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New Round of P2P Lawsuits from Hollywood 442

An anonymous reader writes "There is a new story on ZDNet about more lawsuits against P2P file sharers. The catch is that Hollywood is using the log files off Bit Torrent sites like Suprnova and LokiTorrent."
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New Round of P2P Lawsuits from Hollywood

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  • Oh goody. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DMouse ( 7320 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @10:37PM (#13403609) Homepage
    Let's sue the customers. Because that so worked for the music industry. Instead of accepting that networked transfer of information is the new reality and going with it. There are so many ways of making money here. But no, have to defend the old way. Man, they have NO VISION. No wonder Hollywood is addicted to creating formulaic movies. Risk aversion is fatal in creative industries, ya'know.

    *face desk*
    • Re:Oh goody. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by adam.conf ( 893668 )
      Well with theater profits plummiting, the movie industry has few methods other than movie sales to generate a profit; and just because it is easy to do something illegally does not> mean that it is legitmate to do so, or that it is in some way unacceptable to defend yourself against these illegal actions. And just so you know, customer generally implies people who paid. These people did not.
      • Re:Oh goody. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by DMouse ( 7320 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @10:53PM (#13403704) Homepage
        Yes. Because the world is neatly dividable into those good people who buy everything, and the bad people who pirate everything. Yes. Really. The world is that simple.

        Did I mention that the last three computer books I have purchased, I read a chunk of them online before hand? Or that I buy cds based on what i have listened to off the web? Or that the movies I go to in the cinema are influenced by the recomendations of my friends, some of whom are downloaders?

        • by Kamiza Ikioi ( 893310 ) on Friday August 26, 2005 @01:09AM (#13404485)
          He's a big Star Wars fan (as in actually owns figures, not just a movie fan). He's seen the latest one 5 times that I know of. At a minimum of $8 per ticket, he's given the franchise $40 + drinks/popcorn/milkduds. This is on top of the 3 or 4 collectable box sets of the originals he owns (mucho dinero). He also got one of the downloaded copies of Episode 3. He hates the quality of it, but it's a piece of Star Wars history to him.

          I on the other hand saw the movie once, really liked it, but won't fork over any more money to see it again. I'll wait for someone to loan me their DVD to watch.

          Now, who should the studios more likely sue, him or me? What's ironic though is that if I'm correct, I'll be the one 100% legal. He'll be the one committing a crime, even if Hollywood benefitted much more from him. It's people like my friend that they are in business at all.

          Give them a dollar, and they'll suck you dry. I'm almost scared to use anything but cash at the theater for fear of what other craziness they may come up with next if they had my name on a reciept.
        • Re:Oh goody. (Score:3, Interesting)

          by akac ( 571059 )
          Doing something wrong does not justify that you purchased it later.

          The only moron is the one calling others who make perfectly good remarks of their own opinions a moron. Only a moron would call others names just because you don't like their ideas or opinions. Even if the written letter and spirit of the law is on their side.

          The fact is that you can steal something and then pay it back later - you still stole and still would be found guilty in every single possible court in the world.
          • Re:Oh goody. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by DMouse ( 7320 ) on Friday August 26, 2005 @01:49AM (#13404719) Homepage
            Well, think of it this way. The fact that I got addicted to firefly has sold at least three box sets and ten serenity tickets. In most marketing text books the original content would have been called a "teaser", because it was low quality et al.

            But, if you had your perfect world, where i couldn't get access to the pirate firefly content, you know what would have happened? I would have gotten addicted to something else. A web comic series, say...
            • Re:Oh goody. (Score:5, Insightful)

              by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@gm ... minus herbivore> on Friday August 26, 2005 @03:07AM (#13405066) Journal
              They just don't seem to get that the low quality of the average "ripped" p2p item makes for an excellent teaser/promo.

              I got into Joss Wheadon and bought the entire Buffy/Angel series on dvd because i got to watch a half dozen eps of each on p2p(No WB where I'm at,No cable either).That equals a very big payoff to them thanks to p2p.The same goes for games.I bought the entire Mechwarrior series because of a ripped version of Mech3.

              While i don't agree with dvd iso's i don't see anything wrong with the "ripped" versions.They are either lower quality(Videos) or have features removed/missing(games) and are a great way to check out something that if your only choice was shell out cash you'd probably never try.

              There is so much money they could be making.Imagine a p2p channel with all the movies over 5 years old for 19.99 a month,Or a channel with all those great games from the 9x era, All you want for 19.99 a month.If they didn't use DRM in return for no support I'd be happy to sign up.Instead they just keep beating the dead horse while wondering why no one wants their latest formula crap.Greed+stupidity+lack of vision=lousy business.Just my 2 cents.

          • Re:Oh goody. (Score:5, Informative)

            by Jason1729 ( 561790 ) on Friday August 26, 2005 @02:33AM (#13404913)
            No court in the world recognizes "copyright infingement" as theft. In the example being discussed, nothing was stolen and paid back later.
          • Re:Oh goody. (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Danathar ( 267989 ) on Friday August 26, 2005 @08:45AM (#13406462) Journal
            Doing something illegal does not mean it's wrong. It' JUST means it's illegal.

            Your morals don't HAVE to coinside identically with what society deems is right via Law. If you decide to do something that you believe is right and it happens to be illegal then the only thing you need to understand it the consequences for your actions (possible imprisonment).

            There are some Laws that I disagree with, but am definitely not going to risk imprisonment. There are other laws that I might think of violating because I don't believe in their moral correctness AND decide to actually commit because the risk seems low (like say...purchasing something after pirating it)

            [disclamer] Of course my morals are in complete agreement with ALL the laws in my country and I would NEVER think of breaking ANY of them.
        • Re:Oh goody. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by FireFury03 ( 653718 ) <> on Friday August 26, 2005 @04:27AM (#13405417) Homepage
          Well, I've said this before:

          Most people, given the choice, want to pay a reasonable price for a legit copy of something. However, currently the pirated material is often "better" than the legit version (for some values of "better").

          For example, the distribution mechanism for illegal movies is better:
            - You don't have to drive to get to see the movie
            - You don't have rediculously overpriced food pushed at you
            - You don't have to put up with 30 minutes of adverts before watching the show you paid an overpriced fee to see (goes back to the "reasonable price" thing above)
            - Not so much an issue these days but it used to be that a lot of movies were released here in the UK long after they hit the US - I can't see how they can complain too much about people getting impatient to see something they've hyped up (still applies to TV though).
            - You don't get accused of being a copyright infringer when you're infringing copyright, whereas you do if you go to the cinema or buy a DVD.

          And yes, I fully agree with you about music - almost all the CDs I buy these days have been (partly at least) downloaded first so I could hear if what I was buying was worth it - the only people who lose out from that are the crap acts who aren't worth buying.
      • Re:Oh goody. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by LiquidHAL ( 801263 )
        the movie industry has few methods other than movie sales to generate a profit that would be correct if only they didn't make huge amounts of cash on DVDs, soundtracks, merchandising, promotional tie-ins, and TV/Cable showings. there is simply no evidence to correlate a decrease in theater tickets sold to pirating. There are too many unmentioned variables to consider.

      • Well with theater profits plummiting, the movie industry has few methods other than movie sales to generate a profit; and just because it is easy to do something illegally does not> mean that it is legitmate to do so, or that it is in some way unacceptable to defend yourself against these illegal actions. And just so you know, customer generally implies people who paid. These people did not.

        Well, there's a problems here. How is a person supposed to know that a file is copyrighted before he downloads it?
      • Re:Oh goody. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Guspaz ( 556486 ) on Friday August 26, 2005 @02:24AM (#13404870)
        These people did not.

        That's the problem, though, isn't it? I'm going to totally ignore any ethical questions and look at this from a technological standpoint: torrent site log files are not proof of infringement.

        The MPAA has a bunch of IPs that they identified via the log files as downloading the torrent files. The problem is that the torrent files are just metadata, they don't have any copyright content in them. Downloading such a file doesn't mean a user committed copyright infringement, only that they might have. Certainly users may have downloaded a torrent file but never did anything with it. That is, just left it sitting around or deleted it.

        Normally in a court case this might not be a problem. But the MPAA isn't sueing people, they're sueing john does. They have the IP addresses, and they are sueing the people behind those IP addresses. The MPAA needs to prove to the court that these IP addresses commited copyright infringement in order to get the names of the people out of the ISPs via a court order. But since the only information they have is that the IPs downloaded torrent files, they have no direct proof.

        IIRC, in Canada it was ruled that such things were NOT enough to force the ISPs to give up customer/IP matches. I wouldn't be surprised if the courts in the US denied the MPAA's requests to get these IPs turned into names either.

        Am I saying it's impossible? Well, no, the US courts have a tendency to not rule logically when it comes to such issues, as the cases often go before judges that really have no idea what is going on. Why is this the case? I don't know, it could be any number of reasons, but my bet is that either the US court system is overburdened and these types of cases can't get assigned to the proper judges because there aren't enough judges, or that the MPAA chooses their judges carefully.
      • Re:Oh goody. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by xiando ( 770382 )
        What do you mean "the movie industry has few methods other than movie sales to generate a profit"?

        Why can they not make huge piles of money using BitTorrent when the adult entertainment industry embraces and utilizes the supreme BitTorrent technology in order to generate sustainable, legal returns?

        Could it be that the movie industry simply have failed to accept the new technological area we are in, and therefore also fail to understand that it is oh so incredibly wise to give away some content in ord
  • Imagine... (Score:5, Funny)

    by DrifterX79 ( 824302 ) * on Thursday August 25, 2005 @10:38PM (#13403615)
    that after all this time they figured out how to use log files to their advantage
    • Re:Imagine... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by epiphani ( 254981 ) <> on Thursday August 25, 2005 @11:04PM (#13403762)
      Dear MPAA:

      Please explain how the logs you cite prove I downloaded your movie. The logs show a 28k ".torrent" file. I was unaware that your movies could be compressed to such a degree! I would now like to direct you to my large DVD collection.

      Fuck You,
      Your Customer.
      • Re:Imagine... (Score:2, Insightful)

        by jack_csk ( 644290 )
        The httpd-access.log can only prove that your computer had download the torrent. It may serve as a supplementary information on where you got the torrent for that illegal download. Only the dumbest jury will find it persuasive to prove an illegal movie download / copyright infringement.
      • Re:Imagine... (Score:3, Informative)

        by man_of_mr_e ( 217855 )
        While it's true that the http logs only show that you downloaded a torrent, they also kept tracker logs as well. They know exactly how many bytes you downloaded, whether you "finished" the file, etc.. (that is, unless you were using a client that didn't accurately report that information).

        • Re:Imagine... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ZosX ( 517789 ) <.zosxavius. .at.> on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:56AM (#13404413) Homepage
          That is if the tracker is hosted on the torrent site. Most of the time this is not the case. Typically all the originating site is providing a torrent which connects you to the tracker site. So the parent is correct. In 90% of the cases you are just downloading a 28k .torrent. Hardly infringement unless they can prove that you downloaded the whole file and went on to seed. See, it isn't the downloading that they typically look at, its the distribution. They want to go after the people setting up seeds and trackers a lot more than the casual person that downloads last week's episode of Deadwood.

          Personally, I would love to buy things on DVD like Deadwood, but when I went out and priced Season 1, they wanted $100 for it. Since I already payed HBO to watch their channel for the whole season, I couldn't justify spending $100 to watch it again. I ended up missing the last few episodes of seson 2 and they expired on On Demand, so I was left with two choices: Wait 6 months and pay $200 for both seasons or download them all for free. It wasn't a really tough decision for me, especially considering how much more I could use the $200 for better things. I could see if it were to be like $40-50, but come on. They would probably sell a whole lot more if they dropped the price too. I mean that works out to a little less than $10 an hour for entertainment. That's more expensive than a movie ticket, nearly twice as much.

          Great series though! I can't wait to see if they do a season 3 and I really hope they pick of the pieces of Carnivale because the season 2 finale was a really cheap way of ensuring there will be a season 3. All that buildup to the most anti-climatic ending of a series I've seen in a long time.
  • by amalcon ( 472105 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @10:38PM (#13403619)

    BitTorrent is all but DESIGNED to be traceable. Maybe this will make people finally notice. That would (hopefully) do a lot to legitimize it.
    • From the article... "BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen has warned in the past that using his technology to distribute material illegally is a "dumb idea," because the file-swapping tool is not designed to hide the identity of anyone using it."
      So it is sort of like waving to the camera while robbing a bank. Don't be surprised if you get caught. I doubt these were slashdot posters of computer people, likely frat boys and jocks that didn't know any better....
      My favorite stories, which happen a lot up here (Ohio)
  • Usenet? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Neo-Rio-101 ( 700494 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @10:39PM (#13403629)
    So, um, when is Hollywood going to go after Usenet?

    *crickets chirp*
    • Re:Usenet? (Score:2, Funny)

      by AndroidCat ( 229562 )
      Could they grab the chickenhead posting his entire Star Trek video collection to alt.binaries.scooter ("pictures of scooters and related items") first? That would make me very happy!
    • Re:Usenet? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by rk2z ( 649358 )
      Seriously though how hard is it to get caught using newsgroups, I assume that while the quantity of people using news groups is considerably less than the number of people using p2p services so that is probably the main reason, but does anyone know how hard it would be to figure out who is downloading what? Wouldn't your ISP have to actively snitch one you? Sounds like a good way to waste company resources and piss off your customers.
  • Legal? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wlan0 ( 871397 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @10:39PM (#13403632)
    In what ways is it legal for them to use the logs of Suprnova and Lokitorrent?
    • "In what ways is it legal for them to use the logs of Suprnova and Lokitorrent?"

      the article says that they got the LokiTorrent server logs via a court order. Though, this case does not involve the use of these logs...they may/will use them in the future. Since the courts gave them the logs, I doubt they would find it to be illegal to use the logs.
      • Re:Legal? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Muerte23 ( 178626 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @10:55PM (#13403713) Journal
        One thing though, would this be admissible with regards to hearsay laws?

        If I make a list of random IP addresses and add random movie titles, can I be subpoenaed and those logs used to sue people?

        It's not like the police came to someone's house and found a movie on their computer - an internet lowlife had that person's IP address on their server. Was it created by a bot?

        Where's the proof? Does there need to be any? I understand that civil cases have a lower standard of guilt, but does anyone know for sure?

        • Re:Legal? (Score:4, Informative)

          by cpt kangarooski ( 3773 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @11:27PM (#13403865) Homepage
          One thing though, would this be admissible with regards to hearsay laws?

          Without getting into the details of what hearsay is and isn't, I'd say that your typical everyday logs will likely fall within the business records exception to the hearsay rule, and be admissible for the truth of their contents. Depends on the circumstances surrounding their making, of course.

          If you're in a situation to make logs of this sort of activity, however, you might want to reconsider whether or not you want to do so.

          Where's the proof? Does there need to be any? I understand that civil cases have a lower standard of guilt, but does anyone know for sure?

          Well, evidentiary issues (such as whether the logs are inadmissible hearsay) deal with whether the jury ever gets to know the logs exist, and gets to know what they say. If they're inadmissible, the jury doesn't get to know about them, and can't make a decision based on them.

          If they are admitted, however, the jury gets to decide for themselves whether or not they trust them. They can always disbelieve them.

          However, the burden of persuasion in civil cases (i.e. any case brought by RIAA, MPAA, etc.) is one of a preponderance of the evidence. If it is at all more likely that something is true than it is false (a 51% rule) then it's considered to be true.
          • Re:Legal? (Score:3, Informative)

            Without getting into the details of what hearsay is and isn't, I'd say that your typical everyday logs will likely fall within the business records exception to the hearsay rule, and be admissible for the truth of their contents. Depends on the circumstances surrounding their making, of course.

            Fed. R. Evid. 801(a)
            "A 'statement' is (1) an oral or written assertion or (2) nonverbal conduct of a person, if it is intended by the person as an assertion."

            Fed. R. Evid. 801(b)
            "A declarant is a person who makes a st
        • Re:Legal? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by cpu_fusion ( 705735 )
          You're absolutely correct: the law is not prepared to deal with digital "logs" as evidence. The simple fact is that any set of bits written on a hard drive could be FORGED and placed there by a hacker with absolutely no trace as to their true source.
          Its a huge problem with "digital evidence" that judges, juries, and lawyers just don't completely understand. But we, as techies, understand all too well how an exploit can compromise a machine, be used to plant something, and then every trace cleaned up. Su
    • Re:Legal? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by slavemowgli ( 585321 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @10:49PM (#13403686) Homepage
      For that matter, why did those sites keep logs, anyway? That seems like a pretty dumb idea to me really; there was at least one case in the past where a site (Cryptome?) was subpoenaed for httpd access logs but came back saying that they didn't keep any.

      I don't want to advocate copyright infringement, but if you do it, then you at least shouldn't do it in a blatantly amateurish way...
      • As someone who has intentionally turned off access logs because 800 megs of daily logs is stupid, I agree. I cant exactly imagine that suprnova kept consistant logs for very long - its a huge data warehousing project.
  • A few points (Score:5, Interesting)

    by the_macman ( 874383 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @10:40PM (#13403638)

    From TFA: Hollywood lawyers are hoping that the fear of exposure will dissuade more people from trying to download movies for free online. "Internet movie thieves be warned: You have no friends in the online community when you are engaging in copyright theft,"

    I love how the MPAA resorts to terrorism to get it's point across.
    Terrorism - n. The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.

    As with previous lawsuits filed by the MPAA and the Recording Industry Association of America, this round of cases is aimed at anonymous "John Does" identified only by their Internet addresses. The defendants' true identities will be sought through a later court process.

    Translation: We really have no proof of who downloaded the material but we're gonna goto court anyways
    • Re:A few points (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kjella ( 173770 )
      From TFA: Hollywood lawyers are hoping that the fear of exposure [to legal prosecution] will dissuade more people from trying to download movies for free online. "Internet movie thieves be warned: You have no friends in the online community when you are engaging in copyright theft,"

      I love how the MPAA resorts to terrorism to get it's point across.
      Terrorism - n. The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidat
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Links are all you can download from those sites.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    The simple solution would be to offshore all Torrent sites to Asia, in countries such as China, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, etc. Such sites don't require that much bandwidth so they can even be hosted in backwards African countries such as Chad, Niger, Congo, etc.
  • Oy! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by marlinSpike ( 894812 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @10:45PM (#13403667)
    And I was so looking forward to offset my higher fuel prices by downloading the summer's blockbusters (have there been any?)...
  • Log files? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by imidan ( 559239 )
    The article is a bit sparse on technical details. Are they talking about using log files from web servers that distribute .torrent files? Because downloading the .torrent file, itself, isn't proof that a user has gone any further than that, which means no infringement is demonstrated.

    Or is there a log file, somewhere, like the tracker, that keeps track of who's connecting and what they're getting? What if you don't succeed in downloading the entire movie? Are you still infringeing, even if the data that
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 25, 2005 @10:45PM (#13403672)
    How about the logfiles, are they really there,
    and how old were they ? 24h, 2d or what.

    Dear former admins of supr.nova or else who got raided,

    please publish your policy how you dealt with the logs, and even if they really exist,

    so that your former users can start saving money for a good lawyer or spend the money for a glass of champagne.

  • From TFA (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 25, 2005 @10:48PM (#13403681)
    The group previously said in February that a Texas court had ordered that the server logs of one big site, called LokiTorrent, be turned over to Hollywood investigators. An MPAA spokeswoman said that none of Thursday's suits were related to that action, however.

    OP didn't RTFA in the first place.
  • If people only downloaded GOOD movies from the net, they'd have much more free time and wouldn't be caught so easily.

  • Lawsuits (Score:4, Interesting)

    by erica_ann ( 910043 ) <> on Thursday August 25, 2005 @10:51PM (#13403698) Homepage Journal
    So let's see here...
    Guns kill people, we sue the gun maker

    The coffee is too hot, we sue McDonalds

    We eat at fast food and we sue the fast food chains for making us fat.

    We record music off the radio onto a cassette tape, it is ok to listen to in the car.
    We download it off the internet, we get sued.

    We watch a movie off a DVD and resell the DVD a place that sells used DVD's we get our money back from buying it and the Motion picture people don't get a second dime.
    We download it and we get sued

    So, does that mean that the ISP's connection we used should get sued too since we used that ISP's connection to get to the internet to Download what someone else put up there?

    Does that mean we should sue Microsoft for making a majority of the operating systems used to DL the files we get sued for?

    Does it ever end or have we just turned into a lawsuit happy world?
    • Re:Lawsuits (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by RembrandtX ( 240864 )
      Just a few facts about the McDonalds case that everyone LOVES to cite as a friviolous law suit:

      There is a lot of hype about the McDonalds' scalding coffee case. No
      one is in favor of frivolous cases of outlandish results; however, it is
      important to understand some points that were not reported in most of
      the stories about the case. McDonalds coffee was not only hot, it was
      scalding -- capable of almost instantaneous destruction of skin, flesh
      and muscle. Here's the whole story.

      Stella Liebeck of Albuquerque,
  • A way out? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gaurzilla ( 665469 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @10:52PM (#13403699)
    You could download the torrents from a public computer (no login) at your school/library, and then actually perform the downloading at home. How can that be traced back to you?
  • by imunfair ( 877689 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @10:54PM (#13403709) Homepage
    I don't think the issue for them is the file sharing anymore - they've just figured out that it's a cash cow to go around suing people who most likely can't/won't mount a successful defense.

    I wonder if someone could counter-sue them for defamation of character or whatever if they were mistakenly sued by the RIAA...

    I bet they'd think twice if they started losing money on suing people. I think if they do goof up they should have to award the person 100 times as much as the person would have had to pay them. You'd see them get real careful about who they sued real fast.

    They don't really have anything to worry about except making money anymore, the government is doing all the dirty work running around strong-arming other countries into cracking down on piracy (Don't crack down.. we won't trade with you...) ... sorry just had to throw that in :)
    • by HBI ( 604924 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @11:48PM (#13403954) Journal
      They are suing customers because they want to pressure Congress into passing laws criminalizing file sharing beyond the extent which it is right now. They figure the people sued will complain to government. Their lobbyists will deflect the complaints by saying they'll stop if they get what they want legislatively. Otherwise, they'll whine, they will be put out of business eventually.

      The politicians cave and we lose more rights. It's really rather masterful if you think about it. In a really evil way.
  • by P0ldy ( 848358 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @11:01PM (#13403745)
    "Internet movie thieves be warned: You have no friends in the online community when you are engaging in copyright theft," MPAA Senior Vice President John Malcom said in a statement.
    Someone stole your copyrights? Maybe that person's running a few trackers and is distributing the works as [s]he sees fit!
  • Don't give in... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spiritraveller ( 641174 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @11:08PM (#13403782)
    This new approach makes it a lot harder for them to win at trial. All they have is a file that lists some IP addresses.

    In the previous cases they hired people who connected to p2p filesharers and observed what exactly was being shared.

    Not a single one of their previous cases has gone to trial. It's not cost effective for them to go to trial even when they can win!

    The formula is simple...

    1. Send threatening lawyer letters to people you believe to have violated your copyright...
    2. Wait for a response...
    3. Look for an admission of guilt...
    4. Profit!
  • Oh Man... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by thunderpaws ( 199100 )
    It will be such a shame to give up watching super compressed ripped video with 2 channel stereo sound, and be forced into paying for a full home theater expierience. Of course Hollywood would never get any cash from me for so many of the movies available anyway. There are quite a few films that do poorly at the box office, but are popular as rentals and downloads. Maybe if Hollywood looked at the download stats along with rental figures, they might find they could generate interest in moving some product
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Oh Shit.
  • by jspectre ( 102549 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @11:14PM (#13403810) Journal
    congratulations! every one of you who complains about hollywood's ingenious move to sue their own customers will find yourself at the end of a lawsuit when they sue /. for their log files!

    enjoy your freedom of thought while it lasts!
  • knowledge is power (Score:5, Interesting)

    by circletimessquare ( 444983 ) <> on Thursday August 25, 2005 @11:15PM (#13403818) Homepage Journal
    here's circletimessquare's method for defeating riaa/ mpaa AND be an upstanding member of the p2p world:

    caveat emptor: this recipe assumes you are in a jurisdiction and dealing with content that is only illegal to UPLOAD (music files, for example, in the usa)

    1. use emule, great program
    2. load it up with porn, gigs of it. you don't even have to look at it. the point is to have something, anything, lots of it, that other people want to download and that you won't get in trouble for sharing (heh, sorry porn makers)
    3. share the porn all the time. you'll have hundreds downloading from you in no time and be greatly appreciated
    4. now, you've suddenly found a strange desire to download hillary duff (!?), so go ahead, search for it (assume you're getting it from someone in sweden and not hurting whoever is making it available)
    4. find the the hillary duff file with the most sources (for quick download)
    5. stop all of your other downloads
    6. suck down hillary duff in a minute or two (heh)
    7. get it out of your shared file immediately

    why does this work?

    the file you are snarfing is so fleeting, and you've crowded it out with a long queue of people waiting to download jenna jameson gone wild volume 2 and other such sleaze, that you're simply never going to wind up being the source for anything on the mpaa/ riaa's radar. it's a drop in a sea of masking porn

    knowledge is power, use it wisely
    • grep -i duff logfile
    • load it up with porn, gigs of it. you don't even have to look at it. the point is to have something, anything, lots of it, that other people want to download and that you won't get in trouble for sharing (heh, sorry porn makers)

      Hate to break it to you, but that porn is just as copyrighted as the music. I don't think I've ever heard of someone suing over sharing porn, but nevertheless you should be aware that from a purely legal standpoint, what you're doing is no more right than if you were sharing the late
  • Unsecured WAP (Score:5, Insightful)

    by quokkapox ( 847798 ) <> on Thursday August 25, 2005 @11:24PM (#13403847)
    How on earth are they going to prove that the "John Doe" who was using a particular IP address was actually doing the downloading? There have to be countless apartment buildings nowadays with clueless, naive, rich grannies who got a wireless router to go with their spiffy new laptop which they actually only bought to get online and read emails from the grandkids.

    Surely some of these WAPs are located in buildings where the neighbors are leeching free broadband using granny's DHCP server and downloading all sorts of copyrighted torrents.

    I wonder how many of these innocent granny types are going to be getting nice subpoenas from the MPAA. If they are senile and ignore them they might get default judgements when the case goes to court. Is the MPAA going to take away their money/home/valuables when they win by default?

    Hell, my own home WAP was temporarily wide-open and unsecured for a while when I first set it up. Do I deserve to get potentially sued for being temporarily clueless?

  • Now what can they do with the logs?

    Due to the nature of bittorrent - where everyone uploads a little here and a little there - are they going to name everyone (by IP address)in one massive slap suit?

    Unless they can nail (and prove) who the initial seeder is, they would have to go after EVERYONE who participated in the torrent - no?

    Of course, lawyers are total pond scum and can come up with something for sure - but I dont get how they can nail me for uploading segment 3415, 1298 and 8129 out of 8902 of any
  • by adrenaline_junky ( 243428 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @11:41PM (#13403923)
    It seems to me that the logs from SuperNova can contain two things:

    1) The IP addresses of people hosting bittorrents
    2) The IP addresses of people being redirected to download from the above people

    In both cases I fail to see how there can be any effective legal case. Unless the MPAA actually went to the sites in question and downloaded the files, they can't prove that "Matrix.avi" was actually the movie Matrix. And they certainly can't prove that the downloaders ever actually completed their downloads, regardless.

    I call "bullshit". No way any guilty verdicts can ever be reached here.

    UNFORTUNATELY, however, with the FUCKED UP legal system in the U.S., some people might not have the resources to actually hire a lawyer to point this out, even though doing so would guarantee an innocent verdict. So expect a few po' folk to negotiate settlements...
  • I have a list... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by E8086 ( 698978 )
    I have a list! A list of 57 communists in the State Department. (or was it RIAA/MPAA?)
    err...I mean a list of seemingly random numbers grouped in four sets of one to three numbers separated by periods and I have no way of proving the authenticity and/or credibility of the list or tell you anything about it and only vaguely explain how it was made and I got it. But I will say that you're on it but I won't let you look at the list to verify that you're accually on the list.

    Sure, that will work. Yes, I'm sure e
  • ...that's what you get. Learn it.
  • Keep your own log (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BCW2 ( 168187 ) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:00AM (#13404007) Journal
    Show up in court with your computer that has 8 different versions of Linux (all downloaded) with up to date torrent patches. Oh you thought that amount of traffic had to be movies? The counter suit will be for 10x what you tried to get.
  • Betrayal (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kaorimoch ( 858523 ) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:07AM (#13404028) Journal
    The ultimate betrayal. First Lokitorrent collects donations for a legal defense fund, then rolls over for the MPAA and contributes all the logs to them for downloaders. His idiocy costs the community even today. I must admit, its enough to scare people using current sites away if they think they are getting logged for later. Anyway, I hope all the other sites keep NO logs after this event.
  • by v1 ( 525388 ) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:07AM (#13404031) Homepage Journal
    If you connect to a swarm, you soon get a list of alll peers in the swarm. Why do they need to get log files from the servers when they could have sampled all the swarms at any time and gotten a complete list live? (AFAIK this is what they did with suprnova before it got closed, because ppl got letters from RIAA a few weeks before it was closed)

    Only thing I can figure is they are technically inept and can't figure out the protocol so they have to rely on logs? Or there is some information or coalation/summary in the logs they are interested in?
  • by plasmacutter ( 901737 ) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:11AM (#13404061)
    Suprnova closed down on it's own. The MPAA/RIAA were never involved. No law in it's hosted nation at the time allowed any of these organizations to lay hands on the logs. The admins responsible destroyed the site and began working on exeem.

    Any questions or comments?
  • by xenomouse ( 904937 ) on Friday August 26, 2005 @12:18AM (#13404119)
    It may be a good idea to switch to trusted file-sharing. Remember the days of old (pre-napster) when one had to search out a good ftp site or hotnet server, contact the admin by email, etc. Did you ever worry that the admin was some RIAA/MPAA agent setting a trap? Did you worry that an RIAA/MPAA agent was sniffing packets between you and that ftp server? Did you even know that the RIAA/MPAA existed for a purpose other than putting warning labels on your entertainment?

    Too many of us have bought into the "my way, right away" mentality, in which if we can't find what we want in less than five minutes, someone's done us wrong. To many, this is a way of life, and they have stopped caring (to the point at which they routinely risk the longterm health of themselves and their society) who provides them a service or product just as long as it is provided right away. Now, i appreciate the immediacy of (some) file-sharing utilites as well as the broad range of content available on their networks, but is the risk really worth it? Why would anyone in their right mind risk a heavy fine for downloading dukes of hazard or the latest jason mraz album? Anyone who uses any of the top five file-sharing protocols takes that risk each time they download something that someone in california happens to care about.

    If you really want the "phat loot," make sure you know who's providing it to you, or at least make sure they can never find out who you are. I've found that the best way to get anything free is to personally know someone who has direct access/control over it. Next chance you get, go visit the helpdesk or IT department or whoever's responsible for installing software onto the machines where you work/go to school. If you don't have a job or go to school (get a job, hippy!) then go visit the local community college during the next open house (and then visit the IT dept). Those people are (or will shortly be) your friends. Chat it up with them, talk about your favorite video game/author/movie/pet - you will have something in common with them (it's inevitable, Mr. Anderson). Any place with a respectable IT department has either site licenses or several extra licenses for just about anything you could ever need/want. Guess what... if you need a software package - and your newfound friend has a few extra on hand - he will share with you (unless he's a total tightwad).

    As for movies and music... be honest with yourself. The tripe that has come out within the past few years (White Chicks? You got Served?? Catwoman???) is far below you, and you don't need to watch the whole movie (or listen to the whole cd) to figure that out. Invariably, any movie or music worth experiencing is also worth at least a rental if not an outright purchase - otherwise, don't waste your time. Indie movie makers and musicians probably don't care (and might even like it) if you download their stuff, so go wild on that one.

    Trust is good. Patience is good. We could all use a little more.
  • by ZosX ( 517789 ) <.zosxavius. .at.> on Friday August 26, 2005 @01:00AM (#13404438) Homepage
    When will they start allowing UDP traffic so we can get bittorrents anonymously?

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun