ICE Arrests Another Person For Allowing Access To Streams From Elsewhere

from the big-criminals dept

The latest in ICE's actions to be Hollywood's private police force came earlier this week when the group "protected our borders" by arresting a teen in NY for setting up a website that let people access streams of various Pay-Per-View events. His two domains were seized back during the February "Superbowl weekend" seizures.

There are a few problems with this, of course. First, it doesn't appear that the guy arrested, Mohamed Ali, actually provided the streaming content himself. He just linked people to it. Second, for all of the talk about how ICE is cracking down on these criminal endeavors because they're making tons and tons of money... yet again we see that there's barely any money here at all. Over the course of a year, he made about $6,000 according to the complaint. And, remember, ICE insists that it's only seizing the biggest "pirate sites."

Furthermore, as TorrentFreak notes in its coverage of the arrest, Ali appeared to abide by takedown orders. After Zuffa (the company behind UFC) went after him, he stopped allowing UFC streams, stating on the site "We don't want our site to get into troubles (sic) with Zuffa!" In other words, it seems like existing civil takedown procedures would have worked, rather than wasting ridiculous amounts of taxpayer money to go after a guy for hosting a website pointing people to some streaming sporting events and not making much money doing so.

Aren't there real threats that ICE could be focused on these days?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 4:05pm

    Duh

    His name is Mohamed Ali. That just screams 'terrorist!'

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 4:08pm

    What a joke

    Seems to me we have a big problem in this country with illegal immigrants but the only time ICE, whose primary purposes are SUPPOSED to be about immigration and our borders, makes the news is when they pull stupid shit like this.

     

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      PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 4:42pm

      Re: What a joke

      Well yes. Nobody actually finds it remarkable when they arrest and throw in jail young women before shipping them to countries they have not lived in for decades away from friends and loved ones. It also seems they don't get any press when they bust a whole bunch of productive members of society for being productive members of society and kick them out of the country. Those things are so common, that it's not news anymore. Today like every other day, dozens of people were separated from a job or a loved one just because of their place of birth and a bunch of uniformed thugs. God Bless America, because no one else will.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 5:15pm

        Re: Re: What a joke

        True, but I don't find this remarkable either... other than a remarkable waste of my tax money.

         

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          PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 5:19pm

          Re: Re: Re: What a joke

          Having both friends and family who have gone through various parts of that process, I find it remarkably abhorrent.

           

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            PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 5:22pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What a joke

            And here I realize that once again outrage got the better of me and I posted without realizing what you meant by "this". Well, I do find that abhorrent, but no I don't have friends or family who were arrested by ICE for streaming.

             

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    anonymous, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 4:26pm

    the illegal immigrants are obviously not paying ICE as much to leave them alone as the entertainment industries are to go after them!

     

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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 4:38pm

    You forgot Mike their primary mission of harassing people who look, sound or have name that sound Arab. This is just a two for one.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 4:42pm

    What else would you expect?

    I'm sure they did this with guns drawn, hoping for an excuse to kill him as brutally as possible. (Or, alternatively, to beat him -- last longer, more fun for the sadistic thugs who gravitate to entities like ICE.)

    Of course they could have gone after serial rapists, but that's HARD -- you know, requires actual thinking, reasoning ability, diligence -- it's much easier to go after a kid especially when he's made it very clear exactly where he is.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 4:46pm

    Why focus on how "little" money he got?

    Doesn't matter. So he wasn't overly successful at it; he would have liked to have been, I'm sure, and a dime is enough to constitute infringement.

    And calling him a teen? He's over 18 and smart enough to set up and promote websites.

    Seems to me you're trying to minimize an entirely legitimate arrest and prosecution. He's practically admitted to knowing it was illegal.

    This seems ambiguous: "There appears to be no claim that Ali provided the streams himself." -- The domain names both are "streams", so I'll go with that at least for culpability: he WAS streaming it.

    And since he was streaming "sports", I can't work up any sympathy. Possibly 5 years and $250,000, for /sports/.

    The observable fact is that the wild days of the internet are over. Time to climb down from your ivory-tower idealism, Mike, you're going to get people into serious "troubles".

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 4:58pm

      Re: Why focus on how "little" money he got?

      ...you don't understand that this was a civil (not criminal) issue...or what streaming means...do you?

       

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        PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 5:06pm

        Re: Re: Why focus on how "little" money he got?

        Obviously they are bringing criminal charges against him. You can't arrest someone over a civil issue.

         

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        out_of_the_blue, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 5:18pm

        Re: Re: Why focus on how "little" money he got?

        Advice: don't adopt a fixed handle. You flopped entirely on grasping the basic facts of the case.

         

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          IronM@sk, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 6:50pm

          Re: Re: Re: Why focus on how "little" money he got?

          I would argue that it is you who flopped entirely on grasping the basic facts of the case, and what 'domains' and 'streams' are, apparently.

          The domain names both are "streams", so I'll go with that at least for culpability: he WAS streaming it.

          No, he wasn't. He merely found a stream, then told people where it was.

          And since he was streaming "sports",

          Again, not streaming. See above.

           

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      davidf, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 5:11pm

      Re: Why focus on how "little" money he got?

      I wish this site had a "clueless" button. Because this post is neither insightful or funny but neither is it offensive enough to report.

      Damn, just realised that I've wasted even more of my life on this...

       

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        out_of_the_blue, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 5:23pm

        Re: Re: Why focus on how "little" money he got?

        I'm not required to be either insightful or funny. Your amusement is of no interest to me. If you're offended because I differ from Mike, tough.

        Just for an exercise, try to state WHAT is the LEAST "offensive" in my post.

        But I like the spreading notion of "reporting" comments -- as if that's some punishment and not a spur to curiosity to read the "offensive". Exposes you guys as control freaks.

         

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          lucidrenegade (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 6:50pm

          Re: Re: Re: Why focus on how "little" money he got?

          Troll on, my friend. Troll on!

           

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            Jay (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 7:07pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Why focus on how "little" money he got?

            We so need a troll button. All it has to be is a Black exclamation point with a Red background. So instead of having to make a comment disappear, you can look to the right, see that warning and bring out your A-game against shills, trolls, and those that decide to say some outlandish stuff.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2011 @ 2:20pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why focus on how "little" money he got?

              That would just be censorship. Do you really want to get into that here?

               

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          Sean T Henry (profile), Aug 26th, 2011 @ 6:10am

          Re: Re: Re: Why focus on how "little" money he got?

          What he found offensive I believe is what he finds as ignorance. Why I specify that it is him who feels this way is because I have yet to be offended by something in my life.

          I agree about needing an extra button maybe a "???" would work.

           

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      PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 5:13pm

      Re: Why focus on how "little" money he got?

      'The domain names both are "streams"'

      There is a company called Google and guess what. They sell no eyewear.

      More seriously, what kind of an idiot would conclude from the domain name the activity of the site. It seems pretty clear that he was sharing links towards other people who are streaming. See, that's why his site had the word "stream" in it. If I had a website that shared links towards cat shelters, I would quite possibly include the word "cat" and the word "shelter" in the domain. But apparently from such a DNS record you would somehow conclude that I run a cat shelter website and treat me as such legally. I just don't see how that makes any sense.

      "Seems to me you're trying to minimize an entirely legitimate arrest and prosecution. He's practically admitted to knowing it was illegal."

      Wait. What? How? He said he was taking down some links to some streams which someone had told him were illegal and he did not was to get into trouble. How is that admitting that the rest of the operation was illegal?

       

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        out_of_the_blue, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 5:37pm

        Re: Re: Why focus on how "little" money he got?

        We're both going on thin info. I stated all there was of it, and if "streams" is in the domain name, then I can jolly well ASSUME (that it's just not stated in the indictment). You've no evidence to the contrary, just make the opposite assumption.

        You're right, I shouldn't have trusted the site's name: there's no "tech" here at "techdirt", just some cheerleading for pirates.

        Infringement is selling the copyrighted works of others. That's alleged. All available info supports that, but of course we await trial. -- As for admissions, why did he take the (streams or) links down? ANY statement IS an admission (in a court case). Doesn't look good.

        And usual disclaimer: I don't like to support the goons of the copyright mafia, BUT Mike is minimizing what strongly appears to be an actual case of infringement, AND I don't care for grifters profiting from someone else's... er, content, even if it's CRAP.

        Now, not to be rude, we often agree; but I'm over my limit for a thread.

         

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          Zot-Sindi, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 6:19pm

          Re: Re: Re: Why focus on how "little" money he got?

          there's no "tech" here at "techdirt", just some cheerleading for pirates.

          kind of like there's no "world" in the... well... world, just whooooole lots of cheerleading for copyrights & patents.

           

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          Anonymous Howard, Cowering, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 6:32pm

          Re: Re: Re: Why focus on how little money he got?

          Let's see... you said:
          "Doesn't matter. So he wasn't overly successful at it; he would have liked to have been, I'm sure, and a dime is enough to constitute infringement." - Opinion, supposition, unsupported opinion. No info stated.

          "And calling him a teen? He's over 18 and smart enough to set up and promote websites." There's a glimmer of info. He is under 20, according to the linked post. "Teen" stops at 18, now? So he's really ninefumph?

          "Seems to me you're trying to minimize an entirely legitimate arrest and prosecution. He's practically admitted to knowing it was illegal." - Opinion, slant. Minimal info there.

          "This seems ambiguous: 'There appears to be no claim that Ali provided the streams himself.' -- The domain names both are 'streams', so I'll go with that at least for culpability: he WAS streaming it." - Ambiguity is lack of clarity; the statement you quoted is clear and unambiguous. As for the bolded section, I presume you mean the domain names both contain the word "streams." Unless I completely misunderstand the technical aspects of a stream, it cannot be used as a domain name. Utter and complete lack of info, thin or otherwise.

          "And since he was streaming 'sports', I can't work up any sympathy. Possibly 5 years and $250,000, for /sports/." - Statement of personal prejudice, statement of potential penalty tied to a particular category. Is this the "thin info" you stated all of?

          "The observable fact is that the wild days of the internet are over. Time to climb down from your ivory-tower idealism, Mike, you're going to get people into serious 'troubles'." - Opinion, opinion, and unsupported opinion.

          Thank goodness you've reached your limit (although that's also only an opinion, and I eagerly await support by facts - I expect to be disappointed).

           

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          Sean T Henry (profile), Aug 26th, 2011 @ 6:19am

          Re: Re: Re: Why focus on how "little" money he got?

          "Infringement is selling the copyrighted works of others. That's alleged. All available info supports that, but of course we await trial. -- As for admissions, why did he take the (streams or) links down? ANY statement IS an admission (in a court case). Doesn't look good."

          I did not know that he was SELLING the links to visitors. As for taking the links down as requested in a DMCA takedown notice it is required, so if it is an admission of guilt then it is a bit of a catch 22.

           

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          Ron Rezendes (profile), Aug 26th, 2011 @ 9:33am

          Re: Re: Re: Why focus on how "little" money he got?

          "Infringement is selling the copyrighted works of others."

          Are you sure you want to stick to this as your personal definition of infringement?

          So, if I were to download something, like a movie or music album and watch it or listen to it by myself without ever selling it or making it available for others, then, by your own definition, I am NOT infringing? Since you say I'm not infringing then I am NOT a pirate or a thief, either.

          Thank you for your clarification, your definition will be referenced for future use also!

           

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      Zot-Sindi, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 6:15pm

      Re: Why focus on how "little" money he got?

      The observable fact is that the wild days of the internet are over. Time to climb down from your ivory-tower idealism, Mike, you're going to get people into serious "troubles".


      sigh i KNEW it was in there somewhere, might aswell play along

      ya ain't eva gonna break our internets, yeehaw!! *cocks shotgun*

       

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      JMT (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 8:05pm

      Re: Why focus on how "little" money he got?

      "Doesn't matter. So he wasn't overly successful at it; he would have liked to have been, I'm sure, and a dime is enough to constitute infringement."

      Reading fail. In case you missed it, Mike said "...ICE insists that it's only seizing the biggest "pirate sites." The point was to highlight ICE's ongoing dishonesty, and emphasise that these guy's always go further than they claim they will. It makes a mockery of the claims that laws like Protect IP won't be stretched and abused.

      "And calling him a teen? He's over 18..."

      ...and under 20, so the description is entirely accurate. Hardly a major point in the article.

      "Seems to me you're trying to minimize an entirely legitimate arrest and prosecution."

      Or highlight that this is a gross over-reaction to a very minor "crime", especially considering the more serious crimes ICE are tasked with policing. Do you really consider this a worthwhile use of the resources your taxes pay for? A kid making about $16 a day providing a service people want?

      "The observable fact is that the wild days of the internet are over."

      Oh geez, will you drop it with this ridiculous statement? It's one of the most groan-inducing, eye-rolling claims IP supporters make. Law enforcement has never and will never move as fast as advancements in technology, so if infringement is to be slowed or reduced it won't be by legal means short of turning the world into a true police state.

      "Time to climb down from your ivory-tower idealism, Mike, you're going to get people into serious "troubles"."

      Just for our entertainment, can you explain how Mike is going to get people into serious "troubles"?

       

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      sefu (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 11:18pm

      Re: Why focus on how "little" money he got?

      We won't have to worry about trouble, as long as there are sheeple like you.

       

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      HothMonster, Aug 26th, 2011 @ 8:31am

      Re: Why focus on how "little" money he got?

      or what teen means

       

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    Overcast (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 5:07pm

    Let's not worry about immigration issues now, "ICE", lol...

    We all know that protecting corporate profits is much more important. Of course, maybe that's why nothing is done about immigrations either - after all, labor is cheap when you don't have to worry about workman's comp, insurance, or heck - even paying them sometimes.

     

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      PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 5:20pm

      Re:

      I know, let's kick out the illegal aliens for their own good. It's better for them to starve back home than to be exploited in America. I'm sure the people who are forcibly separated from loved ones, friends and jobs are very thankful they are no longer being exploited in the US and can die in poverty in their home country.

       

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    Some Guy, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 6:01pm

    Until our outrage extends to our wallets and our ballots then Hollywood is just going to use the money we give it to trample our rights and purchase our elected officials.

    Send those bastards a message by refusing to buy their products or elect people that take their money!

     

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    Squid Lips, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 6:11pm

    Why yes, there is!

    "Aren't there real threats that ICE could be focused on these days?"

    Actually yes, and they've already found them. However, there has been bureaucratic set backs at Capitol Hill suggesting that we need to allow this threat to exist to protect ourselves from other threats, such as Mohamed Ali, ourselves, and Muhammad Ali.

    We might as well start turning ourselves in now, to save the embarrassment at the dinner table when Mitch Bainwol and Chris Dodd bust down our front doors and tazes the life out of us in front of our mothers. Our poor mothers are going to be fit to be tied.

     

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    abc gum, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 6:27pm

    "Aren't there real threats that ICE could be focused on these days?"

    Yup - but apparently they would rather deport the families of soldiers who died in our foreign wars.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 6:51pm

    Poor Mike Masnick. He just can't stand it when the law is enforced.

     

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    Travicane, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 7:41pm

    This has to be about the most useless, inane thread ever on TechDirt. Sorry I actually read it to this point - waste of time.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 8:13pm

    I'm LOLing about your pirate friend, Mike. AUSA Christopher Frey for the fucking win.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 8:15pm

      Re:

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 8:25pm

      Re:

      No docs available yet on the docket, but it's USA v. Ali, 1:11-mj-02045 in S.D.N.Y.

      The charges are 17 U.S.C. 506, 18 U.S.C. 2319(b)(1) and 18 U.S.C. 2. He was arrested and then released on his own recognizance, with travel limited to the continental U.S. and surrender of his travel documents.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 9:06pm

        Re: Re:

        How nice it would be to read the actual charge and affidavit to flesh out relevant facts that at this point are sketchy at best. They would certainly add more information that would help place what transpired in its proper perspective. Tried my PACER login, but no luck. Perhaps system is down at this time.

        Personally, I am curious where and how this individual was able to secure and provide video feeds of PPV events.

         

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        Jay (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 10:25pm

        Re: Re:

        Odd... Why isn't there anything on Bryan McCarthy yet?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2011 @ 7:08am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I just checked the docket, and Brian McCarthy has the same public defender that Ali has. His case is on a continuance until Sept. 21. Looks like they ordered mental health services as part of his bail condition. I wonder what prompted that.

           

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      JMT (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 9:08pm

      Re:

      After you've finished laughing, can you explain again to us how this is action going to encourage people to start paying more for content...

       

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      Karl (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 9:20pm

      Ad hominem much?

      your pirate friend

      Well, you WOULD think that, since you raped and killed a young girl in 1990. It doesn't matter if you say you're against anyone who raped and killed a young girl in 1990. You must be lying, because you're anti-piracy, and as everyone knows, anyone who is against piracy raped and killed a young girl in 1990.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2011 @ 7:16am

        Re: Ad hominem much?

        Considering that Mike will defend any pirate, no matter how guilty they appear, I think it's accurate to say "pirate friend." Funny how Mike claims that's piracy's not OK, but then he's critical of ANY effort to do anything about it. Nowhere in this article, for example, do you see any admonition for what Ali allegedly did. That's very telling. Mike is of course critical of the government, but God forbid if he say one bad thing about his pirate friend.

         

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          Karl (profile), Aug 26th, 2011 @ 12:59pm

          Re: Re: Ad hominem much?

          Considering that Mike will defend any pirate, no matter how guilty they appear, I think it's accurate to say "pirate friend."

          Criticizing ICE is not the same as defending the people they target. That sort of "for-us-or-against-us" mentality is the sort of false dilemma used in jingoist warmongering and police-state propaganda.

          And "friend" implies a lot more than just defending someone. It implies some sort of sympathy or collusion on a personal level. It's like calling the ACLU "Nazi sympathizers."

          It's disgusting, and it's exactly the sort of nonsense Gottfried was satirizing. But I guess you're incapable of getting the joke, since you did, in fact, rape and kill a young girl in 1990.

          Nowhere in this article, for example, do you see any admonition for what Ali allegedly did.

          Nowhere in this article do you see any defense of what Ali allegedly did, either.

          I can't speak for Mike, but since ICE's actions are more damaging to the public welfare than Ali's, I would have put the critical emphasis on ICE as well.

          But of course you wouldn't, since you need to support law enforcement no matter what they do. That way, they'll never suspect that it was you who raped and killed a young girl in 1990.

           

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    Karl (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 9:05pm

    Hmm

    Much as I'd like to, I can't get too worked up about this guy.

    For one thing, he was actually charging for access to the content. This is wholly different from running a community forum or music blog that has AdSense on it.

    I don't know if he was actually providing the streams (that is, if he streamed it from his own server, or himself placed in on someone else's server), but if he actually was charging for access, this seems likely. So - again, unlike the other seized sites - he is directly infringing. If he wasn't streaming them himself, then he was charging people to access something that they could get for free by going to the original site. Again, hard to have sympathy with him.

    But here's the thing. Since he was infringing on the public performance right, the most he can be charged with is a misdemeanor. Even if he's found guilty, he could spend at most a year in jail, and likely wouldn't serve any time at all.

    Furthermore, the whole UFC thing proved that it would have been pretty easy to settle this as a civil matter, as infringement should be.

    Combine this with the fact that he made $6000 in a year, and it seems like a total waste of the taxpayers' money to go after this kid.

     

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      Jay (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 10:49pm

      Re: Hmm

      I disagree. It's akin to police officers going after ticket scalpers. It's an economic problem. And this is NY. $6000 doesn't go very far in the city. If you read Torrentfreak, there's actually quite a few people willing to pay that much cheaper and more reasonable price than the exorbitant $70 gouging that UFC was looking to pursue:

      Mark Gisleson
      I watched a lot of NBA games on ATDHE. It was always obvious that whoever was running it wasn't making any money from it -- most of the commercials were streamed by the original broadcaster!

      American pro sports leverages its content by forcing fans to buy expensive cable/dish plans. All of these whores take tax breaks from the communities they operate out of, as well as state and federal "gifts." Congress could easily mandate that all teams receiving tax breaks digitally b'cast all games to local audiences. Instead, local fans suffer the outrage of blackouts (in the NBA you can buy League Pass but if you live near the team you can't watch any home games!).

      Like everything else in America, sports is broken. Ali is a hero to me. Yes, the streams were crappy, but for this brokeass motherfucker living in the Twin Cities, watching Timberwolves games would have cost me $60+ a month for an extortionate cable package. That's over $500 a year just to watch 80 some basketball games. Only the NFL makes its product available reliably on free TV. All the rest of our pro sports are locked up behind cable paywalls.

      I can't wait for Muhamed Ali to turn 35 so he can run for President.


      So in effect, they paid for convenience. He was providing a benefit to a number of people that would have done without. Or else, they would be that much poorer in enjoying a sport that they really liked.

      What's amazing is seeing him villified, because of what the laws supposedly demand. In no way can I get behind that. I know what the law says. But it's an unjust law.

      The UFC made $465 Million in PPV profits last year

      I find it amazing that the UFC is so aggressive as to make this kid an example for having the sheer audacity to force them to come up with a lower price point when they've already made a shit ton more than he did. In no way can the pirates compete with him, yet we have a company that is doing all it can to bring ridiculous laws against its consumers.

      I'll say it before, I'll say it again. Competition trumps enforcement. This is beyond ridiculous.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2011 @ 10:49am

        Re: Re: Hmm

        Jay, armed robbery is also an economic problem, nothing more. They don't want your life, they want your money (or valuables). Economic crime is still a crime, no matter how it is committed.

        What I can't understand is how much Mike is willing to stand on the head of the pin marked "linking". It's clear that this guy intended to infringe, it's clear with his "NO UFC!" stance that he understood that his site had plenty of illegal feeds, and he knowingly charged money to access them. I mean, what the heck? It doesn't matter if he is hosting the feeds or he has a third party site doing it for him, his intent is to distribute pirated / illegal material.

        Why Mike would want to stand up for this stuff is beyond me.

         

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        •  
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          Jay (profile), Aug 26th, 2011 @ 11:21am

          Re: Re: Re: Hmm

          "Jay, armed robbery is also an economic problem, nothing more. "

          Bullshit. The threat of force is used in your example. You're threatening someone with their life if they don't give up items of monetary value. In no way does copyright infringement harm anyone's physical well being. Your apples and oranges comparison does not apply when the civil issue of piracy is applied to the criminal issue of armed robbery.

          "I mean, what the heck? It doesn't matter if he is hosting the feeds or he has a third party site doing it for him, his intent is to distribute pirated / illegal material."

          It's unclear if some people felt the need to give donations for server costs or paid for the cheaper price. Fans would want to watch the game, no question. They may even love the cheaper fee. But there is nothing here saying they have harmed UFC or WWE economically when there are far more people willing to pay for the events (hence a look at their profits of last year) than the pirates on the outskirts.

          It's also been discovered that those gosh darned pirates, through research commissioned by the MPAA, are the industry's best customers for ancillary products. Unless you can find a reason a 19 year old kid *needs* to be in jail with drug dealers, arsonist, and murderers, it's quite telling that you believe a non-violent crime of copyright infringement needs to be answered with such a harsh punishment.

           

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2011 @ 11:45am

          Re: Re: Re: Hmm

          Why Mike would want to stand up for this stuff is beyond me.

          He stands up for it but then denies that he's a piracy/pirate apologist. The intellectual dishonesty from M.M. never ceases to amaze me.

           

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        •  
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          Karl (profile), Aug 26th, 2011 @ 1:33pm

          Re: Re: Re: Hmm

          Jay, armed robbery is also an economic problem, nothing more.

          There is a vast difference between infringement - even counterfeiting - and armed robbery. The obvious distinction is that most infringement doesn't involve violence.

          But even comparing it to "robbery" is wrong. Nothing is taken from the copyright holders - neither product, nor money. And the costs of manufacturing and distribution is borne entirely by the infringers. It is not "robbery," it is competition - unlawful though it may be.

          There are valid reasons for copyright - just as there are valid reasons for agricultural subsidies, minimum wage laws, and other government regulations of an open market. There are also valid reasons for trademarks - just as there are valid reasons for FDA approval of medicine, antitrust laws, "do not call" registries, or other consumer protection laws.

          But comparing any of these to "robbery" just shows your ignorance.

          What I can't understand is how much Mike is willing to stand on the head of the pin marked "linking".

          Probably because several judges have found "linking" to be not infringing on any level. Most notably in Perfect 10 v. Google.

          Also, because making "linking" an infringement would put the entire Web out of business. The fact that the case I cited was against Google, and not a "rogue site," shows exactly why.

          Why Mike would want to stand up for this stuff is beyond me.

          Mike did not ever "stand up for this stuff." Not in this post, not in any post I've ever read.

          Please stop lying.

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2011 @ 11:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm

            Armed robbery (and any robbery for that matter) is an economic crime. That is to say they aren't doing it for the violence, they are doing it for the money.

            It's sort of how you figure out the difference between criminal and civil liabilities in copyright violations. This guy was actively reselling access to copyright material, that makes it criminal, you know, an economic crime.

            You may not like it, you may not enjoy it, but in the end, it's the creation of personal wealth via criminal activities. The methods are different, the results remain the same.

            The linking issue is not at all settled by Perfect 10 v Google, because Google is a fairly exceptional case, using a system that indexes all of the internet without much in the way of filtering. Google doesn't have employees out setting up sites full of Perfect 10's content and then linking to them.

            In piracy, the files are in one place and the site in another to try to create separation for legal purposes. But clearly, when you put up a bunch of links for infringing material with knowledge of the content and with intent to help people obtain it, you have crossed a line.

            Consider the FTD case (Netherlands). They didn't even have to specifically link to stuff to be found guilty. Or consider Newzbin, of the ordered block of Newzbin2. Knowledge of what is going on is more than enough for at least some courts, clearly enough to show that the linking issue is not settled, like it or not. So when Mike stands on the single P10 v Google ruling, he is pretty much ignoring everything else going on.

            As for standing up for this stuff, consider his parting zinger: "Aren't there real threats that ICE could be focused on these days?"

            Clearly, he feels there should not be prosecution of this sort of thing. He is standing up for the site owner, and coming up with excuses why his site is "legal". Mike will deny over and over again that he supports piracy, he will deny over and over again that many of his business models hinge on continues piracy (infinite distribution doesn't exist without them!), but in the end, it is clear by his words and his choices of stories where his opinions lie.

            Oh, ask him for his true personal opinion, and you get weasel words. I have asked him before for a straight up statement, and what I get back reads like gibberish, and mostly involves attacking me personally. I just wish he would take the time to make posts on each of the issues, address them completely, and explain where Mike Masnick sits on all of this. Then we can debate those opinions. :)

            There is no lying. I get caught by Mike's weasel wording often enough, he is a talented tap dancer. But there are enough other people out there who have spotted the same things I have to make it a valid opinion.

             

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              Jay (profile), Aug 27th, 2011 @ 3:03pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm

              What the hell...?

              "Armed robbery (and any robbery for that matter) is an economic crime. That is to say they aren't doing it for the violence, they are doing it for the money."

              Here's what I wrote: The threat of force is used in your example. You're threatening someone with their life if they don't give up items of monetary value. In no way does copyright infringement harm anyone's physical well being.

              And what Karl wrote: Nothing is taken from the copyright holders - neither product, nor money. And the costs of manufacturing and distribution is borne entirely by the infringers. It is not "robbery," it is competition - unlawful though it may be.

              You are not answering that point, merely continuing your own assertion.

              "It's sort of how you figure out the difference between criminal and civil liabilities in copyright violations."

              Here's a good write up on the difference of infringement and theft from a legal perspective.

              "This guy was actively reselling access to copyright material, that makes it criminal, you know, an economic crime."

              Based on how the government collects evidence, I'm not likely to believe they know what the hell they're doing in regards to copyright law. The fact that he made a paltry sum of money compared to what the WWE and UFC are bringing in from their licensed channels should be more than telling that this is a waste of government resources.

              "You may not like it, you may not enjoy it, but in the end, it's the creation of personal wealth via criminal activities"

              Wow, he's an economic terrorist for running a server and passing links around. And last I checked linking on the internet was legal unless now you can prove he caused economic harm to UFC and WWE. $6000 is not economic profit, so please... Show evidence that the people he sold tickets to would have paid the WWE and UFC's higher fees of $50-$70 for a spot on the PPV versus going to a bar and doing the exact same thing of watching for free. I'll wait.

              "In piracy, the files are in one place and the site in another to try to create separation for legal purposes."

              The reverse is true. Because of the criminalization of the filesharing, in order to remain legal, most filesharing sites separate those files to avoid liability from the major trade industries. I can't look at every one of the rulings, but I notice that UFC has really stepped up pressure on smaller sites rather than continue litigation against places such as justin.tv

              " So when Mike stands on the single P10 v Google ruling, he is pretty much ignoring everything else going on."

              You're moving the goalposts there. You're talking about the Netherlands and the Newzbin2 example, then coming back to the US to discuss copyright law? I would think you would want to use a US standard such as Limewire to make your point.

              "Clearly, he feels there should not be prosecution of this sort of thing. He is standing up for the site owner, and coming up with excuses why his site is "legal"."

              Because a 19 year old kid running a website that made $6000 is clearly a threat to the *world*, for a site that is barely known to merely a handful of people, so that he has to face jailtime should he lose his case. I can see that conversation in prison...

              Ali: What are you in for?
              Convict 1: I'm in for murder and drugs. You?
              Ali: I showed people a link to a UFC match.

              Seriously, does the punishment for this and the wasted tax dollars to protect UFC's overpriced model really fit the crime of trying to jail this person?

              The rest is just you ranting so it's not worth bringing up.

               

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              Karl (profile), Aug 27th, 2011 @ 7:39pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm

              Armed robbery (and any robbery for that matter) is an economic crime. That is to say they aren't doing it for the violence, they are doing it for the money.

              Put that way, nearly every crime is an "economic crime." You might as well say street performance without a permit is the same as poisoning your spouse for their inheritance.

              And I notice that you didn't even address the main fact: that piracy just is unlawful competition. Nobody who knows what they're talking about (including the Supreme Court) actually says this is "robbery."

              It's sort of how you figure out the difference between criminal and civil liabilities in copyright violations. This guy was actively reselling access to copyright material, that makes it criminal, you know, an economic crime.

              That is not how you figure out the difference between criminal and civil liabilities. Actively reselling access to (or copies of) infringing material is still a civil offense, 99% of the time.

              In piracy, the files are in one place and the site in another to try to create separation for legal purposes.

              This is utter nonsense. Most of the sites ICE are going after do not, themselves, upload any content to any website. Furthermore, I've never heard of any "pirate site" doing this - because if the site owners upload the material anywhere, they're liable for direct infringement, whether the files are on their server or not. In fact, if that's what this kid was doing, he's the first one who did so that I know about.

              But clearly, when you put up a bunch of links for infringing material with knowledge of the content and with intent to help people obtain it, you have crossed a line.

              Yes, you are guilty of indirect infringement - which has never been considered a criminal offense before.

              As for standing up for this stuff, consider his parting zinger: "Aren't there real threats that ICE could be focused on these days?"

              I don't have any sympathy for this guy at all, and I agree with that statement. Why are my tax dollars being wasted on going after some kid who did nothing that could possibly harm the public? If UFC has a problem with him, let them pay for the lawyers. That's how copyright cases were handled for the past 200 years.

              He is standing up for the site owner, and coming up with excuses why his site is "legal".

              Mike was never "standing up for the site owner." He did not say that the site is "legal." He did not even say the site should be legal. You are lying again.

              Mike will deny over and over again that he supports piracy, he will deny over and over again that many of his business models hinge on continues piracy (infinite distribution doesn't exist without them!)

              Absolutely none of his business models hinge on "continues piracy." Not one. If all piracy was wiped off the face of the Earth tomorrow (yeah, right), his business models would be completely unaffected.

              And "infinite distribution doesn't exist" without piracy? That is the biggest load of bullshit I've ever heard. Amazon and iTunes have "infinite distribution," and only a bitter industry dinosaur would call that "piracy." I put my own music on my website under a CC license, so I have "infinite distribution" as well, and that's not piracy. The BitTorrent protocol was invented so that Linux distros could be distributed more easily, without putting a heavy load on the distros' websites - something that also has zero to do with piracy. Steam (Valve's platform for game distribution) depends on "infinite distribution," and it made almost a billion dollars last year. But it did so by intentionally considering pirates to be under-served customers, so maybe you think they "hinge on continues piracy."

              Infinite distribution depends on the internet existing at all. So clearly, you feel the internet should not exist. You may deny over and over again that you hate the internet, but in the end, it is clear by your words and your choice of comments where your opinions lie.

              Oh, ask him for his true personal opinion, and you get weasel words. I have asked him before for a straight up statement, and what I get back reads like gibberish, and mostly involves attacking me personally.

              He's made his opinions pretty clear. He doesn't support piracy, but believes it's a bad idea from a business perspective for content producers to waste resources fighting it, since eliminating piracy won't increase sales, and is a quixotic attempt in any case. And he believes that by exploiting the same infrastructures that allow piracy (e.g. your old enemy "infinite distribution"), content producers have the opportunity to make more money. And he's been proven right time and time again.

              From a legal perspective, he seems to believe that the methods used to fight piracy, do fundamental harm to the public's rights, without providing any public benefit, and without even slowing down piracy at all. And I agree with him wholeheartedly.

              Perhaps I've got some of his beliefs wrong, but if I have, that's my fault. I've never ever seen him use "weasel words" to explain his opinions. He's always been clear and consistent. If you don't understand his viewpoint, that's not because he's speaking "gibberish," it's because you aren't listening to a word he says. Or are too stupid to understand him. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume the former.

              But there are enough other people out there who have spotted the same things I have to make it a valid opinion.

              Oh, you mean those people who call everyone here "freetards" and assumes we're all huge pirates. Many of whom work for major labels or Hollywood studios. One of which just said "Pirate Mike is a slimeball and a liar." Yeah, you're in great company there, buddy.

              If I was called a "slimeball," a "liar," "Pirate Karl," "intellectually dishonest," a "freetard," or any of the million other insults that you and your "friends" have hurled at Mike, then I would be tempted to break out the personal attacks too. Asshole.

               

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            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2011 @ 11:43am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm

              Oh, ask him for his true personal opinion, and you get weasel words. I have asked him before for a straight up statement, and what I get back reads like gibberish, and mostly involves attacking me personally. I just wish he would take the time to make posts on each of the issues, address them completely, and explain where Mike Masnick sits on all of this. Then we can debate those opinions. :)

              There is no lying. I get caught by Mike's weasel wording often enough, he is a talented tap dancer. But there are enough other people out there who have spotted the same things I have to make it a valid opinion.


              Absolutely spot on. His weaseling is legendary. Try and pin him down on his views, and he slithers like a snake. He is quite good at what he does. All the good sociopaths are.

               

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      •  
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        Karl (profile), Aug 26th, 2011 @ 1:52pm

        Re: Re: Hmm

        I disagree. It's akin to police officers going after ticket scalpers.

        I don't have a problem with police officers going after ticket scalpers. It may be a waste of police resources, but since they're usually at the venue anyway...

        Mark Gisleson
        I watched a lot of NBA games on ATDHE.


        This site is not doing the same thing as ATDHE. (Not according to the allegations, at least.)

        Look, I don't have any problem at all with fans sharing media for non-commercial purposes. Nor do I think sites should be blamed for the actions of third parties, even if those sites are ad-supported. But the moment you make money directly from infringement, you lose my sympathy.

        Nor is it to say I support the domain seizures, even in this case. Granting ICE that power harms the public more than counterfeiting ever could.

        And as I said, there's no reason on Earth this shouldn't be settled in civil court. The fact that a preliminary injunction already worked once is proof of that.

         

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  •  
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    DannyB (profile), Aug 26th, 2011 @ 5:54am

    Aren't there real threats that ICE could be focused on?

    I think ICE behavior answers that question.

    No.

    Or in the alternative, Yes, but its easier to go after teenagers.

    Or another alternative is that ICE is attempting to send a strong message to foreigners that the US is insane and they should STAY OUT.

     

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


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