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MPAA Caught Uploading Fake Torrents

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the old-bait-and-switch dept.

Movies 579

An anonymous reader writes "The MPAA and other anti-piracy watchdogs have been caught trapping people into downloading fake torrents, so they can collect IP addresses, and send copyright infringement letters to ISPs. The battle between P2P networks and copyright holders seems to be a never ending battle. It will be interesting to see how much the anti-piracy groups practices change once they begin begin selling movies and TV shows legally on bittorrent.com."

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579 comments

Nothing for you to see here, please move along (2, Funny)

sokoban (142301) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566202)

I guess that Slashdot has been caught uploading fake headlines as well.

If the MPAA uploads to you then it is legal (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17566398)

If the MPAA is knowingly uploading something to you then they are giving their OK to you to accept it.

This is no different than if I hand you a dollar (or a fake dollar). I am agreeing to give it to you.

The MPAA is in full control of the content or fake content. If the MPAA has agreements with record labels not to give anything away for free then that is the MPAA's problem.

Re:If the MPAA uploads to you then it is legal (2, Insightful)

FKnight (521972) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566744)

"If the MPAA is knowingly uploading something to you then they are giving their OK to you to accept it." That's right. They're give you their OK for you to accept the FAKE torrent. "The MPAA is in full control of the content or fake content. If the MPAA has agreements with record labels not to give anything away for free then that is the MPAA's problem." They aren't giving away any record label or movie content for free. They are giving away fake torrents for free.

ARSENIO HALL THRUSTING HIS COCK INTO NICOLE BRAZZL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17566574)

Check it out, right freaking here [nicolebrazzlexxx.com] !!!!!!!!!

ZOMG!! (2, Funny)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566210)

OMG the cops were also caught planting fake cars waiting to be stolen so they could catch car theives!!

Re:ZOMG!! (5, Insightful)

Fez (468752) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566250)

Only in this case, no actual theft has occurred. If it's fake, there is no crime. Sure there may be intent, but how exactly are you supposed to infringe on the copyright of a nonexistent work?

Re:ZOMG!! (4, Insightful)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566288)

And AFAIK, copyright infringement requires unauthorized *distribution*. Attempting to acquire bootleg material is, at best, a trivial offense. So what exactly are they claiming when they "notify" the ISPs?

Re:ZOMG!! (5, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566496)

And AFAIK, copyright infringement requires unauthorized *distribution*. . .

No, unauhtorized distribution is a requirement for copyright infringement to be deemed a criminal matter, but the law is called copyright, not distribution right. The right to distribute is a corallary right of the right to copy, since the former depends on the latter.

If you are the legitimate owner of the physical media you may distribute at will. You do not need any special authorization, the person who created it did. CD stores are not licensed, they just buy "stuff," property, and resell it.

So what exactly are they claiming when they "notify" the ISPs?

That their copyright has been violated, because it has. The downloader is making a copy, without authorization. Yes, it's a trivial civil offense. That isn't at all the same thing as saying it isn't an offense.

KFG

Re:ZOMG!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17566530)

If they make it available along with a message encouraging to you take it, it isn't unauthorized.

Re:ZOMG!! (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566700)

If they make it available along with a message encouraging to you take it, it isn't unauthorized.

If I put a brown paper bag on my front porch labeled "Full of Money," I do need to encourage anyone to take it. Their own greed is perfectly sufficient to do the job.

KFG

Re:ZOMG!! (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566638)

The downloader is making a copy
If I buy a bootleg DVD, am I making a copy? In "computer terms", you're copying the data, but you're not making a copy in the traditional sense. I'm not saying you're wrong about it still being a civil offense, but your logic is incorrect.

Re:ZOMG!! (2, Informative)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566774)

If I buy a bootleg DVD, am I making a copy?

No. You are purchasing a physical object. The bootlegger made the copy.

In "computer terms", you're copying the data, but you're not making a copy in the traditional sense.

Is there a pattern of ones and zeros on your drive that wasn't there before that matches the pattern of ones and zeros of the source?

If so, I'm afraid you have made a copy. A copy that even has a physical instantiation, even you fail to understand the latter point.

KFG

Re:ZOMG!! (5, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566680)

So what exactly are they claiming when they "notify" the ISPs?
That you downloaded/uploaded a file called "XXX.YYY.AVI"

AFAIK, nobody has actually gotten around to forcing the **AA into proving anything in court.

And again, AFAIK, the **AA hasn't had anything more than screenshots of alleged sharing as evidence

Re:ZOMG!! (5, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566296)

The MPAA still holds the copyright on the sequence of bytes it did upload... but it also gave permission to copy by the act of uploading it! (This is necessarily the case, because otherwise I could just as easily say that you were infringing my copyright by reading this post.)

Re:ZOMG!! (5, Insightful)

Leftist Troll (825839) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566358)

The MPAA still holds the copyright on the sequence of bytes it did upload... but it also gave permission to copy by the act of uploading it!

The MPAA didn't upload any copyrighted material. They're seeding garbage files that are labeled as actual content and collecting IPs.

Re:ZOMG!! (2, Insightful)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566446)

US copyright law doesn't require any explicit statement or registration. In general, you own the copyright on anything you produce. Nothing is public domain unless it is explicitly released as such.

Re:ZOMG!! (1)

eric76 (679787) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566508)

They're seeding garbage files that are labeled as actual content and collecting IPs.

Yeah, but what can they really do with the IPs they collect? Is "attempted copyright infringement" a crime?

Re:ZOMG!! (5, Funny)

jrockway (229604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566822)

> attempted copyright infringement

No, it's called "conspiracy to conspire about thinking about thinking about a thought crime". Just turn yourself in now.

Re:ZOMG!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17566344)

From what I've seen, with the info they get they usually just contact your ISP and encourage them to cut off your service.

Re:ZOMG!! (4, Interesting)

XanC (644172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566366)

That doesn't stop the cops from posing as 13-year-olds online to nab child predators. I'm honestly not sure how that works in court. How can one be convicted of soliciting a minor when there is no minor? Very similar to the fake torrent scenario.

Re:ZOMG!! (2, Insightful)

LordEd (840443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566458)

My solution is simple. I host all of my Linux distribution under code names that just happen to correspond to some movie names. Its not my fault if I 'accidentally' download the wrong humorously named Linux distribution.

Re:ZOMG!! (1)

jcarkeys (925469) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566498)

They can only prosecute the child predators when the predator goes to meet with the child. Only then does it cross a threshold (not including kiddy porn stuff)

Re:ZOMG!! (2, Informative)

eric76 (679787) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566602)

They can only prosecute the child predators when the predator goes to meet with the child.

My understanding is that in Texas, arranging to meet someone for sex who you believe to be under the age of consent is a crime in itself whether or not you actually show up.

Re:ZOMG!! (2, Informative)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566642)

Dunno about Texas specifically, but that is what the entire class of crime is about: the intent to have sex with a child. And it's been upheld repeatedly.

Intent (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566752)

Thats beacuse intent IS a crime, when you attempt to follow thru with it, regardless of the outcome.

SOME FACTS (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17566806)

Attempted copyright infringement is a new crime introduced by The Intellectual Property Protection Act 2006 [wikipedia.org] . The act has not yet been passed, so downloading fake torrents appears to be legal at the moment. But IANAL.

Re:ZOMG!! (5, Insightful)

Lesrahpem (687242) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566814)

In my opinion there's a huge difference here. Even if the MPAA put up real files they still should not be able to do anything about you downloading them because they are the copyright holders. This is the same thing as when an artist puts up a song for free download on their website. You can't get in trouble for downloading it because the copyright holder is the one offering the file.

Re:ZOMG!! (2, Insightful)

Snarfangel (203258) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566252)

In this case, it's like putting a pile of junk beside the road and sticking a carboard sign on it that says "car." I wonder what the value of random digital garbage is.

Re:ZOMG!! (5, Insightful)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566416)

1. These aren't cops, or law enforcement of any kind.
2. If you put your own car out by the road with a "free car" sign on it, you can't accuse someone who takes it of GTA.
3. If the cops actually plant a "fake car" like you describe, the perpetrator is not guilty of Grand Theft Auto, as no car has been taken.

Re:ZOMG!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17566782)

They plant real cars, locked, only they have devices in them capable of disabling the car when the cops push a button.

The gta'ers break into a locked real car, really hot wire it, and really drive away in it. It's not thier car. They just broke the law. Serpico pushes a couple of buttons and the car stops running, doors lock, and the next thing you know Killer the K9 is chewing on the scumbags leg while the cop points a gun at the scumbags head.

Re:ZOMG!! (5, Insightful)

Wanon (808109) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566730)

OMG the cops were also caught planting fake cars waiting to be stolen so they could catch car theives!!

Grr, Copyright Infringement ISN'T THEFT!
REPEAT AFTER ME!
Copyright Infringement ISN'T THEFT!

It would be more like the cops planting a fake car and then someone copying the design of the fake car, so they could catch people copying their design.

is that even legal? (4, Interesting)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566236)

If you are part of the MPAA and you download a torrent from someone else just to prosecute, technically isnt the MPAA breaking the law as well??

( I know off topic slightly )

Re:is that even legal? (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566270)

no; as the copyright holders they are authorised to expressly approve of P2P distribution. :)

Re:is that even legal? (2, Interesting)

Snarfangel (203258) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566314)

What if there is a confusing or misleading title on a torrent, and they download something they do not own the copyright for?

Re:is that even legal? (4, Informative)

crankyspice (63953) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566300)

If you are part of the MPAA and you download a torrent from someone else just to prosecute, technically isnt the MPAA breaking the law as well??

The MPAA operates with the authorization of its member companies. They've presumably authorized the association to make reproductions of the copyrighted content for anti-piracy purposes, and copyright infringement is the unauthorized reproduction (or distribution, or ...) of the protected works, so, at a guess, I'd say they're pretty safe on that one.

well than my next point is.... (1)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566324)

If they are loading up fake files for you to download, than you in reality do have "beat it" on MP3, you have static or a recording saying do not download this song etc. You are in fact NOT in possession of the stolen works that they are after

Re:well than my next point is.... (1)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566492)

But you tried to get them. If you get caught trying to break into a house, they don't wait for you to succeed before nabbing you. The trick with "e-crimes" is that it's extremely difficult to prove intent before it's actually accomplished. If you're trying to crack a password, there's often no conclusive evidence until you succeed. In this case, though, it's fairly obvious.

Re:well than my next point is.... (2, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566612)

There is no crime involved here. The MPAA members sue in civil court for copyright infringement: a tort. In order to win they must convince the court that an unauthorized copy was made. "Tried" doesn't count.

Re:is that even legal? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566364)

But if you're authorized to reproduce and reproduce it from an unauthorized source...

'scuse me, checking for more Aspirin. Strange, every time copyright law gets discussed, my logic center starts hurting.

Re:is that even legal? (1)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566436)

Are you talking about being an individual licensed to reproduce and reproducing from an authorized source, or the MPAA doing so? In the latter case, there is no such thing as an unauthorized source. In the former, we're off topic, but you would be liable for infringement. Whether or not they'd bother to prosecute depends on how big of a dick the rightsholder is.

Re:is that even legal? (1)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566316)

Since the members of the MPAA own all the copy- and distribution rights to their respective works, not to mention that they're the sole source of licensing, they can do whatever they want with the files so long as it is sanctioned by the organization's standards and practices.

They are the owners in the fullest sense and are above the fray of current IP controversy. They wouldn't bring suits against themselves, and let's say they did one day. It would be dismissed in a heartbeat, because you can't steal from yourself. The only place where something interesting might happen would be if a major studio expressly prohibited this sort of electronic sting, and the MPAA used one of their titles in such an action.

Re:is that even legal? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17566384)

Guys, the torrents are FAKE.

They hire a company to put up fake copies of popular movies, music albums, and TV series. They even use pirate like filenames such as "Battlestar Galactica S03E07 REPACK DSR XviD-ORENJi" and "Miami Vice[2006]DvDrip[Eng]-aXXo".

They're not pirating their own movies. The files they distribute contain 350 megs of garbage. The point is to use their own tracker and get people's IP addresses.

Re:is that even legal? (4, Interesting)

mark-t (151149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566826)

Not at all... the MPAA is authorized to distribute their own content, after all.

But THEY are the ones choosing to put it on a public network, and its pretty hard to call it copyright infringement when the person you got it from when the person you got it from was authorized to distribute the content in the first place. It's their own choice to honor any download requests, after all... granting such requests is implicitly and indisputably granting permission to copy.

Re:is that even legal? (2, Interesting)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566846)

This isn't off-topic at all, but IANAL, so the following may be completely wrong.

As for its legality, a similar legal concept is entrapment [wikipedia.org] , but that involves law inforcement, not private parties. However, the MAFIAA have often argued (in court) that different aspects/behaviors of P2P file trading "induce" copyright infringement. Following this line of thinking, it might be possible to argue that they themselves were attempting to induce copyright infringement. I don't know if that could be turned into an argument to get off the hook or ban this practice, though.

Today's word is entrapment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17566258)

Have a fun time in court, everyone.

Re:Today's word is entrapment (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17566304)

Exactly what I was going to post. If a policeman offers to sell me drugs, and I accept that offer, in criminal law I am not liable - the policeman is.

Re:Today's word is entrapment (4, Informative)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566604)

No, you're wrong.

A better name for entrapment would be inducement.

If you're willing to engage in a crime, it isn't entrapment for the police to offer you an opportunity to break the law. So in your example, the policeman who does nothing more than offer to sell you drugs and who does sell you drugs, is not breaking the law and is not entraping you.

If you aren't trying to break the law, and you're more or less strongarmed into doing so -- i.e. induced by something more than a mere opportunity to do so -- then it can be entrapment. So if you didn't want to buy drugs, and refused the offer, but then the police threaten you into doing it, you'd have a decent entrapment defense.

Re:Today's word is entrapment (3, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566820)

Entrampment is being enticed to do something you wouldn't have done otherwise.

"...the defendant has the burden of proving either that he or she would not have committed the crime but for the undue persuasion or fraud of the government agent, or that the encouragement was such that it created a risk that persons not inclined to commit the crime would commit it, depending on the jurisdiction. When entrapment is pleaded, evidence (as character evidence) regarding the defendant that might otherwise have been excluded is allowed to be admitted."

This is why a police officer posing as a prostitute won't ask for money, or make the intial offer.

But if the MPAA was distributing them... (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566262)

...then either it wasn't copyright infringment, or the MPAA was infringing too! The only legitimate way for the MPAA to "catch" people committing copyright infringement would be to observe the swarm without uploading anything itself.

Re:But if the MPAA was distributing them... (2, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566320)

Even in this case would it really be viable evidence? I'm not sure by observing the swarm that you can ever tell that these people have actually received the full file and in that case, with many media formats all you're left with is a file full of random bytes, at what point does it become copyright infringement? I was under the impression in the cases of file sharers they've actually had to demonstrate having downloaded an entire file to prove infringement, merely receiving half a file isn't enough as half a file may quite often be nothing but useless data. Would the same apply to observing a swarm? i.e. being unable to tell if the full file is actually ever being received by anyone?

So... (4, Insightful)

Perseid (660451) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566264)

...if the file is fake and not actually the movie in question is it still piracy?

...if the MPAA is uploading it isn't it an authorized download?

...or will their lawyers eat mine for lunch?

...damn it.

Re:So... (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566394)

Well, technically they can impound you for downloading the fake content, if downloading said content is illegal. They are the originator, it's their 'art', so...

Though I'd wager it could be kinda hard (provided you find a judge that isn't yet caught up in anti-piracy bubbles) to argue that this isn't a setup, that they didn't want to play agent provocateur. Is that legal in the US?

Re:So... (1)

statusbar (314703) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566576)

Hmm.. Police can arrest people for drug dealing even if the white powder that they were representing and selling as drugs was really just baking soda.

--jeffk++

yeah but the reason for that is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17566808)

that intent to commit a crime, whether or not you go through with it, is often itself a crime.

That's not the case with copyright infringement. You have to actually infringe in order to be liable. It's not enough that you intend to infringe.

Re:So... (2)

cfulmer (3166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566760)

HA! Well, if posting it on a bittorrent site is distribution, then they are certainly allowed to distribute their own work. So, there's no infringement if they make it available for you to download and you do.

I suspect, though, that they're using that to find people who are sharing other infringing files.

Re:So... (1)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566400)

If you try to pick up a cop disguised as a hooker, is it still prostitution? Not technically, but you're still going to jail, because had the transaction been permitted to continue, it would have been illegal. The tricky part is allowing it to go far enough to provide a solid foundation, but not allowing the actual infraction to take place. You might have a cause of action against the fake hooker for misrepresentation, so maybe you could use the jail time to brush up on your torts.

Re:So... (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566566)

If you try to pick up a cop disguised as a hooker, is it still prostitution? Not technically, but you're still going to jail

Isn't that why they charge you with solicitation?

Re:So... (1)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566634)

Well yes, but in most places you get charged with solicitation even if you've actually participated. It's not illegal to buy sex, it's just illegal to sell it. Sort of like how it's illegal to sell absinthe in the US, but it's not illegal to purchase or consume it, or how uploading is decidedly illegal, but downloading is quite a stretch.

Re:So... (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566708)

Wow they do it that way around in the US? Wierd. Surely you should be locking up the pervs not the women who have to feed a drug habit.

Re:So... (1)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566470)

"...or will their lawyers eat mine for lunch?"

Now now, the MAFIAA's lawyers may be scum, but no need to call them cannibals.

Caribs would be quite offended.

Re:So... (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566488)

That the file contents aren't what you expected doesn't change anything. As long as the contents are a copyrightable work, it doesn't much matter what work it is. It's similar to how undercover police might sell someone a ziploc bag of sugar, then arrest that person for attempting to purchase cocaine. Of course, if the work used was in the public domain, or licensed for everyone to download, that would throw a monkey wrench in MPAA's plan, but it's unlikely that they'd make that mistake. ...if the MPAA is uploading it isn't it an authorized download?

You could make the argument, but I don't think it's a very strong one. With a sympathetic judge, it could work, but they're usually not very sympathetic to people they see as wrongdoers.

Re:So... (1)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566692)

It's similar to how undercover police might sell someone a ziploc bag of sugar, then arrest that person for attempting to purchase cocaine.


No it's nothing like that. It is illegal to attempt to buy drugs. It's not yet actionable (civil or criminal) to attempt to download a song or movie.

This just sound like scaremongering (4, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566266)

IANAL but surely if the downloads they provide aren't copyright protected content and are in fact junk then you're not actually breaking any law because you're not actually downloading copyrighted content.

Contrary to that, surely if it is copyrighted content then the MPAA is making the content available to you. Is it really illegal to download something from the copyright owner if they make it available publicly with no license to agree to prior to download? I'd have thought they'd have a hard time arguing that they didn't intend the content be distributed in the case that they place it readily available on a file sharing site. What's more, even if the MPAA did use this argument then surely if this became precedent then it would have the side effect of destroying any court cases against file sharers as those sharers could merely claim that they didn't intend the files they were sharing to be distributed much like the MPAA might in this scenario?

I just don't see how this really has any legal grounding, however law is a funny thing, particularly in the US so I could be wrong here!

Worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17566694)

I think it's worse than that. After noting your IP address as you download files that they themselves published, they then commit perjury by fraudulently claiming to the court that you were downloading copyright protected content and claiming damages for the download and distribution of content that didn't actually happen.

hmm (4, Interesting)

Swimport (1034164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566272)

Attempted copyright infringement?? Is that even illegal?

Re:hmm (1)

Madmongo (947123) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566390)

Hmmm...is that like attempted murder? Or Soliciting? You haven't killed or slept with anyone, so what crime has been committed really?

Re:hmm (1)

apachetoolbox (456499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566444)

That's just way to close to a 'thought crime' for me. *shudder*

Re:hmm (1, Insightful)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566520)

And attempted arson, attempted murder, attempted fraud, attempted prostitution aren't?

Re:hmm (1)

Swimport (1034164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566736)

And attempted arson, attempted murder, attempted fraud, attempted prostitution aren't?

They are, but I believe there are specific laws making these crimes. I doubt the US Copyright act, or DMCA specifically make attempted copyright infringement illegal.

Re:hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17566546)

Attempted copyright infringement?? Is that even illegal?


In the totalitarian USA? You bet it is. Even thinking about copyright infringement is. All thought crimes are.

Don't steal their shit and they won't fuck with (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17566278)

Don't steal their shit and they won't fuck with you. Simple as that.

Re:Don't steal their shit and they won't fuck with (0, Redundant)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566710)

I think that you mean "Don't try to steal their shit."

If you're downloading a fake file, you're not really stealing anything.

LK

yeah (1)

kirils (1050022) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566298)

Well, if they are uploading non-copyrighted stuff, what's the reason for sending the copyright infringement letters to ISPs?

Here we had software companies that share their own software on DC network couple of years ago. The plan was to go and talk to the downloaders about how bad that is.
A pity only uploading, not downloading is oficially a crime here.

What's law breaking about this? (1)

ultramkancool (827732) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566310)

How is downloading a file filled with zeros or random bytes breaking the law, even if it has the same file name as a valid release? Total Bullshit, if anyone gets prosecuted this way, they should be easily able to get out. I'm just glad I live in Canada :)

what does this accomplish? (5, Insightful)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566332)

Either they're uploading the real file which means they're in violation of copyright law, which seems unlikely. Or they're uploading the real file but they, as the copyright holder, have deemed it OK to distribute - which means it's OK to go ahead and grab it.

Or they're dummy files, which means you can go ahead and grab it since there's no copywritten content shifting hands.

Calm down (5, Informative)

MEGAMAID (791988) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566388)

There is an allegation that article about the use of fake torrents by the MPAA to harvest IP address so they can use them to send out infringement notices, which has then been converted to a fact by the submitter.

I suspect that the MPAA has these fake torrents to confuse people and waste their time downloading junk, in the hope that they'll give up using torrents. It's a very weak link to suggest that these are being used to send copyright infringement notices.

Ahh, the MPAA again (1)

jkxx (739331) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566440)

I wonder how long it'll be before mediadefender.com's site becomes the target of a DDOS.. On topic now, they are trying to sue people based on downloading a fake. This may hold up as in schools/planes where you would get in serious trouble for saying something of the order of "I have a bomb!" regardless of whether it's true. But still, it's pretty ridiculous. Going further, if a court were to validate the MPAA's 'evidence' in any of these cases, it'd change the rules so that the legal system must judge based on intent preemptively as opposed on based on actions. I'd think that would open the door for many a frivolous suit. It also seems the MPAA is pretty inexperienced at keeping up with the standards of torrent-based networks. They may be able to lure in non tech-savvy users but otherwise their efforts seem to be blocked fairly quickly by the torrent search engines. What are the current penalties imposed on a person for losing a court battle with the MPAA? (Could probably find it fairly easily but don't feel like going through legalese now). I remember in 2005 a law passed in Bulgaria where the sentence for downloading music illegally was set for 3 years. Pretty ridiculous considering the sentence there for committing a felony tends to be much shorter. Just a few thoughts.

law enforcement (1)

MSG (12810) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566478)

While I think that current copyright terms are too long, and the DMCA and DRM completely negate the public interest part of the copyright bargain and need to be repealed, I also believe in copyright and think that it should be enforced. From that stance, I really think that law enforcement agencies, not the MPAA, should be the ones prosecuting copyright infringement by offering copyrighted works in places where infringement is known or suspected, and pursuing investigation and prosecution. Such a practice would be a legitimate sting operation, I think.

when will someone copyright static??? (2, Funny)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566480)

Someone should copyright the files that the MPAA is loading as fake files and than sue the MPAA for releasing copyrighted material, I wonder if false representation of these files would also fall in line.... any takers???

Aaah, the joys of freedom! (1, Funny)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566518)

This, by the way, is what the unregulated Internet looks like: the rich and powerful perpetrating their own rough justice upon the masses, unencumbered by any law or rule.

Re:Aaah, the joys of freedom! (1)

gordgekko (574109) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566842)

You mean the same masses who are breaking laws?

I'm no fan of the **AAs but leave the hyperbole for discussions about Gitmo or climate change.

The M.O. probably since Attack of the Clones. (4, Interesting)

cerebis (560975) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566540)

Does anyone recall the media hubbub surrounding the release of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones? That the movie had been released onto P2P networks before it had even hit the theatres in many countries? Incontravertible evidence that something _had_ to be done about this scourge of filesharing!

A cynic might think it an interesting situation that a dutiful journalist would have to admit to committing a potential crime just to verify the report. A less determined one might just settle for the query results, with the less technologically adept ones being completely convinced: ignorant of the fact that no hard coupling exists between a file's name and its content.

When the claims were tested for veracity by secret anonymous squirrels, none of the files found on the Gnutella network contained any footage of the film.

It qualifies as illegal search (2, Interesting)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566548)

They're not doing this to find content, they're doing this to pre identify suspects for crimes they may commit in the future. Profiling and it's being done by a private party.

Catch-22 for MPAA ? (0, Redundant)

eepok (545733) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566562)

Couldn't it be argued that the MPAA is setting up a honeypots? Since honeypots are questionably legal (or illegal) because they are intercepting communications that are not intended for the interceptor, couldn't they be prosecuted? (ie The file transfer is intended for sharers and trackers who exist to benefit sharers)

OR

Since the MPAA is uploading the torrents to begin with, aren't they giving permission to view whatever they upload?

OR

How is this different from Phishing?

Re:Catch-22 for MPAA ? (2, Interesting)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566656)

I have'nt brushed up on torrent EULA's recently but the owners of the servers should add a clause that uploading false files is illegal and against the TOS and this might allow the Torrent companies to come back at the MPAA. Just a thought.

a plan to take the RIAA/MPAA down (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17566588)

produce a copyrighted work licensed for free use by anyone except the RIAA/MPAA. upload copyrighted work to every p2p network on earth using filenames which make it appear to be a copyrighted work which the RIAA or MPAA control. wait to get sued. when sued, show that in fact they were the ones who violated YOUR copyright. rinse and repeat ad naseum until those motherfuckers get sick of their own medicine.

They can have my IP... (5, Funny)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566644)

They can have my IP. I just use whatever wide-open wireless network is available. Often, that's my town's free wireless program. Have fun, MPAA.

Re:They can have my IP... (0, Offtopic)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566728)

They can have my IP. I just use whatever wide-open wireless network is available. Often, that's my town's free wireless program. Have fun, MPAA.

Do you spoof your MAC? They have that too.

LK

terms that seem to be used oddly (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17566668)

ianal - but there are a few things that i often see repeated in these discussions that are, to my understanding, a bit incorrect. i could be wrong, but i don't think so.

copyright protected content: anything that is written in the us is copyrighted at the time of writing. even if it doesn't have a registered copyright it still technically enjoys copyright protection (thus the mail it to yourself, leaving the envelope closed after arrival, to create dated evidence of copyright). this, i would think, would also make the random junk that they distribute copyrighted.

entrapment: it seems like it, but...entrapments is only a criminal-law defense, and has very strict rules for how it can be used as a defense. and of course in civil lawsuits entrapment just can't happen.

isp's often don't care: even if there's no law you violate, the mpaa can still complain to your isp, who probably doesn't investigate himself, just disconnects you.

the last thing is something i'm shaky-er on
assumed permission: if something is posted on the internet you have to assume you have permission to download it. all the images on someone's photo-blog are copyrighted, but you have to download them to view them at all.

so assuming i'm correct on all of that, then it logically *should* follow that any torrents that you know are being seeded and/or tracked by the **aa should be fine to download, and quite possibly fine to redistribute based on the way the **aa should know the bittorrent technology works.

in any case though it would probably have to wind up in court, and lets face it, by the time you're there you've already lost allot of money.

Use peerguardian and block the following ip set (5, Informative)

vivek7006 (585218) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566682)

66.172.60.XXX,
66.177.58.XXX,
66.180.205.XXX,
209.204.61.XXX,
216.151.155.XXX

From the article:
The anti-piracy servers use hostnames like 101tracker.dhcp.biz, aplustorrents.qhigh.com, bitnova.squirly.info, bittorment.ocry.com, and pirate-trakkrz.leet.la. All these hostnames can be traced back to the same IP Ranges, these ranges contain possibly hundreds of fake trackers, so feel free to block them

Re:Use peerguardian and block the following ip set (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17566794)

Wouldn't the blocklist that PeerGuardian downloads anyway have those IP ranges in it?

I really wish the developers would hurry up on the Vista version of PG. Ah well. Thank goodness for private trackers. :)

bittorrent, is doomed and good riddens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17566748)

The only thing I have used Bittorrent for is downloading linux. Get faster FTP sites and fuck off!

Let's say I leave a TV on a sidewalk (1)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 7 years ago | (#17566836)

Okay. Let's assume you have a TV. You put it outside on your sidewalk and leave it there. Then you arrest the first guy who tries to pick it up. That would be the equivalent of what they are doing.

There are a lot of people who give things away legally by leaving in on their lawn.
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