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Piracy Crime United States Your Rights Online

NinjaVideo.net Founder Gets 14 Months 239

angry tapir writes "A Virginia judge has sentenced Matthew David Howard Smith, a founder of the NinjaVideo.net website, to 14 months in prison, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday. Smith was indicted along with four others late last year. The DOJ charged that they illegally provided copyright-protected movies and TV programs for download from the NinjaVideo.net website. The site operated from February 2008 until authorities shut it down in June 2010."
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NinjaVideo.net Founder Gets 14 Months

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  • Re:meanwhile: (Score:5, Informative)

    by bky1701 ( 979071 ) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @10:56PM (#38787601) Homepage
    Of course, they irradiate you and violate your civil rights as part of their job. Theft is rather inconsequential.
  • by GillyGuthrie ( 1515855 ) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @11:33PM (#38787787)
    Many game developers are fed up with PC piracy and feel they are in a lose-lose situation and they don't want to choose between DRM-laden software or Internet activation... these companies (maker of Crysis comes to mind) vow to develop more heavily for the "console" platforms (XBox, etc.) because piracy is less common there. Of course, if Crysis 3 is console-only, people will probably go the extra mile and modify their boxes and pirate it anyways, but that's beside the point. The point is, game devs (along with authors and other artists) have manned up for ages and when piracy becomes an issue for them, they find a solution that doesn't involve hundreds of frivolous lawsuits that is harming everybody with its costs in tying up our legal system.
  • Re:My mind is blown! (Score:5, Informative)

    by lostthoughts54 ( 1696358 ) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @11:46PM (#38787857)

    had they been real ninjas, they would have never been found.

  • Re:meanwhile: (Score:5, Informative)

    by stephanruby ( 542433 ) on Monday January 23, 2012 @12:08AM (#38787995)

    To be fair, in this case their prison sentences seem to be somewhat proportional to the money they made from the site.

    The site made a total of $505,000 in ads and donations in the approximate 2+ years that it ran.
    Smith received 14 months and made $172,387 (I assume this is the amount he made, because in the case of Dedemko, the amount Dedemko was ordered to pay was the same as the amount he was supposed to have made)
    Hana received 22 months and I believe made $210,000
    Dedemko made $58,004 (and won't get sentenced until Feb)
    And as to the two or three other ninja-pirates, the articles don't really say.

    In the case of the TSA agents, the take was $40,000, but we should assume that they probably split the money between themselves so it's probably more like each got $20,000 and then each was sentenced 6 months of prison (along with 5 years of probation). Now this is not to say that the TSA agents didn't steal a lot more on other days (they probably did). And this is not to say that those TSA agents didn't abuse the special privileges they were given (which in my mind makes it a lot worse). Also, the original $505,000 figure I quoted for the ninja video site is probably misleading as well, since a video site like that will have significant expenses for the hardware they're using and the bandwidth they were consuming each month.

    So I still agree that the TSA agents got off easy compared to the ninja-pirates, but at least in this case, it doesn't seem like the judge just pulled imaginary numbers completely out of thin air. The ninja-pirates did make some real money from their venture (at least two of them did). And unlike a site like Megaupload, they copied and uploaded 100% of the infringing videos themselves.

  • Re:meanwhile: (Score:4, Informative)

    by celle ( 906675 ) on Monday January 23, 2012 @11:22AM (#38791713)

    "giant friggin pipe cutting across the country"

        Right across a primary groundwater source that runs from North Dakota to Texas. And much of the ground water source in Nebraska is near the surface. Care to guess how much of our food and agri-resources, for ourselves and sold to other countries, is produced by irrigation? Do you want the odds of all those fields across 9 states being sprayed with oil and made unproductive before the oil company admits there was a leak (or rupture) in a buried pipeline that no one will know about until it's to late?
        Let us just place this pipeline there maintained by an industry that's got a history ignoring maintenance for profits. The very reason they want it there in the first place, profits from exporting the nastiest, most expensive crude made to international markets instead of local ones. Is it worth risking starvation? Oil is transitory and not necessary to survive, food is necessary to survive. How many disasters does it take before big oil, hell any business, is deemed untrustworthy in their decision making when it comes to the public vs profit?
        So let them just transport the nastiest, dirtiest, crude oil en mass across much of our most productive agricultural land and over our largest underground aquifer that also services many central US cities. The whole thing managed by irresponsible oil conglomerates and local politicians who just see the tax dollars for the first decade until the pipeline depreciates out(no more taxes) and physically fails due to lack of oil company maintenance(plenty of citations). Guess those temporary jobs and few years of taxes will be worth the cleanup, starvation, and other hell, right?

    Citation: I live here and am responsible for some of the very food and resources you consume.

    This is not a worse case scenario just one based on previous and current behavior of the various participants.

    This also assumes the pipeline will be built properly and not cost cut in the first place or specs ignored, see gulf disaster.

    PS I'm actually surprised other countries aren't screaming bloody murder as many of them get food from the US as well.

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