MPAA/Sony Pictures Realizes That Shutting Down Muni-WiFi Over Single Download Was A Bad Thing

from the back-up dept

Last week, we wrote about the ridiculous situation, whereby the MPAA had an entire muni-WiFi network shut down because one person using that system had downloaded a single film. The story ended up getting a fair amount of press, and it looks like the MPAA and Sony Pictures in particular, quickly realized that this was really, really bad publicity for the company. After the company got bombarded by complaints, Sony Pictures contacted the town and asked them to turn the WiFi back on, while also claiming it could help the town set up tools to block such things in the future. Of course, as Broadband Reports notes in the above link: "Of course if the MPAA and Sony had approached the network owners like human beings in the first place -- instead of engaging in the kind of scorched earth tactics they've employed for several years now -- they probably wouldn't have gotten the bad press to begin with." But, acting like human beings in the first place isn't the sort of thing the industry does well.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 16th, 2009 @ 4:29pm

    I think...

    ...that you have to be a human being before you can really act like one. The industry robots just don't cut it.

     

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

  2.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 16th, 2009 @ 4:29pm

    I think...

    ...that you have to be a human being before you can really act like one. The industry robots just don't cut it.

     

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

  3.  
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    thublihnk (profile), Nov 16th, 2009 @ 4:33pm

    As Jon Stewart would say, "BE A F*CKING PERSON!"

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 4:37pm

    I can't wait for the ACTA treaty, sorry, Executive Decision to be passed. And then we can all be kicked off of the internet.

    I wonder what I'll do with all that free time?

    TIME ISN'T FREE! YOU'RE A STEALER! WE'RE A SOCIETY OF THIEVES!

     

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

  5.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 4:40pm

    This is what happens when you let lawyers run a company.

     

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

  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 4:56pm

    I just wish you guys actually read the story:

    Last week, the network – said to be used by hundreds of people – was completely shut down by the county’s Information Technology Department, after Sony Pictures tracked one user sharing a single movie and issued a complaint.

    The MPAA didn't demand the network by shut down, the County's ITD decided to do it rather than deal with the problem.

    http://freakbits.com/single-movie-download-forces-wi-fi-network-shutdown-1110

    The story is very different when you stop be outraged long enough to understand what happened.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 5:00pm

    Re:

    But they shut it down because of the complaint.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 5:06pm

    Re: Re:

    It's what government entities do. You could probably shut down a few services provided by the government for even a short period just by sending a scary sounding letter.

    That's how government functions. "How can we avoid a lawsuit?"

    A zero-tolerance policy makes sense, to the government.

     

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  9.  
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    Kingster (profile), Nov 16th, 2009 @ 5:09pm

    Re: Re:

    ^^ This. +1.

    AC, you think anyone would have turned off anything if Sony hadn't complained? Doubtful.

    So, I just wish you could add 2 and 2 to get 4.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 5:26pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'm sorry but 2+2=5.

    Every Hollywood accountant knows that.

     

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  11.  
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    Suck it, you dumb chode., Nov 16th, 2009 @ 5:27pm

    Re:

    "The MPAA didn't demand the network by shut down, the County's ITD decided to do it rather than deal with the problem."

    "problem" = Huge Fucking Lawsuit that makes people lose their jobs and costs taxpayers millions.

    Yeah, they probably didn't want to deal with that problem.

     

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  12.  
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    kryptonianjorel (profile), Nov 16th, 2009 @ 5:50pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I can't stand government! Its one thing if little Billy rolls over and gives in to their crazy demands, but when a city falls to these kinds of things, it makes me disgusted. Don't cities have lawyers? or at least people who can tell them that the MPAA can't pin it on them, let alone PROVE that it happened in the first place?

     

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  13.  
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    Patrick (profile), Nov 16th, 2009 @ 5:54pm

    unintended consequences.

     

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

  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 6:07pm

    Re:

    Aside from the fact that the MPAA and other such entities have attacked the third party distributors before?

    "Yeah, we've attacked ISPs and websites before despite the problem being specific users, but don't worry, this time is different!"

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 6:13pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You miss the point - there was no reason to turn it off. Section 230, lalalala, you know the song, sing along.

    They decides to turn it off. Sony didn't turn it off.

     

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  16.  
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    Amazing, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 6:19pm

    What the ... ?

    Since when has Sony or the MPAA ever been concerned with their public image?

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 6:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    They shut it off.

    Together!

    End scene.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 6:22pm

    Re: Sony

    Having dealt with Sony, the RIAA, the MPAA, and other "rights" bodies for more than 15 years, I can tell you from a personal perspective that I completely agree with the IT department on this one. Better to shut off a useful service to thousands of people over the malfeasance of one than to deal with the "Rights" bodies for even fifteen minutes.

    Sony is THE reason I cut off all consumption of Intellectual Property in my household in March for music and video.

    We do not watch movies on the web. We do not watch movies from cable. We do not have a working broadcast television. We only buy DVD's from the used market, and sparingly at that. We do not EVER buy Sony movies, and we do not have CD's of Sony acts. I avoid purchasing any electronics with Sony IP in it - in fact, I will not buy a Blu-Ray player for just that reason.

    I take nothing from Sony, I give nothing to Sony. Sony does not exist in my world. I find it's a better place so. I do not urge others to follow my course, but for me, it works.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 6:23pm

    To the troll who keeps inserting swipes at Hollywood into your comments I just have one thing to say to you:

    "I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone." - The Greatest Shill of All Time

     

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  20.  
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    Nina Paley (profile), Nov 16th, 2009 @ 6:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, Hollywood accountants know that 2 + 2 = 0. Oh my God there's no money!!!

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 6:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But this strategy worked on the really well and for damn cheap. Hardly any extra man hours except for the towns PR department.

    The city management didn't want to fight that lawsuit. They just shut the Muni Wifi down and blamed the bastards at the MPAA and Sony. The press picks up the story about the bastards harassing this small town out of muni wifi. Lots of people call Sony and the MPAA Bastards to their face. They don't like being called bastards. Sony and the MPAA fold. No court costs.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 7:46pm

    Re: What the ... ?

    I'll be pedantic that say that "Sony or the MPAA" isn't quite right. Now if you say "Sony, et al." in place of that four-letter acronym...

     

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  23.  
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    Sirknz, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 8:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No no no, you are all wrong, 2+2=zomfg!!!!!!Piracy!!!!! Burn them! Burn them all with fire now!

     

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

  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 16th, 2009 @ 8:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sony will not complain to them again so in the end its a win, win.

     

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  25.  
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    mobiGeek (profile), Nov 16th, 2009 @ 8:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yea, no loss whatsoever for the city.

    Oh, except for all the citizens that lost internet capability during the outage. You know, the ones who actually are "the city" and who pay for the muni wifi in the first place.

     

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  26.  
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    mobiGeek (profile), Nov 16th, 2009 @ 8:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sony: We're going to break your legal kneecaps
    City: Er...what if we shut it off?
    Sony: We'll see, we'll see.

    Yep, it was the city that shut it off. I'm sure they consulted their bosses in the process. You know, the ones who pay their salaries.

     

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

  27.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 16th, 2009 @ 9:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Section 230, lalalala, you know the song, sing along.

    Huh? Section 230 has nothing to do with this, as it explicitly carves out intellectual property. Section 230 safe harbors are irrelevant here.

    You may have meant the DMCA safe harbors which are different than the Section 230 safe harbors, but if that's the case you're still wrong. That's because one of the major differences in the two safe harbors is that the DMCA one does make you liable if you don't take action.

    So, despite your claim that there was no reason to turn it off, a reading of the DMCA says the opposite.

    Hope that helps clarify things for you.

     

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

  28.  
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    kryptonianjorel (profile), Nov 16th, 2009 @ 10:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Exactly. If a terrorist (and lets face it, the MPAA is right, piracy fuels terrorism) drank water from my garden hose, shouldn't the city shut down all water services too?

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 11:26pm

    It makes you wonder.

    I wonder if hospitals will have their networks shutdown if anybody use them to download anything.

    Could it happen?

    Public services vital to the community having their connections cut off because of intellectual property laws?

    No more teleconferencing and VOIP for business that can't stop everything.

    What is the economic impact of such laws on companies?

     

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

  30.  
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    mike allen (profile), Nov 17th, 2009 @ 12:49am

    Re: Re:

    aha so you admit you work for the bastards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    keep trolling bro

     

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  31.  
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    Call me Al, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 4:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I always love that. On the one hand they say "You people want everything for free!" and on the other they say "Piracy funds terrorism". Seriously they should just pick one, it can't be free and fund terrorism.

     

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

  32.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 17th, 2009 @ 8:26am

    Actually ....

    The rationale behind SONY asking the town to turn the WiFi back on is more than likely a combo of ACTA, 3 strikes over in the UK, and the bad publicity. I mean they cant have these sort of screw ups, and unintended consequenses showing until after the laws have been passed and its almost impossible to fix.

     

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  33.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 17th, 2009 @ 8:38am

    Re: It makes you wonder.

    "Public services vital to the community having their connections cut off because of intellectual property laws?" ie a hospital


    Thats one I hadn't thought of before I will add it to the list ....

    How 14 year old Bobbie was arrested, tried as an adult, raped in jail, now has AIDS, Is going to die, because the Intelectual Property Police got the IP address wrong.

    How because of graduated response, poor little Jills VOIP didnt work and she was raped and murdered because she couldnt call for help.

    How a poor 90 year old lady named Beatrice lost her house because of she was accused of file sharing and didnt even have and internet connection.

    Hospital having its internet access cut off preventing test results from being received causing flesh eatting bacteria to kill a person.

    Police station having its internet access cut off disabling 911 services during an emergency resulting in the death of hundreds.

     

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

  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 10:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But the MPAA are the terrorists.

     

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

  35.  
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    Jeffrey Nonken, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 11:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    2+2=5 for very large values of 2.

     

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

  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 18th, 2009 @ 4:58am

    Sony Pictures in particular, quickly realized that this was really, really bad publicity for the company. After the company got bombarded by complaints

    Sony used to be a well respected, quality brand name, but given their ignorance, arrogance and incompetence the past decade (everything from the rootkit debacle, to several major recalls, to their "fansite" scams) I think a lot of people are starting to realize that these days Sony pretty much just sucks.

    Personally, I try to avoid buying anything Sony (at least first hand) as much as possible. Which is often not an easy task given the extent of Sony's business interests.

     

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


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