Weekend tech reading: Grandma threatened over torrent download

By Matthew ¬∑ 12 replies
Jul 17, 2011
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  1. 70 year-old grandma threatened over BitTorrent download As the mass-BitTorrent lawsuits continue to pile up in U.S. courts, more stories of what appear to be wrongfully accused persons hit mainstream…

    Read the whole story
  2. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,978   +15

    Great articles, thanks for the news Mr.DeCarlo & TechSpot :)
  3. Benny26

    Benny26 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,535   +51

    I never thought i would see the words "grandma", "sharing" and "porn" in the same sentence.

    I thought maturity killed that sort of thing.
  4. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,010   +18

    The legal system aside, I wonder what the accuracy rate of those lawsuits is? I know that everyone gets all upset when some grandma gets arrested, but I'm willing to bet for every innocent grandma there are 10 people who pirated what they're being accused of pirating.

    Unfortunately the EFF has been pretty bad in picking its poster children so far. They should be paying money to defend these people, not defending actual pirates.

    And I wonder what sort of evidence would be necessary to properly defend such a civil suit? Chances are you can't use the "take a look at my client, she would never do this crime" defense. You'd probably need to pull down logs on your computer, contact your ISP for the same, etc. You'd probably need quite a hefty investment of money to prove that you weren't responsible for any piracy.
  5. superty12

    superty12 TS Enthusiast Posts: 413

    Better than saying you're guilty.
  6. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,010   +18

    These lawyers may be slimeballs, but they're not stupid. The standard for a civil case is not reasonable doubt, which would be child's play, but a preponderance of evidence. It might be very easy to instill a reasonable doubt in jurors that a 70 year old woman is probably not sharing porn, but for her to provide evidence to the contrary in a civil trial would take a lot more work.

    And when you typically settle a civil suit you don't admit wrongdoing, so now you're looking at paying $3,500 to make the whole thing go away, vs spending tens of thousands of dollars to hire enough expert witnesses (who can cost several thousand a day) in order to take apart the plaintiff's case, with no guarantee of success.

    Unless you have the money or connections to be the test case for this suit, chances are you are going to settle with these people. The only real way to fight them would be for the EFF or someone to provide both the lawyers and expert witnesses to each person getting sued, and to try to bankrupt the plaintiff firm by forcing them to pay defense fees each and every time they lose.
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,033   +2,558

    "Parked in her rickety old garage, is a brand new shiny red, super mod box"...!

    It's the "little old pirate from Pasadena".
  8. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    I dunno, I've met some pretty cool nan's in my time! I bet there are some that do! :haha:
  9. I wonder if grandmas also are guilty until they pay to prove their innocense. World has gone completely bonkers or what?
  10. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,384   +172

    "Microsoft contributes a lot of changes to Linux kernel 3.0"

    It's been rumoured that Microsoft will drop the Windows name after Windows 8. I guess it will change it to Linux. :)
  11. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    About 90% of those changes were submitted by one single Microsoft Employee, and they're mainly all in respects to VM Ware, and other VM technologies, so Microsoft hosts will play nice with Linux guests; exactly how Microsoft want Linux to be in terms of their products.
  12. superty12

    superty12 TS Enthusiast Posts: 413

    Don't pay people for doing nothing but wrong. Take apart one case and they are less likely to do another. It also gives innocent citizens more confidence in fighting them.
  13. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,010   +18

    You're right, which is why the settlement offer of "only" $3,500 is so attractive. Most people don't have the money to hire an attorney and all these witnesses and will probably take the easy way out and settle (plaintiff counsel will probably hook you up with a great payment plan).

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