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BitTorrent User Guilty Of Piracy 470

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the only-a-matter-of-time dept.
DIY News writes "A Hong Kong man has been convicted of movie internet piracy in what is believed to be the first case involving BitTorrent file-sharing software. The man was found guilty of copyright infringement for distributing three Hollywood blockbusters using BitTorrent."
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BitTorrent User Guilty Of Piracy

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  • by Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @11:35AM (#13872138)
    Were those films part of the evidence or his punishment?
  • by thebdj (768618)
    He had been charged in April for uploading three Hollywood blockbusters to the net - Daredevil, Red Planet and Miss Congeniality.

    There is no accounting for taste...
    If I am getting caught, it damned well better be for "Good" movies...
    • Re:Selection... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Vancorps (746090)
      The movies were crap and it might help illustrate at least one reason why people pirate. I mean really, who is going to pay for those movies?

      Course you also look at another movie readily available online. "It's All Gone, Pete Tong." Its a good movie but wasn't readily available for a good while so it was the fastest way to share a great film which I then purchased. Its much easier to pay for something you will actually enjoy.

      Although this has go to be embarassing, busted for pirating Miss Congeniality? O

      • Re:Selection... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ScentCone (795499) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @12:48PM (#13872763)
        The movies were crap and it might help illustrate at least one reason why people pirate. I mean really, who is going to pay for those movies?

        I'm always a little perplexed by this line of reasoning. If it's not good enough to enjoy... why bother obtaining and watching it? If it's good enough to enjoy, and you're glad that the person who made the film (and his/her hundreds of co-workers and investors) spent the money and went to the trouble of producing it, why deliberately rip off the people making the stuff you do like?

        So... if it's quality material worth watching, then it's worth paying the people who produce it (and encouraging them to make more). If it's not worth watching it, why tarnish the name/concept of P2P technologies by squandering it on pirating something copyrighted that, in the same breath, people say is not worth the trouble? I can never understand the people who think they're somehow "punishing" the studios into making better movies by ripping off the (at best) mediocre stuff while piously saying that they'll pay for the quality stuff (assuming, ahem, that they actually do). You indicate that you buy movies you like, but your first sentence (which you say is illustrative) just gives moral comfort to the twits.
    • Re:Selection... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by macdaddy357 (582412)
      Blockbusters? I thought blockbusters were highly successful and popular films, not box office poison. Maybe that word does not mean what I think it means, or maybe that word does not mean what the author of the article thinks it means.
    • that you'll never be caught.

      good movies either:

      - are not from hollywood;
      - don't make them enough money to justify action;
      - all of the above.

      so go ahead and download your good movies at will.
  • Next Gen p2p (Score:5, Informative)

    by VAXGeek (3443) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @11:36AM (#13872147) Homepage
    All actions like these do is force development of next gen p2p like Mute Filesharing.

    http://mute-net.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]
    • Re:Next Gen p2p (Score:5, Insightful)

      by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @11:49AM (#13872294) Homepage
      All actions like these do is force development of next gen p2p like Mute Filesharing

      All it will take to totally bust systems like that is a small change to the law, to make it so that if you operate a system participating in such a p2p network, you are liable for infringement using your system.

      Since these systems have no advantage whatsoever over non-anonymous systems like Bittorrent except when being used to distribute material illegally, it will be easy to get such a change to the law made.

      • Re:Next Gen p2p (Score:2, Insightful)

        How about distribution political criticism, anonymously? Under the current political climate,(Usage of a grand jury to indite members of the press, to disclose their sources, with threats of imprisonment for noncompliance), if they had their way I'm sure they would most certainly like a proposition that you suggested to become law. But the last time I checked, the US Constitution's 1st amendment provides us with freedom of the press, which to my understanding, included the internet as such a publication m
        • Re:Next Gen p2p (Score:2, Insightful)

          by nate nice (672391)
          They would laugh your argument right out of the courtroom. And yes, the first amendment allows rights to speech, but if you say the wrong things, it can be held against you. You can speak out agaisnt the president, but you cannot talk about ways to kill him.
          • Re:Next Gen p2p (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Jherek Carnelian (831679) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @12:09PM (#13872449)
            Yes you can. You just can't threaten to do it. Just like you can't threaten to do it with anyone else. The only difference is that he's got his own security force actively looking for threats and running them down while most everyone else won't even know they've been threatened unless you do it to them directly and they have to go to the police and courts themselves.
            • Re:Next Gen p2p (Score:3, Informative)

              by rm999 (775449)
              Inciting violence is not protected by the first amendment. Listing ways to kill the president will get you in a lot of trouble, especially nowadays. And I would argue that listing ways to kill a specific person is a threat.
          • Re:Next Gen p2p (Score:2, Insightful)

            by 1u3hr (530656)
            . You can speak out agaisnt the president, but you cannot talk about ways to kill him.

            Of course you can. You can even make movies and TV shows about it (at least once a year on The West Wing and 24). You may well be harassed, but if it's not an actual threat, you won't be sent to the Gulag (unless you're a Muslim, that is).

            • Re:Next Gen p2p (Score:3, Insightful)

              by thrillseeker (518224)
              it's not an actual threat, you won't be sent to the Gulag (unless you're a Muslim, that is).

              Odd. I know quite a few Muslims who are unhappy about US policies, and none of them are in a "gulag". Perhaps you want to paint the US government with a broad brush of hatred of Muslims, leaving out the small matter that the people at Guantanamo were all captured on the battlefield against US soldiers, operating under the control of no nation, not signatories to any of the Geneva conventions, are not US citizens

              • Re:Next Gen p2p (Score:5, Insightful)

                by hazem (472289) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @01:56PM (#13873380) Journal
                I'm way off topic here...

                that the people at Guantanamo were all captured on the battlefield against US soldiers, operating under the control of no nation, not signatories to any of the Geneva conventions, are not US citizens, and in many cases have been shown to have attended training events on terrorism tactics.

                While your points may be correct, it's difficult to substantiate. The administration says this is the case, but we have no way of verifying it.

                But, let's assume that all your points are correct. Given that, while it may be legal to do whatever we want with them, is that really what America stands for? Indefinite detention? No legal representation? Harsh conditions and treatment? Alleged torture?

                We have other places too, like Diego Garcia, and probably many more.

                These places and ways of treating people are not what I think of when I think of the grand ideals my country was founded on. These are not the things I joined the military to defend. These things are what we accused the Soviets and other communist countries of doing - and held them out as reprehensible. It's disgusting and shameful that our country would act in such a way, and then be brazenly proud of it.

                I'm ashamed of what my country does and I'm angry that there seems so little that Americans with a conscience and sense of true patriotism can do about it. And I'm saddened that so many Americans think it's okay that our country does these deplorable things.

                Doesn't it bother you that just because the administration has declared someone to be an "enemy combattant" that such a person has no rights and no protections, and that our government feels it has free-reign to abuse and detain them indefinitely?
              • Re:Next Gen p2p (Score:5, Insightful)

                by UnrefinedLayman (185512) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @02:21PM (#13873616)
                the people at Guantanamo were all captured on the battlefield against US soldiers, operating under the control of no nation, not signatories to any of the Geneva conventions, are not US citizens, and in many cases have been shown to have attended training events on terrorism tactics.
                So, what, is war now something that you can't go to without first passing some tests? People aren't allowed to defend their land from invasion by a foreign force without first checking in with the head-office and reading "7 Habits of Highly Effective Soldiers" and "Everything I Ever Needed to Know I Learned at the Geneva Convention"?

                I think people are quick to dismiss the rights of those held in Cuba; if our places were reversed and it was a Middle Eastern country invading the US to spread Shariah Islamic Law, would you be so quick to condemn your countrymen--fellow citizens--caught fighting that force? Because they're disorganized and haven't been through boot camp?

                The fact is those people were defending against invaders, ideological differences aside, and were not wealthy enough to have a highly-organized and well-trained militia like much of the rest of the world. Just like many Americans don't feel the government adequately represents their interests abroad, it's certainly within the realm of reason that some of those individuals did not feel Osama bin Laden represented their interests in attacking the US, but when a counter-attack was launched it was a matter of defending their home and way of life.

                Being poor requires fighting face-to-face and with short-range mortar and explosives, not invisibly from the skies like Americans, and these people resorted to whatever tactics were necessary to muster a defense against invaders. In my opinion (whose weight is questionable), it is much more a terrorist act to strike at an enemy from the sky without fear of retribution than to fight him on level-ground, face-to-face. At least when you can see your enemy you know who you've killed, instead of accidentally exploding a wedding party.

                The reasons you're giving for giving the OK for locking up these prisoners of war sound an awful lot like the reasons given for rounding up and imprisoning or killing Native Americans (and I have therefore a hard time accepting that). My point behind replying is to say that the quickness with which you determine guilt and innocence can easily be turned on you and the ones about whom you care. Justification of the treatment is justification of your own treatment.

                I am not speaking regarding the rest of your post (which may or may not have merit).
                • Re:Next Gen p2p (Score:4, Insightful)

                  by d34thm0nk3y (653414) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @03:16PM (#13874118)
                  I completely agree and would like to add something:
                  the people at Guantanamo were all captured on the battlefield against US soldiers, operating under the control of no nation, not signatories to any of the Geneva conventions, are not US citizens, and in many cases have been shown to have attended training events on terrorism tactics.

                  Sounds just like the US war for Independance. A bunch of non-uniformed rabble using geurilla (sp?) tactics to defend their home.
      • Re:Next Gen p2p (Score:5, Insightful)

        by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @12:24PM (#13872561) Homepage Journal
        Define a P2P network. The typical definition revolves around the idea that all nodes are both client and server. I could easily make an argument that the Internet itself is a peer-to-peer network (and it would be true). Most modern LANs are essentially peer-to-peer in nature.

        Now define an anonymous peer-to-peer network. One that uses some different routing rules to try to disguise which hosts are requesting what? Hey, doesn't that sound familiar? The use spoofing and zombies and whatnot to disguise where an attacker is coming from? Oh yes, that's the Internet, too.

        They can try to pass such laws, but the fact remains that these networks will continue to exist because 1) they will become to widespread to stop, and 2) such a law could easily be eaten for lunch by an enterprising barrister.

      • Re:Next Gen p2p (Score:3, Interesting)

        by m50d (797211)
        Since these systems have no advantage whatsoever over non-anonymous systems like Bittorrent except when being used to distribute material illegally, it will be easy to get such a change to the law made.

        No, they also have an advantage when distributing stuff legitimately that you don't want people to know about, like fetish porn.

      • Re:Next Gen p2p (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ronocdh (906309) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @12:39PM (#13872688)
        Since these systems have no advantage whatsoever over non-anonymous systems like Bittorrent except when being used to distribute material illegally, it will be easy to get such a change to the law made.

        That's like saying only criminals have things to hide, therefore good citizens will not mind a compulsory search and seizure. "You want a warrant? What are you, a terrorist?" We have a right not to show the government everything we do. That doesn't make it illegal.

        Hey, at least we got buttsex back from the Republicans.
    • Re:Next Gen p2p (Score:4, Informative)

      by Teckla (630646) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @12:04PM (#13872408)

      All actions like these do is force development of next gen p2p like Mute Filesharing.

      MUTE looks even worse than BitTorrent. If you participate in the network, even if you personally never download anything illegally, copyrighted material may be flowing through your connection. I'd worry about being held liable for copyright infringement just by knowingly and willingly allowing my connection to be used in this way.

    • Re:Next Gen p2p (Score:3, Insightful)

      So they should just give up?

      Why is this sort of comment always very near the top of slashdot comments in all stories to do with a P2P user being convicted of copyright infringement? Wheres the comments denouncing the act of copyright infringement that took place? This person broke some laws and is being punished for it, and the top thing on slashdot is how to avoid being caught. Wonderful.
    • Re:Next Gen p2p (Score:3, Informative)

      by Iriel (810009)
      Not just that, it's going to provoke lawyers to find ways around the precedent set by the Sony/Betamax case. It is already established (in the United States) that a technology cannot be outlawed simply because it allows someone the capability to commit piracy. However, with the recent Grokster ruling (which the US paid close attention to), you can be shut down if you grant the ability and endorse it.

      Now they're going to try to take that old site post by Bram Cohen (which was a satire of the cypherpunk manif
  • by pythas (75383) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @11:36AM (#13872148)
    Out of all the movies to go to jail for, this guy picks Daredevil. Ugh.
  • We can't be havin' none a these varmints tarnishin' the good ol' name o' BitTorrent.

    Next thin ya'll know, dang ol' house o' repersentatives an' courts an' lawyers be tarrin' it all up with the same brush used on Gnutella, Kazah and whatnot.

    Dang. Put me right offen my coffee!

  • by Artie_Effim (700781) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @11:36AM (#13872152)
    the torrent of his trial is available at http://www.chin.../ [www.chin...] oh wait, nevermind ;)
  • by DaiPinchi (894248)
    In Hong Kong, of all places...
  • Novel Idea! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Evil W1zard (832703) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @11:36AM (#13872159) Journal
    Wow so they are taking down the person who took part in the copyright infringement and not the software used... Oh wait its still early in the day, I'm sure BitTorrent will be blamed once again for its ability to be used for evil purposes...
  • Here we go again (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PIPBoy3000 (619296) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @11:37AM (#13872166)
    These threads are quickly becoming a rehash of all the previous file sharing threads. Queue the people saying he was breaking the law, the people talking how sharing information isn't stealing, and finally all the people claiming that information wants to be free.

    How is this lawsuit different than all the others?
    • by Sockatume (732728) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @11:53AM (#13872320)
      Don't forget the grammar pedants who waste everyone's time without contributing to the discussion. That's "cue", not "queue", BTW.
    • Bittorrent is #1 the most popular file sharing mechanism, especially among novices.

      Second it is insecure on the public servers which seem to all be building war chests to fight the industry when it comes.

      Third other than the RIAA many copy protection lawsuits have targetted the sharers rather than the people downloading with bittorrent these people are increadibly exposed.

      Fourth a lawsuit strongly in the favour of the motion picture industry will have a huge impact almost immediatly because bittorrent
    • These threads are quickly becoming a rehash of all the previous file sharing threads.

      Isometric flamewars are slashdot stock and trade. Better that than discussing the pros and cons of space elevators, hmm?

    • How is this lawsuit different than all the others?

      He's going to jail for sharing crap no one in their right mind would want to buy anyway?
  • by LV-427 (315309) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @11:37AM (#13872167)
    Daredevil, Red Planet and Miss Congeniality.

    Piracy is the least of his problems...

  • Fix the headline (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eison (56778) <`moc.liamtoh' `ta' `nosietkp'> on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @11:37AM (#13872168) Homepage
    I use BitTorrent to get the updates for World of Warcraft. I'm not guilty of 'piracy' for that.

    Headline should read: "People who share copyrighted movies guilty of copyright infringement."

    But I guess that wouldn't get as much of a reaction, what with it being obvious and all...
    • by garcia (6573)
      I use BitTorrent to get the updates for World of Warcraft. I'm not guilty of 'piracy' for that.

      It doesn't say "BitTorrent Users Guilty of Piracy" it says "BitTorrent User Guilty of Piracy". Move along.
    • The headline doesn't imply that all bittorrent users are pirates, just one, who used bittorrent and was convicted of piracy, is.

      It's like saying that a headline reading 'Driver charged with hit an run' means that all drivers a running people down.

  • In other news ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheGavster (774657) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @11:37AM (#13872169) Homepage
    In other news, a man in Delaware has been found guilty of beating another man to death with a toaster. The toaster industry declined to comment.
  • More reports on this (Score:5, Informative)

    by cciRRus (889392) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @11:38AM (#13872175)
    Here [theinquirer.net], here [chinapost.com.tw] and here [channelnewsasia.com].
  • by bartash (93498) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @11:38AM (#13872185)
    The government prosecutor Hayson Tse Ka-sze said it would be "absurd" to argue that the tracker server and not the uploader was responsible for distribution [ucla.edu]. He defined distribution as "sharing" and said the court would have to look at the intent of the legislation

    Copyright-infringing copies of three films - Daredevil, Red Planet and Miss Congeniality -- were found on the defendant's computer [ucla.edu] during a customs raid on his home on January 12. Photo images of the labels of the compact discs were also found on the computer. A digital camera consistent with the make and model used to take the photos was found at the defendant's home, government prosecutor Hayson Tse Ka-sze told the court.
  • by garcia (6573) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @11:38AM (#13872186) Homepage
    What I want to know, and the article doesn't say, is whether he was a "distributer" or whether he was just an unlucky sharer that was downloading a movie and got nabbed. If he was seeding the torrent, whatever -- he deserved it, I'd think that it would be "scarier" if he was just a user downloading/uploading by using the seeded torrent.

    "This ruling means a lot," said Hong Kong Commerce Secretary John Tsang, explaining that it would deter other possible file-sharers.

    What deters me is simply that it's more worth it to just buy the movie in the store. I don't have to waste bandwidth downloading it, the time to burn it to DVD, and my drive space while I do that. Most movies (especially real suck ass ones like Dardevil) are available for $7.50 at Target all the time. Hell, I just got Season 1 of Nip/Tuck for $18.88 two weekends ago!
    • by NeoSkandranon (515696) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @12:04PM (#13872410)
      The only difference between a seeder and the other users is that the seeder has the completed copy. In both cases you're uploading something you don't have distribution rights for, so I'm curious how you're making the distinction.
    • "...If he was seeding the torrent, whatever -- he deserved it, I'd think that it would be 'scarier' if he was just a user downloading/uploading by using the seeded torrent."

      I think that was exactly the point of the lawsuit; they (the media industry) want to give *all* who use bit-torrent for illegal distribution of copyrighted materials pause. Not just the seeder, but all those who consequently share the bandwidth of it as well (i.e., the leechers).

      I would imagine that the only difference beween being a se
    • by MarkByers (770551) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @12:10PM (#13872469) Homepage Journal
      'I don't have to waste bandwidth downloading it'

      Bandwidth is very cheap and getting cheaper and faster. It won't be long before it is faster to download a film than it is to walk to the video store and back. In some places it already is that fast. Besides, most people have unlimited bandwidth deals where if you *aren't* using it, you are wasting more money than if you use it to it's full potential. Most programs can download in the background so that they do not disturb your browsing etc.

      'the time to burn it to DVD'

      You can do this in the background. If you use a modern OS like Ubuntu with built in support for burning to DVD, burning to disc is such a trivial exercise that it's hard to understand how Windows makes it so hard to do this simple task quickly. Even if you don't want to burn it, you can watch the film directly from your hard disk and then delete it when you are done.

      'my drive space'

      Because drive space is a scarce commodity? All you need is a gigabyte or two free for the twenty minutes it takes to burn.

      It's not that I condone copyright infringement, but you will have a hard time convincing other people that they should go out in the rain/snow, etc. to buy a film rather than download it from the comfort of their own home.

      Wouldn't it be simpler if the music industry just decided that downloading films via the internet was a viable business strategy?
    • What I want to know, and the article doesn't say, is whether he was a "distributer" or whether he was just an unlucky sharer that was downloading a movie and got nabbed. If he was seeding the torrent, whatever -- he deserved it, I'd think that it would be "scarier" if he was just a user downloading/uploading by using the seeded torrent.

      Note: I'm going to be using "you" to mean "people in general", not "you in particular".

      Now, I'm not familiar with Chinese copyright law as it stands, but I have a feeling he'
  • Good... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by the_skywise (189793) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @11:41AM (#13872212)
    Better to sue him than to sue legit Bittorrent users.
  • Piracy? In China? The Chinese government would never allow that to happen. Now that this guy has been caught, that will be the end of trademake infringement in China.
  • by Anita Coney (648748) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @11:44AM (#13872242) Homepage
    This is hilarious because if the guy had simply left his apartment and walked to the nearest corner, he could have bought the DVD for next to nothing.

    It's amazing to me that real piracy, where huge profits are made, is ignored while file sharing between friends is hammered.
  • Misnomers (Score:3, Insightful)

    by StormReaver (59959) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @11:46AM (#13872259)
    1) The guy didn't get arrested for using Bit Torrent to illegally distribute others' work. He was arrested for illegally distributing others' work (re-read that until you understand the distinction).

    2) This was not an arrest for using file sharing software. This was an arrest for copyright infringement. The tool that was used is immaterial.
  • by Mr. Cancelled (572486) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @11:46AM (#13872263)
    We've all seen enough of these types of stories here on /. to know what to expect in the discussion thread. Allow me to sum up about 75% of the inevitable replies:

    • Good! Pirates deserve to be punished for stealing others works
    • Pirating is copyright infringement - Not stealing
    • I can't believe the hypocrisy of Slashdot readers who find it ok to steal music and movies, but who find infringements from the likes of Sco and Microsoft to be wrong
    • It's people like this who are causing movie ticket prices to be so high
    • If they'd make better movies, then more people would go to see them in the big theatre, and not prefer to watch them at home
    • Why are people who commit copyright infringement given sentences equal to, or often more than those given to violent offenders? One's clearly a crime, while the others merely a misdemeanor
    • Come on and get me MPAA/RIAA - I've got the guts to fight you! I'm going to keep sharing stuff just to piss you off. Muwahahahaha

    And so on...

  • If on some planet those movies are considered to be 'blockbusters,' then his main legal defense should be, "But this is Earth."
  • Guilty by knowledge? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gaanagaa (784648)
    So if a tech-unsavy person is uploading while downloading as part of the protocol, s/he is likely not intending to infringe copyright in the uploading, and therefore likely not guilty of an infringement. However, the downloading itself may be an infringement, and by virtue of clicking the link, you have shown intention (though shown, it's not proven; accidental clicking, etc.). Incidentally, I do not know what would happen if you were downloading a copyrighted movie you already own (fair use/dealing), a
    • The law (in the U.S.) recognizes two types of intent. There is "Specific Intent" - meaning that you intended the effects that occurred. An example of a specific intent crime is Murder. To be guilty of Murder you had to intend to kill. Most crimes in the U.S. are NOT specific intent crimes. The other kind of intent is "General Intent". General intent means that you intended to do what you did - even if you did not intent the consequences that occurred. An example of a general intent crime is Negligent
  • Is a person truly guilty of a crime if they only download these movies but refrain from profiting or watching them.. but they simply use the opportunity to aid the global community in accessing this information ?
  • by pieterh (196118) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @11:56AM (#13872341) Homepage
    Such court cases only happen because the movie industry pressures courts and law enforcement, presumably with some support from U.S. trade or diplomatic channels. Now, the clever thing about such court cases is that they focus on the black/white legality of an action, and ignore the wider ramifications. Very typical of the divide and rule approach. You are either for the movie industry, or you are for thr pirates. This is what Fox TV calls a "wedge issue" and it's a clever way of keeping people divided while avoiding useful debate.

    It is a false issue, and anyone discussing whether "piracy is right or wrong" is falling into the trap.

    What most people actually are for is a better way of getting content. We don't like thieves. We don't like stealing. But we find paying $50-$100 to take the family to the movies unjustly expensive.

    The movie, music and TV industry has to give its customers what they want, or they will - court cases or not - lose those customers.

    And the simple solution, by the way, is to boycott Holywood, and boycott the record labels that sponsor the RIAA. Consumers do not have much power, but - as Rosa Parks demonstrated - even the most humble of us can refuse to give our money to those that would mistreat us.
  • OMG!! Lets get rid of bittorrent now!! It can't possibly have any use other than piracy!!! Lets make it "illegal software"... At first I thought the title said "Bittorrent users guilt of piracy". I was like "Uh.. no" I downloaded knoppix from a torrent last night.. only reason it caught my eye. :)
  • Blockbusters (Score:4, Informative)

    by Gogo0 (877020) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @12:03PM (#13872401)
    Pretty off-topic, but whatever...

    Hollywood Blockbusters

    A "Blockbuster" is a movie that grosses $100 Million or more.
    Red Planet brought in $33 Million worldwide, nowhere near a blockbuster as it is defined.

    But then I guess anything that comes out of hollywood (or even before it comes out) is considered a blockbuster these days, regardless of how bad it is. Hooray for marketing.
  • by crashcodesdotcom (813209) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @12:08PM (#13872445)
    In China...

    Pirated copies of all kinds of things are sold at shops out in the open for all to see. They don't even try to hide it.

    At one place I thought was like a flee market, they were selling GBA cartridges for about $5 US (before haggling). The cartridges looked legit at first. I just assumed they were used, then I saw a 6 games in one cartridge. Not a game like the Atari collection or something like that but like 6 Super Mario games in one including a recently released title.

    Another place I went to was in a strip mall like shop. It looked like a retail buy/sell/trade place you might find in the US. Maybe like a mini version of an EB games store. The clerk behaved just like someone working at EB might act. Not pushy, but really zealous about gaming. I didn't even know it was a store for pirated stuff, until the issue of price came up. A few games were priced higher than the others only because it required a different type of DVD. Between that and the prices, I finally realized what they were selling.

    The point of all this? I wonder if most Chinese have even given piracy moral consideration. /.ers may be pro piracy, insulted by the word pirace, anti-piracy, or whatever; but at least moral consideration was made at some point.

    For a long time, I've been very careful about piracy and stuff. I got my own convinctions about it, and I try hard to hold true to them. I've explained this to my wife, who is from China, over and over again. Yet she continually puts me in compromising situations, and has to be reminded why I wont go along with it. Outside of my influence, I don't think she has any considerations toward piracy whatsoever.

    • Same as in the USA (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Frankie70 (803801) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @01:06PM (#13872925)
      During the time of Charles Dickens, there were no copyright laws for books in the USA. They didn't need
      them because very few books were written in the USA. All their books were written by English authors
      like Dickens - so not having copyright laws mean that US printers could print British books without
      paying any royalty & sell them for pennies.

      Charles Dickens saw this on his visit to the USA & tried to fight against this.

      However, USA started having copyright laws on books only after there were enough American authors
      whose rights needed to be protected. By that time the book industry was jumpstarted by having a
      good business of seeling cheap pirated books & they could build on it.

      Every country starts respecting copyrights/patents only when they have more things to
      protect than to steal.

  • by Ahaldra (534852) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @12:10PM (#13872459) Homepage
    I cannot remember any slashdot article reading "HTTP user guilty of piracy" - What is it with BitTorrent that people are so hung up on the name of the transfer protocol?
    Just because it's fast doesn't make it illegal! Every time a dumb headline like this is posted the tech crowd shoots itself in the foot - It's like saying "Porsche driver guilty of manslaughter", these two things may have something to do with each other, but expressing it this way makes it appear as if they are causally related - which they are not.
    It's not that this specific transfer protocol enables copyright infringement right out of the box or anything....

  • by jbn-o (555068) <mail@digitalcitizen.info> on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @12:22PM (#13872544) Homepage

    If you're going to make legal analysis, at least try to use the correct terms. It's headlines like these that confuse the public into believing that "movie internet piracy [gnu.org]" is something one can be convicted of.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @01:09PM (#13872959) Homepage
    Look. I am guilty of speeding... hell I even let my insurance lapse a few times. I've shoplifted before (when I was a kid) and YES I admit to having downloaded music and movies from across the internet using a variety of means. (I also buy music and movies when I think they are worthy... haven't bought music in a VERY long time but you might find that I own DVD versions of some TV shows and movies that are also on my hard drive.) I make only weak attempts to justify my actions in that I know what I do "isn't right" but at the same time, I don't feel so wrong about it either. Whenever three conditions meet, I am inclined to buy! Those conditions are Availability==TRUE, Affordability==TRUE and Appreciation==TRUE. I think it's generally true of just about anyone out there.

    I don't think it's good that the current market is essentially a "buyer assumes the risk" market. After all, will sellers accept a return of a CD or DVD based on the "I didn't like it" argument? I think they should but they don't. This practice, when done maturely, essentially helps to balance this problem in the market. Is it "wrong"? Yeah... it's wrong by a variety of standards, but it's also a market demand otherwise so many people wouldn't be doing it.

    I don't think we should feel any worse than we feel for our neighbor when he gets a speeding ticket. (And I don't think he should get much more punishment than a speeding ticket either.) Just like anyone else, he knew the risks and he took the chance... gambled and lost.

    I guess what I'm saying here is that we don't need to call an end to "copyright" and all that. But we do need to bring sanity into play when all of this is going on. I think we can all pretty much agree that it's insane now. If the motive is profit, throw the book at them. If it's the kind of (ab)use that we see on a regular basis, give them a [reasonable] fine and move on. I think it would be fair enough.

The 11 is for people with the pride of a 10 and the pocketbook of an 8. -- R.B. Greenberg [referring to PDPs?]

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