have.

Re:Make them prove the joinder (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501141)

since single does never share a complete file with another single doe, it may be necessary.

It becomes difficult to prove infringement of a song when you shared seemingly random data which does not make a song.

Re:Make them prove the joinder (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501245)

Now I wonder something... several somethings actually.

Let's say I troll the internet for all the fair use samples of a given work. Let's say a song. If by collecting these fair use clips, used in literary articles, and sew them all together using audacity so that I know have the complete song, does this implicate the fair use fragment publishers in my alledged "theft" of that work, should I be the subject of prosecution?

Also, if the enjoinder for this case is upheld concerning merely sitting in the swarm as being evidence of being complicit, could this not be utlilized as prima-fascia evidence in other cases, where a music group's sting operations participation in a swarm that also is involved in the transfer of a copyrighted work to which they don't have authoritative copyright powers (say, RIAA sting over a beiber 'song', while the swarm also is involved with a motion picture, say, the last samurai) could the RIAA sting group be enjoined in the movie sharing case later, having gone on record and under oath as having participated in the swarm to gather their evidence?

I ask this because swarms are rarely discrete entities with a 1 file 1 swarm relationship. Many members of the swarm will be members of othery swarms, and since this is guilt by association, where does the court draw the line?

Why would you ask slashdot? (5, Funny)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501199)

Gee, as soon as I finish getting my legal advice from Slashdot, maybe I'll head over to LawBlog to see if they can help me debug some of my Python code.... :)

Re:Why would you ask slashdot? (5, Informative)

TrekkieGod (627867) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501273)

Gee, as soon as I finish getting my legal advice from Slashdot, maybe I'll head over to LawBlog to see if they can help me debug some of my Python code.... :)

The submitter is an actual lawyer (it's not just his username). I'd assume he has the legal aspect of this down. He's probably more interested in a technical discussion of what consists of interactions in BT swarms. Slashdot is actually a good place for that.

Re:Why would you ask slashdot? (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501637)

This isn't ask. The end comment is just an unnecessary addition to stir discussion.

Re:Why would you ask slashdot? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501649)

That's why I prefer my discussions shaken, not stirred.

Does banking at the same bank make them guilty? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40501201)

Does banking at the same bank as drug dealers and money launderers make the RIAA and MPAA members guilty?

Does working for documented tax avoiding companies in time of war make all their employees guilty of treason?

Does are anonymous to everyone but the lawyers (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40501203)

Given this is a common practice of extortion which is clearly set forth in this pleading, it would be reasonable for a smart lawyer to research all such cases, contact does with the help of the court. Make a motion that all such settlements were extortion and abuse of process. Seek treble damages, vexatious litigant status for the plaintiffs and their lawyers, and cut this crap off at their balls.

BTW one can legally download and view any copyrighted work for "educational purposes", yes even porn, without owing the license fee.

18 USC 107

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/ts_search.pl?title=17&sec=107

Section 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

            Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair
        use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in
        copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that
        section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting,
        teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use),
        scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In
        determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case
        is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include -
                (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether
            such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit
            educational purposes;
                (2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
                (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in
            relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
                (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or
            value of the copyrighted work.
        The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding
        of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the
        above factors.

I interacted with... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40501255)

I interacted with your mother last night Trebek.

Swarm = Has file? (1)

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501307)

A question for those more knowlegeable with current BitTorrent technologies. Does being in a swarm mean you have at least one piece of a given file? Can you actually distinguish between seeders and leechers who have yet to download a single piece of the file? How valid is the argument that I smoked but didn't inhale with regard to connecting to BitTorrent swarms?

Re:Swarm = Has file? (3, Informative)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501549)

No. When you download a magnet link from the Pirate Bay, or equivalent, all you have is a hash value, and possibly some tracker names. Somewhere on the network the .torrent file (which has checksums for the blocks and other metadata) is hosted by some other user. The hash value leads you connect with that user, if you have no tracker data, and you get the .torrent file delivered. At that point you don't have any part of the content files yet.

Via one of the peering networks (DHT, Peer Exchange, etc) or a tracker (if this torrent has some) you can now announce your presence, make connections to others in the swarm, and start to ask for blocks. Once you have at least one block, you can start sending them to others. Sending to others is considered the illegal act, since you are making a copy.

The peers you are connected to usually report how much of the files they have. If they have less than 100%, they are called leechers, and if they have 100% they are called seeders, but the protocol works the same for both. You just stop asking for new blocks once you have all of them. When you have part of the full set, you can be sending and getting blocks at the same time. That accounts for how popular swarms can grow quickly. As soon as you have one block, you can start passing it on, and a new swarm only has to send one full set from the original seeder to some number of other people, in pieces. Once a full set is "in the swarm", the original seeder can leave, and then the other people can swap pieces until everyone has the full set. That many-to-many swapping is what lets one seed become 10000 for a popular movie.

(I'm sure others will correct me if any of the above is wrong)

Re:Swarm = Has file? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501631)

If I am reading you correctly, you become part of the swarm at the instant you make the connection. If you never ask for any blocks, you will be disconnected at timeout but all evidence will show you to be in the swarm until that time, so if any node you connect to has infinite timeout you would remain part of the swarm forever even if you have sent nothing and transmitted nothing, merely connected.

If I'm wrong on that, please say. If I'm right in that interpretation, there would surely need to be evidence of intent as academics particularly (but DDoSers, security auditors, and indeed copyright auditors) would need to connect this way and they would not be guilty by association.

another definition change (2)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501361)

Here they go changing the definition of a word again. Their definition of interacting is now like my son(in 3rd grade) is interacting with some 6th grader. Even though my son and this other kid never saw each other, they are 'interacting' because they go to school in the same building.

Probably a bad analogy, but I gave it a shot.

Re:another definition change (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501639)

Given that we're talking about lawyers changing definitions to suit them, talking about shooting is probably inadvisable.

Re:another definition change (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501755)

I don't know how you derived shooting out of an attempt, but I'll go with it. :/

Re:another definition change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502055)

You "gave it a shot", was the joke the grandparent was making.

No more interacting that sharing the road (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40501417)

This is no more interacting than being on the same road.

eg, If one asshat is slowing down the right lane by driving exactly at the speed limit, and 16 cars decide to pass him one after the other. All 16 of those cars are guilty of speeding, but no cop is going to chase to the ends of the earth all 16 cars, nor are they going to mail them a citation for passing, because there is no proof that they were speeding, just that all 16 cars passed a car that was going exactly the speed limit.

In bittorrent land, one can not be considered sharing the file unless they've both downloaded and uploaded one full copy of the file. This isn't how bittorrent works, you download fragments from people who may or may not have the full file. The data is useless and can't be claim to be copyrighted material since it's no different than pure noise. The only situation where the "interacted" possibility comes into play is if there is exactly two people in the bittorrent swarm (also never the case), where you can positively identify who has the full file, and who doesn't. But no claim of an illegal copy exists until the second user has 100% of that file and starts sharing it with a third person. Then you have proof that a copy has been made and transmitted, and they didn't simply make a fair use copy for themselves from their own cd or whatever.

Since the way bittorrent works, isn't in whole copies, you have no way of proving who in the swarm made the copy, and from what source. The way mp3's metadata changes from player to player also nullifies a lot of arguments of 1:1 copy, since someone who actively listens to their music collection while it's part of the bittorrent swarm may be introducing corruption as the file changes with every play.

At best, the lawyers can claim that all the john does have a copy of the same file, but there is no proof as to who made the file, and it's a stretch to say that they interacted with each other. Consider the case of where you have 4 seeds, those 4 seeds take their CD's and break it into 256 pieces each, and then logoff. Then 256 random people pick up a piece and walk off. In order to get the next fragment they would have to compare each of their pieces to every person who picked up a piece. If 128 of those people decide to give up after one piece, you have 128 people(leechers) remaining, but you don't have 4 copies remaining, at best you have 512 fragments that make up either 2 whole copies (unlikely) or 0 copies (where some fragments have been completely lost) until one person (seeder) comes back online to make 256 more fragments. So unless the lawyers were tracking all the IP's in the bittorrent swarm, and going after those who achieved 100% that started at 0% and then stayed online long enough to share one full copy with one other user, the argument doesn't really work at all.

I'm not trying to justify piracy, just that if the lawyers would have better luck against individuals than trying to group them together, as it's highly unlikely that each user downloaded from the same people. In many cases (as in stuff I've downloaded, legal or not) you may only get most of your fragments from the same 2 seeds and 4 leechers, even if there are 1000's of people in the swarm. Some plugins use geocentric load balancing, so you will have oddball cases where 80% of the IP's in a swarm will not connect to each other, because the plugin says they're too far away and will be too slow, and only considers slower peers if there are no closer ones.

www.airmaxskobillige.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40501451)

http://www.airmaxskobillige.com/nike-shox-sko-menn-nike-shox-nz-sko-c-764_780.h
http://www.airmaxskobillige.com/nike-shox-sko-menn-nike-shox-nz-sko-c-764_780.h
Als de Gunners kapitein, een kleine wet heeft meer dan twee weken uit de buurt van het stadion, en net een prachtig weer om een dergelijke prestaties hebben, hoe kunnen de fans juichten. De eerste vertegenwoordiger van een kleine wet Arsenal begint, of in het 28 oktober 2003 de League Cup derde ronde wedstrijd tegen Ross, billige free sko,wholesale nike free shoes in uk usa canada, Graham Wing. Na zeven jaar, hij heeft ingeluid in de eerste 250 keer voor de Gunners eerste gelegenheid, is na vijf opeenvolgende tegenstanders versloeg Chelsea zelf. Gezicht heeft een "haat" van Chelsea, een kleine wet niet alleen de song en Walcott de doelstellingen helpt, waren ze nog 51 minuten, billig free sko, scoorde een doelpunt. Naast de doelstellingen en helpt, een kleine wet te spelen 88 minuten een game-high 74 passen, billig max sko, het slagingspercentage van bijna 80%. 88 minuten, een kleine wet vervangen door Tomas Rosicky, Emirates Stadium, de fans stonden en applaudisseerde. Warcraft dutje Blues verloren en minder dan onoverwinnelijk jeugd, zullen 32-jarige Drogba niet oud geworden soort van gevoel? nike sko lilla,Had 13 keer tegen Arsenal, scoorde hij 13 doelpunten, de wedstrijd stuurde een vrije trap slechts assisteert laatste 10 wedstrijden, scoorde slechts twee doelpunten. Chinese fans zullen nog steeds liefkozend genoemd Drogba een "Warcraft", maar nadat de deur wordt genereus om hem afstappen. Lampard slaapwandelen, Drogba niet het doel te vinden, Terry werd een vergiet, is Chelsea is gevallen van de top van de vierde het huidige seizoen de laatste zes Premier League zonder een te winnen.

In case you are concerned about getting caught... (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501479)

Access torrents via a client that supports proxying like Vuze [vuze.com] . Then simply invest in a proxy service like BTGuard [btguard.com] and have your IP cloaked through a non-US location (How else ya gonna get Game of Thrones?).

You can also go through good ole Usenet which has faster speeds than peer to peer like EasyNews [easynews.com] . Happy torrenting!

Re:In case you are concerned about getting caught. (1)

TommyTumult (1614051) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501575)

You can also go through good ole Usenet which has faster speeds than peer to peer like EasyNews [easynews.com] . Happy torrenting!

Came here to say this, but then I remembered the first rule of Usenet...

Re:In case you learned to think.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40501953)

You are joking right? A simple court order will force BTnoGuard to devulge a customers IP-address. If your going to use a torrent client don't use a proprietary one. I stopped using bittorrent when uTorrent was released, and stop using uTorrent when bittorrent baught uTorrent and that was over eight years ago. Oh is Vuze the torrent-client that all the defendents where using on there insecure Win7-home-premium computer which had all virus updates for there free anti-virus program and still manages to get a new virus every eight-weeks. WTF. Go Open Source, View the code. But i

Another analogy (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501489)

I think I have a very good analogy;
1. There is a parts dealer who buys stolen parts.
2. There is a number of parts thieves who do not know each other but happen to steal from the same parts distributor.
3. At different times the shady dealer buys parts from these thieves.
4. The shady dealer does not identify the other thieves but tells each thief to supply the parts they have.
5. When the shady dealer has enough parts he build a car.

Because the parts were stolen and supplied by thieves who did not know each other and the purchases by the shady dealer took place without the knowledge of the other thieves there must be a case for each thief. The thieves did not interact with each other; the only interaction was between one downloader and one uploader though there were many such interactions.

Another analogy;
1. An item is stolen and repeatedly sold.
2. In any of the sale transaction only the seller and buyer know each other
In this case there is no interaction between the initial thief and the current possessor of the item as they never communicated. Each sale transaction would be a separate case even though it is the same item bough and sold.

But.... (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502017)

But....You wouldn't download a car? Also "shady dealer" is a pleonasm.

Re:Another analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40502097)

Fail.... Say we have two pieces of a two-thousand piece torrent. {piece-A}(01010101110100101010010010100101010010010000101000101) and {piece-B}(00100100101001010010001010000101100101001110101010011). Now is either piece protected by copyright?{NO!} Well, just in case lets encrypt both, so {crypt-piece-a}(a9de986ea38841ff1cd3a246fec784dda322) and {crypt-piece-b}(94e3f7d43aec3675ff3eed2674106eda0034). Now prove that {crypt-piece-a} and {crypt-piece-b} are protected by copyright.

Is there no human computer seperation? (1)

nzac (1822298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501497)

My computer is interacting with other computers.

While i am aware my computer is interacting with other computers to download my file*, neither it nor me actually interacts directly with another human user.
My only interaction is with my computer to initiate a torrent.

I would have though this interacting claim is severely weakened in the US due to the ruling that the US that computer output is not included as free speech, the output of a protocol or algorithm is separated from the user.

*You would have some difficulty proving this for the general public.

Re:Is there no human computer seperation? (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501587)

If the fact that a computer sent and received the information negates possibility of interaction then it would be easy to get around a conspiracy charge simply by using a computerized answering machine.
1. Each conspirator calls the machine and reads any messages on the machine.but does not delete them.
2. They then, if nesessisary, leave a message on the machine.
Each conspirator only "interacts" with the machine but there still is a conspiracy going on because everyone gets all the messages.

Re:Is there no human computer seperation? (1)

nzac (1822298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501655)

No, you misunderstand (probably my fault).
There is user to user interaction on the service conveying human content from one user to the intended recipient, in your example.

Bit-torrent is only computers interacting based on a protocol, i do not intend to interact with another human i just want the file and my computer on my behalf interacts with another on the swarm. Me with my computer on the being on the same swarm as another swarm as another computer does not involve me having any direct iteration with the user (if there even is one) and indirectly negligible and no provable indirect interaction with the user.

I intend to interact with your computer not you.

Re:Is there no human computer seperation? (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501903)

It seems that your premise is that the presence of two computers interacting with each other negates any interaction between the people who enabled the computers. I disagree with that.
Try a slightly different scenario;
1. I post to a mailing list of conspirators;
2. The mailing list then forwards my posts to all others.
Does the fact that I have not directly emailed the other conspirators negate conspiracy. I know the email will be read by someone and I know I will receive email as I am on the list. There is no direct interaction between my computer and the other conspirators' computers but there is still interaction between the conspirators.

By putting up a Torrent one is intending to give access to other torrent users. By using a torrent reader one is intending to read segments from someone else's computer. The issue with Bit Torrent is as follows;
1.John Doe A, through his computer, starts a torrent download
2. John Doe A, through his computer, downloads segments from John Doe B.
3. At this point there could be a case involving John Doe A and John Doe B.
4. John Doe A , through his computer, downloads segments from John Doe C.
3. At this point there could be a case involving John Doe A and John Doe C.
The bone of contention is whether or not these two cases can be joined, Separate cases require more paperwork, filling fees and separate trials. Having a separate trial for each source is not economically feasible for the copyright holder so the want cases joined. The fact that John Doe B does not know the actions of or even the existence of John Doe C makes joining those two cases invalid. The fact that the computers actually transferred the information is irrelevant; the true test is did everyone interact. When BitTorrents are used the sources do not interact with each other and need to be in separate cases.

If only... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40501517)

Of only media companies would channel the same kind of creativity they use to dream up litigation strategies into updating their business model...

Butchering the law to save money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40501531)

Like plea bargains. The story goes that if everybody got their day in court, the system could not afford it. And if you insist on your day in court, the system is offended, and gets nasty towards you.

That may be the legal system, but it is not law. Forget the slippery slope. We're neck dip in the shit. You lawyers disgust me. You shit on your bread and butter. You shit on the law. No wonder every thinks lawyers are the lowest scum. Butcher the law to save a few bucks on filing fees.

Politicians passing more and more laws, but not approving the infrastructure, the courts and the funding to carry out these laws. So these nasty, crooked, shitty little shortcuts become 'law'. Offensive.

'A detailed memorandum of law' LOL! I am supposed to be cowed and impressed? I got some words too. Bite me.

The heat here is too hot. To read this fancy schmancy RIAA MPAA high faluting lawyers legalling and weasling has pushed my buttons.

'memorandum of law' A piece of shit by any other name.

I hope they get some judge that is as old, pissed off, annoyed and cranky as I am feeling. When he sees these smug, cutsy, snarky, assholes before him, trying to show off, I hope puts their heads on pikes on the whitehouse lawn. And Why not? No loss. There are too many lawyers anyways. It's a start. It would amuse me.

Enough already. Enough with the legal weasel shit. Enough harassing kids and housewives instead putting up an easy to use pay to download system.

Buthering the law to save fees. Butchering the law, harassing, making a nuisance of them selves. Terrorizing the public. Butchering the law to preserve their 100 year old method of distribution, instead of opening their fat wallets, hiring a few nerds and getting on with the getting on.

And why is no one stopping this? Where is the big picture guy that sees the the end? Where is the big kahuna that CAN put a stop to this? HELLO? ANYBODY? HELLO?

Scorched earth might satisfy the sicko's from Hollywood, but does not stop pirating, probably costs more than it recovers in revenue, ties up the courts, makes the lawyers and politicians look like jokes.

When does it end? When does it end?

And It needs to be said.

Fuck with the swarm, expect to get stung.

i should conduct an experiment... (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501713)

Fair use allows for small segments of a copyrighted work to be distributed and consumed by the public, as long as the intent of the distribution is associated with an academic or journalistic purpose.

So..

This is the modern internet age.

Let's say that I exhaustively comb the internet for examples of these real fair use samples found in free journals, news reports, and academic publications, until I have collected sufficient numbers of these fragments to reconstruct whole works from, paper-mache style.

Would I be in violation of copyright for distributing a list of discovered segments that could be assembled into whole works?

More interesting, since we are talking digital data...

Let's say I did a file compare analysis against a huge swath of completely unrelated files on the internet, and created a wget script + shell script to pull just a few bytes or kilobytes from Jpegs, wav files, HTML files, .swf files, etc-- from all over the internet, then assembled them with concatenation to produce a de-facto copy of a protected media file. Would that be infringing? I have clear server logs showing that not a single one of the bits transferred belonged to that protected file.

Air and viruses (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 2 years ago | (#40502151)

We are all breathing the same air and sharing the same cold viruses, so we are all interacting, including the Judge.
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