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MPAA v. Hogan, or Vice Versa? 210

Unsurprisingly, the story that Digital Point Solutions CEO Shawn Hogan has "found himself on the receiving end of an MPAA lawsuit" (for allegedly downloading a copy of Meet the Fockers via BitTorrent) and has vowed to fight it drew hundreds of comments, many of them expressing hope that Hogan both stays in court and prevails against the MPAA. Read on for the Backslash summary of the discussion.
Reader Poromenos1 had a snarky reaction to Hogan's claim that he already owned a copy of the movie on DVD:

No wonder he doesn't want to admit to downloading it, that movie sucked! I bet he doesn't even have the DVD.

Other comments took that defense a bit more seriously, pointing out that "I own the DVD already!" is no ironclad defense against claims of copyright infringement. Junior J. Junior III, for instance, wrote

I don't see how ownership of the original media serves as "proof" that he didn't download it.

Besides, with BitTorrent, you upload chunks of the torrent even as you download the file. What if he didn't download the .torrent of MtF, but rather seeded a .torrent of the ISO of the DVD he ripped?

What if he purchased the DVD after viewing the downloaded torrent? It's still an unauthorized distribution of a copyrighted work, even if it did end up resulting in a sale that benefits the Plaintiff... if they want to sue because to them the principle of control is more important than the short-term profit of a unit sale, who are we to question such prioritization?

In response to the desire evident in some comments to see a trial take place and (perhaps) cast doubt on the MPAA's aggressive tactics, reader BigNumber predicts that this is "not gonna happen," writing:

He won't get a chance to 'defend himself' unless he decides to counter-sue. The MPAA will simply drop the case and move on to a less aggressive victim.

Reader Elsimer points out that the odds that Hogan will get a day in court against the MPAA are better than for most people; he has money and determination, as demonstrated in the Zeropaid interview with Hogan from which Elsimer quotes, in which Hogan says

Yep. At this point they have pushed me enough to where I'm going to do whatever I can to keep them from dropping the case. I can't prevent them from dropping it, but I am going to try and force them to go to a full trial. Basically, my lawyers aren't even going to file a motion to dismiss. ... At this point, I don't care what it costs. If they drop it, I will find something to counter with to keep it in court.

Despite Hogan's personal resources, eldavojohn was one of several who said they'd like to contribute to his cause, writing

I personally would like to extend a helping hand to Shawn. If he wants to take this to court, I would like to pay him a simple $10 through Paypal for fighting the good fight. I've given the same donations to Slashdot and many many open source projects (especially those on SourceForge) that have made my life easier.

I would like to live in a world where I'm not worried about some organization of rich bastards strong arming citizens out of hard earned cash. There have been several cases so far where people have been charged with little or no evidence. The methods by which they obtain their evidence is even shadier.

If you're reading this, Shawn Hogan, please leave some contact info so we can donate small sums of money to aid in your defense.

Reader toad3k points out that Hogan is "not exactly hiding," and points out the location of Hogan's blog. eldavojohn responded in the same thread to the idea that such support might be "a little misplaced," writing

I'm not going to support the person who just pays the obscene fine because they want to avoid the trial and lawyers. I want to support this guy if he's willing to bring the lawyers and cast doubt on the MPAA.

Several readers predicted that the MPAA would hastily drop legal action against such a determined opponent (TheSpoom's was typical: "My guess: They'll drop the suit against this guy, but continue to threaten those that don't have the means to fight back. ), but as milamber3 points out, according to the article

The head of their anti-piracy division is openly saying they're looking forward to a trial and verdict next summer.

Reader Danse is skeptical:

That's what they're saying now. Give it a couple months. They'll probably drop it quietly after everyone has forgotten about it.

To this, reader TechForensics says

They can't drop the case if the defendant files a counterclaim. Or if they do, they're still in court on the counterclaim. If Hogan wants to teach them a lesson, he'll make sure his counterclaim litigates all of the issues they don't want litigated, including some they'd be forced to litigate if they actually took someone all the way to court.

Several readers' comments focused on the question of how those who aren't ready to pay the cost of a lawsuit but who would like to contest the MPAA's legal case against them, and many of these comments speculate on the viability of a pre se (self-representation) defense; as embodied in voice_of_all_reason's comment that "[w]ith a reasonable amount of study on basic law, it shouldn't be that hard at all." Reader schnell disagrees, and offers a few pointed analogies:

Describing an intellectual property civil lawsuit against people with law degrees and years of experience like this may just be a little cavalier. Let's try a little substitution here and see how it sounds:

  • No, I meant fix your transmission yourself. With a reasonable amount of study on basic automotive engineering, it shouldn't be that hard at all.
  • No, I meant perform a root canal on yourself. With a reasonable amount of study ovn basic orthodontics, some local anesthesia and a mirror, it shouldn't be that hard at all.
Also on the legal front, Squalish makes an important distinction:

They're filing civil lawsuits, which are a different legal category than crimes here in the U.S. One key: Civil law goes on preponderance (51% convinced = hold the defendant liable), so a mere 'reasonable doubt' that you were using your computer is not a defense. They just have to convince a judge that you probably were, rather than proving it.

Finally and usefully, reader shotfeel offers an informative link for those interested in this as well as other MPAA-related cases:

For anyone interested, Recording Industry vs The People keeps an eye on many of the RIAA cases in progress.


Thanks to everyone whose comments informed this discussion, especially the readers whose comments are quoted above.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

MPAA v. Hogan, or Vice Versa?

Comments Filter:
  • by PixelPirate ( 984935 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @04:16PM (#15786617)
    Hogan... man he was an awesome wrestler, and he was pretty good in that movie with Christopher Plumber, oh and it was funny to see him in Rock... what? Paul Hogan.... Oh, never mind....
  • There is no way the MPAA will let this go to trial since he is trying to take the offencive on this. What can really come though from him keeping them in court after they drop it? I can see if they bring him to trial they could be asked to show their methods of identifying him. But after they drop it how can this information be requested? I am a legal newb.
    • by voice_of_all_reason ( 926702 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @04:24PM (#15786656)
      What can really come though from him keeping them in court after they drop it?

      Everything. If he wins, it sets precedent. Remember that everyone so far has simply paid the MPAA a settlement rather than go to court. If Hogan can get a judge to say "ip adresses and a bittorrent log is not enough evidence to prove your claim," everyone else who gets a letter can get a cheap lawyer to easily argue that point.

      But after they drop it how can this information be requested?

      I don't know if Hogan would be able to demand that information in a counter-suit -- the burden is on him to prove point. Like risk, the defense has a +1 cloak of advantage.
      • by apflwr3 ( 974301 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @04:30PM (#15786703)
        By the way, IANAL but what from I've seen Dungeons and Dragons references don't go over very well in a court of law.
      • "everyone else who gets a letter can get a cheap lawyer to easily argue that point."

        Or you could get Santa Claus to do it. Or maybe the Tooth Fairy. Such a personage would be more likely to exist.
      • What can really come though from him keeping them in court after they drop it?

        Everything. If he wins, it sets precedent. Remember that everyone so far has simply paid the MPAA a settlement rather than go to court. If Hogan can get a judge to say "ip addresses and a bittorrent log is not enough evidence to prove your claim," everyone else who gets a letter can get a cheap lawyer to easily argue that point.

        IF he can keep the case alive. That's a pretty big IF right there.

        The IP address and the BT logs are

      • If Hogan can get a judge to say "ip adresses and a bittorrent log is not enough evidence to prove your claim," everyone else who gets a letter can get a cheap lawyer to easily argue that point.

        Why wouldn't that be enough? The standards of proof in these cases is really low. So long as it is simply more likely that it was him, rather than someone else, then it was him. A small chance that it could be someone else via an open WAP or whatever isn't good enough. Whatever is most probable (i.e. whatever is 51% m
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The bottom line is this - the MPAA can prove what IP is listed as the one that downloaded the file. They may even be able to prove that said file is on a particular computer.

      But it is unlikely that they can prove who, *exaclty*, downloaded the file.

      Bottom line - if you know one of three people committed a murder, they *all* walk b/c that isn't good enough to convict.

      The RIAA and MPAA have been running an elaborate legal scam for some time. They've gamed the *expensive* system to force people to just pay t
      • Bottom line - if you know one of three people committed a murder, they *all* walk b/c that isn't good enough to convict.

        Correct because criminal justice is based around the notion of innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

        This, however, is a civil matter. You don't need the same level of proof.
    • If anything, we have three possible cases since it's pretty much stipulated that he bought the dvd:

      Hogan downloads torrent before owning the dvd:
      If there is zero damage to the MPAA, do they still deserve damages?

      Hogan does not download the torrent and owns the dvd:
      Suit dropped, MPAA gets their shorts sued into oblivion.

      Hogan downloads torrent after buying the dvd:
      Suit tranforms into a fair-use debate.

      I personally would like to see a good fair-use case.
      • But in cases 1 and 3 they can claim that the damage was in the form of all the people Hogan distributed the movie to while downloading it off bittorrent. I think the only way to beat the MPAA in this one (and probably what he's going for) is that he didn't download it at all, and that the proof the MPAA has that he did isn't good enough. The fact that he owns the DVD is more of a way to say "why would I download it if I own it already?".
        • Seems to me a simpler solution is to just make sure you never upload more than 70% of a copyrighted work. Since a 30% change is enough to void the copyright. I imagine that would be easy to implement in a torrent application. Of course that would remove legitimacy I think since it would make it easier to download and distribute works. If you never send the entire contents or say only 10% of the contents to another person then how could that be copyright infringement?

          Of course on moral grounds this obvious

  • One of the times I was happy to be proven wrong by Slashdot, since trying to defend yourself does look like a really bad idea.

    Unless there's really another alternative besides paying your protection money to the MPAA that doesn't involve fleeing the country :)
  • someone in the Congress would write and Congress would pass some sort of anti-corporate bullying law. In other words, if the RIAA, MPAA, etc... goes after consumers with lawsuit and the consumer is found clear of any violation, they get legal fees paid, compensation for the trouble of the litigation, and punitive damages. Yes, you can counter sue, but trying with organizations with such deep pockets, you'd be in litigation for a decade.

    Yeah, I know, the industry lobbyists on K Street will never allow it. *

    • In other words, if the RIAA, MPAA, etc... goes after consumers with lawsuit and the consumer is found clear of any violation, they get legal fees paid, compensation for the trouble of the litigation, and punitive damages.

      That's already how it is -- in theory. In practice, most people the RIAA/MPAA are going after do not have the resources or time to go to court to win, much less twice that to file their own lawsuit to get back legal fees and damages.
    • Unfortunately 99% of MPAA lawsuits are valid because people are, in fact, breaking copyright laws and getting stuff for free.
      • by Tweekster ( 949766 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @04:51PM (#15786824)
        Actually no they are not.
        it has become fairly obvious they are using a shotgun approach and hitting an aweful lot of people that clearly did not download anything. The dead person for instance, the person without a computer, the computer that cant even run the software at all etc.

        The fact they managed to file a suit against a single person that was found invalid should put their entire methodology into question and all lawsuits should be dismissed until they have a proven method of verifying the wrongs they claim.

        Sueing people that in no way, under any circumstance actually did the thing you claim should make you instantly liable to the tune of the victim winning the lottery instantly.
      • by apflwr3 ( 974301 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @05:13PM (#15786922)
        Unfortunately 99% of MPAA lawsuits are valid because people are, in fact, breaking copyright laws and getting stuff for free.


        I agree, many are probably guilty (though the number is probably less that 99%.)

        However the MPAA/RIAA should not have the ability to financially devastate an individual for downloading a song or movie. There has to be an obligation to prove real damages. Right now the sky is the limit-- why are they allowed to sue a teenager for tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars for a song that costs $1 on itunes, or a movie that costs $7 at Best Buy? Even taking the fact that they are uploading it back to others into consideration, that still is not more that (in all practicality) a dozen to a hundred people. This should be a case in small claims court.

        That's the biggest problem here, IMO. The punishment doesn't fit the crime, and the legal system does nothing to prevent corporate entities with unlimited legal resources from demanding incredibly exaggerated sums from average people who can't be expected to have the means to fight or pay. Wal-Mart can't sue you for hundreds of thousands for stealing a DVD in their store-- why should the MPAA be able to for stealing a movie online?

        • I agree with you. However, it's even more petty than that.

          Even taking the fact that they are uploading it back to others into consideration, that still is not more that (in all practicality) a dozen to a hundred people.

          Most people stop the task not long after it finishes downloading. So 80% of people who are guilty, could arguably be responsible for (about) 2 - 2.5 copies. On the other, more hypothetical, hand, even if the 'damaged' party were to persue reparations in this way, they'd be after twice as

        • Right now the sky is the limit-- why are they allowed to sue a teenager for tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars for a song that costs $1 on itunes, or a movie that costs $7 at Best Buy? Even taking the fact that they are uploading it back to others into consideration, that still is not more that (in all practicality) a dozen to a hundred people.

          Exactly. The typical filesharer is only uploading to 5-30 people. For a song, that should be $5-30. For a movie, it should be $75-450. The individual should not

        • The odds of getting nailed for shoplifting -- which, incidentally, is a criminal offense, not merely a civil tort -- are probably far, far higher than the the odds of even getting sued, let alone sued succesfully, for P2P-based infringement.

          If the penalty of the latter were, say, only $250 and at most a minor stigma (compared to a criminal conviction), and the odds of being caught remained infinitesimal, than it would be worth it to freely indulge.
        • why are they allowed to sue a teenager for tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars for a song that costs $1 on itunes, or a movie that costs $7 at Best Buy?

          Because Congress said that they can. See 17 USC 504 for how that works.

          This should be a case in small claims court.

          Yeesh, no. Exclusive federal jurisdiction is a good thing. Maybe if we were to create a federal small claims court, but that would be a little odd. Certainly it would take some of the prestige out of being an Art. III judge.
      • Are they suing actual pirates "99%" of the time because they're lucky, or because the large majority of our society have downloaded at least one "pirated" movie/song?
    • In civilized nations, barratry isn't as easy, because we operate under the rule of loser pays winner's costs, which greatly discourages people who are unsure that they will win from filing lawsuits, rather than the unfortunate American approach of each party paying their own costs. But then, depth of pocket triumphs over morality and common sense in all other aspects of American life, why not the courts too?
  • Ok I kinda like slashbacks or backspash as this is called. But a backspash on this ONE story without any updates to the trial and whatnot.. Very lame..
    • Re:WTF? (Score:2, Funny)

      by TopShelf ( 92521 )
      If it looks like a dupe and smells like a dupe...

      you're reading /.
    • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

      by _xeno_ ( 155264 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @04:42PM (#15786766) Homepage Journal

      OK, enough people seem to be confused about this, so I'm just going to try and clear this up.

      • Slashback - an update to (usually several) existing stories.
      • Backslash - an aggregate of highly modded comments from a previous story.

      Yes, the two names are confusing: this is likely done on purpose. Slashdot was named Slashdot explicitly to make it hard to spell out the URL. (If you're going to try to spell out the full URL, it would sound like: Aych tea tea pea colon slash slash dot dot org slash. This made more sense in 1998 when Slashdot was named and most radio ads would spell out the entire URL.)

      But, yeah, Backslash is kinda lame. In many web forums, it'd likely be called "necroposting" - attempting to resurrect a discussion that had mostly completed by posting something vague and useless to it, causing it to move to the top of the topic list. There's really nothing to add to Backslash stories in the comments, since the story just happened, so they're usually fairly vague and useless. They are, in essense, intentional dupes.

      And, yes, I know how to disable them. I'm considering it, but I'm still holding out hope (for some reason) that they may eventually become some what more interesting.

      • If you're going to try to spell out the full URL, it would sound like: Aych tea tea pea colon slash slash dot dot org slash.


        Perhaps "Aych tea tea pea colon slash slash slash dot dot org". You lost the slash from slashdot and does anyone ever read out that last slash, or is that the missing third from a normal editing error??
        • See, I said they made it hard to spell out the URL, and then proved it... Yeah...

          No, I just can't count and left it out. As for the closing slash, no one would bother today, but at the start of the "internet boom" before people really understood the web and URLs, people would include it. Generally they'd just be reading off a script that included the full URL with the closing slash - so they'd say it, because it was on the paper.

          It didn't take long for people to shorten it down to just the domain nam

      • Why not:

        aytch tea tea pea colon slash slash es el ay es aytch dee oh tea dot oh are gee ?
      • What is an aggregate of highly modded comments from a previous Slashback? Backslashback?
      • I've enjoyed all of the Backslashes I've seen so far. Mostly they have been stories I didn't catch or wasn't that interested in at the time. A quick overview and some general conclusions about the subject are welcome.

        It's pretty close to actual journalism. Assuming these dicussions have any value, a report on the story filtered through Slashdot readers seems warrented.
      • Thanks, for the clarification. Of course I found the other backsplashes somewhat interesting. There were really no interesting comments to this story. But maybe thats just me.
    • This issue has gone from internet time to legal time. There aren't any updates.

      Only newstravaganza tabloid-trials have daily updates. Real legal cases frequently take years, and people generally try to be tight-lipped about them.
  • This is not a flame, and I've perused the FAQ, and I can't seem to find an explanation for the goal of these Backslash stories. What purpose are they meant to serve, and what value do they offer over temporarily browsing a story at +5?

    I'm sure I'll get modded down for this, but I just don't understand these stories. Yes, I know I can block them in my preferences, but I remain optimistic for now. With the (somewhat justifiable) criticism of the /. editors, I'd rather see more effort elsewhere, rather than
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @04:39PM (#15786750)
    It's Summer. Nothing happening. What time would be better to draw this to the front line?

    If possible, let's get the donation thing rolling. I know, he's rich, so the money doesn't matter. And neither do 10 bucks matter to the majority of us. But it's a token that says "me too" in the chorus that cries out against the RIAA peppering innocent people with lawsuits.

    Now, when it has enough attention, the media will pick it up. Simply out of self interest. Let's face it, geeks are no target audience. We're few. We tend to think for ourselves. So why bother trying to get the spinning onto us? But the issue of copyright getting way out of hand is not only affecting us. It is a matter that concerns pretty much everyone owning a computer with online access (and as previous lawsuits from the RIAA show us, even people who never touched one).

    So the attention is there.

    And as soon as media spin is up, politicians will start noticing it. After all, it's an election year, and the campaigns are already running...
    • by identity0 ( 77976 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @06:14PM (#15787233) Journal
      It's Summer. Nothing happening. What time would be better to draw this to the front line?

      Uh... you must have missed the War In The Middle East, which pushed off of the front page the War In The Middle East, which itself grabbed headlines away from the War In The Middle East, which is making everyone forget the Impending Nuclear War In The Middle East. Or the heat wave that is about to turn America into the Middle East.

      Nice time to invest in camel futures.

      Either way, I don't think "Local man gets sued for downloading 'Meet The Fockers'" is going to be on any front page anytime soon :)
    • t's Summer. Nothing happening. What time would be better to draw this to the front line?

      The Slashdot Geek's remoteness from what others know as the Real World is never more in evidence than in posts like these.

      There is war in the Mideast, a killer heat wave in the U.S. The social conservatives in Congress have new criminal legislation in the works re minors and abortion. In L.A. the cops are trying to identify fifty victims of a serial killer...

  • Depending on where the suit is brought, the defendant may not have the option of self representation. In some courts self representation is simply not allowed.
    • As far as I know, only artificial legal persons (corporations, states) can be restricted from pro se argumentation. Real flesh and blood non-insane people are always allowed to argue on their own behalf. Am I missing something?
  • by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @04:46PM (#15786793)
    No, I meant fix your transmission yourself. With a reasonable amount of study on basic automotive engineering, it shouldn't be that hard at all.

    I understand what the poster is trying to say, but I think it backfired, because auto repair is easier than many think.

    In this case- the manual transmission for my car (which is full-time AWD and has a limited-slip center differential, so it is fairly complex as transmissions go) doesn't require much rocket science. It requires the factory repair manual, a few special tools (some are specific to the transmission, others are just standard measuring tools), attention to detail, and making sure all the tolerances are correct (they're adjusted via lots of extra washers/spacers/shims.)

    Granted it is one of the more complex mechanical jobs aside from a full engine rebuild, but those aren't very hard either. If you're ever curious about it and want to learn- sign up for an appropriate class at the local tech school to get basic good practices down. Then, start with old car bought off the classifieds for which you can find factory manuals/rebuild guides for. Set aside a fair bit of cash for the various tools you'll need, although some can be rented.

    All this has me thinking, "gee, wouldn't it be nice if there was a 'Law for Citizens' class at the local community college?"

  • Using the indented blockquotes looks much easier on the eyes than the italics [slashdot.org]. Thanks for the change.
  • by tinkerghost ( 944862 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @05:09PM (#15786905) Homepage
    I love these guys, there almost as cool as SCO.
    When you get around the 'it's not copywrite, it's a liscense' issue, they turn around and go back to quoting it's a copywrite violation.
    Hello ... [tap][tap]... pay attention, you can get protection under copywrite - you are selling the data on the disc as a collective work, or you can be selling a liscense for the work on the disk. You don't get to play both games - if for no other reason, the IRS demands it be one or the other.
    Hmm, guess that's one way for us to be certain whether we buy a copywriten work or the liscence to view it. We can check the IRS filings of the companies that are members of the **AA. The sales have to be listed as goods or liscenses, and we know you never, ever, ever lie to the IRS.
    • The MPAA business model is based on lieing to investors and the MPAA.

      By their books the movie Birth of a Nation still hasnt made a profit.
    • If it's a license issue, I'd love for Hogan's lawyers to bring up the ads that say...

      $BIG_MOVIE -- Buy it today!!!!

      not,

      $BIG_MOVIE -- License it today!!!

      Seems to me that either I'm buying a copy, not a license, or the studios are guilty of false advertising, fraud, and Bait&Switch.
      • Actually, I think the studios have got that beat: it's not "buy it today" or "license it today", but rather "own it on DVD today".

        Own what?

        A copy, or a license?

        I guess since owning the license on DVD would be silly (unless the license was on the DVD or printed on it), it must be owning the copy under license to view it.

        So, you have two privileges that you purchased: (1) a copy of the content, and (2) a license to view it in an approved player (other than just looking at the shiny reflection in the D

        • I am a copyright lawyer. And frankly, outside of the software industry, and certain recent developments involving computers (e.g. iTMS), no one licenses to the mass market. When you buy a paperback, or a music CD, or a DVD, from Borders or someplace, you are buying it. There is no license involved. The various publishing industries don't even claim that there are licenses. Instead people who are too used to thinking that the idea of licensing software is an acceptable or even good practice assume that that'
          • First, thanks so much for a real lawyer's perspective. And yeah, the usual disclaimer (this is not to be construed as legal advice, ... every situation is unique,... retain one's own council, etc. is taken as a given).

            Me: You can also build your own player to view it.

            Yeah, you're going to run into some 1201 problems there. Did you miss the whole Reimerdes case?

            No, I didn't miss it, though I think it's an insufficiently tested area of law. I think the interoperability exception might apply, for example

            • I think it is absurd that I can have a right to watch the content on a DVD that I purchased, but not in the manner of my choosing.

              Re: 1201 et al, I agree. Re: patents, while I am against software patents for other reasons, I generally disagree with you. Patents and copyrights are on equal footing; it's not like trademarks, which are subservient to both. One blocking the other is a perfectly ordinary and acceptable situation.

              I mean, imagine inventing the record player, patenting it, but having that patent no
      • Uh, you're buying a physical object, a DVD.

        The license happens to be a side effect of the way copyright and IP is handled in our country. I don't think there is any false advertising, fraud, or bait and switch. Buying a copy does not give you the right to download or upload a copy (copyright restrictions on IP).
      • Yea, ever notice how all the DVD commercials these days say "Own it today on DVD!" Ownership implies a bit more than a license.
  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @05:11PM (#15786917) Homepage
    If you own your copy, how does downloading another copy in some other format differ from other means of exercising fair use rights? The only difference I can see is that the user didn't actually do the work of transcoding the data. I am assuming the copy of the movie is an AVI or some other non-DVD bit-image format.
    • The person you're downloading it from doesn't have the legal right to send you parts of the file, whether or not you own a copy. And with BitTorrent, you're uploading at the same time as you're downloading, which means you are also distributing it illegally.
    • Because the **AA says it's not.
      Note that format shifting from a digital format to an analog one (CD => Tape), or analog to analog (record => tape) was considered to be fair use. Same with making a backup tape for the car (tape=>tape). The rule used to be it was fair use as long as only 1 copy could be in use at a time - IE one tape in the car, another in the house - you can't be using both at the same time - it was fair use.
      Now, anything but putting the CD/DVD in the player and sitting on the big
      • Note that format shifting from a digital format to an analog one (CD => Tape), or analog to analog (record => tape) was considered to be fair use. Same with making a backup tape for the car (tape=>tape). The rule used to be it was fair use as long as only 1 copy could be in use at a time - IE one tape in the car, another in the house - you can't be using both at the same time - it was fair use.

        None of that is true.

        Fair use is something that is determined on a case by case basis. If Alice makes a co
  • I suspect thatt the people who have criticized Hogan's claim that he already owned the DVD have missed his point. He probably didn't intend that as an argument that he had no reason to download it. Rather, he was probably referring to the idea that it is legal to download a copy of something that you have legally purchased because it is equivalent to making a backup copy or shifting to another medium.

    • NO NO NO.
      Sheesh. Show me in any codified law, that says you can download a movie if you own it.

      You want a backup? By two and place the unopened DVD in your safe deposit box.
  • hogan (Score:2, Funny)

    by doobystew ( 893475 )
    I predict the MPAA dominate the entire court case and about to win until Hogan's hand is raised for the third time and just before it falls he'll suddenly find a new leash of evidence, bounce the MPAA of the ropes, kick them in the face then leg drop them, yet again winning another court case.
  • by RingDev ( 879105 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @05:29PM (#15787002) Homepage Journal

            Describing an intellectual property civil lawsuit against people with law degrees and years of experience like this may just be a little cavalier. Let's try a little substitution here and see how it sounds:

                    * No, I meant fix your transmission yourself. With a reasonable amount of study on basic automotive engineering, it shouldn't be that hard at all.
                    * No, I meant perform a root canal on yourself. With a reasonable amount of study ovn basic orthodontics, some local anesthesia and a mirror, it shouldn't be that hard at all.


    To be fair, neither of these analogies are accurate.

    1.With the proper tools and a good manual, any literate able bodied person can rebuild a tranny. Follow the instructions and it's no problem.

    2.Performing a root canal on yourself presents several physical challanges not at all related to the root canal. If you changed this one to performing a root canal on someone else, it would be accurate. With the basic knowledge, you would know what to do, but with out the experience, practice, and muscle memory, it would be incredibly difficult to do well.

    -Rick
    • 1.With the proper tools and a good manual, any literate able bodied person can rebuild a tranny. Follow the instructions and it's no problem.

      I think we have different ideas on what no problem means.

      Pulling a trany is difficult enough in it self. On current generation cars there is so much crap in the way such as stablizer bars that have to be removed. This in it self isn't a small job, it's a big job.

      Trannys are pretty complicated pieces of machinery. Lots of small parts not to speak of washers and space
      • It's not as bad as you think. Look at the vast majority of employees in the automotive service industry. Most of my wrench monkey fans have high school diplomas, live pay check to pay check, and voted for Bush.

        If THEY can tear apart a tranny, any able bodied person with the ability to research enough of the law to attempt to defend themselves of these charges should be able to tear down an rebuild a transmission. By 'no problem' I mean that it will be difficult, but if they are careful, follow good directio
        • It's not as bad as you think. Look at the vast majority of employees in the automotive service industry. Most of my wrench monkey fans have high school diplomas, live pay check to pay check, and voted for Bush.

          These wrench monkeys with high school diplomas who live pay check by paycheck who voted for Bush are in the automotive service industry at the very least have experence in this field. They may have learned from the shop manual, they may have gone to a technical school, or they may have been trained o
    • 1.With the proper tools and a good manual, any literate able bodied person can rebuild a tranny. Follow the instructions and it's no problem.

      Could it be done? Yes. It might take a really long time, and wouldn't be as good as if a professional had done it, but it would be built. Now, put some time constraints on it. It's not like you can tell the judge, "Sir, I need another 2 years of study to get all the proceedures down, may I have a continuance?" So not only are you building a tranny, but you are d
      • Should quantify what you would call "professional"

        A few years back (this is kinda OT BTW) a friend of mine picked his vehicle up at the local AAMCO. Had his transmission rebuilt, new torque converter as well. Looked out at the shop - saw 3 beer cans and a bag of mickey-d's.

        Now, I'm one to put down a beer or two while working on my own car, but that was.. weird....

        Back on topic, though, anyone with half a brain can rebuild a transmission. Just like taking apart your computer, except with just a few more p
  • Go SMASH 'em Shawn!
  • Why can't the USA take up a loser pays legal system - in countries where such a system exists, the incidence if frivolous lawsuits are nowhere near the level they are in the USA.
    If you have to pay the other party's court costs if you lose, then there's a lot more incentive to make sure that you're taking them to court over something solid, not just on a hunch. These kinds of RIAA lawsuits would get VERY expensive if they had to pay all legal costs every time they lost, and people would be more inclined to
    • Because if a big Corporation was screwing you over, it would be a giant PITA to have to pay _their_ court fees if you lost.
    • That might make it even more likely for the one with the most money to win. If there's a case that could go either way, and would be won by the one with the best lawyer, then there would be great incentive to just buy the most insanely expensive lawyer team possible. After all, once you win, it all becomes free anyway.

      Great way to accelerate the arms race for legal teams, and accelerate the bankruptcy rate due to gambling on the legal system.
    • Why can't the USA take up a loser pays legal system - in countries where such a system exists, the incidence if frivolous lawsuits are nowhere near the level they are in the USA.

      Because it's not fair. And those countries don't have as much entirely justifiable litigation either. Since litigation is simply dispute resolution, this means that they have a lot of unresolved disputes. That's not desirable.

      These kinds of RIAA lawsuits would get VERY expensive if they had to pay all legal costs every time they los
      • Because it's not fair. And those countries don't have as much entirely justifiable litigation either. Since litigation is simply dispute resolution, this means that they have a lot of unresolved disputes. That's not desirable

        I'm not so sure about "not fair". In the UK it's generally "loser pays", but there is such a thing as legal-aid (http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1988/Ukpga_198800 34_en_1.htm). If you can't convince the legal-aid lawyers that you have a fighting chance, there are also several lawyer fi
  • Flamebait! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by denix0 ( 949825 )
    This article serves no purpose and is totally a flamebait!

10 to the minus 6th power Movie = 1 Microfilm

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