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Piracy Crime United States Your Rights Online Founder Gets 14 Months 239

angry tapir writes "A Virginia judge has sentenced Matthew David Howard Smith, a founder of the 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 website. The site operated from February 2008 until authorities shut it down in June 2010."
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  • meanwhile: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 22, 2012 @10:34PM (#38787433)
    The TSA's jack-booted goons can steal $40,000 (real money, not imaginary money) from your luggage and only get 6 months for it.
  • Meanwhile... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by guspasho ( 941623 ) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @10:39PM (#38787475)

    In other news, no one involved in the massive fraud and graft that trashed the world economy has seen the inside of a jail cell.

    Justice is served only to those who can afford it.

  • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @10:39PM (#38787485) Journal

    Does that include the Universal Musical Group who have broken contracts, put up hundreds of MP3s on download services without consent of the artists and then have gone out of their way to obfuscate the revenue collected?

  • More Forced Labor (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bky1701 ( 979071 ) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @10:49PM (#38787555) Homepage
    The United States is a police state. If you faciliate communication in ways not approved by the military-industrial complex (including the media), you will be sent to the gulag for hard labor. When are we going to be liberated?
  • by bky1701 ( 979071 ) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @10:59PM (#38787623) Homepage
    The first three seem to have gotten nowhere so far, with corruption at every level and candidates literally corrupted as part of assuming office.
  • Re:meanwhile: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by reboot246 ( 623534 ) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @11:07PM (#38787671) Homepage
    The real thieves are elected. Congress makes the TSA look like pikers.

    Throw them all out this November. If you recognize the name on the ballot, vote for the other guy.
  • by nnet ( 20306 ) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @11:09PM (#38787683) Journal
    "...This country was started as a backlash to self serving corruption like this...."
    heh no. They wanted to start their OWN self-serving corruption. They were tired of being at the bottom of someone elses totem pole :)
  • by decora ( 1710862 ) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @11:25PM (#38787753) Journal

    the fraud perpetrated by Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, BNP Paribas, etc, in one single day dwarfed by a dozen fold the fraud this mortgage guy perpetrated in his whole career.

    where do you think they sold all those fraudulent mortgages?

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

    by hey! ( 33014 ) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @11:35PM (#38787799) Homepage Journal

    The TSA's jack-booted goons can steal $40,000 (real money, not imaginary money) from your luggage and only get 6 months for it.

    Oh buh-ruther. The TSA doesn't have that much style. They probably wear cheap Chinese made oxfords with laces that break. But they work for *us* at a pay rate set by *us* under laws passed by legislators *we* elected. We're too chicken to accept that flying has *some* risk; too cheap to do anything about it; and so mentally indolent we let government vendors set security priorities.

    There's nothing outstandingly evil about a man who can't resist the temptation of pocketing a huge wad of unguarded cash that passes through his hands. The wickedness in our character is too petty for us to be served by genuine, glamorous evil (the SS in their jackboots and Hugo Boss designed uniforms). No, we get a mirror of our national character. We get *venality*.

  • by Shikaku ( 1129753 ) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @11:42PM (#38787835)

    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.

    I wonder how Steam is... It should be tanking and going out of business with all this piracy...

  • Re:Meanwhile... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @11:44PM (#38787845)
    If every Fannie Mae loan ever given were to default, the effect would have been negligible on the market. The defaults didn't cause the problem. The cause was that you could only make 6% on a 6% loan. So the banks decided to multiply the risk of that 6% loan a hundredfold and then could make 600% on that 6%. And they lied about the risk of that 6% loan when multiplying the risk. When the crisis first started, the default rate was well below historical norms. The problem was that the lies used to sell the derivatives were exposed. If there were no derivatives, the defaults wouldn't have been felt at all on Wall Street. If every piece of land under a loan were to default, there wouldn't be as big of a blip as the default rate ramping back up towards historic norms with these fraudulent derivatives. It wasn't the defaults that caused this, but the invented derivatives.

    Separate from this is the racism that comes out about it. I've seen it blamed on black people. Those people should never have been allowed to own land, let alone have a government agency encourage it. And those poor white bankers ("poor" meaning "some of the richest people in the country") were taken advantage of by those shifty no-good negroids. "Sub-Prime" was the name for a crisis caused by rich white male bankers committing fraud when creating derivatives, but they are also the ones who got to name it, and rather than the "1%ers say, Fuck You America" crisis, it's the "minority caused sub-prime lending" crisis. The poor people didn't cause it. They didn't lie. Who did lie are the mortgage brokers and the bankers. And the rich white bankers blamed the poor blacks. And sadly, that's what the conservatives wanted to hear, so there's so much out there on the blacks causing the crisis by defaulting less than norms that the truth will be buried by the real criminals, like always.

    If you want to blame a politician, blame Bush for deregulation that let the banks invent the fraudulent derivatives.
  • Re:meanwhile: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Monday January 23, 2012 @12:12AM (#38788013)

    $100 says that even if 100% of who is in office, flipped, it would not make a damned bit of diff.

    people are people. the system allows people to join politics and get rich.

    THAT is the problem.

    nothing can be fixed until you fix that.

  • by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Monday January 23, 2012 @12:25AM (#38788089)

    Fucking lucky not to be sent to Gitmo. They're starting to refer to copyright infringers as terrorists.

  • by gmhowell ( 26755 ) <> on Monday January 23, 2012 @12:40AM (#38788163) Homepage Journal

    "Copyright infringement."

    ...and they all moved away from me on the bench there, and the hairy eyeball and all kinds of mean nasty things, till I said, "And creating a nuisance." And they all came back, shook my hand, and we had a great time on the bench, talkin about crime, mother stabbing, father raping, all kinds of groovy things that we was talking about on the bench.

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

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Monday January 23, 2012 @01:19AM (#38788343) Journal

    Throw them all out this November. If you recognize the name on the ballot, vote for the other guy.

    Won't make a bit of difference as long as corporate money pays for our elections.

    Who would ever say no to a corporation if they know that corporation can turn around and spend $100million on an ad campaign to destroy them, and do it anonymously?

    We've had a coup and the corporations have taken over. Elections, congress, president...they're all just a reality TV show to keep the public occupied while the economy is looted.

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

    by schnell ( 163007 ) <me.schnell@net> on Monday January 23, 2012 @01:54AM (#38788537) Homepage

    Karma suicide in 3, 2, 1...

    We've had a coup and the corporations have taken over.

    I know it's super cool on Slashdot to talk about how the US is the worst country in the world, it's a fascist dictatorship, all elections are run by corporations, Soylent Green is made by the Federal Reserve, etc. But honestly that is a very simplistic view of things that fails to account for the complex interlocking of interests that makes up US public policy.

    If corporations really did "own" the US government...

    • Why did the government deny AT&T's merger request with T-Mobile, even with the $millions AT&T spends on lobbying?
    • Why do Federal and state governments keep laying taxes on tobacco, even with the $millions the tobacco companies spend on lobbying?
    • Why did the Sarbanes-Oxley act pass when all big corporations absolutely hate it and lobbied against it?
    • Why did the government reject the Keystone Pipeline from Canada to the US when the oil industry spent $millions lobbying for it?

    The truth is that corporations or other interest groups that spend a lot on lobbying often get their way. But they don't always get their way or "own" the government - when enough people speak out against it, it does actually make a difference. We do have a democracy in the United States ... even if you don't like the outcomes sometimes. That means you should convince your fellow Americans to make smarter voting choices, not blithely dismiss the system as corrupt.

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

    by GPLHost-Thomas ( 1330431 ) on Monday January 23, 2012 @02:31AM (#38788713)
    You want to go on that ground? Yeah, let's do that... Let's talk about Goldman Sachs, our 100 cents on the dollar friend Timmy, and all these crooks, who have stolen not thousands, not millions, not even billions, but TRILLIONS from the economy, have put workers out of their house AND jobs AND on food stamps, sometimes with lethal consequences. Let's talk about them, who aren't worried that an investigation would even start, and lets compare to the file sharer sites.

    USA, everyone knows it, is the land of freedom, right? At this point, it's going to be very difficult for the president to have human rights talks with countries like China. USA is not a good example any more, it's one of the worst.
  • by Lazy Jones ( 8403 ) on Monday January 23, 2012 @06:15AM (#38789439) Homepage Journal
    I don't see Notch (=> Minecraft []) having these issues with so-called piracy. I perfectly understand people who feel ripped off by titles that raise expectations and then disappoint all honest customers.

No extensible language will be universal. -- T. Cheatham