IsoHunt Loses Big; Court Says: You Induce, You Lose

from the ah,-the-old-inducement-standard dept

One of the many lawsuits against file sharing sites/search engines around the world is the IsoHunt lawsuit -- yet another case where the entertainment industry decided a marginal player in the space didn't have enough attention and sued. While the judge in the case had earlier pointed out that the MPAA failed to show actual evidence of infringement of copyrights by US users on IsoHunt, that still didn't stop the judge from granting summary judgment to the movie studios, saying that because IsoHunt induced infringement, it loses, no trial needed. This isn't a huge surprise, given how courts have ruled previously, but there are some oddities in the ruling, which you can see below:
The court relies on the fact that IsoHunt owner Gary Fung made many statements that could be read as inducing infringement, but most of the statements appear to have been taken out of context. In fact, it looks like the court interpreted any time Fung mentioned "stealing" to mean support for copyright infringement, even if the words he stated were actually suggesting something different. For example, the court cites the following statement by Fung:
"Morally, I'm a Christian. 'Thou shalt not steal.' But to me, even copyright infringement when it occurs may not necessarily be stealing."
The court seems to think this indicates inducement, but if that's the case, then shouldn't the Supreme Court itself be guilty as well for famously stating in the Dowling case:
"(copyright infringement) does not easily equate with theft, conversion, or fraud... The infringer invades a statutorily defined province guaranteed to the copyright holder alone. But he does not assume physical control over copyright; nor does he wholly deprive its owner of its use."
If the first is inducement, isn't the latter as well? Furthermore, the court seems to take a quote that refers to "stealing from leechers" to mean inducing infringement, apparently not recognizing that leechers have a very specific meaning in the BitTorrent world, and the statement appears to have nothing to do with infringing on copyright.

That said, there are some other things that put Fung on much thinner ice, including helping people find certain files and helping explain how trackers work -- though, again, it's not clear that Fung would know for certain that the files being searched for were infringing. The court does find it (reasonably) damning that Fung presented a list of top box office films, with links to pages that asked people to share torrent files that pointed to the films themselves. You can certainly see how that could trigger the "inducement" finding.

But what may be most interesting (or troubling, depending on your perspective) is the court's discussion on the DMCA, which basically says that DMCA safe harbors do not apply if it can be shown that the site turned a blind eye to infringement. If that reasoning is used, it could eventually implicate sites like YouTube, despite rulings like the one in the Veoh case. Expect IsoHunt to appeal, though given the details in the case, it seems quite unlikely that it will prevail. There are too many precedents against this sort of operation, even if the court misinterpreted Fung's statements, which it deems as "most telling" in the ruling.


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  1.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 8:51pm

    Scribd?

    Did they get permission to speak?

    Totally unacceptable.

     

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    The Anti-Mike, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 9:23pm

    Start playing taps...

     

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  3.  
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    MLS, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 10:04pm

    Nice quote from Dowling:

    "(copyright infringement) does not easily equate with theft, conversion, or fraud... The infringer invades a statutorily defined province guaranteed to the copyright holder alone. But he does not assume physical control over copyright; nor does he wholly deprive its owner of its use."

    However, it would have been more illuminating about how the Supreme Court views copyrights and the infringement thereof by continuing the remainder of the quote from Justice Blackmun's majority opinion:

    "While one may colloquially link infringement with some general notion of wrongful appropriation, infringement plainly implicates a more complex set of property interests than does run-of-the-mill theft, conversion, or fraud."

    There is that pesky phrase "property interests". Didn't Justice Blackmun appreciate that "property" may only be associated with "scarcity", or is it possible he and the court were noting that the notion of "property" under law embraces more than merely "scarce" goods?

    As for your mentioning "leechers", the word stated was "lechers" and was in reference by the site owner himself, the defendant, to those "big, bad, holders of copyright" who have the temerity, nay...the audacity, to take umbrage at what freeloaders are doing...getting a copy of something for nothing that they darn well know is not legal.

    Granted, file distribution via P2P, with the assistance of torrent sites, may involve perfectly legal activity where the file being distributed is with the consent of its creator(s). Funny thing, though, the site draws attention to top downloads in various categories...almost all of which represent works protected under copyright. Of course, it also did not help this "white knight" defendant that apparently on numerous occasions he interceded and helped downloaders figure out how to convert downloads into useable form. Only those intent on rationalizing their actions would believe that contributory infringement and active inducement to infringe could never possibly apply to situations such as these.

    I for one do appreciate your economic perspectives on how new technology can be used for one's economic benefit, but am not particularly enthralled to read a constant stream of opinions to the effect "What the heck were these judges thinking? How can they possibly support their decisions?" Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that court decisions are made based upon the evidence presented to the court, which in this case, as the court noted, was virtually nil by the defendant.

    A BT site that merely lists available torrents is one thing, but one where its principals go far beyond mere listings is an open invitation to being hauled into court and finding oneself on the losing end of an indefensible argument whenever matter protected by copyright is involved.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 10:07pm

    The argument that the infringer does not deprive the copyright holder of its use is beside the point. It deprives the copyright holder of *SOME* of its use, as the whole point behind copyright is that it be an exclusive "right to copy"... with everybody else requiring permission. If somebody else is doing it, by the very definition of the word, it's not exclusive anymore, so a proportional measure of the value that the copyright holder places in his copyright is lost (irrevocably).

    Of course, for any one single infringement, the portion of the copyright that is deprived to the copyright holder is pretty insignificant... it is the cumulative effects that can be particularly damaging, and thus may arguably warrant some not insignificant legal consequences to (at least attempt to) deter people from engaging in the activity.

    I don't hold much sympathy for isoHunt, because to the best of my knowledge, there is no legally distributable content on there that is not also distributed on other channels that are just as accessible and authorized by the copyright holder. That said, inducing to infringe is a very slippery slope... arguably the internet itself could be said to be providing such inducement.

    I think that Canada really needs to narrow the scope of their concept of "private use" to exclude copying from works that are not acquired legally in the first place (as determined by Canadian law), so that since uploading copyrighted content without permission unarguably would be illegal, downloading it from a source that had no permission to distribute it would also be.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 10:37pm

    Re:

    There is that pesky phrase "property interests". Didn't Justice Blackmun appreciate that "property" may only be associated with "scarcity", or is it possible he and the court were noting that the notion of "property" under law embraces more than merely "scarce" goods?

    Um, the rest of the quote (which we have used elsewhere, but was not and is not relevant here) still supports the same key point: that it is not theft. The same thing that Fung was saying -- yet which the court interpreted as supporting theft.

    As for your mentioning "leechers", the word stated was "lechers" and was in reference by the site owner himself, the defendant, to those "big, bad, holders of copyright" who have the temerity, nay...the audacity, to take umbrage at what freeloaders are doing...getting a copy of something for nothing that they darn well know is not legal.

    Yes, he did say "lechers" but it seems pretty clear from the context that he meant "leechers" (most of that sentence is misspelled). Nowhere does it suggest he meant "big, bad, holders of copyright." In fact, he explicitly denies that in that sentence.

    I for one do appreciate your economic perspectives on how new technology can be used for one's economic benefit, but am not particularly enthralled to read a constant stream of opinions to the effect "What the heck were these judges thinking? How can they possibly support their decisions?"

    Apparently you are reading a different post. Because in this post I said that the decision was supported and expected. I did not suggest that the overall ruling was incorrect. I only questioned some of the internal reasoning -- which is clearly incorrect, despite your weak attempt above to support it.

    I am amazed, MLS, that you constantly attack me, falsely claiming I have not read supporting documentation, and here is clear that you either have not read my post, or that you have chosen to ignore the points I raise as yet another opportunity to attack.

    As for the claim that he clearly was encouraging these activities, I am not entirely sure how you support that statement. There were those lists -- yes, but how was he to know if they were willingly put there or not. Many content creators these days are purposely putting their content on file sharing networks. How was he to know which was the case here?

    And throughout the supporting documentation, nowhere did he actively encourage people to infringe on copyright. The questions he answered were technical questions, that -- yes -- could lead to infringement, but none of his actions were "hey, you should break the law" type statements.

    I am not at all surprised by the judge's decision here, and as I said (despite your apparent ability to skip over that part), it does seem reasonable given many of the facts. But I did take issue with certain aspects of the ruling not because I'm intend to mock every judge, but because the judge got it wrong.

     

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    Laurel L. Russwurm (profile), Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 11:10pm

    “the MPAA failed to show actual evidence of infringement of copyrights by US users on IsoHunt ”

    I have a big problem with criminal charges unsupported by evidence. Call me crazy. but I believe in archaic legal ideas like "innocent until proven guilty".

    @Anonymous Coward: so long as there's that CD levy Canadians are within their rights to download music.

    (As one who lost 6 months worth of photo restoration work when my hard drive died this really annoys me because >I

     

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    Laurel L. Russwurm (profile), Dec 23rd, 2009 @ 11:37pm

    ...

    (As one who lost 6 months worth of photo restoration work when my hard drive died this really annoys me because >I

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 12:16am

    This is another "Al Capone" case. If you can't get him for being a mafia boss, get him for tax evasion. Just pin *anything* on him so he's taken out of the picture.

    Sure, they took the "bad" guy out, but what got undermined in the process may be far more important than that: if basic human rights are violated on whim and people are found guilty based of random claims... where are we going?

     

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  9.  
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    Laurel L. Russwurm (profile), Dec 24th, 2009 @ 12:27am

    3rd time's the charm...

    [OK... I just figured out the problem; please ignore the other two aborted comments... ]

    “the MPAA failed to show actual evidence of infringement of copyrights by US users on IsoHunt ”


    I have a big problem with criminal charges unsupported by evidence.

    Call me crazy, but I believe in archaic legal ideas like "innocent until proven guilty".

    @Anonymous Coward: so long as there's that CD levy Canadians are within their rights to download music.

    (As one who lost 6 months worth of photo restoration work when my hard drive died this really annoys me because I have made mountains of CD backups of digital photos and digital imaging work. Since this money is supposed to go to the music interests, from my point of view, THEY are stealing from ME.)

    Copyright should be the exclusive non-transferable right of creators, not corporations.

    Corporations don't create.

     

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  10.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 24th, 2009 @ 3:13am

    Whatever the reasoning for the ruling, that doesn't change the fact that this is still an ineffectual ruling. As long as the demand for pirated content is there, it will be pirated. Among those I know who do so and used Mininova, it took roughly 30 seconds for them to find another source after Mininova removed its content. I suspect the same is true for ISOhunt users.

    Suing downloaders is also ineffectual, as they literally can't get everybody, as there's no such thing as us vs. them here - most of those downloading are also legitimate customers. The trick is to convince people to buy legally. They've tried forcing artificially high prices on digital content, anti-consumer EULAs, DRM, region locks, double dipping, proprietary formats and blocking legal imports. If they can now concentrate on giving people what they want, they might get the returns they're after. Else the game of whack a mole will continue ad infinitum.

     

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  11.  
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    Sam I Am, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 4:15am

    Just as it ever was

    Actually, the most interesting aspect of this case is not the DMCA interpretation but rather, the remarkable and meticulous way an entire decade has been dedicated to sorting just these kinds of legal/moral details, unprecedented until the Digital age. It’s taken 10 years for this kind of summary judgment to manifest, and that's a good thing.

    While infringers and their supporters engage in the self-defeating semantic swordplay of the anarchist, and while certain self-reverential pontificates intone about how the judges "get it wrong", government and industry has moved with intelligence and delicacy, in the tiniest of increments, always protecting liberty, always holding privacy sacred until it is overwhelmingly demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that certain privacies are no longer respected nor used with deliberate caution by the people, and so these privileges will be lost in our digital future. So be it. We had our chances and we used those chances to develop and orchestrate the largest industrial ransacking in human history, and history will not be kind. This sort of unethical and infringing behavior, like most adolescent rebellion, will one day look very shortsighted, and eventually very foolish.

    The whack a mole will not go on forever, either, not at the previous scale. The ISP’s will be moved into accountability, vpn/encryption will become licensed tools and the long, time-tested notion of paying for merchandise in any format, or paying the consequences, will carry on as usual. The internet will eventually reflect the laws and their even-handed limitations just as our day-to-day life presently does. Just as it ever was. And those of you handwringing on the sidelines desperate for durable signs of corporate destruction will leave deeply disappointed. Ah well.

     

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    AJ, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 4:29am

    Same old story.....

    This “whack a mole” approach to controlling content is destined to fail. You cannot fix a problem without addressing the actual cause of the problem, which in this case, is that customers are not happy with what they are getting by legal means.

    What is really happening behind the scenes is that the big guys are going away, and being replaced by smaller, more secure file sharing networks. These networks are much harder to find, get into, and therefore take down. It reminds me of the game Asteroids. Instead of one big target you have a lot of smaller faster moving targets. The more you shoot, the faster and smaller the targets get. Sure they may put a temporary dent in file sharing, but in the end, they are just pissing off potential customers and making the problem worse.

     

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  13.  
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    Modplan (profile), Dec 24th, 2009 @ 5:09am

    Re: Just as it ever was

    Nice day dream. I had a dream once involving puppets I had seen at a school assembly chasing me through my house when I was very young.

    Thank God dreams aren't real.

     

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  14.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 24th, 2009 @ 5:28am

    Re: Just as it ever was

    That was vary pretty language, but a pile of shit in a $2,000 suit is still a pile of shit, even if it looks good.

    I take it you don't read what is written here and elsewhere about what is happening recently. If you did, you would never have spent all that time with a thesaurus just to make your words sound like they aren't lies.

    Vary well done by the way, but it doesn't work when the reader has the vocabulary to understand words like "pontificate".

     

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  15.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 24th, 2009 @ 6:05am

    Re:

    Oh Alex, you're such a silly guy.

    Love,

    Tim aka Dark Helmet

     

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    The Anti-Mike, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 6:12am

    Re:

    It isn't whack a mole anymore, as judgements like this not only whack the mole, they also block the hole that the mole came out of, and every similar hole in that area.

    This judgement sets the bar fairly low, no longer is it required to show actual infringement, just that both infringing files could be accessed via the site and that people were encouraged or induced to share / make available. That pretty much means that any torrent site with a chat board, comments, or anything like that would be pretty much in trouble(because someone would be inducing someone). Heck, just listing the torrents (or having a toplist, example) might be enough to qualify as inducing.

    I would say that this ruling would make it pretty hard to have any sort of torrent site inside the US, unless it is an entirely "legal torrent" site with all the material checked and confirmed.

    Play taps, some things may be over.

     

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  17.  
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    wallow-T, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 6:24am

    sam i am

    Sam I Am, friend of Big Content, writes:

    "The ISP’s will be moved into accountability,"

    Perhaps, though it is difficult to see what that would look like. One of the key reasons for the DMCA was that copyright accountability, of the sort enforced against IsoHunt, is DESIGNED TO DESTROY BUSINESSES. Having key parts of the telecom infrastructure seized due to copyright infringement by users is likely to be viewed as an undesirable outcome in some quarters. And, there will always be copyright infringement by users.

    "vpn/encryption will become licensed tools..."

    Ha ha ha. Encryption is spreading like wildfire. In my semiprofessional life I work on application delivery issues, and the demand for encrypted services is outstripping anything we'd budgeted for. Start thinking about a network where 80-90% of the traffic is encrypted.

    "and the long, time-tested notion of paying for merchandise in any format, or paying the consequences, will carry on as usual."

    From the viewpoint of the consumer, Radio and TV put an end to the idea that audio/visual content had to be paid for. What had to be paid for was the containers, the physical copies.

     

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    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 24th, 2009 @ 6:38am

    Re: Just as it ever was

    "Actually, the most interesting aspect of this case is not the DMCA interpretation but rather, the remarkable and meticulous way an entire decade has been dedicated to sorting just these kinds of legal/moral details, unprecedented until the Digital age. It’s taken 10 years for this kind of summary judgment to manifest, and that's a good thing."

    An ostentatious start, so many words to say 'I think this is good'. Perhaps if you said why 10 years is significant you might not seem to be merely dressing up your pontification.

    "While infringers and their supporters engage in the self-defeating semantic swordplay of the anarchist, and while certain self-reverential pontificates intone about how the judges "get it wrong", government and industry has moved with intelligence and delicacy, in the tiniest of increments, always protecting liberty, always holding privacy sacred until it is overwhelmingly demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that certain privacies are no longer respected nor used with deliberate caution by the people, and so these privileges will be lost in our digital future. So be it. We had our chances and we used those chances to develop and orchestrate the largest industrial ransacking in human history, and history will not be kind. This sort of unethical and infringing behavior, like most adolescent rebellion, will one day look very shortsighted, and eventually very foolish."

    I read, and I read and I read and apart from noticing your lack of a spell checker I have failed to find anything worth addressing in this paragraph. Here's a suggestion: try to include something other than your opinion in your ramblings otherwise people might not take you seriously. For example you could back up "overwhelmingly demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt" with a citation of some sort.

    "The whack a mole will not go on forever, either, not at the previous scale. The ISP’s will be moved into accountability, vpn/encryption will become licensed tools and the long, time-tested notion of paying for merchandise in any format, or paying the consequences, will carry on as usual. The internet will eventually reflect the laws and their even-handed limitations just as our day-to-day life presently does. Just as it ever was. And those of you handwringing on the sidelines desperate for durable signs of corporate destruction will leave deeply disappointed. Ah well."

    Three paragraphs and I'm inclined to agree with the comment about day dreaming. Don't you recall any actual events or other facts that might back up your assertions?

     

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    robin, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 6:39am

    blame canada

    silly question: while a u.s. summary judgement enters the available legal discussion and precedents down here, what practical, on-the-ground effect does it have in a separate sovereign nation (canada)? and a canadian national's desire to operate a website?

     

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    Always Free, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 6:51am

    Piracy is invincible, for better or worse

    Concerning: The ISP’s will be moved into accountability, vpn/encryption will become licensed tools and the long, time-tested notion of paying for merchandise in any format, or paying the consequences, will carry on as usual.

    You must be kidding. Old copies of TrueCrypt, small VPNs, things like that will never be totally eradicated. In the future, there will also be wholesale trading of entire data BluRays and inexpensive multi-terrabyte hard drives to deal with. "I'll trade you this drive with ten thousand albums for your drive with a thousand movies".

     

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  21.  
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    Ron, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 6:53am

    Re: Re:

    This took me 20 seconds to do, why cant you check facts yourself?

    Results 1 - 10 of about 160,000,000 for torrents

    Start wacking tard!!

     

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  22.  
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    AJ, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 6:57am

    Re: Re:

    "It isn't whack a mole anymore, as judgements like this not only whack the mole, they also block the hole that the mole came out of, and every similar hole in that area."

    You can't block a hole you can't find, or that moves around everytime you think you have it blocked. You can't keep the hole from forming as you don't own the ground it's on.... even if you find the site, it moves before you can do anything about it.... what, your going to go after millions of users? It's been tried, and failed.

    My point was (and missed I may add) that you cannot defeat a problem unless you fix the cause. Give the people what they want, and figure out how to make money in doing so. Then, there is no need to close the hole as there is no desire for anyone to create one in the first place.

     

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    The Anti-Mike, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 7:05am

    Re: Re: Re:

    you cannot defeat a problem unless you fix the cause.

    The cause is simple, discussed here many times: people think they can get away with it, so they do it. They know it isn't right, they know they are getting something they shouldn't have for nothing, and yet they do it because they think they can get away with it.

    If you don't think so, please consider what has happened in Sweden following the IPRED laws and PB judgements. Suddenly music sales are way up. Isn't that odd? If they just had moved to another hole, that wouldn't be the case, would it?

    I know it's hard to admit, but more and more, the holes are being filled in and blocked, making it less and less desirable for the average citizen to pirate stuff.

     

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    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 24th, 2009 @ 7:13am

    Re:

    "There is that pesky phrase "property interests". Didn't Justice Blackmun appreciate that "property" may only be associated with "scarcity", or is it possible he and the court were noting that the notion of "property" under law embraces more than merely "scarce" goods?"

    How strange, you seem to imply that when the courts talk about intellectual property they are referring to (in regard to copyright) the copies as well as or rather than the right. Intellectual property is most definitely scarce by nature but the goods it covers (the copies) are not necessarily so (if they were they would likely be covered by existing property laws). When Mike talks about scarcity he is talking economics, not property law. Your quote quite well backs up what Mike has been saying all along, which is different to what you seem to have supposed he means.

    "Granted, file distribution via P2P, with the assistance of torrent sites, may involve perfectly legal activity where the file being distributed is with the consent of its creator(s). Funny thing, though, the site draws attention to top downloads in various categories...almost all of which represent works protected under copyright."

    This seems irrelevant? You could not sue google on the basis of which sites it lists first so why should you be able to sue Isohunt on the basis of which torrents it lists first.

    "Of course, it also did not help this "white knight" defendant that apparently on numerous occasions he interceded and helped downloaders figure out how to convert downloads into useable form."

    Would not those distributing help files for the torrent programs be equally liable in that case?

    "Only those intent on rationalizing their actions would believe that contributory infringement and active inducement to infringe could never possibly apply to situations such as these."

    I cannot find where anyone has said that those things could not apply to situations such as these. They may have said that they could not apply in the way which you want them to apply, but that is not the same thing.

    "I for one do appreciate your economic perspectives on how new technology can be used for one's economic benefit, but am not particularly enthralled to read a constant stream of opinions to the effect "What the heck were these judges thinking? How can they possibly support their decisions?" Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that court decisions are made based upon the evidence presented to the court, which in this case, as the court noted, was virtually nil by the defendant."

    Don't read it then, this is Mike's site and I for one appreciate his opinion and will support his efforts by voice and wallet as long as that continues. Of course you could always start a fund to pay to shut him up for a year.

    "A BT site that merely lists available torrents is one thing, but one where its principals go far beyond mere listings is an open invitation to being hauled into court and finding oneself on the losing end of an indefensible argument whenever matter protected by copyright is involved."

    Indefensible in that court room maybe, but we are not in any court room we are on a blog so I fail to see why we shouldn't disagree.

     

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    Sam I Am, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 7:20am

    Friend of big content lol

    "Friend of big content"? That's hilarious. Anyone who's been following along knows I'm no ally of the cartels. And I've been offering alt contracts and work agreements outside the industry clutches for years, decades, but doing it LEGALLY, while you myopic "civil libertarians" think it's a good idea to grab some free stuff before the governments have had enough and bring large hammers down.

    My point all along is that there are ways to regain market control and wide scale infringement is not one of them. You hand the high cards to the industries that way and anyone who thinks "they'll never stop me, 'cause I'm using encryption" doesn't understand the technical aspects that the ISP's are currently being forced to ponder, nor do they have access to the rough drafts of legislation that are coming. Stand by. You'll see them soon enough. Like I said, this is delicately incremental because it should be.

    But we're being turned into outlaws as the new laws are being written. Are you actually watching the trends forward? Do you think the IsoHunt summary is some sort of odd anomaly? Do you expect a reversal so you can go on infringing? Oh really? What makes you think network access is some sort of right? Like driving a car, it's a suspendable privilege. What are you gonna do? Start an underworld online clique specializing in unlawful activity in the name of "freedom"? Most of you just sound so shallow and so pointlessly dumb. History, should you care to take a glance, never supported anything like piracy in the larger, longer picture and the trends ahead are clear to everyone but the boorish "you can't stop me" crowd. Fung's the new poster boy and punishments haven't even gotten started yet. His appeal should be entertaining. Can you say Internet levy? Personally, I'd prefer to respect a price tag--take it or leave it--and still retain my freedom.

    Hope you enjoy your big harddrives full of pilfered merchandise. You are trading our liberties for it.

     

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    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 24th, 2009 @ 7:21am

    Re: Piracy is invincible, for better or worse

    "You must be kidding. Old copies of TrueCrypt, small VPNs, things like that will never be totally eradicated. In the future, there will also be wholesale trading of entire data BluRays and inexpensive multi-terrabyte hard drives to deal with. "I'll trade you this drive with ten thousand albums for your drive with a thousand movies"."

    Yes, the idea of restricting access to open source software by licensing seems implausible. If people can get away with sharing copyrighted files then they can get away with sharing restricted software. The only way they could police it is to make the act of using encryption restricted which would raise the question of how to tell the difference between legal and illegal encryption.

     

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    Travis, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 7:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Anti-Mike, the IPRED results have been discussed here previously. After IPRED, encrypted traffic in Sweden shot to the same levels as former P2P levels (pretty much confirms that the "mole" just went underground.) Also, sales went up because more convenient, cheap, and reliable services became available there. Many pirates will pay as long as the content is delivered how/when they want it at a reasonable cost.

     

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    AJ, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 7:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You really need to follow your own advice Anti-Mike.... I did look up the IPRED laws... indeed you are correct, right after those laws were passed, file sharing showed a huge decrease, music sales were up 18% holy cow!

    But then we have now:

    "But after the feverish downloading at the end of March and the abrupt decline in April, file sharing has steadily recovered. Several weeks ago, Internet traffic passed the previous all-time high, reported in March."

    "At the same time, Internet security company McAfee estimates that the number of file-sharing sites has exploded by 300 percent since the spring. The decisive factor was the Pirate Bay trial in March, when many believed that the Pirate Bay site would be shut down, according to McAfee."

    "“All together, even with a conservative estimate of increased traffic together with the increased number of sites and more options, you can say that file sharing is healthier than ever,” Schollin said."



    Get out your whack a mole club, were going to be busy as hell...

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 24th, 2009 @ 7:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "If you don't think so, please consider what has happened in Sweden following the IPRED laws and PB judgements. Suddenly music sales are way up."

    If true, that's actually an interesting point to consider, but one thing I'd be curious about is what happens if you lengthen the timeframe being examined. For instance, after the whole Napster debacle, was there a similar rise in music sales for a time while the less tech saavy were in between using Napster and discovering bit torrent en masse?

    If so, it seems we need only wait for the next filesharing innovation before those numbers in Sweeden will reverse yet again.

    Either way, willfull illegal downloading ought to be avoided. There are too many places to go for cheap/free entertainment that boycotting is the better option anyway....

     

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  30.  
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    MLS, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 7:51am

    Re: Re:

    Yes, he did say "lechers" but it seems pretty clear from the context that he meant "leechers" (most of that sentence is misspelled). Nowhere does it suggest he meant "big, bad, holders of copyright." In fact, he explicitly denies that in that sentence.

    It was the usage of "they" and "them", "they" being used to reference the defendant's accusers, and "them" being used to associate such accusers with "lechers". Add to this that the word "lechers" appeared in a quote by the defendant, his certain familiarity with the distinction between "lechers" and "leechers", and the absence of "(sic)" after "lechers", and the only reasonable conclusion is that the word was used in reference to rights holders and not in reference to a particular class of P2P users.

    As for the defendant's actions that most certainly did not help his cause, the section bridging pages 12 and 13 is telling.

    And, yes, I did read all of your article and your comment that the decision was not a surprise given other rulings in matters such as this, but your comment was in large measure watered down by your subsequent dicussion of perceived failures by the judge to understand the evidence. Frankly, based upon what is set out in the opinion it seems clear to me that the judge was well aware of the evidence and its import and decided accordingly.

     

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    AJ, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 8:03am

    Re: Friend of big content lol

    I would agree with you in a way... but

    Most of the people that I know that pirate movies/music would much rather have obtained them in a legal fashion. I don't think its so much a "they'll never stop me....What are you gonna do?" question, but more of a "I need to be able to do with it what i want, and get it at a reasonable price" statement.

    I think when we reach the point where the media companies start getting it right, and I honestly think they will eventually, piracy will no longer be needed by the mainstream consumer and will all but go away. It won't happen because of laws, it will happen because the consumers forking over the money will no longer think its needed or worth the effort.

    I admit however, you will always have your "underworld online clique" guys, but something tells me there impact will be close to zero.

     

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  32.  
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    MLS, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 8:20am

    Re: Friend of big content lol

    Your comments are insightful, well thought out, and thoughtfully presented. It is disappointing that their thrust is lost on many who have commented disapprovingly.

    In may regards this entire "movement" of coping freebies reminds me of school classrooms where entire classes are punished because of the actions of a few. While I have no data in support, most younger persons I know do not engage it active P2P distribution as a way around having to pay for content. They do try to follow the law. Unfortunately, the laws currently on the books are there precisely because of the miscreants thumbing their noses at the law. Funny, but I have never seen rights holders complain when new technologies are used to distribute non-infringing matter. It is infringing matter as to which their efforts are directed.

    Raise the word "moral" and invective will surely follow. Yet, what we have seen starting about the time of Napster is the equivalent of a lengthy morality play, and in the long run morality and ethical behavior will for the most part win out, the protestations of diehard distributors of rights protected to the contrary notwithstanding.

     

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    Plektrum Filtrum, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 8:23am

    A curious assertion


    in the long run morality and ethical behavior will for the most part win out
    ------------------------------

    Yes, as it always has.

     

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    VancouverDave, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 8:25am

    US Law in Canada

    The commenters here here seem to assume that this ruling has some sort of force. For your information,US law does not apply in Canada until the cheque made out to the Conservative Party has cleared the bank.

     

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  35.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 24th, 2009 @ 8:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "They know it isn't right, they know they are getting something they shouldn't have for nothing, and yet they do it because they think they can get away with it."

    I thank you for caring enough to decide my motivations for me. I should submit that maybe I perhaps might not agree with your plans for my brain.

    "If you don't think so, please consider what has happened in Sweden following the IPRED laws and PB judgements. Suddenly music sales are way up. Isn't that odd? If they just had moved to another hole, that wouldn't be the case, would it?"

    How does that back up your accusation about my motivations for using bit torrent? I'm not even Swedish and if I was I wouldn't necessarily be in those numbers you didn't quote, regardless of whether the numbers mean what you want them to.

    "I know it's hard to admit, but more and more, the holes are being filled in and blocked, making it less and less desirable for the average citizen to pirate stuff."

    Personally I don't have any desire for anyone to pirate anything, all being well the crime wouldn't exist. I suggest you look to the war on drugs for an example of the effectiveness of making things illegal without compelling reason.

     

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    IshmaelDS (profile), Dec 24th, 2009 @ 8:59am

    Re: US Law in Canada

    I was just about to make a comment regarding that. Am I missing something or does this really make no difference to the site? Or does some part of NAFTA apply here? or some other treaty?

     

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  37.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 24th, 2009 @ 9:43am

    Re: Friend of big content lol

    ""Friend of big content"? That's hilarious. Anyone who's been following along knows I'm no ally of the cartels. And I've been offering alt contracts and work agreements outside the industry clutches for years, decades, but doing it LEGALLY, while you myopic "civil libertarians" think it's a good idea to grab some free stuff before the governments have had enough and bring large hammers down."

    The tired old 'the law comes first!' argument. Adhering to the law is a personal choice. To think that it makes you somehow better is to ignore history that has shown the folly of blindly following law and the benefit of standing up for what you believe in despite the threat of law enforcement. Kudos for you to doing things within the law to have what you believe to be a positive effect but get over the whole good citizen mantra unless you're prepared to argue against how our civilisation has been built on ignoring laws people have disagreed with.

    "My point all along is that there are ways to regain market control and wide scale infringement is not one of them. You hand the high cards to the industries that way and anyone who thinks "they'll never stop me, 'cause I'm using encryption" doesn't understand the technical aspects that the ISP's are currently being forced to ponder, nor do they have access to the rough drafts of legislation that are coming. Stand by. You'll see them soon enough. Like I said, this is delicately incremental because it should be."

    I would be interested in details for this market regulation you allude to.

    As for your lawful methods, you seem to be suggesting that herding cats is a possibility. While you may despise individuals for not being strategic and 'seeing the big picture'.. that's because they're not an army and have no leader. Whether or not your strategy would work is something I'd question, if not for the impossibility of trying to get millions of individuals with no common obligation to adhere to a strategy in the first place.

    "But we're being turned into outlaws as the new laws are being written. Are you actually watching the trends forward? Do you think the IsoHunt summary is some sort of odd anomaly? Do you expect a reversal so you can go on infringing? Oh really? What makes you think network access is some sort of right? Like driving a car, it's a suspendable privilege. What are you gonna do? Start an underworld online clique specializing in unlawful activity in the name of "freedom"? Most of you just sound so shallow and so pointlessly dumb. History, should you care to take a glance, never supported anything like piracy in the larger, longer picture and the trends ahead are clear to everyone but the boorish "you can't stop me" crowd. Fung's the new poster boy and punishments haven't even gotten started yet. His appeal should be entertaining. Can you say Internet levy? Personally, I'd prefer to respect a price tag--take it or leave it--and still retain my freedom."

    Ok, now you're just bitter and abusive. Ironic for someone who wants everyone else to cooperate and 'do the right thing'. I suggest you test your notion of people being capable of being inherently lawful by going around and displaying that sort of attitude to a strangers face.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 24th, 2009 @ 10:26am

    Re: Just as it ever was

    While infringers and their supporters engage in the self-defeating semantic swordplay of the anarchist, and while certain self-reverential pontificates intone about how the judges "get it wrong", government and industry has moved with intelligence and delicacy, in the tiniest of increments, always protecting liberty, always holding privacy sacred until it is overwhelmingly demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that certain privacies are no longer respected nor used with deliberate caution by the people, and so these privileges will be lost in our digital future. So be it.

    Someone is living in an alternate reality. It has been clear for quite some time that industry and government has not cared one whit about protecting liberty or privacy when it comes to propping up a deceased and beaten business model.

    We had our chances and we used those chances to develop and orchestrate the largest industrial ransacking in human history, and history will not be kind. This sort of unethical and infringing behavior, like most adolescent rebellion, will one day look very shortsighted, and eventually very foolish.

    I'll make you a bet: 25 years from now, when file sharing networks are common and accepted and people use them for promotional purposes -- and the entertainment industry is thriving, you'll eat this post?

    If, magically, laws you helped write get put in place and actually stop the unstoppable march of technological progress? I'll eat this post.

    The whack a mole will not go on forever, either, not at the previous scale.

    Good luck with that. Can you name a single technology that industry freaked out about that did not eventually survive and thrive?

    The ISP’s will be moved into accountability vpn/encryption will become licensed tools and the long, time-tested notion of paying for merchandise in any format, or paying the consequences, will carry on as usual.

    Aha. Sam apparently has little grasp of basic economics or history. So be it. He is siding with the wrong side, and it must be painful. No surprise that he likes to stop by here and lash out every so often.

    Ah well.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 24th, 2009 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It was the usage of "they" and "them", "they" being used to reference the defendant's accusers, and "them" being used to associate such accusers with "lechers". Add to this that the word "lechers" appeared in a quote by the defendant, his certain familiarity with the distinction between "lechers" and "leechers", and the absence of "(sic)" after "lechers", and the only reasonable conclusion is that the word was used in reference to rights holders and not in reference to a particular class of P2P users.

    The absence of (sic) is because the court misunderstood, and did not realize he was talking about leechers. MLS, you are wrong. Just as the court did, you have misread the statement. He makes it clear *in that very statement* that he is NOT talking about the copyright holders. I can understand how one who does not pay attention to the way folks who live in that world talk might misconstrue the statement, but trust me on this one, you are flat-out wrong. He is talking about leechers. Not the copyright holders. The court got that wrong. As did you.

    And, yes, I did read all of your article and your comment that the decision was not a surprise given other rulings in matters such as this, but your comment was in large measure watered down by your subsequent dicussion of perceived failures by the judge to understand the evidence.

    That is because he did not understand the evidence I discussed. I don't deny he understood some of the other parts of it, but there was no use writing "why yes, he understood the difference between a torrent and a tracker."

    But the parts I said he got wrong, he got wrong. Very wrong. And it makes the judge look silly to take such quotes totally out of context. It really weakens what otherwise could have been a pretty strong decision.

     

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    MLS, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 10:33am

    Re: Re: Friend of big content lol

    Rather than criticizing the commenter for not knowing your motivation, why not take the next logical step and state what your motivation comprises?

    As for you view of law, there are ways to affect change within the bounds of law. What you appear to advocate is for people to pick and choose what laws they will obey and what laws they will not. Fine...do not obey a law with which you disagree and which you are not prepared to take the effort to change it. If you happen to be caught, all your protestations about the fundamental unfairness of the law and its lack of economic rationality will very likely fall on deaf ears, as well they should.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 24th, 2009 @ 10:40am

    Re: Friend of big content lol

    My point all along is that there are ways to regain market control and wide scale infringement is not one of them. You hand the high cards to the industries that way and anyone who thinks "they'll never stop me, 'cause I'm using encryption" doesn't understand the technical aspects that the ISP's are currently being forced to ponder, nor do they have access to the rough drafts of legislation that are coming. Stand by. You'll see them soon enough. Like I said, this is delicately incremental because it should be.

    Matt Mason has an entire book of examples to the contrary. Your entire premise is based on a simple incorrect assumption: that infringement must be morally wrong. And yet, history has shown that new technology often allows things that are first thought to be morally wrong, but that as more and more people use them, it is realized that it was just a business model problem, and the industry adjusts (well, some of it goes out of business, but smarter folks take their place) and the world moves on -- with that technology now accepted.

    But we're being turned into outlaws as the new laws are being written. Are you actually watching the trends forward? Do you think the IsoHunt summary is some sort of odd anomaly? Do you expect a reversal so you can go on infringing?

    Again, look at history. There are always last gasp efforts to change the laws to "protect" the old businesses. You used to have to have someone walking in front of your car waving two red flags to "protect pedestrians." But technology and what it allows wins out in the end.

    You should watch out, or you might get run over.

    While I do not support infringing, I do recognize that it is NOT a moral question for most. They do not see anything immoral at all about listening to and sharing their favorite music. In fact, they think it's odd that anyone could think that sharing such joy could be immoral. That generation is growing up. While your generation apparently is unable to rewire your brains to understand the economics of digital goods -- and thus react by trying to muck up the system with artificial scarcity, the next generation will quickly knock over any artificial barriers you set up.

    Progress does not stop for lawyers in suits.


    Hope you enjoy your big harddrives full of pilfered merchandise. You are trading our liberties for it.


    We shall see. With each liberty removed, the pushback gets stronger and stronger and stronger.

    You are on the wrong side of history and that's a dangerous place to be.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 24th, 2009 @ 10:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Friend of big content lol

    Fine...do not obey a law with which you disagree and which you are not prepared to take the effort to change it. If you happen to be caught, all your protestations about the fundamental unfairness of the law and its lack of economic rationality will very likely fall on deaf ears, as well they should.

    I assume you felt that way about Rosa Parks as well.

    Sickening stuff.

    The technology has changed. People are using the technology in a positive way that increases the overall pie and increases the overall business opportunities. But because a few small minded lawyers in suits can't understand basic economics, they support increasingly draconian laws to make what the technology allows illegal?

    Historically, this happens, but it never lasts. MLS, once again, you are on the wrong side of history.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 24th, 2009 @ 10:52am

    Re: Re: Friend of big content lol

    Your comments are insightful, well thought out, and thoughtfully presented. It is disappointing that their thrust is lost on many who have commented disapprovingly.

    No, the thrust is clear. It's just wrong. Historically it is no surprise that legacy obsolete businesses that have been around will push for laws to protect their position. You can find it throughout modern history.

    But what is clear is that those are last gasp efforts, that fail with certainty once the new generation, who actually understands and embraces the new technology, gets into power.

    You are waving flags in front of an automobile, and in just a short while you will look as silly as those people did for supporting such a measure, no matter how earnest your belief is that it is needed.

    In may regards this entire "movement" of coping freebies reminds me of school classrooms where entire classes are punished because of the actions of a few.

    Punished? Because some people love music so much they wish to share it? Why should people be punished for that? Especially when the evidence is incontrovertible that those who embrace such things can profit from it, and that everyone in the industry -- with the single exception of those still focused on trying to sell the bytes -- is doing better than before?

    They do try to follow the law. Unfortunately, the laws currently on the books are there precisely because of the miscreants thumbing their noses at the law.

    Yes, like the red flags in front of cars, or the rules sending "colored people" to the back of the bus.

    Sometimes the laws are wrong, and they're wrong because of a group of people so set in their ways that they cannot understand or comprehend basic common sense. Do you really want to be on that side of history?

    Funny, but I have never seen rights holders complain when new technologies are used to distribute non-infringing matter. It is infringing matter as to which their efforts are directed.

    That is both wrong and misleading and you, of all people, should know it. First, the industry often *DEFINES* what is infringing, and then changes the law to make sure that is the case. Second, they QUITE FREQUENTLY complain when the technologies are used in non-infringing ways. Just look at the efforts to prevent things like RealDVD, a system for making a LEGAL backup copy of a movie you LEGALLY purchased.


    Raise the word "moral" and invective will surely follow.


    Not at all, MLS. Invective only follows when you use the word incorrectly as a crutch. It only follows when you bring it up for lack of a *real* argument, but just to try to shame folks who actually recognize the economics at play and the power of technology. You break out moral when you have no real argument, as if it's a magic wand. But many people see through that farce and call you on it. You falsely interpret that as "invective" but it is not. It's people calling you on your crutch.

    Yet, what we have seen starting about the time of Napster is the equivalent of a lengthy morality play, and in the long run morality and ethical behavior will for the most part win out, the protestations of diehard distributors of rights protected to the contrary notwithstanding.

    Yes, morality and ethical behavior always win out. The problem is that you keep insisting that behavior that most people recognize is inherently moral -- sharing and expanding the pie -- is somehow immoral. But it is not. It is only that it harms a certain, extremely small, set of business interests. Those business interests may have powerful connections and can change laws, but like waving two red flags in front of cars, small minded individuals do not stand in the way of progress.

    They get run over.

     

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    MLS, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 10:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "In one such post on the Isohunt website Defendant Fung responded to a user’s post by stating “they accuse us for [sic] thieves, and they r [sic] right. Only we r[sic] ‘stealing’ from the lechers (them) and not
    the originators (artists).”


    Pray tell, with whom are the words "they" and "them" associated in the context of the quote? Are we to believe that P2P leechers are the ones accusing IsoHunt of being a thief?

     

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    MLS, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 11:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Friend of big content lol

    Equating "civil rights" and "infringement" does seem a bit of a stretch.

    Yes, a younger generation will eventually supplant those currently comprising our political representatives, at which time the younger generation can seek to amend the laws against which so many rail in comments on this site. The difference, however, is that such amendments will be sought in accordance with our system of laws, and not in a manner as some here seem prone to advocate.

    Importantly, I do not disagree with you over basic economic principles. I limit my remarks merely to note that just because a law may be economically unsound does not mean than it should be ignored. If one does not like the law then work to change it, and not sit on his/her behind and do nothing.

     

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    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 24th, 2009 @ 11:27am

    Re:

    "The argument that the infringer does not deprive the copyright holder of its use is beside the point. It deprives the copyright holder of *SOME* of its use, as the whole point behind copyright is that it be an exclusive "right to copy"... with everybody else requiring permission. If somebody else is doing it, by the very definition of the word, it's not exclusive anymore, so a proportional measure of the value that the copyright holder places in his copyright is lost (irrevocably).

    Of course, for any one single infringement, the portion of the copyright that is deprived to the copyright holder is pretty insignificant... it is the cumulative effects that can be particularly damaging, and thus may arguably warrant some not insignificant legal consequences to (at least attempt to) deter people from engaging in the activity.

    I don't hold much sympathy for isoHunt, because to the best of my knowledge, there is no legally distributable content on there that is not also distributed on other channels that are just as accessible and authorized by the copyright holder. That said, inducing to infringe is a very slippery slope... arguably the internet itself could be said to be providing such inducement."

    Well put. Personally I sympathise plenty with them but then I don't agree with the premise behind copyright. Either way the ruling makes no sense for the reasons you state, essentially they are no more guilty than Google of the charge against them.

    Whatever happens, they cannot get rid of file sharing because there will always be legal uses for it.. even if they try the reality of copyright in the age of digital distribution is that you cannot have free communication without 'inducing' infringement. When all the torrent sites are gone and .torrent files are banned people will pass magnet links through chat networks. If they ban chat networks then people will use blog comment pages. Eventually they will be requesting that Google try and filter all text that might be a hash link to a copyrighted file.

    If they shut down the internet then sneakernet will be back. What would all that be in aid of? Enforcing a law that they can't even prove a need for.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 24th, 2009 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Friend of big content lol

    Equating "civil rights" and "infringement" does seem a bit of a stretch.

    Depends on the infringement. But it is not "equating" the two that I did. What I was showing was how times and views change.

    And there are civil rights issues involved: privacy, the right to make use of what you legally purchased, free speech. These are not minor issues, and all have been attacked by copyright maximalists.

    The difference, however, is that such amendments will be sought in accordance with our system of laws, and not in a manner as some here seem prone to advocate.

    You say that as if civil disobedience, or the fact that millions of people found laws unreasonable and thus broke them, has not been an effective means of changing laws in the past.

    Importantly, I do not disagree with you over basic economic principles. I limit my remarks merely to note that just because a law may be economically unsound does not mean than it should be ignored. If one does not like the law then work to change it, and not sit on his/her behind and do nothing.

    Many people *do* feel that this is the way to change the laws.

    I recognize that you disagree, but again, history has shown that these methods often do work -- contrary to what SamISomething said above.

    In a perfect world, I agree with you. I do not file share myself, because I do not think it is the right way to proceed either. But it is happening. Denying that, or thinking that it can be put back in the bottle is folly.

     

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    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 24th, 2009 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Friend of big content lol

    "As for you view of law, there are ways to affect change within the bounds of law. What you appear to advocate is for people to pick and choose what laws they will obey and what laws they will not. Fine...do not obey a law with which you disagree and which you are not prepared to take the effort to change it. If you happen to be caught, all your protestations about the fundamental unfairness of the law and its lack of economic rationality will very likely fall on deaf ears, as well they should."

    Ah yes, the assumption that I cannot take responsibility for my own actions and am stupid enough to 'protest unfairness' to a judge. How condescending. I can only imagine that you see yourself in others in which case I hope for your sake that the meek inherit the earth.

     

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    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 24th, 2009 @ 12:08pm

    Re: Re: Friend of big content lol

    "While I do not support infringing, I do recognize that it is NOT a moral question for most. "

    I think many would have the 'us against them' to be 'lawful against unlawful' but the reality is people make choices for all sorts of distinct reasons. I talk to people who infringe yet see it as wrong because they have such a poor understanding of the distinction between law and 'moral choice'. It's like the instinctive part of their brain is driving them to infringe and the cognitive part lets them because it cannot find a compelling reason not to, yet it cannot explain it enough to justify the choice.

    Of course this cognitive dissidence runs on both sides of the fence, as those who are predominantly lawful often cannot explain their respect for the law but instead look to the reasoning behind the law no matter how obviously flawed it might be. One telling sign I've noticed is how people who argue against copyright infringement rarely argue against corporate tax evasion.

     

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    MLS, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Friend of big content lol

    Actually, I do agree with the sentiment in your last paragraph. My view is merely one where disagreement with a law is no good reason to ignore it unless one is prepared to deal with the consequences of having done so.

    There are many laws with which I disagree, laws that are too numerous to mention (except, perhaps, with one that is making its way through the Halls of Congress as I type). Nevertheless, my view is that there is no valid reason to cast it aside as if it does not exist.

    Being in the Christmas spirit, I would be remiss if I did not mention that I do agree with your application of economic principles to matters such a copyright and its coexistence with so-called piracy. I am simply of the view that following the law in these instances is the right thing to do. If I do not like what a rights holder is trying to do, I will simply take my business elsewhere. I believe that how I spend my money is a far better way to express my opinion than an attitude like "damn the law, full download ahead".

     

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    MLS, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Friend of big content lol

    I rather doubt you will find people (other than perhaps a lunatic fringe) who speak against copyright infringement but in favor of corporate tax evasion. Tax avoidance, in a manner consistent with law, is an entirely different matter.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    The Anti-Mike, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It isn't your personal motivations that I am referring to, rather the general motivation of any mass of people in a mob rules sort of situation. They are getting away with something, get one over on "the man", whatever you want to call it. In this case, it's the thrill and desire to get something for nothing.

    The Swedish example is only to express what happens in a country where the mob mentality is broken, even for a while. Some people will stop downloading, others will use more extreme methods to keep downloading. I don't think any of the content producers (music, movies, software) expects anything like 100% compliance, they are just trying to turn the tide and move the hangers on around the mob back to do what it right.

    I suggest you look to the war on drugs for an example of the effectiveness of making things illegal without compelling reason.

    The war on drugs isn't comparable, unless you think that downloading is physically and mentally addictive, and that there is no legal alternative to downloading.

    There are legal alternatives to pirated downloads. While getting one over on "the man" is amusing, it isn't exactly addictive, so piracy isn't particularly a drug. Being a pirate doesn't make you intoxicated or make it impossible to drive safely or function in society.

    So exactly what point are you trying to make again?

     

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  53.  
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    The Anti-Mike, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 6:43pm

    Re: Re: Friend of big content lol

    At the moment, infringing is not a moral question for most who do it because they are caught up in the mob mentality, the same one that makes riots and group beatdowns seem acceptable at the time. Everyone is doing it, there is little chance of getting caught, it feels good, let's do it.

    But like any mob, the vast majority of the people do have a functional moral compass that is telling them that they are in fact getting something they should not have. For many, that is part of the thrill of the deal, getting something for nothing (and being able to brag to your friends). The younger players who may never have paid for music or a movie in their lives may not have the same moral issues, only because nobody has shown them the other side of the deal.

    With each liberty removed, the pushback gets stronger and stronger and stronger.

    This is where I think you really go off the road. It's the "life liberty and the pursuit of happiness", nothing in ther about "and infringe on copyright and ignore patent and other laws". You don't have some sort of liberty to infringe. That isn't something that you had and was taken away, it's a false freedom created by the mob mentality.

    When those people who do have a moral compass (most of them) are seperated from the mob, the compass tends to right itself and they return to doing things which are generally morally right. People do not continue to break windows and ransack stores by themselves, it was the mob that empowered them, not their own personal volition.

    Judgements such as these, and other judgements against file sharing around the world will and do appear already to be having at least some effects on the people on the edges of the situation.

    Mike, I really wish you would look more closely at the numbers coming out of Sweden on music sales, and rather than dismissing it as "maybe the music is suddenly betrer", actually look at what is happening. You yourself have said that spotting trends is very important, and this looks like it might be the start of a significant change.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    The Anti-Mike, Dec 24th, 2009 @ 9:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Friend of big content lol

    I cannot imagine any way to make racial discrimination and music piracy an equal issue. One is about human rights, and the other is about "I want, I want, I want".

    I suspect you will be a little ashamed of yourself for going there.

     

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  55.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 25th, 2009 @ 10:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Get a room ... have some I hate you sex and get over it ...

     

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  56.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 25th, 2009 @ 10:17am

    Re: 3rd time's the charm...

    Simple solution buy CD's via the web from the US.

     

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  57.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 25th, 2009 @ 10:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What he said ... If you want I can post a daily chart for the months after IPRED of internet protocols used in Sweden (unknown or encrypted = Encrypted). Also I have a chart of the advertising done by the recording industry pre and post IPRED.

    Here are the two things we know ...

    1) Encrypted traffic increased just before and after IPRED.
    2) More money was spent on advertising music in sweden before and after IPRED.

    To say IPRED actually caused the pop in music sales is wishfull thinking.

     

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  58.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 25th, 2009 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Dude just looked at your picture .... Santa Clause or a Ferret? Kinda creepy either way ...

     

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  59.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 25th, 2009 @ 10:52am

    Re: Just as it ever was

    " The ISP’s will be moved into accountability"

    You do realize the combined world wide market caps of the ISP's is about 30-60 times that of the record labels and movie studios.

    "vpn/encryption will become licensed tools"

    The government tried that in the late 1980- early 90's. It didnt work then it wont work now. Even with the crys of "if you dont do this terrorism will prevail" and "if you have nothing to hide you shouldnt be afraid if we monitor you"

    "reflect the laws and their even-handed limitations "

    $30,000 USD per song .... nuff said

    "handwringing on the sidelines desperate for durable signs of corporate destruction "

    LOL ... we dont have to do anything for this to happen, you are doing it all on your own.

     

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  60.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 25th, 2009 @ 11:49am

    Live from under a bridge ... its demolition day ... and merry christmas to all

    Between christmas conversations I have commented on this blog. I love my crackBerry! I finished reading the entire story and the comments. I asked a friend to read the story and comments and to give me his thoughts. So here they are ...

    "These people are delusional"
    "What is IPRED"
    "This one is living in Fantasy land"
    "Boring!! should stick with his day job"
    "Who is Mike Masnick?"
    "SMS me a link to this site"
    "This one sounds like a cult member spouting rhetoric"
    "How in the hell are you going to lisc or stop Encrypted VPN?"
    "With half the people posting here there is an overwhelming sense of fear, denial, and rationalizing. It seems like they are going through the 5 stages of grieving."
    "I like this one he is in the pleading phase."

    Well this has gotten me yelled at ... its a no tech christmas ... Merry christmas to all, and to all a good night

     

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  61.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 26th, 2009 @ 2:00am

    Re: Re:

    "means that any torrent site with a chat board, comments, or anything like that would be pretty much in trouble"

    "I would say that this ruling would make it pretty hard to have any sort of torrent site inside the US, unless it is an entirely "legal torrent" site with all the material checked and confirmed."

    You realise, of course, that the first statement, if true, makes the second possibility impossible? That any site with ANY interaction with its users could be guilty of a crime by your definition, even if the content offered is legit as far as the site is aware.

    As for whack-a-mole, yes that's exactly what it is. Just as Kazaa was immune to the tactics used to bring down Napster, and torrents were immune to the same tactics used to bring that down, another method will become popular that avoids the tactics used against torrent sites. Once that method is brought down, yet another method immune from those tactics will appear.

    Because these lawsuits only address the method used to infringe, and not the demand for infringed content itself, it will not work. In fact, it will almost certainly backfire because there is only so much collateral damage that can be acceptable before the backlash begins.

     

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  62.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 27th, 2009 @ 12:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Friend of big content lol

    Mike, I really wish you would look more closely at the numbers coming out of Sweden on music sales, and rather than dismissing it as "maybe the music is suddenly betrer", actually look at what is happening. You yourself have said that spotting trends is very important, and this looks like it might be the start of a significant change.

    When Napster shut down, music sales went up for a period of about six months. And then people discovered Kazaa.

    You cannot hold back what the technology allows. A dead cat bounce is not a trend.

     

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  63.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 27th, 2009 @ 7:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Friend of big content lol

    Yes, I meant tax avoidance. Thank you for the correction.

     

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

  64.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 27th, 2009 @ 7:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Friend of big content lol

    On the contrary, copyright is very much a human rights issue even if it isn't as tragic as racial discrimination and I do not see where Mike 'equated' the two in any way. One of the core philosophies behind human rights is that of natural rights, of which copyright can be argued to infringe upon, often now under the pretense that it is itself a natural property right.

    If you want other examples that don't involve racial discrimination how about the civil disobedience over taxation without representation? Or the Whiskey Rebellion? Or the actions of people making wine during the US National Prohibition Act? I imagine Mike's point by picking the most tragic one was to more clearly make the point that people in history have often broken the law for good reason.

     

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  65.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 27th, 2009 @ 8:37am

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

    "It isn't your personal motivations that I am referring to, rather the general motivation of any mass of people in a mob rules sort of situation. They are getting away with something, get one over on "the man", whatever you want to call it. In this case, it's the thrill and desire to get something for nothing."

    So, instead of presuming to know my personal motivations you presume to know everyone's personal motivations under the label of ochlocracy. This from the person who was having a go at Mike in another thread for bringing up racial discrimination as an example for civil disobedience. Yes, copyright infringers are really out with the pitchforks causing violence.. oh, wait, no.

    I actually agree with what you're trying to say (however poorly you phrase it), to some degree. I speak to people who infringe copyright and often they think what they're doing is wrong and cannot explain why they do it. Then again, I talk to people who are pro copyright and they are equally unable to explain why copyright is right and infringement is wrong. Trying to base your arguments on what the mass of people think about a subject is pretty pointless because many people, as you indelicately alluded to, don't think much about what they are doing or why they are doing it a good portion of the time. At least not on a conscious level.

    "The Swedish example is only to express what happens in a country where the mob mentality is broken, even for a while. Some people will stop downloading, others will use more extreme methods to keep downloading. I don't think any of the content producers (music, movies, software) expects anything like 100% compliance, they are just trying to turn the tide and move the hangers on around the mob back to do what it right."

    Ha ha, yes I'm sure that's what they're expecting and trying to do. I don't see how your example proves a trend though.

    "The war on drugs isn't comparable, unless you think that downloading is physically and mentally addictive, and that there is no legal alternative to downloading."

    First I'll admit, I know very little about drugs. Probably the most alcohol I've ever had was in a box of chocolates and I've never even smoked. I'm given to understand that not all illegal drugs are addictive though, if that were the criteria then I'd imagine nicotine would be on the list.

    Secondly, yes there are plenty of legal alternatives.. that's a given. Going without an album is one. Going without food is another. Hardly competitive alternatives are they? How about buying a CD when you want music in an uncompressed format, I don't really rate buying a CD just so I can copy it to my computer before throwing it away.

    "While getting one over on "the man" is amusing, it isn't exactly addictive, so piracy isn't particularly a drug. Being a pirate doesn't make you intoxicated or make it impossible to drive safely or function in society."

    Ho hum, again with the strange drugs comparison. I was comparing the war on drugs with the war on copyright infringement, not a copyrighted work to a drug. I know you're smart enough to recognise the distinction because you can type.

    "So exactly what point are you trying to make again?"

    Well, I was responding to your point which seemed to sum up as 'PIRACY IS BAD!!! BAD!!! YOU BAD!!! EAT BABIES!!!' so forgive me if nothing constructive happened.

     

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  66.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 27th, 2009 @ 8:57am

    Re: Live from under a bridge ... its demolition day ... and merry christmas to all

    There could be a guessing game where people try and pick which statements refer to them. I wonder if anyone would be eligible for 'all of the above'.

    Personally I'm hoping for fantasy land but betting on boring.

     

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

  67.  
    identicon
    The Anti-Mike, Dec 27th, 2009 @ 9:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Friend of big content lol

    You cannot hold back what the technology allows. A dead cat bounce is not a trend.

    unless it supports your views, right Mike?

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    The Anti-Mike, Dec 27th, 2009 @ 10:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Friend of big content lol

    copyright is very much a human rights issue

    Actually, copyright has very little to do with human rights, rather it's basically a bit of contract law that some consumers are choosing to ignore. Nobody's rights are being infringed (except those people who produce content), otherwise it's a question of a contractual agreement that a large number of people feel they can ignore with impunity.

    Would you say that people 50 years ago were massively oppressed because of copyright? Have any authors been lynched for not sharing their works? Are musicans lined up against a wall and shot for failing to give away their works?

    When you come to understand that this isn't anything to do with human rights or any great move for equal rights for all, then you can appreciate how silly the entire argument sounds from outside.

    Basically, from outside the dicussion, you all look like you have been on a koolaid bender.

     

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  69.  
    icon
    a-dub (profile), Dec 28th, 2009 @ 6:33am

    vivaelamor

    I like all those big words you used in your long sentences.

     

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  70.  
    icon
    anymouse (profile), Dec 28th, 2009 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Friend of big content lol

    So what you are saying is that if Rosa Parks had just obeyed the laws at that time, civil rights wouldn't be an issue for anyone today? And we would still be living in a society that encouraged segregation and racism? And that would be better how?

    Oh, I get it, you really don't have a clue what you are talking about, but you don't like the way it sounds, so it must be 'wrong'. Please follow through with your example and explain what would have happened if Rosa Parks had just obeyed the law rather than breaking it?

    As a member of the 'tinfoil hat' wearing association, I tend to take things to the extreme side of most views, but even I'm having issues figuring out how the civil rights movement would have started if everyone had just 'obeyed the laws'... so please explain how any of the major law changes in our history would have happened if nobody had broken the laws that were changed, either the Civil Rights movement or Prohibition should be place to explain how things would have worked if nobody had broken the laws.

     

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  71.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Dec 29th, 2009 @ 7:40am

    Re: vivaelamor

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Frayed Ice, Jan 2nd, 2010 @ 12:41pm

    Open and Equal Access to Information...leads to ACTUAL liberation

    This is bullshit....copyright infringement??? I'm not making an profits, in fact it costs me extra to download content where I live. I live in a very remote mountain village in Northern Alaska where my internet provider squeezes my pockets dry for every MB over a 1 GB caprate. That's right, a caprate for data transfer, data downloads and uploads. What that means is that once my data transfer amount exceeds 1 GB I get charged extra. Movie companies want me to pay $7 for a low-res downloadable version of a movie that will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 GB. Guess what, that's 3 GB over my caprate, so I'm also being charged an additional $10, $20, $30 for having to download that much extra content. I'm a penny pincher....these days who isn't? Instead of paying $17, $27, $37 to unknown corporations, I'm going to stick with what costs me less, which usually means bit torrent releases. With bit torrent I'm still paying (more than) what the movie costs, but when I use bit torrent others have a chance of leeching and benefiting from the transfer. As far as I'm concerned, I spend less dough, and many people benefit. If I followed court rulings I would be overcharged (even more), and nobody else would get anything out of it.

    On another note....what happened to freedom of information...isn't this America??? Shutting down sites like IsoHunt (which I love, and use regularly) essentially destroys vast amounts of freely accessible information. In these times it is open, equal, and free access to all information that creates free states, safe countries, nurturing homes, and grants the individual an actual choice. You take away our acces to information and you will be left with drones...which I'm sure is fine and dandy for our Dr. Evil wanna-be's...but I for one am NOT okay with that. You want peoples and cultures to be liberated, than allow them the same access to information and learning tools that the "free" America has.

     

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  73.  
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    SteelWolf (profile), Jan 6th, 2010 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Friend of big content lol

    Actually, they're quite similar. A friend of mine said it well this morning:

    "Copyright and patent don’t constrain cultural works, those privileges constrain people. Copyright suspends the liberty of people to make copies...So, copyright and patent are 18th century proprietary constraints on individuals’ cultural liberty, constraints that were trivial in that age when individuals could suffer proprietary constraints on their physical liberty.

    There is a good deal of similarity between slavery and the privileges of copyright and patent. They all concern proprietary constraints over people. That is why they are all unethical and should be abolished."

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    John, Mar 29th, 2010 @ 7:28am

    I see this as a call to arms!

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Mohammad Malakouti, Apr 12th, 2010 @ 11:33am

    isohunt

    Hello
    I signed up with isohunt to download software such as old version of Nero (version 7).
    I paid my dues and now I cannot install the software because the key which is generated is not valid.
    I have tried many times.
    What do I do?
    How can I contact someone for help.
    my phone is 303 667-8697 (cell)
    work 303 318-9382
    Thanks
    Sincerely,
    Mohammad

     

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


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