Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Piracy The Courts

Federal Judge Dismisses Movie Piracy Complaint 225

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the steve-seagal-will-punch-them-instead dept.
cluedweasel writes "A Federal judge in Medford, OR has dismissed a piracy case lodged against 34 Oregonians. Judge Ann Aiken ruled that Voltage Pictures LLC unfairly lumped the defendants into what she called a 'reverse class action suit' to save on legal expenses and possibly to intimidate them into paying thousands of dollars for viewing a movie that could be bought or rented for less than $10." The judge was not enthused that they offered to settle for $7500 while noting that potential penalties could be as much as $150,000.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Federal Judge Dismisses Movie Piracy Complaint

Comments Filter:
  • About time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by willthiswork89 (2885827) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @11:42AM (#43732215)
    It's about time the court system grow a backbone and say something to these wankers. What really needs to happen is a lawsuit filed for intimidation by the defendants.
    • Re:About time (Score:5, Informative)

      by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @11:55AM (#43732329)

      Not intimidation, more like a protection racket.

      You pay $7500 or you pay a lot more to a lawyer and risk losing.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        Not intimidation, more like a protection racket.

        You pay $7500 or you pay a lot more to a lawyer and risk losing.

        What's the difference between this and plea bargaining? e.g. "You take 6 months or you pay a lot to a lawyer and risk 10 years"

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          This is one reason why innocent people do plead guilty. It is a similar problem, the hope in that case is the truly innocent can be proven so by a legal aid lawyer.

          • It is a similar problem, the hope in that case is the truly innocent can be proven so by a legal aid lawyer.

            That's a fairly faint hope from what I've seen. Public defenders have such heavy caseloads there's no way you'd get much of their time even if you did manage to qualify, which I'd hazard a guess less than 1% of the people here would based on income and asset requirements.

            So yes, lots of people plead guilty via the plea-bargaining process who aren't. It's a big problem and it's been here a long ti

    • by Synerg1y (2169962)

      Actually intimidation was only part of it, the insignificant part, the lumping of defendants together was why the case got thrown out:

      U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken last week dismissed the case, ruling the movie company had unfairly lumped the plaintiffs together in a "reverse class action suit" to save more than $200,000 in court costs, and possibly intimidate the plaintiffs into paying $7,500 for allegedly illegally viewing a $10 video.

      Notice the word possibly used.

      • Notice the word possibly used.

        She likely used "possibly" because stating it as intimidation opens the door for a whole lot of criminal proceedings (I assume most of them would lie within RICO).

  • Thanks, mailtribune.com. I go there, get the article for 5 seconds, then a cleared screen with a message "Please enable javascript". No other way to view article so I do so and reload the page (from /., there is no "back" from their site, strangely). I then get the article and right where the screen cleared before I get? An ad.
    .

    The full message:
    Please Enable Javascript
    In order for MailTribune.com to function correctly you must enable JavaScript in your web browser. For help enabling javascript, read

    • What I meant by 'no "back" from their site', is that the "clear screen" then Javascript message must be conditionally served over their content as part of the original web page (because there is no available 'back' arrow from that tab in my browser). So people are going to go there, get the turn on javascript message, turn it on and then have no way of reloading the content (as the url showing in the address line is one with "nojavascript" in it).
      .

      All in all they have done a very effective job of (1) for

      • by RoboRay (735839)
        There's zero content hidden away behind some poorly-managed website's ad-wall that isn't available somewhere else on the internet in a readily accessible format. Just Google the headline or synopsis.
      • by Tx (96709)

        " (2) making it very difficult to actually serve their content to the average viewer"
        The average viewer has javascript enabled.

      • by wvmarle (1070040)

        So much effort. I'd just consider the site "broken", click the <back> button, and go on with my life.

    • I had to block about 20 objects in order to read the article. The entire right sidebar was nothing but ads.

    • Re:Cool web site (Score:4, Informative)

      by cffrost (885375) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @12:07PM (#43732479) Homepage

      It sounds like you accidentally failed to install NoScript [noscript.net].

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Easy to resolve: if you're using Firefox go to Tools / Options / Advanced - and then check Warn me when websites try to redirect or reload the page.

      You'll get a nice warning which you don't allow and can actually read the site.

      • by Frankie70 (803801)

        Setting this option screws up stuff like sports scores/commentary pages which reload periodically. If only Firefox can have this option with a whitelist.

  • Mass Extortion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by onyxruby (118189) <onyxruby@@@comcast...net> on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @11:43AM (#43732221)

    It's about time judges start to see these campaigns as the mass extortion cases that they are. If this was being done by anyone else there would have been RICO charges filed long ago. These cases have nothing to do with preserving copyright and everything to do with extorting the public. A $7500 settlement instead of a $150,000 for a $10 movie, how on earth can this possibly be anything other than sheer extortion?

    • Re:Mass Extortion (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hedwards (940851) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @12:10PM (#43732519)

      The problem is that the people running the legal system are themselves attorneys with little sense of what laypeople really have to put up with. Yes, it might technically be in the fine print of something that we signed, but there's no reason to believe that we understood the terms we were agreeing to. What's more, very, very few people can afford to have an attorney go over every ToS, EULA and such that we're asked to agree to. That alone would likely run into the thousands of dollars every year, assuming that the agreements are straightforward, which they usually aren't.

      Until the justice system understands that these aren't real contracts which have been negotiated and agree to with informed consent, it's going to keep up like this. Sure, I signed a contract to get phone service, but it's not like I had other options other than not having a phone at all.

      • Re:Mass Extortion (Score:4, Informative)

        by sanosuke001 (640243) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @12:48PM (#43732957)
        There is no EULA or ToS; when you download a movie from bittorrent or some other such service, all the FBI warnings etc have already been removed. I'm not saying what they're doing is right (it isn't); just saying that it isn't an EULA or ToS issue.
        • by hedwards (940851)

          It's ultimately the same problem. People are not in a position to know what their real liabilities or rights are if they engage in file sharing. I know that it would never have occured to me that sharing a file for non-commercial purposes could lead to even a $7500 fine were it not for the fact that I hang out on tech sites following these stories.

          I'd suggest that most people aren't aware that cases like this can be handled anywhere other than small claims court. Which for a $10 file is precisely the venue

    • It's about time judges start to see these campaigns as the mass extortion cases that they are. If this was being done by anyone else there would have been RICO charges filed long ago.

      Exerting your legal rights is not extortion, nor is offering a settlement to avoid litigation. For better or for worse, RICO doesn't apply.

      These cases have nothing to do with preserving copyright and everything to do with extorting the public. A $7500 settlement instead of a $150,000 for a $10 movie, how on earth can this possibly be anything other than sheer extortion?

      Except that they're going after people who distribute the movie, not just download a single copy... In which case, it's a $7500 settlement instead of $150,000 for a $50,000 license to reproduce and distribute a movie. They don't go after leechers because (i) there are technical problems with finding leechers unless you're the seeder or you're doing deep packet inspection

      • re: Exerting your legal rights is not extortion, nor is offering a settlement to avoid litigation. For better or for worse, RICO doesn't apply.
        .
        Unfortunately true, just the same way that statements made in filing a lawsuit cannot be used for the basis of a defamation or libel lawsuit, supposedly, according to the /. article just the other day.
    • by Migraineman (632203) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @12:50PM (#43732985)
      Would have been an interesting case to sit-in on. I can imagine that the dialogue went something like this:

      Lawyer: Your honor, the court needs to understand that the motion picture industry employs hundreds of people in the process of making a feature length film.
      Judge: Uh huh.
      Lawyer: When these dirty internet pirates steal the movie, they are stealing the food from the children of these good people.
      Judge: So you suffer losses?
      Lawyer: Yes! Almost incalculable losses. That's why we seek the statutory penalty of $150,000 per individual.
      Judge: [types on computer] I see that the film in question is available on Amazon for nine bucks.
      Lawyer: Uhm, yes, I believe that is the correct amount.
      Judge: So an individual who purchases this item through Amazon and watches it generates $9 in revenue, minus Amazon's overhead?
      Lawyer: Uhhhh ... yes.
      Judge: So your client receives up to $9 for the legitimate viewing, but somehow suffers $150,000 in damages because the method of viewing changed?
      Lawyer: Your honor, it's complicated.
      Judge: Enlighten me. Where does this $150,000 delta come into play?
      Lawyer: Uhm ... pain and suffering.
      Judge: Pain and suffering?
      Lawyer: Yes ... mine. OH GOD, YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT'S LIKE WORKING FOR THESE PEOPLE!
      • Judge: Enlighten me. Where does this $150,000 delta come into play?

        Lawyer: Uhm ... pain and suffering.

        Judge: Pain and suffering?

        Lawyer: Yes ... mine. OH GOD, YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT'S LIKE WORKING FOR THESE PEOPLE!

        Judge: Point taken. I am ordering the plaintiff to pay $150,000 to each defendant for the pain and suffering that they endured watching this movie, not knowing what they were getting into before doing so. And come to think of it, the plaintiff is ordered to pay me $150,000 as well, since I have also seen this movie, and know full well the pain and suffering the defendants were subjected to. And finally, the plaintiff will pay $150,000 to their attorney for the pain and suffering claimed by working for t

  • But seriously though. I'm happy to see judges starting to take a stand and putting the corps in their place. We need more judges like this and the judge that tried putting Prenda in its place!
  • by Dancindan84 (1056246) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @11:48AM (#43732263)

    Can their settlement offers not be used as leverage to show that their actual damage claims are way out of line?

    • Re:Actual damages (Score:5, Informative)

      by cdecoro (882384) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @12:01PM (#43732407)

      No. See Federal Rule of Evidence 408(a)(1) ("Evidence of the following is not admissible — on behalf of any party — either to prove or disprove the validity or amount of a disputed claim or to impeach by a prior inconsistent statement or a contradiction: furnishing, promising, or offering . . . a valuable consideration [i.e. money] in compromising or attempting to compromise the claim").

      • Correct. This is a necessary rule, or parties would fear any kind of concession during an unsuccessful negotiation would tie their hands if the matter eventually ends up in a courtroom. That would poison any effort to avoid trial.
  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @11:48AM (#43732267)

    If judgments only made me pay for what I stole, there'd be no incentive NOT to steal! It would become a "catch me if you can, then I'll make good" game.

    • Besides, "infringement" and "stealing" are separate crimes in the first place.
      • And, that is relevant to my analogy how?

        • by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @02:58PM (#43734237) Journal

          Analogy? I don't see any analogy, I see only a point, and a not very relevant one at that.

          You made a point, a good point, about stealing. But this is a case about copying, not stealing. Copying is not stealing no matter how many times others try to equate the 2 actions. Don't fall for these sleazy media companies ongoing efforts to confuse the public on this. Don't talk of this matter as if it is or could be some form of theft, you just help these media trolls when you do.

          Nor should copying be considered some heinous crime. It isn't. It shouldn't even be considered a petty infraction. Speeding, one of the lightest infractions on the books, is a more serious offense as it can endanger lives. But copying? Not only should copying not be considered an offense at all, it should be encouraged because it is a huge social good. It is sharing of knowledge, the "standing on the shoulders of giants", that put humanity at the top of the animal kingdom, not sheer intelligence alone. These media trolls want to set themselves up as the gatekeepers through which all sharing must occur, and to collect heavy tolls. It's very nearly as bad as selling the "rights" to breathable air to private interests, and forcing everyone to pay for their air. You benefit from fresh air, so you should pay for it, right? Don't fall for their propaganda and allow them to further muck up our society with their attempts to control all information.

          • by AthanasiusKircher (1333179) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @06:49PM (#43736103)
            I think the current copyright system is broken, and I do NOT approve of the actions of the MPAA, RIAA, etc. in these frivolous and ridiculous legal actions. However:

            Copying is not stealing no matter how many times others try to equate the 2 actions.

            I agree that "copying is not stealing" in a strict sense, but I also don't think copying is always the noble deed you make it out to be.

            And, although you don't accept the analogy between copying and stealing, it doesn't mean there aren't some things in common.

            Here's a simple hypothetical situation:

            Suppose you hire a lawyer to draw up some important legal document for you (a will or something). You need the help of an expert to be sure the language is legally binding. Say you go over to his office, he shows you the will, and then he says, "My fee for this is $500."

            He gets up and goes to the bathroom. You go over to his computer and use your USB drive to make a copy of the electronic file of the will. You then get up and leave. Or, you wait for him to come back and say, "Well, I can't pay $500, so no thanks" and then leave. Whatever. You file the legal document.

            Is that "stealing"? You only made a copy of an electronic document. Isn't "information supposed to be free"?

            If it troubles you that you inappropriately accessed his computer, suppose he (stupidly) sends you the document via email, along with his bill. You mutter something about the fee being too high and refuse to pay and claim to "return" the electronic copy he sent. You then go ahead and use your copy of the document anyway.

            In this case, you hired someone to do something for you, and you made an implicit agreement to pay his fee if you want the product. It shouldn't matter whether the form of the product is easily copyable or not: whether you paid a carpenter to build you a new porch or a lawyer to write you a new will, you owe them money for their work.

            Is this strictly "stealing"? No. But it does violate an implicit contract, and I don't think it's too far-fetched to consider it to be akin to theft if you go behind your lawyer's back and still use your copy of the document without paying his fee. You effectively "took" his time and work without paying anything, which sounds very much like "stealing."

            Now, suppose you do the same thing, except you hire a composer to write a new song for your wedding. Again, you refuse the $500 fee, because you can't afford it or don't like the song that much or whatever... but you take the mp3 and use the song at your wedding anyway. Isn't that also akin to "theft," even if it isn't strictly stealing?

            Okay, you might say, but these are clear examples of work-for-hire, so you owe the creator something because you implicitly agreed to pay for their work by asking them to do it.

            Now, we get to a real-world copyright example. Now our songwriter decides, rather than only writing single songs for rich guys and their weddings, that he'd rather contribute his work to society at large. He could solicit some sort of "subscription" for his songs, charging prospective buyers a few dollars each. (This sort of thing did and still does happen for certain types of publications, though in the past it wasn't just for periodicals -- large books and even printed song collections were sometimes printed under subscription.)

            But a young composer without a "big name" doesn't have that option. So he writes a song and arranges for a recording. Rather than charging someone $500 for writing a single song, he figures if he can get 1000 people to pay him 50 cents each, he'll make the same amount. And the U.S. copyright system seems to back him up on this idea.

            But after two guys buy the song (giving him a total of $1 in revenue), you come along and start shouting: "Information should be FREE! Copying is a noble act! Share! Share! Share!" One of those guys uploads the song somewhere on the internet, and several hundred people g

            • by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @09:10PM (#43737055) Journal

              You are confused on a number of points. Copyright is only a means by which artists are encouraged to produce art. A lot of people are still convinced that there is no other way and that without copyright artists will starve and we'll have no more art. That is of course hysterical nonsense. There are many other ways. Patronage is a big one that is centuries old. You express grave doubts that patronage can be effective. I think you ought to give it another chance, rather than continue to cling to copyright which has so obviously failed in so many ways. With our greatly enhanced ability to communicate, we, the people, should be able to do patronage far, far better than it ever was done in Mozart's day, and we are. The Humble Bundles are a form of patronage. There's also merchandizing and endorsements, public performances, contests with money prizes, and, one you mentioned, work for hire. Kickstarter is work for hire distributed amongst many payees.

              You, like many others, are also stretching what copyright does. It is simply what its name says it is, the "right" to make copies. That right is totally artificial, requiring constant and very expensive enforcement by our governments to work at all. Even so, it would have no chance whatsoever of working were it not for the majority of people believing that it is only fair to compensate artists, and mostly accepting the system we have in place for doing so. But the more these trolls abuse the system, the greater that public awareness rises that copyright has big problems. It's too late to save copyright, not that we would want to anyway. Copyright isn't dead yet, but it will be in another few generations.

              Copyright is only the right to make copies. It is not a defense against plagiarism, a preventer of fraud and cheating, or a guardian of privacy. Further, the kind of rights that a Hollywood studio negotiates in order to turn a book into a movie is totally different than the kind they'd like to deny to private individuals who just want to make a backup copy or do a time or format shift, whatever conflation the media trolls try to make. We should use different names for these different things. Your examples about the lawyer drawing up a will for you or a musician composing music for your wedding that you then take (doesn't matter whether it's by copying or outright theft of the original media) without paying are not violations of copyright, they are violations of other things such as labor laws and contracts. Suppose you called a plumber who fixed your plumbing and then you refused to pay? Suppose you saw a doctor, got treated, and whether or not the treatment was successful, you refused to pay? (Maybe your medical problem was too difficult to fix in a 15 minute office visit, and all the doctor could do was identify the problem and send you to on to appropriate specialists.) Suppose you're a programmer and your employer fires you and refuses to pay you for the work you did during the last month you were with them, claiming it was no good and so they shouldn't have to pay? That's the same sort of thing as not paying the lawyer or musician in your examples, and is covered under other laws. Copyright is hardly the only thing holding society together!

              Your next example, about the young, unknown artist who sells 2 copies, and then can't sell any more because there are free copies available, merely illustrates that copyright is a broken business model. The young artist will simply have to use a different business model, that's all. Stop crying over this and face it, copyright does not work. Certainly we should not go to the lengths required to make copyright work in spite of natural law. DRM is such an abysmal failure that it is a farce. Consider that a public library can buy just one copy of a work, and then loan it out to dozens of people. A used book and record store does much the same. Even if you think banning used bookstores and shutting all our public libraries is necessary for the sake of copyright, friends can still swap books, CDs, flash drives, and the like in private quite easily. That makes for hundreds of people who got to consume a work without paying, something you seem to find morally repugnant. But it is entirely legal. And good.

            • If you're trying to address copyright issues, why take up so much of your reply with theft of services? The issue is not that you made an illicit copy of the will or song, but that you agreed to pay somebody for producing it, and took the result of their work without paying them. Much like stiffing a teenager who just mowed your grass.

              The only relevant thing you said assumes that having free copies available reduces the demand for buying the copyrighted work. We know this is false in some cases, and t

    • Sure but that does not mean the punishment must be 10 or 100 times the value of what you stole. Twice the value is a fair amount.
    • by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @11:57AM (#43732351)

      This is not theft, it is copyright infringement.

      In the case of theft of $10 your fines would never exceed hundreds of dollars.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      If judgments only made me pay for what I stole, there'd be no incentive NOT to steal! It would become a "catch me if you can, then I'll make good" game.

      hmm? try shoplifting something something worth 49 bucks and see if you get fined for 10 000.

      of course not. even the retarded states just put you into prison for years.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        Unlikely, that's going to be a misdemeanor in pretty much any jurisdiction. Which means less than 1 year in jail, not even prison. And probably less than that as you'd get a third of that off for good behavior and I doubt that they would sentence a person for the maximum amount that's permissible as a misdemeanor.

        Now, if we're talking about grand theft, or theft where other crimes are committed, that would be different.

        But, no, you're not going to be sent to prison for years over a $49 theft.

    • by subanark (937286)

      Still, threatening 15,000 times the cost as punitive is over doing it. Typical willful infringement I think is triple the cost.

      The cost these people should pay under a fair interpretation of the law is below the threshold to take them to court for. The burden of proof required is also too high to make it viable to try and prove that they offended (its not like you can catch them shoplifting candy from a store). These companies will simply have to realize that trying to stop people from downloading by using

    • by ganjadude (952775)
      true, but even 10X damages is only 100 bucks or so, we are talking 750X damages, that is way overboard (for the offer im not even gonna bother with the max)
    • by ethanms (319039)

      If judgments only made me pay for what I stole, there'd be no incentive NOT to steal! It would become a "catch me if you can, then I'll make good" game.

      All judgements should provide, at a minimum, restitution for the injured party. In some cases more is needed to benefit the injured and/or act as a deterrent.

      However the other side of this is that we're not JUST talking "$10 vs $7500" ... The $10 is what it could have cost these individual people to buy the movie, but there is no way to know how many OTHER people didn't pay $10 to see the movie because they got a copy for free as a result of these people's actions.

      I'm not defending the way these studios ha

  • by langelgjm (860756) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @11:51AM (#43732285) Journal

    "... the manner in which plaintiff is pursuing the Doe defendants has resulted in $123,850 savings in filing fees alone."

    So... they only paid for a single instance of the lawsuit, then unfairly duplicated it, when they should have paid for each individual instance of the lawsuit?

    That's lawsuit piracy! Think of all the lawyers who could have been employed had they filed individuals lawsuits.

    • I sincerely wish I had mod points right now...
    • This should get like Comment O' the Week status! Sometimes, you just need to be able to score 6!
    • by ganjadude (952775)
      Not sure if this should be funny or interesting.

      MPAA files lawsuit

      makes duplicate copies of lawsuit without filing court fees

      they "stole" the courts time (by their own logic)

      If we want to be fair to the MPAA we should hold them to the same standard they are attempting to push on john does all over.
      • by Endo13 (1000782)

        So then we should take the typical cost of filing such a lawsuit (including lawyer fees) and multiply it by 750 for each individual they wrongfully included in this lawsuit. That's what they should pay for attempting this bullshit. And then they still need to go back and do it all correctly if they actually want to proceed with the lawsuits.

    • by steelfood (895457)

      And judges! Will nobody think of the judges!

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @11:52AM (#43732295)

    The judge was not enthused that they offered to settle for $7500 while noting that potential penalties could be as much as $150,000.

    How is this different han what DA's do with the accused?

    • For starters, DAs don't typically sue people. Criminal and civil cases are two entirely separate beasts.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        No, they often times do that. The DA is responsible for representing the district in court, while that's usually in terms of criminal proceedings, they are also permitted to initiate civil proceedings if need be. Whom precisely do you think it is that deals with things like civil commitment proceedings?

      • by PhxBlue (562201) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @12:18PM (#43732617) Homepage Journal
        Way to miss the point. GP is referring to DAs' sometimes ridiculous overprosecution of cases, e.g. Aaron Schwartz.
      • by Hatta (162192)

        That makes it even worse. Being extorted into accepting a prison sentence is far, far worse than being extorted into paying money.

    • by Xest (935314)

      DA lump multiple spurious charges on the accused, these guys were lumping multiple defendants on a single spurious charge, so to be fair it's not really the same issue.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        That's a real problem and a good reason why plea bargaining ought to be outlawed or at least tightly regulated. Ultimately they'll throw the death penalty or an unreasonably long sentence onto the table to scare the defendant into pleading guilty. The fact that we even have such a thing as an Alford Plea is really disturbing.

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        DA lump multiple spurious charges on the accused, these guys were lumping multiple defendants on a single spurious charge, so to be fair it's not really the same issue.

        oh but this guy did that too. (pay now X or pay in court 30X).

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If I was convicted of watching a Steven Seagal movie, I'd ask for at least $10,000 in restitution!

  • Change Approach (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    It occurs to me that the movie industry could change its approach here. Why not work with streaming companies and send these people a letter with some choices. Pay for the movie at its real costs, purchase a streaming service, pay a fine, or prove you already have done so. If the government worked with them to make a resonable but annoying fine linked to their taxes so they have to otherwise pay it, the vast majority of people would buy the film or the service. Why not, you get out of trouble but the fine i

    • by ganjadude (952775)
      the problem is that would take control away from X and Y. X and Y are not known for wanting to give up control, control means more to X and Y then $
  • by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @01:34PM (#43733435)
    cluedweasel says in the parent post:
    "The judge was not enthused that they offered to settle for $7500 while noting that potential penalties could be as much as $150,000."

    While technically accurate, it's extremely misleading. That makes it sound like the judge got angry that they were letting people off the hook for "only" $7500 when they could have asked for more. In fact, the judge's point was that a movie that could be legally purchased on Amazon as a disc ($9) or a rental ($3,.99) should not have a settlement offer of $7500. The $150,000 issue wasn't made by the judge and is in fact essentially irrelevant to the ruling. Once again the person who posts something interesting on Slashdot icnorrectly seizes on a relatively minor point as being the key issue of the post.
  • by Mike Van Pelt (32582) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @02:43PM (#43734127)
    Or, for a source that doesn't blank the whole screen with a meta refresh and demand you enable javascript before it will let you read the article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/us-judge-in-ore-dismisses-movie-pirating-lawsuit-calling-it-unfair-reverse-class-action/2013/05/14/74ca6946-bcde-11e2-b537-ab47f0325f7c_story.html [washingtonpost.com]

Some people claim that the UNIX learning curve is steep, but at least you only have to climb it once.

Working...