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King Kong vs. Movie Pirates

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the movie-sets-better-than-fort-knox dept.

Movies 485

Caoz writes "The New York Times is running an interesting article about movie piracy with Peter Jackson providing some comments. There a couple of comments that I thought were surprising. Like an executive admitting that file sharers are not the biggest threat to Hollywood. From the article: 'There is a very dark, black cloud in this game. It's not in the hands of kids who live next door to you; it's organized groups and organized crime.' Why are they suing bitorrent users then?"

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Bitorrent User Group (5, Insightful)

fembots (753724) | more than 8 years ago | (#13442877)

It's not in the hands of kids who live next door to you; it's organized groups and organized crime." Why are they suing bitorrent users then?"

Haven't you realized this very dark and cloudy organized group they're referring to is the Bitorrent User Group (BUG)?

I do have another question though - Why don't consumers buying/wearing fake branded products get arrested?

A Nike t-shirt is probably as easy and cheap to copy and produce as a DVD movie. Imagine law enforcement officers roaming the streets and ripping counterfeited t-shirts off materialistic girls.

Re:Bitorrent User Group (4, Insightful)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 8 years ago | (#13442913)

"Why don't consumers buying/wearing fake branded products get arrested?"

They're (supposedly) going after the uploaders, not the downloaders. Unfortunately, when they go after sites like Suprnova, what they're doing is more like going after the yellow pages for having the phone numbers listed for businesses that sell fake branded products.

It's a pity they've got their heads up their collective asses. I'd be happy to pay for on-line content if they'd provide a reasonable service. You'd think iTunes would have taught them a lesson.

MPAA sues uploaders, not downloaders (1)

geekee (591277) | more than 8 years ago | (#13442934)

"I do have another question though - Why don't consumers buying/wearing fake branded products get arrested?"

They don't sue downloaders, only uploaders, so why would they arrest people wearing illegal knock-offs products? Uploaders are not consumers, they are competitors to the movie industry, just like the guy selling home-made DVDs of movies on the street corner.

Re:Bitorrent User Group (5, Funny)

Vorondil28 (864578) | more than 8 years ago | (#13442937)

Why don't consumers buying/wearing fake branded products get arrested?

Simple, Nike hasn't pushed for it, but the recording/movie industry has. However, I'd be nice if they did.

I, for one, would like to see law enforcement officers ripping counterfeited t-shirts off of materialistic girls.

Re:Bitorrent User Group (5, Funny)

op12 (830015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13442985)

Yeah, that'll go over well:

"T-shirt inspector!"
*slap*
"No, really! I am a t-shirt inspector!"

Re:Bitorrent User Group (-1, Troll)

Daimando (842740) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443051)

That....would lead to a lot of lawsuits against the government over sexual harrasement. And this is no joke, brah.

Re:Bitorrent User Group (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13442950)

I do have another question though - Why don't consumers buying/wearing fake branded products get arrested?


Well, most file sharers aren't being charged with crimes either: they're being sued in civil court by the **AA.

Re:Bitorrent User Group (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13442986)

"ripping counterfeited t-shirts off materialistic girls."

Please, do tell more about this ripping shirts off of girls thing. I thought that kind of stuff was illegal.

Re:Bitorrent User Group (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13443002)

Haven't you realized this very dark and cloudy organized group they're referring to is the Bitorrent User Group (BUG)?
Probably not what they're referring to. But in any case: if you stop the leak at the studio, you've stopped one copy. If you bring down BitTorrent, you've stopped the remaining 9,999,999 copies. That's why BitTorrent gets the attention.
I do have another question though - Why don't consumers buying/wearing fake branded products get arrested?
Same principle. Do you pick them off one by one, or go for the hive? In addition it's not against the law to get ripped off, which a consumer can always claim.
A Nike t-shirt is probably as easy and cheap to copy and produce as a DVD movie.
Having done both screen printing and DVD burning, I heartily disagree. A six-station screen printing machine will set you back about USD $8,000, before buying ink and screens and blank shirts and a dryer and a ventilated place to do it all. DVD-R's are a much easier product to make.

Re:Bitorrent User Group (3, Interesting)

modecx (130548) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443277)

Bah, who needs some fancy six station screen printing machine?

Anyone with a bit of brains, power tools, and decent ability can build a 4 color screen printing station out of nothing more than lumber and common hardware, all of which is easily obtainable from Home Depot. All you need then are screens, squeegees, masking and your consumables.

Most Nike prints I've seen are very simple, either one or two color and they're mostly just the logo at that. You could do rudimentary printing with practically nothing if it were really necessary. Of course, I'm not saying it's easy, you need all kinds of nasty chemicals and special equipment--mostly the screen and squeegee in that respect, and it really helps if you know what you're doing...

Price wise, there's no doubt in my mind that you could beat the cost of a computer+dvd burner to do a couple colors on shirts, and have a few bucks left to spend on shirts and ink. You need special equipment and knowledge to rip and burn a DVD, too, you know. The great thing about DVD burning is you don't typically need badass solvents.

Re:Bitorrent User Group (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443035)

Gives a whole new meaning to bUG tracking software.

Superbowl Counterfeit squads (4, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443065)

I do have another question though - Why don't consumers buying/wearing fake branded products get arrested? A Nike t-shirt is probably as easy and cheap to copy and produce as a DVD movie. Imagine law enforcement officers roaming the streets and ripping counterfeited t-shirts off materialistic girls.

You were obviously not paying much attention to what was going on around the Super Bowl. Every year, the NFL goes to great lengths to ID "official" superbowl goods. Hologram-bearing tags and whatnot.

This year, as with most, they also tied up the resources of the host city and state police forces (in this case, Worcester city and Massachusetts state police), shutting down the "counterfeit" sellers and seizing goods.

Why the police are involved with a civil issue (trademark infringement)...is beyond me. If they're carrying out court orders, that's one thing- but playing no-charge goon-squad for the NFL and Russel Athletic is another thing entirely.

Re:Superbowl Counterfeit squads (1)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443325)

Why the police are involved with a civil issue (trademark infringement)...is beyond me.

Because in the case of actual, physical goods such as this, counterfeiting and fraud are criminal actions. The consumer is as big a victim as the company that (ostensibly) lost out on a sale.

Cops going after people downloading a movie or something is different and would be completely wrong, in my opinion. I don't know if they have done so yet, but if I recall correctly they're trying to pass a bill to let the US DoJ handle that sort of stuff. Ridiculous to me.

Re:Bitorrent User Group (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13443108)

"Imagine law enforcement officers roaming the streets and ripping counterfeited t-shirts off materialistic girls."

*blink*

*blink-blink*

*smile*

King Kong, eh? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13442878)

Slashdot trolling phenomena make up a large subset of the bizarre and complex subculture found on the popular technology website Slashdot. They are a mixture of juvenilia, sarcasm, deliberately bad jokes, tasteless nonsense and highly developed and artistic attempts to provoke outraged responses from other forum users, or amuse them. Slashdot trolling is a subset and a microcosm of Internet trolling in general. Some of these behaviours are usually considered to be more offensive or insightful than others. On Slashdot, many of these phenomena have become the object of parody.


Slashdot trolls can generally be divided into four categories: disruptive, offensive, deceptive, and idiosyncratic. Disruptive trolls are those which intend to disrupt the normal flow of things on Slashdot, either by decreasing the signal-to-noise ratio or by causing the pages to render incorrectly. Offensive trolls exist for the sole purpose of offending as many people as possible. The purpose of deceptive trolls is to trick people into either following a link or reading a comment which seems legitimate but is actually a troll. Idiosyncratic trolls are those which are specific to Slashdot and have elements of Slashdot culture and history in them creating, in effect, an inside joke.
Contents
* 1 Disruptive trolls
o 1.1 Crapflooding
o 1.2 Page widening/lengthening
* 2 Offensive trolls
o 2.1 Homosexuality and racism
o 2.2 Anti-semitism
o 2.3 Nationalistic insults
* 3 Deceptive trolls
o 3.1 Karma Whores
o 3.2 Comment Plagiarism
o 3.3 Article text alteration trolls
o 3.4 Web vendor referral trolls
o 3.5 Signature trolls
o 3.6 Movie spoiler
o 3.7 300 Dead in Sri Lanka Tsunami
* 4 Idiosyncratic trolls
o 4.1 First post
o 4.2 Netcraft confirms it
o 4.3 Stephen King is dead
o 4.4 First Obituary
o 4.5 Hot grits/Natalie Portman
o 4.6 Reigniting flamewars
* 5 Minor trolls
* 6 See also


Disruptive trolls


The purpose of disruptive trolls is to cause the pages of Slashdot to display in an undesirable way or to otherwise bring attention to themselves. The two major categories of disruptive trolls are crapflooding and page-widening.


Crapflooding


Crapflooding is the posting of many nonsensical or gratuitously offensive messages in order to disrupt the normal functioning of Slashdot and annoy its users and editors.


Later versions of the software behind the Slashdot website had an updated lameness filter to prevent posting of the same message more than once. However, crapflooders began avoiding this restriction by varying the content of the message after each post. Crapfloods can be performed manually with a dedicated user repeatedly clicking through the posting options each time, or automated by a piece of software. Automated crapfloods are -- not surprisingly -- larger, more effective and more frequent. The subject of crapflooded messages varies. Some examples include:

* Offtopic stories
* Pornographic/Homoerotic sex scenes with the names replaced with those of the slashdot editors or open source celebrities.
* Incoherent nonsense that contains the correct letter frequencies so the lameness filter recognises it as vaguely English.
* Offensive Base64 encoded images or text.


The original page widening posts were simple messages consisting of one long stream of characters with no spaces. This caused browsers to render a very wide page with horizontal scroll bars, making it nearly impossible to read the comments page. Slashdot began inserting spaces into any long run of characters to prevent this and so began the evolutionary battle between Slashcode and the page widening trolls. Newer and more inventive ways of causing page widening were discovered, with the use of blockquote tags and the "." character to cause extreme widening on Internet Explorer. These methods were also eventually closed off by the Slashdot editors. Improvements in browser software have also closed many of the loopholes used to widen pages.


Offensive trolls


Trolls in this category are those intended to be offensive, or those which take the reader to potentially offensive sites. A popular technique amongst Slashdot trolls is to post links to "shock sites" in order to annoy and offend other readers by tricking them into following the links. This is often accomplished by posting the link under the guise of being another link to the article or a rebuttal to the article.


A variation on this theme is for a troll to accuse a legitimate link or comment as being a link or reference to a shock site. In some cases this can have the desired effect of a genuinely insightful comment being moderated downward. Another technique is to embed a shock site link in a comment that otherwise appears relevant to the discussion, in the hope that unwitting moderators will mod up the post. The Holy Grail of any link troll is to slip a story submission containing a "shock site" link past the Slashdot editors. This situation occurred in July 2003 and June 2004 when disgruntled webmasters configured their servers to redirect to a shock site when the HTTP referrer was Slashdot.


One particular "shock site" which is overwhelmingly preferred to others is Goatse.cx. This has spawned a large number of other references such as ASCII art of its signature image (hello.jpg) within a square border, and with a derogatory word written inside the anus of the man in the picture. Troll postings often contain an ASCII art representation of some offensive image, often related to shock sites, with a nonsensical or provocative subject line. The 'Penis bird' troll, a crude ASCII representation of a bird perched on an erect penis, is a common variant, derived from the Penis bird image.


As a result of these trolling techniques, the Slashdot team introduced a feature which appends the domain name a link points to immediately behind that link in every comment to make disguising links more difficult. (e.g. "See Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org]") When this was implemented, people used mirrors and CGI redirection scripts run by Yahoo!, Slashdot or other servers to circumvent this measure.


Examples of shock sites include:

* Goat.cx - http://goat.cx/ [goat.cx] ('Goatse.cx')
* Penis bird - http://smoke.rotten.com/bird/ [rotten.com] - Original image from Rotten.com
* Tubgirl - http://www.redcoat.net/pics/tubgirl.jpg [redcoat.net] or http://www.tubgirl.com/ [tubgirl.com]


Homosexuality and racism


Homosexuality is one of the most versatile and popular trolling devices used. In its simplest form it may be used on its own in the form of a homophobic insult or as a feature of a pornographic troll featuring common Slashdot topics and celebrities. Goatse.cx (see above "shock site" section) also takes advantage of homophobia. Racism is another ploy, sometimes used for effect in conjunction with homosexuality which usually causes offense to individuals unfamiliar with it. At its crudest it simply takes the form of repeated racial insults. The Gay Nigger Association of America (GNAA) is an internet trolling organization commonly seen in Slashdot threads that uses this type of trolling device.


Anti-semitism


Anti-semitism, and Nazism in particular, is now considered highly offensive across the modern world, a fact exploited by some Slashdot trolls intent on causing maximum offense to the reader. The most basic anti-semitic trolls usually involve posting pro-Nazi statements such as "Heil Hitler", sometimes accompanied by a crude ASCII-art swastika, and are usually very promptly moderated down as Flamebait.


Less blatant trolls might involve anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, in the spirit of such conspiracy theories rampant during the late 19th and early 20th century.


In a somewhat related vein, trolls often inhabit science or technology stories concerning Israel, dropping into the discussion otherwise completely unrelated posts on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Given the nature and sensitivity of this subject, these comments are usually successful in their aim of igniting a flame war.


Nationalistic insults


One recurrent topic of discussion on Slashdot is the cultural quarrel between the United States and Europe. As an example, someone portraying themself as an American may run a joke on France, or may accuse Europeans of being "weenies" or not supporting democracy and civil rights. Someone portraying themself as a European may accuse Americans of lacking culture, or of being warmongers or "cowboys".


A similar subtopic includes banter about the differences between the United States and Canada. Usually an article about some perceived problem in the U.S. will elicit a claim of superiority from someone portraying themselves as Canadian. Often, to fan the flames, the American rebuttal will degenerate into Blame Canada.


The effect of such trolls is compounded by the immaturity and lack of political culture of many participants on both sides, who comment on foreign events they scarcely know about according to clichés seen in the mass media.


Deceptive trolls


Often, trolls are created with the purpose of tricking the reader into viewing offensive or misleading information, or to deceive them in some way.


Karma Whores


Karma is a scoring system on Slashdot meant to reward "good" posting and punish "bad" posting. The goal is that people who repeatedly post offensive, offtopic, or otherwise unwanted messages will be punished with a lower visibility of their messages, and those who post informative, insightful, or otherwise desirable messages are rewarded with a higher visibility. Karma whores are individuals, or messages themselves, that attempt to receive feedback in the form of karma points. Often these will be needless information (such as a link to a Wikipedia article relevant to the subject being discussed), or a message of a political nature that is in alignment with the groupthink so that it will be moderated upwards by people who agree with the stance expressed in the message.


Comment Plagiarism


An underappreciated technique that can waste a lot of karma points. The troll will search for a highly moderated post a few pages down from the beginning of the discussion, reword it slightly, and re-post it as a reply to an earlier comment. This troll relies on the readers' ignorance to game the moderation system. These posts usually recieve a lot of positive feedback in the beginning, and draw negative attention once the added visibility exposes the plagiarism. Normal discussions can crop up, from benign responses to the ripped-off comments. These replies create a multiplier to the overall karma waste, as moderators compete to raise and lower the visibility of the comments(insightful replies recieve positive feedback, though responses to trolls are typically moderated downward, to sink an entire tainted thread below the normal visible threshold)


Article text alteration trolls


Considered by many to be an effective satire of those who post comments consisting of a linked article's text (most often in case of the Slashdot effect) for positive moderation (see Karma whores), these are arguably some of the most creative and entertaining found on Slashdot. These trolls consist of the linked article's text, copied into a comment, usually accompanied by a subject line indicating that the site has been slashdotted. One or more words, phrases, or paragraphs are covertly inserted or modified to form a subversive or offensive message not present in the original article. These can be in the form of film or book spoilers, or words changed to produce sexual innuendoes, amongst other things. Often moderators will 'mod-up' the comment based solely on its title and the overall appearance of the text, assuming that the comment is helpfully providing the verbatim text of the unavailable site. Comments that have been repeatedly modded-up become more visible and carry an air of validity. Troll comments that fool more moderators therefore trick more readers.


When other users spot the troll, many of them respond with comments warning other users of the deception and asking moderators to decrease the troll's visibility. The most concise posts are empty with the emphatic subject line: "TROLL - MOD PARENT DOWN". Other users go further by pointing out each instance where the troll post differs from the original article. This phenomenon has trolls of its own, wherein a response will describe extra changes that are not present in the original troll post. This "troll-on-troll" phenomenon further increases confusion. Still more confusion is introduced when trolls respond to "Mod Parent Down" comments with rebuttals claiming that the original troll was a legitimate copy of the article, and that it is instead the accusers who are the trolls. Depending on the subtlety and believability of the changes, readers may remain confused until the site with the original article becomes available again. Unfortunately, because of the nature of the Slashdot effect, the original article may not become available again until most readers have lost interest and moved on.


"Mod Parent Down" posts are sometimes seen as comments on legitimate posts, presumably as an attempt to disrupt the thread. Examples of this type of troll: An example of the kind of post that ATTs are satirizing, "gradual as michael easing himself into taco's backside", "Orbital brothels, Delta Clitter", "an operator took my contact info and said I would get a fat cock up the ass soon"


Web vendor referral trolls


Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and some other WWW vendors have a system whereby a user can post links on their (or others) websites, and gain a small commission per person following the link. These trolls post what appear to be discussion, with links to source material, but are really elaborate advertisements. For example: this post.


Signature trolls


Signature trolls are an advanced and effective method of trolling, commonly used in reviews of software. The troll posts an insightful comment, which is moderated up based on its merit. The troll then changes his post signature to include an extra link, usually to a shock site. Comments on Slashdot cannot be edited after posting, but the user's signature text is updated within the comment whenever the user changes it. When the troll changes his signature, the malicious link becomes part of the highly-moderated comment. With careful wording, the signature can seamlessly blend in with the post and trick many readers. Slashdot has an option to put a signature separator consisting of --, but this was not the default until late 2004.


The dynamic signature can cause even more confusion, when the troll changes his signature back to make his accusers appear false. As the accusatory comments receive negative moderation for appearing false, the accusers lose points from their karma score, resulting in another victory for the troll. An example of a signature troll is: this.


Movie spoiler


This is a more subtle troll than most. It consists, for the most part, of a genuinely insightful comment split into several paragraphs, with the middle or penultimate paragraph containing one or more movie spoilers.


300 Dead in Sri Lanka Tsunami


Another red herring similar to the Stephen King is dead troll, this often consists of an announcement that a tsunami has killed over 300 people in Sri Lanka, with a link to an old or unrelated news item. In some cases, the troll chides the community for caring about trivial tech issues over the welfare of tsunami victims in other parts of the world. A successful Sri Lanka tsunami troll will either drive participants to news sites searching for more information, or attract responses from members eager to show witty nonchalance, usually via Nationalistic insults. Example troll on Slashdot.


Idiosyncratic trolls


Trolls that don't fall into the other three categories are idiosyncratic, and their existence is a result of an inside joke related to the workings of Slashdot culture or history or of geek culture itself.


First post


Whenever a new story is posted on Slashdot, comments may be added discussing it and there is often competition between Slashdotters to be the first to post such a comment. Some first posters try to make a short insightful comment to avoid being moderated down. The more immature first posts often consist of a subject saying "first post!" or merely "FP" and have no body. Trolls may also post "first post" messages a ridiculously long time after the original story has been submitted as a parody of the first post. There are many other variants of the first post, usually misspellings to avoid the lameness filter: "Frist psot!". Some troll organizations require prospective members to post a 'First Post' on Slashdot using some pre-specified text, which may explain the persistence of the 'First Post' troll.


Due to the many typos and misspellings made by those attempting to gain such a 'first post', the language has been somewhat transformed. Many 'first post' attempts now say such things as "Frosty Piss", coming from the phrase "frist pist", a common typo when trying to spell out "First Post" in time to actually get one, or in attempt to avoid the lameness filter.


Netcraft confirms it


Quite frequently (especially for BSD-related stories) a comment will be posted providing dubious statistics from Netcraft (a network services vendor and internet research firm) and many links detailing the forthcoming death of the BSD operating systems. With its bogus statistics and inflammatory language the original "*BSD is dying" troll was enormously successful, and was still guaranteed to generate responses years after it first appeared. The troll typically starts with the phrase, "Netcraft confirms is dying", modelled after similar but authentic confirmations revealed by Netcraft in their research. Not surprisingly, many variants of this troll were created: Slashdot/VA Linux/Linux/BeOS/Apple (see examples below) is dying, variants on the original link-laden *BSD troll, and even elaborate poetry and song. None were as successful as the original.


Stephen King is dead


Used simply as an off-topic troll or even a red herring, the American writer, Stephen King, has his very own subculture repeating the myth of his death:


The canonical text of the troll is as follows:


Subject: Netcraft Confirms it ... Stephen King, dead at 54


I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.


This joke has also been used to recognize actual celebrity deaths. The format has also been used outside of Slashdot, usually on other message boards, to announce or memorialize actual deaths.


First Obituary


A variation of the "First Post" and "Stephen King" troll. When a famous celebrity or politician's death reaches the headlines there is often an attempt to make that headline part of the first post.


Hot grits/Natalie Portman


Early in Slashdot's history, an anonymous troll (aka the "hot grits guy") would post a reply to every story with a simple "I have poured hot grits down my pants. Thank you." While he mostly got modded down as a troll, the hot grits guy is really the first recurring troll on Slashdot.


Natalie Portman is a popular target for this troll. When referring to her, they frequently profess their endless love for a "naked and petrified" statue of the actress, preferably covered in hot grits. Other incarnations suggest that Natalie Portman pour hot grits into the trolls' underwear, and vice versa.


Reigniting flamewars


Popular on software and development articles, this troll tries to explain why a particular operating system, programming language or other concept is inferior to others, in a way intended to annoy, intending to start a flamewar. This type of troll will either make an outlandish and obvious claim or subtly use a valid criticism of something in an irritating fashion.


For example:


* "DRM is the future"
* "The K in KDE stands for Krap."
* "Why would I want a desktop with a smelly foot on it?"
* "Linux has below average SMP support."
* "My BSD machines have much better uptimes and stability than my Linux machines."
* "Apple Computer will never sell a computer that uses multi-button mice"
* "Object-oriented programming is difficult to use and doesn't increase productivity."
* "Open source software has poorer levels of QA than proprietary solutions."
* "PHP is a toy language for kids."
* "Python scales up for large projects better than Perl."
* "IPv6 adds too much new overhead to be viable."
* "Perl 6 is a mistake."


These types of post, usually moderated down as flamebait (but often moderated up as Insightful), sometimes cause a flamewar to begin amongst those who reply and thus the troll gets his 'bite' (See You Have Been Trolled et al.).


Minor trolls


The following are either set phrases or formulae for the construction of semicliché phrases posted with the intent of either annoying or amusing other readers. More and more commonly, it is a combination of the two.


* The Get Some PRIORITIES! troll began to appear after the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks. A classic offtopic troll, it employs highly hyperbolic language to criticize the other posters and Slashdot in general for discussing trivialities like new gadgets or changes in U.S. copyright law in the wake of such a horrific event.
* The Think about your breathing troll causes the user to think about their breathing, and it claims to be the most effective troll ever.
* The Think about your parents having hot sweaty sex next time you masturbate troll intends to implant offensive images in the mind of the reader the next time he or she masturbates.
* The Is it good or is it whack? troll: This troll responds to a comment by asking of the comment's subject, "What's [subject] all about? Is it good or is it whack?". In general, this troll aims to suggest wide-eyed naïveté about a well-understood subject. This phrase comes from the popular comic character in the UK and the US, Ali G.
* The I Fail It! / I succeed it! trolls originally came from the computer game Blazing Star in which the game over message read: "You fail it! Your skill is not enough, see you next time, bye-bye".
* The My freelance gig in front of a Mac trolls appear in virtually every discussion about Apple Computer. The troll claims to have witnessed taking 20 minutes to copy a 17 MB file from one folder to another and proceeds to question all Apple users as to their platform choice. It is a straight forward copy-and-paste from a weblog entry by Jason Kottke. It has also led to some very inspired and amusing parodies.
* The I find your ideas intriguing / interesting and wish to subscribe to your newsletter / journal troll is a common sycophantic reply to a post that may or may not have merit. (See this post for an example.) (This is a quote from an episode of The Simpsons.)
* The Stalkers are trolls who fixate on a user and reply to all their posts anonymously usually repeating some sort of an insult.
* Subject line trolls primarily consist of an inflammatory subject line and nothing else, but some have been seen where the comment is valid, but the subject consists simply of GOATSE repeated to the maximum length.
* Chinese Torture of Tibetan Nuns appears occasionally as a reply to a topic with a fairly inane segue to wrench the topic over to the torture of Tibetan nuns by Chinese soldiers. The posting always includes a link to Physicians for Human Rights and their papers on torture of the Tibetan people. The lurid image of a Tibetan nun being raped with a cattle prod is sometimes invoked.
* We Tried Working With... is a cut and paste troll made infamous by anti-slash.org. The troll starts out by telling a story of an employer who evaluates based on an employee recommendation. The troll then goes into how great is, but then goes into how the new thing destroyed their company project - which leads to the dismissal of the employee who suggested the evaluation.


Why are they suing bit torrent users... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13442885)

They're assholes.

Nuf said

Re:Why are they suing bit torrent users... (1, Insightful)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 8 years ago | (#13442945)

They're assholes.

Yes, bit torrent users are assholes. At least the ones who use it to steal movies, music and software. Don't kid yourself, bit torrent would be nothing, practically unknown and probably dead, if it weren't for all that free stuff that you'd normally have to pay for.

Re:Why are they suing bit torrent users... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13443097)

Dude, this is Slashdot.
IIRC the first time someone mentioned BT on /. it was about free porn.
The second time, and the first article, it was about RH ISOs.

So spare us of those theft rants and realize that BT would have been alive and kickin even without copyrighted material.

Re:Why are they suing bit torrent users... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13443246)

BT would have been alive and kickin even without copyrighted material.

BT was just a better replacement for BearShare and Limewire. And we all know what those were primarily used for - music, warez, porn, software, etc. BT was only touted as a newer, better less centralized p2p app with a new approach to the bandwidth problems of other p2p apps of the day.

By the way, porn is copyrighted and pretty much illegal to share as well, it's just a lot harder to track. I worked for a year at a porn .com and know exactly how pissy people like Suze Randall get if you posted their pictures on your site without paying for them.

NB

Why bittorrent users??? (5, Funny)

mobiux (118006) | more than 8 years ago | (#13442889)

Because bittorrent users won't find you and pop a cap in your ass like organized crime sydicates tend to do.

Or, two of my favorite words... (1)

The Wooden Badger (540258) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443288)

Concrete Shoes!

Why? (3, Funny)

jdwest (760759) | more than 8 years ago | (#13442903)

Why are they suing bitorrent users then? Because suing johnusername @ xxx.xxx.xxx.xx has been deemed legal.

BT Users (5, Insightful)

TheStupidOne (872664) | more than 8 years ago | (#13442917)

Why are they after BT users more than the crime syndicates? Because BT users are a far more high-profile target. And BT users don't have the money or clout to get themselves out of trouble. When a BT user is charged, they usually fall on their knees begging for a settlement. When (more like if) the crime syndicates are charged, money talks and suddenly the case "disappears".

It's like asking a bully why he picks on the little guys. He's afraid of messing with kids his own size.

Re:BT Users (5, Insightful)

shark72 (702619) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443057)

I imagine that if I only got my news via /., I'd be under the assumption that movie studios, law enforcement, et. al. target individual sharers exclusively and don't go after the large-scale distributors. Slashdot tends to cover the stories of suing file traders with much more regularity than they cover stories of shutting down DVD factories in China (presumably because Slashdot readers have more empathy for the former), so your confusion is understandable.

The reality is that law enforcement and copyright holders, just like you and me, can indeed walk and chew gum at the same time.

This false assumption is common in all walks of life. If you've ever wondered out loud why the cops aren't out busting the drug dealers and drug smugglers, etc. instead of writing you that ticket for failing to come to a complete stop, the answer is that law enforcement is indeed busting drug dealers and gun smugglers. They are fully capable of doing this, despite the fact that the officer happens to be writing you a ticket at that precise moment.

Re:BT Users (1)

TheStupidOne (872664) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443214)

And that wasn't the point of my comment. Yes, law enforcement is going after the smugglers and organized crime syndicates. But no, the *AAs aren't taking legal action against them. If the RIAA and the MPAA went after the big piracy rings and smuggling outfits with the voracity it sobpoenas little 10-year old Johnny, then I wouldn't have much of a problem.

You can't claim the moral high ground that the *AAs are the big bullies in media if they go after the big yakuzas and mafias as much as the BT Joes.

Re:BT Users (1)

shark72 (702619) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443282)

"Yes, law enforcement is going after the smugglers and organized crime syndicates. But no, the *AAs aren't taking legal action against them. If the RIAA and the MPAA went after the big piracy rings and smuggling outfits with the voracity it sobpoenas little 10-year old Johnny, then I wouldn't have much of a problem."

Ah, thanks for clarifying. I'll see if I can explain it better for the benefit of anybody who hasn't yet sat through some civics classes.

The difference is civil vs. criminal law. The law allows copyright holders to go after the individuals by filing lawsuits. These are civil cases and police organizations aren't involved. If the MPAA tried to call the cops over one guy with $500 worth of movies on their hard drive, they would likely be laughed at.

When copyright infringement gets big -- warez rings and the like -- then it enters the realm of criminal law. Then, it's a job for the police. Likewise, it's not appropriate for MPAA employees to don body armor and storm the factory with guns blazing.

If that isn't clear, maybe an example will help. Let's say you own a retail store. You sell some items to a customer on credit, but you're having a hard time getting them to pay you. It's just for $100 or so, so you take them to court. It's a civil case that can ideally be resolved without the police.

Now, let's say that an armed robber breaks into your store, menaces your employees with a firearm, and makes off with $5,000 in cash. That's a criminal act and it's not appropriate for you to take the law into your own hands. It's time to call the cops and let them do their job. Sure, you could track down the robber, vigilante-style, and take care of things yourself, but this is more rooted in revenge films than in real life.

For what it's worth, busts of organized warez rings often start with a tip-off from a software company. Microsoft has called the cops on numerous system integrators who are preloading systems with pirated software. Microsoft might be the first to learn about the piracy, but they know when to step back and let the police do their job.

movie revenue (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13442918)

I don't like this article. It claims that box office releases are "unprofitable, expensive form of marketing".
The truth is that hollywood has made an art of hiding profits ever since they started signing profit sharing agreements with actors and directors. Sure, a crappy movie isn't going to make a good ROI. But the movie industry generally makes out quite well.

Re:movie revenue (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443069)

That's because they start using the term profit when the profit is at least the cost of the movie.

profit' = profit - production_cost

Re:movie revenue (1)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443263)

Um... So, actual_profit = revenue - production_cost*2?

Is this a weird contractual thing in Hollywood or a misunderstanding of the word "profit?"

Re:movie revenue (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443142)

Movie revenue is way up, but don't ask me why. The average movie from Hollywood is usually the result of some fuckhat exec eating a script (along with lots of fiber and beans), shitting the whole mess out, and then wiping it all over a film reel. It's truly pathetic. I've had more fun fucking a dead pig than I have watching a lot of the garbage they churn out. Maybe when revenue starts dropping, they'll get a clue and start giving us decent movies again. Then again, maybe not. The record industry still hasn't figured it out.

Why sue BitTorrent users? Simple. (4, Insightful)

Quantum Skyline (600872) | more than 8 years ago | (#13442919)

Why are they suing bitorrent users then?

Because it is easier.

Re:Why sue BitTorrent users? Simple. (4, Insightful)

log0n (18224) | more than 8 years ago | (#13442989)

Yep. It's easier to be lazy and look slightly useful than to actually effect change. Office Space said it best.

Just like most things in life. Play the part just enough to have people think you're doing something while really only barely skating by.

Because they can (2, Interesting)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#13442930)

Why are they suing bitorrent users then?

Because they're breaking the law and the MPAA can sue them. It's a good profit revenue (without having to even make new films that might flop) and while it wouldn't be much, it's guranteed and isn't dependant on box office tickets. Some might even say it's their duty to their shareholders to look for go after any legal means that will help raise profit within an acceptable risk level.

If you're going to download and disseminate content that the copyright holder hasn't allowed you to, expect to be persecuted by the law. You're not activists, you're law breakers. If you have a problem with the law, then do something about it. Don't just hide and hope you won't get caught.

Re:Because they can (2, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443187)

without having to even make new films that might flop

I can't help but find it a bit ironic that people might be downloading movies which were in fact box office flops.

"Well, I didn't think it was going to be good enough to see in a theater, but for FREE, well..."

Re:Because they can (2, Insightful)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443271)

You find it difficult to understand that something not worth seeing at $30 is worth seeing at $0? Are you similarly baffled by the appeal of sale prices?

Why are they going after BT users (4, Insightful)

multiplexo (27356) | more than 8 years ago | (#13442938)

1) as stated elsewhere most BT users won't break your knees, crush your nuts in a vise or bust a cap in your ass if you go after them.

2) Since BT users are not prone to violence they're easy targets. It's kind of like the TSA at airports, rather than doing something useful but hard, such as securing the borders or inspecting the millions of containers shipped through our ports every day, each one a potential WMD delivery system, Homeland Security has chosen to do something useless and easy, namely harass people at airports. I'm sure there's some division of the **AAs that has some metric where they are rewarded for the number of pirates they catch, regardless of whether or not those pirates are the Yakuza, Mafia or the Tongs who are making a million copies of Spiderman 2 at a pop or if they're BT users who downloaded a low resolution transfer Dr. Who episode. In large organizations it's often OK to do things that are completely worthless, so long as you look really busy while you're doing them.

Re:Why are they going after BT users (1)

Bamafan77 (565893) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443126)

"In large organizations it's often OK to do things that are completely worthless, so long as you look really busy while you're doing them."
So true. This only happens because people don't take the time to learn what's truly effective vs what's just busy work to make the boss (in this case the American taxpayer)think you're doing something effective. When the boss doesn't know the difference between good and bad, then the business is screwed...unless the boss figures it out before it's too late.

Re:Why are they going after BT users (4, Informative)

shark72 (702619) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443147)

"as stated elsewhere most BT users won't break your knees, crush your nuts in a vise or bust a cap in your ass if you go after them."

And neither will the warez groups and the Chinese DVD factory owners and the guys with the contacts at the studio who get the screeners. There's a HUGE reading comprehension issue here, folks -- you're reading "organized crime" and I guess you're thinking of the Italian-American mafia or something. You're smarter than that. You should understand that "organized crime" means just that: more than one person working in cooperation. RTFA if you'd like to learn more. I can't believe this post was modded "insightful."

Regardless of this, the feds bust warez groups, bootleg DVD operations and other organized piracy schemes

ALL
THE
TIME.

Here's an example [pcworld.com] , and another one [usdoj.gov] , and another one [smh.com.au] , and another one [sfgate.com] .

It took me all of like two minutes with Google to find these.

going after end users (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 8 years ago | (#13442941)

i think the trend in going after end users is obvious - they can't defend themselfs. why take on a well funded mafia family or crime syndicate who can actually go to court and put up a fight, potentially costing you money when you can bully some poor slob who earns $40k pa and can bearly payt he rent, let alone fight a legal battle.

Because (5, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#13442967)

Why are they suing bitorrent users then?
Because movie piracy is still illegal?

Five years ago when Napster was getting sued, everyone on Slashdot--editors included--rallied behind the idea that they should lay off the companies providing the apps and going after the individual infringers, because that was fair and logical. I think nobody expected they'd actually do that. And now they are, and so the rallying cry has changed.

Re:Because (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#13442995)

going after the individual infringers

Meant to say "go" after the individual infringers.

Re:Because (1)

Slash0 (747027) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443265)

You're completely off base here. The equivalent of suing Napster then would be suing Bram Cohen now, which isn't happening. (Yet.) Instead of suing bittorrent users, the **AA should be focusing its efforts on the warez groups, and more importantly, suppliers.

Re:Because (1)

Creedo (548980) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443284)

And now they are, and so the rallying cry has changed.
It has? Where is my copy of the memo?
Frankly, this is exactly what they should be doing. I said it then, and I'm saying it now.

Re:Because (1)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443307)

Five years ago when Napster was getting sued, everyone on Slashdot--editors included--rallied behind the idea that they should lay off the companies providing the apps and going after the individual infringers, because that was fair and logical.

Fair and logical, yes, but a jerky thing to do anyway.

Bruce Sterling had a great idea in his novel (5, Interesting)

multiplexo (27356) | more than 8 years ago | (#13442970)

Distraction where the Chinese bankrupt the US economy by making all of America's IP, movies, songs, TV shows, etc, freely available on their networks for everyone to download. The resulting loss of revenue for the media conglomerates wipes them all out and causes the US economy to tank. You have to wonder how effective this could be if some government or NGO (crime syndicates qualify as NGOs) actually decided to do this to the US.

Re:Bruce Sterling had a great idea in his novel (0, Troll)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443088)

crime syndicates qualify as NGOs

Right, because crime syndicates occupy themselves so much with single-issue lobbying to national and international governmental bodies.

Re:Bruce Sterling had a great idea in his novel (3, Funny)

TheLoneDanger (611268) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443273)

"All posts marked "Funny" will be mod'ed or metamod'ed down."

Oh, poetic justice is going to be such a wonderful bitch...

Re:Bruce Sterling had a great idea in his novel (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443221)

Right. Media companies make up less than 1% of the GDP of the US and yet you think the US economy would tank if we got rid of them?

Re:Bruce Sterling had a great idea in his novel (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13443222)

Well, according to the US economic census [census.gov] the total revenue of all sorts of entertainment and recreation was about $142 billion. That includes live performing arts, bowling alleys, and a lot of other stuff you can't put on a website for download.

The total economy was over $18 trillion in 2002, so arts and entertainment represent about 0.7% of the total US economy in this census. I'd say the effectiveness of the tactic would be about nil.

The only smaller categories in the census were management companies (mutual funds and the like) and educational services (Princeton SAT prep, commercial trade schools like DeVry, corporate training outfits). Categories taking in over a trillion dollars include construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, finanace & insurance, and health care & social assistence. Hollywood is barely on the financial radar.

Suing BT Users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13442974)

Because many BT users live in the US, compared to organized crime producing movies in Hong Kong, for example.

Why BT Users? (1, Troll)

Microlith (54737) | more than 8 years ago | (#13442981)

Because it's a civil matter and they're dealing with people who are violating their copyright.

They may not be making money from it, but that doesn't give them a free pass to ignore copyright.

Re:Why BT Users? (2, Interesting)

flubbergust (818863) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443241)

So its far more worse to violate copyright than to break the law now?

I say, go after the big fish and let the small fish go. It would be more worth it to get rid of the big ones instead of the small ones. 1 out of 3 CD's sold is a copy (IFPI's numbers. not mine). When you sell CD's for billions of dollars every year you lose billions of dollars too thanks to the all the counterfeit CD's sold but yet the record companies only sue the small fish and make absolutely no way near what they could make by getting rid of the big fishes. Sometimes the raid a factory or two but its not at the level like how they are pursuing kazaa users. Why?

My theory (like you thought you wouldn't have to listen to that huh?) is that the movie companies and the record companies are all behind this scheme because that way they get to keep all the money and don't have to pay a cent to their, IMHO already overpaid, artists. Its all about money. You can argue how much you like about other reasons but when in the end, its all about the money and don't try to make it out like RIAA is only in it for the good of the people because that is complete bull. They are in it for the money and nothing else.

Because it would be hard... (3, Interesting)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443001)

[if the "black cloud" over movie piracy is organized crime] Why are [groups like the MPAA] suing bitorrent users then?

Because it would be hard to sue themselves. B-)

Seriously: Whether they're CURRENTLY organized crime or not, the movie industry was built on systematic for-profit violation of IP law (Edison's patents for starters) while the recorded music distribution industry was controlled by organized crime for the bulk of its formative years.

Expect their business methods to run more toward extortion than persuasion.

With the help of the number one extortion racket in town: the federal government. (The Hurtz of extortion - though the Mafia DOES try harder...)

Re:Because it would be hard... (2, Informative)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443101)

Actually the movie industry as we know it came out to Hollywood, CA, US because they wanted to distance themselves from Edison's Patents Trust and their hired goons. Ergo, Metro Goldwyn Mayer, Paramount, United Artists, 20th Century Fox...all founded by "pirates" who didn't want to pay their tithe to the Edison Patents Trust.

Que ironico: Edison's audio recordings wound up in the public domain and are downloadable via http://www.archive.org/ [archive.org] , along with other music and movies which have entered the public domain.

One should take note of the age of most of the public domain documents in the Internet Archive...except for those who specifically give their works a Creative Commons license, the gusher gives out during the '20s. There is a trickle up until 1976, when the US passed the Copyright Act and ratified the Berne Convention. Thanks, Sonny Bono.

RE: Bitorrent User group (1)

Siddly (675342) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443006)

Simply, the organised groups are too slippery for them and they don't have access to the guys who buy one DVD and make many copies to give to friends and family. It's almost like speed cameras, speeding motorists present themselves, most armed robbers do not.

Goodbye, Karma. (4, Interesting)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443011)

I hate the guys as much as anybody, but the reason bittorrent users aren't as big a problem as the one they're worried about is because suing people works as a deterrent. It's not 100% successful, or even close, but if there was absolutely no risk in downloading the stuff, way more people would do it.

The odds aren't good that they'll sue you, and tons of people would gladly take that bet, but then there's people that buy lottery tickets every week because there's a chance they'll win. Those people are deterred, and the movie guys know that.

apostrophe s (1)

sloths (909607) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443016)

distributing them globally on the Internet or on bootleg DVD's. whos is it???

Re:apostrophe s (1)

Sam Ritchie (842532) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443120)

I believe there's enough debate over this to make it a style issue, rather than a grammar issue.

Why? (1)

Selfbain (624722) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443018)

It's easier.

Why BT? (4, Interesting)

FireFlie (850716) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443022)

"Why are they suing bitorrent users then?"

I think you would be hard pressed to come up with a reasonable answer. It is often easier to catch someone using the net to download warez because there is a trail to follow. Most organized pirates are located in some other country (often asia) and from what I understand because of their copyright laws (or for some other god forsaken reason) it is difficult to shut them down and prosecute them.

It sounds defeatest, and there has to be a good answer but look at it logically: You shut down an illegal internet distributer working through ebay or some other means, that one dissapears and two more take it's place. Same with vendors. Go through any major city. Especially if you can find a china town. There will be a table on every block with obviously copied merchandise. Shut it down. Make an arrest or deport if possible. Another will be on the next block very very soon.

Joe average downloading at his computer, leaving a trail is simply an easy target. It looks like a lot of the time these days rather than taking out the sources (a lot of work) they are trying to use law suits to scare your average individuals away from downloading or buying copied media.

Is this the answer? Obviously not. Do I have a better one? Not really. The problem is a way of really attacking the people who are making a big profit off of privacy. Is the person who downloads a cd or movie off of bittorent going to buy it? Perhaps not, but if they are like many people I know, they want to try for free before they buy (but often plan on buying anyway). Now, do you think the guy that is buying the bootleg of Rush Hour 2 (off of ebay or ny street corner, take your pick) is going to ever buy the real deal? Shit no. He just spent money on it; why would he shell out more on the real thing just to have a second copy? He's going to add it to the rack, and not think about who recieves money in the end. Computers have kept theives one step ahead of the lay, and it is going to be seriously difficult to change that. Do I think that makes it right? No, but I do think that the 15 year old in Deleware is committing a much smaller crime than the guy in china pumping out hundreds of bootlegs for sale. Just my humble opinion.

I'm tired, I hope any of that was clear.

bugger.. (1, Funny)

jefferson_uk (790271) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443037)

..and theres me getting all excited, thinking there's an early rip of King Kong out.

Back to the monkey pr0n in the mean time...

All Hail the Flying Spaghetti Monster (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13443038)

Have you been touched by His Noodly Appendage?
http://www.venganza.org/ [venganza.org]

Why are they suing bit torrent users... (1)

1ucius (697592) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443047)

Sigh. . . trying to stop organized crime and bittorrent users are not mutually exclusive acts.

Inflated Losses vs. the Geek Factor (3, Interesting)

shugdoo (850013) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443052)

It slays me when I see the MPAA/RIAA whip out these astronomical figures they claim to be lost sales while mentioning file sharing in the same breath. Most downloaders out there grabbing their Telesyncs and CAMS of the latest Hollywood drivel while they are still in first run are doing so for the geek factor of having something first before their friends do. I don't think the suits have grasped this. The real fans have and will continue to purchase the DVD's and albums as always. The monied gangs with their industry-grade equip are the real bottom line affectors, I visited my brother in Shanghai a while back and every last DVD in the neighborhood video stores is an unauthorized copy. The subtitles and the packaging are hilarious, however. -Note to clueless execs: Make a good product. Sell at a fair price. Pursue the gangs and quit suing (alienating) your customer base. Profit!

Caught by the suits: 20 yards and loss of down (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443229)

If it's all a game, does the chance of getting sued make it more exciting? I mean, DwnLdrD00d may have more movies than you, but he wasn't careful and got busted, so you win!

Right?

(Personally, I always figured that $20 to own a copy of a movie that cost $100m to make, and the right to see it any time I wanted, was a pretty good deal.)

Re:Caught by the suits: 20 yards and loss of down (1)

Nivoset (607957) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443287)

20$ is worth it for me for most dvd's i have downloaded some, but more cause im worried the movie will be compleet arse and not worth 5c

cd's on the other hand... i still dont think there worth 15$ or whatever they are now.

Just a guess (0, Redundant)

AaronStJ (182845) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443053)

"There is a very dark, black cloud in this game. It's not in the hands of kids who live next door to you; it's organized groups and organized crime." Why are they suing bitorrent users then?
Umm... is it because bitorrent users don't arrange to have you killed?

Re:Just a guess (2, Interesting)

shark72 (702619) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443176)

"Umm... is it because bitorrent users don't arrange to have you killed?"

Why do you say that? Most of the people I've met who are members of warez groups tend to be more of the 90 lb. weakling type; the sort who'd be afraid to even touch a gun, let alone arrange to have someone killed.

Likewise, most of the Chinese factory owners I've met are small, quiet men whom I could easily take in a fistfight. Granted, these are folks who run legit factories, but I can't imagine that the guys running off DVD copies of screeners are that much more intimidating.

If your experience is otherwise, I'd be interested in hearing about it.

King Kong VS Movie Pirates? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13443061)

My money's on Kong.

Why sue BitT users? (2, Interesting)

dauthur (828910) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443076)

For the same reason Ontario law makers passed a ban on pit bulls. Because it's easier to ban and arrest everyone than to restrict, research and enforce.

Bittorrent users being sued to death are like the pit bull owners, in that the government finds it easier to just rid the world of them, rather than fight the problem at the source. Pit bulls aren't naturally violent, they're trained as such. Bittorrent users aren't necessarily downloading because they want to revolt, they're downloading because a $50usd Limited Edition box set of Excel Saga DVD's is outrageously expensive, and it's easier to click than manifest $50usd.

If the war were really about the pirates, then any P2P would be shut down instantly, regardless of their EULA that explains "For educational use, and any copyrighted material shared is not the problem of said program". Soulseek, eMule, Napster/Grokster/Morpheus/Kazaa, WinMX (Is that still around?), anything else, really. The problem is, is I remember at one point (Can't locate) a Slashdot article about a 62kb homebrew P2P that took only around an hour. With P2P sharing programs being that incredibly easy to write, it's impossible to completely end pirating. It's going to happen no matter what. Counterfeit money, blank cassette tapes, blank VHS, MP3 and so on... it's an endless cycle of forging a copy. It will go on forever, and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

I don't even know where I was going with this.

Re:Why sue BitT users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13443137)

"I don't even know where I was going with this"

I think you were gonna go download some warez, and then take your pitbull out for a walk.

Why Not Sue Bittorrent Users? (1)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443085)

I know this won't be a popular line, but why not sue Bittorrent users?

They're doing the copyright infringement, and the nature of Bittorrent means that they're also providing file data to other users.

And to make it even more tempting to go after them - Bittorrent isn't in any way anonymous. IP addresses are easily found, and these can be traced back to ISPs.

There may be other targets they could use, but the message that sharing copyrighted files over P2P can result in you being sued should be a strong deterrant.

I think they're small targets, but they are valid targets.

Re:Why Not Sue Bittorrent Users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13443141)

because bittorrent can be used for other things than music and movies ie latest version of kill bill slax, or is that using a copyrighted name, hmmm....

Such in depth reporting... (1)

tacarat (696339) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443093)

... I wish they mentioned that the "dvd crackers" they refer to had all their hard work completed years ago. I wish they mentioned some of the best pirated videos used to be the Academy screeners from insiders (since arrested, not sure if there's been a new leaker since). I am glad they mentioned the physical counterfeiters as that tends to be overlooked in favor of the sexier (RIAA funded? Nah) filesharing pirate stories.

Final wish: Somebody influential in the media would cover the arbitrary monopolies created by DVD region coding, how little it affects actual piracy and only serves to increase the dvd prices and limit the availablity of dvd titles to law abiding citizens.

Well, get em young (1)

zenst (558964) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443095)

As with most things they like to get them as young as possib;e, like McDonalds and torrents and p2p are rpetty close to ground zero for the movie companies, albeit the real ground zero is actualy private ftp and irc servers and the like. Still it plicates them.

What next well can see you next Happy Meal having big dont pirate stickers on the side :).

What did Happen? (1)

Saiyaman (859809) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443102)

HOLLYWOOD veterans say they are well aware of the momentous changes afoot. "Our industry is trying very hard to make sure that what happened to the music industry doesn't happen to our industry," said Barry M. Meyer, chairman of Warner Brothers, which was one of the first studios to mount a serious antipiracy campaign. "We don't want this to become mainstream behavior." What happened to the music industry? I don't see anything wrong with it. OH NO, A FEW KIDS DOWNLOADED CDS. WE HAVE NO MONEY NOW! In fact, a few bands have come to embrace the fact that when people download a song, they can still buy the CD. Look on Myspace and you will find tons of big bands that offer music downloads. How many of us haven't downloaded something only to find you loved it and then went to buy the CD/DVD? I know I have. If I were to download a movie, it would be because its not out on DVD yet and I wanted to see it again after seeing it in the theaters. (Its not worth downloading 4GB to get a movie if I don't know that I like it).

Mob Rules (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443105)

They sue BitTorrent users because those users are the competition to the organized crime to which Jackson refers. The studios have been paying off the mob every step of the way since before they all moved from NYC to Hollywood. That partnership includes going after the mob's competition, including the BT users. Of course it doesn't include going after the mob, which is a cost of doing Hollywood business.

People might say that BT users are pretty organized, with that global Internet and instant group collaboration, but without a Boss to pay off to meet the numbers, it's not organized enough for Hollywood. It's just a loose cannon.

OK, so those are the facts of (movie) life. Here's an even more interesting question: why does the FBI go after BT users, but not after the mob? After that 80-year-old "child actor" in the MPAA was found to be the source of most bootleg DVDs (courtesy of Oscar), how come we didn't hear about the mob he fed getting frogmarched off some kind of plank? Instead we get BT raids around the world, the FBI orchestrating foreign cops like the Keystone in a global arch. I bet The Shadow knows.

Re:Mob Rules (1)

shark72 (702619) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443243)

"After that 80-year-old "child actor" in the MPAA was found to be the source of most bootleg DVDs (courtesy of Oscar), how come we didn't hear about the mob he fed getting frogmarched off some kind of plank?"

Because people are either reading too quickly, or have another reading comprehension issue. They're reading "organized crime" and must be thinking of the Italian mafia or something. The fellow to which you're referring is Carmine Caridi, and he was indeed busted by the FBI [usdoj.gov] . He gave his screeners to one guy. That's a total of two guys, and that is the type of "organized crime" to which the article refers... not the Italian mafia. "Organized crime" is a very broad term, but this fact seems to have been lost on most people who've read the article.

Generally speaking, individual BT users are typically sued by the copyright holders. When it's the warez rings, then it's the job of the feds.

There are plentiful examples of the feds making busts of organized warez groups... Google is your friend.

Re:Mob Rules (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443299)

I'm impressed that Caridi's partner was singlehandedly responsible for most of the DVD bootlegging in the world. No, actually, I just don't believe it. He might have transferred lots of screeners to DVD, but #1 distribution requires a mob. Not just for the labor, but because the mob controls access to the stores and street peddlers where the dollars start to flow back. I've been buying bootlegs (concert CDs and vinyl) for decades here in NYC, and it's totally obvious that the mob is integral to the action.

So the FBI got the guy making the masters, but no one else. That's the kind of damage control that the mob, whether Italian, Greek, Jewish, Black, Saudi, Mexican, or whatever, pays their lawyers for. Money that they get from Hollywood and elsewhere, to make sure the damage stays within the bizplan.

The busts of organized warez groups, which represent so much less cost to copyright owners than mobs like Caridi's, is just more proof that busting the mob isn't a priority at the FBI.

Piracy protection (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13443117)

TFA failed to mention the strongest safeguard against piracy incorporated into the re-release of King Kong: The constant, talentless presence of Jack Black. Put him in every new movie, and nobody would want a bootleg copy.

Of course, it would also kill the theatrical releases, but no plan is perfect.

I read the article, and it said... (0)

Perryman (882190) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443153)

Blah blah blah blah blah.......

Come on guys... (4, Funny)

chriswaclawik (859112) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443164)

This wouldn't even be a real contest. I'm betting 5 to 1 on kong, in three rounds.

It's not "just like shoplifting" (3, Insightful)

DaveRobb (139653) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443171)

"I always thought that piracy connotes something glamorous," Mr. Meyer said. "Let's call it what it is: theft. I think it's just like shoplifting."

Bollocks. If I were to take something from a shop, then the shop can't sell it to someone else, and thus can be said to have lost not only revenue but also an asset.

If I were to copy a movie from the Net, then you might at a stretch argue that I've deprived the studio of revenue (although I still pay to go and watch movies which are good - if I download one and it sucks, I don't pay to go and see it), but I think it's pushing it to say that I've stolen an asset. It still exists, right where it was. The movie studio doesn't have anything less than they did when we started.

Revenues from movies are dropping because the studios are rarely coming out with anything original. Stop making dull sequels, or remakes of 60s TV shows, and perhaps we'll see movie revenue return - but likely not at the cinema, as the article says; people are now commonly watching movies on their home cinema system.

Re:It's not "just like shoplifting" (1)

Nivoset (607957) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443301)

make themselves a networked thing ov "preview movies" they come to set top box the day it comes out! ready for people to watch! service costing 40$ to 60$ a month would be worth it for someone with a nice setup.

Re:It's not "just like shoplifting" (0, Troll)

shark72 (702619) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443318)

"Bollocks. If I were to take something from a shop, then the shop can't sell it to someone else, and thus can be said to have lost not only revenue but also an asset."

Okay, now do the one about "it's not piracy unless you're on a boat and have an eye patch."

"Identity theft," "theft of service," "stealing your thunder," "stolen kisses," et cetera: the imprecise nature of the English language must drive many Slashdotters up the wall. For the benefit of those same folks, I should explain that "up the wall" is a figure of speech and should not be interpreted literally.

Interesting numbers.. (4, Insightful)

tmasky (862064) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443178)

From TFA:
Hollywood reported global revenue of $84 billion in 2004, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm. With most theatrical releases amounting to little more than an unprofitable, expensive form of marketing, DVD's have become Hollywood's lifeblood: together with videos, they kick in $55.6 billion, or about two-thirds of the industry's annual haul, with box-office receipts making up most of the rest.

From that paragraph, isn't it clear that accessibility ("freedom" to an extent?) is what people want. People want to be able to get access to a movie when they want to and watch it in whatever way they feel like.

The whole system is broken, because it's old and redundant. Money is spent exorbitantly in all the wrong places and, quite simply, isn't obeying simple rules of economics. You want to push your product out as much as possible at a price that people are prepared to pay.

The only saving grace is that this antiquated system is doomed. I, for one, welcome the new era of "Pro-Ams" and the demise of DRM.

Why sue BT users? (1)

petard (117521) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443192)

It's a messaging thing, pure and simple. From the copyright owner's perspective, if you're willing to sue even the most minor violators, the major violators have more to fear from you. So since you can find and harm the minor violators, imagine what the real pirates have to fear.

If you see it in the context of sending a signal to the major violators, it's easier to understand, IMO.

"Why are they suing bitorrent users then?" (1)

xtal (49134) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443219)

Because geeky bittorrent users aren't as likely to have your family members drawn and quartered?

Coming soon to a Sopranos episode near you.

Exactly What Everyone Says (2, Insightful)

Jekler (626699) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443220)

It's easy. If two gun-wielding burglars bust in my door and tell me if I open my fool mouth they're gonna bust all kinds of chaos on my ass... then the next morning I see the paperboy stealing CDs out of my car, I'd be all like "Hey! Paperboy! What the heck do you think you're doing?"

Someone might ask "Why did you turn in the paperboy and not those two beefy guys?" and I'd be like "Err... I could've, you know, taken them, but umm... that was like my favorite CD Jimmy was touching. I mean, I've got renter's insurance anyway so I can replace my flatscreen, and my life savings was just cash anyway. I mean money would eventually rot away. But that kid was trying to take my original digital remastered recopy of Zeppelin and I just don't let anyone touch that!"

Huge Shift + Great News (hopefully) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13443227)

They like the idea of home viewing, LOL, beyond the best news I could imagine. I'm giddy...

How to plug and can it be done so as not to exclude ie. Star Trek: New Voyages (maybe even promote to the extent where the makers, the fans and studio's may be interested).

Does this mean, talent may someday trump promotion? that studio's may have alternatives to the big investment and the big risk for new directors and actors? does this mean that aspiring directors, writers, and actors will have easier access and notoriety to the apex of the major studio's? does this model place the big studio's at risk?

co-c4 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13443230)

If you 4Nswered

just more propaganda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13443238)

Heya studios, ever thought of just lowering your prices & improving the product? No? You'd rather go on blaming others, eh? Fiqures.

The actual truth is file sharing is not, never was, nor will be as big a problem as your own abusive and incompetent management. Ironically, it's your own greed that's cost you the most. Theatre and DVD prices are clearly excessive. You've simply priced yourselves right out of most of the market and consumers simply resent being cheated.

What about rent and copy? (1)

thedarb (181754) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443255)

I would think people renting and copying would be the biggest threat. Rent it, copy it and add it to your collection, return the rental. Then there is checking things out from the library and copying them. Wouldn't these actions be the ones that directly hinder sales more than other forms of piracy?

"The Scene" film? (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443280)

The usually obscure computer groups engaged in piracy have even spawned a cult film - available only online, of course - called "The Scene," with leading characters named Teflon, Trooper and Slipknot. Anyone have a bittorrent link to this film? Is it any good, or is it poorly-made crap full of inside jokes, like I suspect it is?

Re:"The Scene" film? - (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13443319)

welcometothescene.com - watch but dont take it to be accurate.

Crime and Punishment, Hollywood Style (2, Insightful)

Sundroid (777083) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443281)

Over at Yahoo, they are offering a $5/month unlimited music download deal, so some people have come to a rather astute conclusion that illegal music downloaders owe RIAA no more than $5 a month.

In this fine New York Times article, it is revealed that Hollywood's real enemies are organized criminals who are able to spend up to a million dollars to buy DVD duplication machines in order to mass produce those pirated DVDs. Many Hollywood people, unlike the clueless RIAA crowd, know that college kids in their dorms downloading movies on BitTorrent are NOT their enemies, but there is an impatient bunch who are eager to put them in the same category as those career criminals.

Downloading movies is not the same as downloading music -- whereas somebody could download thousands of songs, but it is technically much more difficult to download "thousands" of movies. I know some college kids have time to kill, but come on, not that much time. Now let's do some calculation. Let's say some guy downloads movies illegally every day and gets caught by the "Download Police", what should his punishment be? I say he owes Hollywood no more than $17.99 a month for the duration of his "criminal downloading career", because that's how much Netflix charges per month for unlimited DVD movie rentals.

Maybe a little more research is in order... (1)

sd_diamond (839492) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443286)

My favorite quote:

For this they rely on techies known as "rippers" or "crackers" who are adept at unscrambling the security codes that studios have embedded on DVD's to deter copycats.

For values of "adept" == "know how to click the 'backup' button on DVD Shrink"

Did somebody say Pirates? (1)

ear1grey (697747) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443293)

It might be worth checking to see if global warming has slowed, because all these salty-seadog pirates may be having a positive effect:

  1. Talk of a resurgence in piracy - check
    Pastafarians dress like pirates
  2. A mysterious black cloud - check
    The Flying Spaghetti Monster would appear like a mysterious black cloud to a short sighted (or week minded) movie mogul.

Someone had better check whether movie piracy is worse on Fridays (a religious holiday for Church of the FSM followers).

What If the movie is crappy? (1, Interesting)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443322)

I'm not a US citizen, so I have a couple of questions about this stuff.
So, organizations like MPAA enforce the "nocopy" rules on digital content, but what about quality assurance? If you've bought a movie and it turned out to be crappy, can you go back to store and get a 100% money back? Or if I downloaded a movie from the internet and it was crap, why should I pay for it? Will they give you a 100% money back in the movie theatre, if you didn't like what you see?
If not, don't you think this is unfair?

Because the crooks have the lawyers (1)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 8 years ago | (#13443327)

"There is a very dark, black cloud in this game. It's not in the hands of kids who live next door to you; it's organized groups and organized crime." Why are they suing bitorrent users then?

Because the organized groups of criminals are the Hollywood moguls and they have the lawyers.

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