TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Movie Studios to Sue Internet File Traders

Re: Movie Studios to Sue Internet File Traders

Robert Bonomi (
Sun, 21 Nov 2004 14:20:38 +0000

In article <>, Robert Bonomi
<> wrote:

> In article <>,
> charsand <> wrote:

>> (Bob Smythe) wrote in message
>> news:<>:

>>> The thing is, it is illegal to download or upload copyrighted works,
>>> the concept of file sharing and actual file sharing is not illegal. I
>>> do not condone illegal file sharing, but am just trying to clarify a
>>> few things.

>>> The MPAA (and RIAA) have not and will not target individual
>>> downloaders. There is no real way to get them. They are not a law
>>> enforcement agency. They cannot entrap individual users. If you
>>> download from them, and they are the rightful owners, then there is no
>>> law broken, even if it is widely know that the service being used is
>>> to illegally obtain files. Plus having downloaded one file will not be
>>> worthwhile anyway in court.

> Statutory copyright infringement penalty, $30,000 per occurrence. Each
> making of a copy is a separate violation.

> Don't _bet_ on it not being worthwhile in court.

> You can't afford to be _right_, let alone wrong.

> (A _successful_ infringement defense typically runs into six figures
> left of the decimal point.)

> Particularly, an 'association' is _not_ looking to 'make money' from
> the lawsuit -- their primary aim is the 'chilling effect', as it were,
> of the successful prosecution. The _smaller_ the perp that is
> successfully prosecuted, the stronger the message that is 'sent',
> regarding the 'risk' of such actions.

> [[., munch ..]]

>> I heard somewhere that those caught could receive not only fines, but
>> jail time-is this true?

>> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: It would not suprise me at all. Nor
>> does it surprise me that they just toss out lawsuits all over the
>> place without even having the *name* or *any identity* of the persons
>> they intend to sue. I can see where 'John Doe' might be a valid way
>> to sue someone you had caught when you could not otherwise get his
>> name, but lawsuits at random against John Does 1 through 9999 (fill
>> in the names, addresses and particulars when you find the person)
>> seems to me to be a gross abuse of the legal system. But they seem to
>> be setting out the lawsuits, then finding the person later on and
>> already having the suit set up. Not a good faith thing, IMO. PAT]

> Not surprisingly, our esteemed moderator doesn't understand the
> process.

> They've _already_ got the IP address, and timestamp, data, and all the
> 'downloading' evidence to support the suit. But they don't know _who_
> was using that IP address at that time. And the ISP's will -not-
> divulge *that* information except by court order.

> Hence the John Doe filing. followed by a subpoena to the ISP.
> Followed by an 'amended' filing to insert the actual perpetrators
> name. Then, and *ONLY*THEN* can you 'serve' the perp with the summons
> for the lawsuit.

> Any _given_ "John Doe" is alleged to have committed _specific_ acts --
> e.g., "at this specific date/time, did download thus-and-such movie
> from IP address to xx.yy.zz.ww"

> You can't file the suit, -then- go find some *other* violations, and
> change the allegations in pre-existing suit to match.

> As to the prior poster's question regarding jail time -- the answer is
> "yes". The "Digital Millennium Copyright Act" _did_ introduce
> *criminal* prosecution and penalties for certain kinds of copyright
> infringement. In general, the criminal provisions deal with those who
> _distribute_, for money or otherwise, infringing copies.

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: But many IP addresses are not static,
> but dynamic. What do they do then to find the person who 'stole' the
> movie or the piece of music? PAT]

*READ* what I wrote, above. They have the IP address _and_ the timestamp.
The subpoena the ISP to *find*out* _who_ was using *that* IP address *at*
*that*time*. The _ISP_ *does* have that information, from authentication
logs, etc. _Now_ they have the person's name, to replace the "John Doe"
on the lawsuit.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: But as someone else noted in a message,
not all ISPs keep that information around very long. Once they have
had a chance to do what they need with it, the information is dumped.
And if someone called in on a dialup line and hacked a real user's
name and password then they would have nothing to go on would they?

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: Robert Bonomi: "Re: What Wal-Mart Knows About Customers' Habits"
Go to Previous message: Robert Bonomi: "Re: Trial Shows How Spammers Operate"
May be in reply to: Lisa Minter: "Movie Studios to Sue Internet File Traders"
Next in thread: Robert Bonomi: "Re: Movie Studios to Sue Internet File Traders"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page