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CEO Shawn Hogan Takes on MPAA

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the how-long-till-it-stops dept.

491

IAmTheDave writes "Shawn Hogan, CEO of Digital Point Solutions, has found himself on the receiving end of an MPAA lawsuit claiming he downloaded a copy of 'Meet the Fockers' on Bittorrent. Mr. Hogan both denies the charges as well as claims he already owns the movie on DVD. After being asked to pay a $2500 extortion fee, Mr. Hogan lawyered up and has vowed to challenge and help change the MPAA's tactics. 'They're completely abusing the system,' Hogan says. Although expecting to pay well over $100,000 to defend himself, he claims 'I would spend well into the millions on this.'"

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Prediction (5, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777855)

My guess: They'll drop the suit against this guy, but continue to threaten those that don't have the means to fight back.

Re:Prediction (1)

dlc3007 (570880) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777864)

Wonder if he's pissed enough to counter if they drop their suit. I hope so!

Re:Prediction (4, Informative)

realmolo (574068) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777933)

Yeah, he could countersue, but that doesn't help anybody. Most people don't have the financial means to enter into a civil suit with an organization the size of the MPAA. They have no fear of that.

I suppose he *could* try and get them into court for some kind of criminal offense, but what would it be? The courts so far have no problem with the MPAA and RIAA's tactics, and as far as I know, their extortion-like lawsuits break now existing laws.

Basically, while I appreciate what he's doing, it's not going to change anything.

Re:Prediction (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778009)

Most people don't have the financial means to enter into a civil suit with an organization the size of the MPAA.

Can someone explain this overwhelming opinion in every RIAA/MPAA lawsuit thread? I'm sure the fee for filing a lawsuit itself isn't too high, otherwise the lower-classes simply couldn't participate. Assuming you don't have/need a job, what's preventing you from defending yourself?

The plaintiff has to prove his point with a preponderance of evidence. I don't think they'll do that with just an IP address and a log from azureus.

Re:Prediction (4, Insightful)

jZnat (793348) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778057)

They're worried about how you'd have to pay your lawyer by the hour, and the MPAA could afford to drag the case on and on while you go into debt paying your lawyer with little or no hope of getting that money back from the MPAA.

Re:Prediction (1)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778234)

They're worried about how you'd have to pay your lawyer by the hour, and the MPAA could afford to drag the case on and on while you go into debt paying your lawyer with little or no hope of getting that money back from the MPAA.

That is why they have much more to fear from an in person defendant. The court is highly unlikely to allow the MPAA to extract any more in damages than they are entitled to.

In this case the MPAA can only demonstrate a loss of a few tens of dollars at most with respect to that one title. Their demand for $2500 is blowing smoke. They have no proof of any other damages.

It would probably not take much to persuade the judge to reduce the case to only consider the specific damages actually alleged. Once that happens the MPAA is going to court expensively to win damages of $10.

The discovery process is itself going to be highly damaging to the MPAA as they will inevitably reveal methods they would rather keep secret.

Re:Prediction (4, Interesting)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778166)

IANAL.

It's very difficult for lower classes to participate now. They can get a public defender if they're brought to criminal court, but not in a civil suit. They'll have to hire a lawyer. In addition, the MPAA knows that drawing out the suit as long as possible is in their interest, and will attempt to do so, until the defendant is simply out of money and can't affort to pay their lawyers any further, forcing them into a settlement.

Re:Prediction (5, Informative)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778021)

Yeah, he could countersue, but that doesn't help anybody. Most people don't have the financial means to enter into a civil suit with an organization the size of the MPAA. They have no fear of that.

If he got damages it could. It would establish a roadmap if not a legal precedent. If he gets real damages out of the MPAA you'll find lawyers lining up to take clients being sued by the MPAA.

Re:Prediction (5, Informative)

milamber3 (173273) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777907)

Well, if you bothered to RTFA it seems that the MPAA is doing exactly the opposite. The head of their antipiracy division is openly saying they're looking forward to a trial and verdict next summer.

Re:Prediction (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15777969)

That's what one lawyer said, but there is no chance they go through with the case. If they lose then it sets a very bad precedent (from their perspective). $2500 from one man isn't worth opening the door for other challenges, which could happen if they lose the case.

Re:Prediction (5, Insightful)

Danse (1026) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777990)

Well, if you bothered to RTFA it seems that the MPAA is doing exactly the opposite. The head of their antipiracy division is openly saying they're looking forward to a trial and verdict next summer.

That's what they're saying now. Give it a couple months. They'll probably drop it quietly after everyone has forgotten about it.

Re:Prediction (1)

Ethan Allison (904983) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778178)

Keep it loud enough and people can't forget about it.

Re:Prediction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15778205)

Yea, Thats Probably the only way to corner them. lets hold them to their claims, Whos the Theiving pirate in this position ^_^

Re:Prediction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15778029)

talk != action

Re:Prediction (5, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778034)

I must admit, if they do go through with it, it'll be a hell of a lot more interesting than SCO. ;^)

And just like them, they'll have no evidence that proves anything. Whether an IP address from a log from a P2P search bot is enough to convince a judge of the merit of the case... well, that's the interesting part.

Re:Prediction (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778069)

In other words, when dealt a pair of twos and a lot of junk, the MPAA will go in a few million to try to scare off their opponents.

It's nice to be the richest guy at the table I guess, but you won't stay that way long.

Re:Prediction (1)

Paracelcus (151056) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778014)

One of the very few advantages of being absolutly flat broke is that you can tell all the little sue-happy shyster momser ganiffs to get fucked with complete impunity!

Re:Prediction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15778027)

No they'll just garnish your wages until the end of time, or take out a lien against your house/car/etc. Not having money is no obstacle to them taking it.

Re:Prediction (1)

Paracelcus (151056) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778093)

Flat broke = no job
Car = 10 year old Hundai with 0 resale value!

When I say flat broke I really mean it!

Re:Prediction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15778168)

Typically, if you're flat broke, you don't have a job, a house or a car. Anyone who thinks they're flat broke when they have a job or can afford a house or car just has a sour disposition.

I wonder... (5, Funny)

Linkiroth (952123) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777859)

Does he call his team of lawyers "Hogan's Heroes"?

Re:I wonder... (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777899)

I think comparing the MPAA (and RIAA while we're at it) to the bumbling Nazi's on the show are a good enough analogy ;)

Re:I wonder... (1)

8127972 (73495) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777992)

"Does he call his team of lawyers "Hogan's Heroes"?"

If so, he can use the Sgt. Schultz Defence.

Re:I wonder... (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777996)

More like "Hulkamaniacs"

Fight the Good Fight (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777868)

I personally would like to extend a helping hand to Shawn. If he wants to take this to court, I would like to pay him a simple $10 through Paypal for fighting the good fight. I've given the same donations to Slashdot and many many opensource projects (especially those on SourceForge) that have made my life easier.

I would like to live in a world where I'm not worried about some organization of rich bastards strong arming citizens out of hard earned cash. There have been several cases so far where people have been charged with little or no evidence. The methods by which they obtain their evidence is even shadier.

If you're reading this, Shawn Hogan, please leave some contact info so we can donate small sums of money to aid in your defense.

Re:Fight the Good Fight (2, Insightful)

Tekzel (593039) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777949)

I admire your generosity, feel it is a little misplaced. I think he can afford to defend himself. It seems to me that you would be doing much more good by finding some regular joe that lives from paycheck to paycheck that is being harrassed by the MPAA or RIAA and donating to their defense.

That's Not What I Want (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778003)

I admire your generosity, feel it is a little misplaced. I think he can afford to defend himself. It seems to me that you would be doing much more good by finding some regular joe that lives from paycheck to paycheck that is being harrassed by the MPAA or RIAA and donating to their defense.
I don't think it's misplaced. Every case I've seen so far has been from someone folding under the MPAA or RIAA. I don't want to support that. I don't want to support money that came from an out of court settlement. I want the justice system to take a look at itself and really reconsider what the MPAA is doing to people. I want judges to stop handing out fines because the MPAA lawyers tell them the right things. I want to support the people that stand up to it. I don't care if he's a CEO or peon grunt with no cash, I'm going to support the person pushing for reform. I'm not going to support the person who just pays the obscene fine because they want to avoid the trial and lawyers. I want to support this guy if he's willing to bring the lawyers and cast doubt on the MPAA.

Re:Fight the Good Fight (2, Interesting)

Ichigo Kurosaki (886802) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777994)

Hey I admire your support of this cause, I would do the same, however he is worth MILLIONS so really there is no need for him. He is the ideal person to take the MPAA to court because he has as much weight in the courtroom to throw around as the MPAA. I only hope that this doesn't end being dropped and no precedent happening.

Re:Fight the Good Fight (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15778066)

It's not about supporting him - it's a message to the MPAA.


The MPAA wants to make an example of this court case as an example saying "you can admit guilt and pay $2000 or pay meeelionz of dollarz if you want to fight us".


I would donate to Hogan too, just so the message to the MPAA is "you assholes tried to cost this guy millions of dollars, but instead he ended up with a large pile of extra cash that he's using to fund the next guy you go after.".

Re:Fight the Good Fight (1)

LMacG (118321) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778004)

FTFA: "Hogan, who coded his way to millions as the CEO of Digital Point Solutions, ..."

I think he's got all the small sums of money he'll need.

Re:Fight the Good Fight (4, Informative)

toad3k (882007) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778091)

He's not exactly hiding.

His blog.
http://www.digitalpoint.com/~shawn/ [digitalpoint.com]

Re:Fight the Good Fight (5, Informative)

utopianfiat (774016) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778232)

class action (2, Insightful)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777873)

The point is that if he can force something like a class action, then maybe we can all jump in and get some cash back from the MPAA, even if you don't have enough money to defend yourself.

Re:class action (5, Insightful)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778076)

Yes, so the lawyers walk away with ungodly sums of money and the settlement class gets a shiny nickel. I'm all for the MPAA having to cough up, but I cringe when I think about who that directly benefits and who gets next to nothing.

Re:class action (3, Insightful)

Doctor Memory (6336) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778225)

I cringe when I think about who that directly benefits and who gets next to nothing.
Hey, if somebody beat up the bully who was stealing your lunch money and took his bike, iPod and cell phone and left you whatever you could scavenge from his backpack, would you really mind? He got his, and you got something, and he won't be bothering anyone anymore.

MPAA's reaction (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15777887)

One of the MPAA's executives was quoted as saying, "HooooooGAN!," while holding onto his monacle.

Parent should be modded up: Funny! (1)

milamber3 (173273) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777940)

I thought this was funny and does not deserve the 0 it currently has. Someone with mod points please fix that.

Not gonna happen (4, Insightful)

BigNumber (457893) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777891)

He won't get a chance to 'defend himself' unless he decides to counter-sue. The MPAA will simply drop the case and move on to a less aggressive victim.

Re:Not gonna happen (1)

renehollan (138013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777958)

One word: baratry.

Re:Not gonna happen (5, Interesting)

mrsev (664367) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778067)

One correctly spelt word: barratry.

Meet the Fockers? (5, Funny)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777892)

No wonder he doesn't want to admit to downloading it, that movie sucked! I bet he doesn't even have the DVD.

Re:Meet the Fockers? (1)

bl4nk (607569) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777937)

I bet he bought the DVD as soon as getting sued, so he could claim that he already owned the DVD.

Re:Meet the Fockers? (1)

Tekzel (593039) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777970)

Actually, I thought it was very funny. Maybe not funny enough to own, but then I dont really buy comedies anyway. Only one I have ever bought was "Shaun of the Dead".

Re:Meet the Fockers? (4, Insightful)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778106)

I don't see how ownership of the original media serves as "proof" that he didn't download it.

Besides, with BitTorrent, you upload chunks of the torrent even as you download the file. What if he didn't download the .torrent of MtF, but rather seeded a .torrent of the ISO of the DVD he ripped?

What if he purchased the DVD after viewing the downloaded torrent? It's still an unauthorized distribution of a copyrighted work, even if it did end up resulting in a sale that benefits the Plaintiff... if they want to sue because to them the principle of control is more important than the short-term profit of a unit sale, who are we to question such prioritization?

Re:Meet the Fockers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15778237)

if they want to sue because to them the principle of control is more important than the short-term profit of a unit sale, who are we to question such prioritization?

We are the consumer. The only people "they" should care about.

Re:Meet the Fockers? (1)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778140)

My thought exactly. Why the hell would the MPAA bother seeing who was downloading this piece of shit?

Then I looked up the box office totals. That stinkbomb raked in $280 million US box office alone. Number 29 of all time. Of course it came in between Matrix Reloaded and Shrek, so maybe my taste doesn't align with what makes money.

Preferences (2, Insightful)

Spytap (143526) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777909)

I'd much rather him take on the RIAA as they seem to be the more aggressive of the two when it comes to extortion schemes. The MPAA, for all it's faults, doesn't seem to be as gleefully entertained by the prospect of suing the pants off of everyone.

Re:Preferences (1)

Fezmid (774255) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777962)

Doesn't matter -- if he beats the MPAA, then the ruling swill trickle down to the RIAA suits as well.

I'd be willing to chip in a few bucks to support his fight as well, as posted in a previous post.

They didnt expect... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15777926)

They didnt count on him actually admitting to owning 'Meet the fockers'! Nor did they expect the spanish inquisition...but no one expec...*AAAAGH*

Give 'em hell (4, Insightful)

10100111001 (931992) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777929)

On behalf of the little guy everywhere... Give 'em hell, Shawn.

Welcome to what's wrong with the law... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15777943)

He'll have to spend tens, if not hundreds, of thousands, in order to avoid paying a $2500 penalty. The principles are trumped by the pragmatics.

So, where are the politicians willing to try to put a stop to this? Let me guess, being paid protection money by the MPAA.

This is no different than con artists fixing local officials to get out of jail free.

Extortion fee? (2, Insightful)

Rydia (556444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777948)

Okay? Having the thing doesn't give you a right to download a copy. I've yet to see a respected scholar in the field of IP law say anything like that. The justifications (fair use, generally, under the umbrella of time-shifting and/or backup media) don't hold up under analogy; you're creating a new copy of someone else's thing, not your own, and it's not fair use because you do not know the person.

But, uh, sure. Extortion. Whatever. If he did (and we don't know if he did or did not) do this, than he'll likely get smacked for it. While the cartel's methods are utterly ruthless and uncalled-for, that doesn't diminish their legal rights.

Re:Extortion fee? (4, Insightful)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777980)

Okay? Having the thing doesn't give you a right to download a copy

why not? its just the same as backing it up yourself, only someone else did the hard work for you.

Re:Extortion fee? (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778048)

Okay? Having the thing doesn't give you a right to download a copy

why not? its just the same as backing it up yourself, only someone else did the hard work for you.


Especially since copying DVDs is a breach of the DMCA. It's probably more legal to "steal" a movie you already have than to make a copy of your disc.

Re:Extortion fee? (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778199)

I think the *AA need to burn just as much as the next guy, but downloading a movie over services like bittorrent means you are also uploading too. So while it's not immoral to download it for yourself, you might be helping spread it to people who are getting it illegally (if you are using P2P).

Re:Extortion fee? (2, Insightful)

Rydia (556444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778129)

Because distribution is a (very important) aspect of copyright. You do not have a right to distribute copies of what you have to anyone without permission of the copyright holder. There are exceptions, but getting something through bittorrent destroys the small number and familiarity requirements (remember, you're simultaneously uploading). Both the letter and spirit of the law that allows copying requires the "fixation" of the copyrighted work to be done by the person copying it, otherwise the sytem is wide-open for abuse.

Re:Extortion fee? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15778019)

you're creating a new copy of someone else's thing, not your own
Exactly what would be the difference between a digital copy of a DVD that I own and a DVD of the same movie that someone else owned?

Re:Extortion fee? (3, Insightful)

Known Nutter (988758) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778026)

That's not the extent of the issue. Exposing the methods used by **AA to gather this "evidence" is equally important, and the legality of these methods deserves some scrutiny.

Re:Extortion fee? (5, Insightful)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778037)

Having the thing doesn't give you a right to download a copy. I've yet to see a respected scholar in the field of IP law say anything like that.

They wouldn't have to. In this country, the person bringing the suit/charges is supposed to prove THEIR point. If they can't do that, you can come to court and draw funny pictures all day if you like -- they (shouldn't) win.

Re:Extortion fee? (1)

Rydia (556444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778167)

Uh, yes? Except when something comes up, the judge decides what law to give to the jury (or himself, if the jury is waved) to apply the facts to. When judges look to instructions for juries on close or new issues they look at a) mandatory authority (higher courts) and b) persuasive authority (other courts and academics). It's pretty important to keep up on that sort of thing, especially since you can't just go into a court and say "well, I think the law says this, so we should get X instruction." Both the judge and your opponent will say "Okay, what supporting authority do you have to tell me that the law is X?"

Just being in court and having an opinion only gets you so far.

Re:Extortion fee? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778064)

Okay? Having the thing doesn't give you a right to download a copy.

I'm not sure that's the point. I think this is instead evidence that he didn't download the movie. Why would he if he already owned a copy?

Re:Extortion fee? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15778077)

If he owned the DVD, why would he want to download it via BitTorrent?

Lots of reasons (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778151)

Not sure about that particular DVD, but some of the ones I own (see: Shrek 2) have lengthy unskippable advertisements at the start. Depending on protection, it's also annoying to copy them on many regular systems because of protections, which means you can't make a backup or format-shift to take it with you on your laptop, etc.

Re:Extortion fee? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15778132)

Er. Owning it does give you the right, seeing as you've already paid for it.
There is nothing in the law to state where you can acquire you 'backup copy'.
If I download a copy of Lord of the Rings, that's my backup copy, as I own the full extended boxset. It just means someone else is helping me to create the backup copy.

Re:Extortion fee? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15778141)

Okay? Having the thing doesn't give you a right to download a copy.Okay? Having the thing doesn't give you a right to download a copy.

You seem to miss the point. Owning a copy allows you to say "But, why in the world would I spend 10 hours downloading a lower quality copy from the internet, which will not directly work on my dvd player without another 1 hours of computer time to make it compatible, when I already own the actual DVD of the movie?"

That's a statement that for joe-sixpack on the jury, or the typical non-techie judge, would make perfect sense. And, as well, if he can show that he purchased the real DVD a long time before they say he downloaded, then the statement will make even more sense to joe-sixpack.

Re:Extortion fee? (1)

Aphex Junkie (633436) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778251)

What if he wanted to watch it on a different device, such as a PSP or a PDA or maybe his laptop, but didn't want to carry the disc (or couldn't use the disc because those small portable devices don't have DVD drives). If he transcoded it to some other format, it falls within fair use. Someone else did the work for him, that's all. If the source who he was downloading from acquired the movie illegally, then that is the source's problem. The defendant in this case is completely innocent as he was no breaking any laws.

Re:Extortion fee? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15778157)

Extortion occurs when a person obtains money or property from another through coercion or intimidation.

Re:Extortion fee? (3, Insightful)

Rydia (556444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778238)

People seem to say that him saying he owns it already is rebutting the fact that he downloaded it, rather than the fact that he was justified. Not only does it serve both purposes, he would be crazy to argue solely justification if he wants to win. Just as you can give multiple forms of a claim in the complaint, you can give multiple forms of defense against that complaint. So he is saying:

With regard to the charge of copyright violation,
(1) I did not do it, as evidenced by my ownership of a legally-obtained copy of the movie in question;
(2) Or in the alternative, I did download the copy, but since I own a legally-obtained copy of the movie in question, my infringement qualifies as fair use and I was therefore justified in downloading it

And, as I said in one response, court isn't just going in and flinging things at a jury, trying to convince them. The jury is given the law and has to apply what happened to it. If the instructions say "If he downloaded a copy from the internet he violated copyright" with no other instruction for a fair use defense, the jury is generally going to say he's in violation, regardless of whatever "The Man is out to get you" idea his lawyers get in through argument.

Hope this replaces the SCO stories (-1, Offtopic)

DrJonesAC2 (652108) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777952)

They were getting few and far between.

Are they psychiatrists now? (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777981)

We look forward to addressing his issues in a court of law.

My ex-wife had issues too, you want to address hers? Go Hogan, you might go down in history as the Hulk Hogan against the **AA, freeing us from all evil.

I hope he goes to court, wins and if they drop the charges, that he countersues.

MPAA suits? (1)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777984)

When did the MPAA start actually suing individuals over P2P transfers? I once read that the MPAA was considering doing so, but I thought that it was the MPAA's standing policy to not sue individual downloaders - mostly to avoid all the horrible press that the RIAA has received for doing so.

the unfortunate reality... (2, Insightful)

Churla (936633) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777989)

Once he really shows some fight in him they will drop it and it will vanish.

The more I see of their operations the more I think the MPAA and RIAA operate very much like local traffic cops. They want to give lots of tickets, and specifically to the people who will just pay the fines and move along. Then hoping that the "watch out, you could get a ticket" mentality will help them get the desired end result.

On the other hand, if he effectively counter sues for defamation of character and/or some other damages done to him by their abusive litigation practices and sets a precedent for others it could open some doors. But then it's still up to others to get lawyers to do it. Make it where the counter suit is profitable enough and lawyers could start making money on the shark-like "we only get paid if you get paid" approach. But you have to put enough blood into the water to draw them out.

Re:the unfortunate reality... (5, Funny)

defile (1059) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778098)

On the other hand, if he effectively counter sues for defamation of character and/or some other damages done to him by their abusive litigation practices and sets a precedent for others it could open some doors.

How do you even begin to quantify the damage done to his reputation? He's got Meet the Fockers on DVD! And now the whole world knows about it!

Re:the unfortunate reality... (1)

Churla (936633) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778152)

Point taken sir...

At least it wasn't a copy of Gigli

Re:the unfortunate reality... (3, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778100)

They want to give lots of tickets, and specifically to the people who will just pay the fines and move along. Then hoping that the "watch out, you could get a ticket" mentality will help them get the desired end result.

I'd like it if this was the way it worked. If there was an affordable but annoying cost to piracy (say $50-100), and easy means for the industry to obtain it, and an easy way to appeal against it, then piracy would be discouraged, the media cartels would be able to fund their anti-piracy efforts, and the pirates wouldn't get nearly as much sympathy as some poor schmuck being threatened by a zillion dollar lawsuit.

Oops! (5, Funny)

BarryLoper (928015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15777998)

Looks like they accidentaly picked on someone who's got some money. Don't you hate it when that happens?

Re:Oops! (1)

punkr0x (945364) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778148)

This is great. In their greed the *AAs are bound to piss off some people who can fight back, and the more they do that, the more they will be forced to change their strategies. This is exactly the kind of story we need more of.

You can own meet the fockers in 10 minutes (1)

Brix Braxton (676594) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778011)

Unless he comes up with a sales ticket dated back a few months - the "ownership" is irrelevent. Also - just because you own a particular brand of car stereo doesn't mean you can go out and steal it too. He had the DVD, he should have converted it from his pre-existing copy.

I know, I know - fair use, blah blah - I'm not talking about what I would do or what I think is right but this is the way that the system works right now and you have to work within the parameters.

What is interesting about this case is that so far, I don't think anyone has been busted for DOWNLOADING - it's always been uploading. I wonder if because of how nature of bittorrent works, they were able to possibly establish that he was not only downloading but also assisting in the distribution.

Re:You can own meet the fockers in 10 minutes (1)

arkhan_jg (618674) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778095)

It's not that it's a defence to download a copy of something you already own - though it should be - but that WHY would he download it in the first place if he already had a copy?

Re:You can own meet the fockers in 10 minutes (1)

Aphex Junkie (633436) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778185)

"Unless he comes up with a sales ticket dated back a few months - the "ownership" is irrelevent. Also - just because you own a particular brand of car stereo doesn't mean you can go out and steal it too. He had the DVD, he should have converted it from his pre-existing copy."

Your so-called "argument" holds absolutely no water. If he bought the DVD, then he has permission to read the bits stored on the media (which make up the MPEG stream). Let's say my DVD was scratched up, but I had as box and a legitimate disc and everything. I could play the first few chapters but then the disc stopped working. Do I have a right to go and download this movie from the internet?

YES, I DO HAVE A RIGHT TO DO THIS.

Same thing -- he had a working DVD. He wanted it in a compressed format. Yes, he could've converted it himself, but let's say he was lazy and someone else with the movie already did the conversion for him. How is downloading a converted copy different from making one yourself using your legitimate DVD as the source? Guess what? There is no difference! Both methods are perfectly within fair-use laws.

"I know, I know - fair use, blah blah - I'm not talking about what I would do or what I think is right but this is the way that the system works right now and you have to work within the parameters."

On the contrary, you ARE talking about what you "think" is the legal method. You're speaking out of your ass and also bending over and presenting said ass to the pillaging dicks of the MPAA. You bought the disc, therefore you have permission to read and interpret the bits any way you see fit. Want to convert it to DivX? Sure! Want to watch it on your PSP? Sure! Want to wipe your ass with it? Go ahead, but it might sting! Want to convert it but you're too lazy? Have an internet friend send you a pre-converted copy. Does your friend own the real DVD? It shouldn't matter to you because the important thing is that YOU do -- the other guy is the one breaking the law and it should be dealt with in a separate manner.

The mentality that you present is what is wrong with the world (mainly the US) today: you willfully ignore the protection that the law gives you and bend over to take it in the ass from big corporations.

Re:You can own meet the fockers in 10 minutes (5, Insightful)

punkr0x (945364) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778189)

Guilty until proven innocent, eh? I'd like to hear what proof the MPAA has that he downloaded this movie, before I worry about whether or not it was legal of him to download it. The "ownership" is far from irrelevent... it's him saying, "Look, I already bought your damn movie, what motive do I have to download it?" He has no burden to prove he bought it, they have to prove he downloaded it.

Re:You can own meet the fockers in 10 minutes (1)

Brix Braxton (676594) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778245)

Because just like you don't know that he really downloaded the movie - you don't know that he owned the movie prior to that.

Anyone can walk into a used DVD shop and buy a copy of anything for cash and toss it in their collection after getting a phone call - that's what I would do. As far as proving that he downloaded it - that's probably the easiest part of all.

Years ago in the 8 bit computer days, when you had to type in programs from magazines - I called a magazine and asked them if I could distribute the keyed in programs to members of a computer club providing that they brought a copy of the magazine with the program with them (to prove ownership). They had a lawyer write me a letter threatoning to sue me if I tried any such thing. And that was me just talking about simply saving someone the trouble of manually keying in his own program.

Re:You can own meet the fockers in 10 minutes (0, Redundant)

getek2006 (989831) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778193)

Please refrain from comparing copyright infringement with theft. That is exactly the false analogy that they want us to believe, and so many people just fall right into it. Copyright infringement does not deprive anyone of the use of anything, theft does. Copyright infringement does not equal lost sales, you can't prove future events.

He is a movie theif. (1)

krell (896769) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778235)

"Please refrain from comparing copyright infringement with theft"

At first, I thought he was trotting out the lie that copyright infringement = theft, but rereading his post, the word "theft" appeared to be contained inside his car-stereo analogy, and was not being used to equate theft with what the DVD downloader was doing. The subject of my response is a typical statement by one of these trolls (complete with the incorrect spelling).

We have enough of those trolls already who toss off-topic words like "stealing" and "theft" into every copyright-infringement discussion thread without falsely identifying them.

Re:You can own meet the fockers in 10 minutes (1)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778203)

They can't expect you to have a sales receipt for buying something at a swap meet. Just show up with the disc. This issue is probably irrelevant.

As far as uploading/downloading goes, you cannot "only download" with bittorrent. You download and upload the chunks already completed. If you break your client to download only your speed will tend towards 0. Might take months to finish the file.

Re:You can own meet the fockers in 10 minutes (3, Insightful)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778248)

Also - just because you own a particular brand of car stereo doesn't mean you can go out and steal it too.

I wish people would stop drawing such ridiculous analogies. You can't steal a copyrighted work by making a copy of it anymore than you can steal a person's soul by taking their picture.

For those... (4, Funny)

sogoodsofarsowhat (662830) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778012)

that say that the MPAA will just drop it and move on. I dont think you understand...this guy has the means and it only takes one like him to make the fight stick. I know that when a guy like this decides its worth MILLIONS of his own money hes pretty determined to see it through. I hope he c0ckpunches these a$$hats but good!

Re:For those... (2, Funny)

scovetta (632629) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778252)

Thanks for the new sig, dude!

This will not go to court. (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778013)

Unless the MPAA are 100% certain that they're going to win. They don't really believe that a pirated movie costs them $2500. They do know that these threats have a huge effect as a deterrent. If they lose the case, they'll lose the deterrent. If they drop the case (after costing Mr. Hogan a modest amount in legal costs), they'll retain the deterrent.

In what way is it in the MPAA's interest to see this all the way to the court?

What does his company sell? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15778032)

If his company offers a tangable product, I would be glad to buy it, in a show of my support. Frankly, this could be a fantastic advert towards me, an man who purchases either what I percieve as a quality product, or of those with an honerable intent.

score one for the little guy (2, Insightful)

esocid (946821) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778052)

oh wait....he's still a big guy.

Worlds Worst ISP (1)

Brix Braxton (676594) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778087)

The article mentioned that Hogan was challenging whether or not an IP could really be traced back to an individual in the world of WiFi.

A friend and I once joked about starting up our own company - ABC ISP - or something like that. Anyway, the idea was that we just were really really bad at running our own ISP and had really bad security. The whole point being that we could connect to our own ISP privately via wifi without worrying about getting busted.

I'm sure there would be a lot of "gotchas" like my cable provider suing me for breaking my "will not resell" contract, but still - fun to entertain the thought.

Standard of proof? (4, Interesting)

quokkapox (847798) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778118)

What is the standard of proof required in cases like these? Have any actually gone to trial? My understanding is that a British ISP basically told the European equivalent of the MPAA/RIAA to GTFO unless they could provide convincing evidence of the accused users downloading specific files at specific times. I've also heard that all the basically have is a screenshot of the "infringing content" along with a hash of some sort. That's not enough to convince me if I were a judge. The hash could be the result of a collision. On some of these networks you can try to download something called "ubuntu-5.10-intel.iso" and end up with an infringing copy of "Meet the Fokkers" because the filenames can be changed. If he had wifi, maybe his network got cracked. Maybe he was running a tor exit link. All of these establish plenty of doubt as to whether he actually deliberately downloaded anything.

Go Shawn Hogan. Get these crooks to tell us "Where's the proof?"

Be careful... (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778137)

of what you wish for:
'They're completely abusing the system,' Hogan says. Although expecting to pay well over $100,000 to defend himself, he claims 'I would spend well into the millions on this.'


If he really wanted to defend the practice of downloading copies of what you purchased on DVD, he would need to spend millions. I think it's great that he's taking a stand, but defending *himself* ain't gonna do jack for the rest of us -- since most of us still can't afford a law team for penny-ante BS like this.

What does this guy think he's Richard Stallman?!?! (2, Insightful)

pfz (965654) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778139)

Check out the new documentary ALTERANTIVE FREEDOM to hear RMS rip the MPAA! (He also rips the RIAA for kicks!)

http://alternativefreedom.org/ [alternativefreedom.org]

It's too bad the thousands and thousands of people who have been "shaken-down" by the evil MPAA didn't have the money to defend themselves. Maybe someday people will realize they need to boycott the MPAA (and RIAA) and their affiliates in order to take back control of entertainment and their government at the same time.

There's another very ugly side to this coin (3, Interesting)

bberens (965711) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778143)

What if he loses?

Who really wins? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15778208)

Lawyers all the way to the BANK!!!

Attorney's fees (4, Insightful)

LuminaireX (949185) | more than 8 years ago | (#15778229)

Although expecting to pay well over $100,000 to defend himself, he claims 'I would spend well into the millions on this.

Is he kidding? If he wins he's obligated to seek reimbursement for his attorney's fees.

They don't call it the POKEY for Gumby's sake (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15778255)


They don't call it the POKEY for Gumby's sake, and that's where this guy and all like him will go if they don't pay for their crime. If you can't do the time or pay the fine, don't do the crime!

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