Pirate Bay Sued, As Expected

from the significant-blow,-right? dept

As was widely expected, Swedish prosecutors have filed criminal charges against the guys who run The Pirate Bay. It's still unclear how creating a search engine that doesn't actually store or handle any unauthorized material breaks the law, but I guess we'll find out how that works during the trial. If anything, though, this will probably work just like every similar file sharing lawsuit, where the end result is merely that more people know about it and more people use it (or move on to use the "next" version that comes out). Also, as some are pointing out, the indictment only includes a very small number of files. It really took one and a half years to come up with such a small list?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    suckit, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 11:00am

    first

    suck it first!!!

     

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  2.  
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    Liquid, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 11:10am

    Pirate Bay FTW! ! !

    Many have tried to stop them. You remember last year or the year before last when the Swedish police raided all 4 of the proprietors homes of pirate bay. The took all the computing equipment that they could find from all 4 of them. They found nothing, no music files, no movie files, no program files, NOTHING that would break copy right infringement. Like the article that read on http://www.webuser.co.uk/ many companies like the giant MICROSOFT had tried to sue them before but were unsucsessful. What makes you think that this law firm would be able to do anything... The only thing that they host is a text file called a torrent thats about it... You cant certainly make a network protocol illegal... That would be like saying hey we are going to make FTP, TFTP, etc. illegal because it allows you to x-fer files...

    Desperate move from desperate people.

     

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  3.  
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    unknowledgable geek, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 11:11am

    Pointed Out

    Who pointed what out?

     

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  4.  
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    Jason, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 11:13am

    SO you can be sued for giving the possibility of infringing? Well then shouldn't AT&T be sued for allowing people commit crimes over the phone. Maybe we should sue ford for making cars the people drive drunk. Makes perfect sense.

     

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  5.  
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    matt, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 11:14am

    hey, it gets better

    even better yet, they aren't even being sued for anything dealing with theft or IP or piracy. In fact, the charges seem very very hazy....anyone have a transcript? Things seem to go from "accessory" to "conspiracy" and neither of those are in the realm of "easy to sue for"

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 11:20am

    Why not sue google/youtube? They actually host videos.

     

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  7.  
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    Ben, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 11:31am

    Sad

    I wonder how the entertainment/recording industry would have fared if they had invested all their lawsuit and lobbying money in pioneering new business models rather than frivolous, and in my opinion, despicable lawsuits? This one's no different than all the others which to date have had the opposite of their intended effect.

    The whole situation is sad, kinda like watching an extinction take place. One day these relics from the past will be no more, and they won't be able to throw lobbying dollars around to get their way. I'm counting the days...

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 11:39am

    I can't wait till they sue Google, Yahoo, etc. Search for whatever you want followed by torrent. Should look good at the trial for Pirate Bay too when their lawyers show that any internet search engine can be used to infringe.

     

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  9.  
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    Etch, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 11:49am

    I've always been against stupid Copyright lawsuits, especially ones that target users. I'm also against the RIAA and the recording industry in general. Should the Recording Industry die out tomorrow, I would be ecstatic. No more teeny boppers, no more Garbage that passes off as music! Ahh what a happy day that would be! Then all the real underground musicians (where all the innovative music originates from anyways before its stolen) will shine!

    But in this case, and I can't believe I'm about to say this, but I can't in all consciencesness condemn them suing the Pirate Bay! Search engine or not, whether they host the files or not, it makes it all too easy to get your hands on anything, even HD content is freely available! Let's face it, pirated software and content belongs in the small underground community, and passed on to others through friends. Pirate Bay is too huge to be underground, and even the least technology savvy people I know use it! That means that anyone with a connection can find anything they are looking for!

    Its good to be able to get stuff for free, especially if you want to review it first before making a commitment in buying it(should you choose to), but when you can literally find anything in one place, with no deterioration in quality, why would you ever pay a cent for anything anymore? If it continues, we won't have anymore content to pirate! I would like to keep it underground, hidden, so only the most tech savvy people and the most determined and broke ass people (like me) can reach it! But everyone else who can afford to pay should pay!

    Yes it is a very arrogant and self-serving statement, but that's how it was in the heyday of the Internet, now pirating is so mainstream its causing significant damage, and threatening to destroy Net Neutrality, which I cherish above anything else!

    There is another way:
    If you want to watch a movie for example in standard resolution, you can pirate it, but if you want to get HD content, then you should pay. I have dabbled in pirated material, but when I want to get a movie that I enjoy and feel its worth it to get in HD, I go out and rent/buy the DVD/Blu-Ray, because then its worth it. All the other crap where I would go "I want the last 2 hours of my life back", I would pirate.

    Just my 2 cents!

     

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  10.  
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    Etch, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 11:51am

    Re:

    Oh yeah, and now let the bashing and flaming begin :) lol

     

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  11.  
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    Casta, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 11:54am

    Then they should go ahead and include Microsoft as an accessory for selling the most popular o/s used in the search on google for the link to pirate bay that links to the torrent that might be used (or not) for the download. And include all the torrent apps developers also, since thats the app that makes the download possible.
    Heck, we should all just go back to stone tablets and let the lawyers win

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 11:56am

    Re: Etch

    So... TPB would be OK if it wasn't mainstream?

    There are more things that can be bought and sold besides infinitely-replicateble content. Even if all content were freely available, there would be non-copyable products and services which could provide revenue.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 11:57am

    "Aiding and Abetting"

    Um, its illegal in many countries to hide a wanted person, or to help them. Granted, downloading something and robbing someone ARE two different things but its similar enough that a charge of "facilitating" such 'illicit activities' could be brought to bear.

     

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  14.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 12:15pm

    Napster precedent?

    Wasn't that the basis on which Napster was shut down? After all, its central server didn't host any content either, it was just a directory. Yet that didn't stop the lawyers.

    Also there were other search engines (mp3.yahoo.com comes to mind) that were shut down on the same basis.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 12:20pm

    So what about public libraries?

    I can get movies at my local branch, and for free. Music, too! Often I can use them several dozen times before I'm tired of them, and I've never paid for a book, since they gladly give it to me for FREE. I guess time to shut them down and toss the bespecled ladies in the clink.

     

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  16.  
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    Hydra, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 12:45pm

    Perhaps you can't sue

    Perhaps you cannot sue these people right now. But that's not to say that the game is over. I can foresee a new "aiding and abetting piracy" law that would help prosecute those who knowingly aid in the distribution of illegal software and movies.

    I know a whole group of people that think they are smarter than the laws. I get to visit them on alternating Tuesday's.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Napster precedent?

    Wasn't that the basis on which Napster was shut down?

    That was in the US. The laws are different in Sweden.

     

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  18.  
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    Nick Overstreet (profile), Jan 31st, 2008 @ 1:18pm

    Interesting, but...

    When will Demonoid be moving to Sweden? :-D

     

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  19.  
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    norman619, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 1:21pm

    Re:

    Computer manufacturers should be held accountable for the action of hackers and virus writers since they can't do such things w/o a computer.

     

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  20.  
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    Haywood, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 1:58pm

    Re: Etch

    In one way I see where you are coming from. So long as only the tech savvy know how to pirate, be it; internet downloads or satellite TV, not many eyebrows are raised. The minute you start to educate and include the idiots, the spotlight shines. Then you have to start over again to go clandestine. Take Usenet, a fairly brilliant move to use the always provided but seldom used news servers on the ISP. Takes a bit more expertise than clicking on a torrent, but if everyone starts doing it, it would be attacked fast and furiously.

     

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  21.  
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    Bob, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 2:16pm

    fail

    The action will fail, as TBP is hosted in Sweeden and as such Sweedish laws apply.
    File sharing isn't illegal there, so there are no grounds for this case.

    A nice little time waster, just to show that they can attempt to sue people or not commiting a crime.

    Everyone, go and read the legal threats on The Pirate Bay. They'll walk away clean from this one, and I for one can't blame them.

    Keep TPB alive!!!!

     

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  22.  
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    Joe, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 2:50pm

    Re:

    Excuse me? I am not for the prosecution of the Pirate Bay, but I have to point out the faulty logic. Suing a car or telephone company is much more like suing an ISP for allowing access to the Internet: the Internet is NOT unlawful, it's just a "road" or "web of wires" that might have access to unlawful information. The Pirate Bay serves no other purpose than to directly link people to illegal files. If Ford provided you with, say, a police radar deflector specifically for that purpose, then the comparison would be closer.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 2:50pm

    Re: Interesting, but...

    In January 2008, The Pirate Bay, where some Demonoid users have moved,offered two Swedish servers to the Demonoid team. Sweden is a place where other torrent sites relocated in 2007.

     

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  24.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 3:03pm

    Re: fail

    The action will fail, as TBP is hosted in Sweeden and as such Sweedish laws apply. File sharing isn't illegal there, so there are no grounds for this case.

    I think file sharing is illegal there, but that doesn't matter. TPB doesn't engage in filesharing. It's merely pointing out those that do, which IS legal under Sweden's (much saner) laws. See their 'legal threats' section for more about this.*

    That said, the very small number of titles mentioned make me wonder if the cops haven't caught one or more of them with a couple ripped DVDs, or something similar.

    *For those of you who think that this should be criminal, imagine if reporting that a certain house in your neighborhood is a crack den made you an accessory to drug distribution.

     

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  25.  
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    persona, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 3:17pm

    artists with passion make content (period)

    i would just like to say that i can't believe the only motivation for people to create art/entertainment is money. what happened before all that? how did we get the expression "starving artist"? if you look at history many, MANY artists have died poor in the gutter. And yet, we still know their names today and still honor them by celebrating and appreciating (in most cases, posthumously) the ideas and feelings the people tried to bring out in the "average joe."

    i'm not sorry to say that people who profit from the hard work of others deserve the "righteous punishment" inflicted on the greedy. i mean, qui bono? who is really making the money here, and who are the lawyers "protecting"?

    they are defending the right of some cadre of established media-barons to continue making money from doing--essentially--no work.

    i hope that this sharing community continues to grow and expand into other forms of sharing, world-wide, and it seems to me that The Pirate Party in Sweden is looking to represent the growing number of people who just want to share content, user-generated or copyrighted (which is just a euphemism for "corporate-filtered, user-gen content").

    money can be made in reasonable amounts still. enough to support a basic, if not reasonably cushy, lifestyle by doing live performances, interviews, and non-digital products (paintings, mixed media, sculptures, etc.)

    i would argue that if you are in it for the money, you shouldn't be in entertainment or the arts. this is a great deal of the content available through torrents.

    and besides, since when has a person been able make a creative work, and--if successful--have literally THOUSANDS of fans AROUND THE WORLD!!?? isn't that enough? i mean, who are we "protecting" by enforcing copyrights? certainly not me, and probably not you either

    i am an actor in chicago and new york, and throughout the midwest.

     

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  26.  
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    Thomas, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 3:40pm

    The RIAA did this the first time they sued college students for exchanging files over the network. Someone at RPI in Troy, NY designed "phynd", essentially a network search engine that searched shared network folders. They'll get pirate bay if they want them.... I hate the RIAA

     

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  27.  
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    William, Jan 31st, 2008 @ 6:13pm

    Doesnt google do the same thing?

    When I want a torrent I don't go to pirate bay or any website thats simular. I just go to google and search the name of the file or program I want fallowed by 'torrent'. This gives me a list of websites that I go through one by one and usually in the first 2-3 I get a result thats exactly what I want.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2008 @ 1:37am

    Re: Perhaps you can't sue

    But your forgetting one key point. They aren't breaking any laws in their country of origin and believe it or not but US law does not apply to the world.

    Long live TPB, as it will no doubt continue to live and propser long after this nonsense trial is over.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2008 @ 2:19am

    there should be an award for companies that gets sued over again like pirate Bay for baseless reasons.

    (i hope that made sense)

     

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  30.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Feb 1st, 2008 @ 5:59am

    Its not illegal AT ALL ANYWHERE

    Why does everybody overlook that?
    As long as you own the musical CD to begin with, you can download it as many times as you like from anywhere. And it will never ever be illegal in any manner.

    So, them offering torrents to help people get music really doesn't mean anything bad. All they would have to do is put up something on their homepage saying that as long as you are using it, you are only downloading the stuff you own a physical copy of.

    How do you think GameCopyWorld.com is still up? They have been online forever. Never once attacked. They have an agreement thing you click on that says you own the game you are getting No-CDs to. I know it is slightly different because they don't offer links to full files. But technically neither does TPB or any torrent search site. They are just torrents. Not the files. The files are all somewhere else.

    I am just curious as to why nobody ever mentions that it is in no way illegal to download something you already own. So why is it in any way illegal to share it just for the people who own a physical copy, but don't have a means to get it onto their own PC? Sure some of the people who download it from you won't actually own it, but you don't have the means to check everybody who gets it for a physical copy.

    And post #29, it did make sense. You are saying they should be compensated for their time that was wasted by idiots.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2008 @ 7:37am

    @Killer_Tofu

    I think that "downloading isn't illegal" is never brought up because no one is ever sued for downloading; they're all sued for "making available." If you put something out in the open, where anyone can get it, there's no guarantee that only legitimate owners are downloading the file.

    I still think it's a tenuous line of argument, but there y'go.

     

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  32.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Feb 1st, 2008 @ 7:46am

    So ..

    why not just have a click thing like some sites do that says you will only download the stuff if you actually own it. IANAL but doesn't that remove some of the "responsibility" from the uploader and move more towards protection under section 230 of the CDA?

     

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  33.  
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    Cixelsid, Feb 1st, 2008 @ 8:36am

    Re:

    "Why not sue google/youtube? They actually host videos."

    Umm, yeah... hold on.. yes... BECAUSE ITS ALREADY BEEN DONE.

    Have you been living in Rosie O'Donnell's fat flaps these last 2 years?

     

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  34.  
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    Cixelsid, Feb 1st, 2008 @ 8:40am

    WTF

    "John Kennedy, chairman and chief executive of global music body, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industries, said: "The operators of The Pirate Bay have always been interested in making money, not music. "

    Yes, as opposed to the virtuous non-money making goals of the International Federation of Phonographic Industries.

     

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  35.  
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    Corey, Feb 2nd, 2008 @ 1:04pm

    Re: So what about public libraries?

    The difference is #1, libraries pay for the movies and books, and #2, you don't own them, you don't get to keep them in your home to have whenever you want.

     

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  36.  
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    Corey, Feb 2nd, 2008 @ 1:11pm

    Re: artists with passion make content (period)

    Are you serious. Money does need to be invested into creative works - do you know what it costs to create a movie or music? If artists stop getting paid a lot of content will stop getting made. People are not going to spend their entire lives losing money on creating products just so you can hear/watch/read them.

     

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  37.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Feb 4th, 2008 @ 5:43am

    Re #36

    Hey Corey, I would like to introduce you to this little web site called YouTube.
    It can be found at:
    www.Youtube.com
    On this site millions of people from around the world have posted their creative works be it mini videos to simple rants, for free.
    And guess what, they expect nothing from it.
    At the very least they invested their time.
    Go check it out, it easily defeats your argument presented in post #36.

     

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  38.  
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    Corey, Feb 4th, 2008 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re #36

    You just proved my point. Let's see, are you going to find the next Citizen Cane or Star Wars there? No. For these movies a lot of money needs to be invested. Do you really want to lose all movies except for the amateur (mostly crap) for the sake of free? Let's face it, the minimal budgets (and in many cases talent) shows on Youtube. And this is what you want as your model for future entertainment?

     

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  39.  
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    Corey, Feb 4th, 2008 @ 8:52am

    Re: Re: Re #36

    Meant to type Citizen Kane

     

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  40.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Feb 4th, 2008 @ 1:01pm

    Your Argument vs the big picture Corey

    You still are ignoring the main point of a lot of Mike's articles on the topic.
    There are many other ways to earn money.
    Trying to take an infinite good and artifically make it scarce just won't work.
    Basic economics 101 wins every time.
    If you read Mike's post (or any other of many previous ones), he offers alternative ways to make money.
    Why the businesses haven't started taking his advice I don't know. Except that they are stubborn. Which is why they are in decline.
    So, you can rant that they still need money. And they will get it. You aren't wrong there. But the idea that they will forever get it the way they do now is wrong.
    There are alternative means. They just have to open their eyes.
    And some already have, although people moving to the new business models seems more prevalent in the music industry than it does the movie industry so far.

     

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  41.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Feb 4th, 2008 @ 1:04pm

    Oh, and more thing

    And I feel the need to also point out that not every movie that comes out that has money poured into it is awesome. Just look at some of the comments above or in any other post along these lines.
    Plenty of commenters feel that most movies made these days are crap.
    And some of the coolest movies I have seen came from independant areas. Like some of the movies seen at the Sundance Film Festival.
    Most of those I would consider junk too, but some are awesome.
    And they have immensely smaller budgets.
    So money can't be said to be the end all be all about how good a movie will be either.
    That also is part of the problem with Hollywood in general at the moment.

     

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  42.  
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    Corey, Feb 4th, 2008 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Your Argument vs the big picture Corey

    My point is the Mike's business model will not work for every "infinite" goods. Some goods have small market - giving the product away for free won't help get many new customers - and some goods that can be had digitally for free have no other products that can be tied too them. I gave the example of history books on another thread. As technology increases, we could very easily get to the point where the majority of books sold are ebooks and are read on some sort of hand held device. If that becomes reality, there is really nothing else for history authors (most authors for that matter) to sell or tie the product too.

    Also, it's not basic economics 101 when theft is involved. The market would be people not purchasing something because the price is to high and instead purchasing a similar product from a competitor or going without - not simply stealing it because they can.

     

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  43.  
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    Corey, Feb 4th, 2008 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Re: Your Argument vs the big picture Corey

    And I really didn't want to get too much into the problems with Mike's business model as a "one size fits all" solution here because its been discussed to death on other boards. I just thought someone needed to respond to the "artists with passion make content (period)" comment and point out that artists need to, and should, get paid.

     

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  44.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Feb 5th, 2008 @ 10:02am

    Corey

    Its not theft. People are not stealing.
    I shouldn't have to point this out.
    It has been beaten to death five times over throughout the past year alone.
    It is copyright infringement.
    Calling it theft weakens your argument, no matter how right or wrong your argument really is.

    In the case of history books. Sure, give away the eBook for free. And then offer an incentive with it to buy the hard cover actual book.

    This specific model might not work in every case, but Mike has suggested quite a few alternative models. It is guarenteed that one of them can work.
    Radiohead released their CD for free with what they stated was an incentive to get people to like the music so that they would actually go out and buy the CD. Sales were through the roof ...

     

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  45.  
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    Scott, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 11:47am

    Oh boo fucking hoo. Many people are doing DAMN good paying for gas and keeping a roof over their heads. Much less health care.

    Dishing out such a ridiculous amount of money for shitty music/movies is just not something many can afford. ALSO, as far as music, huge bands like Metallica..... Am I supposed to cry because his millionaire yuppie ass has to wait a few weeks to get his gold trim for his luxury liner? btw, why is it that they would rather tour with other "big names" than help out and up-n-comers from the scene they came from?

    Back to the point, though, the bands make more money off ticket sales from live shows and other revenues. The main people making money off CDs are corporate executives, of the sort who have been ruining the business. (MTV, anyone?)

    Filesharing helps smaller bands get added exposure, who otherwise might not be heard by many, due to shitty trends by radios and mainstream outlets. (sounding like Nickelback is the 'thing' now) Those bands might see better attendance at shows due to added exposure.

    People losing money on CDs are the ones who NEED to lose that money anyway. Fuck the indu$try. The indu$try has "robbed" music fans for way too long. Grassroots movement. ftw

     

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  46.  
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    Shiro, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 10:27am

    Re:

    Indeed lol this is ridiculous so they could basically search torrent from google and delete everything because every torrent site 100+ sites are doing the same damnnn

     

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  47.  
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    the negro, Mar 10th, 2009 @ 11:18pm

    wouldnt it make more sense to make things like burners and ipods and the things u download music/videos for illegal? cuz isnt it the reproduction of the music/videos that is illegal?

     

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  48.  
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    LemonChicken, Jan 6th, 2011 @ 7:08am

    Re: Perhaps you can't sue

    Yeah, they are probably your best friends, and you probably ratted them out to put them in jail. I bet you were a hall monitor in school, too. Rats have a way of ending up dead, savvy?

     

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  49.  
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    LemonChicken, Jan 6th, 2011 @ 7:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Your Argument vs the big picture Corey

    Nobody here likes you. They all like Mike. How dare you question his business model? His business model was sent by God, to make you angry and post about it you good for nothing pickle thief.

     

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