Not Securing Your Internet Access To Block Infringement Is 'Negligence'?

from the yes,-well... dept

Porn movie studio Liberty Media has been pretty aggressive lately in its attempt to jump on the bandwagon trying to get file sharers to pay up by either threatening them with lawsuits or suing them. The latest move by the firm is to file a similar lawsuit against a bunch of people for file sharing... but with one interesting difference. Rather than just lumping together everyone who downloaded the same file, Liberty is suing a specific BitTorrent swarm, noting the specific info about each IP address that joined the swarm (including when they joined).

While some of the other lawyers in other such mass lawsuit campaigns have made more general arguments along these lines -- suggesting that since BitTorrent users swarm together it's okay to lump them all into a single lawsuit, this is the first one that specifically targets a single swarm and provides all such details. This also lets Liberty add a "civil conspiracy" charge on top of the copyright charges (both direct and contributory infringement). The conspiracy charge seems pretty weak to me. It seems to suggest that merely downloading the BitTorrent client is a sign of proactively joining a conspiracy. That seems like a huge stretch, as there are plenty of legal reasons to use BitTorrent software. Even if most BitTorrent traffic is infringing, merely downloading the client is hardly evidence of a plan to join a "conspiracy."

Separately, there's a "negligence" charge, which seems even weaker than the conspiracy charge. Here, the negligence claim is used to go after anyone who did not secure their internet connection to prevent such usage. That seems like a huge stretch, and I can't see that getting very far. There's simply no proactive requirement that anyone secure their internet connection to prevent any infringement from happening over it:
Defendants failed to adequately secure their Internet access, whether accessible only through their computer when physically connected to an Internet router, or accessible to many computers by use of a wireless router, and failed to prevent its use for this unlawful purpose.

Reasonable Internet users take steps to secure their Internet access accounts to prevent the use of such accounts for nefarious and illegal purposes. As such, Defendants' failure to secure their Internet access accounts, and thereby prevent such illegal uses thereof, constitutes a breach of the ordinary care that reasonable persons exercise in using an Internet access account.
That seems like a huge leap, and I'd be amazed if a court bought that argument. As for the effort to lump together everyone in the swarm... that seems to have a much higher likelihood of success than some of the other lawsuits that have been dumped on joinder issues, but I still think it's a pretty weak claim. The individuals each are totally unknown to each other, may have totally different reasons, defenses, explanations. However, I could see a court much more open to this "swarm" argument than the other random lumping together arguments we've seen.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 1:13pm

    Isn't it, technically?

    Even if most BitTorrent traffic is infringing, merely downloading the client is hardly evidence of a plan to join a "conspiracy."

    Wasn't that the upshot of the Napster ruling?

    Serious question.

     

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      Dean Landolt, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 1:48pm

      Re: Isn't it, technically?

      Not unless you think BitTorrent is incapable of "substantial non-infringing use" -- that'd be a tough case to make these days.

       

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        TheStupidOne, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 2:35pm

        Re: Re: Isn't it, technically?

        Depends on your definition of substantial is I suppose. I know a lot of people consider WoW to be substantial. Also there are some TV shows, movies, music, and other files that were released on BitTorrent by the copyright owners. That may be a minority of the worldwide BitTorrent traffic, but I'd say it is substantial.

         

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        montgoss (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 3:01pm

        Re: Re: Isn't it, technically?

        Tough? Really?
        A torrent client comes preinstalled on Ubuntu and many linux distros use torrents to distribute their isos. Not to mention big companies use it, like Blizzard does to release updates for WoW.
        I just legally downloaded a movie I found through Techdirt that had a torrent download option.

        There is a lot of non-infringing use these days.

         

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    Mike Shore, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 1:25pm

    So if someone steals my car and uses it as the getaway vehicle in a bank robbery, I can be charged with abetting the crime because I did not ensure my car was properly secured?

     

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      Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 1:30pm

      Re:

      Let me correct that analogy before the trolls do it for you and miss the fact that the correct version is almost as absurd: "So if I leave my keys in my car with the doors unlocked and someone steals it and uses it as the getaway vehicle in a bank robbery, I can be charged with abetting the crime because I did not ensure my car was properly secured?"

       

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        Rose M. Welch (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 2:01pm

        Re: Re:

        Not the same thing, because plaintiffs have no way of knowing if the wireless access used was secured with a WPA key or anything else. It's entirely possible that the teen next door broke into a defendant's secured connection and used it to download infringing material. Regardless, they're insisting that the fact that the connection was used it enough to show that they didn't secure their connections.

         

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          HM, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 2:58pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Your right they have no way to know. Until someone claims "it wasn't me someone else must have accessed my router and did it." I think this is just a preemptive assault on that defense as I'm sure its a common one. So if they charge everyone with the negligence off the bat you pleading innocent to the infringement and saying someone else must have been it doing it means you are pleading guilty to the negligence.

          At least I imagine that is what they are up to.

           

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            btr1701 (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 4:07pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            > you pleading innocent to the infringement
            > and saying someone else must have been it
            > doing it means you are pleading guilty to
            > the negligence

            Only if they accept as true their position that having an unsecured WiFi account is per se negligence as a matter of law.

             

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            vivaelamor (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 5:53pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "So if they charge everyone with the negligence off the bat you pleading innocent to the infringement and saying someone else must have been it doing it means you are pleading guilty to the negligence."

            But the point is that someone else could access a secured connection. I guess the question becomes one of whether you are you negligent if someone cracks into your secured connection.

             

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 1:40pm

      Re:

      Not the same thought. This is more along the following lines: someone busts your car window and steals your stereo, so you are charged with negligence for not having secured your car.

       

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        Qritiqal (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 1:45pm

        Re: Re:

        How about:

        Someone opens your unlocked car door, sits in your car and makes recordings of the music playing on your car stereo, then leaves without a trace (except for a small note letting you know they were there and what they copied).

         

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      pixelpusher220 (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 1:47pm

      Re:

      The negligence is more like - You left a loaded gun on your publicly accessible front porch. If someone used that gun to commit a crime, you likely are negligent in the safe keeping of the weapon.

      Of course that requires equating civil with criminal and a router with a gun.

      That's the logic though.

       

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        Rose M. Welch (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 2:03pm

        Re: Re:

        What makes you think it was on the front porch? Maybe it was in your desk drawer, and a burglar used brute force to defeat your door lock.

         

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        HM, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 3:04pm

        Re: Re:

        I think the car analogy is closer. A gun is a weapon, if someone takes it I can assume they will use it as a weapon.

        A router or a car is a tool. If someone borrows/steals my car or my internet access it not a safe to assume they are going to use it for nefarious purposes. As there are plenty of non-nefarious uses for a car or internet access.

        I might by it if you say an unloaded gun and the thief provided his own bullets. As what you left lying around isnt dangerous by itself but does have the potential to be.

        Really they are both stupid analogies and I dont know why i am putting so much thought into this :b

         

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        btr1701 (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 4:08pm

        Re: Re:

        > You left a loaded gun on your publicly
        > accessible front porch. If someone used
        > that gun to commit a crime, you likely
        > are negligent in the safe keeping of the
        > weapon.

        Only problem with that: there are laws in all 50 states that require gun owners to properly secure their weapons.

        There are no such legal requirements imposed upon WiFi users.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 2:14pm

      Re:

      Why do people always use car analogies?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 5:57pm

        Re: Re:

        Because copyright is so confusing and so convoluted that the only way anybody can understand it is by comparing it to a car. But they always use the same old boring car. Why not analogize with the DeLorean DMC-12 from Back to the Future?

         

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    MrWilson, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 1:27pm

    If the negligence claim gets anywhere, the plaintiff might as well accept liability for the file-sharing since they negligently failed to secure their own content.

     

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      pixelpusher220 (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 1:44pm

      Re:

      or moreover, since the ISPs in many cases did the setup of the routers - can we please have mega lawsuits against Cable Companies plz? :)

      [gets popcorn for lawyer bitch fight!]

       

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        cc (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 1:59pm

        Re: Re:

        "lawyer bitch fight"

        You kidding? It's the lawyers' wet dream: everyone loses, but they make shitloads of money.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 2:40pm

        Re: Re:

        Actually, you make me think of a interesting question...IF the negligence case holds up, can the defense pass the case along to the ISPs since the ISPs didn't secure their network to prevent this kind of traffic, thus making them the root or backbone of the infringement problem?

         

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    Gwiz (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 1:31pm

    So I guess using Transmission which was installed with my Debian distro to torrent PlaneShift (an open source, free MMORPG) across my unsecured WiFi connection makes me not just a Freetard, but a Conspiratorial Freetard!

    Sweet. I love being labeled.

     

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      el_segfaulto (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 2:47pm

      Re:

      Debian! It's a simple fact that any Linux users are freeloading freetards who only want to freely download free stuff. The thought police will be at your door shortly, please don't make a fuss.

      (Full disclosure: I've been a happy Debian user for years and administer a number of Ubuntu, and CentOS servers as part of my job)

       

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 1:31pm

    Conspiracy charge...

    "The individuals each are totally unknown to each other, may have totally different reasons, defenses, explanations."

    I seem to recall that for at least some conspiracy charges, the above doesn't matter. Defendents don't have to know one another or have similar motivations, they only need to know that they are partaking with others in an illegal (criminal?) act....

     

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      cc (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 1:43pm

      Re: Conspiracy charge...

      I think Mike took "the swarm" to mean the tracker. I think they mean "the group that was sharing a certain file".

      Basically, it's a trick to get around jurisdiction issues by suing the individuals as a group of conspirators instead of a group of unconnected infringers. Hopefully the courts will see through it... but they might not if they get another technologically clueless and/or corrupt judge.

       

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        Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 2:37pm

        Re: Re: Conspiracy charge...

        Given the hi-tech savvy displayed by the average judge (specifically, the lack thereof), I would not be surprised if the courts had no problem with this. Though I wouldn't mind being proven wrong.

         

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      btr1701 (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 4:14pm

      Re: Conspiracy charge...

      > they only need to know that they are partaking
      > with others in an illegal (criminal?) act....

      I can't speak for all the state jurisdictions, but the federal conspiracy law requires that two or more defendants enter into an affirmative agreement with one another to commit a criminal offense.

      If an armored car turns over on a freeway and everyone leaps out of their cars and starts scooping up the millions of dollars fluttering everywhere, are they all guilty of conspiracy? I don't think any prosecutor would try and make that case.

      What they're doing is wrong-- theft-- no question, but it's absurd to suggest all these total strangers conspired with one another to do it, even though, as you say, they're aware in the moment that they're partaking with others in an illegal act.

       

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        PRMan, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 9:40pm

        Re: Re: Conspiracy charge...

        theft-- no question


        Actually, many people question that it's theft...

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 11:46pm

          Re: Re: Re: Conspiracy charge...

          You might want to re-read the example...

           

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          btr1701 (profile), Apr 1st, 2011 @ 12:17am

          Re: Re: Re: Conspiracy charge...

          > Actually, many people question that it's theft...

          There's no question that scooping up loose money off the highway after an armored car flips is theft.

          Anyone who questions that is a moron.

           

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    Matt P (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 1:52pm

    "Here, the negligence claim is used to go after anyone who did not secure their internet connection to prevent such usage. That seems like a huge stretch, and I can't see that getting very far. There's simply no proactive requirement that anyone secure their internet connection to prevent any infringement from happening over it"

    They're making this part of the 3-strikes law down here in New Zealand. Even after we all pointed out to our MPs how moronic a policy this is, some clowns that have never touched a router can tell us that we should take steps to make sure our wifi can't be used for 'criminal activity'.

    End result: wifi will be going away.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 1:59pm

    Here, the negligence claim is used to go after anyone who did not secure their internet connection to prevent such usage.

    I see where this is going. Pushing filtering onto the ISPs isn't working? Time to start pushing it onto the consumers. "Pay us $200 for this filtering software, or we'll sue you for $200,000."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 2:03pm

    I hope they keep suing this is exactly what the pirates want them to do.

    The reason why is simple, since they are just collecting IP numbers they will end up with a lot of false positives because of counter measures deployed.

    This will touch everyone now not just the people who use P2P.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 2:03pm

    So if you secure your internet access, (which can be hacked/cracked/sniffed/spoofed relatively VERY fast compaired to downloading a larger torrent over wifi), does it PROVE that you were the one that downloaded it? So if you didn't secure your connection, you did it. If you did secure your connection, you did it. Even if it was someone else that did it either way? Some real and nefarious conspiricy maker, will likely crack politicians Wifi, and use/share that connection very obviously, until the politician gets harrassed like a criminal, and due to their efforts, they must be liable.

     

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    iamtheky (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 2:06pm

    EFFing Randazza

    Please add this madness to the laundry list of bogus arguments and pure logical failures that Randazza is offering up for Liberty Media.

    I suppose this is one step up from calling them 'hackers', but still I dont know how the EFF could in good faith still recommend his services for the defense of lawsuits such as these.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 4:35pm

      Re: EFFing Randazza

      I contacted EFF about this a while ago, and they said that anyone working for the Randazza legal group is only recommended for work against Righthaven, not in p2p cases. If you look at EFF's list of attorneys that can help you, it does say "Righthaven Cases Only" next to attorneys that work for Randazza (in Nevada and Wisconsin). I still think EFF should send absolutely no work Randazza's way, though.

      https://www.eff.org/issues/file-sharing/subpoena-defense

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 2:19pm

    They use them because most people they argue with has or had one. To relate to 100% of their audience, they need to change from car analogies to asshole analogies.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 2:21pm

    Quote:
    The conspiracy charge seems pretty weak to me. It seems to suggest that merely downloading the BitTorrent client is a sign of proactively joining a conspiracy. That seems like a huge stretch, as there are plenty of legal reasons to use BitTorrent software. Even if most BitTorrent traffic is infringing, merely downloading the client is hardly evidence of a plan to join a "conspiracy."


    What I do understand about "swarns" on Bittorrent is that they are created around individual files and not the Bittorrent client itself one needs to have download the torrent file and that is an active action that could be construed as a deliberate or conscious action.

    Still it proves nothing since IP spoofing is being used and that connection could be just be openned and sit there for 15 minutes until it gets dropped as a no good connection but it will show up in the records and it probably will be someone that never used P2P, now that will be funny.

    Every tracker out there should go to look for the IP ranges that include Washington DC, so everybody in there gets sued.

     

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    STJ, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 2:28pm

    So if you don't lock your car and disconnect the battery, it is used in a robbery, you are guilty because you "failed to adequately secure their" cars.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 2:36pm

      Re:

      Well, if you locked your car and disconnected the battery, and it was used in a robbery, it only proves you were part of the robbery because the only way for it to have been used is with your permission.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 3:39pm

        Re: Re:

        If someone takes your car and commits a robbery with it, they've stolen your car before any robbery has taken place.

        With the router, they haven't stolen it. You still have the original.

        :)

         

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    keloidformer, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 2:45pm

    The Loophole

    It's an interesting approach to what is otherwise a glaring hole in the P2P/Illegal downloading Prosecution scheme:

    Let's say, hypothetically of course, that I am engaged in illegal activity by downloading copyrighted material using a Bit Torrent client, over my (currently protected) Wi-Fi network.

    If I were to be summoned, served, or otherwise notified of an impending suite, the FIRST thing I would do is UN-PROTECT my Wi-Fi network, and claim, baby-seal-eyed, that "some hooligan must have taken advantage of my open attitude toward internet access."

    Unless they can match IP to MAC address (which they can't behind routers), then there is no way to specifically finger a machine - and even then, if the machine has open (guest) access - the user...

    As tenuous as the Prosecution's argument is, *generally speaking* IF I leave my car unlocked, I am not going to be held liable - HOWEVER - if I leave my keys in the car and engine running, then that is considered negligence and facilitation of any crime involving the car:

    http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2010/12/13/115597.htm

    The burden of proof is also different in civil vs. criminal cases where the litmus test for 'guilty' is much broader i terms of evidence.

     

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    hmm (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 3:03pm

    they removed the wifi = evil thing but....

    they have the follows:

    •Burning CD copies of music you have downloaded and then giving them to all your friends

    basically claiming that anything downloaded = evil piracy/theft/baby murdering etc....

    What happens if the music I just downloaded was Mike's surprise billboard #1 hit 'Corruption in High Places?' and he was giving it away for free?

    (To sell 'The RIAA got millions from my songs and all I got was this lousy t-shirt (and now they want it back)' t-shirts

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 4:43pm

    The Corbin Fisher porn studio that is under the Liberty Media umbrella and is maker of the film in question just recently changed the Terms and Conditions for their subscribing members to basically say that if a member doesn't secure their account and password well enough and gets hacked causing CF films to be stolen and shared, the member is on the hook for $25,000:

    http://www.queerty.com/you-owe-corbin-fisher-25k-if-your-account-gets-hacked-and-someone -pirates-their-videos-20110324/

     

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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 5:49pm

    Negligence?

    I'd love to see this 'negligence' idea go in the other direction. I mean, the fact that these files are available online proves that the copyright owner was negligent in securing their files, right?

     

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    Ryan, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 6:31pm

    Liberty Media failed to secure the content in question. Their gross negligence is the predominant cause of the issues at hand.

    There's so very much that is going to be revealed fairly soon to the courts and judges involved. LMH and their alarmingly incompetent law team are going to regret a lot of their methods.

     

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    abc gum, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 6:37pm

    In order for a negligence charge to hold water, doesn't the plaintiff have to first prove damages?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 6:52pm

    Great job, Marc Randazza! That's how you blow the misjoinder arguments away! Kudos. When you've got Mike Masnick and his pirate gang all complaining about you, you know you're hitting the pirates where it hurts. Job well done.

     

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      Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 7:18pm

      Re:

      Funny how there's a very high correlation between people the negligence claim applies to and people who DON'T download stuff (because they have no idea how). There's also a high correlation between people who illegally download stuff and people who use other people's wireless specifically to avoid getting caught.

      You're certainly right this is going to hit a whole lot of people where it hurts, but it's gonna be everybody but the pirates.

       

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      Jay (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 7:23pm

      Re:

      *shakes head*


      Words escape me over the inanity of this post...

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 7:38pm

        Re: Re:

        Oh yeah, Randazza's setting the lead on how to file a mass infringement suit where the court won't sever the defendants before the ISPs reveal the subscriber info. Worried? You should be. I expect the other firms to follow suit.

         

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          Jay (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 7:51pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You are a sad, strange little man, and you have my pity.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 8:44pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Couldn't think of any of substance to say, huh? That doesn't surprise me. Why start now?

             

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              Chris Rhodes (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 9:38pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Pot. Kettle. Etc.

              You know, this might actually turn out to be funny. All the pirates have to do is go war-driving when they want music and some 90-year old grandma who doesn't know what an IP address is will get hit with negligence. I imagine some unscrupulous people will figure out exactly which files are being monitored by the *IAA and specifically download those from as many open connections as they can find.

              Starbucks, your free WiFi days are numbered!

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Apr 1st, 2011 @ 2:36am

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

                Well that's Darwin for ya.

                People eventually figured out they had to lock their doors at night too, didn't they?

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Apr 1st, 2011 @ 5:23am

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

                  Which is sad, the world was much better when we didn't had to lock the doors at night.

                   

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              Jay (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 10:05pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I'll just save my substance for posts that actually have substance.

              You're just going on about your "hero" Randazza with nothing other than an anti-Techdirt propaganda post. Great but there's really nothing here to even debate.

              *shrug*

              Oh well, guess I'll have to actually wait for a post with substance.

               

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                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Apr 1st, 2011 @ 8:06am

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

                You're right. I wasn't trying to start a debate. I simply think that Randazza's done a very smart thing with this filing, and I was expressing my admiration. Like I said, I think others will follow this model. It cuts right through the misjoinder argument. Personally, I'd like to see some of these cases litigated just so we can get more clarity on the legal issues in play.

                 

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                •  
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                  Jay (profile), Apr 2nd, 2011 @ 6:27am

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

                  We already know it's a money grab and that's the problem. That's why I'm not a fan of the legal system being used in this manner.

                  It shows signs of an ultimately weak company that can't do much other than propagate itself through settlements.

                  Face it, a troll in patent law (Myrvohld) is the same as a troll in copyright law, which is still not helping us progress.

                   

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 8:56pm

      Re:

      I hope no one complains if I call this guy a troll.

      Then again, I'm certain that people will say I'm "oppressing" people or something...

       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 10:25pm

      Re:

      Great job, Marc Randazza! That's how you blow the misjoinder arguments away! Kudos. When you've got Mike Masnick and his pirate gang all complaining about you, you know you're hitting the pirates where it hurts. Job well done

      Weird. Did you not read the part of the post where I said this method of joining them appears to make a lot more sense?

      Are you really so desperate to (as you have said) "shit on" me, that you can't even read what I wrote? Apparently.

      Sad.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Apr 1st, 2011 @ 6:12am

        Re: Re:

        I'm desperate to "shit on" you? Um, no thanks. Stop peeking at those IP addresses, Mike.

         

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          Jay (profile), Apr 1st, 2011 @ 6:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          And you just exposed yourself.

          No peeks needed.

           

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Apr 1st, 2011 @ 7:13am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Exposed myself? What, like a flasher? ;)

             

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              Jay (profile), Apr 1st, 2011 @ 8:46am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Ya know, it's not that hard to figure out which AC is which, particularly when they have the same bad habits and idioms. If you want to debate feel free to do so. If the only thing you're here for is to attract flame bait, feel free. It just weakens your argument when you do such childish behaviors.

               

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 8:51pm

    Open Wi-Fi would be no different from using an unprotected wireless phone on your landline. If someone else with a compatible device starts using your line to call home to the other side of the world, you are liable.

    Stupidity isn't an excuse.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 10:31pm

    Here, the negligence claim is used to go after anyone who did not secure their internet connection to prevent such usage.
    ----------
    I got to tell ya, most users of routers have no clue how to access their setup pages in the router. They have no clue how to port forward. To port forward you must first be able to access the setup page.

    Worse, there is no standardization of routers. Every maker has a different way to accomplish setups and every one of them have different nomenclatures, often between different models by the same makers.

    If it's the first time you've seen a router setup page, I feel for you because you are a lost puppy at the start when you don't understand the words they are using, what functions they are referring to, or how to go about setting it up.

    This is a very weak case for negligence, just like ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law, yet it takes a lawyer to explain what the law is. The lawyer just doesn't wake up one morning and realize he knows law. He goes to school for it for years.

    The idea that this is negligence is assine. Just like the lawyer, everyone does not go to school for computer science. Worse if they do manage to set it up, there are plenty of wifi sniffing programs to not only locate other routers on wifi but to break those security protocols. This is a common occurrence called wardriving, where someone with a laptop in a car on the street makes use of a router so their ip isn't recorded.

    It's like blaming the home owner for having items that tempt the burger to break in and then charging the home owner for the crime of stealing.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    -, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 10:51pm

    I think the language is a problem here. Letting others access a wifi does not have to be a sign of bad security. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to do so and they often well overweight possibility of sb. infringing on others' copyrights.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 1st, 2011 @ 9:24am

      Re:

      I don't invite other people to use my wifi, but I see no harm in leaving it open. From my house I get usable signal strength on about nine unsecured wifi networks, some belonging to quite distant hotels, and since a couple of them have a much faster connection than me I occasionally use them myself. I used to secure mine but now I don't bother. It was always a royal pain in the ass to connect less sophisticated wifi-enabled appliances, which often involved temporarily unsecuring the router, so in the end I just left it open.

       

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    hmm (profile), Apr 2nd, 2011 @ 3:39pm

    trolls

    the problem with trolls eating the smaller guys, is that theres always a BIGGER troll just around the corner ready to eat any smaller trolls nearby.......

    well that and whenever trolls are exposed to the light of day they immediately freeze and crumble into financial dust!

     

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


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