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MPAA Chases Uploads, Ignores Open Sales of DVD-Rs?

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the maybe-they're-just-lazy dept.

The Courts 156

rbrander writes "Go to TVBoxSet.com and find a remarkable sales site for box sets of TV shows, including not only surprisingly cheap deals, but offerings not found elsewhere. For example, they have a set with all ten seasons of 'JAG'. The problem is that the production company is only up to season 4 so far. Google "tvboxset" and find every link below the first is to a complaint or news website complaining of the scam. Those who do shop at the site get a product that appears to be a DVD-R recorded off of cable. The really odd thing? They're still in business! A story at the Montreal Gazette about the scam is six weeks old. Now what's in it for the content industry to beat up private citizens with $220,000 judgements or scrambling to get DeCSS sites shut down within hours, while corporate scammers openly sell pirate DVDs for months on end, unopposed?"

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They are just selling instant DVDs (5, Funny)

Zarhan (415465) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886065)

"There's been a new venture in home video market - instant DVDs. They are out in stores before the movie is finished!"

Re:They are just selling instant DVDs (5, Funny)

trickyrickb (910871) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886369)

What the hell am I looking at? When does this happen
in the movie?

Re:They are just selling instant DVDs (5, Funny)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886935)

You're looking at now, now.

Re:They are just selling instant DVDs (5, Funny)

RasputinAXP (12807) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886973)

But when will then be NOW?

Re:They are just selling instant DVDs (5, Funny)

ThePengwin (934031) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887109)

Soon!

Re:They are just selling instant DVDs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887741)

They had a funny skit in a movie called "Spaceballs" where they said nearly the same thing, except I think it was talking about videocassettes since DVDs weren't around when the movie was being made. Check it out sometime, it's a great Mel Brooks classic.

Re:They are just selling instant DVDs (5, Funny)

Dark_Lord_Prime (899914) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887985)

Um.. yeah. That was the point of this series of posts/replies.

Not the brightest color in the Spaceballs: The Crayons® box, are ya?

What's the difference? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20886077)

I'm confused about the redundant word usage: "corporate" and "scammer".

Re:What's the difference? (4, Insightful)

StormyWeather (543593) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886827)

Why in the world is this insightful? I own my own small business that is incorporated even though I'm a 1 man show, and I try to uphold the greatest ethical standards possible. I truly believe that the vast majority of rich people become rich through ethical means, and a horrid amount of hard work. All you hear about are the greed is good crowd just like all you hear about with professional athletes are the ones who are arrested and who do stupid things. I incorporated because I didn't want someone to slip on the curb outside, crack their skull open, and sue me for everything I own. The most they can get from me is the business, but not my kids college funds. Does that make me an evil person?

Most companies are full of good people, run by good people who try to do the right thing. Just because publicly traded companies are sometimes forced by the shareholders to do things that aren't cool it doesn't mean business is bad, or even that big business is bad.

Re:What's the difference? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887007)

shut the fuck up you fucking spammer

Re:What's the difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887195)

I own my own small business that is incorporated even though I'm a 1 man show, and I try to uphold the greatest ethical standards possible.

Just wait until you go public, and you have to try to uphold the ethical standards of daytraders instead.

Re:What's the difference? (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887381)

Just because publicly traded companies are sometimes forced by the shareholders to do things that aren't cool it doesn't mean business is bad, or even that big business is bad.

Most of the time, it's not that they are run by evil people, it's really just what happens when a (very) large group tries to think. It all becomes reduced to the lowest common denominator, causing the decision-making to be more selfish and more short-term, and replaces the ethics of an individual with a poor substitute, which is a need to follow any regulations and avoid legal liability. If there is to be a coherent organization, then there is simply no other mentality that a 10,000 person team could share other than "is this in the interests of the company?" with good employees separated from mediocre employees based on how much they care about that question. It's the effect that this singular focus has on any group consensus reached (either by being a decision-maker or by losing your job if you don't play along) that can be perceived as evil, although really it's amoral.

Most companies are full of good people, run by good people who try to do the right thing.

If you really look around you'll notice that most of the harm done in this world is not done by deliberate malice; it's done by people who have good intentions and fail to consider the full repercussions of their actions. No totalitarian government ever arose because "Do you want to live in a fascist police state?" was put to a vote. Even when this is the intention of a leader, it's always sold as a way to protect public safety, stop terrorists, etc. so that naive people can support feel-good measures with foreseeable negative side-effects while patting themselves on the back for how good their intent was.

The GP painted with a broad brush but your attempt to defend the good name of giant multinationals (the main cause of that perception) in terms of your personal, ethical, hard-working, money-for-kid's-college-funds-and-grandma-and-apple-pie one-man operation is not a valid comparison.

Re:What's the difference? (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887923)

The GP painted with a broad brush but your attempt to defend the good name of giant multinationals (the main cause of that perception) in terms of your personal, ethical, hard-working, money-for-kid's-college-funds-and-grandma-and-apple-pie one-man operation is not a valid comparison.
He didn't try to defend giant multinationals, he defended "most companies". Most companies are not giant, ethically impaired multinationals. Giant multinationals are the abberation that make the rest look bad.

Re:What's the difference? (1)

causality (777677) | more than 6 years ago | (#20888067)

He didn't try to defend giant multinationals, he defended "most companies". Most companies are not giant, ethically impaired multinationals.

Giant multinationals are the same idea taken to its logical conclusion by those relative few who proved themselves to be better players of the same game. Therefore they take a subtle flaw that does not usually reveal itself at a small-and-local level and make it scale until it is large and pronounced and no longer deniable.

Giant multinationals are the abberation that make the rest look bad.

Any way you look at it, the "ethnically impaired" perception is valid and did not originate in a vacuum, since the system as we know it is set up to reward and reinforce the behavior of those multinationals, otherwise they would be forced to declare bankruptcy. There is nothing aberrant about maintaining an environment that is well-suited for a particular type of entity and then having noteworthy manifestations of that type of entity; this is simple cause-and-effect. My previous comment had more to do with our misplaced trust in large organizations and their PR and their agendas and less to do with undesirable business practices, since without the former the latter could not be so widespread.

Re:What's the difference? (2, Insightful)

confused_demon (1161841) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887979)

That's not really the problem with the RIAA, copyright laws or even counterfeiting laws.

IMO the problem is that copyright and counterfeiting laws were written when it was difficult to catch people that were producing forged goods or currency on a huge scale. For example, the minimum penalty for counterfeiting is a $250,000 fine, 5 years in prison, and the confiscation of all equipment used in the counterfeiting. That law makes a lot of sense when you're after someone that's made a printing press and is producing sheets of 100's. It's not so appropriate when you're going after a teenager that produced some shitty copies of a 20$ with an inkjet.

Similarly, RIAA is using laws designed to go after people selling pirated material on a massive scale to persecute people who aren't financially benefiting from copyright infringement. E.g. rather than reforming their distribution network, they're using copyright law as a club to try and fend off change and a new reality about how the world works.

If RIAA, the MPAA, and whomever else wants to make their customers happy and keep their businesses working properly, they need to switch to simultaneously release everything worldwide in pretty much every langauge. There's no reason I should have to wait 4 months to buy a DVD of a JP TV show for 30$, when someone in Japan adds subtitles and posts it on the internet the day after it airs in Japan.

Wow! (4, Insightful)

Perseid (660451) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886091)

A season of X-Files, presumably bootleg, is $56. I think I'm in the wrong line of work. Anyway, perhaps the reason they aren't being pursued is that they may not be in the US. If they are in, for example, Russia, allofmp3 has shown how much fun suing them can be. Single mothers with Kazaa, on the other hand, tend to be easy to pick off.

Re:Wow! (5, Informative)

ShaunC (203807) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886153)

Anyway, perhaps the reason they aren't being pursued is that they may not be in the US. If they are in, for example, Russia, allofmp3 has shown how much fun suing them can be.
TFA makes it fairly clear that this operatiion is based in Canada.

Re:Wow! (3, Funny)

12ahead (586157) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886191)

Well..as always: Blame Canada! :)

Re:Wow! (2, Funny)

Bob54321 (911744) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886479)

TFA makes it fairly clear that this operatiion is based in Canada.
You read TFA? Wow... just wow

Not in Canada, in the... (2, Informative)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887315)

TFA makes it fairly clear that this operatiion is based in Canada.

But hosted in the USA. A lookup of tvboxset.com shows 72.52.7.20 listed whois says USA hosted.

Re:Wow! (3, Informative)

neoform (551705) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886185)

The article says they're based out of Montreal..

Re:Wow! (5, Funny)

irc(addict) (239487) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886209)

Ah. THAT's why they are still going then.

We all know Quebec isnt subject to Canada's laws.

Re:Wow! (1)

GnomeChompsky (950296) | more than 6 years ago | (#20888249)

That's more true than your 'funny' moderation would imply. Quebec is subject to the Civil Code of Quebec [wikipedia.org] whereas the rest of Canada is subject to Common Law [wikipedia.org] . Unfortunately, since I'm not a lawyer I don't know if that has any bearing on the case at hand.

Re:Wow! (4, Insightful)

ShaunC (203807) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886227)

A season of X-Files, presumably bootleg, is $56. I think I'm in the wrong line of work.
Oh, and that reminds me. The X-Files is my absolute favorite television series of all time. Through Blockbuster Online or Netflix, you can rent all nine seasons on DVD for far less than $56. They appear in your mailbox on DVD, one right after the other. IMO, it's better to go the legit route. You get a real, honest-to-gosh DVD to hold in your hands, and watch, and do whatever else you might do with it.

There's really no sense buying the junky bootlegs on a street corner. I honestly don't understand how any for-profit duplicators make it these days. It was one thing in the age of VHS tapes, but in our current environment, it's far easier for the average consumer to get his hands on a legitimate, high quality copy (and "back it up") than it's worth attempting to purchase a counterfeit copy.

Alas, the penalties for downloading (or uploading) a movie via, say, BitTorrent are tens of times more harsh than the penalties for buying or selling a counterfeit DVD on the street, or for just shoplifting the damned thing. So I guess I don't understand why these guys get into the business. They'd face less potential jail time if they set up a rape/murder cartel.

Re:Wow! (4, Insightful)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886365)

IMO, it's better to go the legit route.
The problem is people think TVBoxSet is a legit route.

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20886485)

You see that's in US. In UK you just need to go to the nearest pub at almost any evening and you can buy whatever film you want.
Sure there're tons on CAMs and shit, but for average Joe Sixpack it doesn't matter. And for people who are computer savvy (most kids from better homes older than 12) there's bittorrent as nobody's trying to prosecute them.

Re:Wow! (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886509)

I have no idea how you're post is relevant to mine. I say that people think an illegitimate route is legal, you go on about a whole bunch of other quite clearly illegitimate routes (for anyone with even half a brain).

Re:Wow! (1)

xwizbt (513040) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887465)

Oh, and that reminds me. The X-Files is my absolute favorite television series of all time. Through Blockbuster Online or Netflix, you can rent all nine seasons on DVD for far less than $56. They appear in your mailbox on DVD, one right after the other. IMO, it's better to go the legit route. You get a real, honest-to-gosh DVD to hold in your hands, and watch, and do whatever else you might do with it.

Do whatever else you might do with it? Sure... except watch it again and again. To do that you have to re-rent. Slight problem there...

Re:Wow! (1)

The Dobber (576407) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887607)

Stop and think about that word - Rent.

Re:Wow! (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 6 years ago | (#20888611)

Do whatever else you might do with it? Sure... except watch it again and again. To do that you have to re-rent. Slight problem there...

Problem? Solution. [videohelp.com]

Re:Wow! (2, Interesting)

Duncan Blackthorne (1095849) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886523)

I wouldn't at all be surprised if they're just going to these pirate operations, threatening them with criminal and legal action, then quietly making a deal with them to cut them in for a share of the profits.

Re:Wow! (3, Insightful)

bruins01 (992422) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886961)

I think it has more to do with the public's perception of legality. What I mean to say is that the public, in general, knows that what this website is doing is illegal, so all of its customers will be people who know they are breaking the law and don't care. People who engage in the petty downloading and "making available" or songs, such as the defendant in the Duluth case, are choosing sides in a battle in which neither side has a great moral advantage over the other. It is well-publicized that many filesharers believe they are acting with moral superiority, and they make a pretty good point. As a result of this, the RIAA files lawsuits demanding ridiculous sums for damages in an effort to scare the hell out of filesharers. The RIAA and the MPAA are trying to win on two fronts, the moral front and the scare-the-hell-out-of-everybody front. They run commercials before movies explaining how you downloading Independence Day ruins the lives of the people in charge of applying Will Smith's makeup, and then they scare the hell out of the people who share files anyway with lawsuits.

In other words, there's no one to scare when you go after the website in Canada except other people who are running websites like that, and how many of those are there? I can't think of any.

It's very disconcerting that the **AAs care so little about winning the morality battle. They technically had the law on their side, even before the laws were changed to their current, even more Draconian form. But they chose instead to squander all their moral capital for dumb lawsuits and extortion schemes that couldn't possibly be worth the attorney's fees. Now they are alienating an entire young generation (I'm 22 and I don't know a single person who doesn't hate the them), who are eventually going to have kids who are going to be told all about the assholes that make up the **AAs.

They could have parlayed their moral capital into genuine concern from the public, but decided to go over their heads to their congresspeople and their courthouses and they are going to pay the price.

Wrong purpose (5, Insightful)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886127)

If the purpose was to go after infringers in order to recuperate lost sales, they wouldn't be going after housewives or children who pirate for personal use, they'd be going after commercial pirates. Y'know, the people that the ridiculously high penalties were created for?

Instead the MPAA's purpose is to create an environment of fear. This is presumably so people will forget their fair use rights and give them up so the MPAA studios can put even more DRM on their products.

Re:Wrong purpose (1, Redundant)

eggman9713 (714915) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886151)

Well given that Sony thinks everything (including remembering a song) is piracy, perhaps the MPAA wants DRM all the way into your occipital lobe (Vision center of the brain for your non-anatomy savvy people)

Related Story (1)

rchh (658159) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886193)

Why is the related story to this story is the story itself? How is related stories added? What/who determines related stories?

Re:Related Story (1)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886803)

I've wondered that myself. Every story seems to have a "Firehose" duplicate of itself in the Related Stories section. It does seem a little redundant. Based on that, I'm assuming the "related stories" thing is generated automagically.

Re:Related Story (1)

bentcd (690786) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887027)

Why is the related story to this story is the story itself?
It appears to me that the Firehose story is this story before it got edited. This is presumably useful in that you get to review the efficiency of our highly dedicated and professional editors.

In the case of this story, note that the capitalisation in the story title differs between the Firehose and the actual story. I haven't examined the text to see if that was changed in any way.

Re:Related Story (2, Funny)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 6 years ago | (#20888369)

So you're saying that the most visible version of this Slashdot story is actually a cheap inaccurate copy of the original and legitimately produced version? Why haven't the [redacted - ed.] /. editors cracked down on this shoddy duplication, and instead made available the higher quality Firehose material, in the form which it was originally conceived by its producer?

Re:Wrong purpose (0)

ShaunC (203807) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886175)

If the purpose was to go after infringers in order to recuperate lost sales, they wouldn't be going after housewives or children who pirate for personal use, they'd be going after commercial pirates.
Take two minutes to read the article; these are for-profit commercial pirates. They're selling shit-quality DVD compilations of classic TV shows, often ripped directly from TVLand and other cable channels. This is very much a for-profit copyright infringement ring.

Re:Wrong purpose (1)

renbear (49318) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886307)

Take two minutes to read the article; these are for-profit commercial pirates. They're selling shit-quality DVD compilations of classic TV shows, often ripped directly from TVLand and other cable channels. This is very much a for-profit copyright infringement ring.
You misread his post. What you stated above is his POINT. They aren't going after the commercial pirates like these. Instead, they are choosing to go after housewives, but pursue penalties determined by laws that were created with commercial pirates in mind.

Obviously, they aren't THAT concerned with recouping lost sales. They'd much rather intimidate their customers.

Re:Wrong purpose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20886223)

Hey now, remember that in newspeak there is no such thing as fair use, it's merely a modifier once the legal process has begun - it's not a cus... I mean consumer right, it's a producer right only.

microsoft too (5, Funny)

ClippySay (930525) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886137)

/ This is a home pirated version of       \
| Clippy. Please turn to your local       |
| Clippy retailer or a professional Jolly |
\ Roger-compliant pirate.                 /
       \     ____
        \   / __ \
         \  O|  |O|
            ||  | |
            ||  | |
            ||    |
             |___/

They're safe because they are identifiable (4, Interesting)

tech10171968 (955149) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886177)

Personally, I believe they're getting off scott-free because TVBoxSet.com is a company, but P2P networks and their filesharers are not. It's easy to compete against another company (like TVBoxSet.com), especially one which allegedly offers questionable content; on the other hand, with P2P, how in the world does a company compete against free? I may be wrong but I can't think of a business has yet figured a way to do that (Microsoft is presently trying to answer that question as it pertains to GNU/Linux and FOSS). Seems to me that , correctly or not, they don't percieve a much of a threat to their bottom line coming from TVBoxSet.com as they do from some kid with a torrent client.

Re:They're safe because they are identifiable (1)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886203)

I suppose it depends on where they think TVBoxSet's customers will go if they manage to shut it down. Or maybe they think if it's a scam then it'll blow itself out when word gets around.

Re:They're safe because they are identifiable (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886291)

Personally, I believe they're getting off scott-free because TVBoxSet.com is a company
That's a pretty dumb line of thought.
If anything, they're easier to go after since they have a business address & a bank account.

As a side note: Why would anyone contact the MPAA and not the CRIA about a situation with a Canadian company?

Re:They're safe because they are identifiable (1)

loganrapp (975327) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886601)

No kidding, the CRIA just forced a favorite torrent of mine to shut off all Canadian bandwidth. Those guys are tough.

Motion Picture Association (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886987)

As a side note: Why would anyone contact the MPAA and not the CRIA about a situation with a Canadian company?
Because it's a movie, not a musical recording. Motion Picture Association [wikipedia.org] represents the MPAA members' interests worldwide.

Re:Motion Picture Association (2, Informative)

nightgeometry (661444) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887073)

Surely that's the point the MPA [wikipedia.org] is what you linked to, but the MPAA [wikipedia.org] is what he was asking about. The MPAA would have no jurisdiction in Canada (I assume) and so you would have to contact the CMPDA [wikipedia.org] , though not the CRIA.

Yeah, I got bored of adding Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] links by the time I got to the CRIA =)

Re:Motion Picture Association (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887655)

Surely that's the point the MPA [wikipedia.org] is what you linked to, but the MPAA [wikipedia.org] is what he was asking about.
If MPAA and MPA operations are so separate, then why is MPA Canada [mpaa.org] hosted on mpaa.org?

Re:Motion Picture Association (0, Flamebait)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 6 years ago | (#20888261)

If MPAA and MPA operations are so separate, then why is MPA Canada [mpaa.org] hosted on mpaa.org?
Same reason you don't call the FBI field office in Texas to report a kidnapping in Arizona, you call the Arizona field office. Same general organization, different area of responsibility.

Seriously, are you THAT dense?

Re:They're safe because they are identifiable (3, Insightful)

Harold Halloway (1047486) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886305)

I think you are right. eBay has probably hundreds or thousands of bootlegs for sale at any one time. Does the RIAA/MPAA does anything? Nope. The Federation Against Copyright Theft in the UK are similarly not interested in going after eBay. The reason is obvious - companies have huge legal budgets to throw at any lawsuits coming from RIAA/MPAA and there is no certainty that the latter would win. It's bizarre: distribute songs for nothing and get a $200,000 fine. Sell them and get away scot-free.

Re:They're safe because they are identifiable (4, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886585)

That's simply not true. My wife bought a DVD box set from eBay recently that turned out to be bootlag. In the process of trying to get a refund, the seller was shut down by eBay due to piracy complaints. The whole thing made matters worse for my wife, who was accused of turning the seller in and who generally went from "slightly nuts" to full-on "Maybe we should get a restraining order".

Generally bootleg sellers on eBay don't last long. The issue right now is that policing them is a little more difficult. Unless the eBayer is selling something that's never been on the media offered, or is stupid enough to directly admit the item is bootleg in the description, the copyright holder actually has to buy a sample before he or she can be certain that copyright violations are going on. This is in contrast to someone redistributing a studio's movie via BitTorrent, where the movie has never been released in a form that would allow for that redistribution legally. It's immediately obvious a violation of copyright is occurring and the studio can immediately start legal action.

Even then, the number of BitTorrent movie redistribution copyright violation cases is tiny. A lot of people here seem to be conflating the movie industry's efforts with the music industry's, but these are two entirely seperate actions, and the music industry isn't exactly reknowned for sitting on its hands when it comes to commercial piracy either.

Re:They're safe because they are identifiable (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887155)

Unless the eBayer is selling something that's never been on the media offered, or is stupid enough to directly admit the item is bootleg in the description, the copyright holder actually has to buy a sample before he or she can be certain that copyright violations are going on.

So I'm guessing you've missed all the Slashdot stories about people who were selling single, legitimate copies of software they did not need or no longer needed getting their auctions quickly shut down by eBay for copyright infringement, just on the say-so of companies like Autodesk and Microsoft?

Waiting (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886183)

I'd like to see if more public attention makes them go after the site. I doubt it, but maybe... Hah.

Double standards! (0)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886199)

Now what's in it for the content industry to beat up private citizens with $220,000 judgements or scrambling to get DeCSS sites shut down within hours, while corporate scammers openly sell pirate DVDs for months on end, unopposed?"
I got arrested and sent to prison for vehicular manslaughter. I run over some kid but she was really young - it was more like a late term abortion really. And yet in Wisconsin there's a serial killer who has murdered ten adults and not been caught. By the principle of double standards raised in this article I should therefore be released.

Re:Double standards! (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886233)

As much as I'm against RIAA, see comment history, I agree that being blamed for not suing these ones is an exaggeration.

And RIAA can shut us up by simply suing them too.

Um.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20886237)

I think that's one car analogy too far.

Re:Double standards! (4, Insightful)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886245)

If we really must use your poor analogy, it would be more like:

"I got caught speeding 10 miles an hour over the limit once, and got 15 years in jail for it. In the meantime, there's a guy who's running around hitting pedestrians all over the city. They know exactly who he is and where to find him, but they haven't even given him a ticket yet."

Re:Double standards! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20886497)

Wah wah wah, stop making pathetic excuses, speeding is wrong and you know it, if you can't do the time don't do the crime. Moron. And stop making stupid arguments like "speeding isn't theft", you didn't PAY for the right to drive 10 mph over the limit so you STOLE it, that's what STEALING is. Thief.

Oops, sorry, my slashbot implant seems to be malfunctioning slightly today...

Re:Double standards! (2, Insightful)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886769)

I got caught speeding 10 miles an hour over the limit once

I.e. you broke the law. Prepare to pay the price.

there's a guy who's running around hitting pedestrians all over the city. They know exactly who he is and where to find him, but they haven't even given him a ticket yet.

They fact that they haven't caught him doesn't give you a license to break the law. Neither does excessive penalties, the fact that enforcing the law is advocated by rich or nasty people, "information wants to be free", vague arguments that the people you're stealing from should change business models or any of the other pro piracy arguments that get moderated up here. Seriously, all this stuff is irrelevant.

If you break the law despite knowing the penalties for doing so are severe, you know what to expect.

Re:Double standards! (2, Insightful)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886927)

> They fact that they haven't caught him doesn't give you a license to break the law.

Correct, but unfortunately not connected with the point trying to be made (you missed it in your knee-jerk reaction against breaking copyright law), which is that the situation raised as an analogy in laughingcoyote's post would indicate that there is something wrong with the justice system (within his analogy). The justice system being analogous to "the content industry" in this case.

And before you lash out at me in similar fashion, note that I also have made no pro-piracy statements. The matter in question is whether the behavior of "the content industry" seems reasonable, not whether piracy is OK or justified or not.

In my eyes, the major problem with the argument in question is that the poster lumps a lot of relatively unrelated organizations (RIAA, MPAA, and all their respective "shadows" in non-US countries) into one cohesive "content industry", in order to criticize its behavior as being disjointed and arbitrary.

RIAA-MPAA split is recent (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887025)

In my eyes, the major problem with the argument in question is that the poster lumps a lot of relatively unrelated organizations (RIAA, MPAA, and all their respective "shadows" in non-US countries) into one cohesive "content industry"
It is comparatively recent that these organizations are unrelated. Until Time Warner spun off WMG (late 2003) and Vivendi sold Universal Studios to NBC (2004), three out of the big four record labels were also MPAA movie studios.

Re:Double standards! (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887141)

Correct, but unfortunately not connected with the point trying to be made (you missed it in your knee-jerk reaction against breaking copyright law), which is that the situation raised as an analogy in laughingcoyote's post would indicate that there is something wrong with the justice system (within his analogy). The justice system being analogous to "the content industry" in this case.
No it doesn't - maybe the more serious criminal is just harder to catch than amateur ones. In fact that's common sense. Serial killers and big time commercial pirates would know to take counter measures against being caught that people that kill by mistake or download movies at the weekend wouldn't.

Just pointing to uncaught serious criminals doesn't affect whether less serious criminals are guilty or not.

In my eyes, the major problem with the argument in question is that the poster lumps a lot of relatively unrelated organizations (RIAA, MPAA, and all their respective "shadows" in non-US countries) into one cohesive "content industry", in order to criticize its behavior as being disjointed and arbitrary.
I believe the term is "The Man", consisting of law enforcement and The Corporations. If The Man doesn't prosecute some obscure and no doubt untraceable company selling a few pirate DVDs, he shouldn't be allowed to prosecute people uploading millions of songs to the internet who make no attempt to remain anonymous.

The only reason an argument this weak is so popular with the mods is because it justifies them getting free stuff.

Re:Double standards! (2, Insightful)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 6 years ago | (#20888025)

some obscure and no doubt untraceable company selling a few pirate DVDs

I'm not sure how you figure they'd be "untraceable". I mean, they're selling stuff, ergo there's a money trail. It's pretty damned hard to be untraceable when you're receiving money, at least if you intend to be able to do anything with that money. The best you can hope for is to have the money trail go into a different & unfriendly jurisdiction (or several different jurisdictions) to hamper efforts to trace it to you.

people uploading millions of songs to the internet

I think it's highly unlikely that any individual on the P2P networks is uploading "millions of songs", and it's also highly unlikely the volume an individual on a P2P network uploads even approaches what a for-profit DVD pirateer would be doing. It's certainly not the case for any of the well-publicized cases of individuals being prosecuted for sharing stuff on P2P networks.

The only reason an argument this weak is so popular with the mods is because it justifies them getting free stuff.

I think it's also because it implies corruption, incompetence and/or misplaced priorities on the part of The Man, and everyone likes that.

Eighth Amendment (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886997)

I got caught speeding 10 miles an hour over the limit once
I.e. you broke the law. Prepare to pay the price.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. [wikipedia.org] And foreign counterparts where applicable.

Re:Double standards! (2, Informative)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887309)

If you break the law despite knowing the penalties for doing so are severe, you know what to expect.

It's hard to know what to "expect" if the law is enforced haphazardly. For example, imagine you're waiting at a pedestrian crossing and there's no cars around (but the "Don't Walk" sign is still lit), and there's a cop standing near you. You decide not to jaywalk -- just in case you get pinged for it. The guy next to you on the sidewalk ignores the cop and crosses the road; the cop sees him, but does nothing. "Fair enough", you think, "obviously that cop isn't enforcing jaywalking laws." So you start to cross... and before you know it, the cop's all over you.

Oh yeah, and the other guy jaywalking somehow made some money off of it while the cops ignored him, but you got busted. What's with that?

Re:Double standards! (1)

theskunkmonkey (839144) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887431)

You must have missed the other guy slipping a $50 into the cops hands.

Re:Double standards! (1)

Yaotzin (827566) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887475)

Making money of jaywalking eh? I find your ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:Double standards! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20886451)

Wow, talk about having no sense of perspective at all.

Re:Double standards! (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886777)

Re:Double standards! (1)

Gen.Anti (1089529) | more than 6 years ago | (#20888219)

I had read three supposedly fact-packed paragraphs at the top and still didn't know what it is. For a useful down-to-the-point introduction, with the experience of three-minute googling I'd recommend those:
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/reductio+ad+absurdum [thefreedictionary.com]
http://everything2.com/index.pl?node=reductio%20ad%20absurdum [everything2.com]

That leads to another question (1)

tmk (712144) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886243)

Why is the production company only up to season 4 so far?

(Well, I would guess, they sell the seasons 5 to 10 still for broadcast in other countries, but six years delay is IMHO too much.)

Re:That leads to another question (2, Funny)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887357)

Why is the production company only up to season 4 so far?

Maybe the bit torrent servers they were using were shut down or didn't pay their cable bill?

Re:That leads to another question (1)

weirdcrashingnoises (1151951) | more than 6 years ago | (#20888069)

it's about money, i'm guessing that not many people want to just plop down 400-500$ for all 10 seasons, but if you release them over a long enough period of time, i'm guessing they make more money that way. i could be off though, i'm no market/business expert

Re:That leads to another question (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 6 years ago | (#20888491)

That's probably what they think. In reality, by the time that many years have gone by, people lose interest. I know many people, myself included, that have the first few seasons of a show on DVD, but by the time they got around to releasing the rest it just wasn't a priority anymore. They should get them all out there as quickly as possible at the peak of a show's popularity.

The #1 reason (4, Interesting)

jonwil (467024) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886309)

The payouts they can get for one copy of a given film or TV show being shared over BitTorrent are higher than the payouts they can get for many illegal DVDs of the same film or TV show.

The other #1 reason - lawyers (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886337)

The other reason is probably also that an individual is more likely to roll over and pay the extortion, sorry, "out of court settlement" money, where as a company is more likely to fight it (or call bankruptcy and try to vanish without a trace).

Call me cynical, but why else would they pick on the little guy other than they're the easier target? It's just standard predator practice. Lets hope someone patented it!

Re:The #1 reason (1)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886819)

There is a valid reason why the studios go after BT users instead of commercial DVD pirates; your "one copy" can very rapidly become "many" copies over BitTorrent. As more people download and simultaneously upload, the growth in the number of copies floating around can get quite damn close to exponential, and certainly can quite quickly outstrip the number of copies a pirate DVD seller could sell in a day.

The end result for the movie studios is precisely the same; people get their work for free. With BitTorrent and other P2P networks, however, the number of people who get that same work for free is drastically increased. For example, for Ratatouille on Mininova there's around 2000 seeds *just for the most popular torrent*! No pirate DVD seller could match that volume.

If the payouts are higher for BT than street selling, it is for that simple reason; a pirate DVD seller couldn't match the amount of infringement committed by a few dedicated BT seeders, resulting in a theoretically higher loss for the studios. However, considering the (I think a bit bogus) argument that BT downloaders wouldn't have paid to see movies anyway, I'll leave that well alone. ;)

They don't Go After Them!!! (2, Interesting)

1mck (861167) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886405)

I actually received a pirated DVD from EBay, and I contacted all the right authorities such as EBay, Universal Pictures, the local Police, the Sheriff, and the FBI. Guess what happened??? Diddley squat!!! Months later they were still hawking their pirated DVD's with the soundtrack, and even added in more movie stills, and bigger banners to suck everyone into buying their crap! I can honestly say that I'll never use EBay ever again because of this, and as far as the warnings that everyone sees at the beginning of every movie...what a load of crap!!! Ooooohhh, they went after some woman, but these Assholes get to make money off of innocent people buying stuff in good faith, and all of the right people are contacted, and made aware of it....give me a break!!!!

Re:They don't Go After Them!!! (1)

bi_boy (630968) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886715)

That is until they find someone doing this who is not an actual company and is unable to afford lawyers.

Re:They don't Go After Them!!! (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 6 years ago | (#20888345)

Somehow I expect that these counterfeit organizations are not rolling in money to near the extent that the movie industry is. I would be very surprised if the average pirate company has much more than $10,000 leftover after expenses.

No double standard -- Mail fraud proceedings (1)

Torodung (31985) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886413)

From the article:

Canada Post - which is used to deliver the products - has an internal investigation under way, spokesperson Manon Clément confirmed.

"It seems like a pretty big dossier," she said, noting the company under investigation "is a client operating under a number of names."

The RCMP, Sûreté du Québec and Montreal police departments said they neither confirm nor deny that they are investigating individuals or firms.

If Garcia Media or anyone associated with it is dealing in bootlegs of copyrighted material, there are legal consequences.
Multiple aliases? Looks to me like there's a well documented criminal mail fraud investigation underway. Sounds like the police are at least notified of the situation as well. Should the MPAA jump in with a potentially premature suit, prior to the completion of criminal evidence collection and the presentation of charges?

It seems that as far as the MPAA is concerned, this is a pending matter already referred to law enforcement. Whether criminal investigation bears fruit or not, I'm sure they'll sue. If there's a conviction, that's easy money. If there's no conviction, then they'll go to civil court to deter such activities.

But I'd guess "no comment" is the best comment on the part of the MPAA at this point. After all, even the police won't comment. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

--
Toro

Re:No double standard -- Mail fraud proceedings (2, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886491)

There's nothing to investigate: send one check for a pirated version, trace the transaction, seize the bank records and assets. This is basic behavior for credit card fraud, so it's not like it's a new procedure.

No, the federal and local police usually can't be troubled to pursue such "minor" crimes. Sometimes it's for jurisdictional reasons: the local police want the FBI to do it, the FBI thiknks the Secret Service should do it, and the Secret Service thinks it's not worth their effort. I'm tired of it, too: I get pirate DVD salespeople harassing me in parking lots, and taking up useful booth space at swapfests and trunk sales, interfering with honest businesses selling real DVD's, used DVD's, or freeware DVD's.

Carol Burnett? (3, Funny)

spagetti_code (773137) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886437)

From TFA:

Westmount resident Brian Wrench said he recently had a bad experience ordering programs through tvboxset.com.


At the end of June, Wrench bought what was advertised on the site as all 278 uncut episodes of the Carol Burnett Show, spanning 11 seasons on eight DVDs.


Holy cow - 278 episodes of Carol Burnett!!! This guy deserved to get ripped off.
In fact, shoot him. We'd be doing him a favor. The judge would surely accept this as a mercy killing.

 

MPAA? (1)

kju (327) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886481)

I wonder what the MPAA has to do with this case. Shouldn't the CMPDA [wikipedia.org] be the more appropiate organisation to handle a scam-company in canada?

yet another whiny 'i should be able to steal' (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20886525)

article on slashdot. grow up people. grow the f up.

there's a simple explanation! (1, Funny)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 6 years ago | (#20886859)

Ok, the problem is, right, the RIAA are still using old SCO UNIX computers for all their accounting calculations, and, well, let's just say that for various reasons the software updates have been a bit slow coming in the last few years, so, right, the thing is there's this unfixed bug with negative wraparound when they're adding really really big numbers together on that machine and so when they realized about the DVD pirates the execs were all like "hey we're gonna make oodles of cash, man, at $20.95 per DVD, how much is that?" and so they did an allnighter adding up all the numbers to get an estimate, right, and the next morning the answer came back -$47,845,226.48 and the head guy of the RIAA said "WTF? My head hurts" and like the director of accounting said "Dude, the computer's never wrong! I want some fritos" and like they all decided FUCK THAT if they were gonna sue them the RIAA would actually have to PAY THEM and NO WAY!

And that was the end of that.

The problem is.... (3, Informative)

americanincanada (887832) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887125)

They have been running them 'out of town' MP3Sparks was once AllOfMP3. TVBoxSet was formerly DVD-Series. Based out of: Strawinskylaan, Amsterdam 1143 XX Netherlands From they're own FAQ: "Is my order SECURE? You bet! When placing an order, Dvd-series.com uses..." It would appear someone forgot to update the page when they "moved"!

Borat (0, Troll)

Ratbert42 (452340) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887169)

Yeah, this is getting ridiculous. I bought Borat at Best Buy and even it was a DVD-R copy!

Re:Borat (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887665)

Whoever the cock-biter was who modded this as troll has obviously never seen the Borat dvd.

Re: Profits over Hypocrisy & hubris (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887247)

There isn't a conflict 'between' the MPAA and users.
As long as I feel it is worthwhile to download, for example, the entire X-Files, or Futurama, from BitTorrent, I will do it.
There is an entire worldwide population of people, to whom, the MPAA does not exist.
What I think is contemptible about the MPAA is that is victimizes individual uploaders. It does not have the guts to prosecute this entire class of people at the same time.

Citizens (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887289)

Are easier to sue.

They learned from the mistakes of the 'war on drugs', if you curtail the market, the sources dry up.

It's all about the money. (3, Funny)

Jay L (74152) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887497)

If you read the summary, you can see that TVBoxSet are up to season 10, while the production company has only produced up to season 4. I'll bet that the MPAA plans to ditch the production company, and source the episodes directly from TVBoxSet. Just think of the money they'll save: No scripts, no cameras, no sets, no production costs. This is the future - literally. Why should I (as a network) pay millions of dollars to Castle Rock or New Line for a new series when for $150 I can buy residual-free DVDs of the series before it's even written?

My thoughts (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887507)

Personally, I don't care if something is "pirated" if it is otherwise unavailable. The only way to get DVD copies of things such as "Song Of The South" or early-80s Traci Lords movies is through so-called "piracy".
As for this TVBoxSet company, I'd be very leery of them.

There are deals there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887815)

Where are they? I wasn't planning on buying anything from them, but out of curiosity I decided to look and I couldn't find anything that was so great of a deal. In fact, I could go to the store I work at and get a non-pirated Stargate: SG-1 boxset (for example) for less than listed on this website. O_o

WOOT FP (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887929)

end, we need you As little oFverhead become like they What we've known

Oh ye untraveled masses.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20888103)

In Subic Bay, you can actually get pirated DVD's in the stores. Camcorder rips where you see shadows walking across the screens, 12 in 1 movie collections on 1 DVD, Screeners, etc. And the companies that are doing this have mailboxes, corporate offices, etc.
In Bahrain, you can get DVDs of hi-res screeners for about 1-2 Dinar (about US$6), professionally boxed with mailing addresses and a complaint line.
In Dubai, your 'reputable' pirate DVD's run you about 10-20 Dirham (err, about US$5?), are full resolution, have Arabic subtitle options.
In Singapore, just about any boot sale has high-quality "Real" DVDs for Sing$10 (about US$5) that are made in China on the same production lines as the real products. Look for one of the festival 'temporary malls' that pop up near the MRT stations every so often.
In Japan, just about any shop in the 'low-rent' district has them for about 500Yen (about US$4), but they are 'under the counter'.
Malaysia? Pick a street-seller.
Brunei? "Why you buy only one movie per disc?"
Oakland? At the top of the escalators coming out of the BART Station near the 'porn-store' district.

There is so much Movie/Music piracy out there by commercial enterprise, there is no money or impact in the MPAA/RIAA/etc pursuing it. They want the headlines, they want the court cases, but they want to target things that can lose instead of just fold and reappear.

 

Gundam (0)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 6 years ago | (#20888313)

They're not carrying Gundam.
Tvboxset.com is not in charge of Gundam.

Payoff Involved (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#20888529)

Now what's in it for the content industry to beat up private citizens with $220,000 judgements or scrambling to get DeCSS sites shut down within hours, while corporate scammers openly sell pirate DVDs for months on end, unopposed?

There's probably a payoff involved.

Or maybe now the world is so inverted that it's only a crime to share things for free. Making a profit off of selling copyrighted materials isn't such a high priority. Perhaps the MPAA feels that because actual money is involved, less people are likely to take advantage of it.

Or perhaps it's an MPAA-backed scam to punish people who actually send in money for this. After all, people are complaining and angry about what they received. Hey, it's enough to put you off purchasing dodgey material ever again. After all, they've given you just enough that you can't actually sue them for not delivering the goods.

The Media Defender e-mails have revealed just how low and illegal (DDoS attacks) the industry will go to fight "pirates". Why should this be any different. It just needs to be EXPOSED!

Its never been about bootleg DVDs, per se (1)

cutecub (136606) | more than 6 years ago | (#20888673)

Its about controlling the distribution channels. That's why the MPAA doesn't freak out so much when people sell boot-leg DVDs. Its not a fundamental threat to their business model.

What the record and movie labels fear above all else is Disintermediation - the elmimination of the middle-man. Because THEY are the middle-man.
Internet distribution of media makes them totally irrelevent.

If DVDBOXSET.COM was selling downloadable AVI movies of complete TV series, you can bet they'd no longer be in business today.

-S
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