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The Courts Piracy The Internet

After Megaupload, MPAA Targets Other File Sharing Services 214

Posted by timothy
from the making-a-list-checking-it-twice dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It is no secret that the MPAA was a main facilitator of the criminal investigation against Megaupload. While the movie studios have praised the actions of the U.S. Government, they are not satisfied yet. Paramount Pictures' vice president for worldwide content protection identified Fileserve, MediaFire, Wupload, Putlocker and Depositfiles as prime targets that should be shuttered next."
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After Megaupload, MPAA Targets Other File Sharing Services

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 01, 2012 @02:29AM (#39539011)
    Breaking the law is breaking the law! Turn in anyone on your block hiding filthy Jews today!
  • Re:Countersue (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Trogre (513942) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @02:36AM (#39539029) Homepage

    The best way to get these guys is to cut off their revenue stream. Stop buying [1] their crap.

    [1] By "buying" I also mean downloading, for by doing so you are endorsing it, giving it further mindshare.

  • Re:Pirate Bay? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blackraven14250 (902843) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @02:39AM (#39539041)
    As a smaller, (presumably) independent band, the RIAA wouldn't mind killing you off. The RIAA isn't there for small artists; they're there for the few giant names they can push, and any competition is bad competition in their view.
  • Re:Pirate Bay? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @02:45AM (#39539065) Homepage Journal

    My band uses these services to facilitate distributing our album and what not

    Your label is supposed to handle that for you. If you're not signed with a major label and have the temerity to try to distribute your own music, you're clearly some kind of terrorist socialist pedophile drug dealer pirate, and will be dealt with accordingly.

  • Re:Countersue (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOspaM.gmail.com> on Sunday April 01, 2012 @02:58AM (#39539115) Journal

    Doesn't work, and here is why: PPT math. You see they simply go into whatever legislature they intend to corrupt with a PPT and give a spiel like this 'As you can see here our focus group says people like X and people like Y, so by this chart here you can see that we SHOULD have made X PLUS Y but since we didn't? it must be those ebil pirates argh!" and then they will simply take your money in the form of a tax, while getting any draconian law passed, after they hand out the bribes of course. See the extra price added to CDs to cover piracy in many places for example.

    You see just like the banks these multinationals have a great "heads i win tails you lose' sort of thing going and there is pretty much not a damned thing you can do to stop it. After all it doesn't matter what the people say or do, the elected officials simply ignore them if it comes down to them or a multinational. throw them out, you just replace shill A with shill B, no change at all. Hell I don't know a single person that has bought one of their CDs at retail in years, we all buy indie artists or pick them up at a used CD shop, see it make ANY difference?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 01, 2012 @03:20AM (#39539161)

    Why wouldn't they? They sell a product which is pirated around the world. Are the movie companies not even allowed to try to prevent this? They're not a charity. They make a product for the masses with an expectation of a returned profit. Even if they did have a stupid executive, why should it matter to Slashdot? Would you care if they have a "vice president in charge of video game soundtracks"?

    Slashdot loves to rationalize piracy, no matter how little logic is applied. Even "They try to prevent piracy!" is used as some sort of argument against the MPAA.

  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @03:29AM (#39539179)
    It's vague enough for lawyers to argue over. The problem is that DMCA takedowns are of limited effectiveness in such a dynamic environment: Take one down, someone will upload a new one in a few seconds. The legal case against Megaupload hinged on a technicality: They took the files down on request, but didn't also take down duplicates of the same file uploaded by someone else, even though they could (as they used file-level dedupe) have done so trivially. It isn't entirely clear what the responsibilities of a service provider are any more: The DMCA doesn't get into the technical implications of hashlists, de-duplication, fingerprinting, the countermeasures against them or the countermeasures against the countermeasures. It was written on the assumption that publishing content would be a difficult and expensive task, so if you can get it pulled down you've seriously inconvenienced pirates. The whole model breaks when publishing a file is just a matter of uploading, which it really always was.

    The only way to actually stop piracy would be by passing new laws so draconian that I'd rather just see the entire copyright-driven industry destroyed than sacrifice that much freedom or hand so much power to those who can afford lawyers.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 01, 2012 @03:49AM (#39539247)

    It's better that 100 guilty walk free than one innocent wrongly convicted or something along those lines is the way the quote goes.

    But because 90%* of people use a legal service to perpetrate illegal acts, the 10%* must suffer? A lot of people use cars in the commission of a crime. Should we start banning cars? Don't even get me started on guns...

    *made-up figures for illustration purposes only

  • by rohan972 (880586) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @04:13AM (#39539327)

    Infringing copyright to consume and enjoy material someone else has produced is equivalent to "saving jews"? Dude.. you are fucked up in the head.

    The statement being replied to did not express the wrongness of copyright infringement, but of breaking the law. If the law is the basis on which you decide morality then it would seem you would have to conclude that saving Jews from Nazi persecution when they were in government was an immoral action since it was illegal. If you can't abide by that conclusion then you need a more thorough justification to claim that copyright infringement is wrong.

    An average high school student could be expected to understand that point without having it explained. I pity you, since either your intellect is insufficient to understand the point or your character is insufficient to require you to make an honest argument. Both are serious deficiencies.

    Why don't you hire an artist to produce content for you? Then you own it, you can do whatever with it, including sharing it with others for free.

    My wife is a musician and we are quite ok without locking the internet down. Recording artists from major labels now put their songs on youtube for free and still sell copies. Why they are still getting bent out of shape over file sharing is beyond me.

  • Re:Countersue (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Trogre (513942) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @04:40AM (#39539407) Homepage

    So am I, on both counts.

    And to answer your earlier question about what I am doing about these abusive organizations: I have stopped giving them money. On the rare occasion I buy music, I buy indie. If everyone did that, then we wouldn't have this problem.

  • by jones_supa (887896) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @05:44AM (#39539597)

    Breaking the law is breaking the law.. I can't wait for the coming DNS blocks. Finally a software developer or musician wont have to worry about starting a business and getting ripped off by people who want to enjoy his work for free.

    MPAA may be full of shit, but at the same time it's annoying how anti-piracy comments always get robotically modded down in Slashdot. I just think it's good to look objectively at both sides of the coin.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 01, 2012 @06:06AM (#39539663)

    I see you enjoy double-encoded 128/192 kbps mp3s.

  • Re:Pirate Bay? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TFAFalcon (1839122) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @06:09AM (#39539675)

    MPAA will contact Youtube and get your video removed. They own all music after all.

  • by kestasjk (933987) * on Sunday April 01, 2012 @06:19AM (#39539699) Homepage
    Cars / guns aren't really the best analogy.. It'd be more like a shipping service that ships 10% legal goods and 90% illegal goods. If they took action to cut out the illegal stuff there wouldn't be a problem.

    They also took it a step further in how they paid people who got the most downloads and got people to subscribe. Even TPB keeps a degree of separation between themselves, the illegal content, and the way they make money, but megaupload was pretty much making money directly off people uploading illegal content and getting subscribers to pay to download it quickly.

    Also no-one needs TPB to distribute their personally created music.. Even if your band can't afford the miniscule hosting fees you can just host the torrent file; the whole point of bittorrent is it doesn't need sites like TPB.
  • by rotorbudd (1242864) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @08:11AM (#39539965)

    Ah, you had me there till Godwin's Law struck.
    Gas Chamber = Ripped song?

  • by Skal Tura (595728) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @08:22AM (#39539987) Homepage

    No, they should update their business plan to make most revenue from:
      - Legitimate download sites (where artist gets more than 0.01% of revenue)
      - Performances, ie. concerts bringing in the dough, and maybe some new innovative live performance formats for more revenue per gig
      - Merchandise/fan products
      - Physical media as a shelf decoration. pretty much like it is now, but saner pricing, and emphasis on showcasing it, that's why many people buy CDs/DVDs/BluRays, but also give access to digital, online copy which allows more convenient watching than putting the physical media in.
      - Direct monetary gifts from fans -> who just want to support the artist, but does not necessarily need more crap etc.
      - For some bands, "custom tailored" music, ie. for companies, movies etc. This is already happening but more direct and bigger scale adoption, ie. hourly rates or something like that.

    Generally by increasing accessibility they should be able to monetize better.
    If i want to buy an album today, i have very few choices: Physical store for media i cannot use since i don't own even a SINGLE "just a cd player", iTunes for devices which i don't own (i don't own iPhone, iPad, iPod or any other apple devices), Spotify for computer only listening (nothing to play in my car).

    I need non-DRM'd MP3, FLAC or OGG format so i can play it on any of the devices i have, ie. car, phone, computer, ps3

    As it stands now, i would need to change to iPhone and purchase via iTunes (at a non-sensible per track price), and change my car audio system to accept iPhone for convenient access to most of my devices. Ofc, for iTunes to work properly i need to change to Mac OSX as well which means buying a mac. This still leaves my PS3, and other DLNA devices out (or has iTunes gained DLNA capability?). No i don't want new expensive devices.

    On car i only radio, usb and bluetooth.
    On computers i don't even bother installing a DVD drive anymore for longer than OS installation.
    I use a Nokia phone (E7, got to love the QWERTY and casing it has!)

    So my options are extremely limited! In practice i listen to radio only anymore because access is so ridiculously limited.

    I guess there is probably SOME option, but i really can't be arsed to search for such a solution, if i need to put in time to try and find such a solution it's not accessible enough. There is plenty of radio channels to choose from even just from FM, which is easy and convenient :)
    Downside is none of the artists i really like gets no monetary gain from me directly in any fashion anymore, only thing they get is from the radio royalties get from me. I wouldn't mind buying a few albums if it meant i could listen on any device of my preference, anywhere, anytime, with or without access to internet.

  • by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @09:32AM (#39540281)

    Piracy is only illegal because the law says copying and distributing music is illegal.

    Exactly. I remember reading of a US study here on /. concerning sharing music being socially acceptable (I can't fucking find it no matter what I search, so here's the link to the Danish one [torrentfreak.com]) that found that something like 70% of people did not see anything wrong with sharing music with family and friends. The study I'd read dialed it down even further into more specific scenarios, but that one statistic stood out.

    My point is, if the vast majority of people have no moral issues sharing music online, then perhaps it's not the people that are the problem, but the law itself. The laws are supposed to reflect the social mores of the day, are they not?

  • Re:Countersue (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @09:47AM (#39540349)

    If you'd click his links, you'd see that they're totally accurate, and also widely accepted practices within the industry. Do you know why all the big stars get a piece of the gross income instead of a piece of the net income? Because, on paper, every movie has lost money, regardless.

    Once you hear that such films as Rain Man, Forrest Gump, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and the Tim Burton Batman "lost money" according to their studios bullshit accounting practices, it's hard to take any of their claims of "lost revenue" due to piracy seriously.

    And it's not limited to the MPAA, either. The RIAA argued that Limewire caused them $75 TRILLION in damages [pcworld.com]. How does anybody credibly believe anything that comes out of these guys mouths?

  • by Anthony Mouse (1927662) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @12:31PM (#39541303)

    MPAA may be full of shit, but at the same time it's annoying how anti-piracy comments always get robotically modded down in Slashdot. I just think it's good to look objectively at both sides of the coin.

    To reiterate what the previous response has already pointed out, the comments that get modded down are not flagged as trolls because they're anti-piracy, it's because they are actually trolls. The arguments they put forth almost invariably consist entirely of some combination of rhetorical exaggeration, false analogies, tautological question begging and unjustified moral indignation. They provide no reasoning, they're just pure flame bait.

    The main problem with the "anti-piracy" position is that there is almost nothing legitimate they can ask for that they do not already have. The existing laws go so far above and beyond what is reasonable to "fight piracy" that anyone arguing in favor of further extensions is inherently a dangerous extremist seemingly incapable of articulating a justifiable position. They advance an unsustainable framework of debate over which the only possible subject of compromise is the magnitude and timing of further increases in enforcement powers, rather than facilitating necessary and productive efforts to mitigate the outrageous damage already being caused by the legislation that their previous efforts have pushed through against all reason and justice.

  • by jamstar7 (694492) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @12:50PM (#39541433)

    Why wouldn't they? They sell a product which is pirated around the world. Are the movie companies not even allowed to try to prevent this? They're not a charity. They make a product for the masses with an expectation of a returned profit.

    I don't mind a movie studio making a profit. I DO mind it when that profit is federally mandated, federally guaranteed, and federally enforced. You can blather on and on about a 'free market' all you want, but when federal regulations favoritize an 'industry' that the 'free market' would let die, something is wrong. In media, there is no free market. Under a 'free market', the media companies are responsible for financing their own enforcement of their copyrights. Under current legislation and under legislation 'under consideration' that will pass no matter what, the enforcement is pawned off on the government at tax payer expense. That is not the definitition of a 'free market'. Let the media companies adapt or die, but goddammit, let them pay for enforcing their precious eternal copyrights. It's only right in a free market.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 01, 2012 @02:02PM (#39542003)

    They make a product for the masses with an expectation of a returned profit.

    First, whether or not they have 'expectation of a returned profit' is irrelevant. Just because they planned to make money does not give them the right to make money. If I started a business selling solar-powered eggbeaters (or anything else expensive and useless that nobody wants), it is entirely fair and right that my business should fail and I don't make any money.

    Second, and less obviously, the business model they have right now isn't actually to be paid for the product. The product is the creation of the original movie data. But what they insist on being paid for is every instance of the movie data being copied. These are two very different things. The creation of the original movie data is difficult and expensive and is also the thing that the movie producers actually do. However, making a copy of the movie data is something anyone can do very cheaply and easily, and it is something done not by the movie producers, but rather by the user making the copy, and the host providing a copy to be copied, and the ISP providing the bandwidth for the user and the host. The amount of labor that the movie producers put in to create the movie data is high; the amount of labor they put in when someone downloads a copy of the movie data is ZERO. I'm not against paying them for their labor, but right now their business model is to be paid for something where none of their labor is involved- and to have the government enforce that payment for them at public expense. Which is ridiculous.

    Slashdot loves to rationalize piracy, no matter how little logic is applied.

    Everyone else loves to rationalize intellectual property, no matter how little logic is applied.

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