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US Copyright Group — Lawsuits, DDoS, and Bomb Threats 365

Posted by Soulskill
from the fighting-fire-with-bombs dept.
Andorin writes "The US law firm of Dunlap, Grubb, & Weaver, otherwise known as the US Copyright Group, filed suit at the end of August against another 2,177 individuals for allegedly downloading and sharing the slasher film Cornered! (In total the USCG has now filed suit against over 16,200 individuals.) In retaliation, Operation Payback, the Anonymous-led project responsible for DDoSing websites of the RIAA and MPAA, targeted the US Copyright Group's website with a DDoS, temporarily bringing it down for a few hours. The group behind the attacks say they'll continue 'until they stop being angry.' Additionally, the local police department evacuated the office of Dunlap, Grubb, & Weaver after a bomb threat was emailed to the firm. The building was searched, but no bomb was found."
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US Copyright Group — Lawsuits, DDoS, and Bomb Threats

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  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Saturday October 02, 2010 @09:54AM (#33770114)
    This reminds me of what happened to Darl McBride after the SCO suits started. It got so bad that he began carrying a handgun at all times.
  • by Ant P. (974313) on Saturday October 02, 2010 @10:36AM (#33770374) Homepage

    Fighting terrorism with terrorism only seems fair.

  • Re:Hmmmmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Penguinisto (415985) on Saturday October 02, 2010 @10:36AM (#33770378) Journal

    I wouldn't be surprised to see some congresscritter use this as an example to introduce legislation that makes all of our lives just a little bit worse, by regulating the unholy shit out of the Internet.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 02, 2010 @10:42AM (#33770408)

    Keep suing people who actually are illegally copying copyrighted films. This has nothing to do with extensions of copyright laws; this movie was released two years ago. It would have been illegal to warez it under the original US copyright law. And this isn't a rare foreign film that has no legal avenue of purchase in the US; you can get it on Amazon. The warezers are greedy people who are taking what they have no legal right to and they deserve to be sued. And you can argue about the unfairness of the dollar amount asked for, but that does not change the fact that the warezers deserve to be sued. You can talk about how greedy the big Hollywood corporations are, and you won't even be on topic; this law firm is targeting people who warez indie films.

  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Saturday October 02, 2010 @11:31AM (#33770640)

    Then why weren't any of the "threats" ever followed up by the local cops or FBI?

    No, McBride was just attempting to paint anyone who opposed him as criminally violent.

    With the resources of SCO at his disposal, they should have been able to identify ONE person who made a threat via email and parade that person in front of the media.

    Instead, there is nothing.

  • by X0563511 (793323) on Saturday October 02, 2010 @01:34PM (#33771340) Homepage Journal

    Far more than you credit inwardly think "finally, about time" while denouncing it to their peers...

    Such is human nature. Have fun trying to figure out how many people think that! Even if you could, I'd put good money down that it's a far greater number than you expect.

  • by ultranova (717540) on Saturday October 02, 2010 @03:13PM (#33771944)

    I would like to see said agencies going after people making bomb threats to make sure they don't start to make real bombs.

    Then again, the copyright lobby is quite infamous for using threat of costly lawsuits to blackmail people, both innocent and guilty, into paying protection money to said lobby. Does it really surprise anyone that such tactics would eventually lead to a violent response? You can't make mockery of law yet expect it to still protect yourself.

    The lawyers finally stepped over the invisible line, and are now reaping the consequences - and yes, one of those consequences might very well be getting assasinated. And if it is, they only have themselves to blame. As far as I'm concerned, the only bad thing here is the inevitable disregard of law in other areas of life as well, and the resulting slightly increased instability of society.

  • Re:I wonder (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 02, 2010 @03:57PM (#33772196)

    I get your point, yet I think maybe you failed to fully appreciate mine. Granted, I engaged in a bit of hyperbole, but still, this is NOT just a simple lawsuit against copyright infringement, this is about setting precedent.

    It's about targeting a segment of society for future discriminatory action (profiling has its validity, but can be easily taken too far), and yes, trafficking in human misery IS apt for this. Judgements against people on this, where guilt is presumed, and economic circumstances preclude an ability to reasonably defend oneself against charges made, result in false positive convictions.

    Doesn't sound like an issue? Try explaining that to a prospective employer that denies your application in a recession on the basis of that conviction, or more likely, your credit report which indicates your inability to pay the fines incurred.

    Now, factor in identity theft, racial profiling, theolgical or regional bias, corrupt officials, etc, all the things that are NOT supposed to happen, but still, somehow DO.

    I like that you are an optimist, and assume only the best of intentions from our legal system over here, it's really nice to know that there are still those with faith in human kindness. Regrettably, such faith falters in a corporate setting.

    Equating the small injustices of corporate behavior with the grand atrocities of the past may seem inappropriate, until you recall that those grand atrocities weren't so grand when they were initiated and authorized. Was Auschwitz a death camp? Oh yeah, but what was it's initial justification when it was built? Extermination of people? Umm, no, if I recall correctly, from a German perspective at the time, it was touted as a solution to a cheap labor shortage issue for making bulk goods such as clothes, parts, food for the troops, and had the added value as being a means to dispose of an unwanted "criminal" element of German society. Maybe it wasn't THAT particular camp, but I hope you see what I'm getting at, here.

    This country, like many others, has an established history of unjust laws, and blatant violation of even the best intentioned legislation. Slavery, the Whiskey Rebellion, the push for Indian extermination, the Tuskeegee experiments, atomic bomb testing on live troops during the '40s and '50s, the AIG bailout, these are only a few of the more obvious examples.

    Violent action isn't justifiable, but is comprehensible. As you are an Israeli, I'm a little surprised you missed that distinction. How many times have your friends and neighbors been subject to missile attacks from Gaza, only to have reciprocal action made by your own government on its residents?

    Sometimes, the law, and its proponents are Just...plain...wrong. Sometimes, the law gets it right, too.

    Right now, moneyed interests in this country, for good or for ill, are in a defacto state of war against its own citizens of less ample financial means. Are those of us in that lesser status level not to defend ourselves over such tyrannies?
    Copyright Infringement litigation seems a small thing, but what it's being used to justify, under a cover of legal authority, is just one more step in furthering that war's aims, namely our second class citizen status and subjugation. The legal system here is already failing us rather dramatically, and it may be time to adjust strategies.

    I hope your optimism may eventually be justified, and common sense bears out fruitfully, I fear, though, it may already be too late for that. Time will, indeed, tell.

  • by Patch86 (1465427) on Saturday October 02, 2010 @05:49PM (#33772834)

    I'm actually generally interested in that now- I know explosives are obviously used for demolitions and mining and construction and whatnot; but the military gets through an awfully large amount of ordinance during a conflict, and there are an awful lot of conflicts going on at any given time. I wonder what the ratio of violent:non-violent consumption is?

    A Google-quest for tomorrow, I think.

  • Re:I am... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dun Malg (230075) on Saturday October 02, 2010 @07:31PM (#33773464) Homepage

    They are recent works that would have fallen under the original 14 year copyright terms

    That's not as relevant as you'd like to believe. We cannot choose to follow an outdated law in lieu of the newer, more onerous one and still be considered "law abiding". If the law is going to be broken, why follow an arbitrary restriction?

    That's not even getting into the greater point, which is that copyright is a favor, a boon granted to creators which they can leverage for some profit, and in exchange the public domain is enriched. Perpetual extension of copyright essentially eliminates the public's gain in that social contract. As there's simply no moral requirement to adhere to a bargain that's completely one-sided, there's nothing wrong with telling the publishers/jailors of our common culture the bargain is invalid and reverting to the natural state of information exchange. In fact, the only ethical course of action at this point is to refuse to obey the law. Because the legislators are all in the back pockets of the copyright industry, the only hope for change is in forcing a collapse of the system. Meekly obeying the law and hoping legislators someday decide the change the law isn't going to work.

  • by russotto (537200) on Saturday October 02, 2010 @10:43PM (#33774336) Journal

    Here again, the geek presents himself as a misunderstood and persecuted minority --- but in a very strange juxtaposition with the drug dealer and serial killer.

    So if 999 people participate in a DDoS attack, and one (whose sympathies are assumed to lie in the same place) sends a bomb threat, it's OK to treat all 1000 as if they were involved with the bomb threat?

    Great if you want a police state (want to shut down a protest group? Plant an agent provocateur). Not so good otherwise.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 03, 2010 @02:22AM (#33775056)

    The magic free market. It will fix anything.

    Both parties are bad. But the free market will fix anything. So vote for the party that supports the free market. Or the one I am heavily implying does. Not that either are good. Just think which one supports the free market that will fix all our problems when you vote.

    I really am not biased at all towards the republicans.

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