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Judge Rules TorrentSpy Destroyed Evidence 325

Posted by Soulskill
from the slowing-sinking-ships dept.
Come play kdice writes "A federal judge has handed the MPAA a resounding victory in its copyright infringement lawsuit against TorrentSpy. Judge Florence-Marie Cooper entered a default judgment against Justin Bunnell and the rest of the named defendants in Columbia Pictures et al. v. Justin Bunnell et al. after finding that TorrentSpy 'engaged in widespread and systematic efforts to destroy evidence'. After being sued, TorrentSpy mounted a vigorous defense, including a counter-suit it filed against the MPAA in May 2006, but, behind the scenes, the court documents paint a picture of a company desperately trying to bury any and all incriminating evidence. TorrentSpy has announced its intention to appeal, but its conduct makes a reversal unlikely."
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Judge Rules TorrentSpy Destroyed Evidence

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @11:16AM (#21751558)
    When the CIA destroys evidence [cnn.com] that they tortured prisoners, the entire Justice Department jumps to their defense and gives their director a medal. When a small company that just provides links to pirated movies destroys evidence to protect its users from the thugs at the MPAA, they're criminals and must be punished!
    • by The Only Druid (587299) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @11:19AM (#21751584)
      The one doesn't invalid the other.

      Regardless of anything the CIA does, TorrentSpy deserves to be punished for having destroyed evidence (regardless further of whether they initially did anything wrong). It is also true that the CIA should be punished accordingly, but the failure of the courts to deal with that yet is simply irrelevant in the discussion of this case.

      If you're sued, DON'T DESTROY EVIDENCE! It eliminates any credibility, and exposes you to situations like this.
      • by Slashdot Parent (995749) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @11:57AM (#21752004)

        If you're sued, DON'T DESTROY EVIDENCE!
        And if you do destroy evidence, try not to discuss it publicly like TorrentSpy did.

        • by JasterBobaMereel (1102861) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @01:33PM (#21753384)
          If you read the article properly you will find that the evidence they destroyed was never collected, they did not destroy it they just didn't save it in the first place ...

          Oh and this is not a US company so the MPAA and the US courts cannot order them to save information that is not required by European law ...?

          America the land of the free ... well freeish.... sort of
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by LrdDimwit (1133419)
            I tried to track down the original ruling and was unsuccessful. However according to TFA, the judge found that no less than all of the following happened (roughly in this order):

            1: TorrentSpy forums openly discuss infringement
            2: MPAA files lawsuit
            3: Wes Parker (TorrentSpy moderator, admin, it's not quite clear) says 'we need a plan to keep piracy off the forums'
            4: Another moderator suggests creating a hidden forum and moving incriminating content there. Wes agrees.

            5: Some time later, they begin
            • by Culture20 (968837) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @04:22PM (#21755710)

              1: TorrentSpy testifies in court that IP information [FOR TORRENT TRACKING SOFTWARE] simply wasn't available
              2: MPAA finds evidence TorrentSpy can implement and enforce bans of users by IP address [ON INTERNET FORUMS, NOT TRACKING SOFTWARE]
              3: Under oath, a TorrentSpy moderator testifies IPs were logged [FOR FORUM SOFTWARE] until April 07 (more than a year after they were sued)

              Fixed that for you. phpBB =/= bittorrent tracker, and no, you can't assume someone who visits the forums downloaded something illegally... MPAA apparently visited the forums...
      • I just hope it's apparent that this ruling was handed down because they destroyed evidence and not because the case against them necessarily had any credibility (not saying that it didn't, just that it was never ruled on). I'd just hate for this win for the MPAA to be used as precedence in others cases.
      • by Amouth (879122)
        While i agree that Destroying evidence is a "bad thing" i do have to wonder what has happened recently.. it seems now days that people have to prove their inoccence while it should be the other way around.. people should be inoccent until proven guilty - if they didn't have the evedice to prove guilt before things where destroyed i have to wonder what they where ttying to do..

        it seems to me that these things are going .. person A accuess person B .. person B has to show that they didn't do anything wrong -
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Not to be glib, but I think you're confusing the way litigation/prosecutions are depicted on TV/news with the way they actually occur.

          It's difficult for the public to keep the proper understanding, because they typically don't see the entire case. They hear an article about the indictment, or the conviction or acquittal, but rarely follow all the goings-on. The burdens of proof in civil and criminal matters have, if anything, shifted in favor of defendants in the last decade or two. However, on the o
      • by Buran (150348) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @01:35PM (#21753414)
        Of course, then if you rule that forum admins can't clean discussion of illegal activity from their forums so that they don't get sued for what their users do, that means you're automatically screwed if you run a forum because you'll get sued if you don't clean it off, and sued if you do.

        I won't be surprised if I start seeing forums close left and right due to this.

        Moral: run a discussion forum, you'll get sued no matter what you do. Don't bother running a discussion forum.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Grishnakh (216268)
        I entirely disagree.

        You're assuming that destroying evidence is "wrong", and that "two wrongs don't make a right".

        The CIA is part of the government, and the government is elected by the people. It is an extension of the people's will. Therefore, anything the government does, if not quickly corrected, is assumed to be the people's will, and therefore "right". And if an action is OK for the government to do, as far as I'm concerned it's good enough for the rest of us too.

        It's just like the police. If it's
    • by Liquidrage (640463) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @11:23AM (#21751626)
      This has nothing to do with the CIA case.

      Hey, look. We all know that the MPAA/RIAA are pricks. But the good fight isn't sticking up for people that are violating copyright in bulk on purpose. If a university were to block all of bit torrent, that's a cause worth fighting against. The right fight is to not allow the bad (or potential bad) to prevent the good. But let's not bury our heads in the sand and pretend places like TorrentSpy weren't doing anything but providing a way for people to share copyrighted material.

      Like it or not, people are downloading and sharing against copyright all over. And there's no reason to support that.
      • by garcia (6573)
        Like it or not, people are downloading and sharing against copyright all over. And there's no reason to support that.

        Then *everyone* who destroys evidence should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, not just those that are apparently above the law.
      • by Ochu (877326) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @12:01PM (#21752066) Homepage
        See, I get what you are saying.
        It is true, TorrentSpy are dicks. Criminal dicks
        But the thing is, given the level of assholery I think the **AAs are capable of, I still manage to side with the criminals.
        Because we need dicks to fuck asses.
        Otherwise, we're gonna be covered in shit.
        • A few decades ago, entering a white-only place if you were black made you a criminal. Not paying your taxes in protest (if you're against the Iraq war, for example) makes you a criminal. When Gandhi burned official documents in protest, he became a criminal.

          In other words, if you do anything against the Law (even if the law is draconian and only supports the rich and powerful), you're a criminal. But that doesn't make you a bad person.

          If the Law was fair and protected the weak from the powerful, I would ag
          • by Ochu (877326)
            From the bottom up, then:
            I was modded funny because, in the course of making a serious point, I happened to, ahem, *accidentally* quote Team America: Word Police.
            The case of Jammie Thomas is indeed horrible (as is her name. Jammie? What the fuck?), and I think it shows exactly why the RIAA deserve to be boycotted to hell.
            BUT, the point the grandparent was making is that there is a difference between noble protest, and what TorrentSpy are (were?) doing. They were a company, making money from the large sca
          • (BTW, who modded parent funny? I'd mod him insightful instead)

            I think that's cause he was loosely quoting "Team America: World Police" in the "dicks and assholes" analogy. That's the problem with being insightful and funny at the same time.

      • by mmcuh (1088773)

        Like it or not, people are downloading and sharing against copyright all over. And there's no reason to support that.
        Why not? Today's copyright laws are insane. I'll happily support anyone who violates them by downloading and sharing data.
      • Like it or not, people are downloading and sharing against copyright all over. And there's no reason to support that.

        Ok, if there's a law that a large portion of the citizenry seems unwilling to obey, should we try and change the behavior of those people breaking the law or should we try to change the law? Or, to put it another way, do you really think the genie will go back in the bottle? I don't think that, short of a mandated-by-law trusted computing scenario, (and, let's face it, will TC really be "

    • When the CIA destroys evidence that they tortured prisoners, the entire Justice Department ...

      The CIA's tapes were destroyed in 2005 — long before any investigations into "torture" came about. Thus it was not "destruction of evidence", but merely "destruction of tapes". CIA today does not deny, that they did use waterboarding, so it is not clear, what those tapes would be in evidence of.

      For it to be called "destruction of evidence", the destroyed materials must be important to an ongoing investiga

      • by cHiphead (17854) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @12:03PM (#21752102)
        There were already investigations into "toture" before 2005, but I guess your PSYOPS doesn't account for that or want it to be exposed. Perhaps there was no 'Congressional' investigation ongoing, but that has nothing to do with the fact that it was obvious evidence and was destroyed specifically because it would be used as THE damning evidence in any Congressional Impeachment / Investigation or even a UN based investigation.

        It was destruction of evidence, just because it was a 'classified' set of tapes, it was still evidence that could have been used by numerous groups and individuals in numerous cases against the government before during and after 2005. Hiding the evidence and destroying evidence are both illegal.

        Cheers.
      • by monomania (595068) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @12:18PM (#21752306)
        The tapes were destroyed subsequent to a court order not to do so, in direct violation of that order. The order came about at that time to preserve possible evidence in the event of a future investigation. It is the violation of that previous order, not 'destruction of evidence', that is the current CIA scandal. I believe if the current investigation reveals that the destroyed tapes are germane to the investigation their destruction can be then deemed 'destruction of evidence'.
      • Actually, the CIA was connected to Abu Ghraib in 2004. Stop watching so much FOX News ;).

        Destruction of tapes. Classic!
  • by schnikies79 (788746) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @11:17AM (#21751564)
    but from what I read, they did destroy evidence which they clearly aren't allowed to do. Sounds like bad decisions on the part of Torrentspy led to this.

    Maybe if they left things as they were they could have fared better.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by terrymr (316118)
      They were also ordered to preserve the ram of their servers in real time.

      That alone should invalidate everything else the judge had to say.

      • No. While that makes no sense, one bad/dumb comment or action does not invalidate everything else.
      • by gclef (96311) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @11:33AM (#21751724)
        No, they were ordered to log the IP addresses of their users. TorrentSpy tried to argue that they didn't have the logs, and that the IPs only existed in RAM, so logging them wasn't possible. They then got caught showing that they did have user's IPs, and they could have provided them.

        In short, TorrentSpy lied to a judge, and they got caught. That was remarkably stupid, and they're being punished for it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by terrymr (316118)
          The point is this ... discovery orders only go as far as records you currently have ... you cannot be ordered to create new records for the purposes of discovery. Therefore I don't think i mischaracterized the order to preserve ram - which is the only way to do what the judge ordered without forcing the creation of new records which isn't authorized by law.
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            According to TFA, they actually did keep IP logs and had them when the discovery process started. It was only then that TorrentSpy decided to quit logging and delete old logs.

            I'm sorry, but that is destruction of evidence, and it is little wonder that they were sanctioned for it. TS left the judge no choice.
      • by j0nb0y (107699)
        No, they were asked to log IP addresses. They weren't asked to preserve every bit which is stored in RAM.

        They argued that they shouldn't have to log information that normally resides only in RAM. The Judge said to log the IP addresses on the hard drive.

        Although I'm not sure that discovery should be able to order new documents to be created (which is effectively what was ordered), the order wasn't so unreasonable as logging every bit stored in RAM in real time.
      • by Ravensfire (209905) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @12:16PM (#21752274) Homepage
        They were also ordered to preserve the ram of their servers in real time.

        That alone should invalidate everything else the judge had to say.


        Bullshit - read it, will you? The Judge said that the IP's were available to TorrentSpy as the information was present in the RAM at some point. They required that TorrentSpy log that information. That's quite a bit different from "preserve the ram".

        TorrentSpy fucked up big time on this, and got caught. Courts don't like people that destroy evidence and smack them around. They especially don't like people that destroy evidence after the case is filed, or lie what about what they can/cannot do.

        I have zero sympathy for TorrentSpy. Without their actions, they would have had a chance to beat this case.

        -- Ravensfire
        • by terrymr (316118) <terrymr.gmail@com> on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @12:30PM (#21752464)
          That's quite a bit different from normal discovery rules too. If you don't keep a record of something you can not be required to start keeping a record for discovery purposes. Now I've also heard it alleged that they were logging IPs and stopped and the judge merely ordered them to un-stop. That would be different.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          The Judge said that the IP's were available to TorrentSpy as the information was present in the RAM at some point. They required that TorrentSpy log that information.

          Which, if TorrentSpy were to be believed, would potentially require modification of the software. Merely because something "was present in the RAM at some point" doesn't imply that it's easy to log, otherwise DRM would be even more broken than it currently is.

          Now, of course, we've discovered that TorrentSpy were actually lying about this, but

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @11:27AM (#21751658)
    I'm glad those sleazy rats at the MPAA won't be getting their greedy hands on my IP address from torrentspy.

    This is the digital equivalent of throwing yourself on a grenade to save your comrads. Right on.

    Thank you kindly,
    AC
    • by phobos13013 (813040) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @11:58AM (#21752024)
      Not familiar with TorrentSpy Admins, but I would imagine they did it to protect themselves from jail rather than a altruistic attempt to withhold your IP address from the MPAA. Its the cynic in me speaking....
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)
        I think it's most likely this. I see little reason for these people would sacrifice themselves to protect other people from their own actions. This isn't a life-or-death thing, and I just don't see it's worth it for Jim to go to prison or pay damages just so some strangers "John" (#1 through 1 million) can have a copy of a movie that can probably be bought legally on DVD for $5 right now.

        If they really were looking out for other people, they shouldn't have been keeping potentially incriminating information
  • by TheMiddleRoad (1153113) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @11:28AM (#21751670)
    Perhaps a lawyer can tell us which has worse penalties, destruction of evidence or being found guilty of helping piracy. I imagine it's the latter.
    • No congressman will ever vote a retroactive death penalty for destruction of evidence, with the incoming elections, I wouldn't bet a cent on the other option.
    • by Ochu (877326)
      IANAL, but I believe that it is actually the former.
      Destruction of evidence is a crime in and of itself, of course, so there will be penalties just for that. But it can also lead to the defendant being found guilty by default as well.
      In other words, don't be surprised if TorrentSpy gets royally hosed.
  • Destroying evidence is willingly trying to make the justice system not to work properly for your personal advantage.

    If you think you're in the right, you should try to change law. If you think the law is correct but is being wrongly applied to your case, you try to change the legal canvas around the case. Destroying evidence is directly admitting guilt, complete consciousness of that fact and simple refusal to face the consequences.

    Even if you manage to be cleared of charges, you leave the environment just
    • 5th Amendment (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bzipitidoo (647217)

      Not preserving evidence != destroying evidence. I'm thinking the most sensible standard for courts to follow is minimalist. That is, no changes should be made to operations. Whatever information was being kept before should be preserved. And whatever information was not being kept for whatever reason (limited resources, goes stale quickly) should not be fair game for judges to order preservation of. So we have an argument over whether the info the judge was ordering TorrentSpy to keep was long term or

    • I can't say I necessarily agree with your conclusion.

      Destroying evidence is a willful gamble on the part of the accused. They're simply betting that without the additional information floating around, they stand a better chance of getting through the court case without incurring a huge loss.

      It seems like a big leap of logic to conclude that this behavior proves the party believes they're guilty.

      Just as likely, they're being realistic. In a perfect world, sure.... you should fight to "get the laws changed"
    • If you think you're in the right, you should try to change law.

      So in that respect, the American Colonists should have obeyed British law and not thrown the tea into the harbor?
  • by IceCreamGuy (904648) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @11:39AM (#21751798) Homepage
    I've always wondered what I would do if I got a letter in the mail telling me I was being sued by the MPAA or RIAA (obviously not the same as a large site like torrentspy, but kinda related), we keep our wireless router open, default passwords, broadcast ssid, no encryption, 50 leases, no MAC filtering, nothing. I know it sounds bad, but we figure that if we ever got a notice from one of these organizations that we could simply say that there's no way to know who downloaded these things, our wireless is open! We have neighbors and other people in our DHCP client list and it actually makes me feel more secure (I manage my actual security at my computer, not at the gateway) since I feel like it would make for a good defense. However, what to do with the offending data? I've always thought that if I DoD wiped all my disks, obviously that would leave no evidence, but could you actually get in trouble for doing that? Do they send you documents telling you that kind of thing is illegal? What if I just took out my data drives, hid them in the attic and cleaned out my logs and MRU data with Adaware? Is it really that hard to react to these kinds of things for the average consumer or am I missing a great deal?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ochu (877326)
      Not to shit on your parade or anything, but I think that defense has been tried and failed.
      Um.
      Also, even if it hasn't, you'd better hope they don't link that post to you.
      Think!
    • I've always thought that if I DoD wiped all my disks, obviously that would leave no evidence, but could you actually get in trouble for doing that? Do they send you documents telling you that kind of thing is illegal? What if I just took out my data drives, hid them in the attic and cleaned out my logs and MRU data with Adaware? Is it really that hard to react to these kinds of things for the average consumer or am I missing a great deal?

      If you do this on a regular basis (especially if it's a documented bu

    • Then destroying the data is illegal. Obstruction of justice. Contempt of Court. Various other charges.
    • I've always thought that if I DoD wiped all my disks, obviously that would leave no evidence, but could you actually get in trouble for doing that? Do they send you documents telling you that kind of thing is illegal? What if I just took out my data drives, hid them in the attic and cleaned out my logs and MRU data with Adaware? Is it really that hard to react to these kinds of things for the average consumer or am I missing a great deal?

      As a legal matter, yes if you destroyed evidence that was under subpoena, that would be a problem. As a practical matter, however, if it was just your private machine, it would be a little hard for your adversary to prove that you, say, "rm -rf /movies" and then overwrote your free space.

      The problem with TorrentSpy, is that other admins knew that the log files used to be there but the logs went poof-gone! and they testified as such. So if only one admin knew of the logs, and he wanted to rm -rf them, he

    • by nomadic (141991)
      I've always thought that if I DoD wiped all my disks, obviously that would leave no evidence, but could you actually get in trouble for doing that?

      Yes. If you are served with a lawsuit you have a duty not to destroy potential evidence. Large corporations generally have an established process called a "litigation hold" where this is done, but small companies and individuals have the same obligations.
    • by WK2 (1072560)
      Thanks for sharing your internet connection. I'm sure your neighbors appreciate it. I don't think you would be liable for other people using your connection for nefarious means. What you are doing is basically the same thing that an ISP does, except for free. You are routing traffic. In fact, you ARE an "Internet Service Provider".

      However, you mentioned "what to do with the offending data?" If you nuke your disks in response to a **AA subpoena, then you are doing exactly what Torrentspy did, and you will ge

    • There are two steps to the RIAA's lawsuits: the "settlement" letter and the actual lawsuit itself. If you destroy data after receiving the settlement letter, you're a wise person. If you destroy data after receiving the lawsuit papers, you're toast if they catch you (as noted in this article).

      I would not make any destruction of data obvious. A wiped disk is a sure sign of intentional destruction.

      If I were to destroy data, my plan would be to use the "Craftsman Hammer" hard drive data destruction tool and
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by inviolet (797804)

      we keep our wireless router open, default passwords, broadcast ssid, no encryption, 50 leases, no MAC filtering, nothing. I know it sounds bad, but we figure that if we ever got a notice from one of these organizations that we could simply say that there's no way to know who downloaded these things, our wireless is open! We have neighbors and other people in our DHCP client list and it actually makes me feel more secure (I manage my actual security at my computer, not at the gateway) since I feel like it wo

  • by dada21 (163177) <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @11:48AM (#21751898) Homepage Journal
    I'm really sick of our Federal system, as most of you know. It's completely ridiculous that law-school educated judges can not read the Constitution, and understand the basic definitions of freedom.

    Copyright is a Constitutionally-protected power of government. I understand that. I hate copyright, I would never use it, but I accept it. To infringe on copyright, a person must take someone else's art, and make a copy. That person who paints their own version of a copyright-protected oil painting will use oils and canvas to breach copyright. The oil manufacturer is not guilty. The canvas manufacturer is not guilty. Exxon/Mobil who provided fuel for you to drive to buy the oil and canvas are not guilty. Ford, who provided the car to get to the store to buy oil and canvas are not guilty. The person selling you a book with a license to reprint that oil, is not guilty. You, the person doing the copying, are guilty.

    TorrentSpy is like the gun, or the gun manufacturer. The murderer is the person actively aiming the weapon in anger, and pulling the trigger. The person selling the gun shouldn't care what the end user is going to do, other than warn them that they're buying something dangerous. The person making the gun should not be held responsible. The ACT of committing a crime comes from actually committing a crime.

    If copyright is moral, and valid, then the person doing the copying should be found guilty. Hosting a torrent is not hosting a file.

    If you vote, please vote against retention on every position. Judges need to be kicked out as quick as they're voted in. Vote against incumbents who enforce the law, too (police chief, etc). There's no reason to keep anyone in office long enough to abuse power. All these judges are just power-hungry. They can't understand that copyright is protected by the artist, only against someone else copying the art.
    • by s20451 (410424)
      I find your analogy remarkable. Are you saying there should be criminal background checks and waiting periods for persons who wish to use copyright-infringement devices?

      Also, if you think you're smarter than every judge who has ever lived, I'm wondering why you're not trying to become one yourself.
      • by dada21 (163177)
        Are you saying there should be criminal background checks and waiting periods for persons who wish to use copyright-infringement devices?

        No, I'm saying I don't agree with criminal background checks. Criminals are in prison. Ex-criminals are those who have done their time, and are now free because the system believes they're not criminals. Pretty simple.

        Also, if you think you're smarter than every judge who has ever lived, I'm wondering why you're not trying to become one yourself.

        No, thanks. I don't bel
        • by piojo (995934)

          Are you saying there should be criminal background checks and waiting periods for persons who wish to use copyright-infringement devices?

          No, I'm saying I don't agree with criminal background checks. Criminals are in prison. Ex-criminals are those who have done their time, and are now free because the system believes they're not criminals. Pretty simple.

          That's a bit black and white, don't you think? Can't there be "obviously dangerous" people that still don't deserve to be in jail? What about the guy with a pretty violent history who's easily provoked, but hasn't killed anyone yet? I don't want him owning a gun, but he probably shouldn't be locked up, either.

    • This is a rather apples-to-oranges comparison. Torrentspy wasn't just selling oil paints (to use your painting example), it was selling kits including paints, brushes, and a "Mona Lisa by numbers" template so you could just fill in the blanks. In fact, from a "how much effort does it require to violate copyright" point of view, they were darn close to just letting you click and receive a newly painted copy of the artwork.

      As for the gun analogy, while the murderer clearly bears the final responsibility, if
  • by Seakip18 (1106315) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @11:48AM (#21751912) Journal
    This is the same judge who decided information stored in RAM is easy to document and filter.

    Since that topic has been expounded upon, here are some articles about the judge in the case:

    1. Judge dismisses trial for prosecutor's misconduct [washingtonpost.com]
    Here, she dismissed a case when the prosecutors offered a plea agreement to a witness so he could not testify for the defense.

    2. Notorious BIG Trial mistrial declared [sohh.com]
    In this instance, she declared a mistrial when LAPD was withholding evidence from the trial.

    3. Pooh Trial Thrown out [suite101.com] (heh heh)
    A trial involving the Winnie the Pooh was ruled in favor of Disney after the family was found to have "tampered" with files at Disney.

    The judge has a love for evidence. Torrentspy shoulda known what would happen if they messed around with it.
    • by s20451 (410424) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @12:04PM (#21752106) Journal
      The judge has a love for evidence.

      Yeah, I prefer the ones who have already made up their mind in advance.
      • by Ochu (877326)

        The judge has a love for evidence.

        Yeah, I prefer the ones who have already made up their mind in advance.
        This. Sure, it's possible to take it too far, but it's far better than the alternative.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      And? In the first two cases, it's illegal for the police to withhold evidence or coerce witnesses into not testifying for the defense. In the last case, they didn't tamper with the files, they filed altered court documents and lied to cover up the fact that they stole the files via dumpster diving.
  • resounding? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by troll -1 (956834) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @12:40PM (#21752620)
    I wouldn't call this a resounding victory. There are still plenty o' torrent sites [thepiratebay.org] out there.

    The MPAA, like the RIAA, has failed the grasp the significance of what's unfolding in the 21st century. However you feel about sharing copyrighted material (right or wrong), suing sites into oblivion will not stop what is apparently going to be the new pervasive form of distribution. Just as the horse and buggy gave way to the automobile, so the delivery mechanism of physically moving data around on DVDs in face of the industry's unwillingness to provide it's own online delivery alternative, will naturally give way to a more efficient system.

    Take a hint: For about the past 70 years, advertising has fully paid for free content via broadcast radio and TV.

  • by BlueCoder (223005) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @05:18PM (#21756550)
    The thing about turning over ip addresses when they claimed they weren't available was wrong but that info wouldn't have been useful against them, it would have been used to go after people that posted to the forums as automatic pirates for posting to a forum.

    What they did do was clean up their forums which I believe partially what the MPAA's complaint were about. Further they didn't destroy old posted, they archived them. They removed movie clips.

    When they were ordered to log IP's again they simply refused to further provide service to US citizens until the matter was resolved.

    Sounds to me like another judge confused by computers.

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