Torrent users sue US Copyright Group for fraud and extortion

By Emil · 77 replies
Nov 29, 2010
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  1. matrix86> Send them down here to Texas and we'll make sure that happens, lol.

    Texas?!?! Some of the worst judges in the US for favoring copyright abuse over consumer rights are in Texas. One of the best things for this problem would be to remove Texas from the union all together! Let the lone star state be a lone star again. Don't just build a wall between Texas and Mexico, wall off the whole thing!
  2. {quote]Fact remains that the downloaders committed copyright infringement. {/quote]

    That "fact" does NOT remain. Accusations by a lawyer do NOT constitute fact. Of the EVIDENCE presented (not the lack thereof) the jury is the trier of what is fact and what is false, and how those facts are applied to the Law the judge instructed the jurors to use. The judge cannot tell the jurors how to apply those facts or dictate what ruling the jury should return.
  3. Did you do some research to form your opinion on Russians, or are you just a stereotyping ignorant ***?
  4. It's not "Theft".

    It is "Copyright Infringement".

    They are different laws. With different statutes. And different penalties.

    These people are allegedly guilty of Copyright Infringement. Not theft.

    If someone shoots you in the head, we do not say "He stole your life! He is guilty of theft!" we say "He killed you! He is guilty of Murder!" (or manslaughter...)

    If someone parks at a meter with out plugging a quarter in, we don't say "He's steeling that parking spot!" we say "He's violating the city ordinance!".

    These are different laws. They mean different things. Stop trying to treat them the same.

  5. Well, its so refreshing to see how few spelling errors were in your post. .. Its just that usually racists struggle with spelling. Its also apparent you didn't take time to read the article, but looking at your post on the whole facts would only have gotten in your way.. No need for that then.
  6. In the words of NBA Jam..."Boom-shaka-laka!"
  7. <quote>umm if im correct copy right or not if you really wanted to get by this use the "fair use" act of 1976 i believe this states that all material being used copy writen or not, if you are not profiting from that of anothers product its fair game maybe im wrong... but idk, also these lawyer's had no grounds or no ability to know of the pirating... other than hacking, and that invasion of privacy... (dont get me wrong hacking is fun) </quote>

    You are incorrect. The Fair Use Act does not permit wanton non-profit copying. You must have a legitimate use of the copy that is considered to be fair (it's incredibly vague, but that's to allow flexibility). Copying something in its entirety for personal use has never, ever, been considered a fair use of the copyrighted material.

    There are a few definite things you can do: You can copy excerpts for commentary (if the work is small enough, or the commentary large enough, the whole thing may be copied), you can parody (nearly exact copy with slight changes for obvious comedic or commentary value), and you can copy for the purpose of preserving your own legal copy of the material (this has wrinkles now due to the DMCA).

    There are some gray areas, like time shifting and the like, and there are gray areas within the fair use exemptions, but everything not covered by the fair use exemptions is copyright infringement. The only difference between for-profit copyright infringement and not for-profit is whether it is a criminal case of copyright infringement (for-profit) or a civil case of infringement (not for-profit).

    For those saying downloading is OK, it's distribution that is illegal - well, Jammie Thomas-Rasset has been fined (after three trials, no less) $1.5 million, and all that was ever proven was that she downloaded 24 songs. Distribution was implied, and that was good enough for a civil case. Those of you who use bittorrent cannot even rely on that, as distribution is mandatory for bittorrent downloads.
  8. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    There are two distinct and different issues involved here that have been mangled together
    1. Is the movie download piracy illegal?
    2. Is the lawyer’s response to illegal downloads "reasonable" or is it “extortion”?

    1. Are public downloads of copyrighted material illegal?
    It’s blatantly illegal. And you all know it’s illegal. Do you really think “It was right there on the internet. Therefore I copied” is a legal defense??? LOL
    > Do you also claim downloading pirated software is equally OK?? Why should it be any different?

    While it’s correct to say it’s technically not “theft”, copyright infringement and electronic piracy is STILL a crime and a punishable offense

    Also, the "fair use" act of 1976 hardly applies.
    Pirating material for personal use and enjoyment (let alone if even for resale!) is NOT “fair use”
    2. So next question is: Was the legal response "reasonable" or "extortion"?
    I think the real underlying question is whether the lawyers did “due diligence” in confirming and tracking IP addresses to the owner.

    If they “recklessly” simply mailed out settlement letters to people without doing due diligence, there might be legitimate case of improper use of the legal process. But assuming that they took time to trace IP addresses through ISPs back to their owners at the time of the piracy
    • Then it’s a legitimate settlement offer. Settlement offers are perfectly legal and made all the time
    • And if your IP address was hacked? then welcome to the real-world!
      > You don’t think you’ll have to pay thousands to prove your innocence? You think if illegal porn or electronic theft was traced to your IP you wouldn’t find yourself under suspicion? Subject to search warrants? And having to hire your own legal team even if you’re a victim of a hack??
      > You'll have the same legal problem whether you're truly guilty or just hacked. That's life
  9. Ain't you a wise guy. These people live in a radically different economy to US, if i'm not mistaken we're talking 600usd for a good job in a good city(coming from ex soviet country myself). The 27usd you see for dvd is usually priced higher in non us countries and around 100 usd as a new release. Add to it the economic circumstance and then Please dare to brag about how bad these people are again.
  10. So then you're of the opinion that the deceased people accused by the RIAA did in fact illegally download copy righted material and so they should be dug up and put on trial. I mean, if they didn't actually do it then they wouldn't be accused. That is what you wrote isn't it?
  11. "I also find it amusing that a Russian - who's ethnic group is arguably the largest collection of illegal downloaders and propagators of malware/viruses/spam in the world - is filing this lawsuit."

    You are joking right? I am pretty sure America leads the world in all of those, spam and malware producers for sure
  12. "Technically, there is nothing wrong with pirating music/movies. Like everyone else is saying, it's just simple copying. Nothing is literally being stolen. Lawfully, though, it is illegal. If something is copyrighted, you are not allowed to distribute that material (meaning uploading it for someone else to download it) without authorization. That's just the pure and simple law...unfair but still the law."

    IANAL, but from the myriad of copyright notices I've ready, the prohibition stands for *performance* of the copyrighted material. So proving it has been "illegally" downloaded isn't proof of guilt, and there's no such thing as an illegal download, since the actual copyright infringement is the act of watching the downloaded material.

    So... they have to prove people did watch it. And it's not something you can assume, since computers can do things on their own, be it because of virus infection or because they're "caching" something or who knows what. For it to be an illicit act, there must be libel, the will to commit an illicit act, and records of a computer downloading the material doesn't even begin to prove that.

    Again, IANAL. But I should (or my dad says so).
  13. "But assuming that they took time to trace IP addresses through ISPs back to their owners at the time of the piracy
    Then it’s a legitimate settlement offer. Settlement offers are perfectly legal and made all the time"

    Please show me where in the law it says a lawyer has the right to "trace IP addresses through ISPs back to their owners". First the lawyer has to file suit before they have any recourse to get this information from the ISP. And in order for them to file a suit they need to have a name. Since they don't have this they rely on what is essentially mass marketing. Their track record has been abysmal and the only reason people pay them is because they don't have the time or money to fight them adequately and the cost if they lost (even though they are innocent) would financially ruin them and their entire family.

    I don't condone theft of copy righted works but to say that the RIAA and those like them are abiding by the law in these schemes is foolish. Almost as foolish as saying an IP address assigned by DHCP from an ISP identifies a person.
  14. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Gee. Googling your facts is as easy as doing an illegal download ;) Lookup John Doe subpoenas. They're used to trace evidence back to a name (e.g. IP addresses)

    @everyone who thinks it's OK to download if not for profit
    Where have you been for the last 13 years?!

    You're citing OLD laws (at least for the US) The No Electronic Theft Act was passed in 1997! Since no one else can seem to google their facts first, here's a summary and warning from Indiana University to their students
  15. Pirating software, movies, music, or other copyrighted materials is a crime in the US, and elsewhere in the world it may be a crime or only criminal if you can prove profit is made from another entity's copyrighted work.

    The crime the law firm has commited is fraud and extortion.

    The reason this lawfirm has commited a crime is not because they send out letters to settle out of court, but because they have no ability or desire to proceed with a trial.

    You see if you threaten a lawsuit it is very similar to selling a product. You must have the capibility and or desire along with cause to do so, otherwise you risk a countersuit like we see here.

    If I tell you I will sell you an electric car, like the nissan leaf, and that I have production lined up and we'll be shipping your car in december, then with no update or refund I go out of business. Then it is discovered that I never proceeded in good faith to make said car, that is fraud. This is very similar to what this law firm has done.

    I for one hope they get their ability to practice law taken along with a devistating settlement that leaves them all bankrupt.

    anyway ... this is a much better example of the crimes committed.
  16. You keep insisting that downloading is the illegal part... NO PART OF THAT STATEMENT SAYS DOWNLOADING IS ILLEGAL!

    It says "reproduce, distribute, or share" not download. I believe it is time for you to get off your high horse and check your own facts. No one has been sued for "Downloading Copyrighted Material," They have been sued for "Sharing Copyrighted Material." The distinction is very important. Sharing is redistributing, and to be really fair, that quote you posted does not make clear if it is only valid if you share all, or part of the work.
  17. ramonsterns

    ramonsterns TS Enthusiast Posts: 744   +12

    Ignorant as always.

    When are you going to sow your fingers together so you can stop posting your stupid dribble on the internet?
  18. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Gee. When you finish your download... ummmmm.... would you say you have a digital copy so its reproduced? Be sure and run out and get a download manager that doesn't reproduce the source file. I'm sure you'll just love using it for all your downloads :D
  19. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 669

    Just putting this out there, Canadian Blank CD-R Levy
  20. </quote>
    Again, the $2.00 is irrelevant - the negotiated settlement is based on the penalties you might incur if found guilty in a court.

    negotiated. what negotiations? they simply stipulated an amount below the limit used to define grand theft. remember, these are lawyers and they know the law pretty well. however, they are also greedy, opportunistic hominids with no business being in law.
  21. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Thanks PanicX! Quite interesting to learn about Canada's copyright law as well
    • Canadian government allows someone to create a private copy of a sound recording (but only music recordings)
    • Canadian law says it is illegal to make a private copy of anything else. Point being it is also illegal to download and create a copy of movies for private use in Canada as well

    Quoting from your link's FAQ
  22. finally !

    I love you Dmitriy
  23. It is wrong to treat this as a moral issue. It is not - it is a legal one. To get away with as much as you can under the playing rules. Since these rules tend to tilt in favour of those with the most money, in this particular instance sounds a bit like robin hood's justice.

    Oops! It's a moral issue after all. And I stand behind it.
  24. HiDDeNMisT

    HiDDeNMisT TS Booster Posts: 231   +14

  25. Whatever our personal opinions, legally and morally BOTH sides have a case to answer to. I am personally not anti-download, but i feel morally obliged to eventually purchase something i have downloaded as i wish for the creator of such work to receive a fair crust for their efforts. The issue here is a legal one primarily (with an underlying morality issue), and as such any litigation should be conducted WITHIN the law, otherwise the lawyers in question are showing themselves to be parallel to the downloaders in picking and choosing which laws they comply with and which they don't - if they employ illegal means to gain cash out of alleged copyright infringers then they are (legally) no better than those they pursue and (morally) worse.

    It is about time somebody highlighted the fact that these companies are making a mockery of the law in order to get richer through those who probably can't afford their products in the first place.

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