If You're Going To Sue For Copyright Infringement, First Make Sure You Own The Copyright

from the just-saying... dept

Shawn Hogan has received plenty of attention in the last year for his decision to fight the MPAA over the lawsuit they filed against him, claiming he had shared the movie Meet the Fockers via a file sharing program. The problem? Hogan didn't actually share the movie, has never downloaded it, and actually owns the DVD of the movie in question. The MPAA made it clear that if he just paid them $2,500, they would forget the whole thing -- which certainly has the feel of extortion. So, Hogan decided to fight the case in court to prove they were wrong, and said he wouldn't let them back out and run like they've done in other cases. All this, despite the fact that it would probably cost him over $100,000 in legal fees. Hogan decided it was worth it on principle. However, in preparing for the case, it looks like Hogan and his lawyer discovered that the studio might not actually have the rights to the movie. The explanation is a little confusing, but it appears that there are two separate organizations involved: Universal City Studios Productions LLLP and Universal City Studios LLLP (you can see why this gets confusing). The first (we'll call them "Productions") is the one who sued Hogan. However, it was the other ("plain old Studios") who filed the copyright registration. So, in preparing for the case, Hogan and his lawyers went looking for proof that plain old Studios had transferred the copyright to Productions -- which they got. The problem, however, is that the notice transferring the rights happens to occur two months before plain old Studios actually registered the copyright. In other words, they handed over the rights before they even got them -- making the whole thing a bit of a mess. Apparently, it's messy enough that Hogan and his lawyer hope to have the whole case dismissed. Unfortunately, having such a case dismissed on what appears to be a (stupid and careless) technicality won't help much in dealing with other cases where people are falsely accused (assuming this thing isn't that common) -- but it should save Hogan a lot in legal fees. Either way, it's yet another example of the somewhat reckless abandon with which the industry seems to file these lawsuits. Why bother making sure (a) the person did it or (b) you own the copyright before suing? That takes all the challenge out of suing your customers.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    OneNeutrino, Oct 31st, 2006 @ 10:56pm

    Idiots.

    What a bunch of fools. Some people are only alive because its illegal to kill them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    HalfSlant, Oct 31st, 2006 @ 11:12pm

    wow.

    This seems to ridiculous to be real.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Tashi, Oct 31st, 2006 @ 11:27pm

    it only demonstrates the MPAA's outdated tenacity, disregard for real law, demanding money they neither earned or deserve, and their contempt at bullying the public. It's ironc that they're commiting thievery and harrassment in a (false) attempt to address or prevent thievery. Welcome to corporate fascism. That this man would normally have to spend $100,000 to defend himself on principle is absolutely ridiculous. The system, for and by the people responds primarily to the interests of the corporation, and the common person or middle class be damned. Americans should get a free jar of vaseline every time they vote.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Ap, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 1:01am

    Aren't baseless lawsuits cause for countersuits?

    Sounds a lot like conspiracy (MPAA and both studios organizations) to extort ($2500 or we'll sue) Since the suit would have been illegal (can't recover damages for the loss of something you don't own after all) this was purely a criminal (on the face of it) conspiracy to extort money.
    Maybe some lawyer may end up following this line of reasoning and nail the perpetrators for a new Ferrarri and a few extra bucks for gas

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Gripemaster, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 1:11am

    Re:

    I could not have put that better. My sentiments exactly - and I like that touch about the jar of vaseline ROTFL!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Music Pirate, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 1:42am

    Im still waiting for the Department of Justice to set in and start arresting people at the MPAA for extortion and organized crime.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    A chicken passeth by, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 1:54am

    They won't. They've been brought over, in case you haven't noticed. Things like the DMCA would've sunset by now otherwise, especially after outrage from BS suits.

    That's why the RIAA can commit the same mistake over and over and over again. They're basically immune - they paid the bribe monies already.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    GUY, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 2:40am

    If i ever get sued and i think i might be getting sued over something diffrect soon (hope not) i will most certainly counter sue for Detrament of Character and lost wages from work and time i had to take off including the fee's i have to pay my lawyer to fight a battle when i shouldent have to but being forced to lets see how fast the MPAA or RIAA will back down after some one tells them that little tid bit of info

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Geren, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 4:04am

    Re: GUY

    The MPAA and RIAA won't learn. See, they're (at least in their own opinion) above the law. They seem to have taken the position that they make the law. What's unfortunate is that our government and the judicial system seem to have agreed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 4:21am

    Re:

    Defamation of Character

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    ScytheNoire, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 4:39am

    But the RIAA and MPAA are organized corporate mafia's and the politicians taking the bribes should be arrested along with the executives of the RIAA and MPAA. The American political system is so corrupt. There is no justice in the USA, whomever has the most money wins.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 4:58am

    Re: Re: GUY

    The MPAA and RIAA won't learn...They seem to have taken the position that they make the law.

    Uhh...they did make the law. That's one of the biggest problems with Congress today. In the old days, you would get special interests and lobbyists spending millions of dollars wining, dining, and campaigning for congressmen so that they could put tremondous pressuse on them to get them to write laws favorable to their industry. Nowdays, it's far more efficient. They still spend the money trying to influence congressmen, but the lobbying groups write the proposed legislation themselves and hand a copy of it to the congressmen with the check. It saves a lot of time that way, and then the congressmen don't have to take the time to actually write it themselves. Since most congressmen rarely read the legislation all the way through before voting on it, it doesn't take much more than that to get the lobbyists' drafts made into law.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Timmn, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 5:23am

    The New Golden Rule

    "He who has the gold, makes the rules"

    That says it all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Techie, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 6:05am

    Re: MPAA extortion and organized crime

    Will never happen, as they bought and paid for King George, who decided to drop the M$ case for violating anti-trust laws as soon as he was elected by the Supremes. There is no "justice" at the DOJ, but I agree, the MPAA is as crooked as a snake's belly.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Tack, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 6:14am

    Greedy, indeed

    Perhaps this is just the small town boy from Alabama in me talking, but if I was making 250,000 or more a year in the congress, with congress paying for (for example) my insurance and my gas in my government-owned car, etc, then I find it hard to believe I'd really need these bribes. Perhaps it's just me, but when you're already making a quarter of a million bucks a year (which isn't enron-level, but it's about 3 steps up from a 2-income family at middle class) why do you really have to have all these extra perks paid for with lobbyist money?

    Seriously, give me 10 years to grow up some more, and another 2 til the next election, and when you see a 31-year-old Democrat from Alabama running for congress with a ThinkGeek "Hacker Hat" on, vote for him. I'm not going to promise I'll do anything EXCEPT make a public list of everyone in congress who uses ANYTHING (including diners, golf trips, appartments, whatever) that they don't own themselves or that wasn't bought directly by them through their job (I mean, a government-owned car isn't going to count. a Benz bought by big tobacco will, though). Consider me your little spy into congress. I won't change any laws for ya, but I promise I'll change who makes them.

    Yes folks, in 2018, vote...um...Me!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Sanguine Dream, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 6:46am

    One good thing...

    out of all this is that shows the average Jane/Joe can fight back if he/she knows where to look. I know that everyone can't afford a lawyer to look things over like that but it does gives a faint glimmer of hope...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    LetGodSort'emOut, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 7:14am

    Stock up on guns and Ammo

    It's time for the 2nd revolution boys and girls!
    The only way we will get change is at gunpoint. The corruption is far too deep and the system will never change itself.

    Arm up and get ready to hunt some government critters!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Wifiguy, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 7:24am

    They're digging their own graves. I'll just sit back and watch the dirt fall in on them.

    People in the US maybe extremely naive and stupid at times, especially from the people we elect, but the one thing I have faith in is that they will only take so much before they finally start seeing the big picture. Afterall, you can only zap the lab rat a few times before it stops trying to eat the electrified cheese - let's hope Americans are at least this smart.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Brad Eleven, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 7:38am

    Re: wow.

    > This seems to ridiculous to be real.

    Lot of that going around, lately.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Brad Eleven, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 7:49am

    Ridiculous

    ...as in "worthy of ridicule." Amazing, isn't it, how few people in power understand what's happening--and what has already happened. IMHO, this particular chunk of surrealness is very simply the music publishers' reaping of their just desserts. They aggressively marketed digital music--which cost them less to produce--and they charged us more.

    Now that the wheel has been spun and they have lost, i.e., digital music is dog-simple to distribute independently of their control, they refuse to accept reality. These lawsuits are their last, desperate, and nefarious attempts to hold onto something that is long gone.

    Given the obviously corrupt nature of US lawmaking entities, this could go on for quite some time. Perhaps it will become horrific, it may become background noise, but be assured that it will continue to be ridiculous.

    Like the old joke about the monkey who removed the cork from the pig's anus at the county fair: The last eyewitness to testify confirmed that the monkey did remove the cork, that feces were flying everywhere, "...but y'all should have seen that monkey a-tryin' to get that cork back in there!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 7:49am

    Re: Greedy, indeed

    We would all like to hope that $250,000 is enough for a congressman, but I don't think they actually makes that much. I believe that the Pres used to make $250,000 yearly and now may be around $400,000 (+ perks of course). ( I think that the Pres is underpaid for the enormous pressure and responsibilities he deals with!!!) Maybe if political seats paid better, there would be a better selection of canidates. Now, if you are even "good" at what you do, $250,000 isn't close to what you could make. People you really want in gov make 10-20x the wage of a Gov worker. U think they would give up their cushy job to deal with a bunch of sleazy lobbyists??

    If you don't think that someone making $250,000 a year (and thinks they are underpaid) isn't going to reach in the cookie jar when no one is looking, you need to open your eyes a little. They may not be directly "stealing" or embezzling money but I'm sure there are a lot of "shadow deals" that no one hears of. I think it is scary how power and money corrupts!

    Just look at CEO/CFO etc, some steal as much as they can get away with, even when they are making $20mill + yearly!!

    It is very rare when money and power don't breed corruption.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    mo, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 8:13am

    Re: Aren't baseless lawsuits cause for countersuit

    I'm not sure BUT, can't you counter sue the other party for legal fees incurred when you win a lawsuit???? If not, the corporations will always win. Either you roll over because you cannot afford it OR, you may win the suit and be bankrupt in the process. So much for justice in our legal system........

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 8:29am

    now...people who say that anyone who downloads should be tried....let me ask youthis.

    what about speeders? that's a crime. a bad one at that. speeding could kill someone. i see police on the road checking sppeds, but people are passing left/right and the cop just sits there. they are breaking the law, why not go after them?

    oh...it's coz everybody does it and only a select few are made examples of.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Overcast, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 8:31am

    Let them bankrupt all the consumers. Every single one of them, then no one would have the money to buy Movies and CD's anyway.

    I assume that's the intent of the RIAA and MPAA - if you can't profit by innovation and a good product, just sue.

    I doubt they even care how they fill their wallets, just as long as they are filled.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Jared, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 8:38am

    ONE NEUTRINO from the FIRST POST is an idiot himse

    Hey ONE NEUTRINO, u dipshit, in the time it took for u to be a smartass with ur comment, maybe u shoulda said u took it from the people at factualmaterial.com, sorta ironic that you're posting on this topic, then stealing shit urself from someone esles mind isn't it?

    http://factualmaterial.com/sfarcs.htm halfway downish,

    GET SMACKED

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    under employed, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 8:42am

    missing something

    Doesn't this whole mess argue for a loser-pays system? Make someone think twice before filing a specious case.

    Tort reform!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Brad Eleven, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 8:47am

    Re: anyone who downloads should be tried

    Maybe so, wrt unauthorized downloads/sharing. Speeding is a revenue vector for local law enforcement: They know where the violators are, and are dispatched when the city/county/state needs more cash.

    That is, law enforcement doesn't enforce the law for its own sake, but for the sake of revenue.

    What these two "industries" have in common is their insistence on claiming the revenue as rightly theirs, with nothing more than assumptions and forecasts to justify their claims that they are losing something that they don't have yet.

    BTW, when the cop says, "Sign here, it's not an admission of guilt, just a promise to appear," the word "appear" has a distinct legal meaning: Your promise to appear in court implies that you agree to obey the bailiff and to abide by the judge's decision. Neither of them have that right until you give it up with your signature on a legally binding document (the citation). Of course, the alternative is jail.

    Both are rigged games, IMHO.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Dan, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 8:47am

    Probably not a problem

    Copyright attaches to creative works as soon as the work is complete. Registration is only necessary when and if the copyright owner files suit to enforce its copyright. There is, therefore, nothing wrong with "Studios" transferring the copyright in its movie to "Productions" before copyright registration was sought. The problem, it appears, is that after "Studios" transferred its copyright, it still applied to register the copyright -- instead of "Productions." I highly doubt, however, that Universal got it wrong. These folks are very sophisticated.

    Which is not to say, of course, that the current jihad by RIAA and MPAA against entertainment consumers makes public policy sense. I don't think it does.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Michael, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 9:00am

    Re: Re: Aren't baseless lawsuits cause for counter

    Not quite that simple. There are some statutes that allow for the winning party to put a motion before the court to get that party's fees paid by the losing party, but they are the exception to the rule in the USA. Unlike much of the rest of the world, the US system presumes that each side pays its own fees, winners or losers.

    There are provisions in the code of civil procedure that allow one to move the judge for 'sanctions' against the other side for a suit that violates certain parts of those rules (the list is below). One might read those and conclude that they are easily breached, and that sanctions were freely handed out (just like all the candy I handed out last night...), but one would be wrong in reaching that conclusion. Right or wrong, sanctions are threatened all the time, but are very rarely granted.

    Under the federal rules of civil procedure (which are the relevant rules for any copyright infringement suit) at Rule 11, a lawyer who files the suit is promising the following things are true when he/she files the lawsuit (or for that matter any paper filed with the court in a litigated matter):

    (1) it is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation;

    (2) the claims, defenses, and other legal contentions therein are warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law or the establishment of new law;

    (3) the allegations and other factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified, are likely to have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery; and

    (4) the denials of factual contentions are warranted on the evidence or, if specifically so identified, are reasonably based on a lack of information or belief.


    Now, I promise all of you that if you get all that excited about making Rule 11 motions for every RIAA or MPAA lawsuit and getting out scot-free (and your legal fees refunded to boot), that you are probably not going to do all that well! In a short summary of a very complex set of cases (which doesn't really do the cases justice, but this is the Internets after all...): If there is even a scintilla of a chance that the claim was a good claim, the court won't find that it was done for improper purposes. The bottom line is that courts don't want to be in the position of chilling peoples' rights to their day in court (and, remember, that's there to protect you just as much as it is there to protect others!).


    So, after you read the above and analyze these cases under these words, chill. (That said, I don't want to discourage folks from trying!)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Ray Clewell, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 9:01am

    MPAA

    What a country! You can get sued for something the other person doesn't own. You either pay to have these goons go away, or pay a lawyer to make these goons go away, but the point is you PAY! What is the recourse for something like this? Counter sue..but again you still have to pay. Why don't we just make this easy for everybody and just pay all these bastards on a monthly basis.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    AdverseE, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 9:07am

    Re:

    Wifiguy - 'Afterall, you can only zap the lab rat a few times before it stops trying to eat the electrified cheese - let's hope Americans are at least this smart.'

    I think the last presidential election pretty much confirmed that they are not that smart. Apparently, the majority of Americans would rather wait until they're on their last dying breath to change their minds and by then, its too late.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 9:10am

    It seems that several times a week there's another article about the MPAA or RIAA doing something stupid. However, several million times a day there are people breaking the law by downloading or uploading. To only report on the RIAA/MPAA's actions is significantly more biased and unfair than the RIAA or MPAA could ever possibly be.

    In other words, to look at this site, and similar ones, it looks like the RIAA and MPAA are evil. But it's so totally one-sided it's unbelievable. If you had articles about each time someone downloaded something illegally, or set up a server to provide illegal downloads it would thoroughly and totally swamp the RIAA and MPAA coverage.

    Is it balanced reporting when you only report on one side?

    I'm no fan of the MPAA/RIAA or their tactics, but, well, to make an analogy, if the public didn't need police there wouldn't BE any. The MPAA/RIAA didn't start their "bullying" until illegal downloading became a rampant problem. They didn't start treating everyone like criminals until everyone *became* criminals; don't forget that key fact. (Okay, not EVERYONE is a criminal, that's obviously a generalization, but so are the generalization that these organizations treat EVERYONE as a criminal.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    bubba, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 9:24am

    Re: Re: Greedy, indeed

    I guess you know what you're talking about.... most of the politicians in Washington are millionaire lawyers, as in they don't the need the ca$h.

    They're brokering power.... and most don't need more money.

    Consider that even if your favorite incumbent is thrown out of office, they face a lucrative career as a lobbyist, influence peddler, writer, speaker, governor, mayor, etc.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 9:38am

    #32 RIAA/MPAA TROLL

    hey, are you really that dumb? or are you just a dipshit working for the *aa'S??

    good job trolling for them

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Brian, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 9:38am

    At least if the guy can only be sued once for this

    And no matter how hard the MPAA try, they probably won't be able to bring any other charged to try to extort the money out of the guy. And this will give them less credibility in future cases. I'm glad that the MPAA lawyers are working for a bunch of greedy, careless morons.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    brILo, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 9:47am

    DAMN THE EMPIRE.........SAVE THE MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    In response to any notification that I may receive from the MPAA my actions would be as follows:

    -Load up SUV with an arsenal of weaponry and inconspicuous flammables.
    -Drive to the nearest Studio Corporate Facility (note, this is not the production lot, I respect these guys, I'm talking Suits here)
    -Show up early AM to douse parking lot with flammables which trails directly into the building and around it
    -Ignite the trail of flamables and shoot everyone who comes out of the building in a hail of automatic gunfire.
    -Head to Tijuana and sip Corona's with Vincente Fox.

    Sure it sounds drastic but so is suing individuals because you have still yet to harness any P2P or bit-torrent application to be used in professional manner. These apps have been around for what, 10 years now? If I wouldn't bet ass raped when I wanted to but a movie or cd, than I wouldn't burn. If my CD / DVD wouldn't break down with scratches for normal usage....I wouldnt' make backups of them.

    Hell, I'd even sell them the rights to my movie after I shot everyone, for a fee. Or maybe I'll just kidnap a CEO's wife and daughter and extort the money out of them!

    DAMN THE EMPIRE.........SAVE THE MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    brILo, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 9:48am

    DAMN THE EMPIRE.........SAVE THE MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    In response to any notification that I may receive from the MPAA my actions would be as follows:

    -Load up SUV with an arsenal of weaponry and inconspicuous flammables.
    -Drive to the nearest Studio Corporate Facility (note, this is not the production lot, I respect these guys, I'm talking Suits here)
    -Show up early AM to douse parking lot with flammables which trails directly into the building and around it
    -Ignite the trail of flamables and shoot everyone who comes out of the building in a hail of automatic gunfire.
    -Head to Tijuana and sip Corona's with Vincente Fox.

    Sure it sounds drastic but so is suing individuals because you have still yet to harness any P2P or bit-torrent application to be used in professional manner. These apps have been around for what, 10 years now? If I wouldn't bet ass raped when I wanted to but a movie or cd, than I wouldn't burn. If my CD / DVD wouldn't break down with scratches for normal usage....I wouldnt' make backups of them.

    Hell, I'd even sell them the rights to my movie after I shot everyone, for a fee. Or maybe I'll just kidnap a CEO's wife and daughter and extort the money out of them!

    DAMN THE EMPIRE.........SAVE THE MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Down with Big (greedy) Brother!!!, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 9:56am

    Re: Stock up on guns and Ammo

    hell yeah!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    techczech, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 10:04am

    Re: ONE NEUTRINO from the FIRST POST is an idiot h

    Ha! If you're going to claim ONE NEUTRINO ripped the quote from your buddy's site, then maybe you should have made sure 'factual material' didn't 'steal' it from someone else. I found references to that phrase from back in 2000. Maybe some enterprising goof could claim he wrote a bunch of the witticism floating around on the web, claim copyright and sue everyone who tries to use them. :-p

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Brad Eleven, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 10:10am

    Re: At least if the guy can only be sued once for

    Sorry dude, double jeopardy only applies when the state is the plaintiff... although it's unusual for the same suit to go to trial more than once.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 10:41am

    Re: Greedy, indeed

    I think you misunderstood. They're (generally) not keeping the money, they use it to get re-elected. They spend most of their time fundraising for their elections, so thye eagerly accept lobbyist money...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 11:06am

    Re: Re: Greedy, indeed

    As Bush has proven, a damn monkey could do the job. He does not deserve $400k
    Have you seen how close together his eyes are?!

    Karl Rove is who you should be looking at. And he's a bona fide power hungry nut.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Ray Beckerman, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 11:44am

    Technicalities

    1. The case isn't really about downloading the movie; it's about his allegedly having a copy on his computer in a 'shared files folder'. The MPAA and the RIAA think that makes him a 'distributor' even though he certainly never made a nickel on it, and may never even have 'shared' a copy with anyone.

    2. While the lack of a valid copyright registration might just be a "technicality", (a) it might require the case to be thrown out, which, last time I looked, is a WIN, (b) it might mean the people who think they own the copyright to the movie don't own it, which could have all kinds of ramifications for them, and (c) each little event like this helps all the other lawyers all across the country trying to help the victims of the RIAA/MPAA litigation onslaught, by giving them another arrow to add to their quivers in their fight against what I consider to be an evil empire. I'm sure every one of us is inspired by this to take a real long look at the bundle of papers the plaintiffs throw at us in an effort to prove their 'rights'.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Tim Marman, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 12:09pm

    It took 28 comments to point out a critical fact

    Registration is not required for copyright protection. It does, however, provide specific advantages as outlined here. Notably, it is a prerequisite for bringing suit and necessary to recover attorney's fees. The key, though, is that registration can be filed at ANY TIME DURING THE LIFE OF THE COPYRIGHT. In other words, this is just delaying the inevitable. He's just saying that they don't have a valid copyright registration, which they need to bring suit. It doesn't negate their copyright protection entirely (unlike as would be the case with, say, a patent). The copyright holder can correct that at any time and defeat the motion and/or bring a new suit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re:

    not this american. i voted for the lesser of the two evils. Its all you can do.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Chad, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 12:29pm

    Re: Probably not a problem

    I was just going to say the same thing!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re:

    No, it just proves that a lot people just don't agree with elitist left-wingers like you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Joel, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 1:57pm

    Call them Out

    We need to go back to the cowboy days. If we could just call these idiots out to the street and shoot it out this would be over with fairly quickly.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Upthorn, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 2:03pm

    Re: ONE NEUTRINO from the FIRST POST is an idiot h

    Jared.
    The first place you encounter something is not necessarily the place where that thing originated.
    factualmaterial.com simply stole that turn of phrase from somewhere else, so that they could put it to use themselves, in a manner that is equally (if not more) idiotic than ONE NEUTRINO's usage.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Sanguine Dream, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 2:06pm

    I am honestly suprised...

    the **AAs haven't patent/copyright/trademarked bittorrents, P2P, and any other method of file sharing. That way they could sue anyone that used them without paying the license fee. Of course they wouldn't acutally use any of those methods, just hold the patents to that no one else can.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Tim Marman, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 2:37pm

    Sanguine -

    It wouldn't be trademark or copyright, it would be patent. And the problem with that is that they actually have to invent it.

    Despite what the public tends to think, a patent is actually fairly specific - it protects a specific method of doing something. If it's overly broad, they either won't get the patent in the first place or it won't survive prosecution.

    In other words, even if they secured a patent on BitTorrent, there would still be room for someone to figure out a way around the language of the claims...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Dan, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 3:04pm

    Re: Stock up on guns and Ammo

    It's been nice knowing you, the re-education squads are probably already there. Resistance if futile.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    sandkicker, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 3:30pm

    MPAA-RIAA "legal organized crime"

    Since the advent of MPAA/RIAA, guess I have become more intolerant, I solved the issue much easier. I no longer buy movies or songs. If its not on the radio, or television I dont bother with either media.
    To those that get sued and are innocent, the MPAA/RIAA should be made to pay court costs and personal/character damages to the individuals, not to exceed $250,000 for each infraction.

    While piracy is wrong and the guilty should be held accountable, so should be the crime family of the MPAA/RIAA.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    icon
    MythicalMe (profile), Nov 1st, 2006 @ 4:52pm

    Re: Greedy, indeed

    Personally, I don't want a spy in Congress, but I do want a congressman who will have spine enough to stand up against corporate interests and be mindful that it is people who they represent.

    Folks, the problem is money. In Seattle the stations are full of ads, all negative. Who's paying for those ads? Certainly the candidates, but also party sponsors. From the information that I've read the Republican party has more money than it can spend. Where do you think they got all that money? It's doubtful that ordinary citizens donated it.

    That's the problem, isn't it. Our representatives need money to run. There is a cap on how much an individual can donate, set at $2500 (I think). Lobbyists donate to the candidate's party which in turn buys time on the airwaves supporting the candidate.

    The US needs campaign reform very badly. I frankly don't care to know about a candidate's sex life and I certainly don't want hear about the opposition candidate. I do want to know what you, the candidate, will do while in Congress. If you're a shill for some corporation you're not getting my vote in the next election. If you undermine the confidence of the people in the state or district you represent, you better have damn good reason for doing so.

    The entertainment industry needs to wake up. The more that they try to control their content, the more that it is going to slip through their fingers.

    Here's a thought: Regain the trust of your customers. Make your content better. There are thousands of books that are just crying to be made into movies. There are independant artists that are dying to be heard, if they are just given some respect. Respect your audience and they'll reward you also. Concentrate on those points and piracy will be less of an issue.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2006 @ 12:45am

    **AA's "legal organized crime"

    If you think **AA's little crime spree is a new thing, think again. Direct TV has been doing this legal extortion racket going as far back as 1999. It's not a new thing. Dirt tv sent out over 200,000 extrotion letters and filled 20,000 (yes THOUSAND) law suites in federal court. And like the **AA's, they have gotten away with all of their shenanigans in court time and time again.

    Problem is that we as tax payers are footing the bill from these BS cases. the **AAs have just gotten more attention is all.

    The solution would be to strip away the rights of people from the corps. ie corps (as an entity) should not have the same rights as a person.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2006 @ 12:46am

    **AA's "legal organized crime"

    If you think **AA's little crime spree is a new thing, think again. Direct TV has been doing this legal extortion racket going as far back as 1999. It's not a new thing. Dirt tv sent out over 200,000 extrotion letters and filled 20,000 (yes THOUSAND) law suites in federal court. And like the **AA's, they have gotten away with all of their shenanigans in court time and time again.

    Problem is that we as tax payers are footing the bill from these BS cases. the **AAs have just gotten more attention is all.

    The solution would be to strip away the rights of people from the corps. ie corps (as an entity) should not have the same rights as a person.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Lolo, Nov 2nd, 2006 @ 9:48am

    Re: MPAA lawsuit blog

    I think you should sell T-shirts that read "Free jar of Vaseline with every vote!" It's a poingiant and funny statement.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    aguatigre, Nov 2nd, 2006 @ 2:56pm

    in this case, can the MPAA be charged with extortion?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    Billings, Nov 7th, 2006 @ 10:03pm

    Copyright?

    Hmmmm! So if this transfer of rights took place before the copyright was registered, and the transfer is ruled as invalid, what about all those DVDs that were distributed and sold? Certainly the Universal family wont sue itself, but there is a matter of criminal law. It sure would be nice to see a criminal investigation to demonstrate that the laws ( the industry ilobbied for) are applicable to all. hee hee!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    zydicious, Sep 13th, 2011 @ 9:05am

    Re: Re: Greedy, indeed

    Not paid enough? Congressional service was never supposed to be a full time job to begin with. The pay they receive is supposed to be a stipend to cover time spent away from their daily jobs while Congress is in session.
    If the amount they've bloated their income wasn't bad enough; they also receive a fairly nice pension that includes the continuation of all of their health benefits once they've served at least 5 years. That's better than what we give our service members for protecting us without the drawback of live gun fire being too likely of a job hazard.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This