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MPAA Sets Up Fake Site to Catch Pirates

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the be-sure-to-include-your-social-security-number dept.

The Internet 617

thefickler writes "Media Defender, a company which does the dirty work for the MPAA, has been caught setting up 'dummy' websites in an attempt to catch those who download copyrighted videos. The site, MiiVi.com, complete with a user registration, forum, and "family filter", offered complete downloads of movies and "fast and easy video downloading all in one great site." But that's not all; MiiVi also offered client software to speed up the downloading process. The only catch is, after it was installed, it searched your computer for other copyrighted files and reported back."

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uh oh.... (5, Funny)

SpaceballsTheUserNam (941138) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748279)

I just told all my friends about that site. Knew it was too good to be true.

Re:uh oh.... (1)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748335)

"I just told all my friends about that site. Knew it was too good to be true."

Well, since it's offline, looks like all they'll get is a billboard of "AdSense For Domain Squatters" ads.

Dateline NBC: To catch a paedo (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19748629)


Pirate, paedo. Even sound the same.

What a sorry state you must be in to offer sympathy or empathy to a creep.

Re:Dateline NBC: To catch a paedo (5, Insightful)

TheCoelacanth (1069408) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748725)

Only on Slashdot would someone other than the MPAA/RIAA compare illegally downloading something that would cost twenty dollars to molesting children.

Re:Dateline NBC: To catch a paedo (4, Funny)

TheDugong (701481) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748759)

Surely you jest. They do that in the US Congress as well don't they?

How did they spread the word? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19748391)

How did you hear about it? I'd be interested in learning how they advertised their existance. Forum posts? I've never heard about this site, and I often frequent the shady parts of town.

Re:uh oh.... (2, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748419)

I just told all my friends about that site. Knew it was too good to be true.

You shouldn't be downloading "full movies" from these types of sites anyway. It's clearly illegal and only lets the MPAA say "See? These people are just common thieves like we've said all along". I mean, come on! You never bought a copy of the movie, so you can't be claiming "fair use, blah, blah, blah..." Good riddance to those who get busted, this may be dishonest of the MPAA, but it's also dishonest of you.

Re:uh oh.... (4, Interesting)

DimGeo (694000) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748541)

So, they give someone their copyrighted stuff for free and then call that someone a criminal? Doesn't make sense to me :) .

Re:uh oh.... (5, Interesting)

AntiNazi (844331) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748721)

What is the actual legal position on this? If the copyright holder gives you the copyrighted work, then how is it a crime for you to take it?

Re:uh oh.... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19748557)

Frosty Piss says: "You shouldn't be downloading "full movies" from these types of sites anyway. It's clearly illegal and only lets the MPAA say "See? These people are just common thieves like we've said all along". I mean, come on! You never bought a copy of the movie, so you can't be claiming "fair use, blah, blah, blah..." Good riddance to those who get busted, this may be dishonest of the MPAA, but it's also dishonest of you."

Yeah, Trouble is I also "download" full movies. I do it from this thing called "Broadcast TV" Apparently the movies and TV shows are just free for the taking. My rabbit ears plug into my Mac's Elgato EyeTV and I get nice digital copies of these shows and movies. All for free. And Legal too! I don't understand why "downloading" from one cable (attached to my rabbit ears) should be any different than "downloading" from an Internet site.

Re:uh oh.... (1)

sycomonkey (666153) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748581)

Copyright infringement is not theft. Someone has to lose something for it to be theft. Copying data is pretty much the opposite of theft.

Re:uh oh.... (1, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748601)

Copyright infringement is not theft.

What of it? This is your justification? It's still dishonest. And still against the law.

Re:uh oh.... (1)

sycomonkey (666153) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748617)

No I'm not justifying anything. Just making a clarification. If I were going to justify copyright infringment it would probably take more than three sentences.

Re:uh oh.... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748643)

MPAA call it theft because it causes a loss in profit. This is of course assuming people would otherwise purchase/rent the movie, which is far from clear.

Re:uh oh.... (5, Funny)

Aneurysm (680045) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748731)

I reckon Christmas is the opposite of theft. You get loads of things for free from people. Also thieves go to prison and never see family, at Christmas you have to see family, whether you like it or not.

Re:uh oh.... (1, Insightful)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748657)


You shouldn't be downloading "full movies" from these types of sites anyway. It's clearly illegal and only lets the MPAA say "See?


Downloading should not be considered infringing, or "illegal", because it really is no different than picking up a book found on the street. Besides, there is no sure way for a person to determine the copyright status of a file.

Re:uh oh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19748719)

so if I find your social security card, drivers license and birth certificate its ok for me to copy them because I can? even give them to a few friends of mine? thanks!

Re:uh oh.... (5, Insightful)

dagamer34 (1012833) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748589)

You have to be a government entity to claim entrapment, and that's only in criminal cases. Instead, you'd have to argue that the **AA got their evidence through illegal means, which would normally lead to the case being thrown out without prejudice.

You know what they say! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19748651)

You can't cheat an honest man!

First Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19748287)

First Post!

Entrapment or Honeypot? (2, Insightful)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748291)

Can you say "entrapment" boys and girls? I knew you could.

OTOH, it's not like the people who would have been caught by this were innocents. I dislike pirates only a bit less than I dislike the scumbag tactics the MPAA and RIAA have been using to try to catch them. I'd have liked to see how they were trying to entice people to pirate movies and how their site was set up before I judged how wrong this was on a scale from 1 to 10.

--Greg

Re:Entrapment or Honeypot? (5, Funny)

martin_henry (1032656) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748311)

This is the worst kind of entrapment....the kind WITHOUT Catherine Zeta Jones.

Re:Entrapment or Honeypot? (2, Interesting)

Mistlefoot (636417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748443)

No. Leave Zeta Jones out of it.

The worst kind would be "The only catch is, after it was installed, it searched your computer for other copyrighted files and reported back."

I've read the article and glanced at many google links and does anyone have any evidence of this other then a quote on a website?

If the MPAA tricked me into downloading a bogus file and stored my ip, well, that would be my fault. Such is life. Everyone who visits my website has their IP recorded too. They have that right.

If the program they get me to download is laden with spyware there are laws for that though. This is the only part of the story that concerns me, and I am sure, concerns them.

MPAA Free - New World Order 2.0 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19748313)

Read More globaltics.net [globaltics.net]

Arrrr..

Re:Entrapment or Honeypot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19748333)

I'll be honest, I usually pirate stuff I wouldn't have bought in the first place (which after used, gets deleted since I didn't like it all that much), as a backup (I lost my Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, which I later found in my closet), or if I like it -- I usually but it, for fear of viruses. On the other hand, I run all this software in a Virtual Machine, so if it does have something it shouldn't -- I catch it, or in this case -- they won't find anything.

Now, I won't defend those that put up MASSIVE archives (100's of GB's). A few songs here and there, ok. But egad.

Cost? (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748367)

it's not like the people who would have been caught by this were innocents.

Really? The MPAA is giving their movies away and you did not take one? Does this cost them their copyright?

Re:Cost? (2, Interesting)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748665)

In fact they were innocent - the MPAA are acting for the copyright holders, so if they give something away it's completely legal.

Re:Entrapment or Honeypot? (5, Insightful)

GizmoToy (450886) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748383)

Not to defend the RIAA's actions, but I don't know if you can call it entrapment or not. Entrapment, by definition, involves the police persuading you to commit a crime you wouldn't otherwise commit. This is a private entity catching people committing a crime they would otherwise commit. I don't condone their methods, but I doubt you could successfully adopt an entrapment defense.

Re:Entrapment or Honeypot? (1)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748441)

Mod parent up. Entrapment is a term thrown around quite frequently, but it has an actual legal meaning that is far more narrow than most people understand.

A court would laugh in the face of anyone claiming this to be entrapment.

ARE YOU A COP? (2, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748529)

Cause you have to tell me if you are.

Re:ARE YOU A COP? (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748583)

No they don't. They just can't lie about it, but they sure can tapdance around it.
-nB

Re:ARE YOU A COP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19748735)

Of course they can lie about it, you gullible faggot.

Entrapment or Honeypot?-"/." court now in session. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19748537)

"A court would laugh in the face of anyone claiming this to be entrapment."

Which court would that be? The court of public opinion, or the legal one?

Re:Entrapment or Honeypot? (3, Interesting)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748505)

"Not to defend the RIAA's actions, but I don't know if you can call it entrapment or not. Entrapment, by definition, involves the police persuading you to commit a crime you wouldn't otherwise commit. This is a private entity catching people committing a crime they would otherwise commit. I don't condone their methods, but I doubt you could successfully adopt an entrapment defense."

It's actually an interesting question... The police have successfully put out honeypot cars (attractive and maybe a bit easier to steal than normal) to catch car thieves, and those convictions have been upheld AFAIK.

OTOH, I remember in a community college class on criminal law, they discussed when the cops sent a guy out with 20 dollar bills visibly hanging from his pockets and pretending to be drunk, arresting people who tried to roll him. That was ruled as entrapment because the cops made him such easy pickings as to induce people to commit a crime.

That's why I said I'd have liked to see the site. How much the MPAA/MediaDefender did to lure people to the site and then entice them to download content would determine where it fell on the range from honeypot to entrapment.

-- Greg

Re:Entrapment or Honeypot? (5, Insightful)

Amouth (879122) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748535)

well here comes the question - they own the copyright - they knowingly put their material out there for people to download - and even created a site that inticed people to download it.. as far as i can see they where just giving it away.

on the other hand they also installed spy ware on users computers without letting them know ahead of time - that is aginst the law in some states - it is on the same lvl as alotof the viruses out there.

and if they try to doge the the fact that "they" put it out there by saying it was this "company that does the dirty work" then you point the finger and say - hey did this company have distrubution rights? if not then they are in alot of trouble - if so then they gave the stuff away - and if they say that the company doesn't have distrbution rights but what they where doing wasn't violating the their copyright then well damn many people will be happy to see them say that cause that can be applied so many ways..

all and all this was EXTREAMLY STUPID of them - and i can only pray that they get their asses burned when they try to take someone to court from this thing

Re:Entrapment or Honeypot? (1)

Aneurysm (680045) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748677)

on the other hand they also installed spy ware on users computers without letting them know ahead of time - that is aginst the law in some states - it is on the same lvl as alotof the viruses out there.
You're assuming that the user didn't agree to it, which isn't stated. It could easily give an option during installation saying "This application may take usage information and information on your other media from time-to-time in order to measure popularity - I agree - I disagree". Just because it reports back doesn't mean it installed this functionality surreptitiously.

Re:Entrapment or Honeypot? (2, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748551)

how the fuck do you know they would have commited it if you didn't give them a nice convenient website with family options?

Re:Entrapment or Honeypot? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748603)

I agree. This is a honeypot, not entrapment. Entrapment is about actively making you try commit a crime, and even worse.

Re:Entrapment or Honeypot? (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748679)

It's a honeypot if they didn't advertise it and there was no obvious inducement. A PC with open ports can be a honeypot. A PC with open ports and a webpage that says 'hack this PC!!' is entrapment.

Once they put up a page that days 'download movies free!' it's entrampment, because they've induced someone to commit a crime they (arguably, but that's enough) wouldn't have done otherwise.

Re:Entrapment or Honeypot? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748675)

Almost... except with copyright, if they invite you to copy it, then it's not a crime in the first place because permission to copy it would be implicit in the notion of any form of overt invitation to do so. It's neither entrapment nor a honeypot... it's just a giveaway. You put stuff on a filesharing network to enable other people to copy it, and copying copyrighted works is only infringement if it's not done with permission from the copyright holder. Since the copyright holder (or a suitably authorized entity) in this case is the one putting it up for copying, how can it be construed that the copyright holder is *NOT* giving permission to copy?

I disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19748697)

It seems like this would be a case of a copyright owner (or technically a 3rd party with permission from the copyright owner) putting up their own content for download. There shouldn't be anything illegal about that. If Media Defender did it without permission, technically they're the ones that committed copyright infringement.

Re:Entrapment or Honeypot? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748403)

this is definately entrapment, because they hold themselfs out as legit. the act of downloading content itself is not illegal, so how would anyone know this site wasn't legal?

Re:Entrapment or Honeypot? (1)

jombeewoof (1107009) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748413)

I would imagine it could be construed as hacking and/or virus/spyware like software.
Unless they explicitly tell you that the software will be searching your drive and reporting wouldn't that violate several laws that restrict what software authors can and cannot do?

If this is deemed a legitimate way of finding the pirates, I think this would open up the floodgates for every piece of software written to call home with non anonymous usage and whatever else they decide to mine from your system.

Also, I wouldn't want any software that I run to send anything to anyone without my explicit permission.
When I install Gnu/Debian, it asks me if I want to opt into anonymous package usage. That's fine with me because it asks, and I can say no. If it didn't ask, I'm sure we would be calling for the heads of the devs.

Re:Entrapment or Honeypot? (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748511)

Unless they explicitly tell you that the software will be searching your drive and reporting wouldn't that violate several laws that restrict what software authors can and cannot do?
It's called a EULA. It would be interesting to see exactly what percentage of people bother to read them. Fairly typical, I would expect.

Re:Entrapment or Honeypot? (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748561)

Fairly typical, I would expect.
Er...I meant, "Fairly atypical."

Funny what difference a single letter can make.

Re:Entrapment or Honeypot? (1)

spyder-implee (864295) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748417)

It looks like they are really going for the easy targets and not people like (dare I say?) us, that could easily tell this was a bogus site. Personally I find it comforting they are that far behind the game, but feel sorry for the innocent people who do get caught up in this.

Re:Entrapment or Honeypot? (4, Insightful)

gerf (532474) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748445)

The problem here is that a person may download and install the program with no intention of copyright violations. However, their computer is scanned likely without their knowledge for other, very possibly legal, files. You'd have to read the agreement, rather than click-through it like usual to know this. If they did not warn of complete scans and information being sent back to their servers, then they probably have committed some sort of computer crime.

I've ripped my CDs into .mp3 files, as have millions of others with movies and other media. What is their reaction to seeing these files? Are you going to receive their threatening letters in the near future? God only knows, but frankly, it shouldn't be tolerated in the least.

Hell, if they want to charge you with "theft," charge them back with breaking and entering.

Re:Entrapment or Honeypot? (2, Interesting)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748449)

Can you say "entrapment" boys and girls? I knew you could.
I doubt it would be entrapment in,

First off the *IAA is not a government agent or acting as one.

Second, they are not leading these people to commit the crime. They are just holding the door open. Its like a cop(male or female) can dress as a girl and walk down dark steets at night. If (s)he called out "Come on just try and snatch my purse," to everyone who passed by that might be entrapment, now if you just jump her because she looks like an easy target (s)he can bust your ass and you ARE going to jail.

To the second point, does putting something on a webserver constitue proffering it, or is it just leaving the door open. This is an interesting question because it gets back to who is responsible of distribution when copyrighted material does change hands, the person hosting the file or the person doing the downloading?

I know most slashdot'ers look at it the other way but I have always thought that hosting the files is not the issue, that person has done nothing. The downloader is the one actually making the copy, writing out a new file. This is likely the wrong leagal position though because it would seem contray to most recent laws like the DMCA, the take down notice would make no sense if the above is true. I don't know what if any case law might clarify but the current understanding of legislators seems to be contrary to my view.

Maybe not entrapment because... (1)

Skreech (131543) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748457)

Could this not be entrapment because they're looking for pre-existing material? I don't actually know, and I would love to be proven wrong such that the MPAA is, in fact, performing entrapment.

It seems their philosophy is that it's easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission. It's like a DoS against the government and the people such that the system can't keep up with the flood of their dubious or illegal actions, and they can otherwise afford to pay fines in exchange for scaring people until there's an injunction against the site. Hell, fines were probably factored into the budget for this fake website.

Re:Entrapment or Honeypot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19748509)

Not just entrapment but a search warrant too!

Re:Entrapment or Honeypot? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748641)

Can you say "entrapment" boys and girls? I knew you could.

Maybe if they brought some kind of lawsuit about the movie you download from them. But what about the ones they find on your hard drive that you got someplace else? You downloaded the "helper" software, did you read the EULA? Maybe you "agreed" to let them look around, and guess what they found!

Re:Entrapment or Honeypot? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748687)

Can you say "entrapment" boys and girls? I knew you could.

Can you say "I know the difference between civil and criminal law. The difference between the rules that bind the police and the rules that bind every else?" I am not sure you can.

it's not like the people who would have been caught by this were innocents.

Saying that comes pretty close to sabotaging any hope of raising entrapment as a defense. If you are ready and willing to download all those lovely "free movies" and the site is designed to attract the greedy little fool you are --- it's game over.

Entrapment [wikipedia.org]

Re:Entrapment or Honeypot? (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748761)

Can you say "entrapment" boys and girls? I knew you could.

By the very fact that the MPAA didn't attempt to take down the site, it implies that it's operating legally.

By them making themselves easy to find and offering you an opportunity that you don't find elsewhere, you may well be tempted to try something you'd never try otherwise.

I think that qualifies as entrapment.

elsapo (1, Insightful)

Elsapotk421 (1097205) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748293)

This almost sounds illegal :-/. But hey the MPAA and RIAA are the most important group of people in the world right?

Re:elsapo (1)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748469)

Or maybe is shows how bad their "Media Defender" technology is... I mean how can you defend it if you are the one giving it away... :-)

Re:elsapo (1)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748491)

It is illegal in the US: Title 18, Part I, Chapter 47, Sections 1029 [gpo.gov] or 1030 [gpo.gov] of U.S. Code are good places to start looking, but there are other federal and state ordinances against fraudulently gaining access to "access devises."

EULA (2, Insightful)

cpt.hugenstein (1025183) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748317)

I would think that this process of detection would have to be spelt our pretty clearly in the eula for it to even be feisable for them to try to use this against users.

So where is homeland security? (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748319)

This is obviously cyberterrorism, especially if any government employees download and install that software.

Not to state the obvious, but . . . (5, Informative)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748325)

The only catch is, after it was installed, it searched your computer for other copyrighted files and reported back.

Doesn't this violate various anti-spyware laws? [ncsl.org] For example, here's Illinois' law:

Creates the Consumer Protection Against Computer Spyware Act. Sets forth provisions for unauthorized collection or culling of personally identifiable information, unauthorized access to or modifications of computer settings and computer damage, unauthorized interference with installation or disabling computer software, and other prohibited conduct. Provides that certain persons may bring a civil action against a violator of the Act. Exempts willful and wanton misconduct from the limitation on liability.

Re:Not to state the obvious, but . . . (1)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748433)

How much do you want to bet their EULA spelled out exactly what the program did in obfuscated legalese plus had language making you give up all sorts of legal rights and protections, giving them a baker's dozen of various claims for dismissal of your suit.

But the defense not in the EULA is that if you sued them, the software in question was downloaded expressly for the purpose of committing piracy, so you might have trouble getting sympathy from a jury.

- Greg

Re:Not to state the obvious, but . . . (4, Informative)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748587)

only an EULA isn't a contract and no one can make you give up legal rights or protections.

Re:Not to state the obvious, but . . . (4, Interesting)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748717)

Plus one crime has no bearing on the other.

You can't say 'I murdered him because he was a pedophile'. You get tried for murder, he (if he lives) gets tried for pedophilia. They're separate crimes.

So they can't say 'we spied on him because he is a pirate' and get away with it. You get tried for copyright infringement, they get tried for breach of privacy laws.

Re:Not to state the obvious, but . . . (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19748727)

What? In general, EULAs are considered legally to be boilerplate contracts. The fact that you, and apparently a mod, think that EULAs are somehow non-binding blows my mind.

Re:Not to state the obvious, but . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19748447)

It might have been in the EULA.

Will we see justice? (1)

TheRequiem13 (978749) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748327)

People should not have to worry about tricks like this. It should be (and probably is) illegal. It should be easily punished.
Unfortunately, I'm so jaded that I truly believe no one will get so much as a slap on the wrist over this.

Re:Will we see justice? (2, Insightful)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748405)

People should not have to worry about tricks like this. It should be (and probably is) illegal. It should be easily punished.
Unfortunately, I'm so jaded that I truly believe no one will get so much as a slap on the wrist over this.


I'm guessing, in the US at least, if they setup the site properly there would be nothing illegal about it. They could host "pirated" movies that the copyright owners gave them permission to use in this fashion; the EULA could specify that they are are allowed to search your machine for files and report back what is found and use the information in any manner they pleased.

Of course, I would also guess a defendant would get little sympathy for the "I was tricked" defense.

Legality (0, Redundant)

damadfiddler (1123955) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748341)

I believe this qualifies as entrapment.

Hmmm ... (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748345)

If they control distribution of the material and they are providing free downloads, weren't the just giving away their own stuff? Not quite the same way as Prince was [slashdot.org] , but still.

Re:Hmmm ... (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748497)

Who? Media Sentry? What makes you think they have any special right to license big media's copyrights?

There's a reason why they contract others to do their dirty work.

EULA? (2, Interesting)

plams (744927) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748347)

Unless an EULA actually states that their software shares your harddisk's contents with another party this it's utterly illegal. Everybody reads the EULA's don't they?

A Modest Suggestion (4, Insightful)

florescent_beige (608235) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748351)

Stories about MPAA shenanigans could just as easily and correctly be entitled, for example, "Sony Sets Up Fake Site..." (Or Disney, or Universal, or Paramount, or Warner). MPAA is, after all, simply their agent in these matters.

Re:A Modest Suggestion (1)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748645)

Stories about MPAA shenanigans could just as easily and correctly be entitled, for example, "Sony Sets Up Fake Site..." (Or Disney, or Universal, or Paramount, or Warner). MPAA is, after all, simply their agent in these matters

Or, you could just link to the Wikipedia site [wikipedia.org] and not get mod'ed down.

I can get mod'ed down all day because this user name (iknownuttin) is owned by a consortium of folks who speak their minds and doesn't necessarily represent my own personal point of view or spelling, althoough, by being a member, they in fact represent me. And if I do get mod'ed down, it's no skin off of my ass because this is just shell organization's user name.

So, it's really not me saying this, just my user id, but the parent is correct and the mods are Goddamned stupid for modderating him down.

Security breach, etc... (1)

Ekhymosis (949557) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748353)

Ok, so the MPAA and Mediasentry are doing this 'devious' thing. But how will this go when the program suddenly causes computers to go haywire, etc? Can they sue mediasentry et al?

Can anyone say.... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19748371)

....entrapment?

Love to see one of these cases come to light. (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748389)

First of all, just because the MPAA owns copyright to a movie doesn't mean I can't have a copy of it on my hard drive (or in my DVD library, for that matter).

Re:Love to see one of these cases come to light. (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748745)

Umm yes it does. That's why it's called a *copy*right.

If they don't give you permission you cannot copy it.

WTF? (4, Insightful)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748407)

"Perhaps Media Defender won't use its own name on the registrar the next time around, but it just goes to show the lengths at which the MPAA is willing to go, to fight piracy." Illegally install spyware on my fucking machine, search my PRIVATE FILES, oh and then to top it off, with the MPAA the mess that it is in, they'll probably sue you for having a file named "Hostel", you may or may not have stayed in a hostel last year on holiday, but it sure does seem like copyright so we're gunna take your hard disk and have a closer inspection of my PRIVATE FILES!

Without huge data transfers, they can't fully check a file, so the best they can do is spy on your file names, and steal your documents, not any media files though, I hope people get sued for this I really do, so the MPAA gets screwed with the huge countersuit.

Re:WTF? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19748621)

Most file sharing networks operate off the hashes of the files, which are small and easy to replicate, and it's easy to compile a list of said hashes with a client to any major file sharing network. So there would be a pretty easy way for them to know what you do and don't have, irrespective of the file name.

does that mean I can keep the movies? (2, Interesting)

nanosquid (1074949) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748429)

So, if they provide free movie downloads, does that mean I can legally keep it?

Re:does that mean I can keep the movies? (1)

Tatisimo (1061320) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748623)

You can, as long as you figure out a way not to get caught by their spyware.

The saddest part about this... (3, Informative)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748431)

They knew they were going to eventually get caught. It doesnt take a genius to realize that if "going dark" after 10 hours of the article release that they were anticipating this... And I suspect if the media contacts them, then it will be the classic "the intern did it" type response.... These guys make the russian mafia look good by comparison...

Re:The saddest part about this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19748605)

I'm pretty sure the MPAA don't stoop to assassinations, beatings and maiming. Perhaps comparing them to the Russian mafia is overstating things a bit.

Although there could be a compelling case for organized criminal activity such as conspiracy to commit various crimes, extortion, racketeering etc.

Is this a legit or non-legit movie site? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19748461)

If MiiVi.com is distributing movies with the MPAA's permission, then downloaders are ok.
If MiiVi.com is distributing movies without the MPAA's permission, then MiiVi is in trouble.

Either way, something is wrong with their tactic.

Re:Is this a legit or non-legit movie site? (1)

enosys (705759) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748553)

What if they don't have permission to distribute movies and they're just distributing other videos, even just a black screen and silence, and claiming those are movies? That's kind of like how the police can sell fake drugs.

They should pay (1)

TWDsje (1095947) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748465)

We should all upload videos that are nothing but hours of static, and use it to waste their bandwidth and money. It is time they get a taste of their own medicine.

Re:They should pay (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748615)

Ha ha ! We taught them a lesson they'll never forget !

Now, where'd I put that copy of The Matrix, seriously, I can't find it in all this static.

Re:They should pay (1)

scaryjohn (120394) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748701)

Nah. They'd claim to own the copyright on static, too.

Got Ethics? Perception of RIAA/CRIA vs. MPAA (5, Insightful)

Cordath (581672) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748499)

This incident highlights what is, perhaps, the biggest reason why RIAA has already lost their battle against piracy and the imminent danger the MPAA faces. RIAA could have limited their depredations to only those pirates who mass produce bootlegs for profit. Instead, they went after the blood of their own customers and employed methods that make the pirates look like the good guys. Root kits, law suits, entrapment, price fixing, you name it. The icing on the cake was the knowledge that the only people they screwed over more than the customer was the artists!

Here in Canada, we have CRIA, which actually managed to get a tax slapped on all recordable media, mp3 players, etc.. Ostensibly, the money collected form this tax is supposed to go to the artists whose incomes are reduced by the evils of all Canadians. It's anyone's guess what CRIA actually does with the loot. Their books are not public. The last time I checked, they weren't paying out bupkiss to indie artists, but aren't they our victims too? As a Canadian, all I see is my money being taken away because I'm a criminal by default and given to the buisness equivalent of the mafia. Bravo!

I've been boycotting all RIAA/CRIA affiliated labels for years. The way I see it, every penny spent on one of their artist delays the inevitable and gives them another opportunity to do irreparable harm to our laws. However, I still go to the cinema and buy DVD's. Why am I not as concerned about the MPAA? Perhaps it's because they have, to date, not stooped to quite the same levels as RIAA in going after their own customers, even though they're already the scum of the Earth behind the scenes.

Here's a word to the MPAA. Take a look at the mess RIAA has made of its affairs. You don't want to go down that road.

a simple primer on morality (1, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748503)

any sense of right and wrong includes punishment. however, the punishment must always be less severe than the crime itself. otherwise, you do not have justice, you have revenge

this observation applies to the mpaa/ riaa versus music pirates

this observation applies to social and religious conservatives and why sharia law is wrong/ why homosexuals should be allowed to marry/ etc.

this observation applies to the wackjob end of the liberal spectrum who believe something like 9/11 or bali bombing or 7/7 in london is appropriate response for western cold war crimes, etc.

there's a whole raft of other ideological failures, that are failures simply because they confuse justice and revenge

whatever you believe, if your belief includes responses to perceived crimes that are harsher than the crimes themselves, then that automatically means whatever you believe is wrong, and will fail. this is a cornerstone concept of the validity of any ideology: revenge is not justice. justice elicts support from other people, and therefore is an ideology which can take hold and spread to other people. rvenge elicits no support. it causes others to turn away

and this is why the riaa/ mpaa will never prevail: what they do gets no sympathy. because what they do is worse than music/ movie piracy. it is cold and cruel and therefore without an ability to garner support from the general populace

It's only entrapment ..... (1)

budword (680846) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748573)

If it's the government doing it in a criminal case. For civilians in general or to gather evidence for a civil suit, the rules are different.

Anyone who fell for this deserves to get caught (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748575)

Seriously. Offering something to download and install on your computer to increase the speed? That practically screams 'malware'.

Re:Anyone who fell for this deserves to get caught (1)

MP3Chuck (652277) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748691)

Well... the ones downloading it are probably also the ones sitting there thinking "Hmm, my computer is slow lately" because of all the malware they've already been infested with.

How interesting (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748585)

Who knew that a bad Stallone sci-fi movie could provide appropriate social commentary.

MAFIAA: We will pump spyware onto their computers to catch the pirates!

MAFIAA flunkie: But aren't we breaking the law in the process of catching criminals?

MAFIAA: IAMTHELAW!!!!!

W. Bush: And I'm the Decider! *hunches over* heh-heh

You see, children... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19748637)

This is why you should only use a reliable video piracy site, such as "Pirate Bay", or one of the larger "YouTube" immitations.

Seems like you can't trust anyone these days.

Ouch (1)

ruinous (1123167) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748671)

Oooh, that's just nasty. And surely illegal. Any lawyers about?

Would that evidence be inadmissible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19748699)

I think any lawsuit on that should be dismissed. Unclean hands, unauthorized access of a computer, decpetive trade practices, ... a defense lawyer could have a great time with something like this.

can this be the end of mpaa? (1, Interesting)

superwiz (655733) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748711)

Entrapment issues aside (since mpaa is a private organization and does not have the limits put on the GOVERNMENT by the constitution), each one of these scans (if unauthorized) is a copyright violation if perfomred on a computers that contains any sort of creative work (for example a piece of code that someone is working on for their CS101 class). Perhaps mpaa should be reminded what kind of penalty copyright violations carry with them. Reminded, that is, through a subpoena for every instance of such violation.

Using the internet is a private affair? No infrin (1)

QX-Mat (460729) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748723)

As far as I know, copyright law goes something like this. The rights holder is granted a limited monopoly. This right is as such that it stops entities recreating your property. Later on this incorporated the distribution of copyrighted material - ie: you must have the original covering, you must not resale, or identify as your own. Copyright became a right to distribute only the work as the work, and resell only as an item (ie: you can sell a book to a friend, but not the story or change the form of the story).

Copyright doesn't extend into the home. Private affiars, as long as non commerical, are outside the privee of most laws. And if I remember correctly the supreme court ruled (i've been reading a lot of Lessig's work!) that once the intarweb cable enters the home, it is a private affair - ie: you can connect what ever box to the end you want to receive signals.

Take that a little further. If you are positioned to simply receive copyrighted content, you are doing nothing illegal if you are not trafficking. If you use a website to receive copyrighted content, you are also not doing anything illegal. Watching TV, which comprises of 99.999% copyrighted works, is not, to my knowledge, illegal.

So how is receiving (downloading) a pirate movie illegal if it is not stolen, not a bootleg or modified work, not involved in terrorism???

Matt

FRAUD AND LIES! (4, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748729)

Is fraud an acceptable enforcement tactic? Seems to me that if they offer downloads, and are contracted by the movie studios to do exactly this, than any downloads from them are de facto legal.

And if they spy on your computer otherwise with software that doesn't clearly indicate this in the license agreement, doesn't The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act come into play? Could MediaSentry go down Big Time over this little misstep?

Great attempt (1)

nlitement (1098451) | more than 7 years ago | (#19748749)

Too bad they can't catch the terabyte torrent distributors, or hell, even the scence itself, so they try to catch the naïve, computer illiterate and often innocent grandmas and children.
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