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Has RIAA Abandoned the 'Making Available' Defense?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the slippery-fish dept.

The Courts 125

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA's standard complaint (pdf) was thrown out last month by a federal judge in California as speculation in Interscope v. Rodriguez. Interestingly, the RIAA's amended complaint (pdf), filed six days later, abandoned altogether the RIAA's 'making available' argument. (Whereby making files available at all for download is infringement.) It first formulated that defense against a dismissal motion in Elektra v. Barker. This raises a number of questions: Is the RIAA is going to stick to this new form of complaint in future cases? Will they get into a different kind of trouble for some of its their new allegations, such as the contention that the investigator "detected an individual" (contradicting the testimony of the RIAA's own expert witness)? And finally, what tack will defendants' lawyers take (this was one lawyer's suggestion)?"

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Nothing for you to see here. Please move along. (0, Troll)

Silverlancer (786390) | more than 7 years ago | (#20633099)

It seems Slashdot has abandoned its "making available" defense for its articles, too!

Re:Nothing for you to see here. Please move along. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20634057)

That's not true! They generally make the articles available at least twice.

The perfect defense for any RIAA lawsuit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20633121)

Jews did 9/11

Re:The perfect defense for any RIAA lawsuit (-1, Offtopic)

BugAttack (624234) | more than 7 years ago | (#20633511)

name them

Re:The perfect defense for any RIAA lawsuit (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634589)

<flush src="karma">These people. [riaa.com] There were more, but it was these two who led them.</flush>

Defense? (5, Insightful)

hazem (472289) | more than 7 years ago | (#20633191)

Has RIAA Abandoned the 'Making Available' Defense?

IANAL, but I can't imagine the RIAA is offering to many defenses in these court cases. Maybe they're abandoning the complaint of "making available"? That's what the article seems to indicate...

Re:Defense? (0, Offtopic)

hazem (472289) | more than 7 years ago | (#20633217)

"too" many, that is. That's what I get for trying to be cheeky.

Re:Defense? (0, Offtopic)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634065)

"too" many, that is. That's what I get for trying to be cheeky.
No, you were right the first time... "Too" is applicable when you can replace it with "also", "Two" when you are counting, and "To" otherwise.

Re:Defense? (0, Offtopic)

leenks (906881) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634141)

So you think that "There are too many eggs in that basket" is wrong because you cannot write it "There are also many eggs in that basket."

There are cases when you can use too in the way you describe, but many others where you cannot.

Re:Defense? (2, Informative)

fenderized (976906) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634151)

That's rubbish. Let's look at the examples from "American Heritage Dictionary" (it was handy, use another if you want).
  1. In addition; also: He's coming along too.
  2. More than enough; excessively: She worries too much.
  3. To a regrettable degree: My error was all too apparent.
  4. Very; extremely; immensely: He's only too willing to be of service.
  5. Informal Indeed; so: You will too do it!
You could replace the first example and it would work. The next three would be meaningless and it would completely change the meaning of the last example. So the OP was right about being wrong.

Re:Defense? (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 7 years ago | (#20637075)

You people argue two much.

(Actually, I avidly follow the grammar and spelling posts. As an avid reader (of BOOKS, not just the intartubes) I find the general level of communication among supposedly educated people appalling.)

How about a complaint? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20633351)

I wonder if he can use anything from the MediaDefender leak against them? For example, apparently the anti-P2P folks admit to making up ridiculous numbers...

http://www.slyck.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=37857&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=50 [slyck.com]

----- Original Message -----
From: J*
To: B*****; J****
Sent: Wed Jun 06 16:22:23 2007
Subject: p2p summit

I'm speaking at a p2p summit next week. Usually we just blow smoke and brag about our companies for an hour or so...but this time we have a different format. They want me to put together a presentation with slides and all...

You think you can help me with some of these questions?

Estimated number of decoys we send out every day?
Estimated number of spoofs we sent out every day?
Estimated number of projects we have running at any one time?

Thanks!

Re:Defense? (2, Informative)

GwaihirBW (1155487) | more than 7 years ago | (#20633381)

"It first formulated that defense against a dismissal motion" So, it's a defense of their offensive (in several ways!) cases, justifying ("defending") their acts of bringing people to court.

Hmmm... (0, Troll)

scoot80 (1017822) | more than 7 years ago | (#20633291)

All these stories about RIAA doing this and that.. why doesn't it just get branded a terrorist organisation that is it, and the US government can actually go after something that actually exists? The army can go and blow shit up and shoot not so innocent individuals, and everyone will be happy?

Re:Hmmm... (1, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634555)

I'd vote you for president (if I were an American, lived in America, and had registered to vote at least).

Re:Hmmm... (1)

scoot80 (1017822) | more than 7 years ago | (#20635581)

/. does not seem to agree though.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

ls -la (937805) | more than 7 years ago | (#20636193)

It looks like a troll got ahold of some mod points today. That, or whoever did woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

Slashdot is just a pro-piracy site (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20633303)

Seriously, every day we have some otyher fluff piece about how record companies and ISPs and everyone that earns over minimum wage is evil, and the same as nazis, and explaining how the god old filesharing pirates should be able to save the day and stick to the man by stealing content other people worked damned hard to create. I'm sick of slashdot pretending to be some kind of grown up adult web site, when in reality, like digg, its just a publicity machine for the idiots in the pirate party.
If you want music, movies or software, fucking BUY IT, and stop leeching off the efforts of honest people.

Re:Slashdot is just a pro-piracy site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20633341)

You seem to be missing the point. You are probably one of them.... If you don't think that invading someone's privacy is wrong, or entrapping people into squeezing money out of them is wrong, there is something wrong with you. I'm not an expert on this in any sense, but RIAA's practices are borderline illegal, if not completely illegal. So, how does this make them any different from the average file sharer who is getting his/her files illegaly. Well, the difference is, the little guy is getting screwed, while the *AAs are getting the moula..

Entrapment? (1, Informative)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 7 years ago | (#20633693)

If you don't think that invading someone's privacy is wrong, or entrapping people into squeezing money out of them is wrong, there is something wrong with you.


I'm sorry, while I'd even agree with the privacy slant, and I don't really have much love for the RIAA... excuse me? Entrapment?

Let's have look at dictionary.reference.com [reference.com] , shall we. The only definitions that fit in a legal context, seem to be the likes of "the luring by a law-enforcement agent of a person into committing a crime" (Random House Unabridged Dictionary) and "To lure into performing a previously or otherwise uncontemplated illegal act. (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Also note the following note from Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law: "Entrapment is available as a defense only when an agent of the state or federal government has provided the encouragement or inducement. This defense is sometimes allowed in administrative proceedings (as for the revocation of a license to practice medicine) as well as criminal proceedings. In order to establish entrapment, 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."

I.e., pay attention: Entrapment is when some government agent (e.g., an undercover cop) persuades you to do something illegal that you wouldn't have even considered otherwise. Just getting caught when doing something on your own is _not_ entrapment, much as it seems to be a popular mis-conception on Slashdot.

E.g., if you're some random Joe minding your own business and some undercover cop comes and coaxes you and promises you big bucks if you'll grow hemp for him in your basement, that's entrapment. It can be argued that you wouldn't have considered doing it on your own. Maybe you're just gullible, not a crook. On the other hand, if you're selling dope anyway and an undercover cop comes and buys some hemp from you, that's not entrapment.

E.g., I seem to vaguely remember a terrorism-related case where it was argued that the cop had pretty much manufactured the whole cell. He wasn't (supposedly) recruited into a cell, he recruited a bunch of disgruntled muslim immigrants and persuaded them that it's Allah's will to blow shit up and punish the infidels, and promised them money, weapons and fake papers. It may show that they were not morally above that, given the right persuasion and incentive, but they weren't doing it until that cop coaxed them.

On the other hand, had the cell existed and planned that shit on its own, then an undercover cop infiltrating it would _not_ count as entrapment.

E.g., to further illustrate the delimitation, IIRC there was this case of a woman trying to hire a hitman to kill some neighbours. The undercover cop posing as a hardened hitman, precisely to avoid any possibility of entrapment, actually tried to talk her _out_ of it, and asked several times if she's completely sure she wants to go ahead with it. Just being an undercover agent may be a lie, but it's not entrapment. It would be entrapment if he went and convinced a neighbour how much easier things would be if she killed everyone she doesn't like.

So pray tell, how did the RIAA entrap these poor people? Did some undercover RIAA agent go to their house, befriend them, and beg them to share some songs online? Or what?

In most cases the RIAA didn't even know who the fuck was at that IP address until the ISP told them. They even got some awfully bad info in some cases, resulting in some PR screw-ups of epic proportions. So how do you figure out it was entrapment?

Plus, don't you think they would have chosen their victims better, if it was entrapent? I'm sure that if they went and coaxed people to put songs online so they can sue them, they wouldn't have chosen 80 year old grandmas and 6 year old kids.

Re:Entrapment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20635441)

First up - IANAL

Yeah - you're right about "entrapment", but copyright violation is not a criminal matter, it's civil and civil law has similar concepts to "entrapment" - in the US I believe it's called "unclean hands". Coming to a transaction with an undisclosed and unrelated motive, or conducting your side of the transaction in bad faith.

Consider what the RIAA are often accused of doing:- "making available" poisoned files that appear to be their clients copyright materials, encouraging people to download them and then "make available" for further download.

If prosecuting people for the exact thing that you're doing yourself isn't bad faith and "unclean hands", I don't know what is.

Personally I think /. can be excused for using "entrapment" in the colloquial sense - because that's what the RIAA is doing.

Re:Entrapment? (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#20636681)

The question then becomes (since they are not law enforcement officers) are they committing crimes themselves?

Re:Slashdot is just a pro-piracy site (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20633353)

Except when it comes to GPL software. Stealing 20 lines of GPL code should be punishable by death!

Re:Slashdot is just a pro-piracy site (1)

proton (56759) | more than 7 years ago | (#20635635)

good penalty. only problem is you cant steal 20 lines of code in any way shape or form. you can only copy them and abuse them.
its only RIAA and MPAA that claims that copying 0's and 1's is stealing.

Doesn't work because (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20635973)

a) Code can be used without anyone knowing it, unlike music, when you can HEAR YOURSELF the similarities.

b) GPL violation are almost 100% solved by not doing it any more. RIAA violations are solved by threatening trillions of dollars damage in total and a complete change in the law.

c) RIAA says stealing, we say abusing copyright

for all three reasons, among many others, there is no analogue between the two scenarios.

Re:Slashdot is just a pro-piracy site (4, Insightful)

digitig (1056110) | more than 7 years ago | (#20633865)

I'm sick of slashdot pretending to be some kind of grown up adult web site, when in reality, like digg, its just a publicity machine for the idiots in the pirate party.
You seem to be a little confused. /. is not a person. /. is a collection of lots of different people, including you, with different views, including yours. /. does not pretend or claim to be anything beyond "News for nerds. Stuff that matters", although individuals may pretend or claim that it is something else. /. cannot be a publicity machine for any interest group (except, perhaps, nerds) because although individuals may act as publicity machines for particular groups it's an open forum and so contrary opinion can always be expressed with equal weight (and the holder of that contrary opinion is just as liable to get mod points). Do try to remember that a couple of guys you happen to disagree with do not comprise the whole of /., and if you have a counter-argument to what they say then present it.

That's not quite true (2, Insightful)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634067)

The AC appears to be complaining about the daily story selections, and not neccessary regular posters like you and I. To be fair, there are only 14 authors total, and they decide what goes on the front page.

While I consider Slashdot worthy enough to read and post to, I wouldn't recommend believing in your portrayal of an unbiased and fair democracy either.

Re:That's not quite true (0, Offtopic)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634549)

To be fair, there are only 14 authors total
And three of them are kdwawson.

Re:That's not quite true (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 7 years ago | (#20635247)

Even then, the story is written in a pretty neutral way and should be of interest to pro-RIAA folks as much as anti-RIAA folks. As far as I can see it's only the tagging that shows a clear bias (and I don't usually bother looking at that).

Re:Slashdot is just a pro-piracy site (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634277)

Pro-piracy? More anti-extortion. Or anti-money-makes-right, pick your flavor.

It doesn't bother us (well, me, at the very least) so much that someone who illegally copies content gets busted and has to pay for it. What bothers me is the blanket/boilerplate way this is tried. The content industry usually has little to no evidence and abuses the court system for practices that smell a lot like extortion. "Pay or we drag you to court and your expenses are insanely higher" is the message.

Interesting enough, every single case is dropped as soon as the defendent has the guts (and money) to stand up against the threat.

So far they failed to present a single solid case. They rely on judges who don't know jack about the matter, on people who cannot afford to actually go to court against them and on scaremongering.

And yes, that's what I'm against. I can rather live with a pirate in freedom than with a corporation having the right to extort money from whoever they please.

Re:Slashdot is just a pro-piracy site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20635231)

It doesn't bother us (well, me, at the very least) so much that someone who illegally copies content gets busted and has to pay for it. What bothers me is the blanket/boilerplate way this is tried.
oh, but surely the only way that could possibly bother you is if you have something to hide?

Re:Slashdot is just a pro-piracy site (3, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#20635599)

Of course I have something to hide. If you don't, install PCAnywhere on your PC and post IP, Port and user/pass.

I'm getting REALLY royally pissed at "nothing to hide" bullcrap. Sorry, but my privacy is the only thing I will defend with my life. It's neither your, nor any country's, nor the RIAA's business what's on my PC, in my apartment or on my mind.

Yes, I have something to hide. It's called my private life. You want it? Over my dead body.

Re:Slashdot is just a pro-piracy site (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 7 years ago | (#20637007)

Accusation does not prove guilt.

Just because the RIAA has chosen to burden someone with the costs of defending themselves
in the courts, it doesn't necessarily mean that the individual has done anything wrong wrt
to the RIAA.

Regardless, the indivdiual with very limited resources will be forced to pay big bucks to
either defend their reputation or cave in to the extortion in order to risk some future
judgement based on fantasy damages.

The RIAA shouldn't get an advantage that is not available to someone that's suing you over
the fact that you ran into them with your car. (statutory damages vs actual damages)

Re:Slashdot is just a pro-piracy site (2, Insightful)

kebes (861706) | more than 7 years ago | (#20635421)

It doesn't bother us (well, me, at the very least) so much that someone who illegally copies content gets busted and has to pay for it.
Incidentally, it does bother me. Why? Because we all know that a huge number of people infringe copyright on a daily basis. In fact, among the Internet-using population, I would be willing to bet that most people (>90%) have infringed copyright at some point. (During a talk at Google, Cory Doctorow asked the audience, by show of hands, how many had infringed copyright in some way... every single hand went up.)

This bothers me because the few who get caught, tried, and convicted (or settle) for copyright infringement thereby represent a randomly-selected sub-group out of a larger population. This kind of selective enforcement is the antithesis of justice. This kind of inequality and randomized punishment should not be tolerated in a free country.

So, the solution is either to make detection and enforcement so robust that every single infringer gets caught and punished. Or, to change the laws so that we are no longer automatically turning most citizens into criminals. Personally, I find the fact that society at large disregards the current (strict) version of copyright law to be indicative of fundamental problems with said laws.

But regardless of the solution, I am very much bothered by the lack of justice we see today as a result of copyright law. Frankly we should all be bothered.

Re:Slashdot is just a pro-piracy site (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#20635735)

The sad fact is that with the increasing insanity spreading throughout copyright law, it's quite possible that everyone who ever touched a machine capable of reproducing copyrighted content infringed in a way or another. Often without even trying or knowing. And the logic reaction is of course "why bother trying?".

If it's impossible to work within the limits of the law, people start ignoring the law. Basically, you could imprison anyone with a computer on grounds of copyright violation. I'm fairly sure you'll find some file or another on any computer. A CD borrowed from a friend and copied, a video downloaded and carelessly kept past the grace period, even a shareware program that's still unregistered on your computer... all infringements, often accidently.

I think copyright might become what tax laws was for a long time. Remember, they didn't catch Al Capone for murder, gambling or protection money extortion. I wouldn't deem it impossible that copyright will be used that way too. Unfortunately, not against criminals but against people whose opinion (and voicing thereof) is "unfavorable".

Re:Slashdot is just a pro-piracy site (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 7 years ago | (#20635737)

I wouldn't say the site is pro-piracy, but more anti-corporate-bullshittiness.

This complaint is no better (4, Interesting)

JoelKatz (46478) | more than 7 years ago | (#20633325)

This complaint is no better. It claims they "detected an individual" who is "distributing". But they don't actually detect any distribution. Their "download and/or distribute" language makes no sense, since they never detect anybody downloading anything.

This should be rejected summarily as well.

Re:This complaint is no better (2, Informative)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 7 years ago | (#20633441)

> It claims they "detected an individual" who is "distributing".
> But they don't actually detect any distribution.

Nor do they detect an "individual". An IP address isn't an individual. If you're lucky, you might be able to connect it to a particular computer at a particular time.

Re:This complaint is no better (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634129)

> It claims they "detected an individual" who is "distributing". > But they don't actually detect any distribution.
Precisely.

They say stuff like that based on the assumption, correct in some cases, that the judge doesn't have any understanding of computer technology.

Re:This complaint is no better (4, Insightful)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634143)

It claims they "detected an individual" who is "distributing". But they don't actually detect any distribution.
Nor do they detect an "individual". An IP address isn't an individual. If you're lucky, you might be able to connect it to a particular computer at a particular time.
Precisely.

They say stuff like that based on the assumption, correct in some cases, that the judge doesn't have any understanding of computer technology.

Re:This complaint is no better (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634433)

If you cannot explain a term to someone who does not understand that term, then you yourself don't understand that term (and all of its dependencies until you reach a level that person does understand). In this case, I'm fairly certain the judge knows both the difference between a computer and a person, and the difference between distribution and potential distribution. If I understand you correctly, what you're saying is that they're simplifying to make up for the judge's lack of technical understanding. That's incorrect, however. Given the ease with which the correct simplification could be made, provided that the RIAA lawyers or their technical advisors do understand the concepts of an IP address and uploading and difference between a person and computer and the meaning of the word potential, the only remaining possible purpose of their simplification is not to inform, but to mislead the judge.

Re:This complaint is no better (2, Insightful)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#20636415)

If you cannot explain a term to someone who does not understand that term, then you yourself don't understand that term (and all of its dependencies until you reach a level that person does understand). In this case, I'm fairly certain the judge knows both the difference between a computer and a person, and the difference between distribution and potential distribution. If I understand you correctly, what you're saying is that they're simplifying to make up for the judge's lack of technical understanding. That's incorrect, however. Given the ease with which the correct simplification could be made, provided that the RIAA lawyers or their technical advisors do understand the concepts of an IP address and uploading and difference between a person and computer and the meaning of the word potential, the only remaining possible purpose of their simplification is not to inform, but to mislead the judge.
It's clear that the only purpose is to mislead the judge. It's not a simplification to say you detected "an individual" when you didn't. It's a lie.

Re:This complaint is no better (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 7 years ago | (#20636637)

Ah, I misunderstood the position of your previous post, I thought you were trying to offer that as a justification for their statement. Then you go and flip it all around on me and say yourself what I didn't want to say in order to avoid an argument I didn't want to have that I thought you'd make ... bravo. And yeah, it is a lie, but I'll bet you anything that if they really get pinned down on it they'll try to call it a simplification. It's the only out for them I can see.

Oh wait, you really are a lawyer. Excuse me, I have to go teach my grandfather how to milk a cow.

I'm not intentionally distributing... (2, Interesting)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#20633475)

... I'm just putting the files where I can access them for my own listening enjoyment while I'm on the road/at work/in Starbucks. That's just fair use since I bought the rights to listen. I don't intend for anyone else to be listening, but I guess they could if they wanted to.

Wonder whether that defense would work?

Only if you can claim to be "dumb" (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634171)

That defense can work, but only if you can convince a judge that you're "too dumb to know". I.e. if you happen to work in the IT field, he'll probably not believe you that you don't know what "your computer" means when he asks you to share c:\.

And forget it altogether if you run Linux. After all, every judge knows that Linux users are geeks, and they are by default criminal hackers and suspicious, and if not guilty of this crime then certainly for something else.

Re:Only if you can claim to be "dumb" (2, Interesting)

rhizome (115711) | more than 7 years ago | (#20636541)

That defense can work, but only if you can convince a judge that you're "too dumb to know".

Not necessarily. You could say you only intended to share the files with yourself in another location. IANAL, but I don't believe the law requires an individual to take any special security precautions when dealing with copyrighted materials.

Re:Only if you can claim to be "dumb" (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#20637429)

Well, then it could be neglect. For example it can in some country count as "faciliating a crime" if you leave your car unlocked with the keys on the seat and someone takes your car to commit a crime.

Of course, faciliating a crime is rarely if ever called upon when it comes to computers, as malware has shown, you can be as ignorant and gullible as you want in the vicinity of a computer and you're impossibly liable for any damages. Unless, of course, you should have known better (read: you're in IT). And I guess the same would apply here. If you're an IT professional, you should have been able to know how to make sure that you and only you can access the shared files.

And we're back to "being dumb is an out of jail card".

At this point.... (4, Interesting)

rts008 (812749) | more than 7 years ago | (#20633411)

I don't see either the RIAA or the MPAA turning down any chance to turn a buck their way- even soliciting BJ's in rest area bathrooms.

Remember, this is the same crew that established 'payola' in the late 1950's and refined it in the decades since despite several court cases decided against them for this.
Reminds me of a Pennsylvania farmer I once knew. He made his living by poaching deer and selling the meat to some fancy, high dollar Maryland and D.C. restaurants. He would get caught poaching, pay the stiff fines out of a roll in his pocket and claim that it was only 3 days profits, and only got caught several times a year. Just a small operating expense...no big deal. He just laughed it off and even bragged about it.

I see the same mentality with the RIAA and MPAA, just throw crap against the walls as fast as you can...surely some of it will stick!

Remember: IP means Internet Protocol. ;-)

Re:At this point.... (4, Insightful)

mpe (36238) | more than 7 years ago | (#20633609)

Reminds me of a Pennsylvania farmer I once knew. He made his living by poaching deer and selling the meat to some fancy, high dollar Maryland and D.C. restaurants. He would get caught poaching, pay the stiff fines out of a roll in his pocket and claim that it was only 3 days profits, and only got caught several times a year. Just a small operating expense...no big deal. He just laughed it off and even bragged about it.

The only unusual thing is an individual being able to use this kind of business model. Corporations have the advantage that they cannot be arrested.

Re:At this point.... (1)

rainmayun (842754) | more than 7 years ago | (#20638521)

There is no need to "arrest corporations". If a corporation engages in criminal enterprise, then the corporate veil is pierced, and the individual persons committing the alleged crimes can be arrested.

Re:At this point.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20633677)

just throw crap against the walls as fast as you can...surely some of it will stick!

This always struck me as the oddest of expressions. Who needs shit stuck to a wall?

Now, shit [reuters.com] pressed onto a round, shiny plastic disk...

Still... (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634401)

Well, my two thoughts are:

1) Good for the farmer... the deer population in the northeast is so ridiculous that with the ticks these animals have, they're as bad as rats in the city. The states ought to up the bag limit to 3 or 4 buck per season and allow anybody who wants to get a doe license.

2) If a farmer is shooting deer on his own property, is that really poaching? It's screwy that the law could protect the deer on his property, since it could be argued the deer are his. But I don't know anything about the law in this area.

Re:Still... (2, Interesting)

Bozdune (68800) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634629)

Exactly. They are rats with hooves. And they aren't the little mule deer from California, either, these are the big white-tailed deer. Very large animals. I can't mow the lawn without picking ticks off my ass, and I have to surround every shrub and every flower bed with deer netting (and don't tell me that coyote urine or soap or shock sticks or any of the other half-measures work, because they absolutely do not. A hungry deer is not stoppable except by physical barrier, and even then, sometimes not. They will dig under it, reach over it, push against it with their bodies, whatever it takes).

Also, don't tell me about "deer resistant" plantings. There are very few (VERY FEW) plants that deer will not attack. The deer here are so hungry they will eat holly, they will strip pine bark, they will eat rhododendron. They are desperately hungry. Want to grow a vegetable garden to help save the planet? "Thanks, a salad bar!"

Even if you can keep deer off your property, which requires a hideously ugly 10 foot (yes, 10 foot) deer fence and a driveway gate to go with it, the ticks are picked up by chipmunks, squirrels, mice, etc. and spread around regardless. Around here, Lyme disease testing is routine. You feel sick, they test you. Half my neighbors have had it (and it's no joke).

The only solution is to cull the herd to a reasonable level. Deer sightings should be rare, not "Gee, there were six of them chewing the shrubs this morning," or "wow, I passed 13 deer corpses and the 13 totaled vehicles to match on the way to work this morning." If you open the front door and hear them galloping down the driveway as loudly as a John Wayne Western, you know what I'm talking about. One idea is to form a human chain a couple miles long and march right through the woods flushing the bastards into a pre-arranged corral. Then all you bleeding heart animal lovers can pay for the tranquilizer guns and the cattle trucks to move them 600 miles north where they belong; either that, or we shoot them on the spot and give the meat to a homeless shelter.

I'm not a violent person. I don't hunt, and I don't own a gun. But this is ridiculous. They have to be culled.

Re:Still... (1)

chudnall (514856) | more than 7 years ago | (#20636293)

You should try weimaraners [wikipedia.org] . Very good deer repellent :)

Re:At this point.... (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634503)

Not disagreeing with the main point of your post, but, and I think they're the only animal I can say this about, somebody caught poaching deer should be given a fucking medal.

Deer are nowhere near even being endangered. Their population is not falling. If things continue exactly as they are, society is certainly no worse off because of this man's actions. The punishment is too stiff. It should be lightened until the deer population reaches the point when I almost hit them only as often as other highly successful species in the same area.

Re:At this point.... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634831)

Pennsylvania should have just changed their laws such that a second or third offense within a given time window resulted in confiscation of poaching equipment, including things like vehicles. The fines a warning, the loss of your rifle(s) and vehicle hurts.

Hey Mr. Animal lover...answer me this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20635183)

If Bambi is a boy deer (a "buck"), then why is the name only given to girls?

Re:At this point.... (1)

msouth (10321) | more than 7 years ago | (#20635373)

Pennsylvania should have just changed their laws such that a second or third offense within a given time window resulted in confiscation of poaching equipment, including things like vehicles. The fines a warning, the loss of your rifle(s) and vehicle hurts.


Great idea! Let's give the government another excuse to take people's property and force them into submission! You should run for senate.

Re:At this point.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20636611)

Why don't you get out of my Republic and go found Libertaria so that we can regulate our country without your incessant whining and uneducated blather?

Oblig. IT crowd reference (4, Funny)

Eudial (590661) | more than 7 years ago | (#20633421)

It felt appropriate to say

You wouldn't steal a handbag... You wouldn't steal a car... You wouldn't steal a baby... You wouldn't shoot a policeman, and then steal his helmet... You wouldn't go to the toilet in his helmet, and then send it to the policeman's grieving widow, and then steal it again! Downloading films is stealing!

Re:Oblig. IT crowd reference (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 7 years ago | (#20633535)

Piracy is worse than cannibalism. :(

Re:Oblig. IT crowd reference (2, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634183)

Only if your diet consists of IP/copyright lawyers.

Oh, you mean legally, not morally. My fault, sorry.

Re:Oblig. IT crowd reference (1)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634491)

IT Crowd FTW!

Re:Oblig. IT crowd reference (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#20635807)

Hmm... I don't know that quote. Are there episodes I didn't down... I mean see yet?

Re:Oblig. IT crowd reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20637129)

Erm, no, I think the **AA would say something more like

You wouldn't lynch a black man... You wouldn't gas a jew... You wouldn't nail a baby to a tree... You wouldn't shoot a white woman, and then rape her corpse... You wouldn't murder an Asian then shit in his mouth, and then send the head to his grieving widow, and then steal it again so you could stomp on it! Downloading ANYTHING is MURDER!

Redundant Breakdown (4, Insightful)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#20633451)

What happened?
-The RIAA claimed that simply making copyright material available online,
was proof of intention to commit copyright infringement (We got proof!)
-Defense Lawyers challenged that claim as insufficient evidence (No you don't!)
-A Judge agreed with the Defense Lawyers (Ya, that isn't enough proof, begone RIAA!)
-RIAA returns, but drops the 'making available' argument (Is this better?)

What could happen now?
-The RIAA would stop bringing cases based solely upon the 'making availble' argument (If it wasn't for those darn Slashdoters)

They've lost the battle. Not the war. (3, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#20633681)

Look to past history.

Any technology which allows the end-user to produce their own media (and some which didn't) has scared the entertainment industry.

First there were records - "But who will pay to see live performances if they can just play the record?". Then they realised that they could make a roaring trade selling records themselves.

Then came analogue tapes: "But who will buy records if they can just tape from a friend?" - then they established a business in selling tapes as they're smaller and it's very hard to play a record in a car.

Then came videos: "But who will go to the cinema if they can record movies from the TV?" - then they established a business in selling pre-recorded videos.

Then came affordable CD burners: "But who will buy CDs if they can copy from a friend?" - well, actually rather a lot of people. Though that didn't stop a lot of countries being pressured to establish taxes on blank media and passing these taxes back to the recording studios.

Now audio and movies can be easily shared over the Internet: "But we must stop this, lest nobody buy music, movies or visit the cinema!". What they really mean is "We're not sure that this sits well with our business model and we haven't yet figured out how best to exploit it so it does. While we're in the process of doing that, please talk quietly amongst yourselves AND STOP SHARING MUSIC, DAMMIT!".

Re:They've lost the battle. Not the war. (1)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#20633799)

Any technology which allows the end-user to produce their own media (and some which didn't) has scared the entertainment industry.
After reading your list of different media types, and how bussinesses had to adapt over the years in order to survive, it seems reasonable to expect the same thing to happen with our current situation. But I'm not so sure, because the stakes are higher for bussinesses, and consumers are more empowered than ever to do what they want.

Re:They've lost the battle. Not the war. (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634167)

I disagree that the stakes are substantially higher.

The entertainment industry has always had a business based on flogging what's New! Shiny! Entertaining! And Not Identical To The Last One, Honest! (singles, latest Britney Spears clone, latest song by established artist) - and another side to the business based on flogging you what was New! Shiny! Entertaining! in the past (albums, DVDs).

It goes without saying that the part of the business which is likely to suffer from private media sharing is the latter part - the next Britney Spears isn't going to be discovered or sold as a result of filesharing. Don't get me wrong, I realise that's a significant part. But the entertainment industry has access to a heck of a lot of material that piracy doesn't - pristine copies of the original (rather than "transcoded from CD at who knows what quality"), original artwork and lyrics sheets which are actually correct.

The only significant problem is "how to bundle this up and sell it in such a way that it is easier for a buyer to do this than it is for them to pirate it?". Now, that is a very hard part - much harder than "let's produce and sell our own tapes" ever was because now everyone has a digital media copier which produces copies with 100% fidelity compared with the original. But I think it's doable - see iTunes and the iTunes music store for an excellent example.

Re:They've lost the battle. Not the war. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20637547)

No, the stakes ARE higher. See, nobody needs the majors any more!

The old Napster was the RIAA's wakeup call - that is, Napster and Roger McGuinn (of the '60s band "The Byrds"), who was playing in bars for peanuts, all his albums long out of print, when P2P introduced a new generation to his music. McGuinn credited P2P for the resurgence of his career.

Just as it could reintroduce a long-forgotten artist, it could introduce a new one. You can "download" the entire top-40 from your radio [mcgrew.info] , legal and for free. The RIAA doesn't mind a bit, since they know good and damned well that if you like it, you're most likely going to buy it (or McGuinn would still be playing bars for peanuts). That is why they killed internet radio and are trying to kill P2P - they can't control it. You might hear an indie you like. If you buy two indie CDs, that's an RIAA CD you can no longer afford (since the RIAA CDs generally cost twice as much).

The "pirates" they're really after is their legitimate, legal competetion.

Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning [starwreck.com] was the MPAA's wakeup calll. If you haven't seen this flick, do so, it's as funny and well made as any MPAA fare. And it was done by amateurs for a pittance. I'm sure there are yellow stains on every major film executive's chair!

The majors are no longer needed, not by the artists or the audience. So it is indeed a life or death situation. Either they kill the internet or die trying.

R.I.P., M.A.F.I.A.A.

-mcgrew

Re:They've lost the battle. Not the war. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20638255)

it seems reasonable to expect the same thing to happen with our current situation.

It will. But it can't happen until they look at the problem the right way.

- Right now there's the absurdity that you actually get a *better* product by not paying for it. How stupid is that?
- They expect to be able to charge a lot of money.

I don't think there's much doubt that, at the right price, the large majority of people would gladly pay to download a high-quality, unencumbered recording.

- $1.49 is not the right price. It's not even close. I don't know what the right price is, but I'll bet it's about an order of magnitude less. But for that price to work the whole current "star" system has to be thrown out, and they won't do it. The reason they won't is because they (the recording industry) have to disguise the fact that they are not nearly as necessary as before. You no longer need a multi-million dollar studio to make high quality recordings. You no longer need someone to manufacture physical copies of those records. And you no longer need to distribute recordings to every mom and pop record store. So their main function is to create and promote "stars."

They've Pretty Much Lost The War (1)

Keeper Of Keys (928206) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634323)

There might have been a window for the same corporations monetizing p2p and resting on their laurels a few years back, but it's shutting rapidly. People are getting used to the idea of user-generated content, long-tail artists, music discovery sites, etc - all of which spells the end for Big Media as we know it. Old-style p2p is losing its allure to many becuause there are now so many places you can hear that song/watch that movie RIGHT NOW.

Re:They've lost the battle. Not the war. (2, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634353)

Their problem this time is that it's not so easy to cash in on "empty media" as it was in the past. In some countries you pay an "RIAA tax" on every blank tape, CDR and now even hard drive you buy.

For tapes and CDRs this didn't bother businesses so much. Hard drives do. Furthermore, unlike tapes and CDRs, Hard drives are by magnitudes bigger and can be used more often than just once or a handful of times. Not to mention that businesses are running rampart against this kind of "tax", because, well, just because you CAN store copyrighted content on it doesn't mean you DO. It's a given that a tape was mostly used to store just that. I give you that a large amount of CDRs are rather used for copyrighted content than backups. Hard drives, though...

Also, how much should you pay? A hard drive of today can store up to a TB of data. Or, in CDRs, about 1500 times the storage of a CDR. Now, let's assume about 10 cents RIAA tax on a CDR and extrapolate it to the TB of a hard drive. Should we have to pay 150 bucks extra for the media industry for every HD? Actually, more because of the forementioned reusability of HDs.

How should this keep businesses (who don't care about content, they need their HDs to store their own products, databases, customer data and so on) competitive on the global market, when you're supposed to pay actually twice the price for your storage? Worse, the first thing many people would do is to buy abroad (funny enough, the RIAA tax has to be paid by "the first person who makes the item commercially available in the country", i.e. the hardware seller. Not the buyer. Do the math). Which in turn would certainly make the local computer companies go berserk.

The problem they're facing today is that they don't know how to react. P2P has become a problem for them, and people don't burn the content to CDRs anymore, they store it on their HDs, on servers, on USB HDs, simply because ... well, why bother burning content to a CDR that you will most likely delete after half a year anyway?

Re:They've lost the battle. Not the war. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20634411)

As far as I'm concerned, sharing leads to sales. If it didn't, then the media cartel better be able to explain to me why my husband and I downloaded a cam rip of a certain alien robot movie, bought the toy version of the lead character, and then proceeded to pay for two tickets a week later to watch it in the theater (it was a little camp but still kicked ass).


They can also explain to me why we have hundreds of legitimate movies in our collection, including five recent purchases (four DVD's and a VHS tape) of stuff we had originally recorded from television. The price was fair, the quality was good enough, and our budget allowed for it. Same holds true for the copied movies we still have. A third of our collection consists of downloads or were borrowed from the library and copied. Most will be replaced with legal copies when price vs. budget allows for it, and not any sooner. Some probably won't ever be replaced because they won't be worth the cost, or simply won't be available anymore.

There is more to it than that. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 7 years ago | (#20633803)

They replaced the "and/or making available" language with language claiming that they "detected an individual". Aside from what the attorney linked to in the article says about the dropping of the old language being a defense, there is also a more positive defense now, from their claim:

Regardless of whether a computer downloaded or served certain files, they did NOT "detect an individual" at all! What they detected was an IP. If your sister or cousin or the neighbor had theoretical access to your computer at the time (and it only has to be theoretical), then then cannot pin this on an individual, so they have no case.

Other cases have been won on the basis that the person who allegedly did the downloading had an open wifi access point on their internet connection, so the "crime" could actually have been committed by an unknown party, half a block away.

Re:There is more to it than that. (1)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#20633959)

Regardless of whether a computer downloaded or served certain files, they did NOT "detect an individual" at all! What they detected was an IP. If your sister or cousin or the neighbor had theoretical access to your computer at the time (and it only has to be theoretical), then then cannot pin this on an individual, so they have no case.
While I agree that detecting an IP address isn't proof that someone is responsible, isn't it enough suspision to obtain a warrant to search any computers on that address, and can't it count as circumstantial evidence in court.

Re:There is more to it than that. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634175)

In a sense it doesn't matter, because that is what they are claiming in their court papers. If their claim is false (they did not "detect an individual"), there is no case. If they meant something else, then they should have claimed something else.

But to answer your question, I think whether it is sufficient to justify a warrant is a matter for a judge to decide. If I were a judge, I would probably say "no", because IP addresses can be spoofed, and because, as I mentioned, there is the possibility of others accessing the net through that same IP. Not all judges are technically savvy, though.

And by the way, this might be kind of a technical point, but it should be said: one needs more than "suspicion" to get a warrant. There has to be "probable cause". The standards for probable cause are much higher than mere suspicion. So would this suffice? I don't know. Pretty shaky, I think. Crimes are committed by people (operators), not objects (IP addresses). I would want some evidence that this was committed by a particular person, not just via some router somewhere.

Again, if I were a judge, I would have to decide whether a half-baked suspicion that someone in particular downloaded a few $0.99 songs would justify raiding and searching their home. And again, if it were me, I would say "not bloody likely". But I am not a judge, and not all judges are like me.

Re:There is more to it than that. (5, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634169)

They replaced the "and/or making available" language with language claiming that they "detected an individual". Aside from what the attorney linked to in the article says about the dropping of the old language being a defense, there is also a more positive defense now, from their claim: Regardless of whether a computer downloaded or served certain files, they did NOT "detect an individual" at all! What they detected was an IP. If your sister or cousin or the neighbor had theoretical access to your computer at the time (and it only has to be theoretical), then then cannot pin this on an individual, so they have no case. Other cases have been won on the basis that the person who allegedly did the downloading had an open wifi access point on their internet connection, so the "crime" could actually have been committed by an unknown party, half a block away.
I brought this to the attention of the Judge at the June 29th conference in Warner v. Cassin [blogspot.com] , where the attorney, Timothy Reynolds, actually said to the Judge that their investigator had "detected an individual". The Judge got mad at me, though, when I indicated to him that it was a violation of Rule 11 for the attorney to have made the deliberately false statement, instead of getting mad at the attorney who'd lied to the Court.

Re:There is more to it than that. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634201)

Sorry to hear that. But I guess there is no way to force all judges to be rational. We have had some bad decisions by local judges around here, too. But that is just my opinion... while I have a smattering of legal education, I am not one of them, nor a lawyer.

Re:There is more to it than that. (2, Insightful)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634273)

Sorry to hear that. But I guess there is no way to force all judges to be rational. We have had some bad decisions by local judges around here, too.
It's not as bad as that. If you read the transcript you'll see that () the Judge didn't make any decisions, and (b) he evidenced awareness that it was impossible for them to have 'detected an individual'.

He just seemed to think it was bad form for me to have brought up Rule 11.

Re:There is more to it than that. (1)

jambarama (784670) | more than 7 years ago | (#20635539)

Well, as you know FRCP rule 11 (esp subsection b) isn't used successfully that much. The impact it has that I see is 1 - it allows old lawyers to scare the crap out of younger ones by threatening them, and 2 - it guides the way we plead. So rather than using it to slap down others (except in the most egregious cases), it is kind of a behavior modifier. I've never really seen someone explicitly violate 11b (thus I've never threatened with it), so I can't be sure what judges think of using it, but the infrequency should say something. Anyway, sorry about the rap on the knuckles, keep up the great work (and thanks for keeping us updated).

Re:There is more to it than that. NICE JUDGE (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#20639053)

The Judge got mad at me, though, when I indicated to him that it was a violation of Rule 11 for the attorney to have made the deliberately false statement, instead of getting mad at the attorney who'd lied to the Court.

And he'd seemed like such a nice judge right up to that point too.

Re:There is more to it than that. (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634241)

Regardless of whether a computer downloaded or served certain files, they did NOT "detect an individual" at all! What they detected was an IP. If your sister or cousin or the neighbor had theoretical access to your computer at the time (and it only has to be theoretical), then then cannot pin this on an individual, so they have no case.

Similarly if you are (or could be) running TOR.

Safe yet? (1)

psychicsword (1036852) | more than 7 years ago | (#20633495)

Is it safe to SEED again?

Re:Safe yet? (4, Interesting)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#20633743)

Is it safe to SEED again?

Not yet. The RIAA didn't drop the complaint. They just amended it.

In the meantime, fly under the radar. Swap USB drives.

Re:Safe yet? (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634261)

The RIAA didn't drop the complaint. They just amended it.

Is this actually allowed after a judge has tossed the case.
At best they should have to grovell humiliatingly to the judge, at worst start a whole new case from scratch.

Re:Safe yet? (2, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634305)

The RIAA didn't drop the complaint. They just amended it.
Is this actually allowed after a judge has tossed the case. At best they should have to grovell humiliatingly to the judge, at worst start a whole new case from scratch.
It's common to dismiss a complaint and grant leave to replead. In this case the judge expressly gave them leave to replead.

Re:Safe yet? (3, Funny)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 7 years ago | (#20633823)

Depends on who your partner is. :o)

Re:Safe yet? (3, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 7 years ago | (#20633853)

Is it safe to SEED again?
Naturally you mean things like various Linux distribution ISOs, works released under Creative Commons license or in the public domain, your own creative content, etc.? It's always been safe to seed those. Why do you ask?
 

Re:Safe yet? (2)

Podcaster (1098781) | more than 7 years ago | (#20633887)

You must be new...no, wait...RIAA sues YOU!...I mean...PROFIT!!!

Sorry, I'm just an expression of the slashdot group-think mind-fuck that goes for "copryright reform" discourse here.

The whole point of what NYCL is doing is almost a public service in pushing the final dregs of the the entertainment industry into the 21st Century. They should be fricking _paying_ him for the good this will do them once the pain is over and they come out the other side.

-P

(Moderators, bring it on. Karma-protection suite: Activated.)

But ofcource (2, Interesting)

cybergen007 (1062390) | more than 7 years ago | (#20633881)

they are dropping this kind of defense. If you out something available on the internet they 1. Have to prove it was actually you who made the file available 2. The content of the file is actually what the filename indicates (If you put a empty text file online with the name Pirates_3_DVDRip you are not acting illegally) 3. They have to prove that the evidence in court (The actually downloaded file) was downloaded from your computer. It cant be a DVD that was created at the riaa main office. Since this is impossible no one can be charged.

Just read the "expert" testimony... (1)

Edward Teach (11577) | more than 7 years ago | (#20634187)

That guy is a blooming idiot! The defense lawyer knew more about IP addresses, routers, networks, and MAC addresses than they guy with an PhD in computer engineering! It was pretty entertaining reading.

A couple of questions for NYCL: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20635029)

IANAL so those linked PDFs won't do me much more good than a schematic wiring diagram would do for a plumber.

1. I thought "making available" was what was against the law, that it was "broadcasting?"

2. If unauthorized downloading itself is illegal, how do I know the download is unauthorized? If I see the file available, why should I assume the file is illegal? If I want to download The Station's The Fog, which is an authorized download, how do I keep from downloading Radiohead's song of the same name?

3. If they're abandoning the "making available" thing, what are they doing now?

To be clear, I use P2P, but don't want to doanload unauthorized stuff. P2P and intternet radio are the only way to find good new music, since the RIAA labels' fare has turned to complete and utter drek. How can I defend myself against this organization that doesn't want me to hear indie music?

-mcgrew [mcgrew.info] (not the mcgrew from "McGrew Security", I'm the "Paxil Diaries" mcgrew, aka sm62704 at slashdot.

PS- do you want the entire top forty, free, legal, and at better quality than iTunes or P2P? Plug your radio into your PC, tune to a top 40 station, and sample [mcgrew.info] for a couple of hours. (mirror is here [kuro5hin.org]

Re:A couple of questions for NYCL: (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 7 years ago | (#20636937)

The only "unauthorized" downloading is when you access servers without the permission of the server maintainer. When I download a song or album, It's not unauthorized. The person making the files available has authorized me to download them. It's them who's actually breaking the law by offering copy protected files for upload.

Downloading isn't illegal. It's de facto public domain.

Uploading is illegal.

Re:A couple of questions for NYCL: (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#20639151)

Downloading isn't illegal. It's de facto public domain.

Illegal downloading isn't detectable.

If they set up a sting site and get you to download copyrighted content from it, it's "authorized".

If they tap your telephone line, cable connection, or spyware in your computer, that's illegal on their part.

Legally proving that you ever downloaded anything (as opposed to getting it from somewhere else) is so virtually impossible that it should have been stricken from everyone of these complaints long ago. It's just that it sounds so very "criminal", when you're trying to influence a technically illiterate judge. Adding "and/or" doesn't cure this defect.

what tack? (1)

mrhifibanjostrings (664709) | more than 7 years ago | (#20636761)

> And finally, what tack will defendants' lawyers take? Yes, indeed. What tack could they possibly take? Maybe a thumb-tack or horse tack or they might even use some Blu-Tack(tm)? ...or maybe they'll go in a completely different direction and use a TACT.

Re:what tack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20637637)

use a TACT.
no, you moron. Tact is, to quote Cordelia, "just not saying true stuff." In addition to those hilarious examples you posted, tack also refers to a choice of direction or approach, the kind that is made by sailors depending on the prevailing conditions of wind, current, time pressures etc. Tactics is a similar sounding word that might be used in this discussion, but tactics are unlikely to be taken (though they can certainly be used). Tach-(ometer, ycardia) is a prefix whose meaning escapes me for the moment, but would also not be appropriate.

the lesson, children, is to be correct in your corrections.

Re:what tack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20638549)

... and create harmonious relationships with a reduced potential for conflict or offense? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tact [wikipedia.org]

Or, instead, they might try a new direction: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tack [wikipedia.org]

So, what was that again?
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