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Paramount Sues Ohio Man For $100,000

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the one-guy-one-movie-drop-the-bomb dept.

Wireless Networking 724

ematic writes "A hapless tech-novice finds himself in a US$100,000 lawsuit with Paramount Pictures for allegedly uploading the movie, Coach Carter, to eDonkey. Paramount had the police seize his four computers, but nothing was found. The tech-novice maintains his innocence, and contends that he is a victim of a drive-by upload. According to the ChannelCincinnati story, the victim 'is either a slick film pirate or an unwitting victim of someone who fits that description.'"

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724 comments

Tech Novice? (4, Insightful)

BigZaphod (12942) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254011)

A tech novice with 4 computers? That seems sort of unlikely. I'm not saying he's guilty, but the facts just don't seem to mesh with the description there.

Re:Tech Novice? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14254018)

A tech novice with 4 computers?

Er... someone just broke in and left them here. What are those things anyway? I thought they were modern art.

Some people just waste money (5, Insightful)

michaeltoe (651785) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254032)

If he keeps a lot of old machines around it's not that unreasonable.

Piece of cake ... (4, Insightful)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254200)

Sniff for IP addresses active during business hours, but essentially are unavailabe after hours .

Then figure out that persons MAC address, and spoof it with MAC change on ur router/firewall .

Upload ur movie, reset, adios .

Odds are it isn't even that brilliant, the guy with the router prolly picked a MAC address
assigned to a NIC type that he does not even own, as the list is published .

He prolly picked the last few hex digits at random .

Alot of dorm ppl are doing this to ppl that have their computers direct connected ,
and the Uni is too cheap to replace the hubs at the edge of the network .

So they don't get fried for doing p2p over their dorm connect .

If they had managed switches at the edge of their network they could stop this behaviour .

Not all Uni's have switches at the edge of their network yet, ones where sports is
more important often neglect the tech/sci to spend multiple millions on chasing sewn
together animal skin, aka baseball, volleyball, football, basketball .

Stadiums and Arenas that could house all the US homeless 10 times over are left empty
more days than they are full, pathetic .

We wonder why other parts of the world are starting to pass us by .... priorities...

Rome...Bread and Circuses...

Ex-MislTech

Re:Some people just waste money (4, Insightful)

cottcd (615219) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254220)

...or maybe he is like my mom. She doesn't waste money but just won't get rid of her old machines, dating back to the first one she bought ten years ago. She's as far from a techie as one can get but has at least three at home.

Re:Tech Novice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14254053)

Apparently buying computers makes you an expert?

Motive? (5, Insightful)

yog (19073) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254068)

The news article is short on facts. So, what's this guy's motivation for uploading a movie to the internet? Did they even establish that he possesses the movie or a copy of it? Did he admit to such possession? What about his computer that was supposedly "cleaned"--what makes them think so, and how can they prove it? And, one might ask, how can they establish that this alleged uploading cost them $100,000.

There are a lot of unanswered questions here. This is typical of the big media companies now, just like the Mafia: shake down the little people and get the word out that you should toe the line and pay your protection money, or we'll get you.

I do agree that circumstantial evidence seems to suggest he's a bit more tech savvy than one might think, but on the other hand, a tech-savvy person can also get their network broken into or their password stolen. Basically, this company doesn't have a leg to stand on. Maybe that's why they're shaking him down for so much money, to make him feel he has no choice but to settle.

Re:Motive? (4, Interesting)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254164)

"What about his computer that was supposedly "cleaned"--what makes them think so, and how can they prove it?"

I had a relative that needed to 'wipe' his computer fairly regularly. (no, not for anything illegal.) He had an app that would go through each sector of a hard drive and 0 it out repeatedly. As I understand it, and no I'm not an expert, just formatting a drive won't necessarily clear the data off it. Even if it did 0 out all the data, it would still be recoverable by a professional service. I believe tihs worked by reading some sort of residual that could indicate whether that bit was a 1 or a 0. This app was supposed to be so thorough that even the professional services couldn't read the data. (this was the sort of thing the gov't would use for classified computers.)

I may not have all the details 100% right (... corrections gratefully welcomed!) but the gist of my point is this: If they took his computer, noticed the HD was totally blank even though it looked like it should at least have an OS on it, and they analyzed and found out that something more serious than a basic format had occured, they'd have justifiable reasons to believe that he blanked it intentionally to remove incriminating evidence. To the best of my knowledge, though, they wouldn't be able to prove that he did it as a result of their arrival. Circumstantial at best. Personally, I could see an innocent man OR a guilty man doing the exact same thing.

Re:Motive? (4, Informative)

TheLink (130905) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254189)

I do zero out unused blocks on some of my drives from time to time.

This is especially when I am about to make full image backups of my drives. If you zero out the unused regions the drive image compresses much better.

Otherwise you end up using space to backup up deleted data. In some cases you do want to do that, but not always.

Re:Motive? (1)

Kelvie (822725) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254230)

A simple dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/hda will do the trick. Instead of zeroing it, randomizing it would be a far better alternative -- this is the premise behind the 'shred' command too, except you random the entire hard-drive, which bypasses the filesystem journal (I think?)

Re:Tech Novice? (3, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254069)

My SO has no interest or talent for computers; she needs them for work and communication, that's all. She has all her older Macs still around, and she has the next-to-newest still connected along with the current machine since she feels more comfortable and secure getting to the data on it directly rather than moving it (and thus having the potential for application and OS version problems, lost or corrupted data and so on). She treats each one as a separate, volatile, black box, and once one is running, she does as little to it as possible.

Of course, as a result, she does have a lot less issues to deal with than I do with my machines :)

Re:Tech Novice? (1)

Bin_jammin (684517) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254077)

I have a habit of helping out people that don't have a lot of money, keeping their boxes alive and gasping, and even low income people scrounge and find old PCs for either very short money or free. Some of these people have more than 4 boxes, having got them free from businesses giving away ancient hardware, garbage finds, Goodwill etc. These people certainly qualify as novices by anyone's classification. I just stopped by one house recently, and found that they have a DSL modem with built in router and wireless AP all rolled together. These people wouldn't know anything about firewalls, security, or basic configuration of any kind. They practically scream victim if you put them in this situation.

Re:Tech Novice? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14254085)

Family Desktop
Family Laptop
Kid's Computer
Work Laptop

Family Desktop
Kid's Computer
Other Kid's Computer
Work Laptop

Family Desktop
Kid's Desktop
Work Laptop
Wife's Work Laptop

Family Desktop
Kid's Desktop
Old Family Desktop Collecting Dust in Storage
Work Laptop

etc... etc...

Simplify that list (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254198)

You can basicly boil any of those descriptions down to :

Most up-to-date computer (aka, the most tech savvy person in the house's)
Two year old computer sitting in the 'office room' (aka, the backup server)
Four year old computer sitting in the 'storage room' (aka, the 'turn on in the event of an emergency' computer)
The five-plus year old computer 'enshrined' in the basement as a miniature table (aka, the computer Goodwill wouldn't take)

Re:Tech Novice? (0, Troll)

ilyaaohell (866922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254122)

I find it bizarre that, just because certain people are not fans of the concept of intellectual property as it applies to movie downloads, they automatically assume that someone who is accused of breaking these laws is innocent.

He could be lying, you know. Hell, wouldn't YOU lie about your technical knowledge if you were faced with a $100,000 fine?

"The man was dead when I got there, I swear!"

Re:Tech Novice? (5, Insightful)

ArcadeNut (85398) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254176)


I find it bizarre that, just because certain people are not fans of the concept of intellectual property as it applies to movie downloads, they automatically assume that someone who is accused of breaking these laws is innocent.


I find it bizarre that you would assume he is guilty. What ever happened to "Innocent until proven guilty"? If he is guilty, let the evidence speak to that fact. The burden should be on the prosecution to prove that he in fact did commit the crime.

Re:Tech Novice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14254251)

It's a civil case, not a criminal case. "Innocent until proven guilty" only applies in criminal cases. Civil cases use the "preponderance of evidence" rule... i.e. who does the judge beleive more.

Re:Tech Novice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14254186)

Copyright infringement and hence paramount suing him is a civil matter. If it were a criminal matter a prosecutor would charge him with a crime and try him paramount wouldnt be involved in that prosecution other that to provide testimony being the agrieved party (or victim) and certanilly wouldnt be performing there own analysis of his machines, the defense could of course.

Re:Tech Novice? (2, Interesting)

Kasarn (927123) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254130)

My dad has 4 computers (2 laptops and 2 desktop) all pretty decent OEM ones (the worst of which would be the laptop with its P4 2.4GHz CPU and Geforce 4 Go)... he also has very little idea of what he's doing with any of them.

I'm rather annoyed with this fact because he now has 1TB in hard drives, of which he's used 10GB of at most. Could you imagine how many linux distros I could fit in 1TB?

Re:Tech Novice? (1)

Strokke (772031) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254140)

Since he fits the description of a computer geek he must CLEARLY be guilty. It sure is good to see that stereotyping in the justice system still lives strong. I guess all those black comics on Comedy Central are right.... BTW do not let the 4 computers fool you. Some might picture Hugh Jackman in Swordfish but more likely it is similar to my family. I am the only one who uses computers and still we have 5 sitting around the house. A mac from like 1990, a 300 MhZ beast, 2 semi-recent dells, and a laptop. I have made my family waste way too much money so that I could have play those new games every 2-3 years.

Re:Tech Novice? (1)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254256)

I have 4 computers in my house.... 1 is 100 years old, 1 is used by myself, and 2 others are used by people other then myself.

Indeed... (4, Insightful)

Sensible Clod (771142) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254017)

either a slick film pirate or an unwitting victim of someone who fits that description

Which is of course why these kinds of tactics don't, and won't, work in the long run. All the unwitting victims just net you bad publicity, while the slick file pirates just sit and laugh.

The first test of my theory (3, Interesting)

Blahbooboo3 (874492) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254019)

It will be interesting if his arguement holds up, as I always thought this might be a good defense for people who do this sort of activity --- keep your wireless networks wide open and claim that it wasn't you but someone who snuck on your network.

Re:The first test of my theory (1)

yoarch57 (938716) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254204)

Unless RIAA can pin you down with more credible evidence than an IP address/MAC address, how can they prove anything? Furthermore, maybe those of us with older wireless gear (WEP w/ no WPA) can start to point the finger of blame at Linksys, Netgear, or whomever. If these companies don't supply us with the means to adequately protect our personal networks, how can we be responsible for them? My "best efforts" of applying WEP is easily circumvented by the determined wardrviers and neighbors.

Another reason for using WPA wireless (1)

dananderson (1880) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254020)

Disregarding whether the man actually uploaded or a drive-by uploaded, it's another reason to secure your wireless connection (preferably with WPA, not with (broken WEP)).

Re:Another reason for using WPA wireless (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254232)

I had one customer that kept getting his roadrunner account disabled. He swore up/down that he checked his PC with McAfee and Norton the first time and didn't detect anything. The second time me formatted and reinstalled XP. After two times in a row in less than a week, I decided to ask the customer if he has a wireless router and he said "yes". Being that he lives in an appartment complex, I told him to disconnect that router and only have one PC connected untill he can learn how to enable WEp on his router.

After this conversation with this customer, I haven't heard back from anything regarding him being disabled again. I suspect one of his neighbors was connecting wirelessly to his router and blowing viri crap down his pipe...thus him getting the blame.

Plausible deniability (4, Interesting)

yo5oy (549821) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254024)

Just another reason to have an open/unsecured wap on your network so you can have plausible deniability.

dupe, dump, deny, and divide.

Re:Plausible deniability (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254103)

"Just another reason to have an open/unsecured wap on your network so you can have plausible deniability."

Would that even work? Suppose I leave my apartment unlocked and some drug dealers leave a stash there, then I'm busted with it. Plausible deniability?

(Note: Yes, this is a very inadequate example. No problemo. I'm still curious what would happen, so it's not a total loss...)

Re:Plausible deniability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14254160)

In legal terms, here's how you can tell if you're in trouble. Plug the X,Y,Z coordinates of the drug stash into the plane equation of each side of a cube enclosing your apartment walls (Ax+By+Cz-D=0).

If the sign of the D-coefficient is the same for all six sides, you're hosed.

In plain English, the fact that your WiFi signal penetrates the apartment walls is what will make all the difference. Nobody can convict you of anything if you have an open access point.

Re:Plausible deniability (5, Interesting)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254144)

There really is no such concept in civil copyright infringement cases. Remember, the standard of proof is a preponderance of the evidence. So long as it is even slightly more likely than not that the person with the WAP did it, as opposed to some mysterious other person, that is sufficient proof that he did do it. It's criminal trials prosecuted by the government that use the higher standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. That is not the standard used here.

Additionally, courts are aware that defendants may engage in behavior, knowing what the outcome is likely to be. Willful blindness, such as you suggest, is pretty obvious and does not help people get off the hook.

It's possible that you are thinking of the legal system as a mechanism that is not intelligent, and can be gotten around through cleverness. That is not the case. People are involved in the system at every step, and often they are more clever than you, and have a dim view of amateurs trying to manipulate them. Basically, if you would see through such a ploy, or if you think other intelligent people would, you should expect that your opponents in a legal battle would.

Re:Plausible deniability (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254264)

Oh cool! So I could drive by up to my ex-girlfriends house and download kiddieporn using THEIR open wireless router KNOWING NOW that THEY would get BUSTED.

Awsome, now I can use the legal system to fuck them over.

Seriously, I would never do such a thing. But I'm trying to present a flaw in your point of view.

What the... (5, Insightful)

Tezkah (771144) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254029)

Paramount has looked at all four computers in Lee's home, alleging he had one of them cleaned to erase evidence. The company has filed a federal lawsuit against the Blue Ash man.

Movie companies have the right to look at all the computers in your house, because you allegedly commited *copyright infringement*.

Wow.

Re:What the... (1)

Sensible Clod (771142) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254062)

This type of thing is highly underrated in the news. I mean, when the government pulls some kind of stunt like this on possible terrorists (as bad that sometimes is), it makes news at least some of the time. But companies? Come on.

Re:What the... (3, Informative)

Otterley (29945) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254064)

Any party involved in civil litigation has a legal right to obtain discovery regarding any manner that is relevant and not privileges and which may lend credence to a claim or defense. See Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1) [cornell.edu].

In this case, it would certainly cover examining computers for evidence of copyright infringement.

Re:What the... (4, Insightful)

Vengie (533896) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254154)

There are no facts here. Fuentes v Shevin -- you can't just sequester shit without due process. It's not just "you file a rule 26(b)(1) motion and "poof" you can barge in and take his computers...

Re:What the... (2, Insightful)

Otterley (29945) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254165)

Uh, you mean other than the fact that the plaintiffs have an IP address associated with the upload of the movie that are associated with the defendant's use of his Internet service?

Re:What the... (1)

agibbs (729458) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254226)

I like that brief of Fuentes... I wonder if that gloss will fly on my civpro exam next week? :)

Re:What the... (1)

donaldm (919619) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254241)

Not being a lawyer and getting cross-eyed looking at the legalese:

- open
(3) Pretrial Disclosures.

In addition to the disclosures required by Rule 26(a)(1) and (2), a party must provide to other parties and promptly file with the court the following information regarding the evidence that it may present at trial other than solely for impeachment:
- close

I am fairly sure you need to get a court injunction prior to the police (I assume Paramount did this because the article did not say) raiding your house at least that is what I suppose is done in a non-totalitarian country.

Anyway the article seems to have compromised any law case.

From the article:
- open
Russell Lee is either a slick film pirate or an unwitting victim of someone who fits that description.

Paramount, which distributes "Coach Carter," presents an unflattering picture of him, saying he not only obtained the movie illegally, but that he uploaded it to an online system called eDonkey so others could steal it, too.

"I don't even know what they're talking about," Lee said. "I didn't do it."
- close

Where is that hanging judge? We need to convene a kangaroo court quickly before anyone wakes up to what is going on.

Re:What the... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14254246)

That would only apply to evidence that supports their claims that authorities found, that doesn't mean Paramount can personally look through your files on your computer. An example would be if someone stole an item from a house, the victim couldn't go through the suspect's home to perform a personal search for said item.

Re:What the... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14254075)

Movie companies have the right to look at all the computers in your house, because you allegedly commited *copyright infringement*.

Imagine what you could get away with if you could show infringement in progress then, say a nespaper plagiarising directly from your website. Forget damages, just being able to rifle through their computer systems would be endless fun. Oh wait, for that to happen we'd have to have equality before the law. Guess I can dream.

Re:What the... (1)

Zunni (565203) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254092)

Now I feel stupid for missing the even bigger shocker in this case.

On an 'unrelated' note: I think Bill Gates is ripping off my source code, I'll create some random documents that "support" that notion and I'm on my way to Redmond to have him open up the new Windows Source Code so I can verify my stuff isn't in there.

Re:What the... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14254137)

I think Bill Gates is ripping off my source code, I'll create some random documents that "support" that notion and I'm on my way to Redmond to have him open up the new Windows Source Code so I can verify my stuff isn't in there.

You can't afford the legal fees to get you the same rights as the MPAA. You're legally classified as a nobody. Bill Gates, however, is a respected member of the community - respect in the order of several billions I believe. The courts won't even be interested in anything you have to say.

Re:What the... (1)

craXORjack (726120) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254138)

Movie companies have the right to look at all the computers in your house, because you allegedly commited *copyright infringement*.

Wow.

Welcome to the Corporate States of America.

Vote Nader next time.

$100,000? (3, Interesting)

free space (13714) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254033)

why do movie/music companies use the naive method of mutiplying the cose of the dvd times the # of movies uploaded?
there are thousands of variables that go into the calculated 'loss'.

- would all the downloaders actually buy the dvd?
- would the dvd stay on sale until all those would be customers buy it?
- would the dvd price stay the same?

more importantly, why does the law accept take their word on it?

Re:$100,000? (1)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254080)

It does not have to. Remember, there are statutory damages on copyright infringement.

Re:$100,000? (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254134)


"It does not have to. Remember, there are statutory damages on copyright infringement."

And what kind of damage do you expose yourself to when you execute the motions to do a search and seizure, and no evidence is found?

type? (1)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254161)

Usually none. If the police execute a search and seizer, it is under the color of their official duty. To be held liable, it has to be shown as a clear abuse, not just a major screw-up.

Re:$100,000? (2, Insightful)

free space (13714) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254162)

I didn't know what statutory damage was so I looked it up [gigalaw.com], thanks for mentioning the subject.
For what it's worth, I think it's a bad concept. The punishment should not exceed the 'crime'. And if the damage can't be calculated accurately, it's better to err on the side of the defendants , even it it means some real infringers will walk away.

so what's their point (1)

LiquidMind (150126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254035)

"is either a slick film pirate or an unwitting victim of someone who fits that description"

I doubt that Paramount gives a shit. Even if he is unwitted, they're still gonna make an example out of him.

First Prime Factorization Post (1)

2*2*3*75011 (900132) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254038)

$100,000 = $2*2*2*2*2*5*5*5*5*5

Those amounts are so factorizable. Has anyone ever seen a prime amount lawsuit?

Next Door (2, Funny)

Tinn-Can (938690) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254041)

That is why you use the next door neighbor's wi-fi... maybe being in jail will keep him from blasting the TV all night... secure your wireless, or have the MPAA come after you...

Re:Next Door (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14254242)

Maybe his neighbor thought the same thing and was actually the one who uploaded the movie!

Slick Film Pirate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14254045)

Since when is someone who uploads a film a "Film Pirate?"

Re:Slick Film Pirate? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254250)

One really wonder's huh. I thought the pirates were the one who recorded the movie.

Arrggghhh matey! Pirates! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14254061)

Murder, plunder, and rapine on the high seas cannot be compared to copyright infringement. The language is prejudicial. With feeling kids: Click three times on the slashdot link if you hate my site, twice on the sendmail if the answer is F.O. Now inciting a mob of geeks to melt their server...

This is just one of several (1)

Chris Bradshaw (933608) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254063)

This is just one of several recent lawsuits that have been filed by major studios and distributors in an attempt to fight online piracy. Here's another such story...

http://www.cnybj.com/fullstory.cfm?article_id=3183 &return=frontpage.cfm [cnybj.com]

What I don't understand is this: Is this sort of piracy really hurting thier business enough to go after "john doe" in pocatello Idaho for uploading a 3 year old copy of $stupidMovie? Last I checked, niether Paramount or Twentieth Century Fox were in the poor house...

Fuck the motherfucking motherfuckers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14254066)

How long before the MPAA and RIAA start monitoring your Google search terms to see if you are violating their mother fucking copyright? This is just getting insane. Maybe eventually all of our computers will have to be subject to searches by companies protecting their so-called property. How else would they know what's going on? Fuck this shit.

2 things: (5, Insightful)

Zunni (565203) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254072)

1) Is anyone else extremely troubled by the following line from the article "A DVD that retails for $21.99 could cost a local man more than $100,000,".
Seriously? $100,000? Quick math tells me that he would have had to share the movie 4,547 and 1/2 times to have shared enough copies to equal that price tag. I get the idea of a deterent but man. Side note even if the film was compressed to around 700 megs or so (to fit on a CD) that would take 3,183,265 and some change megabyes of bandwidth (3 terabytes if my late nite mind is still working at all) to share that file that many times. Seems a little unlikely the punishment fits the crime.

2) Isn't there a burden of proof on the prosecution in this case? Don't they have to show he was the one responsible for uploading the file? If someone steals my car then commits a drive by shooting, I can't be held responsible, can I? To me, having an open wireless access point seems perfectly reasonable (if that is your preference) and it would seem to be a tough sell to get a judge to fine this guy when there's no evidence he did anything wrong and he can produce a line of reasonable doubt.

I'm not up to date on case law in the US, so maybe I'm wrong but seems really shaky at first glance.

Re:2 things: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14254095)

It may be that copyright law allows them to seek damages that high for each incidence of copying. yuck.

Re:2 things: (1)

Sheltim (673293) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254191)

To reply to #2, as I understand US law (and remember, IANAL), if he had an open access point it's more the equivalent of leaving your car unlocked with the keys in the ignition. There's a chance that the procecution can get him as an accomplice or otherwise abeting the "theft". This is even more possible if he obviously didn't take due diligence with his access point, such as restricting the transfer amount in a given time period of unauthorized connections, blocking ports commonly used for malicious/illegal activity, etc.

Re:2 things: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14254203)

you forget, reasonable or no, they can get away with it.

the term corporate america has never been more true, the USA is less and less a nation and more of a economic entity.

cash and corporations are king, the bigger they are the more pull they have.

i mean really, how does the RIAA get premission to optian confidential records? a corporation cant get a search warrant, thats up to the police.

Sweden has it right, its a civil case, not a matter for the police, well without police investigative powers thers not much you can do is there?

RIAA "we want confidential information so we can extort money from grandmothers and grade school kids"

ISP "thats confidential information, lets see a warrant"

RIAA "we dont have one"

ISP "go fuck your self."

Re:2 things: (4, Informative)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254209)

What makes you think that the numbers are the product of something else? Why can't it be arbitrary?

In fact, statutory damages for copyright infringement in the US are arbitrary. They range from $750 - $30,000 ordinarily, rarely go as low as $200, and can fairly easily go as high as $150,000. And that's per work infringed, not the number of infringements (i.e. make a million copies of a movie, and it only counts once; make one copy each of two movies, and it counts twice).

Even where only the minimum amount (almost inevitably $750 per work) is claimed by the plaintiff, multiplying this by a large number of works (e.g. 100 songs is $75,000) can still be very significant to individuals.

Regarding proof, this is a civil case, not a criminal one. While the plaintiff (not prosecutor) has to prove that the defendant infringed, he merely has to show that it is more likely than not that the defendant infringed. Open WAPs aside, the person who uses your WAP most is likely to be you, especially if you don't show that it was in fact someone else, that the files were never on your system, etc. I'm plenty sympathetic here, but honestly, I think the odds are at least marginally in favor of the perpetrator not being a third party, and that's all it takes to satisfy the relevant standard.

Happened to a friend (3, Interesting)

Unknown_monkey (938642) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254073)

In Iowa, he recieved the MPAA letter through his cable ISP. They requested ~$5000 for his sharing of several movies on Bittorrent. His response was to get a wireless router, tell them that it was someone accessing his unsecured WAP, they let him off. But they didn't have police raid his house. Maybe that raid is the result of guys like him using the "open wap, sorry" excuse? Now that they know people can create excuses, the MPAA has to escalate the response. Soon you'll just get a package at your door that explodes when it hears the MGM or Paramount music and senses a WAP.

Well that makes sense (2, Insightful)

Snowspinner (627098) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254082)

Someone pirated the movie! That explains why it only made $67 million instead of being a hit!

Perjury is a Crime (-1, Troll)

shimbee (444430) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254084)

Who's going to believe that a man with 4 networked computers (one recently "cleaned"), high speed internet, and a wifi setup (perhaps with security disabled for just such a defense) is a "computer novice" subjected to the attacks of a roving gang of drive-by internet pirates? I'm sure it looks good for his friends and family to hear him proclaim innocence to the claims, but he should be aware that perjury is a crime!

Re:Perjury is a Crime (2, Insightful)

Zunni (565203) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254114)

tbh, it doesn't matter if he's Bill 'freakin' Gates, has multiple fibre-lines running into his house and has server rack upon server rack in his basement. If they can't find the files in question on his machine AND he can produce reasonable doubt , they 'should' have a tough time prosecuting him.

And don't you know, internet pirates be dangerous people YARR!!! What's a little bit o' perjury for those scurvy devils....

Re:Perjury is a Crime (1)

audacity242 (324061) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254183)

I have some friends who live together. Between the three of them, there are four computers in the home. They occasionally get reformatted and reinstalled ("cleaned") due to viruses and the like. They have broadband, and they have a wireless setup. Trust me, none of them are beyond the novice stage.

It's entirely possible for that guy to be telling the truth. It's also entirely possible he ain't.

Re:Perjury is a Crime (4, Insightful)

TheoMurpse (729043) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254197)

Sounds like you've convicted him already; I thought it was "innocent until proven guilty."

Re:Perjury is a Crime (4, Interesting)

ArcadeNut (85398) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254219)

Who's going to believe that a man with 4 networked computers (one recently "cleaned"), high speed internet, and a wifi setup (perhaps with security disabled for just such a defense) is a "computer novice" subjected to the attacks of a roving gang of drive-by internet pirates? I'm sure it looks good for his friends and family to hear him proclaim innocence to the claims, but he should be aware that perjury is a crime!

Um... ME? I help friends all the time with their computers. In fact I am about to help a friend set up the fourth computer in his house. He has one, and all 3 of his kids have their own computers. Guess what? They are all networked and they use WiFi to do it.

Why am I doing that? Because he and his family are novices when it comes to networking.

As for the clean machine? First thing I do is wipe the drive and reset it up to get rid of all the preloaded crap from the factory. Guess I'm trying to hide something too...

Re:Perjury is a Crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14254227)

Perjury is lying under oath in a court of law, not to a press reporter.

Ignorance of the law is not innocence (4, Funny)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254093)

Even if this man did not know what was done on his machines, he's still responsible. That is the law that the law givers made. The punishment must be death by mahi mahi. Feigning ignorance of the law by claiming that he did not know what was done is a white herring designed to try and make people think otherwise. This displeases the law givers. He will feel their wrath for his ignorance as they beat him.

-Grobo, Son of Chinea in the Tenth Dynasty of Koll

Cease and desist (1)

Atario (673917) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254216)

Dear eno2001 (527078):

It has come to my attention that you have made an unauthorized use of my copyrighted work entitled Planet Of The Apes (the "Work") in the preparation of a work derived therefrom. I have reserved all rights in the Work, first published in Feb 8, 1968, and have registered copyright therein. Your work entitled Ignorance of the law is not innocence clearly used the Work as its basis ("Law givers").

As you neither asked for nor received permission to use the Work as the basis for Ignorance of the law is not innocence nor to make or distribute copies, including electronic copies, of same, I believe you have willfully infringed my rights under 17 U.S.C. Section 101 et seq. and could be liable for statutory damages as high as $150,000 as set forth in Section 504(c)(2) therein.

I demand that you immediately cease the use and distribution of all infringing works derived from the Work, and all copies, including electronic copies, of same, that you deliver to me, if applicable, all unused, undistributed copies of same, or destroy such copies immediately and that you desist from this or any other infringement of my rights in the future. If I have not received an affirmative response from you by Dec 27, 2005 indicating that you have fully complied with these requirements, I shall take further action against you.

Very truly yours,

APJAC Productions, Inc. & Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation

WHOA!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14254106)

He had FOUR computers? That means the damages should be quadrupled!!!

Re:WHOA!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14254222)

New statement from the MPAA:

"The man may not have literally had four computers but he did have the equivalent of four computers, because the one Xbox 360 he does have has some sort of multi-core processor arrangement. Plus we added one on because he's so guilty."

Police Priorities? (5, Insightful)

LaPoderosa (908833) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254107)

What sickens me here is far more serious offenses than this go ignored if reported by your average citizen. I know countless people who've been the victims of theft or internet fraud, and even with names and addresses of the perps they haven't had any action taken, just another report going in the file bin.

"Drive-by"? (4, Insightful)

mblase (200735) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254121)

The tech-novice maintains his innocence, and contends that he is a victim of a drive-by upload.

I admit I haven't seen "Coach Carter", and I'm not using hard numbers here, but I estimate that uploading an entire motion picture at any worthwhile quality would take at least six hours, maybe twelve. That's not a drive-by, that's your next-door neighbor using your bandwidth all day long.

Re:"Drive-by"? (1)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254153)

well, there is always the parked car technique or if you are really daring, the extended-life laptop in the bushes technique

Re:"Drive-by"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14254261)

50 minutes. Easily a park-by upload. Or someone with a directional antenna a few blocks away. Or a laptop hidden within range.

Am I the only one who read this as... (1)

merc (115854) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254133)

Chimpanzee sues Paramont Studies for ruby on rails...?

Re:Am I the only one who read this as... (1)

kelnos (564113) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254210)

[Am I the only one who read this as...] Chimpanzee sues Paramont Studies for ruby on rails...?
Yes, you are.

most likely the guy is lying (4, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254166)

"I don't even know what they're talking about," Lee said. "I didn't do it."

Paramount has looked at all four computers in Lee's home, alleging he had one of them cleaned to erase evidence. The company has filed a federal lawsuit against the Blue Ash man.

But Lee claims that because his wireless connection was unsecured at the time, anyone could have parked near or in front of his home, tapped in and then driven off.

"If I can do anything to make people understand that please, if you're using wireless Internet, have somebody install it that knows what they're doing," he said. "Because if you don't, they could get in trouble just like me."


nice attempt at defence: but it wasn't me, it was someone else who used my unsecured connection.

Who the hell wants to 'share' a movie with others of p2p networks so much that they would go war-driving? I have a very strong feeling that this guy is lying. Of-course this will have to be proven in court, but it is just a gut feeling. In the case he actually did this, he deserves what is coming to him.

Marketing Ploy (3, Funny)

VonSkippy (892467) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254168)

Only way that dog of a movie could make $100K is to sue someone - that and all the chump change picked up from the PR resulting in curiosity sales. //no body = no conviction, but this is the RIAA so don't count on logic figuring into the case.

Smart Defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14254187)

Another victim of the MPAA. The article makes it look as if he's some "movie pirate" and we know P2P systems really make it easy to share what you've downloaded from them (without even doing something manually).

I believe the guy is far from being "noob" - it's just a smart defense. He's smart, he erased the illegal files on one of his PC-s, kept the rest clean, and he has a pretty good excuse of having insecured wireless network anyone can hook through..

I'd do the same in his place, and it's the best he can do to defend himself. I hope it turns out good for him, since after all it's just a damn pirated movie he downloaded, a sin, but not a $100 000 sin for sure.

I PVR'd the movie off the HD movie channel then... (1)

tawker (860711) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254249)

showed it to 50 friends, in near HD perfection! I only paid $12 for the movie channel, I must be stealing the information!!!!!!!

hmm, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14254252)

maybee it's just me, but should they be able to seize his computers simply because they say he uploaded something?? isn't that illegal search and seizure?? Don't they have to have some evidence he actually did it??? havn't they been wrong a number of times already. isn't someone going to stop this. someday. Please.

What did he expect? (3, Funny)

dirtsurfer (595452) | more than 8 years ago | (#14254266)

If he didn't want to draw attention to himself, he shouldn't have been going by the name "Ohio Man" in the first place.
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