Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Movies Piracy The Courts Your Rights Online

The Hurt Locker Producers Sue First 5,000 File-Sharers 861

Posted by Soulskill
from the tilting-at-windmills dept.
Voltage Pictures, the production company behind 2008's Oscar-winning Iraq war film The Hurt Locker, today sued 5,000 people who illegally downloaded the movie over BitTorrent. Quoting CNET: "Attorneys for Voltage wrote in the complaint that unless the court stops the people who pirate The Hurt Locker then Voltage will suffer 'great and irreparable injury that cannot fully be compensated or measured in money.' Voltage has asked the court to prevent those who downloaded the movie without paying for it from downloading its movies ever again, and order them to destroy all copies of The Hurt Locker from their computers and any other electronic devices they may have transferred the film to. As for monetary damages, the movie's producers want those found to have pilfered the movie to pay actual or statutory damages and cover the costs that went into filing the suits." According to the complaint (PDF), the 5,000 infringers are known only by their IP addresses at this time.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Hurt Locker Producers Sue First 5,000 File-Sharers

Comments Filter:
  • by bhenson (1231744) on Friday May 28, 2010 @06:36PM (#32383326) Homepage Journal
    Maybe the people who are in the real thing should sue him for not allowing fair access to the truth. they should be happy that it might shed some light on what actually happens in iraq and afgan for the families. if more people would watch it than they would understand what vets have seen and experienced/
  • alright (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld&gmail,com> on Friday May 28, 2010 @06:37PM (#32383346) Homepage
    Yadda yadda, outrageous, MAFFIIIIIAAAA, etc. etc., but what's their alternative? The most common solution offered on slashdot for the people who make these movies is basically to just allow piracy.
  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Friday May 28, 2010 @06:38PM (#32383364)

    Are there already good alternatives for bittorrents?

    1. See it in the theater.
    2. Buy the DVD/Blu-Ray
    3. Rent the DVD/Blu-Ray
    4. Watch on Pay Per View Cable/DBS
    5. Watch on HBO/Showtime pay cable
    6. Wait until it's rerun on basic cable.

  • Re:The first movie (Score:4, Insightful)

    by OrwellianLurker (1739950) on Friday May 28, 2010 @06:39PM (#32383380)
    I didn't think it was that good of a movie. The critics (from what I've heard) raved about it, but I found the combat scenes to be unrealistic, the dialogue to be rather boring, and the plot uninteresting. One ridiculous scene involved a gun jammed because there was blood on the bullet. Seriously? Using one of the best sniper rifles in the world and blood on the bullet jammed the gun? Of course removing the bullet and cleaning it with spit did the trick. Interestingly enough, all of this was done right next to where someone had just been shot. What a ridiculous scene. Maybe they didn't make that much money because it wasn't that good of a movie... Also, Avatar was in the theaters at the same time and everyone was talking about that. Either way, I bet they're just suing some Bit Torrent noobs and they won't accomplish anything. I hope that everyone fights the suits so we can see what happens when they take 5,000 people to court....
  • by adbge (1693228) on Friday May 28, 2010 @06:39PM (#32383386)
    Why is this sort of legal tactic allowed? The "sue everyone and let the court sort out who is guilty" attitude is ridiculous. Is there some kind of legislation that prevents this sort of behavior? Why isn't this illegal? It's obviously an abuse of the legal system, as far as I can tell.

    Basically, I feel that this is extortion. Their tactic is: pay me x dollars or else you'll have to pay to fight an expensive civil suit. That's not ok.

    Of course, it's easier to blame pirates for the failure to properly monetize your film. Couldn't be Hollywood's fault, could it?
  • Re:alright (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) on Friday May 28, 2010 @06:40PM (#32383400) Homepage

    Yadda yadda, outrageous, MAFFIIIIIAAAA, etc. etc., but what's their alternative? The most common solution offered on slashdot for the people who make these movies is basically to just allow piracy.

    Slashdotter's believe that the studios can make more money by giving their product away for free.

  • by xQuarkDS9x (646166) on Friday May 28, 2010 @06:41PM (#32383408)

    Welcome to corporate America, where corporation's run the USA and screw the little guys any which way they can.

  • Re:Wow.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lorenlal (164133) on Friday May 28, 2010 @06:42PM (#32383414)

    Ummm... Actually... I'll disagree. If they're suing for "actual" costs, and the costs of filing the lawsuit, then I think they're going totally against what the *IAAs have been doing. In fact, I think it's a totally reasonable and justifiable damage to seek among the downloaders. They're not looking to charge these folks $80K for the download, they're looking to get the illegal copies deleted, or have them pay for the movie and pay the court costs. That's exactly what I think it should be.

    Now - If they decide that the "actual" cost is upwards of $80K + court costs, then I'm certainly going to go along with the wet dream theory.

  • by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld&gmail,com> on Friday May 28, 2010 @06:42PM (#32383416) Homepage
    Why is this sort of legal tactic allowed? The "sue everyone and let the court sort out who is guilty" attitude is ridiculous. Is there some kind of legislation that prevents this sort of behavior? Why isn't this illegal? It's obviously an abuse of the legal system, as far as I can tell.

    How? If they have a legitimate claim against each of these defendants, why should it matter that they filed an unusually large number of claims?

    Basically, I feel that this is extortion. Their tactic is: pay me x dollars or else you'll have to pay to fight an expensive civil suit. That's not ok.

    They think they have a suit. They're offering a settlement agreement beforehand. Don't see the issue.

    Of course, it's easier to blame pirates for the failure to properly monetize your film. Couldn't be Hollywood's fault, could it?

    What would you suggest they do to monetize their films?
  • Re:alright (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pongo000 (97357) on Friday May 28, 2010 @06:42PM (#32383422)

    Yadda yadda, outrageous, MAFFIIIIIAAAA, etc. etc., but what's their alternative?

    Maybe...gee, I don't know, pay for the movie?

  • Re:alright (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 2010 @06:44PM (#32383446)

    No. One more time. Please pay attention this time.

    The alternative is to make your movies available for convenient download for a reasonable price.
    If people can get your movie conveniently and cheaply the vast majority won't bother to 'pirate'

  • by u17 (1730558) on Friday May 28, 2010 @06:44PM (#32383456)

    He said good.

    All of the above lack either quality or user control. Some have quirks like needing to break encryption and being careful about your hardware locking up due to changing region codes. None can replace BitTorrent, even when not taking price into consideration.

  • Re:The first movie (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Theril (606664) on Friday May 28, 2010 @06:45PM (#32383478)

    Watching The Hurt Locker caused great and irreparable waste of time that cannot fully be compensated or measured in money.

  • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Friday May 28, 2010 @06:46PM (#32383492) Homepage

    They're asking the courts to prevent them from downloading their stuff again... How would you implement that? Ban the people from the Internets entirely? (Including at the local coffee shop?) Short of stuffing them in jail, I don't see how you could actually do that. So what do you think they have in mind here?

  • by msauve (701917) on Friday May 28, 2010 @06:47PM (#32383508)
    I think he meant an alternative which would let him get a copy of recent films without paying anything to the copyright holder, and without getting caught for his illegal actions.
  • by zardozap (1812430) on Friday May 28, 2010 @06:49PM (#32383552)
    ...is probably about the sum total who pirated the sleep inducing drama that is Hurt Locker. Avatar however was pirated beyond belief, and still sold 6.7 million copies on Blu-Ray and DVD in the first 4 days of it's release. So how does pirating affect sales again? Weak sauce.
  • Re:alright (Score:5, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday May 28, 2010 @06:52PM (#32383586)

    I think everyone is ok with them stopping distribution of their films, just not with them suing folks for millions for downloading 1 film.

  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Friday May 28, 2010 @06:56PM (#32383632)
    And in that world... just who will pay for movies to be made?
  • by MWoody (222806) on Friday May 28, 2010 @06:57PM (#32383648)

    *sigh* So when they went after file sharing sites, people whined that they were just facilitators, not themselves guilty of anything. Fair enough. "Punish the actual infringers!" slashdot cried.

    Then they went after the programs and tools themselves, and people whined that they were just tools, and had perfectly legitimate uses. Very reasonable. "Punish the actual infringers!" slashdot cried.

    Now they're flat-out targeting people who actively infringe copyrights. These people are BREAKING THE LAW, and more importantly, doing something immoral: they are taking someone else's work and not merely using it without due compensation, but helping others to do the same.

    I'm sorry, I'm out of excuses; I'm out of pity. We won the important war. BitTorrent thrives as a legitimate tool, and merely linking to something bad is usually not itself cause for litigation. My moral outrage stops at those caught red-handed, hands thoroughly lodged in the cookie jar (and no, "someone else could have being using their personal IP or broke into their house and used their computer" is a flimsy argument at best.)

  • by Alanonfire (1415379) on Friday May 28, 2010 @06:57PM (#32383650)

    He said good.

    All of the above lack either quality or user control. Some have quirks like needing to break encryption and being careful about your hardware locking up due to changing region codes. None can replace BitTorrent, even when not taking price into consideration.

    Essentially, broke teenage kids want free stuff.

  • Even better (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@@@yahoo...com> on Friday May 28, 2010 @06:58PM (#32383664) Homepage Journal

    it's called the library.

  • Re:Wow.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mitsoid (837831) on Friday May 28, 2010 @06:59PM (#32383680)

    Agreed,

    This *sounds*, currently, to be a fair lawsuit. RIAA/MPAA typical ask for massive amounts of money for possessing a song (not necessarily distribution), such as $2,000/song you download or $25,000/album

    Seems like this lawsuit is aiming for "Stop, we know who you are now, delete your copies, don't do it again... + court costs" if found guilty...

    Sounds fair in my boat... if not being a little easy on the copyright violation for possession... I personally think they should tack on a little extra for the lost revenue -- say $40-100, a fair value for what they might get if the person watched it in the theaters (with a friend or two) and/or bought the dvd/blueray

  • Re:alright (Score:5, Insightful)

    by twidarkling (1537077) on Friday May 28, 2010 @07:03PM (#32383724)

    Here's my alternative: Offer me a service that will allow me to download the movie, at a good rate of speed, at a resolution of my choice, and include all the extras that would be on the DVD release, and make it available the same day the DVD releases, and in my country. No staggered release bullshit, no "in the US first, then elsewhere."

    Make it tiered pricing based on resolution, and then maybe things like basic and special editions that include or exclude the special features. Sort of like how it's done in brick and mortar stores, with DVD vs. Blu-Ray and special editions. Also make the pricing realistic. It should not be the same price as going out and buying a physical disk at a store, due to not needing the distribution channels. I figure about a 25% discount over stores should cover it, and induce people to try it out, and encourage impulse buys.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 2010 @07:03PM (#32383728)

    the people who make record years at the box offices happen... year after year after year.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 2010 @07:05PM (#32383746)

    The same way they do in this world...

    People who have been brought up a certain way, will always 'do the right thing'... I think its called brainwashing.

    Never mind that this same industry would sue them in a heartbeat if they even thought it would make them money, that is irrelevant to the types of people who would continue to support an industry that attempts to use that as a viable business model. You know what never gets reported much outside of the small burgs it happens in? When a teenager WHO PAID FOR THE FILM gets taken into custody, threatened with legal action, and never given a refund. All because some insignificant theater manager MIGHT have seen them video taping a movie at the theater. Oops, they were just sending a text on their cell phone... Oops, they were just recording their friends who all came out for their birthday party and there was .02s of the movie screen captured in the background...

    Take your moral relativism and shove it up your ass.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 2010 @07:29PM (#32384024)

    download a copy myself.

  • by twidarkling (1537077) on Friday May 28, 2010 @07:30PM (#32384048)

    No, a class action suit is meant to be tried jointly, with a decision against being binding on all. Every single one of these cases needs to be tried separately, because the circumstances are not all the same. A judgement against one would not be against all. This is blatantly *not* a class action lawsuit. They're only trying to treat it as one to make it economically viable.

  • by westlake (615356) on Friday May 28, 2010 @07:31PM (#32384064)

    All of the above lack either quality or user control. Some have quirks like needing to break encryption and being careful about your hardware locking up due to changing region codes

    A second full-featured Sony DVD player will set you back all of $30. Sony DVP SR200P/B DVD player [google.com].

    The second internal DVD drive for you media PC, $20. LG GH22NP20 Super Multi DVD Burner [google.com]

    There are just three regional codes [wikipedia.org] for Blu-Ray. Japan, East Asia and the Americas are region A/1.

    Regional codes a piss-poor excuse for piracy.

  • Damages (Score:2, Insightful)

    by javacowboy (222023) on Friday May 28, 2010 @07:35PM (#32384086)

    For anybody found guilty of *downloading*, the maximum damages awarded should be the retail cost of one *copy* of the copyrighted material. In this case, that would be the cost of a DVD of the "Hurt Locker'. This is in contrast to *uploading*, where the guilty party is actually *distributing* the work. Even then, the argument is that the downloaded copy represents an opportunity cost sale, which is flimsy at best since there's no proof the guilty downloader *would have* purchased the DVD is downloading via p2p wasn't an option.

    And, no, this is not like stealing a DVD from a store. Copyright infringement is not a criminal matter, it's a civil matter.

    Greedy bastards!

  • by MWoody (222806) on Friday May 28, 2010 @07:39PM (#32384134)

    If the individuals being sued had simply downloaded the file from an FTP site or something, I'd agree. Stealing the movie from a store cost them whatever lost sales it represents (and yes, I agree that this is a smaller than 100% percentage) plus the physical cost of the disc, whereas downloading it was merely the not-quite-one-copy lost sale. However, and this is important, they uploaded the movie to others. If you insist on using increasingly outdated brick-and-mortar analogies, it's like stealing the movie, making a hundred copies, and then getting all your friends together to stand on every street corner and hand out free copies.

    The people who argued "it's not thievery, it's copyright infringement" throughout the RIAA's antics were right, but doesn't always work in your favor: a bitTorrent download is many times more damaging than a stolen copy.

  • by kentrel (526003) on Friday May 28, 2010 @07:42PM (#32384182) Journal
    There seems to be a bit of post hoc rationalisation going on here regarding the quality of this movie

    Now this is just my observation and as such anecdotal evidence, but, I noticed that ever since Hurt Locker was released it was praised by everybody I spoke to. I hang out a lot on both movie forums and filesharing forums, and that opinion was nearly universally shared well after it won a bunch of Oscars and the hype naturally faded. There's an argument to be made that the sucess of the movie, and word of mouth was greatly helped by filesharing, but I'm not making that argument here. Its almost certain that a huge amount of people who liked the movie and spread the word, pirated it. However, almost every opinion I read was that it was an excellent film, until news came out that people were getting sued.

    So I look at the file sharing forums, and torrent news blogs, etc and as expected, near universal derision for the producers, but, strangely, suddenly an awful lot of people seem to think "Well it wasn't that good anyway".

    What's interesting to me is not just that there are suddenly a lot more negative comments about it than I've seen before, but they're automatically linked to this news story, like its justification. Obviously, the quality of the movie has nothing to do with the rights holders to sue for copyright infringement, so its strange that

    Does it feel like a rationalisation to anyone else or just me? Could it be a form of cognitive dissonance, specifically Postdecision dissonance? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance#Postdecision_dissonance [wikipedia.org]

    1. "This is a good movie." 2. "Uh oh, this filmmaker has done something abhorrent to my beliefs." 3. This guy is an asshole. 4. Well maybe it wasn't that good a movie

    The movie is done, and hasn't changed since released, but if I was to look at the various forums around the internet right now, the universal feeling seems to be it wasn't that great a movie after. The idea that the quality of
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday May 28, 2010 @07:43PM (#32384206)

    Taking something without paying is stealing.

    Then hollywood and all the other publishers are the biggest thieves in the world.
    Why? Because of retroactive copyright extensions.
    Because of those extensions the publishers have stolen millions of works from the public domain.
    Works that were created and released under very specific copyright terms that guaranteed their release into the public domain.
    If they didn't agree to those terms, they should never have published in the first place.
    But instead, they hired lobbyists to steal all of those works from every single citizen.
    That is theft on a scale hundreds of thousands of times greater than 'internet piracy' could ever achieve, even if every single citizen pirated everything they ever watched.

    So if you want to talk about stealing you should be focusing on the biggest thieves in the world bar none not these piddly little downloaders.

  • Re:alright (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) on Friday May 28, 2010 @07:51PM (#32384284) Homepage
    Its not your job to decide how much money they can make. If you don't like the laws run for election and make new ones.
  • by Nicolas MONNET (4727) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (avitlaocin)> on Friday May 28, 2010 @07:52PM (#32384292) Journal

    Learn to spell "it's" and then, only then, start giving maturity lessons.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 2010 @07:54PM (#32384316)
    You're going in circles. Where does the money for those "record years" come from?
  • If you own the disc, DRM has an (negative) impact on you.

    If you don't own the disc, DRM does not prevent you from using BitTorrent, since there is no DRM on thepiratebay.org..

  • by WrongMonkey (1027334) on Friday May 28, 2010 @07:55PM (#32384332)
    Actually, $1,500 is a reasonable settlement to me. That's about a month's worth of wages at a burger flipping job. It's comparable to the punishment for similar misdemeanour crimes. It's enough to be a financial disincentive, but not so much that it would ruin someone's life.
  • by Spatial (1235392) on Friday May 28, 2010 @07:59PM (#32384390)
    That's the point. Piracy is commonplace yet they're rolling in money despite their complaints.
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Friday May 28, 2010 @08:13PM (#32384520)
    It's time to start shooting these extortionist lawyers. I just don't see any other way to stop their abuse of the legal system.
  • Re:Damages (Score:3, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Friday May 28, 2010 @08:20PM (#32384606) Journal

    For anybody found guilty of *downloading*, the maximum damages awarded should be the retail cost of one *copy* of the copyrighted material.

    Why? If you shoplift something, the punishment is more than the cost of what you shoplifted, the penalty for doing illegal things is often greater than the cost of what was lost. That's how law works, and for good reasons. If you want downloading to be legal, that is one thing, but as long as it's illegal, then it's not surprising to see the penalty so high.

  • Re:alright (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 2010 @08:21PM (#32384618)

    But then people are paying less than $30 per download instead of $5000 per download.

  • by Spewns (1599743) on Friday May 28, 2010 @08:25PM (#32384662)

    Lack of DRM makes it easy to get the movie onto TPB in the first place.

    The point is flying over your head.

    1. Disc with DRM -> will end up on TPB.
    2. Disc without DRM -> will end up on TPB.

    So what's the point in ruining discs with DRM in the first place when by this time (and for a long time now) it has been a proven failure as a technique to curb piracy. It's so bad of a solution that the only people who complain about DRM are people who do buy the discs. Anyone with a brain should be pirating everything nowadays.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 2010 @08:32PM (#32384764)

    I am reminded of a job I applied at where the interviewer said that Linux and BSD were made by foreign criminals/terrorists because each Linux install takes money away from an American company like Microsoft or Apple. So the interviewer considered the fact that people used other platforms (even high end IBM iron) theft from Microsoft.

    Going down that logic, because I didn't buy something, I'm depriving a business of revenue, so by doing nothing, I am stealing from that business.

  • by Kjella (173770) on Friday May 28, 2010 @08:51PM (#32384982) Homepage

    it's like stealing the movie, making a hundred copies, and then getting all your friends together to stand on every street corner and hand out free copies.

    Most people upload about 1.0x, that means they downloaded 1,0x and then uploaded the same back and the one extra copy created by these events is the one they kept themselves. That each person in the swarm made 100 copies is obvious nonsense, the numbers don't add up. If there's 10000 people in a swarm, there's roughly 10000 copies and 1 copy/person. The rest is just legal baloney to make a person guilty not just of his copyright infringement, but of his peers' copyright infringement and his peers' peers' copyright infringement and so on without end.

  • Re:alright (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kielistic (1273232) on Friday May 28, 2010 @08:55PM (#32385012)
    They've made all "legal" avenues too annoying. Watching TV is one of the most frustrating things I can do now. The commercial breaks nearly outnumber what you're watching. There are probably three times as many commercials now than there were when I was a kid (and I'm still a kid by many people's definition). DVD and BluRay are ludicrous by today's technical possibilities.

    If the only way to pay for their industry is by making their product so god damn annoying that it drives their customers away then they need to cut back production costs. That is what any other company would have to do.
  • by Pwipwi (973243) on Friday May 28, 2010 @08:55PM (#32385018)

    I'm not saying cutting all costs entirely, I'm just saying that there is WAY TOO MUCH money invested in movies that are not worth it.

    Come on, paying some one for a 2 months period a few millions bucks, tell me this is isn't crazy.

    The movies industry is just the spearhead of our rotten world. It just shows how we forgot what the value of things was.

  • Re:alright (Score:3, Insightful)

    by twidarkling (1537077) on Friday May 28, 2010 @09:19PM (#32385214)

    They are forcing people to purchase it on *their terms* however. Yes, I know, it's their product, they're free to do whatever they want with it, but ffs, the point of a business is to make money. That's exactly what the *AAs do. Make money. That's what everyone on /. bitches at them most about. "They're not necessary, they're money-grubbing bastards." So what in the FUCK is keeping them from seeing this clearly profitable sector and taking advantage of it like a drunk prom queen? It's because they're scared shitless over legitimizing digital downloads. They figure if they sell it online, it'll make it easier to file share, so they cripple other industries and businesses through their lobbying efforts, just so that you still need to buy their shit the old way.

  • by yossie (93792) on Friday May 28, 2010 @10:01PM (#32385490)

    I am of the opinion that the way to fight this insane "sue your customers" attitude is to simply avoid their movies. A list of these is available at https://thefilmcatalogue.com/catalog/CompanyDetail.php?id=279 - I perused the list and, honestly, saw no movies I've wanted to see on it, or seen. Won't be too hard for me.

  • by ClosedSource (238333) on Friday May 28, 2010 @10:07PM (#32385542)

    When I was young we used to make analog copies of records or catch our favorite song on the radio and record it. So it wouldn't be appropriate for me to complain about kids downloading digital copies today.

    But we never deluded ourselves into thinking that we were owed a copy or even more deluded to believe that what we were doing was in any way noble.

  • by Cimexus (1355033) on Friday May 28, 2010 @11:00PM (#32385886)

    Shhhh! First rule of usenet!

  • you are wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Weezul (52464) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @12:14AM (#32386322)

    I'm pretty sure most people saying the movie sucked are simply action movie buffs who felt the movie was slow and boring, and just forgot about it. You've also got people who've avoided criticizing the film for social reasons, like patriotism or the awards, but who'll now honestly say they disliked the film. In fact, I'm suspicious the films support largely comes from cognitive dissonance around patriotism and the awards in the first place.

    I watched the beginning of the film, but I got bored fairly early and quit. And yes I've never told anyone that before, well I felt the movie was lame before. I mostly just never cared enough, but yeah I was reluctant to contradict the academy when I'd not even seen the film. I've only rarely admitted that I've never finished Foucault's Pendulum either.

    That said, these producers are trying to ruin people's lives for watching their movie. So yes erasing the film from our cultural consciousness sounds like an appropriate response. In fact, one easy move would be helping thin down the wikipedia article.

  • by AK Marc (707885) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @01:01AM (#32386554)
    Why DRM-free?

    Because DRM only harms those who buy it. Those who steal it end up with a superior product. This pushes people like myself to steal because I'm getting a product superior to the one they offer for sale.

    Once they sell a product that's superior to the pirated version, I'll buy it.
  • by dubbreak (623656) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @01:50AM (#32386724)

    A large fraction of these kids will probably gladly pay a small price for each download in a similar service, but will stick to BitTorrent if you try to take their freedom, convenience and inexpensive cost away from them.

    Or even a large fraction of the population. I really cannot comprehend why I can't readily pay to download a movie to my computer in a format I am guaranteed to be able to play. I'd gladly pay a few bucks (my limit is probably around $5 and that'd have to be 1080P and a fast DL), but I'd do it often. I'd give up cable if I could pay to download the shows I actually watch for the same price as I pay per month in cable and the show producers would make more money (my local cable provider would still make money as they provide my internet service).

    I really don't get it. Make downloads cheap enough and fast enough that it's more convenient to pay for a DL and there goes the majority of your pirating problem. Hell, even continue the posting of fakes etc to make the free DLs less attractive.. just offer me a legal alternative that isn't DRM encumbered. There are potential customers waiting, someone just has to offer the service.

  • Re:The first movie (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cyn1c77 (928549) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @02:05AM (#32386784)

    Agreed. Had I paid to see it, I would have asked for my money back.

    So if you like a movie, does that mean you pay afterwards? You are a thief. You take the product of someone's labors against their will and offer nothing in return. That has nothing to do with whether what you steal meets your personal standards.

    Yes. And every time you fastforward through a TV commercial or get up to go the bathroom during them, you too are a thief.

    Or do you watch all the commercials to satisfy your morality? Do you listen to all the commercials on the radio in between songs? Do you read all the banner ads on every webpage you load?

    Welcome to 2010. You can't lock media down as easily anymore and you can't charge exorbitant prices for shit and expect everyone to happily pay it. And using your political influence to sway the FBI and the judicial system in your favor is not going to change the popular opinion.

    If the movie industry doesn't like it, they can always stop making movies...

  • by BronsCon (927697) <social@bronstrup.com> on Saturday May 29, 2010 @02:30AM (#32386874) Journal

    When my downloading a file from you leaves you unable to access that file any longer, I'll call it stealing.

    Until then, shut the god damned fuck up already.

  • by CodeBuster (516420) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @02:35AM (#32386890)
    They want ISPs to track down 50,000 IP addresses? I tend to agree with the ISPs who claim that they do not have the resources to track down that many and even if they did the ISPs should be able to charge Voltage Pictures fees for this service. It is totally bullcrap that copyright holders can impose these sorts of costs on ISPs whenever they feel like going fishing for infringers. As I recall, the courts ruled against the RIAA and forced them to use the standard subpoenas; a process which proved too expensive, even for the RIAA, to pursue tens of thousands of individuals for what amounted to small claims settlements (i.e. without the abusing the DMCA takedown process, the financial calculus reversed and the RIAA had to give up on new cases). How many file sharers will actually be unmasked if Time Warner, AT&T or Verizon can charge a few thousand dollars plus several hundred dollars per hour of admin time in fees for each subpoena request? Is Voltage Pictures really prepared to spend 150 million dollars just to get 50,000 names (each one requiring an individual subpoena request)? This sounds like an empty threat by Voltage Pictures, but IANAL so perhaps someone who is can answer these questions. For the record, I have not even seen the movie in question and now I am pretty sure that I don't want to.
  • by thrill12 (711899) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @02:57AM (#32386968) Journal
    ...as long as 20+ years the battle on piracy (the home-grown stuff, not the pro-stuff) has been raging in the world. It really heated up with the digital age: CD, DVD, BluRay. The owners of the content fight for their current income, but fail to see the lost cause.In 50 years time (hopefully less), we can sincerely look back on these "piracy wars" and see them for what they really are: a battle for the fair use of someones work. Currently, the balance is - even though it *seems* the other way around - tilted far towards the distributors. The makers of the work get a very small percentage. Piracy is - as is often discussed - just the excuse of distributors to keep this balance tilted in that direction. It will change, but that will take time and money - mostly money from those who take the fall for the system as it now is (the 'bittorent users', 'downloaders' etc.).
    Until law makers see this problem, and fairly solve it, it will continue. Probably the most fair way is:
    * ban all DRM
    * provide a good, flat-rate, service globally to download media to own and use ; the distribution channel doesn't even have to come from the distributors (this is their fear...) : let anyone download from ie. bittorrent and pay that flat-rate fee. See it as a TV license fee : you watch it, you pay it.
    * as far as distribution channels are concerned: allow them to only ask a transparent price for distribution, split the costs for "the work" and "the medium" (distribution) clearly, and make it into law
    * make sure the profits of "the work" end up with the makers of the content.
    * make sure the profits of "the medium" end up with the distributors of the content - as per the division above.
    * stop all lawsuits
    * if you get caught "illegally downloading", you pay a fine. The fine you pay is equal to the fee you would have paid normally, for the period you (likely) owned said content, and is increased with a percentage to discourage you from doing it again (20%-50% sounds fine).
    * no internet disconnections

    Now that's solved, what's next ? Energy crisis ? ;=)
  • by Spatial (1235392) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @10:16AM (#32388662)

    Piracy may be common place, but not everybody does it. Luckily, a significant amount of people still have some morals left. Your goal is to make piracy acceptable, both morally and legally. If you succeed, do you really think said people will still exist? If there's no moral or legal reason not to pirate? No, if you make it acceptable, there WON'T BE those "record years". And hence no money for movies to be made.

    That's true, I don't want to make piracy fully acceptable for exactly that reason. But I'm fine with the status quo and I don't think it will change drastically provided that media companies keep up with the times. Online music is doing well, for example.

    On the other hand, maybe you don't really want piracy to be legal and/or moral, you just want those who do pirate to be left alone. On the one hand, you want one group of people to pay for content so it can still be made. On the other hand, you want to be part of this privileged group that gets to do what they want, enjoying the works that others have paid for.

    I'm one of the people who pays. I'm the guy who says, "If you want it, you'll have to buy it" when asked for a copy of a game I'm showing off. Just last week I got a friend to buy Master of Orion 2 from GOG when I could've put the DRM-free installer on their thumbdrive in a minute flat.

    I still don't care about piracy for a few reasons:

    - The majority of pirates are probably penniless teenagers and college students. Most people are happy to pay for things they feel are worthwhile when they have the money to spend. I severely doubt media companies lose anything close to what they claim.

    - It's not even as bad as littering to me. I don't think it's right, but I'm not going to want people's lives ruined over it unless they're doing it on a commercial scale. It's not important enough.

    - There is no dichotomy between pirates and buyers. Discard this idiotic simplification, the world does not operate on boolean logic. It's a continuum: most people buy and pirate media in varying degrees. At least one study found that the biggest pirates tend to be the biggest buyers.

    My anecdotal experience - as worthless as that is - backs this up. The guy I mentioned earlier who asked me for a copy of MOO2 pirates stuff, but he also buys a SHITLOAD of games. The man has crates of games because he doesn't have the shelf space to contain them. He buys more games in a month than I do in a year. Sueing him is not a smart thing to do.

    A lot of people I know follow this pattern. Another friend of mine has shelves and shelves of music yet also pirates it. Not exactly the worst customer in the world is he? They get much more money out of him than the average person.

    And this is why people say pirates are assholes. They're not contributing to society in any meaningful way so they should not get to enjoy the benefits of society

    Oh give over. Entertainment isn't that important. It's pretty ridiculous to judge people's worth solely on that basis.

    Besides, your false dichotomy is damaging your argument again. The 'exclusive pirate' is practically nonexistent. The point is moot if they also buy things.

    You, sir, are an elitist prick, just like every other pirate out there.

    Except I'm not a pirate. Elitist though, probably.

  • by chord.wav (599850) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @01:39PM (#32390014) Journal
    No, do you know anyone who does? Also, if I make a bad investment, I do not blame anybody.
  • by marcosdumay (620877) <marcosdumay@@@gmail...com> on Saturday May 29, 2010 @05:54PM (#32392180) Homepage Journal

    $1500 is a reasonable punishiment. Asking people to pay them the $1500 or spend $10,000 on court to discover if they are guilty is more like extorsion. Well, I guess it is not extorsion by the letter of the law, because for the Law, everybody have access to the Justice. The problem is that it isn't true.

    So, we have to fix the Justice. Still, it is easy to blame the ones exploiting the flaw, instead to the ones possessing the flaw.

"Maintain an awareness for contribution -- to your schedule, your project, our company." -- A Group of Employees

Working...