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US Gov't Continues Indicting People For File Sharing; 5 Indicted For NinjaVideo

from the best-use-of-resources? dept

As lots of people have been submitting, the Justice Department, in coordination with Homeland Security's ICE group, have indicted five people associated with the site NinjaVideo.net, claiming that together they represented a "conspiracy" to commit criminal copyright infringement. I will say this: compared to the laughable Rojadirecta case, in which the government fails to even show any actual criminal copyright infringement, the indictment here seems a lot stronger -- and unless they got something in the indictment totally wrong, I would predict that these five people are going to lose and lose badly in court.

Unlike the Rojadirecta case, the indictment suggests that NinjaVideo hosted content itself. It also suggests that these admins were very much directly involved in seeking out and distributing infringing content, and profiting from it. The fact that the feds are charging admins and uploaders together as "a conspiracy," is an interesting move, and one that is probably intended to get around the huge problem in the Rojadirecta case: which is that they show users sharing content, but not making money from it, and they show the site admins making money, but not uploading content. You have to show both by a single party for criminal copyright infringement to have happened. So, in this case, they're trying to link the five people together as a conspiracy. From the indictment, which is obviously one-sided, they make it appear that the two major uploaders were closely aligned with the admins. Whether or not that's actually true may be a big part of determining whether or not this case works. Also, it's not clear from the indictment how the hosting setup worked, and if NinjaVideo itself really hosted the material, but that also will be a key point in the case. Assuming that what's in the indictment is accurate, and not taken out of context, however, I just don't see NinjaVideo standing much of a chance in court.

One really interesting factoid in the indictment for all the Google-haters, who insist that Google is the major supporter of these kinds of sites: Google pretty quickly killed the AdSense account that the NinjaVideo folks had opened, telling them that it was because the site appeared to be distributing infringing works. Google-haters keep insisting that Google never shuts down such accounts, but this appears to be a case where they spotted the site pretty quickly and shut down the account.

TorrentFreak also points to a video made by Hana Amal Beshara, an admin for NinjaVideo who went by the name Phara. The video suggests that she and the others had some serious problems communicating with their lawyers, but that's really not going to matter much.
She also notes that they wanted to go public with what was happening ever since ICE seized their website in the very first round of Operation In Our Sites, but that all the lawyers kept saying to stay quiet. She says she now regrets that -- especially since she was indicted anyway -- and doesn't plan to stay quiet any more. While I understand the sentiment, the video itself isn't going to do much to help her case, in that she expresses "no regrets" for her involvement in NinjaVideo. The video makes it clear that she means this because the community "saved her life," but you can bet that the Justice Department will use that against her in court -- claiming she has no remorse.

I still think it's a bit silly for the Justice Department and Homeland Security to be doing this -- as it really should be a civil issue. It seems like Neil MacBride -- the former "anti-piracy" VP for the BSA, and now a US Attorney who was heavily involved in the indictment -- is paying back some favors to the copyright industry he came from. But, this way Hollywood gets taxpayers to pay for these kinds of lawsuits, instead of having to cut back on their own excesses. I also still question the legality of the original seizure of the domain name prior to any adversarial hearing. But, on the whole, these actual charges appear to have a lot more meat to them than what we've seen before in some of the other cases. It won't stop people from infringing, of course. And it won't stop similar communities -- though they'll probably drive those groups a bit further underground, making it more difficult for MacBride and his friends to track them down. But I guess as long as they feel they're "making a difference...."


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 7:27am

    What?

    I wonder what she means by "negotiations broke down" and why they waited so long to bring the indictment.

     

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  2.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 7:40am

    We need some trolls in here to explain why Mike is an apologist for piracy, and just wants to destroy all art and music.

     

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  3.  
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    Lord Binky, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 7:41am

    Feeling safer everyday

    I can't imagine what kind of place the US would be without being protected like this.

     

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  4.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 7:50am

    I feel safer knowing these evil people are in jail.
    They created kajillions in losses and were responsible for the entire downfall of the global economy.
    It is good indepth investigation into these sleazy activities that help keep us protected.

    *looks off camera... what do you mean this isn't a story about the banks screwing us with the mortgage market?!*

    Some kids shared some movies, and face more issues than the people who destroyed the world economy... *blink*
    How the *BLEEP* does this make the homeland more secure?

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 7:51am

    Wow. What a sociopath. Releasing a video wherein she admits she has no regrets. Priceless. I hope the jury enjoys that video, bitch.

     

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  6.  
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    Jay (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 7:56am

    Re:

    And it begins... The obvious dislike of the person instead of disliking the rules that were stretched to allow this to occur...

    *sigh*

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 7:58am

    Re:

    Rationalization. Since you think some other people did something worse got off easier, we should take it easy on these criminals? No thanks. Luckily, the prosecuting attorney doesn't rationalize like that. These dirtbag pirates are going to get what they deserve.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 8:02am

    Re:

    tagged sadbuttrue

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 8:02am

    Haters gonna hate, problem?

     

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  10.  
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    Blaine, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 8:03am

    Ninjas > Pirates

    Now we can tackle the tough questions, are Ninjas better than Pirates? But what happens when the Pirates are Ninjas?

    I don't know if the world is ready for Pirate Ninjas...

    Let me be the first to say...

    but...but...but...Ninjas...

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 8:07am

    Re: Re:

    Isn't that kind of the definition of justice? That people should be punished in relation to he severity of there crime.

     

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  12.  
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    Jay (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 8:10am

    My take

    I fail to see how a donation to a site that has a certain service or community equates to hurting the movie theaters and their profits.

     

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  13.  
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    Thomas (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 8:15am

    So how much..

    is the copyright industry paying the DOJ and Homeland Security to do its' bidding? Apparently DOJ and HS are far more concerned with people sharing files than people trying to blow up buildings or kill American citizens.

    Of course with DOJ hiring attorneys from the copyright industry, it's not surprising that DOJ suddenly is on the side of copyright people.

    You would think that DOJ and HS have better things to do than kiss the a** of copyright executives.

     

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  14.  
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    The eejit (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 8:16am

    Re:

    *BLAM!*

     

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  15.  
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    The eejit (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 8:17am

    Re:

    Says the person who calls her a sociopathic bitch. Someone who clearly lacks empathy.

     

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  16.  
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    Thomas (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 8:18am

    Re:

    It doesn't make us more secure; it just makes the copyright industry executives feel better. HS knows this full well. I'd hate to be working for a "Department of Justice" that wastes resources like that.

     

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  17.  
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    Chris in Utah (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 8:24am

    Re:

    I know right? lulz

     

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  18.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re:

    I do not think the bankers did something worse, I know they did something worse.
    I enjoy you calling them criminals before there is an actual trial, innocent until proven guilty.

    While both allegedly broke the law, the zealous prosecution of those with less money than others seems to show an amazing bias in the law that is not supposed to be there.

    Everyone is a criminal, there are thousands of silly laws. The punishment and prosecution of those things are supposed to be based on how badly society was damaged by them.

    Waiting to see a single bank on trial.

     

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  19.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 8:33am

    "they'll probably drive those groups a bit further underground"

    You freetards keep saying that as if it's a bad idea to suppress crime at all, and as if it /helps/ piracy to be kept far "underground". But you're wacky on both points, so the conclusion is that you're criminals at heart and enjoy the "bad boy" image of secret lairs and all. -- Listen. If your notion of rebelling against oppressive gov't is to file-share and lurk in the shadows, you've already lost.

    File-sharing is not freedom. Wrong battle.

     

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  20.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 8:36am

    "[Google] spotted the site pretty quickly and shut down the account."

    SO THEY CAN POLICE THEIR ADS. I say also that they're REQUIRED to as part of due diligence, so no more excuses!

     

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  21.  
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    The eejit (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 8:40am

    Re: "they'll probably drive those groups a bit further underground"

    No, it means that it's harder to trace fully. You know, like that other moral boondoggle. Y'know, terrorism.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 8:41am

    Doesn't the U.S. government have anything better to do besides wasting taxpayer money on supporting private corporations? and they call this a free market capitalistic society.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 8:45am

    Re: Re:

    Since when do we reward criminal scum? Crime is illegal!

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 8:45am

    Sweet video. She looks good in orange... which is fortunate for her.

     

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  25.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 8:45am

    'admins and uploaders together as "a conspiracy,"'

    That's actually common practice, so a good wedge. For instance, from what I understand, the Rapidshare file-sharing site gives free access to uploaders at the least, and perhaps money directly. So, anywhere benefits go, conspiracy follows.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 8:48am

    I see that the site has secured a new web address and is back on line in full force.

    Can hardly wait to hear from those who hang their hat on the First Amendment.

     

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  27.  
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    MrWilson, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 8:52am

    Re: "they'll probably drive those groups a bit further underground"

    Tallyhseet:

    +1 usage of term freetard

    +1 establishing a strawman

    +1 generalizing a whole group of people as criminals without evidence

    +1 generalizing the motives of a whole group of people without evidence

    Congratulations! You've won 4 internets!

     

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  28.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re: "they'll probably drive those groups a bit further underground"

    "No, it means that it's harder to trace fully. You know, like that other moral boondoggle. Y'know, terrorism."

    Nice equation there, can't unscramble it because senseless, so just: WRONG.

     

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  29.  
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    MrWilson, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 8:55am

    Re:

    It is a free market society. Corporations are free to buy anything they can afford in the market, including the Department of Justice...

     

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  30.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 8:56am

    Re: Re: "they'll probably drive those groups a bit further underground"

    And -100 to you, "MrWilson", for off-topic irrelevance.

     

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  31.  
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    MrWilson, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:03am

    Re: Re: Re: "they'll probably drive those groups a bit further underground"

    How is it off-topic to point out that your comment was completely baseless?

     

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  32.  
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    Vik, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:15am

    Stealing is illegal, the video she has made will not work in her favor.
    To anybody who thinks that still thinks that downloading movies and TV shows is ok..... it's stealing, go out to movie theater once in a while, pay for a ticket and have a great time watching it.

     

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  33.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:18am

    Re:

    Can hardly wait to hear from those who hang their hat on the First Amendment.

    I really don't know if there is a 1st Amendment issue with this case or not, but I would like to point out one simple fact:

    Whether or not there is another avenue available for restrained speech (ie: different domain name) has no bearing on whether restraining the speech on the initial avenue violates the 1st Amendment.

    I am starting to get annoyed with people stating: "Such and such site popped back up with a new domain name, so there is no prior restraint", because that is simply wrong as far as I know (IANAL).

     

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  34.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:18am

    Re:

    Can hardly wait to hear from those who hang their hat on the First Amendment

    I believe you're misunderstanding the First Amendment argument. No one has argued they have a right to be involved in copyright infringement. The concern is in the seizure of the *non-infringing* speech. But you know that. Because we've told you in the past. And you ignore it.

     

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  35.  
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    HothMonster, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:24am

    Re: "they'll probably drive those groups a bit further underground"

    Yes I only download files if they originate in a server room hidden in a dormant volcano

     

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  36.  
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    A Monkey with Atitude, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:26am

    Re: Re: Re: "they'll probably drive those groups a bit further underground"

    nope your still just and idiot

     

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  37.  
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    AJ, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:26am

    I'm surprised, with all the legal landmines in the US, that anyone would host anything here in the first place. It's not that hard to get a host out of country.

    I wonder if you are an American living in the US, and you have a server/website in a country where you are not breaking the law in their country, if you can be arrested here.

    hmmm...

     

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  38.  
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    HothMonster, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:28am

    Re:

    no thanks I'll wait till its on netflix

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:29am

    Re: Re:

    In virtually every case associated with the seizure of a domain asociated with "music and videos" a hue and cry has been raised concerning the First Amendment. The argument, in it most basic sense, is along the lines that these sites contain copious amounts of site principals and user comments.

    The "new" site has none of this. Nevertheless, I wonder how many will actually visit the site before weighing in with a First Amendment argument. Having reviewed many third party comments here concerning earlier seizures, in my opinion very few have taken the time to actually look at the sites to see what the fuss is all about.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:30am

    Re:

    Unless you already pay for cable and treat the internet like a massive Digital Video Recorder. Then it's not stealing, it's just convenient.

     

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  41.  
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    Greevar (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:31am

    Re: Re:

    Why let little things like facts get in the way of trolling?

     

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  42.  
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    A Monkey with Atitude, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:38am

    Re:

    Nope...

    I have paid to see maybe 3 movies in a theater in the last 3 years... they still sux, so i will keep voting with my wallet. And the Movie Apologist and Movie Industry will keep calling me a pirate and thief (because they didn't make the money they thought they should). I made the choice not to watch the crap sammiches they keep calling good movies and going to overpriced room with sticky floors and uncomfortable seats and you call it a good experience.

    I have broken no law, yet you call me a criminal.
    I have spoken nothing but truth, yet you call me a liar.
    I have downloaded nothing, but I am a thief.

    Here is a hint, if you want my MONEY for your WORK, don't treat me like shit, or use extortion (Government Guns)....

    Actually try work in why your customers say you fail (they are voting with their wallets and their downloads)...

     

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  43.  
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    AJ, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:39am

    Re: Re:

    I have always found it interesting that it is not illegal to DVR a show, but if I download the same show, I'm a pirate.... It doesn't seem to matter if I subscribe to cable that carries that show or not... download = pirate....

    Hard to take the pro IP guys seriously when they are calling someone a pirate for something they already purchased.....

     

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  44.  
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    HothMonster, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "I do not think the bankers did something worse, I know they did something worse. I enjoy calling them criminals before there is an actual trial, innocent until proven guilty."

    Not that I disagree with you but fixed that for you to point out your hypocrisy

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:44am

    Re: Re:

    Hmmm...you will need to work a lot harder, there are still 7 billion out there :)

     

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  46.  
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    HothMonster, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:44am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Also lots of banks are in or will soon be in litigation. http://www.dandodiary.com/2011/08/articles/failed-banks/fdics-latest-failed-bank-lawsuit-defendants- include-outside-directors-and-do-insurers-also-number-of-problem-banks-declines/

    Now there are a lot of people who were more instrumental in popping the bubble that are laughing at you while fucking a hooker on a pile of money knowing that they will never get brought to trial but a lot of shady bank administrators are getting dragged over the coals by the FDIC, and the FDIC will make back a fraction of the money it spent keeping these fucked up banks afloat

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:46am

    Re: "[Google] spotted the site pretty quickly and shut down the account."

    Nope, there is no requirement I'm afraid dude.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:49am

    Re: "they'll probably drive those groups a bit further underground"

    Filesharing is just beautiful.

    We all know some people will get a stay in the big house, but since the economy is so bad that may not be a bad thing at, as an inmate you get 2 squares a day, clean clothes, TV, access to education programs, a roof over you head, and complete healthcare plan.

    I think I know where I can find a lot of recruits for the cause, the government will love to put all of those homeless in jail.

     

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  49.  
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    Jay (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:50am

    Odd...

    Why are they being charged with the same crime twice?

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:50am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Crime is illegal, invented crimes are unjust and will end up like every other unjust law ever passed.

     

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  51.  
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    blaktron (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:51am

    Re: "[Google] spotted the site pretty quickly and shut down the account."

    whats the excuse? I've never heard google make an 'excuse' about their ads. I've heard them try and explain technical realities to folk like yourself who clearly cannot grasp what they do, so automatically assume that because you don't understand it it cannot possibly be 'right', but excuses? Nope.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:51am

    Re: Ninjas > Pirates

    Personally I believe Pirates would kick the Ninjas asses on the water, but things could get ugly on dry land.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:55am

    Re: "they'll probably drive those groups a bit further underground"

    So not only do you perpetuate this inane fantasy that there are 'criminals' and there are decent people as if the two groups do not partially or fully overlaps you go on to use it to paint anyone that disagrees with you as 'criminals at heart.' Fantastic work there, establish your 'enemy' as being abject and depraved then make it clear that you're against abject depravity. Where did you work before you came here, some cold war propaganda machine?

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:56am

    Re: 'admins and uploaders together as "a conspiracy,"'

    Except that in German courts that are a lot more strict than the US ones they couldn't find a thing to pin on them, is that not beautiful?

    Event hough I don't like Rapidshare that much.

     

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  55.  
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    Trolls-R-Us, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:59am

    Re:

    apologist for piracy?? fuck that, MIKE IS THE DEVIL, it's his FAULT we have world hunger today, that's happens when you PIRATE something, a child goes HUNGRY and god KILLS a KITTEN

    you FREETARDS are not only his loyal SERVANTS and BRAINWASHED sheeple, you are his spawn, the sorriest, laziest freeloadin' SCUM there is, bunch of kitten killing BASTARDS trying to STEAL my children's pudding! can you not think of the CHILDREN!?!?


    ... and ... uh... damn i can't think like a copyright troll, all i can do is spot loads of outrageous hyperbole & ridiculous claims even a 5 year old would roll their eyes at & capitalize IMPORTANT words for EMPHASIS

    ...close enough to the real thing, i suppose

     

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  56.  
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    Greevar (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 10:00am

    Re:

    "Stealing is illegal"

    No shit Sherlock? Nobody is arguing that point.

    "To anybody who thinks that still thinks that downloading movies and TV shows is ok..... it's stealing"

    And that's where you are so astronomically wrong. It is not stealing. I know, it makes for a strong sounding argument, but it doesn't fit the colloquial nor the legal definition. This is something I've explained over and over again.

    Stealing is an act that the law defines as taking of property which removes it from the possession of the rightful owner. In other words, it causes loss of property. Copyright infringement does not remove what one person has and transfers possession to another, nor does it cause a loss. It actually leaves more where there was less. You can't label something stealing if it doesn't take anything away from the owner and actually creates more of it. And no, "potential" profits don't count. You can't claim a loss of something you never had.

    Call it what it is, a violation of a government granted privilege to restrict copying, or copyright infringement for short. Only someone with the mind of a child would equate the copying of information to "stealing", but idiots like you enjoy trying to boil down definitions to their most broad and over-simplified levels so as to capture the act under the term of "stealing".

    What you paytards fail to realize every time, is that all art, be it music, movies, books, etc, are all forms of communication, thus speech. When you lock up speech behind copyright, you're censoring speech. This goes against the First Amendment. Your precious profits shouldn't even figure into my civil liberties to say what I want, where I want, and when I want. The internet is the greatest tool ever created for promoting truly free speech and communication. You're just going to have to adapt your business model to accept that fact.

    "Thinking about what hurts and doesnít hurt sales misses the point entirely. A corporationís profits must never be at the center of policymaking, much less the center of determining what fundamental civil liberties we have as free citizens." - Rick Falkvinge

    http://torrentfreak.com/i-dont-care-about-your-profits-and-it-enrages-me-that-you-think -i-should-110911/

     

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  57.  
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    Trolls-R-Us, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 10:03am

    Re:

    Wow. What a sociopath.


    ugh. i was gonna just spout off a "no u" and be on my way but the irony was so intense my irony-detector had a supernova

    so... yeah... just gonna walk away now.. real slowly

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 10:03am

    Re: Re:

    No, in a free market society the government is not for sale. If the government is for sale there can be no free market. The two states are mutually exclusive.

     

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

  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 10:07am

    Re: "[Google] spotted the site pretty quickly and shut down the account."

    You should really google 'due diligence' before using the phrase to avoid misappropriating it this badly.

     

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

  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re: Re:

    At this point I don't really care, you muppets are going down, law or no law you people are chapter 11 already you just don't know it yet.

     

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

  61.  
    icon
    mike allen (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 10:08am

    H.S boss we got a threat terrorists attacking.
    H.S Sargent sorry boss all our men are busy catching file sharers. maybe next week.

     

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

  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 10:10am

    Re:

    Nope, I am not going to a theater and pay, I'm not going out to pay for plastic discs, I'm not going out to buy anything from you people, for all I care you can die and go to hell.

    Now can you get me?
    I will not make a video crying, I promissed I will show some balls and say fock you!

     

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

  63.  
    icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 10:12am

    Re:

    sociopath

    You're diagnosing her with sociopathy because she pirates movies and doesn't see anything wrong with it?

    "In other news, half of the world's population was diagnosed as having sociopathic tendencies this Monday. Experts say that an anonymous commenter made the striking discovery, which had evaded psychiatrists for over a decade."

     

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

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 10:13am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Not only that they are not paying attention to the competitors appearing on the market place, for music people don't actually need to do anything wrong, you can just go to any of the hundreds of CC commons websites that offer music that can be distribute legally.

    TV is starting to happen, books you have thousands of years worth of them.

    Not counting the obvious other channels already mentioned like radio and TV that are legal to record and impossible to track.

     

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

  65.  
    icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 10:15am

    Re:

    it's stealing

    No.

    That is all.

     

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

  66.  
    icon
    blaktron (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 10:23am

    "Stealing" Content

    To those who claim that getting content from an source not authorized by the copyright holder is "Stealing" I ask you this: If taking away potential economic activity (which is what you are describing when you say 'stealing music') is 'stealing', then isn't all capitalism by definition theft? Since anytime I am forced to pay for something it takes away other potential economic activity, wouldn't that definition of theft bleed into all commerce eventually?

    How about taxes then? All taxes would be stealing under that definition. Allowing a copyright to exist would be stealing from every single person who does not get that copyright.

    I'm not speaking about morality at all here, thats a totally separate issue, I'm speaking specifically and narrowly about the economic impact. Explain to me, without using 'right' or 'wrong' how "copyright" is different economically than a "tax" from the perspective of demanding money for services without truly asking the consumer.

     

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

  67.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re: Re:

    ". Nevertheless, I wonder how many will actually visit the site before weighing in with a First Amendment argument. Having reviewed many third party comments here concerning earlier seizures, in my opinion very few have taken the time to actually look at the sites to see what the fuss is all about"

    Amazing... Brilliant. Just one problem...

    How can *anyone* look at the site when it's been seized?

    You can't judge the old site based on the new one that had to be started from scratch. I find it quite stunning that you take this tact, knowing full well that no one can review the site, especially given that it's just been forfeited.

    With no adversarial hearing...

    Just the government's word while they utilized stall tactics.

    Truly disgusting.

     

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

  68.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 10:42am

    Re: 'admins and uploaders together as "a conspiracy,"'

    What? Where did you hear that? I'm what you call a criminal and I've NEVER heard of Rapidshare doing that!
    Oh wait...I think I have it now. I remember that some cyberlockers, I think Rapidshare is one of them, give premium accounts to those whose files are downloaded a certain number of times. Downloading is different than uploading.
    However, they do police their links rigorously, and at least 8 times out of 10, if I click a Rapidshare link, its been deleted for copyright infringement.

     

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

  69.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 10:47am

    Overstock.com

    [Somewhat Offtopic]:

    Over the weekend I heard about Overstock.com rebranding to O.co and it made me wonder if the US Government claiming to have legal jurisdiction over the .com Tld played any part in their decision.

     

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

  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 10:54am

    Re:

    Sorry, dude. When I watch my tv shows when it's convenient for me, I am not stealing from anyone. I already pay for the cable service and I pay for my internetz.

     

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

  71.  
    icon
    Berenerd (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 10:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Just as a note, it has been proven that many have done wrong in the banking industry however none got punished because they were "too big to fail"

     

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

  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: "they'll probably drive those groups a bit further underground"

    nope your still just and idiot

    God.... the irony. Hey Professor try this instead: "Nope, YOU'RE still just AN idiot". Meanwhile you owe me a new keyboard and this one is awash with the iced tea I sprayed through my nose. +1 funny!

     

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

  73.  
    icon
    Andrew (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 11:02am

    I been reading Techdirt for awhile but I am troubled by a lot of the comments about people and pirates.

    1. It seems that anyone who is even slightly associated to piracy is guilty (no matter if its taken out of context). When has it shifted that we assume people are guilty first before assuming they are innocence? Everyone needs to get a chance to prove their innocence but its also not fair to immediately lump someone in the guilty pile.

    2. Most of the time the ones pirating (I am talking about games/cams in cinemas etc) are going to be the best customers. They are the ones going out and actually buying the games and going to movies to share. Now I am not saying this is right by any means but its a point most people overlook.

    3. How is it any different recording a show on your dvr, vcr (heck even your computer) than downloading a tv show? I have cable (no dvr) but I am never around when most of my shows are showing. I love outside the US so even online things are blocked for me most of the times. So either I do not watch my show or I find another means. People may argue I have a sense of entitlement and I partially agree with you, I should probably get a dvr and record my show and watch it later or don't bother. So my question is what do the tv producers prefer? Because I will happily not watch my show and they will still lose a customer.

    4. I don't like piracy but it has its place in the world. I tend to stay away from it as much as I can but there has to be an easier way to get your product (whatever that may be) to a customer (like myself) without me choosing not to bother. In the end of the day ask yourself is someone who pirates and someone who chooses not to bother considered a lost sale?

    Finally I do not agree with Ninja Video or the stance they took etc. I think people should be punished for the crime they commit. However the punishment should fit the crime.

     

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

  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 11:03am

    Re:

    You should make sure to write your representative supporting a private right of action in the Protect IP Act. I agree, the taxpayers shouldn't have to shoulder the burden.

     

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

  75.  
    icon
    Andrew (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 11:03am

    Re:

    I live outside the US *

     

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

  76.  
    icon
    iamtheky (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 11:05am

    Re: Overstock.com

    a single letter domain name with an alliterative TLD wasnt appealing enough...it must be piracy...i mean CONSpiracy. I would include their lawsuit against Wall Street to give it some evil corporate trading substance.

     

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

  77.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 11:07am

    Re:

    True. Copyright infringement does have its place in the world. The best example I can point to is the anime market. In the 70's and 80's, the only way you could get anime was through bootlegged VHS, brought over from Japan. Some people saw a potential market there, and started dubbing these shows and selling them, which started pretty much a whole new industry.

     

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

  78.  
    icon
    garm (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 11:10am

    Re:

    From wikipedia:

    The actus reus of theft is usually defined as an unauthorized taking, keeping or using of another's property which must be accompanied by a mens rea of dishonesty and/or the intent to permanently deprive the owner or the person with rightful possession of that property or its use.

    Lets break this definition down so we can see it clearly:

    Theft is impossible since any item downloaded off the internet doesn't really exist. It is impossible to "steal" an idea and it is impossible to steal via copyright infringment. Calling it theft is intellectually dishonest

    You can talk about being deprived of income by infringement but it can never be "theft". The failure of content industries to adapt to a changing market should never be a criminal issue, especially when study after study has shown that people will use money on things THEY FEEL ARE WORHT IT and strangely enough treating your customers as thieving bastards doesn't help in this.

    And all this posits that people will always buy everything they download, completely ignoring that a big part of culture is sharing, and modern copyright laws are all about locking content up. It is no wonder that people don't respect these laws, they treat something intangible (1 and 0 on the internet) as if they have an actual value (in the same way that an apple will always have an actual value) when people know that they don't have any inherent value.

     

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

  79.  
    icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 11:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: "they'll probably drive those groups a bit further underground"

    Tsk. -1 for feeding the troll.

     

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

  80.  
    icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 11:32am

    Re:

    "Stealing is illegal..."

    And water is wet. What does this have to do with copyright infringement?

    "To anybody who thinks that still thinks that downloading movies and TV shows is ok..."

    I recently downloaded the entire TV series "The Secret Life of Machines". Via a bittorrent I found on The Pirate Bay. What was wrong with that?

    "...it's stealing..."

    This subject has been covered so many times it's died of asphyxiation. Copyright infringement is not theft.

    "...go out to movie theater once in a while, pay for a ticket and have a great time watching it."

    No number of theater tickets will allow me to watch "The Secret Life of Machines". So how does this work again?

    You seem to have a really simplistic view of the world. You might want to withhold comment until you've picked up a bit more understanding of the subject and come up with some better arguments.

     

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

  81.  
    icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re:

    Whoops! Not only did I forget to log in, I came late to the party. I should have skimmed ahead before answering, I wouldn't have bothered.

    Uh, it's early Monday and I haven't had my tea yet. Yeah, that's it.

     

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

  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 11:50am

    Commercial copyright infringement is a criminal crime, not just a civil issue.

    Sorry Mike, you fail again.

     

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

  83.  
    icon
    Dementia (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I really don't see where he actually called the banks criminals, he just said he knows they did something worse than the people running NinjaVideo.

     

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

  84.  
    icon
    Dementia (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    While I would tend to agree with you, the problem is that seizing a domain does not equal seizing a server. Perhaps in this case they may have seized servers, but unless I'm really misunderstanding the other cases, all that were seized were the domain names, not the actual hardware and software used for running the site.

     

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

  85.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re:

    I will make sure to buy a gun if that happens.

     

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

  86.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 12:58pm

    Re:

    Did you hear that?

    Is the sound of people not caring LoL

     

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

  87.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The difference being I never called the bankers criminals.
    There is plenty of evidence out there of wrong doing on the part of the bankers and traders, but there seems to be little motion towards having trials and determining guilt or innocence.

     

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

  88.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 1:24pm

    Re:

    Ah but one needs to prove there was Commercial copyright infringement.

    Because they provided access to links and things, they were selling access not the material directly.

     

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

  89.  
    identicon
    Squid Lips, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 1:44pm

    Sad

    To think that this wouldn't be an issue if the lables had a better business model. Since they don't, kids go to jail.

     

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

  90.  
    identicon
    Squid Lips, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 1:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ... It's actually the exact opposite. Instead of taking them to trial, we're dropping billions of dollars into their personal accounts. Weird.

     

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

  91.  
    identicon
    Aerilus, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I believe that is all in civil court

     

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

  92.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 2:15pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I really don't think my comment needed a sarcasm tag, but...

     

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

  93.  
    identicon
    Aerilus, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    well, they did have a fully equipped forum with a political section if my memory serves me correctly. but actually taking a tactful and intelligent approach to seizing evidence is far beyond what I would expect from the caliber of law enforcement we employ in america. break down the doors call in SAT and take everything that isn't nailed down. I have actually seem evidence that has been seized by police it is not pretty when it is returned 6-12 months after the trial. if at all.

     

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

  94.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 2:33pm

    Re:

    ....no, commercial copyright infringement is NOT a crime all of the time. Go on, look it up. I'll wait.

     

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

  95.  
    icon
    Ron Rezendes (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 4:16pm

    Re: Sad

    Oh hell - I can hear it now...

    "...but, but, but think of the JAILED children!"

     

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

  96.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:08pm

    Re: Re:

    See: 17 USC 506 and certain provisions contained in 17 USC 512. These provisions each refer to specific sections in Title 28, and it is under these sections that the DOJ proceeds when it determines that a criminal proceeding is appropriate.

    Note that in Section 512 the subject of linking is specifically addressed. It the prima facie elements are believed to be met, the DOJ is authorized by law to proceed under Title 28. Note, though, that the prima facie elements are quite constrained.

     

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

  97.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 9:15pm

    Re: Re:

    Being outside the US, acts in your country of residence are governed by your national law. Recognize, however, that if actions in your country of residence touch or effect international commerce with the United States, it is possible that a cause of action may be assertable within the US under its laws.

    Of course, this is a difficult matter of US law as a necessary requirement is that the US Courts must be able to establish in personam (over the person) or in rem (over the property) jurisdiction to have the authority to adjudicate the matter.

     

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

  98.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 10:33pm

    Re: 'admins and uploaders together as "a conspiracy,"'

    from what I understand

    Which you've made abundantly clear is that you simply don't. No surprise there.

     

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

  99.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 10:34pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    What I like about the law is that it fails to show time constraints ti just assumes that anything can be considered a crime since even if I earned almost to nothing it would still be a crime under those terms depicted there.

    $100 bucks per year over 16 years would be enough to satisfy the financial constraints imposed by the law.

     

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

  100.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 10:54pm

    It seems to me that that video could be used to show to the court that NinjaVideos was a political statement and not just a tool for infringement.

     

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

  101.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 11:44pm

    Re: So how much..

    You would think that DOJ and HS have better things to do than kiss the a** of copyright executives.

    The copyright industry is running the government.

     

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

  102.  
    icon
    Andrew (profile), Sep 13th, 2011 @ 5:28am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Okay...I do understand that but what about my other points that I pointed out.

    I have no problem paying for things that I like. I regularly do that to support the people. But my overwhelming point is that I am a customer who is willing to get it by legit means but can't in some scenarios.

    In the end of the day I would choose to not have something over pirating it but in both instances is that considered a lost sale? Piracy seems to be "apparently" cause companies to lose money since they did not buy it legitimately (I really don't agree with this as it makes no sense). But if I choose not to pirate and just not bother wouldn't that be cause for a lost sale too??

     

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

  103.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Sep 13th, 2011 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The entire point of the seizures is to "preserve evidence". That's the pretense here. However, there is nothing to look at and review at the current time because for the last year and a half, the takedowns have been a one sided ordeal.

    You can't look at NV's new site and say "oh, it's just the same as the old one". They set up that domain outside of the US without the same features.

    So how can our AC say "look at the site for 1st Amendment issues" when we can't even do that? It boggles my mind how they came up with their logic train.

     

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

  104.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Sep 13th, 2011 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re: Sad

     

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


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