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Old 1 Apr 2010, 02:28 PM   #1
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Default Tens of Thousands Sued In US For Movie Downloads

Tens of thousands of people have been sued in the US for illegally downloading movies, in a campaign that's reminiscent of efforts in the UK which have come under investigation.

The lawsuits have been instigated by the US Copyright Group, which itself learned the technique from Germany, also believed to the place where the UK law firms learned their trade.

Opponents of this approach says that because only IP addresses are used to identify downloaders, it isn't accurate enough to be used as prove of illegal download, as IP addresses can be spoofed, and it only identifies the connection that downloads, not the person. People who have had their wireless networks hijacked may be allowing illegal downloads to occur without their knowledge. Consumer groups are also unhappy with tactics used by these law firms, some of which take advantage of favourable copyright laws and use mass litigation as a way to quickly generate profits, targeting those most likely to cough up to avoid a court date. Firms in the UK have targeted people who download adult movies, for example.

These practices are already under investigation in the UK by legal authorities concerned about the deceptive practices of law firms involved, and the issue has been raised in the House of Lords in the UK, where Lords have criticized these mass litigations as "harassment, bullying and intrusion" and "legal blackmail".

More:

http://thresq.hollywoodreporter.com/...ent-users.html
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Old 1 Apr 2010, 02:54 PM   #2
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Well I have to say that if you do the crime you better be ready to do the time. Or don't do the crime if you can't do the time. No one realizes what's up until that metal is around their wrists. It's a different story when that happens. Piracy or w/e is so common place that many just plain forget it's illegal.
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Old 2 Apr 2010, 06:35 PM   #3
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Techdirt did further digging and found that one of the filmmakers involved in this scheme is Uwe Boll, infamous for making extremely horrible video game adaptations or just horrible movies, period.

Further digging revealed that one of the movies that was supposed to have been downloaded illegally did not have the copyright registration granted until January 2010, meaning most of the people who downloaded it may not be liable to pay statutory damages, only actual damages, which may amount to not much at all. So if these cases go to court, most likely, nothing will happen. But for those afraid to find out or just want the business to go away, they'll pay the "fine" to settle a case that had no merit anyway.

Sounds like a scam, doesn't it?

Even when the case has merit, and a guaranteed win in court, the companies that send out these notices almost always want to avoid going to court because it's not cost effective, and they always run the risk of actually losing and setting a precedent.

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Old 15 May 2010, 05:44 PM   #4
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Time Warner Cable will fight the US Copyright Group's demands that it hand over nearly 2100 subscriber information in relation to the "Uwe Boll" lawsuit. Time Warner Cable claims they simply don't have enough staff to handle so many requests - typically, they handle around 500 requests per month. TWC says that the US Copyright Group reneged on an agreement to limit the flow of subpoenas.

TWC also complained about the way the lawsuit was filed, claiming that putting all the "John Does" in a single mass action could be invalid. Calling it "discovery abuse", TWC wants the judge to quash the subpoenas if an agreement cannot be found between TWC and the US Copyright Group.

More:

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/n...iracy-case.ars
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Old 18 May 2010, 02:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_ml422 View Post
Well I have to say that if you do the crime you better be ready to do the time. Or don't do the crime if you can't do the time. No one realizes what's up until that metal is around their wrists. It's a different story when that happens. Piracy or w/e is so common place that many just plain forget it's illegal.
What about those folks that have fallen for the scammers that sell torrent software and tell them it is private software. They sell subscription and some do one time fees, to download their movies. In truth, they are having you install uTorrent or some variant and then using their search built in to find the movies.... it all appears legal, if ya didn't know how it all works. I can see the not so informed being duped by this...but who is responsible in this case, in your opinion?
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Old 18 May 2010, 09:45 AM   #6
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Not that they will care, but I assume many torrent users, will defect from Verizon regardless if they stop torrent downloads or not since Verizon is giving up names/addresses of there customers..
that won't sit well with many of the accused, guilty or not..
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Old 18 May 2010, 11:37 AM   #7
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I am so glad that I dumped Verizon many many years ago. Always knew that they were real greedy.
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Old 20 May 2010, 07:37 AM   #8
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Default US copyright group

ok..let me see if I have this straight...
[]I'm simplifying a bit here]

I as a film owner, decide to use the " copyright group" and go after piraters of my movie.
Copy group kicks in there "monitoring software" at any torrent site they choose..say pirates bay and maybe a dozen other sites...
I have read that this software is how they obtain the real time downloading/uploading of the particular movie...
For however long they monitor the site and movie in question,weeks/months,Now that list of hundreds or thousands of downloaders with time stamp etc is recorded and saved, printed and is then sent to the ISP provider,[after all the legal stuff is signed and dotted] then a request to match name/address with the IP addresses sent to the ISP provider is obtained with orders to send this info which is now a supeona to the ISP customers address.
Is that about right?
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Old 20 May 2010, 02:40 PM   #9
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That's a good summary of the process.

There are ways to avoid being monitored already, and it all depends on ISPs playing ball with these groups and turning over subscriber data, and what kind of trouble ISPs can get into if they don't comply. If ISPs are not liable for the usage of its subscribers, then they don't have to do a thing.
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Old 21 May 2010, 01:36 AM   #10
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ok so,
sounds like if for example the owners of "the hangover" decided to hook up with "CopyGroup" a week ago, then the monitoring probably begins real time now as we speak or soon as possible.


what I am getting at here is if you d/l that movie 6 months ago, it wasn't monitored by CopyGroup then as it would be now..

Last edited by rago88; 21 May 2010 at 01:38 AM
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Old 21 May 2010, 03:33 AM   #11
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I'm not sure when the monitoring starts, but if groups like the US Copyright Group are smart, they'll just monitor everything from day one and then keep the data just in case the content owners decides to sue one day. Especially on the popular torrents, although they really only need say the first 50,000 IPs for any particular download and that should be enough for "monetization".
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Old 21 May 2010, 10:05 AM   #12
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well, that would seem to be a logistical cluster f...... since they don't know from today on who is going to use there services next week or month so in fact they would have to monitor hundreds and hundres of movies at a time just on 1 site alone not knowing who is going to hire them.

dozens and dozens of torrent sites alone..
may be wrong but I kind of assume it's more like sign up with us and we begin monitoring the pirates soon as the ink dryes cause it's like shootin fish in a barrel...

wonderin also if some higher up judicial level may intervene as it appears to have a hint of blackmail the way they are doing it.
Let's throw a net and see how many we can scare into paying us.
they do admit they are in it strictley for the money..
[ for themselves and the client...]
an IP does not prove any person for sure.
only proves the address where that PC resides...
I know,
you are responsible for your connection but a frat house on 1 IP address?
20 users doing whatever...
how do you kepp the innocent from being blackmailed?
pay up or go to court [which I doubt is going to happen to 50,000 file downloaders...

Last edited by rago88; 21 May 2010 at 10:07 AM
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Old 21 May 2010, 01:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rago88 View Post
an IP does not prove any person for sure.
only proves the address where that PC resides...

I know,
you are responsible for your connection but a frat house on 1 IP address?
20 users doing whatever...
how do you kepp the innocent from being blackmailed?
pay up or go to court [which I doubt is going to happen to 50,000 file downloaders...
And that's only if the IP wasn't spoofed in the first place.

But the powers that be don't know or care about why IP addresses are a silly way to identify individuals, in fact, one of the MPs who voted for UK Digital Economy Bill even thought that an IP address stood for Intellectual Property address.

If people use a combination of PeerBlock and trackerless torrents, then they can avoid a lot of the monitoring tools currently being used. VPN will then make it impossible to track. Right now, VPN requires money, but it's only a matter of time before somebody sets up a open source/free VPN service.
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Old 21 May 2010, 03:32 PM   #14
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The Electronic Frontier Foundation is recruiting lawyers in order to fight against these mass litigation attempts:

http://thresq.hollywoodreporter.com/...y-lawyers.html
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Old 22 May 2010, 12:25 PM   #15
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So the girls across the street who are borrowing my Wi-Fi to download things, I probably should say no???
Or is there a way to isolate myself from their indiscretions?

Hi All, I am still alive

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