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The Courts Your Rights Online

Patent and Copyright Wars Gone Wild 197

Posted by samzenpus
from the I'll-go-away-for-a-dollar dept.
snydeq writes "While Apple and Samsung fight over patents and prototypes, other copyright trolls are waging an X-rated battle on innocent users, as lawyers representing some adult movie companies are sending letters accusing users of illegally downloading their movies and saying that, for a price, they can make the charges go away. 'Cases like this, usually involving pornographic content, are very common,' Mitch Stoltz, a staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation said. At least 250,000 individuals have been named in group lawsuits over the last few years. There's a very common belief that if someone pirates your Wi-Fi connection or uses your computer without your permission, you are responsible for illegal downloads of copyrighted material. That's not true, says Stoltz; the law is quite clear. However, the lawyers who bring those cases use that misperception to convince innocent people that they had better pay up. Since $3,500 is just a fraction of the money it would take to fight a case in court, most people simply settle."
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Patent and Copyright Wars Gone Wild

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  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @10:14PM (#40863959) Journal
    Fuck You.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 02, 2012 @10:25PM (#40864047)

      Fuck You.

      It's easy to blame those who (ab)use the system. But they're not the real problem. The real underlying problem is the system itself. If the system is bad in design, there will always be those who abuse it and take advantage of it. Can't really blame them, now can you?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 02, 2012 @10:59PM (#40864267)

        Why, yes. Yes we can.

      • by drooling-dog (189103) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @11:06PM (#40864307)

        Absolutely we can. The "system" didn't appear out of nowhere from pure intentions. It was designed, bought and paid for by the very interests that are now abusing it for profit. It's how politics works now.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by pspahn (1175617)

          Can we please just vote for "No President" for the next four years? Honestly, it would be a nice change, and if your biggest fear is that Jon Stewart won't have anybody to make fun of, I believe the contrary, and that he will simply find a plethora of other dirtbags to make fun of instead.

          Let's at least get Gary Johnson some poll points. I'd like to listen to him rip both of those yahoos a new one.

          • by LandDolphin (1202876) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @11:47PM (#40864485)
            Unfortunately, someone would be chosen. Remember, you don't actually vote for the President, the Electors for your State vote for the President in the Electoral College.

            However, I do wish more people that were unhappy with those in power would go and vote and write in "no one" or some such nonsense. It wont have a bearing on who is elected - just like staying home - but it will at least let those that are elected and those that lost know that you are unhappy and not just lazy. And maybe they will start to court your vote.
            • by gmuslera (3436)

              Is not the same "whatever the rest choose" and "specifically not those". The meaning is different, and the government and the people will be aware that things are really that bad if a good percent of the people express that they are unhappy with what both parties did so far.

              Also, you are not giving them your implicit/explicit seal of approval to whatever they will do, the worst part of being tied and punished is knowing that you gave them your consent to do so.

            • by mcgrew (92797) * on Friday August 03, 2012 @11:45AM (#40868743) Homepage Journal

              However, I do wish more people that were unhappy with those in power would go and vote and write in "no one" or some such nonsense. It wont have a bearing on who is elected - just like staying home - but it will at least let those that are elected and those that lost know that you are unhappy and not just lazy.

              I usually vote either Green or Libbie. Some say the vote is wasted, but some of your friends and relatives smoke pot, and both major parties are against legalization. Why would you vote for a candidate who wants your loved ones imprisoned?

              Since I live in Illinois, a vote for Romney or Obama will in truth be wasted, because it's pretty clear that Obama will win Illinois by a landslide. A vote for a green or a libbie is the only rational choice here. Since neither will win it doesn't matter what nutball they nominate; it's the same as voting "no one" or "mickey mouse".

          • Cthulu 2012: Why Settle For A Lesser Evil?

          • by rbrausse (1319883) on Friday August 03, 2012 @03:23AM (#40865355)

            Can we please just vote for "No President" for the next four years?

            Belgium had between June 2010 and November 2011 no functioning central government (only a managing administration without own majority in the parliament) - and the country still functioned. So yes, "no president" could be an interesting and working way of politicking.

            • by AmiMoJo (196126)

              What that really shows is that you don't need one supreme commander in charge. Consensus politics based on proportional representation and no party having overall control works well.

            • by tehcyder (746570)

              Can we please just vote for "No President" for the next four years?

              Belgium had between June 2010 and November 2011 no functioning central government (only a managing administration without own majority in the parliament) - and the country still functioned. So yes, "no president" could be an interesting and working way of politicking.

              Belgium doesn't have a vast military-industrial complex ready to spread "freedom and democracy" at the barrel of a gun if left unchecked.

          • Yes, let's just cut out the middle man in our plutocracy, it will save billionaires millions of dollars every year. Maybe some of that will be spent on hiring out of work coders to fluff wikipedia for them.

            Or maybe they will just keep it.

        • by DigiShaman (671371) on Friday August 03, 2012 @12:36AM (#40864715) Homepage

          "Don't hate the playa, hate the game" - Ice T

          I hate both the game and the players that play it. The only winning move is not to play.

        • It was designed, bought and paid for by the very interests that are now abusing it for profit.

          Yes, those pornographers that control Congress and have every representative at their beck and call!

          They basically *write* IP laws these days, lemma tell ya! Every politician wants to show off how they have the support of Big Porn!

          (???)

          • by Kalriath (849904)

            Weird isn't it? The Porn industry is the only one that doesn't seem to attempt to write laws, but they're very quick to exploit them. Makes you wonder if Paramount Pictures is a subsidiary of Naughty America Inc or something, and the content producers are all owned by pornographers.

            • by tehcyder (746570)

              Weird isn't it? The Porn industry is the only one that doesn't seem to attempt to write laws, but they're very quick to exploit them. Makes you wonder if Paramount Pictures is a subsidiary of Naughty America Inc or something, and the content producers are all owned by pornographers.

              The porn industry has declined in profitability dramatically since the 1990s. Obviously this has nothing to do with people pirating porn, no doubt we're just watching less of it.

        • by delt0r (999393)

          It's how politics works now.

          Now? You mean there was a time when it didn't work this way? Citation required.

      • by jhoegl (638955)
        I dunno, the system clarifies extortion as illegal, so.....
      • by psiclops (1011105) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @11:25PM (#40864411)

        If the system is bad in design, there will always be those who abuse it and take advantage of it. Can't really blame them, now can you?

        yes you can. they're being dicks on purpose. that's their fault.

      • by Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @11:27PM (#40864417)

        It's even easier to blame the knife and not the murderer.

      • you blame both (Score:5, Insightful)

        by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday August 02, 2012 @11:52PM (#40864505) Homepage Journal

        a bad system doesn't excuse bad actors

        you fix the system AND you punish the bad actors

        and will also oftentimes find that the bad system continues to exist the way it does precisely because of efforts by the bad actors. such as professional groups and business consortia giving money to politicians

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          This is PORN we're talking about. Not a good actor as far as the eye can see.

      • Yes we can (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @11:53PM (#40864511)

        In no small part because there's no such thing as a perfect system. If you demand a perfect legal system you'll never have one. Part of what leads to shitloads of convoluted laws is assholes that exploit the system, requiring legislation to deal with them.

        I had a microcosm of that on a forum I admin. Asshole line-steppers who were always seeking to cause trouble and just skirt the rules. I kept piling on rules and more rules which just made things worse. Finally I replaced it with "Don't be a dick." They whined because it was vague, and got banned for violating it later, but everyone else was quite happy.

        So yes you can get mad at assholes that abuse the system. Not saying the system doesn't need to be fixed but that doesn't mean that the abusers don't deserve to get set on fire.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bky1701 (979071)
        Yes, the problem is that we had the insane idea to grant ownership of information. That was the start of it. All of this is fallout from that original sin of censorship, greed, and falsification.

        It is time we learn and get rid of it while we still can.
        • by tehcyder (746570)

          Yes, the problem is that we had the insane idea to grant ownership of information. That was the start of it. All of this is fallout from that original sin of censorship, greed, and falsification.

          Love of money is the root of all evil. All the problems in the world stem back to that original sin of believing that you can grant ownership of property to someone.

      • The systems and its abusers are usually joined at the hip.

    • by platypussrex (594064) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @10:27PM (#40864073)
      I screwed up and read TFA. What a waste of electronic ink. Talk about lack of substance, analysis, or depth. I feel dumber afterwards than I did before I read it. This is probably a real topic, but you'd never know if from that article.
    • They can try to sue me... I'll just blow their heads off.
  • by Sparx139 (1460489) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @10:15PM (#40863971)
    I mean, really, who wants to be named on court documents for allegedly pirating porn?
    • I wouldn't mind. Everyone knows I'm a regular, old perv, it'd just earn me some street-cred.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 02, 2012 @11:05PM (#40864305)

        You know this may finally be just the impetus that we need to come out into the open....

        I too am a pervert.

        That felt good to get off my chest :)

        It's funny, lately I had a friend confess to me he was in deep shit with his girlfriend over an alleged "porn addiction" because he got caught surfing porn. I told him every man is addicted to porn. There is no such thing as "porn addiction", the truth is, there is masturbation addiction. As long as you are not chaffing, or getting pulled over, or distracted by sounds of people in the park, or unable to keep a job, you are just fine.

        Women... you are full of shit. All of you are reading your versions of porn right now. It's called Fifty Shades of Wet Vagina.

        We don't have anything to hide guys. Don't let these assclown lawyers bully you into submission. Stand up! Be Proud!

        I MASTURBATE TO PORN ON THE INTERNET!

        Where's our fucking parade?

        submitted anonymously because I don't want anybody to see I wrote this.. especially the you-know-who

        • by Gaygirlie (1657131) <gaygirlie@hotmail. c o m> on Thursday August 02, 2012 @11:18PM (#40864369) Homepage

          It's funny, lately I had a friend confess to me he was in deep shit with his girlfriend over an alleged "porn addiction" because he got caught surfing porn. I told him every man is addicted to porn. There is no such thing as "porn addiction", the truth is, there is masturbation addiction.

          Actually, there is pornography addiction; some people just get so attached to porn that they can't get aroused at all by anything else and they go to unhealthy lengths to collect and consume porn. Addiction to masturbation is a separate thing, though you often find both issues in the same individual. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pornography_addiction [wikipedia.org]

          Now, before anyone jumps to some strange conclusions -- this is Slashdot, after all -- I'm definitely not saying masturbating even on daily basis is indicative of an addict nor that it is even slightly abnormal. In fact there's hardly anything more normal than masturbating; it's really a core instinct in us humans.

          Women... you are full of shit. All of you are reading your versions of porn right now. It's called Fifty Shades of Wet Vagina.

          Hey, I take offense to that, I'm female, you know? I have never read Fifty Shades of Grey nor do I plan to, nor do I like Twilight, either.

          • > it's really a core instinct in us humans.

            It's a core instinct in most mammals. What do you think a dog is doing when he humps a pillow, or a leg ? I live in Africa, and I see baboons quite often, it's actually a RARE occasion to watch a troop of baboons and not see at least one or two masturbating.

          • by tehcyder (746570)

            I'm female, you know? I have never read Fifty Shades of Grey nor do I plan to, nor do I like Twilight, either.

            Christ, next you'll be saying you don't like pink puppy dogs or something.

        • by gl4ss (559668)

          when everyone is a pervert then nobody is a pervert, really.

        • by tehcyder (746570)

          submitted anonymously because I don't want anybody to see I wrote this.. especially the you-know-who

          Talk about undermining your whole point.

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        I wouldn't mind. Everyone knows I'm a regular, old perv, it'd just earn me some street-cred.

        How about if the titles read out in court included "Anal Schoolboys 3", "Joey the Goat Fucker" and "2 grannies, 1 Goatse"?

    • by metacell (523607)

      I'm ok with it, but I'm Swedish, so it doesn't count.

  • And while what they may be telling you is false, it'll take a lawyer and thousands of dollars and time to defend that.
    Plus you'll have a record on file of what kind of porn you downloaded.

    Often times people feel it's the better option to pay up.

    • it'll take a lawyer and thousands of dollars and time to defend

      For many people it would require two lawyers. One to defend you against charges of downloading copyrighted porn, and one to handle your divorce. I think a desire to avoid the divorce case will motivate many people to quietly settle the copyright case. Looks like a lucrative racket to me.

    • by Carewolf (581105)

      You seem assume they actually downloaded the stuff, why would you assume the trolls are right? Anyway it doesn't take that much to defend because there already is a case, and the other side has already lost and been ORDERED not to harass more people. Starting a case is an automatic win and will help disbar these guys.

  • Stonewall or Fight! (Score:5, Informative)

    by grot (57003) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @10:25PM (#40864049)

    IAAL, and I've worked on a bunch of these cases. The real problem is, it's almost always cheaper to settle than to fight. This is what we call a "cost of defense" shakedown: if it would cost $5k to fight, then it makes sense to pay $3k to make it go away. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:

    * The trolls are very unlikely to go after any individual, no matter how much they huff and puff. The reason is, if they have 1000 Does in a complaint, and they start going against one of them, that Doe will (eventually) get copies of the evidence against him. If it's sh!t (and I believe it will probably turn out to be) then the other 999 Does will see that, and no longer be willing to pay.

    * The insurance industry had a problem with cost-of-defense complaints: crappy auto accidents that weren't worth more than a few grand in damages. But they banded together and fought every single one of them (paying just the actual damages & medical, and fighting almost every "pain & suffering" claim). And now, you can hardly find a PI lawyer to take a small case -- they know there's no money in it. So the insurance companies don't have to fight any more, and they don't even consider paying anything you can't produce a receipt for.

    The only way to clean up these trolls is if some Does sack up and fight, or if the courts stop going along with the shakedown.

    • by JDG1980 (2438906) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @10:41PM (#40864145)

      The insurance industry had a problem with cost-of-defense complaints: crappy auto accidents that weren't worth more than a few grand in damages. But they banded together and fought every single one of them (paying just the actual damages & medical, and fighting almost every "pain & suffering" claim).

      Not doubting you, but is this a universal thing? About two years ago, my father was in a car crash, and the experience he went through was different. The incident happened when he was supposedly looking at the wrong traffic light (at this location, there are 2 parallel traffic light intersections less than 50 feet apart) and T-boned another car. My father was shaken, but unhurt. The other driver broke a finger in the crash. In addition, both cars were totaled. The insurance company paid out just under $100,000 to the other driver, which fortunately slid in right below the coverage limit on the policy. Still a lot for injuries that minor – I remember commenting that I'd gladly suffer a broken finger for a hundred grand. It can't possibly have cost that much in medical costs, and I'm pretty sure there was a major "pain and suffering" component. This was a small insurance company, so maybe they weren't in on the collaborative deal?

      • by grot (57003)

        Depends on the state (and country!) and probably some other stuff. My experience is mainly in California, where it's very hard to find a lawyer to take a small auto personal-injury case. Policy limits for a totaled car but minor injury would be pretty unusual, IME.

    • by CodeBuster (516420) on Friday August 03, 2012 @12:23AM (#40864655)

      There are still some reasons to be hopeful. First, most judges are NOT very sympathetic to plaintiff attorneys representing pornographers, so they're looking for something, anything, to get those cases out of their courtrooms. This makes many judges very sympathetic to even the most amateur Motion to Quash Subpoenas [fightcopyrighttrolls.com] filed by pro-se Does or indeed just about any other motion that would give them an excuse to dismiss the case and get the aforementioned smut peddlers the hell out of their courtroom. If more people would take an hour or so to fill out and file some of these motions to quash their subpoenas or even just to dismiss the case, they might find that judges are sympathetic to their requests, amateur though they may be.

  • No way to claim back costs if you successfully defend yourself?

  • by microbread (2651139) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @10:26PM (#40864055)

    And the courts weren't happy about it. The wording of the letter has to be extremely precise and boils down to:

    We think you've been downloading porn, but we can't prove it. We'd like you to pay us some protection money, but legally we can't force you to without you agreeing to show us what's on your hard drive.

    So, there's no onus on you to pay up whatsoever. Remember that IP addresses are still not considered solid evidence in most countries. To the extent that if your laptop gets stolen and you have an IP address and a GPS fix on the crook's address, the police often refuse to go round and batter the door down because it's they need more proof.

    • by symbolset (646467) * on Thursday August 02, 2012 @10:48PM (#40864193) Journal

      To the extent that if your laptop gets stolen and you have an IP address and a GPS fix on the crook's address, the police often refuse to go round and batter the door down because it's they need more proof.

      That's just a domestic residential robbery or burglary. In search of evidence to support a charge of violation of the laws against the criminal tresspass of Steamboat Willy's IP rights they will not just batter down your door - the door doesn't even have to be in their US jurisdiction.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      There was another paragraph in those threat letters where they told you to identify the person who allegedly did the downloading. The police actually use the same trick when you get a speeding ticket. Since they can't know who was driving the car at the time they write to the registered owner and tell them they have to identify the person behind the wheel.

      Of course in a civil case like copyright infringement you can just tell them to sod off, or perhaps quote £1000/minute for your private invest

  • Not universally. (Score:3, Informative)

    by ANonyMouser (2641869) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @10:38PM (#40864131)
    "There's a very common belief that if someone pirates your Wi-Fi connection or uses your computer without your permission, you are responsible for illegal downloads of copyrighted material." Thanks to the NZ government bending over for special interests, you are responsible in NZ. The punishment for being **alleged** to having your WiFi security violated three times is disconnection.
    • If your network is left open or hacked into why are you not considered an ISP? If you provide free wifi to people near your house or around your small business you are an ISP. A larger ISP is not punished for it's customers; libraries and other institutions which provide free internet to "customers" are not viewed as ISPs but they are.

      If there is an exemption for ISPs who are just carriers than how does one get that legal status as well? Surely, it must be made available to small businesses as well which

      • by Kalriath (849904)

        Actually, if you have open Wifi in the course of your business there is an exemption due to providing service to transients. Also, the definition of an ISP (called an IPAP in the NZ law) is very narrow - technically you could even get the government's internet connection disconnected as even they qualify as an end-user.

    • by Carewolf (581105)

      Same in Germany. Though I think here it was the supreme court that introduced the law, eventhough it violates the german consitution, violates human rights and that germany has codified law which means courts can not introduce new rules.

      Where does the idea come from anyway, why does people assume you will be help responsible for acts that you are innocent of? It seems like such a brain-fart. If someone steals your gun and kills someone, you will not be found guilty of murder, at most for not protecting your

  • From the original article:

    Phan told the station that a lawyer for an adult movie outfit called Elegant Angel Productions sent her a letter accusing her of illegally downloading one of its productions. The on-air reporter said the movie has a title "we can't repeat on TV."
    It appears that the movie company hired a security firm to find IP addresses associated with pirated content via BitTorrent.

    I'm wondering if something might have gotten mangled in translation here. Is the official claim against her for down

    • Here in Finland you should be perfectly fine if you simply download something, and even if you were using BitTorrent and ended up sharing something you could argue that your primary intent was to download the file(s) and this sharing was only a means to an end - the intent of your action tends to play a large role here, you see. However, this has never actually been tested in court, the only cases that have been to court have been about large-scale sharing and infringement, as such we do not really have a p

      • the intent of your action tends to play a large role here, you see.

        Good god... saunas _and_ fair play. How soon can I emigrate?

    • by DeadCatX2 (950953)

      Even more interesting...what if a bittorrent user reduces their upload bandwidth to the smallest possible level, and then immediately leaves the swarm when downloading is complete? Could they be convicted for uploading when they went out of their way to make sure they uploaded as little as possible? What kind of ratio would be required in order to show that you went out of your way to prevent uploading?

      • To augment your scenario a little: since you are allowed to share a certain portion of a copyrighted work up to a limit on the basis of Fair Use - laws you could likely argue that you must have shared content with a single entity over the limit for it to constitute copyright infringement. For example, if you share something with 100 people and the Fair Use - limit is 10% of the work but you only shared at max. 7% with any single individual you could argue that they all fell under Fair Use. 7% times 100 peop

      • Eh. Technically you still uploaded. Working to diminish your uploading while still uploading does not negate that you were uploading.
        • No, but the actual amount shared is important when considering Fair Use. And in some countries -- like e.g. here in Finland -- your intent also plays a large role in court.

  • While Apple and Samsung fight over patents and prototypes, other copyright trolls are waging an X-rated battle...

    While China and America vie for Gold in London, other copyright trolls are waging an X-rated battle...

    While the Horde and Alliance battle in the Outlands, other copyright trolls are waging an X-rated battle...

    While McDonalds and Burger King fight over the best fries, other copyright trolls are waging an X-rated battle...

    While sensationalist submitters and editors figh- oh, wait, they're in total agreement.

  • I'd like to propose a little civil disobedience. Copyright terms are insane and have been continually extended by copyright maximalists for years now. I think sane copyright terms are 20 years for everything but software and 10 years for software as it changes so fast.

    I will separate my downloads out into two categories: older than the above terms and younger than those terms. If I ever have the misfortune to be dragged into court over my downloads the older ones I will plead no contest to with a submi
    • by mooingyak (720677)

      I'd like to propose a little civil disobedience. Copyright terms are insane and have been continually extended by copyright maximalists for years now. I think sane copyright terms are 20 years for everything but software and 10 years for software as it changes so fast.

      I'd actually be okay with an unlimited set of 10 year terms, but the renewal cost grows exponentially.

  • A culture of suing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    When people see high profile corporations like Apple go around and sue others, and see them succeed often enough, it gives lots of people precedent to think about doing exactly the same.

    Before Apple, the phone manufacturers would imitate/copy or license any new idea or technology, everyone contributed (some a bit more, some less), everyone gained. When the first "camera phones" came out they got smiles due to crappy resolution pictures, some companies didn't bother and considered it feature bloat (which was

  • Where's Manfred Macx when you need him?

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @11:24PM (#40864405) Homepage Journal

    for a price, they can make the charges go away.

    'Cause a lotta bad things can happen to dat nice Linux box, you know what I mean? Like, uh, accidents. We wouldn't want anything, you know, bad to happen, would we?

  • why is it legal? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by amoeba1911 (978485) on Friday August 03, 2012 @12:10AM (#40864591) Homepage
    This kind of fraud should be classified as mail fraud, and the perpetrators charged accordingly.
  • I am surprised Americans have been unwilling to treat marauding trolls guilty of extortion and home invasion like earlier generations of criminal extortionists and home invaders. You know, like a quick introduction the the trusty old light saber, or, perhaps a 454 Casull ear cleaner.
  • by paimin (656338) on Friday August 03, 2012 @02:11AM (#40865031)
    Show us your tits!

    Uh, actually no. Please don't.
  • by xenobyte (446878) on Friday August 03, 2012 @02:35AM (#40865123)

    The porn case mentioned in TFA was again based on abusing bittorrent to reveal the IP of someone downloading something, which in itself is a double fail.

    First, the rights granted to the users of bittorrent explicitly forbids using it for law enforcement purposes and also forbids reverse engineering of applications and protocol (which the DMCA also forbids), so using it to reveal IPs of individual users with the purpose of suing or prosecuting them, is clearly illegal.in itself. So here we have someone claiming to protect one piece of intellectual property by violating another... Fail.

    Second, it has been proven time and time again that 1 IP != 1 person. A single IP can represent anything from 1 person to thousands, and any number of these may be unknown, regardless of whether open Wifi exists or not. Protected Wifi can be broken. Rogue cables can be plugged into the cabled local network. And everything can be removed between abuse and discovery, leaving no trace. Fail again.

    • by Umuri (897961)

      First, the rights granted to the users of bittorrent explicitly forbids using it for law enforcement purposes

      I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you believe the whole "Cops have to say if they're cops if you ask" line too....

    • by metacell (523607)

      But is it really fail if they can scare people into paying?

  • While Apple and Samsung fight over patents and prototypes, other copyright trolls are waging an X-rated battle on users, some of whom may be innocent

    Now I'm not defending these tactics in the slightest - it's utterly ridiculous - but are we really to believe that not a single one of the people targeted actually illegally downloaded what they're said to have downloaded? C'mooooooon.

  • by Rambo Tribble (1273454) on Friday August 03, 2012 @10:08AM (#40867573)
    ... that any lawyer seeking payment through deceptive tactics be disbarred and imprisoned. Period.
  • by bryan1945 (301828) on Friday August 03, 2012 @12:39PM (#40869557) Journal

    I'm not really up with the current BS IP/copyright/etc laws, but if the porno guy came at you with what is basically a BS claim, wouldn't counter-suing him be a good option? May need to take out a loan, but since the article says it's established law that an IP address isn't enough for a suit, wouldn't that be something like a frivolous suit?

    Please correct me if I'm incorrect.

  • by psydeshow (154300) on Friday August 03, 2012 @02:05PM (#40870689) Homepage

    I'm amazed by how many people, who would otherwise completely ignore an unsolicited email from a random person, will suddenly start to tremble if the email sounds like it comes from a lawyer. I guess the endless stories of patent trolls and copyright suits have got people pretty scared.

    Unless the demand comes in a registered letter to my home or business address, it goes in the spam folder where it belongs.

    For goodness sake, if you're going to try to extort thousands of dollars from me, at least have the courtesy to fork out for some stationery and a postage stamp, you know?

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