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MPAA Scores First P2P Jury Conviction 335

An anonymous reader writes "The MPAA must be celebrating. According to the BitTorrent news site Slyck.com, the Department of Justice is proclaiming their first P2P criminal copyright conviction, against an Elite Torrents administrator. The press release notes, 'The jury was presented with evidence that Dove was an administrator of a small group of Elite Torrents members known as "Uploaders," who were responsible for supplying pirated content to the group. At sentencing, which is scheduled for Sept. 9, 2008, Dove faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.'"
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MPAA Scores First P2P Jury Conviction

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  • Not "really" P2P (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gewalt ( 1200451 ) on Friday June 27, 2008 @07:02PM (#23975291)
    This was a release group, and altho they were releasing onto p2p, this is NOT the same thing as all those other cases where the **AA is demanding 3000$ tributes to ignore wrongdoings.
  • Sadly, when you are pushing prerelease stuff, you cross a very firm line into illegal territory. There is no grey area. They *are* costing the studios money, and they *are* violating both the spirit and word of copyright law. The maximum possible sentence is definately overkill, but I can't really argue with the conviction itself.

  • Re:Not "really" P2P (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 27, 2008 @07:19PM (#23975471)

    No he was not. As far as I can understand it he leaked material from the warez scene onto P2P.

    Most (except probably a few unrespected crap groups) do not upload their material to P2P networks and don't want their material getting there. It is a security risk and it is exposing the scene.

    These so called Uploaders on P2P torrent trackers are mostly people who have access to scene material in one way or another. Maybe just a crappy courier that isn't contributing or maybe someone who pays for leech or is hosting a server. Anyhow they are usually not respected individuals within the scene and upload things to P2P for either ideological reasons or just to get a bigger epenis.

    Sorry for my rant but someone had to say it.

  • by The Fanta Menace ( 607612 ) on Friday June 27, 2008 @07:24PM (#23975515) Homepage

    I've seen cases of murderers getting less than this.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 27, 2008 @07:54PM (#23975783)
    How does one distinguish between an uploader and a downloader? If someone seeds a torrent, they're an uploader. Yet, if someone downloads a torrent, and lets it seed for a while, are they an uploader? Can we distinguish uploader versus downloader with P2P? I don't think the distinction is clear enough, except in cases like this, where the person's purpose was explicitly to distribute pirated content. Overall though, i think the server, not the p2p is what brought him down. The seeding might be an issue as well as the group classification, but still, the server would be a hub for piracy.
  • 10 years (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 27, 2008 @07:55PM (#23975793)

    One of my buddies, who was in Fastlight, got a year in the slammer for running one of the central ftps. 10 years is sorta overkill.

  • Re:Not "really" P2P (Score:4, Informative)

    by Nullav ( 1053766 ) <moc.liamg@valluN> on Friday June 27, 2008 @08:06PM (#23975931)

    Seems like quite a stretch, considering that rounding them up en masse [wikipedia.org] didn't have such an effect. Also, I can't be the only one disturbed that so many resources went to that.

  • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Friday June 27, 2008 @08:19PM (#23976101)

    TechTV.com did a full write-up, only to give in to a request to delete it by the cops. CNET's coverage was gone the next day too. MSNBC mentioned the situation on their station as well, pulled in because they had two former TechTVer's on-air. (One was at the anchor desk, and a former host of CyberCrime was working at the Laci Peterson trial.)

  • Re:Insanity (Score:3, Informative)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @07:26AM (#23979617) Homepage

    Now don't you think that getting the kind of sentence that a rapist might get is a tad bit CRUEL AND UNUSUAL for downloading or uploading some worthless garbage?

    Unfortunately, the eight amendment is rarely used to find whether a crime is comparable to the punishment, but rather on the punishment as such. This is more like the classic eight amendment stuff: "In Wilkerson v. Utah, 99 U.S. 130 (1878) the Supreme Court commented that drawing and quartering, public dissecting, burning alive and disemboweling would constitute cruel and unusual punishment"

    Jailtime is not normally cruel or unusual punishment for a crime. In 1983 they found that "life imprisonment without parole for cashing a $100 check on a closed account was cruel and unusual." but have since retreated to a "gross disproportionality principle." where basicly as long as you get the same punishment as others in the same position it is not unconstitutional. They've upheld several others, like:

    • In Rummel v. Estelle, 445 U.S. 263 (1980), the Court upheld a life sentence with the possibility of parole for fraud crimes totaling $230.
    • In Harmelin v. Michigan, 501 U.S. 957 (1991), the Court upheld a life sentence without the possibility of parole for possession of 672 grams of cocaine.
    • In Lockyer v. Andrade, 538 U.S. 63 (2003), the Court upheld a sentence imposed under California's three-strikes law when the defendant was convicted of shoplifting videotapes worth a total of $150 fine.

    Unfortunately, I can see why the Supreme Court wants to stay out of it. Congress passes a law that says you can get up to X years in jail. Is it then really the Supreme Court's job to go in and regulate each and every case to determine if the punishment is reasonable? It'd essentially turn the court another level of appeal on the case, not the law. Plus it comes dangerously close to the courts writing their own law by lowering sentences on some crimes compared to others. Instead they've taken the amendment to be a restriction on the type of punishment, not the scope of punishment. Reading the classic cases, I think this is the original and intended scope of it.

    If you think ten years for copyright infringement is excessive, you should ask Congress to lower it. If you think the conditions in jail are cruel and unusual, you may have a case for the Supreme Court but otherwise not. I think the separation of powers in this case is right, that Congress is completely bought by the content industry doesn't justify asking the courts to do Congress' job. Two wrongs don't make a right.

  • Re:Fuck the MafiAA (Score:3, Informative)

    by Dragonslicer ( 991472 ) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @08:49AM (#23980001)

    Wait, since when is copyright violations punishable by prison?

    If the summary is accurate (I know, I know), the person convicted was responsible for large-scale distribution. There is a threshold where copyright violations become a criminal offense.

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