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The Courts Movies Piracy

P2P Litigation Crippled In DC District Court Ruling 114

Posted by timothy
from the civil-procedure dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In a stunning defeat for the US Copyright Group, DC District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer is forcing copyright holders to sue only those over whom the DC court has personal jurisdiction. The USCG has sued in the DC court more than 4,500 people on behalf of a German producer that created the Far Cry movie. But the Judge is having none of that; in her ruling [Friday], Judge Collyer stated that only those who are in the DC court's jurisdiction can be sued — shrinking what could have been a windfall of defendant's cash to perhaps a mere trickle."
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P2P Litigation Crippled In DC District Court Ruling

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  • by flyneye (84093) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @09:37AM (#34290830) Homepage

    I want that woman considered for the next Supreme vacancy!

  • by cenobyte40k (831687) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @09:48AM (#34290856)
    Good the next step would be for the judge to follow the rule of law and force them to prove that the movie was downloaded, and that the person they are suing is the one that downloaded it. I have yet to see a court case where they proved that well enough for me to ever have said guilty.
  • by windcask (1795642) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @10:23AM (#34291000) Homepage Journal

    Yeah, according to modern interpretations of copyright laws, even using a service like that is ruled as complicity in the commission of a crime or something to that effect. It's a shame that there's really no other good way to get Linux ISOs or other perfectly legal large files without having to live in fear of getting sued...

  • by shentino (1139071) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @10:34AM (#34291042)

    The problem then isn't bittorrent.

    It's sue-happy companies that honestly do not give a shit if they hit innocent victims.

    http://news.slashdot.org/story/10/11/19/1339220/Anti-Piracy-Lawyers-Knew-Letters-Hit-Innocents [slashdot.org]

    These fuckers need disbarred for sending frivolous legal notices.

    I doubt they will, because that's just how corrupt the system is.

  • by ozbird (127571) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @11:32AM (#34291298)
    DC District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer is a he?
  • Protip: If you want to avoid blackmail, avoiding doing overtly illegal things is probably a good place to start. Especially overtly illegal things that have enormous civil penalties.

    Overtly illegal? Like operating a bit-torrent tracker, or downloading from peers connected to said trackers?

    MediaDefender mistakenly attacked Revision3's legitimate bit-torrent tracker [arstechnica.com].

    It's not "avoid doing overtly illegal things", but instead, "avoid using technology that big corporations don't like, and the courts and juries don't understand".

    You can use the defense: Guns aren't only used to kill people, just because I have a pistol doesn't mean I kill people; It's a much easier defense than: Torrents aren't only used to download content illegally, just because I use torrents doesn't mean I commit copyright infringement.

    You can use the defense: The bank-robbers asked me for directions to the bank, they didn't look like bad people to me so I gave them directions. It's not my fault the bank got robbed, I didn't help rob a bank!
    A much more difficult defense: We only tell downloaders where the content is, we can't tell by IP if it's illegal for them to download the content, we assume they are innocent unless proven guilty. It's not my fault someone else committed copyright infringement, we don't actually help them copy the data!

    Judges and jurors understand guns and maps; They don't understand torrents, trackers, transient IP addresses, etc.

    Proof is only valuable to those who understand the nature of the evidence.

    Education is the answer. I would like Judges and Jurors to have to take a quick quiz on the basic technology in use in these types of trials. Fail the test, you're not qualified to make a judgment.

  • by Ccomp5950 (1796614) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @02:05PM (#34292130)
    The litigation is questionable and is used as a means to threaten thousands of people (some innocent) into simply paying up by settling which most would have done. It's a business model, not trying to right a wrong. The fact that alleged copyright infringers may not see the inside of a court room due to it is secondary.
  • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Saturday November 20, 2010 @05:35PM (#34293330)

    The litigation is questionable and is used as a means to threaten thousands of people (some innocent) into simply paying up by settling which most would have done. It's a business model, not trying to right a wrong. The fact that alleged copyright infringers may not see the inside of a court room due to it is secondary.

    Yes, it's an abuse of the legal system that was pioneered (so far as I'm aware) by the RIAA, in order to a. make money and b. bypass any semblance of due process. This idea of winning default judgments in venues that are far removed from the alleged infringers was a cornerstone of that practice, in that it would grant the media company lawyers an instant and inexpensive club useful for mass intimidation, while simultaneously making it difficult if not impossible to mount any kind of defense.

    This Judge appears to have a clear understanding of the tactic, and she did not like it. She gets points for understanding that this is a business model, a revenue source, not an attempt at legitimate redress and gets bonus points for putting the skids on it. Several judges involved in the RIAA's ongoing rampage wrote similar decisions: I hope this starts to become popular.

    Now, to be fair, this "U.S. Copyright Group" was very up front about what they were going to do, and why, and bragged about it as a way for movie makers to "monetize" copyright infringement. Of course, they failed to advertise that it was just as amoral and unethical as the RIAA's similar compaign, and just as destined to hurt innocent people.

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