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New Revenue Model For Low Budget Films: Lawsuits

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the doubling-down dept.

Movies 162

conspirator23 writes "A 64-year-old retired English teacher is being sued by a copyright troll for illegal BitTorrent downloading of a motion picture. Perhaps it's not all that shocking in the current era. That is, until we learn that rather than protecting something like Game of Thrones, the plaintiff is accusing Emily Orlando of Estacada, Oregon of downloading Maximum Conviction, a direct-to-video action flick released earlier this year starring Steven Segal and ex-WWE wrestler Steve Austin. Voltage Pictures is demanding $7500 from Emily and 370 other defendants. If all the defendants were to pay the demands, Voltage would gross over $2.75 million, minus legal fees. Who needs Kickstarter?" As you might expect, Mrs. Orlando had never heard of BitTorrent before receiving the legal threat, and she lives in an area with dynamic IP assignments. This is the same company who has been going after file-sharers by the thousands since 2010.

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OK already (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43407109)

EA is only the second worst company.

Who needs Kickstarter? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43407113)

Rob Thomas could've just made a Veronica Mars movie, then sued everyone that pirated it. He's got to know something about detective-work, right?

Re:Who needs Kickstarter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43408203)

Who the hell would pirate that shit?

tsoP tstiF (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43407119)

:p

Hurt Locker? (4, Insightful)

Das Auge (597142) | about a year ago | (#43407133)

Isn't this what the makers of The Hurt Locker tried to do? It was largely a critical success, but not a financial one.

Re:Hurt Locker? (5, Informative)

Guspaz (556486) | about a year ago | (#43407225)

This company (from TFA) *is* the maker of The Hurt Locker.

TFA (2)

Das Auge (597142) | about a year ago | (#43407261)

I stopped reading TFA years ago. I got tired of one site after another chopping up (maybe) one page worth of writing and spreading it across ad-filled pages.

Re:TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43407319)

You didn't even bother clicking before top posting. A little suspicious! Had you done so, you would know the article was on a single page, Mr Click Bait.

Re:TFA (2)

Guspaz (556486) | about a year ago | (#43407331)

OK, the company from TFS is the maker of The Hurt Locker. Their name, Voltage Pictures, is right in the summary, hence why Slashdot's "related articles" mentions their Hurtlocker lawsuits.

Re:Hurt Locker? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43408273)

Hurt Locker was on the internets in DVD form more than a year before it was actually released to theatres...perhaps this *is* part of their marketing and revenue strategy.

Re:Hurt Locker? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43407301)

Hurt locker was also a huge turd. It beggars belief how it could win anything at the oscars, perhaps excepting the oscar for the biggest piece of contrived shit of the year.

Re:Hurt Locker? (5, Funny)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#43407511)

Hurt locker was also a huge turd. It beggars belief how it could win anything at the oscars, perhaps excepting the oscar for the biggest piece of contrived shit of the year.

I thought that's what the Oscars(TM) are.
* Biggest piece of contrived shit of the year.
* Biggest leading male piece of contrived shit of the year.
* Biggest leading female piece of contrived shit of the year.
* Biggest piece of contrived shit costumes of the year.

And so on. All awarded at the biggest piece of contrived shit awards ceremony of the year. But maybe I'm thinking of some other awards show.

Re:Hurt Locker? (-1, Flamebait)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#43407685)

James Cameron's ex wife was banging the judges. All of them.

Re:Hurt Locker? (2)

excelsior_gr (969383) | about a year ago | (#43407419)

It was not a financial success because, interestingly, people in the US thought it was a commie propaganda movie, while people outside the US found it to be something for and about trigger-happy rednecks. The critics said "exactly" and declared it a masterpiece.

Re:Hurt Locker? (3, Funny)

andymadigan (792996) | about a year ago | (#43407629)

I'm American and *I* thought it was something for and about trigger-happy rednecks.

Re:Hurt Locker? (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | about a year ago | (#43407773)

English is not my first language, so can you please explain what the title "The Hurt Locker" actually means?

BTW, I kinda liked the movie. Wasn't the best, but pretty entertaining.

Re:Hurt Locker? (1)

Myself337 (771093) | about a year ago | (#43407993)

A hurt locker is just that. a locker where you keep hurt. hence it would stink to be in that locker... http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8555318.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Hurt Locker? (1)

Kittenman (971447) | about a year ago | (#43408351)

English is not my first language, so can you please explain what the title "The Hurt Locker" actually means?

BTW, I kinda liked the movie. Wasn't the best, but pretty entertaining.

English is my first language (and my second - I emigrated from England to NZ) and I didn't know what 'The Hurt Locker' meant. I know now - 2 hours of my life and a DVD rental fee wasted. Now, 'Redacted' ... that was a good movie ....

Re:Hurt Locker? (4, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#43408523)

Now, 'Redacted' ... that was a good movie ....

Come now. Don't be coy. Tell us what the name of the movie was. There's no need to censor it.

Re:Hurt Locker? (3, Interesting)

TranquilVoid (2444228) | about a year ago | (#43408423)

Odd, I'm Australian and found it to be more of a character study. It certainly didn't glorify war but also doesn't criticise the U.S. involvement. In fact I was left wondering how someone who chose to be with James Cameron could demonstrate such subtlety.

Coincidentally a few weeks ago I read a review of it in a Balinese newspaper, I think for expats. The English, or translation, was quite rough, but they did indeed slam it as pro-American propaganda.

Makes sense (1)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | about a year ago | (#43407147)

Anybody who would want to watch Maximum Conviction would be a prime candidate for copyright trolls.

Re: Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43408455)

I saw it on Netflix. SO so film, good background noise.

Hmmm.. (5, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#43407153)

Get a lawyer. Countersue for $100,000 for the complainant filing false affidavits with the court. When they try to toss out the claims, say you will settle for $10,000 plus legal fees, otherwise it's off to fucking court.

Re: Hmmm.. (0)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a year ago | (#43407265)

I'm not rich. But I rather give up the money and instead have the bar throw their asses out. Better yet, demand jail time for inflicting paper terrorism. Make this a holy crusade against assholes of the world. Asking for money only feeds into the system of greed.

Re: Hmmm.. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43407909)

But I rather give up the money and instead have the bar throw their asses out. Better yet, demand jail time for inflicting paper terrorism.

Paper terrorism? You better go for the money, it's much, much more likely than getting thrown out of the bar. Also, please hire a lawyer if you ever get near a court. Or don't, and then tell us the story on Slashdot of what happen.

Re: Hmmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43408531)

I'm not rich. But I rather give up the money and instead have the bar throw their asses out. Better yet, demand jail time for inflicting paper terrorism. Make this a holy crusade against assholes of the world. Asking for money only feeds into the system of greed.

And attempting to speak any other language than the language of money will result in weird looks and possibly more harassment.

And getting the bar to toss their asses out? We watched trillions get vaporized overnight with the last global financial meltdown which resulted in exactly zero arrests or convictions, and you think you're going to get a handful of lawyers disbarred over this shit? Yeah, good luck with that. Corruption runs WAY deeper than your tiny ass wallet can afford, I promise you that.

Re: Hmmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43408627)

[mumbles something about 4 boxes] since soap ballot and jury ain't working, i think we all know whats left

Re:Hmmm.. (2)

Theaetetus (590071) | about a year ago | (#43408847)

Get a lawyer. Countersue for $100,000 for the complainant filing false affidavits with the court. When they try to toss out the claims, say you will settle for $10,000 plus legal fees, otherwise it's off to fucking court.

And then they countersue you for filing a false complaint for $100k in damages, which is significantly easier to over false. At best, the court throws out both your and their claims, but more likely, you're paying their attorney's fees for responding to your stupid countersuit.

If someone is filing false affidavits, notify the court and let the DA get involved. Don't file a false damages claim in response.

So Simple... (5, Insightful)

Genda (560240) | about a year ago | (#43407159)

Convince a good lawyer to take this as a class action. Sue for court costs, his own legal fees and emotional damages. I can't imagine jury anywhere on the planet that wouldn't give the win to the little old lady. Use this as a model for said trolls and when it becomes clear that we are hoisting these parasites on their own petards, perhaps they'll go away!

Re:So Simple... (5, Funny)

Kittenman (971447) | about a year ago | (#43407191)

1: Hire a little old lady
2: Get little old lady to do something illegal, causing lawsuit by other party
3: Counter-sue, win damages awarded by sympathetic jury
4: Profit!!

or maybe the simpler version

1: Become little old lady
2: Profit!

Re:So Simple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43407761)

1: Become little old lady 2: Profit!

So all I need is hormones, surgery, and time? Awesome! No.. umm... nevermind.

Re:So Simple... (1)

dissy (172727) | about a year ago | (#43408049)

by Kittenman (971447)

or maybe the simpler version

1: Become little old lady
2: Profit!

You have a strange definition of "simpler" my friend

Re:So Simple... (3, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#43407217)

Convince a good lawyer to take this as a class action.

Sorry. Class actions were deleted from your list of acceptable legal remediations by the US Supreme Court after determining that it gave individuals too much power over corporations. Please submit to binding arbitration instead, Citizen.

Sue for court costs, his own legal fees and emotional damages.

Emotional damages? "Your honor, I couldn't sleep. I couldn't work. The idea that someone could accuse me of downloading something on the internet was just so shocking. I couldn't even go out in public, out of fear others might view me as... as a (breaks down sobbing) downloader."

I can't imagine jury anywhere on the planet that wouldn't give the win to the little old lady.

Your imagination sucks [arstechnica.com] .

Use this as a model for said trolls and when it becomes clear that we are hoisting these parasites on their own petards, perhaps they'll go away!

You there, troll! Go away. There. I've just rid the internet of one of its most hated archetypes. I'm gonna step out now for a bit of tea. I expect we'll see no more of those people now that the smack down has been given.

Preexisting business relationship (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43407269)

Please submit to binding arbitration instead, Citizen.

I was under the impression that binding arbitration requirements could apply only as part of a preexisting contractual relationship between the parties. As I understand it, the recipients of these scattershot demand letters are receiving them precisely because they have no contract with the copyright owner.

Re:Preexisting business relationship (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#43407541)

I was under the impression that binding arbitration requirements could apply only as part of a preexisting contractual relationship between the parties.

The use of a copyrighted work creates a contract. Ta-da. Same thing with the EULAs of software. I mean, if I forced you to sit down and just read the EULAs and associated texts of every software package you have installed... you'd probably starve to death before finishing... Unless you're a really, really fast reader.

Re:Preexisting business relationship (3, Interesting)

yurtinus (1590157) | about a year ago | (#43407593)

While we're making up random stuff, you owe me a cookie for writing about EULAs in breach of my asserted writes over that business area.

Find me a case where one of these copyright demand letters was sent to binding arbitration. Go ahead, I'll wait.

...Or you could just stick with writing dystopian fiction.

Grammer nazi smacks you back! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43407827)

Or we could write about your right to write about, "Asserted writes"...

Re:Preexisting business relationship (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#43408237)

Find me a case where one of these copyright demand letters was sent to binding arbitration. Go ahead, I'll wait.

And if I could make you wait until you dropped over dead, I'd do it, for being a pentulant little bastard. But a cursory google will quickly show I am right, and you are annoying. Good day, sir.

Re:Preexisting business relationship (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | about a year ago | (#43408859)

Find me a case where one of these copyright demand letters was sent to binding arbitration. Go ahead, I'll wait.

And if I could make you wait until you dropped over dead, I'd do it, for being a pentulant little bastard. But a cursory google will quickly show I am right, and you are annoying. Good day, sir.

I am an IP attorney (though not your IP attorney) and with all due respect, he, not you, is correct.

Re:Preexisting business relationship (1)

ZipK (1051658) | about a year ago | (#43408337)

I was under the impression that binding arbitration requirements could apply only as part of a preexisting contractual relationship between the parties.

The use of a copyrighted work creates a contract. Ta-da.

Except that the countersuit would be based on the claim that there was no use of the copyrighted work, hence no contract, hence no requirement for binding arbitration.

Re:So Simple... (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#43407467)

Yes, emotional distress. These people she's never heard of who made a movie she never heard of are demanding a significant chunk of her food and rent money (which they will, with little doubt spend on hookers and blow) claiming she used some computer program she's never heard of. The only way to avoid it is to risk even more of her very limited food and rent money on a spin of the big wheel in court. If she loses, she'll be eating fried dog food.

You don't think that might be a little distressing?

Re:So Simple... (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#43407483)

You don't think that might be a little distressing?

The law doesn't award emotional damages on the basis of a person's fears about the legal process. They award it based on the damage to reputation, etc., as a result of the false accusation. So all that worry over what will happen? It's worth zero dollars.

Re:So Simple... (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#43407797)

It doesn't award for distress over a legitimate legal process. In this case, it looks like the legal process is simply a threat used for extortion rather than any legitimate attempt to address a harm done to them. It could matter.

Re:So Simple... (4, Funny)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#43407227)

A good lawyer [imgur.com] ??

Can't wait for there to be case law (1)

eksith (2776419) | about a year ago | (#43407165)

Once and for all that says IP addresses cannot be used to identify users for anything without other corroborating evidence I.E. network traffic and such, which would require the cooperation of the ISP and, ostensibly, a warrant. Of course, lobbyists would need to be shot first.

Re:Can't wait for there to be case law (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43407199)

Of course, lobbyists would need to be shot first.

Yeah, but doing that would probably undo all the progress we've been making on gun control legislation.

Re:Can't wait for there to be case law (3, Interesting)

eksith (2776419) | about a year ago | (#43407341)

Oops... did I say "shot"? I meant "should have cat urine poured down their throats". Seriously, I've never seen another institution meant for the citizens to petition government be abused so much. All lobbying (even the anti-gun lobby) will be at risk eventually when enough people decide enough is enough. At the moment, they're distracted by *idol shows to give a damn, but just wait and see.

Re:Can't wait for there to be case law (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#43407615)

Nah you first idea was better, you could offer tags good for one lobbyist each, help pay down the debt while making the world a better place, sounds like a win/win in my book.

Re:Can't wait for there to be case law (4, Funny)

Genda (560240) | about a year ago | (#43407207)

Oooo! Oooo! Me... I'll shoot a lobbyist! We should declare a season... find someone who'll stuff and mount them for our living rooms!!! Why yes, I bagged this fine specimen wandering the hall right around Speaker Boehner's office. He tried to scrabble down a stairway and boom! Funny thing is he's lobbying for the NRA!

Re:Can't wait for there to be case law (1)

djfreestyler (2579333) | about a year ago | (#43407581)

He tried to scrabble down a stairway and boom!

Did he at least get triple word score?

Re:Can't wait for there to be case law (1, Insightful)

kwbauer (1677400) | about a year ago | (#43407805)

Yeah and you call the NRA "nuts". I have yet to hear any of my friends and coworkers that are the less gun control side of the debate talk about shooting the opposition but I hear it frequently from the anti-gun crowd. Of course you think nobody should have access to guns. you think everyone is a screwed up and irresponsible as yourselves.

I will agree that anyone who thinks guns should be more limited in the USA should not be allowed to have them because they generally have proven themselves unable to handle that level of responsibility.

Re:Can't wait for there to be case law (1, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#43408391)

It's bizzaro world since the NRA was out there calling for an expensive taxpayer funded nanny state (lots of armed guards in schools).
Maybe they are not the tough guys they are pretending to be?


Personally I see them as gutless losers that want military weapons as toys without the responsibility of joining the military and risking their lives for the flag they are always so quick to wrap themselves in.

Re:Can't wait for there to be case law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43408341)

There is no expectation of privacy for traffic you put onto the Internet (except for encrypted connections), and once your traffic is on someone else's network, they have every right to monitor it, or allow someone else to, so long as they have not promised an expectation of privacy.

And, guess what? Not a single ISP promises privacy.

The plain view doctrine stipulates that a warrant is not required for searches to the plain senses, or when there is no expectation of privacy.

Therefore, a warrant is not required for law enforcement to search your Internet traffic.

Who's Steven Segal (1, Funny)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | about a year ago | (#43407181)

Isn't he known for Uner Sige 2?

Re:Who's Steven Segal (1)

yurtinus (1590157) | about a year ago | (#43407603)

He's like Jean Claude Van Damme with a shittier name.

Re:Who's Steven Segal (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#43407729)

Was that the movie where the bay watch actress pops out of the giant cake and shows off her boobs?

Re:Who's Steven Segal (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about a year ago | (#43408161)

Baywatch: The Movie

Re:Who's Steven Segal (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | about a year ago | (#43407829)

No, he's the nutjob who thinks that "Detroit" has been sitting on the patents to carburetors that would have been giving 1970 era cadillacs 100MPG fuel mileage.

Re:Who's Steven Segal (2)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#43408405)

I met one of those. People who work out how to tune an engine so it uses almost no fuel at idle but can't understand that engines are tuned to use as little fuel as possible when under load instead, so they think it's some huge conspiracy that every engineer is part of. They are still around despite fuel injection being the norm.

Shouldnt it be the other way around... (4, Funny)

Taelron (1046946) | about a year ago | (#43407185)

Like with most direct to video releases, the quality is so bad, shouldnt they be paying the people that actually sat and watched it?

Re:Shouldnt it be the other way around... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43408109)

Two years from this day, this magnificent piece of art will be shown by our local free commercial channel, somewhere between a strange and obscure Canadian family drama and some old Playboy sexcetera re-run. This movie will help me to forget the Canadian family drama, the sexcetera will help me to forget Maximum Conviction, and the soft core porn movie cumming right after will help me forget the sexcetera. So is the natural order of things in this world.

Dear lawmakers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43407195)

An IP address does NOT constitute unique identification.

Re:Dear lawmakers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43407469)

You are correct, although case law is mixed on this. Some recent cases have come to the conclusion that it isn't a unique ID. In other similar types of cases - for example a car license plate is not a unique ID of the driver but apparently you still have to pay a ticket for running a red light with a red light camera - it isn't clear. Definitely the IP address thing is more like a mailbox in front of your house. Who knows who opened it and took the mail. It could be a neighbor, a child, some random dude that drove up, etc. But it is far from settled case law.

Re:Dear lawmakers (2)

GumphMaster (772693) | about a year ago | (#43407847)

or example a car license plate is not a unique ID of the driver but apparently you still have to pay a ticket for running a red light with a red light camera

At least in my country/state while the registered owner of the vehicle is issued the infringement notice they can then trivially reply identifying the individual that was driving the car: i.e. hubby, little Johnny, the local mechanic etc. The fine/penalty demerit points are then applied to the driver (with some scrutiny for obvious abuses). There is always recourse to a Magistrates Court. In some cases the camera picks up the face of the driver and this is used in court.

Granny has no hope of identifying the actual user(s) of that IP address at the specified time to summarily dismiss this.

Re:Dear lawmakers (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about a year ago | (#43408937)

You in fact lied. A registration plate and a vehicle matching the details on the registration plate are required and the owner can contest the penalty if they can provide evidence of the vehicle being elsewhere at the time. In the case of the IP address, an agent acting for the copyright holders, who gets paid per claim, makes a claim of infringement against an IP address at a particular time. This in turn is sent to an ISP who then sends their internal details of the accounting relatively matching to the use of the IP address at the time with no guarantee of accuracy ie should it be incorrect they do not indemnify the person named for all losses and psychological harm. Now that pretty much worthless circumstantial evidence for a "SEVEN THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLAR PENALTY". Which in a criminal court would require substantive evidence.

Re:Dear lawmakers (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43407833)

So you are saying that IP addresses are *not* globally unique, and 4.2.2.2 is an unknown address that we can neither determine who owns it, nor where the responding systems exist. Got it. Thanks for your brilliant technical insight.

Re:Dear lawmakers (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | about a year ago | (#43407887)

some guy on my network 127.0.0.1 is sharing a bunch of really dorky stuff

Re:Dear lawmakers (4, Funny)

gmhowell (26755) | about a year ago | (#43408513)

Guy on 127.0.0.1? That guy has the best taste in porn, music, and movies. Problem is, it's all a bunch of stuff I already have.

Re:Dear lawmakers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43408111)

4.2.2.2 could be the network facing IP address of my WiFi enabled home router.

So anyone on the outside of the router sees that - but inside the router it could be anyone connected, Husband, Wife, Little Johnny, Big Suzy, or that creepy guy parked across the street, or one of the 3 neighbors around me. Even if I us WPA it's only a matter of time to crack it for the creepy guy or the neighbor. So No and IP address does not identify a single user or even a single household.

AC because was not logged in before typing long entry.. I am Pentalive.

Re:Dear lawmakers (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43408333)

So you are saying that the IP *DOES* uniquely identify "something" even if not a person, thus proving the original AC to be an idiot, which was my point.

Really? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43407197)

Becoming a fake police officer wasn't enough, Steven? Lightning Bolt Energy Drink couldn't satiate your thirst? Ear-fucking naive concert goers with your rhythmic sitar didn't get you off? Now you have to bring lawsuits against innocent old grannies who have never even heard of you?

If this were a limbo contest you'd be taking home the god damn gold medal, because no one is gonna get lower than you.

Please, Mr. Segal (4, Funny)

SendBot (29932) | about a year ago | (#43407229)

Defendant: "Please Mr. Segal, we don't want any trouble..."

Segal: "Well you better save your receipt. Because you just bought some."

(neck snapping ensues)

Mad tv reference: http://youtu.be/mXx3_ykUpfY [youtu.be]

Re:Please, Mr. Segal (2)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#43407493)

That's the great irony. His characters would be more likely to be busting the heads of scheming lawyers and business types trying to steal little old ladies retirement money to spend on hookers and blow.

Mr. Segal has left the building (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#43408425)

Funny how a lot of people here are blaming somebody who's input into the movie and what happens with it ended some years ago.

Re:Mr. Segal has left the building (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#43408515)

Personally, I take it to be much more telling of the actual buy-in from the executives. Namely, they don't give a crap and they don't believe a single value the movies may portray.

I do hope that this suitably informs Mr. Segal's future decisions.

I'd deny everything too (1)

chemosh6969 (632048) | about a year ago | (#43407231)

I like how the article doesn't talk to the ISP but instead relies on the technical information from an old lady. That's always the best source of technical info, especially when they don't claim to be technical in the first place.

TI (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | about a year ago | (#43407235)

Sounds like TI in the 80s.

Who needs Kickstarter? (1)

chemosh6969 (632048) | about a year ago | (#43407243)

You need the money to make the film so that you can later sue.

Re:Who needs Kickstarter? (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#43408727)

Uhhh...not really. I mean didn't you ever ask how Uwe boll kept making movies? He used a German law that gave a bunch of tax breaks to support German cinema and so he got people to invest as a tax shelter. they all KNEW it was gonna be crap that didn't make money, that didn't matter, what mattered was this law made making shitty films a great tax dodge. I heard they changed the law which is probably why we haven't seen any Uwe Boll stinkbombs in a while.

From the guy selling fake leather jackets to get The Room made, to Franchise pictures, which used star's egos (and a LOT of fraud from what I've read) to get shit like Battlefield Earth made, its really not that hard to get up enough dough to make a movie, especially if you are using a D-List hasbeen actor and shooting in some place like Romania where you can hire an entire film crew for less than the cost of catering in Canada which is what it sounds like they did with this flick.

So I seriously doubt it would take much to make this into a viable business model, plenty of actors you've heard of that have careers on the skids (Jeffery Jones and Nick Nolte come to mind) that with a little bullshit and some creative accounting you could get a direct to DVD movie made without costing you anything out of pocket. Hell go to one of the smaller countries and tell them you want to make a movie about one of their historical figures and they'd probably pay you to make it.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43407307)

... This is more newsworthy than the saga that is Prenda Law (asshats) circling the drain after straining credibility too far?

The case appears to be similar, although only at face value and without all of the juicy misconduct. (Suing for copyright infringement on the basis of shaky identification in hopes of getting default judgement or easy settlement.) However, I recommend any potential defendants visit Popehat and read about the Prenda case, as there is a lot of good information floating around relating to that particular legal scam and also pointers at other websites that can offer even more information. Heck, you might even find a lawyer that's passionate and willing to take the case to the mat in pursuit of stopping this kind of speculative invoicing based on IP addresses. (Which, it should be noted, has been ruled on in US courts more than a few times do not sufficiently identify an individual.)

In an effort of great moral restraint (1, Offtopic)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year ago | (#43407393)

I am going to refrain from comment.

Simple #2 (-1, Flamebait)

stevegee58 (1179505) | about a year ago | (#43407413)

Surprised no one's thought of this. Don't do illegal downloading.

Re:Simple #2 (3, Informative)

yurtinus (1590157) | about a year ago | (#43407625)

Perfect - she's already done that! What's the next step for her now?

Re:Simple #2 (2)

SolitaryMan (538416) | about a year ago | (#43407811)

I believe it's "???" and then "Profit!"

Re:Simple #2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43408105)

No, we're not talking about her, were talking about everyone else

See the studios are sending everyone a message: If you download our movies, the old lady gets it!

So, don't do any illegal downloading or they'll have to rob a few more old ladies.

Really, it's your fault, you should have listened to GP.

--

Captcha: falsify

Re:Simple #2 (1)

Genda (560240) | about a year ago | (#43407707)

The mouth breathers are going after IP addresses to sue from an ISP with dynamic IP hosting. What you do has nothing to do anymore with someone who wants to sue you for deeds done on an IP address that may or may not have anything to do with you on the date of the infraction. The bottom line is that they are not interested in justice, this is rape pure and simple.

Conspirator indeed (1)

makubesu (1910402) | about a year ago | (#43407435)

While the lawsuit is silly, there is zero evidence that this was their revenue plan.

Re:Conspirator indeed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43407775)

Well, their revenue plan certainly wasn't that movie...

Probably just picking people out of the phone book (1)

russotto (537200) | about a year ago | (#43407575)

Because no one is going to waste bandwidth downloading some direct-to-video turd on purpose, and it's hard to believe 371 downloaded it by accident while looking for something good.

Either that or they were even cleverer than the article suggests and distributed malware that would download the movie.

Getting sued for not watching a movie (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#43407647)

Life immitates a Mr. Show sketch [youtube.com] ? That's never a good sign, frankly.

There are 7 billion of us... (1)

Genda (560240) | about a year ago | (#43407671)

You know, there are enough of us now. Perhaps its time we considered a little chlorine for the shallow end of the gene pool? Ask law graduates what they think of this case. If they say, this is a travesty against humanity, they get a pass. If instead they want to know how to get a job at this law firm, we send them to the Office of Soylent Green. Figure they'll do more good as a cheap protein source for the third world. There's a kind of poetic irony to eating those who would gladly eat their own. I wonder if it would have had the same impact of Charlton Heston had yelled "Its made of Lawyers!!!" Just a thought.

Re:There are 7 billion of us... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43407955)

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Go after the company (1)

jonfr (888673) | about a year ago | (#43407809)

Go after the company. Once anything costs this people anything they are going to stop it. They are only going to spend money when they can get more then 100% returns on the money spent.

That is what they are doing with this lawsuits today. Both patents troll and copyright trolls alike.

Emily should've (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year ago | (#43407925)

downloaded it from Mega.co.nz instead of torrenting it.

Downloading by itself only allows for very small damages so companies don't bother suing. It's the act of uploading that brings large damages... because they can claim you were distributing their copyrighted shit. And BT by its very nature means everyone downloading is also uploading.

Like bronzy or goldy only it's made of iron (2)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about a year ago | (#43408217)

1. Make a documentary about trolls suing people for downloading copyrighted material
2. Release the copyrighted documentary on bittorrent
3. File lawsuits against people who download it
4. Profit!!!

Why arent people suing the ISP? (2)

Marrow (195242) | about a year ago | (#43408397)

If the ISP is wrongly identifying her MAC address as performing the download, then they are the ones who should get sued. I assume they are even using the MAC as ID.

Re:Why arent people suing the ISP? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year ago | (#43409021)

It being the ISP, I'd expect them to have a log of which IP was assigned to which physical connection. They know which cable runs where, and which equipment is assigned to each subscriber. And if that database has errors misidentifying a connection, that'd be easy to find out, and then to amend the court case as needed.

While it's always argued here that IP doesn't identify a person, which I think is true, it does identify a connection - that's after all the whole purpose of an IP address. And for a typical connection the pool of potential users tends to be pretty small, in many cases just one.

The MAC may be the router and that may not help? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43409035)

The MAC may be the router and that may not help? any ways was it setup to defaults? did the ISP setup / give out the router? was it set to WEP??

If the router was hacked in some way and it's a ISP router with ISP setting then the ISP needs to stand up and take the blame.

Heh, What? (1)

Zamphatta (1760346) | about a year ago | (#43409027)

I fail to see how the concept of justice comes anywhere near making someone to pay $7,500 for "stealing" something worth $20 or so.
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