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Media Privacy The Courts Your Rights Online

New Copyright Lawsuits Go After Porn On Bittorrent 209

Posted by Soulskill
from the enjoy-explaining-that-subpoena-to-your-parents dept.
neoflexycurrent writes "Three adult media entertainment producers filed suit Thursday in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois alleging copyright infringement against hundreds of anonymous defendants accused of trading videos using Bittorrent. This kind of action resembles the much-criticized mass litigation undertaken by the US Copyright Group against hordes of unknown accused Bittorrent users trading movies like The Hurt Locker. In this case, the subject matter promises to be more provocative."
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New Copyright Lawsuits Go After Porn On Bittorrent

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  • Uh oh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DurendalMac (736637) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @11:58AM (#33475342)
    This is gonna be a double-whammy for /. users...
  • by TinBromide (921574) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @11:59AM (#33475346)
    Hmm, people will definitely settle now, there won't be much sympathy as there was for Jaime Thomas. Nobody wants their name out there for having massive collection of porn, that's something you want to keep on the DL.

    1. Accuse someone of having massive amounts of porn and offer to sell your silence

    2. ???

    3. Profit!!!

    Oh, wait, step 2 IS step 1....
  • by Kazymyr (190114) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @12:18PM (#33475488) Journal

    First they came for those who were sharing music, and I shrugged; I didn't care, because I wasn't sharing music.
    Then they came for those who were sharing movies, and I shrugged; I didn't care, because I wasn't sharing movies.
    Then they came for me, who was sharing porn. I didn't shrug, but there was nobody left to care for me.

  • Re:Sounds fair (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 04, 2010 @12:22PM (#33475514)
    Really? It doesn't hurt them when the people who would have been willing to pay that paltry sum don't make as many movies anymore because there isn't much return on investment? I would think it would hurt them a lot since they aren't paid as well as mainstream actors.
  • Extortion (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jaysyn (203771) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (todhsals+nysyaj)> on Saturday September 04, 2010 @12:24PM (#33475530) Homepage Journal

    Can someone explain to me how this isn't extortion?

  • Re:Extortion (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 04, 2010 @12:28PM (#33475566)

    It's legal.

  • by McTickles (1812316) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @12:30PM (#33475578)
    One of the last good reasons to use the internet is going away too now apparently... Seriously, between no porn, no warez, no muzak, no vids, constant surveillance of users by big corporations and governments... why does any one still bother?
  • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Saturday September 04, 2010 @12:40PM (#33475644) Homepage Journal
    Why pay for porn and/or store it locally when the internet and its streaming-flash sites like Redtube, Pornotube, and even the vile borderline-legal Motherless are readily available*?

    * unless you made it yourself, that is :)
  • by reverendbeer (1496637) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @01:21PM (#33475888)
    ...bother downloading an entire porn movie? The innumerable porn versions of youtube that are out there provide plenty of free material for, er, whatever you need it for. Whether 5 minutes or an hour, it's out there and with all the variety you've come to expect. Er, so I hear.
  • Re:Sounds fair (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @01:50PM (#33476058) Homepage
    Right. Your logic is impeccable. The guy that only makes $500,000 off a production will stop hiring actors and actresses at $1000.00 a pop because he didn't make a million. You evidently know so little about the porn industry that you think making a comparison to working at a typical company is somehow logical.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 04, 2010 @01:54PM (#33476088)
    Your assumption is what's absurd. Porn is an industry with their own lobby and special interest groups. They're not going to go into the courtroom like something you'd expect out of some porno flick, they're going in as an industry in need of protection and they'll get it.
  • by hitmark (640295) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @02:25PM (#33476312) Journal

    DMCA safe haven, thats what. Its the same that keeps youtube "floating". If rapidshare is notified, they will remove a download. And as long as they do, they can't be closed down completely. But as the upload is more or less anonymous, the uploader can just upload the file again when he notices that it has been removed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 04, 2010 @02:34PM (#33476394)

    Yes, porn is an industry. Yes, they have a lobby. But the porn lobby is not as effective as other industries because politicians cannot be seen openly supporting the porn industry.

    Some examples: The tobacco lobby buys politicians who represent tobacco growing states. Big pharma buys politicians from states that have big pharma R&D centers. The farm lobby buys politicians from big farming states. None of these politicians has any problem with policies that help their benefactors at the expense of the country in general.

    Although porn is a big industry, you won't find many politicians lining up to vote for the "Porn Assistance and Encouragement Act". The closest you will get to a pure copyright politician is Fritz Hollings, formerly the senator from Disney. But these copyright politicians are a tricky bunch. Most are extremely anti-porn or at least they like to be seen that way. As a result, the porn industry lobby fights mostly defensive battles, trying to save itself from being censored or legislated out of existence.

  • by misexistentialist (1537887) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @02:49PM (#33476524)
    Certain pornographers like Max Hardcore are in prison for distributing obscenity, so I hardly think the courts can collect money for him.
  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Saturday September 04, 2010 @03:01PM (#33476610) Homepage Journal

    First, I would think slashdotter's would be for this. Remember, the GPL and other "free" or "open" licenses all get their power of enforcement from copyright law. So if you want strong open source software licenses, you need strong copyright protection.

    This argument comes up a lot in discussions of copyright law, but it's just a specious "gotcha." The F/OSS movement exists as a response to the increasingly Draconian nature of copyright, and it's a clever hack, but hacking the system does not mean approval of the system. The ideal situation would simply be for open source licenses to be unnecessary. Instead, as the copyright lobby pushes for ever-increasing restrictions on the dissemination of information, F/OSS advocates have to work harder to keep the system from being quite as awful as it could be.

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @04:33PM (#33477130)

    Perhaps the ultimate goal of these lawsuits is not to actually recoup losses or find new modes of profit, but rather to kill any system in which commoners are not reliant on some corporation to provide service for them.

    The intent of the media cartels is to eliminate any and all technologies which can be used to distribute content outside of cartel-owned channels, regardless of any consequences to individuals or society at large. Period. End of statement. If these bastards could have assassinated the original DoD working group that developed TCP/IP and the principles of packet routing they would have done so in a heartbeat. But that would have required the ability to look further than the end of their own collective nose. Forward thinking is not a specialty of monopolies or cartels.

    Honest to God, look at the history of the motion picture industry, especially their take on home video recording. Remember Jack "I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone" Valenti? Maybe you don't, but if not, remember than the VCR eventually resulted in billions of dollars of revenue that would never have been realized if their shortsighted attempts to have it banned in the U.S. had been successful. The music industry is no better: they successfully killed off DAT (a nifty technology) and even managed to get a tax levied on blank media sold in the U.S. You know, to compensate the "artists" for their presumed losses due to (ahem!) "piracy", regardless of whether that media was used to illegally copy anything whatsoever. They then reneged on that deal (.e.g, the Audio Home Recording Act), and started suing people for fun and profit anyway. Fuckers, all of them. Personally, I think law enforcement dollars would be much better spent investigating the largely foreign-owned corporations that comprise the so-called content industry, and protecting citizens from the depredations of their pressure groups than, say, all the grandstanding going on around Google.

    I have no respect at all for these people (and I use the term loosely) since most of their problems are due to a sociopathic need to control, and a complete inability to understand that the world is a very different place now that the Internet is here. They could and should be making more money than every before using new technologies and opportunities afforded by the Internet age, just as they made billions by selling VHS tapes. But they can't see that: all they want is to control distribution so they can charge whatever they believe we'll cough up. Competition be damned. I suppose it doesn't hurt that the RIAA proved that racketeering, frivolous lawsuits, perjury, forced settlements, intimidation and destroyed families can be so darn profitable.

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @04:41PM (#33477192)

    DMCA safe haven, thats what. Its the same that keeps youtube "floating".

    True enough, but even if an infringing download is not removed, you still have to go to court, and win. You can't pull RIAA-style courtroom shenanigans with an outfit that has lawyers who charge just as much per hour as yours do. It's much more profitable (and provides much better PR, if you can call it that) if you just attack individual infringers with default judgments and threaten their livelihoods unless they cough up some dough and settle out of court.

    Face it, the content industry is owned and operated by people with a gangster mentality, otherwise the RIAA would never have been funded to the level that permitted their lawsuit mill to go forward. Ditto for the MPAA. Remember, those two groups are not exactly autonomous: they have masters they serve, and whose marching orders they follow.

  • by evilviper (135110) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @05:10PM (#33477380) Journal

    The F/OSS movement exists as a response to the increasingly Draconian nature of copyright, [...] but hacking the system does not mean approval of the system. The ideal situation would simply be for open source licenses to be unnecessary.

    Except that's not true. Sure, copyright laws are getting ridiculous, but a world without copyright would NOT be an open-source world... It would just be one where reverse-engineering, and sharing of someone else's software is legal.

    Stallman/FSF/et al. don't want a world without copyright. Stallman created the GPL in response to binary-only software, which wouldn't change. Stallman/FSF/et al. want a world where individuals and companies are COMPELLED to provide source code along with any binaries. Rolling back the restrictions on copyright wouldn't do that, nor would eliminating copyright entirely.

  • Re:Uh oh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mister_playboy (1474163) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @07:21PM (#33478046)

    None of these programs do anything even remotely useful. All they will manage to do is prevent you from connecting with legitimate peers.

  • by QCompson (675963) on Saturday September 04, 2010 @10:10PM (#33478982)
    Porn is neither, no matter how much some would wish it was so.

    Umm what exactly do you think it is then? Prostitution? Because then it would be illegal.

    You may not think it qualifies as art, but that is just your misinformed opinion. Just because I don't consider Uwe Boll movies art doesn't mean they aren't treated as such and protected by copyright. You're wrong.

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