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Piracy The Almighty Buck The Courts Your Rights Online

$1,500,000 Fine For Sharing 10 Movies On BitTorrent 339

Posted by Soulskill
from the equivalent-to-running-over-200-construction-workers dept.
another random user writes with news that a Virginia man, Kywan Fisher, has been ordered to pay $1,500,000 to porn-maker Flava Works for sharing ten of the company's films over BitTorrent. "The huge total was reached through penalties of $150,000 per movie, the maximum possible statutory damages under U.S. copyright law." The man did not make any defense in federal court to Flava Works' copyright infringement claims, so the judge handed down a default judgement. "In 2011 Fisher and several other defendants were sued by adult entertainment company Flava Works. The case in question differs from the so-called 'John Doe' lawsuits as the copyright holder had detailed information on the defendants who had paid accounts on the company’s movie portal. For Fisher the trouble started when instead of just viewing the films for personal entertainment, he allegedly went on to share copies on BitTorrent. These illicit copies were traced directly back to his account through a code embedded in the videos. ... The verdict will be welcomed by Flava and the many other copyright holders involved in BitTorrent lawsuits in the United States. DieTrollDie, a close follower and critic of these cases, points out that it will be widely cited in settlement letters to other defendants, but that the case itself is notably different. 'This was not the normal Copyright Troll case – there was some actual evidence beyond a public IP address. Not a smoking gun by far, but certainly enough to show a preponderance of evidence,' DTD writes.
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$1,500,000 Fine For Sharing 10 Movies On BitTorrent

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  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Friday November 02, 2012 @08:55AM (#41851877)
    After all, this will clearly be a deterrent. Or he clearly caused millions of dollars in damage while he was playing with himself. Or something like that. Logic is not actually relevant when it comes to copyrights.
  • by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Friday November 02, 2012 @09:05AM (#41851957) Journal
    If you're Sci-Fi you should look into Baen Publishing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 02, 2012 @09:07AM (#41851961)

    I get the joke you're making.

    But it wouldn't matter if he had used proxies etc. It wasn't his IP address that got him. It was the fact the video shared had his personal imprint on the file. Flava didn't ever need to see/detect _him_ uploading the video. The existence of the video on the network is enough to press charges.

    His best defence at this time would be to say his machine has been hacked by an unknown party who then went on the release the video via torrent. Which almost certanly will become a defence for people in the near future.

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday November 02, 2012 @09:40AM (#41852273)

    Easy to say when you don't have to worry about looking like an ass.

    Get an account.

  • Re:WTF... (Score:4, Informative)

    by volxdragon (1297215) on Friday November 02, 2012 @10:18AM (#41852661)
    Most kiddie-porn statutes do not require ANY intent, just simple possession is enough to get you busted.
  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Friday November 02, 2012 @10:24AM (#41852719) Homepage Journal

    It's not about the money so much as deterring others. Seeing someone get slapped with a charge they have no way of paying off will probably scare a few people straight.

    8th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

    Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

    Hmm... don't see any exceptions for "making an example" out of someone... I fact, I would contend, knowing the Founders' feeling about debtors prisons and such, that imposing outrageous fines for the purpose of deterrence is very much an unconstitutional, and thus illegal, act.

  • Re:WTF... (Score:5, Informative)

    by blueg3 (192743) on Friday November 02, 2012 @11:23AM (#41853429)

    Not true. It's rare for child pornography statutes to have strict liability.

    For example, New York State's is penal code article 263. Possession: "A person is guilty of possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child when, knowing the character and content thereof, he knowingly has in his possession or control, or knowingly accesses with intent to view, any obscene performance which includes sexual conduct by a child less than sixteen years of age."

    The federal statue is what you're most likely to get prosecuted under if they can demonstrate that the material was transmitted over the Internet (and if they don't like you). This [missingkids.com] is a decent summary, but 18 USC 2252 [cornell.edu] is probably the most illustrative. Note that every statement in subsection (a) indicates "knowingly".

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