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MPAA Cracking Down on TV Torrent Sites 436

Posted by Zonk
from the late-lamented-btefnet dept.
sallgeud writes "It appears the other shoe has dropped and the MPAA is now going after sites which link to torrents of TV shows. The beef with redistributing copyrighted material seems to make sense... but I'm wondering if it makes a difference in the world of DVR. The vast majority of downloads appeared to be of content that is broadcast free over the airwaves. I'm wondering how much different this is than going after Tivo? Would these sites have been hit with lawsuits if they had stuck to purely over-the-air broadcasts?"
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MPAA Cracking Down on TV Torrent Sites

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 15, 2005 @07:18AM (#12534848)
    Since there is nothing new to read, here's a story about cats.

    I don't want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you cat fanatics? I've been sitting here on my sofa in front of a cat (a sealpoint siamese) for about 20 minutes now while attempting to get it's attention away from a bug on the floor. 20 minutes. At home, with my labrador cross, which by all standards should be a lot dumber than this cat, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that.

    In addition, during this attention seeking attempt, my children's attention is also held by the cat. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even trying to get the remote from my partner fails.

    I won't bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I've encountered while dealing with other cats, but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I've never seen a cat that fetches as much as it's canine counterpart, despite the cat's faster ambulatory system. My terrier with one ingrown toenail runs consistently faster than this siamese at times, as the cat is often completely asleep. From a productivity standpoint, I don't get how people can claim that the cat is a superior animal.
    • by /ASCII (86998) on Sunday May 15, 2005 @07:36AM (#12534934) Homepage
      This post is in reply to your subject, not your unfounded accusations about out feline overlords.

      Zonk is not the new timothy. Check out his journal [slashdot.org]. He posts replys to other peoples comments, so he clearly reads a few comments on Slashdot at least once or twice a week. That can't be said of very many of the Slashdot editors.

      But I couldn't help noticing that right now all except one posts of the posts on the main page are made by him...
      • by FidelCatsro (861135) <fidelcatsro AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday May 15, 2005 @07:48AM (#12534981) Journal
        I have only ever had a problem with one zonk posted story and and i did question it and from what i can tell he is very open to suggestions .
        I personly find this story intresting , don't know if its a dupe nor do i care(the only people who care about it being a dupe are the ones who have already read it , the others get an opertunity to discuss something they missed, and they ahve been rather good in avoiding dupes this past week or so).

        On the issue
        "The MPAA claims that since it began action against torrent sites, the amount of time required to download a pirated file has increased "exponentially."
        "
        *cough*sckollob*cough* , All the MPAA chasing after random sites has done is move people to new pastures , they kill one torrent site and another three pop up in various locations , it has exponentialy increased anon trackers and sites which link to external torrents.
        I am no supporting or attacking people who choose to download Films .
        I am quite in support of TV downloads but that is another issue( i download alot of stuff from the UK and the USA which i dont get here in germany or its dubbed horribly , ala the simpsons and i do own every simpsons DVDs i just dont fancy waiting 5-14 years till it comes out on DVD to see it).

        The MPAA and RIAA are begining to sound more and more like king Canute , You cant stop the tide . You either learn to work with it or you drown

        • My post was not meant as an attack on Zonk.
          • I apoligise , i ment to direct that at the grandparent , i was agreeing with you . Again i appoligise if it sounded like i was directing that at you(not that i was really attacking the grandparent more just disagreeing in a normaly way ).

            Intrestingly also with this action on these sites of which i am sure some will close down soon perhaps .
            They will most likely shoot up in memberships ,with storys like this as people will flock to see what the fuss is about and the advertisers will be happpy. The site owne
        • by golgotha007 (62687) on Sunday May 15, 2005 @10:56AM (#12535914)
          All the MPAA chasing after random sites has done is move people to new pastures , they kill one torrent site and another three pop up in various locations , it has exponentialy increased anon trackers and sites which link to external torrents.

          I really fail to understand why everyone is making this such a huge problem.

          All these torrent website operators need to do is host their content in eastern European (Russian) networks and all their problems magically go away. Why is this so difficult to understand?

          The other problem is the mentality of these operators. I have tried to help them on numerous occasions to realize the simple fix to their problems (by donating free bandwidth in eastern European networks to them). Have you been on any of these type of IRC channels? These guys all have enormous attitudes and think themselves on a level of no less of God himself. They tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about. As an owner and operator of a large ISP in eastern Europe, let's just say that indeed I do know what I'm talking about. I can host anything I want, completely free of worry of European or American jurisdiction and laws.

          The networks here are the wild, wild west of the Internet. No local authorities (laws or jurisdictions) or higher level ISP's block or attempt to block content infringing on copyright and/or intellectual property.

          So, until these website operators learn to host their content on webservers outside of American or European jurisdiction, their problems will never go away. Unfortunetly, their heads are too big to realize simple truth.
    • by dangitman (862676) on Sunday May 15, 2005 @09:37AM (#12535477)
      At home, with my labrador cross, which by all standards should be a lot dumber than this cat, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that.

      That just shows how stupid your dog is - it cares more about you and your "distractions" than itself. That's not smart, that's being easily suggestible.

      In addition, during this attention seeking attempt, my children's attention is also held by the cat. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even trying to get the remote from my partner fails.

      Thus demonstrating how much smarter and more attractive than you the cat is.

      My terrier with one ingrown toenail runs consistently faster than this siamese at times, as the cat is often completely asleep.

      Again, cat is smart, gets to spend significant amount of time sleeping and being lazy. "Productivity" is for chumps and slaves. Mind you, if your terrier decided to wake a cat, the cat could easily tear it to pieces. My cat slashed the fuck out of a large Pitbull once. Don't mess with cats.

  • Repost (Score:5, Informative)

    by Xeo 024 (755161) on Sunday May 15, 2005 @07:19AM (#12534852)
    It's a dupe [slashdot.org].
  • heh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Seiruu (808321) on Sunday May 15, 2005 @07:20AM (#12534860)
    In the near future, we'll all be paying a monthly fee for having a memory, too!
  • The main issue (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Agret (752467) <{alias.zero2097} {at} {gmail.com}> on Sunday May 15, 2005 @07:24AM (#12534878) Homepage Journal
    I think the main issue here is that the shows are being distributed with the ad-breaks cut out so there are a bunch of advertisers paying the TV networks to air their ads and the online people are getting them with no ads at all.
  • by Seft (659449)
    Stupid journalists, rtfirc :)
    • oblivionx (an op on #bt @ efnet): "The site was not shut down, we took it offline. The MPAA has NOT contacted us yet, so as of right now we are not in a lawsuit."

      The channel was back to normal before (with the latest Dr. Who ep), but has since been set +m.
  • by Tim C (15259) on Sunday May 15, 2005 @07:25AM (#12534885)
    Tivo allows personal time-shifting of a broadcast program so you can watch it at a more convenient time. BitTorrent allows distribution of programs to others.

    IANAL, but I suspect that fair use allows for the former but not the latter. In either case, the difference should be clear, in both intent and in practice.
    • I missed the latest Doctor who as broadcast last night on terrestial TV (for which I have paid a license fee).
      I could either drive over to my mothers and pick up her video, or I can go and download it.

      (Of course, there are other perks to going to your mothers on a Sunday afternoon, no bittorrent site I ever found offered a roast dinner)
      • The question is, who are you downloadinging it from, and do thay have the copyright owners permission to distribute?

        No, they generally don't.

        • Neither, I assume, does the guy's mother. It's interesting that the MPAA and co. only stopped screaming about how morally wrong the concept of home recording was when it became clear that it was a major cash cow.

          Since discovering that particular bit of history (I'm too young to remember it personally) I tend to just play things by "no harm, no foul" rules. In this case, that would mean downloading Dr Who, since I was never going to watch it with adverts in place anyway (I'm at uni without a telly, so it's
          • by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Sunday May 15, 2005 @08:35AM (#12535154)
            Neither, I assume, does the guy's mother. It's interesting that the MPAA and co. only stopped screaming about how morally wrong the concept of home recording was when it became clear that it was a major cash cow.

            Taping audio/video and passing it among your friends has been going on for decades. Also, that couldn't expand very far due to generational losses. Technically copyright infringement, but way under their radar.

            The difference now is your circle of friends has expanded to include everyone online (potentially millions), and the copies they receive are identical to the original, and can be distributed again and again.

            Eventually they will come to terms with this, but the landscape is changing too fast for them to keep up.

            One of the main problems is people have come to expect free downloading of music and video. Why should I pay when I can get it from eDonkey or BitTorrent for free? In the music realm, iTunes has made some inroads into legal, pay downloads. But free still trumps $1 per track for a lot of people.

            • by elbobo (28495) on Sunday May 15, 2005 @09:22AM (#12535388)
              One of the main problems is people have come to expect free downloading of music and video. Why should I pay when I can get it from eDonkey or BitTorrent for free? In the music realm, iTunes has made some inroads into legal, pay downloads. But free still trumps $1 per track for a lot of people.

              I think this is one of the fundamental misinterpretations of online music/video piracy.

              I don't believe it's about price or "free" at all, I believe it's about convenience. The question that people ask themselves is, "What is the easiest way to get what I want? Which is the path of least resistance? What offers the most convenience?"

              Traditionally it's been easier to just go out and buy the product rather than hunt out an illegal copy, but the internet has turned that on its head. The affected industries have to get their acts together and turn things back around to how they should be. Initiatives like the iTunes Music Store go a long way towards achieving that, but nothing practical is being offered for TV/movies as of yet.
          • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Sunday May 15, 2005 @08:41AM (#12535193) Homepage Journal
            The best part about the BBC is that there are no adverts to block anyway.

            In the near future, the entire library of BBC programs as broadcast will be available online.
            It is already happening with the radio shows and other material.

            At that point, most of the torrents and other p2p links for bbc material should begin to dry up.

            I pay for the BBC, and find their attitude to the web refreshing in todays over commerialised world.

            Some links:

            bbc home page [bbc.co.uk]
            News about opening archive [bbc.co.uk]
    • I think it is not really clear how fair use works in this case. I think what it boils down to, is that it is perfectly legal to download one copy of a show, but it is illegal to distribute. This would explain why the MPAA is going after the sites that offer tv torrents, and not the people downloading them(yet).
      • by cpt kangarooski (3773) on Sunday May 15, 2005 @08:27AM (#12535111) Homepage
        I think what it boils down to, is that it is perfectly legal to download one copy of a show, but it is illegal to distribute.

        Nope. Every time you have a purported fair use, you run through the analysis again. There's no sort of numerical limit involved, nor a hard rule against any kind of infringement rather than any other.

        MPAA, like RIAA, has just been going after people that are easy for it to find, and who are further up the chain.

        I.e. getting rid of P2P networks (as they tried in Napster and are trying in Grokster) prevents or impairs lots of people downstream from sharing since they can't use that network any more. Getting rid of trackers affects lots of people further down as well. Getting rid of uploaders at least affects some downloaders and leechers. Getting rid of downloaders doesn't really have affects on others at all. It's a simple 'attack the head of the snake' principle.
      • I think what it boils down to, is that it is perfectly legal to download one copy of a show, but it is illegal to distribute. This would explain why the MPAA is going after the sites that offer tv torrents, and not the people downloading them(yet).

        Isn't this the same for movies and other media though : You -can- download movies/games, but you're not allowed to host it ; Thus http/ftp-downloads would have the preference over torrents.
        Well, at least, that's how it works over here in the Netherlands.

    • Fair use allows any otherwise infringing activity, so long as it is fair. It's just that it's probably easier to successfully argue that reproduction is fair than that distribution is fair, given the circumstances involved.

      You can see what's infringing at 17 USC 106, and how to determine whether there is a fair use by using the four listed factors at 17 USC 107.
  • by PrivateDonut (802017) <chris5377&mailcan,com> on Sunday May 15, 2005 @07:27AM (#12534889)
    Can you be sued if you havn't downloaded any content, and havn't uploaded any content, but provide a website that hosts .torrent files? The MPAA can send you a cease and desist order, can't they? but is there much they can do to enforce it.
    • "Can you be sued if you havn't downloaded any content, and havn't uploaded any content, but provide a website that hosts .torrent files?"

      Well, not in Sweden [thepiratebay.org]. Not sure about other countries, though.

    • by mrsev (664367) <[mrsev] [at] [spymac.com]> on Sunday May 15, 2005 @08:00AM (#12535016)
      ...Listen very carefully. I shall say this only once.

      YOU CAN BE SUED FOR ANYTHING BY ANYONE. Will they win the case, that is the important part?

      .
    • They can sue you for whatever reason, whenever they feel like it, where-ever. It's a civil lawsuit and I don't believe there are any restrictions. But, IANAL, so YMMV.
    • Can you be sued if you havn't downloaded any content, and havn't uploaded any content, but provide a website that hosts .torrent files?

      Remember Napster? The old Napster?

      They never downloaded any content, they never uploaded any content. Not one single solitary byte of music content ever touched their servers. All they did was put people who wanted music in touch with people who were willing to send it to them.

      Nonetheless, they got nailed.

      You run a website that hosts .torrent files, you're doing p

    • Yes, you can be sued as a contributory and/or vicarious infringer, depending on what you've been doing.

      See, for example, Napster, which wasn't sued for downloading, and wasn't sued for uploading, but was sued for providing assistance to other people who were.
  • by Pharmboy (216950) on Sunday May 15, 2005 @07:28AM (#12534899) Journal
    I don't expect to give up downloading TV shows anytime soon. The real kicker is that if the broadcasters would instead offer bittorents of the shows (with a few commercials to pay for them) at the same time they are broadcast, they would beat the groups that are ripping them soley for "respect" from peers. AND they would have the control they are so desperately seeking.

    TV shows are about the only thing I download via bittorrent (and a few books), mainly because I can't watch when shows are on, and it is more convenient than my DVR. The shows I watch already have logos from TV stations, etc., why not run a "drink coke" banner at the bottom from time to time instead?

    If they were really smart, they would also provide their own bittorrent tracker server (complete with Google/Overture ads), making it unnecessary for me to go to other sites and be "tempted" to download music and movies as well.
    • by Babbster (107076) <aaronbabb@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Sunday May 15, 2005 @08:20AM (#12535088) Homepage
      One problem with the idea of networks torrenting their own shows is that they would then be in competition with their own affiliates. Remember, the broadcast networks own relatively few television stations themselves and have to rely on agreements with TV stations owned by others in order to show their programming at all. If the network starts distributing their content outside this system, they risk the whole thing crashing down on them...not to mention that there are probably clauses in the contracts which state explicitly that the network can't use alternate means to distribute their shows in the area of each affiliate. The internet, of course, is available in every affiliate area and a network torrent system would end up the basis of many lawsuits.
      • Why don't local affiliates brand the tv shows with their commericals and logo, and let people download them off their website.

        That way local commericals are shown that matter to the advertisers in addition to the national ads.

        Sure you could download an episode from another affiliate, but if you have one in your city, it would probably be faster download so why bother.

        People who don't have an affiliate that airs said show can also watch it, but I'd hardly consider that a loss since your gaining a viewer w
        • The profit for the local affiliates is not really in broadcasting the shows, it's in the local news programs that come on after the shows. Until they figure out how to keep your butt in the seat in a Video-On-Demand sceanrio, they're going to fight this.

          At least in my area, ALL of the broadcast stations owned by the network companies. Yet they still make a big deal out of local news. I imagine with the current ownership rules, this is a pretty common situation.
        • You add in several problems with this solution, the most important being verification that a particular person is within the affiliate's coverage area or, more importantly, denying access to people outside the area. For example, here in Oregon a person in Salem might prefer to watch the Portland stations for some rason (maybe they moved from Portland to Salem). If there is no verification, then the Portland affiliate can suck viewers from the Salem affiliate.

          This has also been an issue with "repeated" s

    • A problem with supporting bittorrent is now you introduce bittorrent to a bunch of users who've never heard of it before. The unkowing users now decide to give it a try since their tv show is available to be downloaded.

      once you learn bittorrent once, you know how to use it. i doubt tv networks owned by the MPAA would appreciate helping bittorrent grow even bigger.

      besides the fact that it'll be in competition with their affiliates as someone before mentioned, they'll also be competing against dvd sales (or
  • by shanen (462549) on Sunday May 15, 2005 @07:29AM (#12534902) Homepage Journal
    I feel like I'm restating the obvious, but the MPAA is perverting the intention of copyright. The idea was to *ENCOURAGE* creativity, not to maximize anyone's profits in perpetuity. The idea was that you would get some profits for your creative efforts, not that you would forever strangle anyone who tried to create after you.

    Mickey Mouse is the poster child for one part of the abuse. In Mickey's case, they are extending the copyright forever so that they can continue to milk the mouse. If you don't like mouse milk, that's just too effing bad. They have also greatly extended the coverage of copyright against derivative work, again to keep the mouse (and friends) alive and "uncontaminated".

    The Marx Brothers represent a different kind of abuse. That's a case where they use (extended) copyright to suppress distribution of works that ought to be in the public domain. In this case, those works would compete very favorably with the tripe Hollywood produces--so they avoid the competition by suppressing those golden oldies.

    Who said crime doesn't pay?

    • I would see it differently. Extending copyright encourages creativity because it shows that if you can come up with good original concept that catches the popular imagination you can make an absolute mint off it. If that does not encourage people to create, or investors to back creative people nothing will. Disney have invested serious time and effort in building up a brand around their characters, why should they drop copyright and let others make inferior duplicates ad nauseum until the original concept i
      • Yeah, man! Right on! If only Congress wasn't extending copyright to infinite durations to protect Disney, it would be just fine to copy and distribute new TV shows that were produced just this year!

        Oh, uh, wait. Hmmmmmm.
      • by cpt kangarooski (3773) on Sunday May 15, 2005 @08:47AM (#12535218) Homepage
        I would see it differently. Extending copyright encourages creativity because it shows that if you can come up with good original concept that catches the popular imagination you can make an absolute mint off it. If that does not encourage people to create, or investors to back creative people nothing will.

        Well, Disney began at a time when terms, among other things, were much less than they were now. Clearly he didn't need additional encouragement later, so why should there be a retroactive copyright for his work, especially long after he's dead?

        But this really ignores the main issue: we don't want to encourage creativity too much. What we want is to best serve the public interest. But the public has several, equal interests. First, they want original works created. Second, they want derivative works created. Third, they want works to be unencumbered -- this means free as in beer, and free as in freedom.

        Without copyright, we have fully satisfied the third, somewhat satisfied the second, and slightly satisfied the first. We can sum this up and determine the net satisfaction of the public interest.

        If we then offered a copyright of, say, 5 years, we'd reduce the immediate satisfaction of the third and second, but hopefully increase satisfaction of the first by a greater amount, and also some satisfaction of the second. We can sum these up too, and see if the net satisfaction is greater or lower than in other scenarios.

        What we want is to find the scenario that involves the least restrictive laws and the greatest satisfaction of public interest. This will almost certainly not be the point at which we maximize the first interest -- which is what you were talking about -- because there are other interests at issue as well. (And plus copyright holders don't like competition, so they're known to use their rights as a sword, rather than a shield, and claim infringement to keep up-and-coming artists out of the marketplace; maximum creation of original works is thus probably impossible)

        Given that most artists will never see economic value from their copyrights at all, and yet are encouraged to create, and given that in the rare cases that they do, this is almost always realized immediately (the vast majority of revenue for any medium is made when a work is first released in that medium, and dies off days-months afterwards), I think that we could still get the vast majority of creation we see now -- maybe more -- even if copyright terms were extremely short. And we'd all be better off too, since this would encourage more work in derivatives, and more freedom with regards to created works.

        Preventing people from rehashing old ideas from the 30's and 40's is not necessarily a bad thing.

        It is actually, all else being equal. A lot of the best work is derivative, where people spend more time on polish than the underlying concept. For example Shakespeare's plays were virtually all either based on history, or earlier plays and stories which he made new versions of. He was not a big original thinker. That shouldn't be held against him -- he was good.
      • Extending copyright encourages creativity because it shows that if you can come up with good original concept that catches the popular imagination you can make an absolute mint off it.

        But that is NOT what copyrights are about. they are not about making tons of money at all, but to encourage creativity by allowing people a temporary monopoly on a work, but AFTER that LIMITED time it HAS to enter the public domain. What you are asking for an extention on, and what Disney has done will only end up stiflin

    • You know, the **AA runs around screaming and crying about how we're stealing their property. I find this amusing considering that according to the liscense agreement we don't actually own anything.

      If all the megacorps are running around bitching about how their precious intellectual property is being stolen, that's fine.

      If it is real property, then it is subject to real property laws. They need to pay a tax on it, just like any other property. If someone buys a piece of their intellectual property, then t
    • I feel like I'm restating the obvious, but the MPAA is perverting the intention of copyright. The idea was to *ENCOURAGE* creativity, not to maximize anyone's profits in perpetuity

      Copying someone else's work, or distributing someone else's work, isn't creative.

      If you want to create a show, as opposed to copying one, nothing the MPAA is doing will stop you.

  • *YAWN* (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by EpsCylonB (307640)
    Seriously how can slasdot editors not read their own site ?.

    Slashdot needs to eat its own dog food.
  • by Gilesx (525831) * <gil@NosPam.foresightlinux.com> on Sunday May 15, 2005 @07:34AM (#12534924) Homepage
    Not to burst anyone's bubble here, but I'm thinking that those sites probably would have still been busted even if they stuck to free to air content.

    How many TV torrents still contain the original advertisements they aired with? I'm thinking in the region of.. hmm... zero? Now, how is all this "free to air" television subsidised? Oh? Advertisements?

    Do you see now?
    • by bani (467531) on Sunday May 15, 2005 @07:42AM (#12534961)
      remember you're talking about an industry that has publically stated they feel that going to the bathroom for a potty break during commercials is theft of revenue and "immoral".
    • by StrawberryFrog (67065) on Sunday May 15, 2005 @07:56AM (#12535011) Homepage Journal
      How many TV torrents still contain the original advertisements they aired with? I'm thinking in the region of.. hmm... zero? Now, how is all this "free to air" television subsidised? Oh? Advertisements?

      Actually, I'm downloading the episode of Dr Who [bbc.co.uk] that I missed last night. The original contained no advertisiments, and is subsidised by the tax that I pay in the UK. Now the reason why I shouldn't download it again is ... what exactly?

      ALso I'm really not sure what the difference is between downloading an American show that I missed a few weeks ago on the Sci-fi channel (yup, again I pay for that), and recording it with a VCR, DVR, TiVo or whatnot.
      • ALso I'm really not sure what the difference is between downloading an American show that I missed a few weeks ago on the Sci-fi channel (yup, again I pay for that), and recording it with a VCR, DVR, TiVo or whatnot.

        Programming on the sci-fi channel is partly funded by adverts. By downloading the content instead, you are not figuring in their audience statistics[*] and therefore you reduce the value of those adverts, costing the channel money.

        [*] - Yes, I know this is only _really_ true if you are part
        • Programming on the sci-fi channel is partly funded by adverts. By downloading the content instead ... you reduce the value of those adverts

          As opposed to the value that they would have if I were to legally record the show to VCR and fast-forward the ads?
          • As opposed to the value that they would have if I were to legally record the show to VCR and fast-forward the ads?

            The percentage of people that do that (along with the number of people that make a sandwich or go to the bathroom) is factored into their 'numbers of eyeballs' calculations. The advertisers, networks, and media survey people have surveys and stats on this going back decades.

  • Expats (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anubis333 (103791) on Sunday May 15, 2005 @07:38AM (#12534944) Homepage
    As much as I know it is still illegal and considered wrong. I live and work in Germany, and these shows and movies just aren't available here. I don't have the option of going to the local cinema to see a film, and when they do get here, they are always dubbed into another language.

    When I do try to play by the rules and order a DVD from the US of a movie I want to see (ie.. incredibles) It won't play on my player because of the region code.

    I am not saying that downloading and watching the dailyshow everyday is right, but there is definitely a moral grey area. Even with the most expensive satellite package, I can only get this 'dailyshow weekly update' on CNN.

    I mean I can see how shows ripped without commercials would be frowned upon, but they advertise products that aren't available here anyway.
    • Re:Expats (Score:3, Informative)

      by markholmberg (631311)
      From my own experience I can tell you one does not need to be an expat to have the same problem.

      I have lived in quite many countries - Canada, USA, France, Sweden etc. While abroad, I learnt to love many programs we do not get in my native country, for example Leno, O'Brien and Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I have also adopted a lot of the other cultures along the way. For example, I find american political life hugely interesting (and slightly amusing).

      Anyways, there is no way for me currently to obta
  • This link is being reported to be a backup of all of btefnet's torrents as of the day it went down. It appears to have several tens of thousands of torrents and is 24 MB.

    ed2k://|file|torrents.tar.bz2|24171559|75405CBDB 7F 9B97482AF94535EA8930A|/

    Bittorrent is shut down, ED2K Forever.
  • I love public TV. Unfortunately, they have a lot of shows I like to see so late at night. Can these be happily re-broadcast via BitTorrent? There are not advertisements (except for the short "sponsor" messages in the beginning).

    Nature, I Claudius, Colonial House... c'mon you guys love this stuff too, right? Commercial TV is 60% crap, even without the commercials.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Yep, this is happening even for downloaders and uploaders including myself.

    Stargate Atlantis was one of the T.V. shows. Back in December 2004, Adelphia terminated my cable service account (for forever -- blacklisted) for D.M.C.A. because I was sharing two Stargate Atlantis episodes over BitTorrent according to BayTSP and M.G.M.'s hardcopy letter copy ( http://www.google.com/search?q=baytsp+mgm+stargat e [google.com] for samples).
  • IRC? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Teja (826685) on Sunday May 15, 2005 @08:13AM (#12535064) Journal
    Has anyone wondered if IRC will be cracked down anytime soon? I mean, btefnet posts the torrents which are taken from IRC (#bt of effnet). People still can get the torrents from IRC (in fact, here is how the chain goes, the ripper will talk to someone in IRC, they will create torrent, then it is released to the masses on IRC, then it is posted on website, and then the whole world gets it. As far as I know, that is how it goes).
  • by alen (225700) on Sunday May 15, 2005 @08:14AM (#12535066)
    The studios make a lot of money selling entire seasons of shows on DVD free of ads. Advertising isn't the issue here. The studios don't want free shows on the internet when they are trying to sell DVD's of what they broadcast on TV sometimes decades ago.
  • Nonsense story ?! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sla291 (757668) on Sunday May 15, 2005 @08:15AM (#12535072)
    TV shows are FREE as beer, but they are the property of their authors or their channels.

    They broadcast them on TV under their terms (ads, logo, ...) for free, but why would that mean that you can download them without their terms ? They don't authorize you to watch the show without complying to their terms. They can.

    People don't understand that. You can argue P2P helps shows. I'm ok with you. Still, it's illegal.

    So please somebody start a company broadcasting TV shows WITH ads under a CC-by-nc-nd license and bittorrent.

    That already exists for music albums : http://www.jamendo.com/ [jamendo.com] and it rocks !
  • by Teja (826685)
    On this BBC news article [bbc.co.uk] it was stated at the end that "The MPAA says it wants to encourage legitimate download sites instead. Several TV companies are experimenting with legal peer-to-peer based downloads, including the BBC." This provides a bit of hope for those that were hoping to pay to see shows by paying legally.
    • Yes, but they're not doing it very much RIGHT NOW, are they?

      I don't generally bother with TV downloads, but AFAICT they're saying "Don't download show X illegally now, we'd rathar you wait 6 months, pay us, download our specific DRM software then find that we've decided not to make show X available anyhow!"

      Well. I'm sold on that idea. </sarcasm>
  • I can't wait (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ta ma de (851887) <chris@erik@barnes.gmail@com> on Sunday May 15, 2005 @08:24AM (#12535106)
    I hope legal section on piratebay gets some fresh content. http://static.thepiratebay.org/legal/ [thepiratebay.org]
  • by houghi (78078) on Sunday May 15, 2005 @08:57AM (#12535269)
    Make the shows available for bittorrent. Include extra advertisement directed towards the Internet crowd. Put advertisemnet in another corner.

    You have 4 corners. 1 for the network and three to sell. Also include small extra's that are not available on the TV show and organise a '7 differences for 7 shows' contest so peole want to see BOTH.

    Learn wat viral advertisement is and abuse it so much people are not even interested anymore in bittorrent.

    Embrace it, do not fight it. Talk to your marketing people and tell them you have 10.000.000 people who watch your show and do not watch TV. Ask them if they are interested in that.

    These people will be humping your leg so fast you will not know what hit you. You can even sell these services to others in other countries, so they can do the same with subtitled or syncronised shows and programs.

    These people are a new market for cross and deepselling my friends. As lomg as people watch, you have a place to sell.

    Put in a blue screen somewhere in the show that during normal broadcast is a building and on the bittorrent is an advertisement. I asure you, people from marketing and advertisement will go apenuts over this. You will be offerd so much sex, you wich you were impotent (well, you probably are, but you get my point).
  • by Senor_Programmer (876714) on Sunday May 15, 2005 @09:02AM (#12535289)
    It's the huge fear of losing control over distribution. Without control of distribution on one side, there can be no control of artists on the other. It's the frigging middle man getting squeezed out of the picture and fighting for his life scenario.

    Wake up folks. It's not about their stuff, it's abotu your freedom. Why the hell do you think you don't have enough upstream bandwidth to support an ad-hoc, real time distributed distribution system?

    I'll tell you. Because the TeeVee, radio, and theatre middle men would become extinct....The artists? They'd thrive because the demand for material is independent of the mode of distribution.
  • unclear (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rinisari (521266) on Sunday May 15, 2005 @09:09AM (#12535318) Homepage Journal
    I think perhaps one of the larger issues here is that the vast majority of people who download TV shows have already paid in order to see them, because they subscribe to dish or cable. Other stations - the local ones - are free anyways: most people can pick them up on antenna.

    I don't understand how the MPAA could sue someone who has paid for their right to view the program. Arguably, the MPAA and its cohorts would prefer to peddle the DVD sets rather than have people simply download every episode for free. If people have already paid for the right to view the program by paying a dish/cable subscription fee, shouldn't they be allowed to view any network programming for which they have paid at any time?

    As previously mentioned in other posts, how is this different from simply using a VCR or DVR? It's a more permanent medium, they might say. Well, so is DVR. Cassettes can copied with no more of an investment than an additional VCR. Thus, they could be considered permanent. How is this different?

    I could still see lawsuits out of this. If someone downloads a show, gets caught, and doesn't pay for service, sue them until their arses bleed green. Conversely, for someone such as myself who pays US$45/month for cable, I should be able to download shows from the channels for which I pay all I want.
  • Tivo vs Torrents (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Restil (31903) on Sunday May 15, 2005 @11:38AM (#12536217) Homepage
    The difference that you ask about is that it's legal, with legisation backing it up, to record tv shows broadcast over public or cable television, and tivo certainly falls into that category. Yes, there is quite a bit of grumbling about the ease by which commercials can be skipped through, but for the moment, all is kosher on that front.

    However, nothing gives anyone the right to redistribute the recorded shows. If I download a show, I didn't have to buy a tivo, and chances are good I'm not going to have to even skip through advertising. Studio makes no money off of me as the advertisers aren't going to consider downloaded commercial free shows in their rating calculations.

    For fear of overextrapolating, should the trend continue unabashed, they choose not to embrace a new distribution medium and instead look for other ways to cut costs, they'll instead create more shows that have low overhead budgets and appeal to a demographic less likely to use computers for obtaining and watching television shows. That's right, you'll probably end up with more reality TV.

    I'd personally prefer a different distribution model. Even a subscription based service would work. As the trek fans were pointing out in their ill-fated effort to save Enterprise, even with the abysmally low ratings the show was getting, if everyone who watched it paid slightly less than 50 cents per episode, they'd have enough to fully fund a season. That's pretty cheap entertainment, and far far less than they charge for the DVD sets of the same seasons years later. Heck, millions of people willingly pay more than 50 cents for a SONG. It's not out of the question to assume they'd do the same for a TV show that was worth watching. But as long as they want to stick with the old medium, you can expect them to fight it tooth and nail until they're forced to either adapt or die.

    -Restil
  • by Greyfox (87712) on Sunday May 15, 2005 @01:20PM (#12536865) Homepage Journal
    Since I can get an entire season of pretty much any show I'd be interested in on Amazon used for around $20. I stay legal and the MPAA's affiliates still don't make a dime off me.

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