One Ninjavideo Defendant Pleads Guilty; Expect Him To Testify Against The Others

from the they're-going-to-lose dept

When the government indicted five people for being involved with Ninjavideo, we noted that the government's case looked a hell of a lot stronger than many of its other efforts involving seizing websites, and we predicted that the people involved were likely to lose in court. So it came as little surprise that one, Matthew Smith, has already pled guilty. Of course, knowing a little about how these things work, it's pretty clear that the feds did a plea bargain deal with this guy, and he's now likely to testify against the others. That's the basic deal: plead guilty to these lesser charges (two out of the six charges), provide evidence against everyone else, get a promise of less time in jail (which the judge can ignore).

This is why some other countries don't allow plea bargains. It makes it way too easy for people to agree to say whatever the feds want in other cases, just to protect their own hide.

I still think that the feds have a much stronger case against Ninjavideo -- though it still seems like this should be a civil suit, rather than a criminal suit. Separately, from other information I've seen, it appears that the feds do get some things in the indictment incorrect, including the claim that Ninjavideo hosted videos. That was part of the reason why I thought Ninjavideo was going to lose badly, but others have pointed out that while Ninjavideo tries very hard to make users think it hosts the videos, in actuality, it does not. Still, at this point, given the other activities of those involved in the site, I'm not sure that distinction matters. And now that Smith is likely to appear against the others, my original prediction stands: everyone else is going to lose badly, whether or not they get plea bargain deals as well.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2011 @ 2:52pm

    I love piracy with a passion, but that part of piracy where people make private forums is against the piracy I love.

    So I don't sympathize with them, still I feel sorry for those people, they don't deserve to be treated as criminals.

    That is why I will always support open culture till the day I die.

    Now anyone wants to pirate some "Annoying orange"?
    http://www.youtube.com/user/realannoyingorange

    ps: Since piracy is the new word for sharing that is the way I'm using it.

     

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  2.  
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    A Dan (profile), Sep 26th, 2011 @ 3:05pm

    Typo

    "So it came as little surprise that one, Matthew Smith, has already plead guilty."

    He pleaded or pled (ugh) guilty. Not plead.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2011 @ 3:08pm

    Re:

    Being a pirate is alright to be, but annoying oranges is no way to go through life son.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2011 @ 3:11pm

    "I still think that the feds have a much stronger case against Ninjavideo -- though it still seems like this should be a civil suit, rather than a criminal suit."

    Mike, they took in almost half a million dollars worth of ill gotten gains from this criminal enterprise. This is quite possibly one of the clearest examples of where criminal copyright infringement comes in. It's not hard to see, unless you cover your eyes and intentionally look the other direction.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2011 @ 3:11pm

    It's funny we don't allow torture(immediate use of violence) to coerce admissions from people, yet we quite happily allow the use of longterm violence(jail time) to coerce admissions.

     

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  6.  
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    Jay (profile), Sep 26th, 2011 @ 3:17pm

    Re:

    "Mike, they took in almost half a million dollars worth of ill gotten gains from this criminal enterprise."

    ... What? The ad payments were ~ $20 to $30. Unless the Feds have some secret info they aren't sharing, it's kind of hard to say where the money came from. It could be a job they worked on the side, or it could be merged with the 8 other places seized, since Ninjathis was added to the complaint against Ninjavideo about a year ago. So unless you have something new from the indictment, how do you explain 18 payments equating to $500,000 mixed between only the admins?

    "This is quite possibly one of the clearest examples of where criminal copyright infringement comes in."

    Yeah, a conspiracy to commit copyright infringement when they had merely links like TVShack or Roja. This is a great starter case.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2011 @ 3:23pm

    Re:

     

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  8.  
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    Richard (profile), Sep 26th, 2011 @ 3:32pm

    Plea bargains

    Basically amount to reward the guilty and punish the innocent.

     

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  9.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Sep 26th, 2011 @ 3:46pm

    Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    "Smith admitted that he made agreements with online advertising entities to generate income for the website, and he and his co-conspirators collected more than $500,000 during the website's two-and-a-half years of operation."

    Now if you have any honesty, admit the facts.

     

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  10.  
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    blaktron (profile), Sep 26th, 2011 @ 3:51pm

    Re:

    Hypocrisy, thy name is Good Politics...

     

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  11.  
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    Planespotter (profile), Sep 26th, 2011 @ 4:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    All depends on the costs of the servers and hosting arrangements in place, it does seem like rather a lot of cash though given the fact that no files where hosted and they were operating as nothing more that a link site with embedded videos... I can't remember the site too greatly as I was never bothered with shite quality streams, they had some system for playing streams that I didn't like and even though they briefly affiliated with a documentary release team that I had involvement in I never liked the admins or the site much.

     

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  12.  
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    DCX2, Sep 26th, 2011 @ 4:05pm

    Re:

    Those who orchestrated the financial crisis made millions of dollars from their criminal enterprise. They will never see the inside of a prison cell. Their ill-gotten gains will never be returned to those they stole from.

    It doesn't make what Ninjavideo did right. But the juxtaposition of punishments for people who received half a million in ad money for peddling copyrighted videos vs. the people who stole millions and brought the world to the brink of financial destruction...it should make any reasonable person's stomach turn.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2011 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Re:

    Then pirate The Guild.
    http://www.watchtheguild.com/

    Or read some Mimi & Eunice
    http://mimiandeunice.com/

    There is something open out there for you son, that I'm sure of it.

     

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  14.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Sep 26th, 2011 @ 4:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    You irrelevant non-point about costs is another attempt to just plain dodge the FACT of INCOME: "collected more than $500,000". There's no two ways to look at that. It's now FACT established in open court. If you expect anyone to stick with you that punishments are draconian, then you're damn well going to have to admit FACTS.

     

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  15.  
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    Jay (profile), Sep 26th, 2011 @ 4:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    No one's dodging anything.

    The amounts stated are:

    $3.33
    $50.00
    $20.00

    through Paypal. I'll say the largest amount from the transactions MIGHT HAVE been $200. At most. Mike has said on numerous occasions that Adsense makes little to no money from Google, and the people were warned about using it through the copyright infringement.

    So it's basic math. No where can I discern how they made $500,000 among them from advertisements. So I can't believe the numbers unless I have a chance to calculate them. And that can't happen until the financial records, as well as the domain proceeds are figured out. What I would be wary of is that they've mixed the amounts of other places. Right now, it's a game of shenanigans and the FBI holds the cards.

    So again. No rhetoric. How can these amounts add up to $500K with few references to the income of the people involved?

     

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  16.  
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    Jay (profile), Sep 26th, 2011 @ 4:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    BTW, just so you're up to speed on the amounts, here's the pdf of the indictment, where I got my numbers.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2011 @ 5:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    Jay,

    If you don't believe Matthew Smith's own sworn statement, then you advance from the level of piracy apologist to the freetard equivalent of a Holocaust denier.

    Now, as the leading snitch in the case; he has to testify against his (former) friends. The one thing that the prosecutors will be absolutely sure of is that his statement is 100% accurate. They will run down every single detail so that defense lawyers don't find something to impeach his testimony with.

    So question the $500,000 all you like. The research that went into determining that number is probably a bit more in depth than your own.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2011 @ 5:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    Plus Federal sentencing guidelines generally are tied to the amount of money involved. If anything, Smith has every reason to understate the amount of money involved.

     

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  19.  
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    Jay (profile), Sep 26th, 2011 @ 6:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    "Now, as the leading snitch in the case; he has to testify against his (former) friends. The one thing that the prosecutors will be absolutely sure of is that his statement is 100% accurate. They will run down every single detail so that defense lawyers don't find something to impeach his testimony with."

    You mean manipulated. Based on what's happening with the FBI's massive list of informants, they use one person to inform on others. But I'll wait to see this because from information I've read, the indictment isn't 100% accurate. I guess that's why we have a little thing called "innocent until proven guilty" in a court of law, right?

    " The research that went into determining that number is probably a bit more in depth than your own."

    As I said before and I will say again, if you can show how they made that money in 18 payments when they're so low, feel free. Otherwise, your little jibe in the beginning is lost when the government has been known to go for frivolous cases or cases where they use a massive list of people to spy for crimes.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2011 @ 6:30pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    There is. I like those free as in speech games all the kids play nowadays. Plus I use free software(again, in the RMS sense) for all my important tasks.

    I also enjoyed Sita, but that one only sort of counts becuase of the Hanshaw music being non-free.

     

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  21.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 26th, 2011 @ 7:19pm

    Re:

    Need I point out that you're the same AC who, on another thread, insisted I would *never* write about this story? And then I do and you still attack?

    Seriously, dude, you make me laugh.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2011 @ 7:29pm

    Re: Re:

    If you're talking to me pudgy, you've got the wrong guy. Try checking IP addresses (again) and see for yourself.

     

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  23.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 26th, 2011 @ 7:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    "Smith admitted that he made agreements with online advertising entities to generate income for the website, and he and his co-conspirators collected more than $500,000 during the website's two-and-a-half years of operation."

    Now if you have any honesty, admit the facts.


    Just to be clear, while I'm making no statement on the facts here, I would be careful in accepting anything in a plea bargain as "facts." As we've demonstrated before, there's game theory at work here, and the feds often get people to "confess" to facts that are simply false in order to get a guilty plea with lowered sentencing... and a witness against others.

    It may be true that there was $500k here, but taking the plea bargain statement as fact is a fool's errand.

     

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  24.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 26th, 2011 @ 7:33pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    you've got the wrong guy

    I was not referring to you. Check threaded view, skippy. You're nowhere to be found. And, no, not checking IP addresses. It's easy to determine who's who by their style of writing.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2011 @ 7:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    "Now, as the leading snitch in the case; he has to testify against his (former) friends. The one thing that the prosecutors will be absolutely sure of is that his statement is 100% accurate. They will run down every single detail so that defense lawyers don't find something to impeach his testimony with."

    You mean manipulated.

    Hiding money is harder than you think. Even cash is tough. I'd guess, given the nature of their business that all the money moved electronically. I doubt anyone is cooking the numbers. These are kids, not seasoned criminals with underworld laundering connections. Get real.

    Based on what's happening with the FBI's massive list of informants, they use one person to inform on others.

    Smith isn't really an informant. He was a co-conspirator who won the race to the US Attorney's office to cut a deal and snitch his friends out. So much for the great moral crusade of "sharing". Like all the others, it's about the money not free speech or due process or sharing. It's about the money.

    But I'll wait to see this because from information I've read, the indictment isn't 100% accurate. I guess that's why we have a little thing called "innocent until proven guilty" in a court of law, right?

    Smith is guilty in the eyes of the court and the world. He pled out and agreed to testify against his accomplices in exchange for less time in jail. It happens all the time in a variety of criminal enterprises around the country. The rest with plead as well. No way they risk trial with Smith ready to set them on fire.

    " The research that went into determining that number is probably a bit more in depth than your own."

    As I said before and I will say again, if you can show how they made that money in 18 payments when they're so low, feel free.

    I don't ned to prove jack shit. The US Attorney has already shown evidence of crimes involving the defendant collecting in excess of 500k to the apparent satisfaction of Smith and his lawyer. Otherwise he'd be going to trial.

    Otherwise, your little jibe in the beginning is lost when the government has been known to go for frivolous cases or cases where they use a massive list of people to spy for crimes.

    The above is gibberish. What frivolous case? The one Smith just pled guilty to and is going to prison for? The one his co-defendants are going to prison for? What "massive list of people to spy for crimes". WTF are you even talking about?

    You should read what you write. You've devolved into one of the nuttier apologists on this board recently. You can't simply ignore facts. And you argue stupid shit that has everything to do with the nature of the crime and nothing to do with the facts and law. It's getting embarrassing Jay.

     

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  26.  
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    Willton, Sep 26th, 2011 @ 8:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    As we've demonstrated before, there's game theory at work here, and the feds often get people to "confess" to facts that are simply false in order to get a guilty plea with lowered sentencing... and a witness against others.

    So what you're saying is that U.S. attorneys regularly suborn perjury? That's a pretty serious charge, sir. I suggest you put forth some evidence before you start making spurious accusations about our justice system.

     

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  27.  
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    Jay (profile), Sep 26th, 2011 @ 8:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    "I doubt anyone is cooking the numbers. These are kids, not seasoned criminals with underworld laundering connections. Get real."

    Cooking? No. Inflating or conflating? Possibly.

    Again, I said there's a possibility that the numbers are mixed. Part of it might be from their jobs while another part of it is donations. We don't know and ICE hasn't made this part known to anyone. So unless you know where the money is coming from, in 18 payments, especially given the wire transfer laws that would stop them from transferring large amounts, you're guessing.

    " He was a co-conspirator who won the race to the US Attorney's office to cut a deal and snitch his friends out. So much for the great moral crusade of "sharing". Like all the others, it's about the money not free speech or due process or sharing. It's about the money."

    I just finished the documentary that was linked in the article in how the government stacks the deck against people to keep their 90% conviction ratings. I doubt this was about money and you're still not proving that you know where it came from.

    " The US Attorney has already shown evidence of crimes involving the defendant collecting in excess of 500k to the apparent satisfaction of Smith and his lawyer. Otherwise he'd be going to trial."

    No, they aren't guilty and I've read the indictment and my point stands. The numbers don't match. So if this goes to trial (which I'm going to doubt since they want to pin this on whomever looks like the leader) then we can see how solid or flimsy the case is. I wouldn't be surprised if plea deals are doled out, similar to what happened with the RNC bombing plot.

    But just because one person was given a plea deal does not make the facts true.

    "The above is gibberish. What frivolous case?"

    See that blue text for "frivolous?". That was the frivolous case, where the government tried to go after a person for modding an Xbox. It failed miserably. Then, there's other cases such as the RNC plot where informants are used to entrap people to make a crime worse.

    In regards to Matthew's involvement, I only know of it from the indictment, that he helped to develop the app for NV. PCWorld has it listed., Sadly, we can't see the site to debate this because oh look, it's taken down so there's little to no public discourse about it. Fancy that...

    " You can't simply ignore facts."

    I haven't. I'm questioning the facts given. They aren't making sense because the numbers don't add up. You can continue to try berating or you can explain how payment processes of $20 equate to hundreds of thousands. If not, you're in the same boat as I am and have to wait and see what happens.

    " And you argue stupid shit that has everything to do with the nature of the crime and nothing to do with the facts and law."

    Let's see if I remember all the details correctly...

    They had their site taken down ... Complaint comes in a full six months after the site is taken down with no way to complain to a judge about this. The people have to wait a full year and a half for an indictment on five videos that have gone on to make more than $500K in revenue but somehow, because it's released early on THIS website, they're interfering with the profits of Hollywood. And this exact process, the jailing of people for running a website with links on it, a conspiratorial look at people who come together to build something based on donations, not "illicit" or "ill gotten" goods, but people freely exchanging money for a service along with cheap ads, THIS is the future envisioned by Hollywood and Protect IP?

    "Everyone is a criminal that isn't a part of Hollywood"

    You're a sad man, bucko. I feel sorry for you and the humanity you've lost in order to sell yourself out with this shill game.

    If this is what the law promises, there won't be innovation. There won't be more people paying for Hollywood content. I guess turning the world into criminals will be a great way to show how copyright enforcement's ineffective, but I for one, can only shake my head as I watch the people lose their civil liberties for one small industry's profit.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2011 @ 9:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    @Jay

    Jesus Christ. You ignore the facts in the indictment, you ignore the facts in the confession and then you formulate a half-baked conspiracy theory on the partially disclosed portfolio of evidence. Ask yourself this Jay. If similar circumstances occurred in a drug or illegal gambling case, would you apply the same unwillingness to accept the facts? I say no. Your desperation to aid, abet, excuse and coddle criminal infringing leads you to willfully ignore what any unbiased person would readily accept as fact.... including Smith and his lawyer.

    You've really started a freefall into tinfoil hat zealotry. And the crazier and more unreasonable you become, the easier you are to simply dismiss as a total crackpot and buffoon.

    I guess that's the price of admission to the Mike Masnick Personality(such as it is) Cult.

     

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  29.  
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    Jay (profile), Sep 26th, 2011 @ 9:06pm

    *sigh*

    Nope. We'll just agree to disagree since you can't keep on target and explain.

     

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  30.  
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    Jay (profile), Sep 26th, 2011 @ 9:12pm

    And I'd really pay attention to the illegal gambling cases.

    The domain seizures are still taking down sites for online gambling.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2011 @ 9:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    It may be true that there was $500k here, but taking the plea bargain statement as fact is a fool's errand.

    And the evidence for your doubt is what exactly?

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2011 @ 9:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    You know Jay. I'm getting worried. There are psychiatric drugs that can help you:

    Part of it might be from their jobs while another part of it is donations.

    Are you out of your fucking mind? Go show me a drug case where the dealer's legitimate (job) earnings were lumped in with the financial computation in the plea bargain.



    I just finished the documentary that was linked in the article in how the government stacks the deck against people to keep their 90% conviction ratings. I doubt this was about money and you're still not proving that you know where it came from.

    Oh, well.. a documentary you say. Have you ever ben on a jury jay? Try spending a day in a criminal court and see first hand how many defendants who come to trial you'd acquit if you were on a jury. There's a 90% conviction rate because more than 90% are guilty. Half of the ones who are acquitted are guilty too but manage a reasonable doubt or technicality.

    " The US Attorney has already shown evidence of crimes involving the defendant collecting in excess of 500k to the apparent satisfaction of Smith and his lawyer. Otherwise he'd be going to trial."

    No, they aren't guilty and I've read the indictment and my point stands.

    What the fuck do you mean they're not guilty? Smith confessed and proclaimed his guilt and is prepared to testify as to the criminal conduct of his accomplices.

    The numbers don't match.

    The gloves don't fit so you must acquit? Please.

    So if this goes to trial (which I'm going to doubt since they want to pin this on whomever looks like the leader)

    They have the leader. It's Smith. He confessed and pled guilty to his crimes.

    then we can see how solid or flimsy the case is.

    The ringleader pled out and is poised to testify against his friends. Yeah, we'll see how flimsy the case is.

    I wouldn't be surprised if plea deals are doled out, similar to what happened with the RNC bombing plot.

    Smith already secured the best deal. Phara will get more time. Lesser defendants will probably get what Smith gets. I predict Smith gets two years and $250,000 fine. Phara will get handed three and the others will get a year. Hard to tell about their fines. Will depend on the assets and property forfeited already.

     

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  33.  
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    The eejit (profile), Sep 26th, 2011 @ 11:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    Someone has obviously never heard of the funny place called Abu Ghraib.

     

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  34.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 26th, 2011 @ 11:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    So what you're saying is that U.S. attorneys regularly suborn perjury? That's a pretty serious charge, sir. I suggest you put forth some evidence before you start making spurious accusations about our justice system.

    Read the link in my story about how "these things work," or better yet, watch the documentary that discusses. From there you quickly learn that the feds have no problem whatsoever getting people to plead guilty to false information. In fact, they seem to revel in it.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2011 @ 12:22am

    Re:

    "Smith has admitted to signing ad deals that grossed $500,000"

    May you and all your pirate buddies die in a fire.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2011 @ 12:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    You're wasting your time. All the members on this site are in complete denial about what is happening to their freetard internet.

    They seriously thought everything would stay the same; that people would always bust their ass to entertain them for free forever.

    They're mentally ill. All of them.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2011 @ 12:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    "So what you're saying is that U.S. attorneys regularly suborn perjury? That's a pretty serious charge, sir. I suggest you put forth some evidence before you start making spurious accusations about our justice system."

    Actually, not only U.S. attorneys but police officers as well. I was once picked up and booked on one charge (paraphernalia), once in police custody, I was NEVER at any point read my rights. I was also forced to relinquish my glasses (which I am by doctor's orders required to wear at all times except for when I'm asleep because of how blind I am). After awhile, a police officer took me from my cell and then asked me to sign a paper, keep in mind I literally could not see what was on it, and he'd take me back to my cell. I began to explain that I refused to do so until I was able to read it. He refused to actually read it to me and then proceeded to harass and intimidate me in an attempt to get me to sign it. Eventually, after keeping at it, I managed to get him to go get my glasses from evidence. I put my glasses on and started laughing before I finished the paragraph on the full page paper. He literally wrote an entire confession to a string of home, car and store burglaries and wanted me to sign it. I told him to get bent (I was 18 at the time and not one for taking crap from anyone, much less a cop who acted like a bully). He then proceeded to further try and intimidate me. I honestly thought he was going to assault me then and there, with the screaming and waving his arms and getting literally in my face (which I figured was an attempt to provoke a reaction on my part, which he could then say was justification for whatever response he dished out in return). After saying I had no clue about the burglaries and providing alibis for each and every single one he mentioned, he told me he had videotape surveillance of me committing the crimes. I told him "right on, in that case you have all the proof you need to convict me". At which point he said he had eyewitnesses who could testify I committed the crimes, after laughing a bit more I told him that couldn't possibly be true because I hadn't done what he said I did and my alibis would verify my whereabouts. He then literally said he'd get someone to say I committed the crimes. I paused and said, "First you said you have video evidence, then you say you have witnesses and now you're saying YOU'LL GET SOMEONE TO SAY I DID IT? Don't you mean IF someone says I did it. To me that sounds like you're going to have someone lie. Not quite in accordance with the law as far as I'm aware. You're a police officer? And I'm the one in jail?" I knew it'd just piss him off more if I laughed, so of course I did, and he grabbed me roughly and practically dragged me back to the cell.

    So yeah, perjury isn't exactly beyond the realm of possibility in regards to what some people (attorneys and police officers) will do just to make a conviction or lighten their case load.

     

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  38.  
    icon
    Any Mouse (profile), Sep 27th, 2011 @ 1:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    Plea deal confessions generally are worth about as much as confessions that are wrung out of someone over the course of 72 hours of nonstop interrogation. Frighten someone sufficiently and they will say ANYTHING to save their own hides. There's no way to prove or disprove his 'sworn statement.' I'll wait to see actual evidence.

     

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  39.  
    icon
    Any Mouse (profile), Sep 27th, 2011 @ 2:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    Any google on 'plea bargain confessions' will give anyone more than enough ammo, actually. How about you start with a case like http://www.slate.com/id/2075319/ first. That's a real good one, and obviously they are lying about innocence, now, despite all the hard DNA evidence....

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2011 @ 4:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    "The one thing that the prosecutors will be absolutely sure of is that his statement is 100% accurate."

    My are you ever funny. I'm in stitches over here.

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2011 @ 6:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    "Just to be clear, while I'm making no statement on the facts here, I would be careful in accepting anything in a plea bargain as "facts." As we've demonstrated before, there's game theory at work here, and the feds often get people to "confess" to facts that are simply false in order to get a guilty plea with lowered sentencing... and a witness against others.

    It may be true that there was $500k here, but taking the plea bargain statement as fact is a fool's errand."

    OMG Mike, talk about trying to ignore reality. Did you actually type that with a straight face, or did you have to stop 2 or 3 times because you were laughing too hard?

    Come on. Are you suggesting they took him in a dark room and used rubber hoses and the old phone book / night stick routine to get him to "confess" to something he didn't do?

    Are you suggesting that every time someone admits to being a criminal pirate that they were somehow forced into admitting it?

    It's posts like this (which are becoming more and more frequent around here) that really undermine your credibility.

    The plea bargain is this guy's best way out. He likely will get the proverbial slap on the wrist (and have his sentence structured in a way that it is removed from his record if he is a good boy), and the other guys who are playing hardball will find themselves doing time in a the old "federal butt slammin' prison", especially with this guy testifying and providing all the insider information required.

    I really think you are have reached the edge of going from paranoid to a bit of a nut case when it comes to police action, you allow the occasional bad actor to shade your entire view of all law enforcement, and you seem not to understand how the legal system works. You are great and spouting off theories and tickling friendly lawyer's thought patterns, but it is clear you have never been involved in a criminal case.

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2011 @ 6:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mike, too bad you aren't very good at spotting anonymous posters anymore. I am one, and I count at least 3 or 4 others, and one that writes very close to my style.

    I personally think you only covered this story because you found a way to try to spin it negatively, and to try to call the guy out for pleading in the case. Otherwise, you would have ignored it, the same way you ignored Hotfile getting reamed out and ordered to turn over all of their data (except source code), which is likely to lead to significant legal action against the people who uploaded and profited from that service.

    Selective posting, it's your style. Figuring out who is posting, well, that is a department you seem to be slipping in these days.

     

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  43.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Sep 27th, 2011 @ 7:49am

    *Tsk tsk tsk*

    The first one uses rhetoric to ignore any points made.

    He jumps from an ad hom attack to a comparison on drug charges with nothing to back it up.

    Then you say that people asking for details on the case are mentally ill. Just another day in the fantasy world of shill/troll central.

     

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  44.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Sep 27th, 2011 @ 7:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Selective posting, it's your style."

    Why don't you start a new opinion blog that is not biased?

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2011 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Routine discovery in the Hotfile case described as 'reamed out' by an AC? Mike just might be on to something with this 'style of writing' thing...

     

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  46.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Sep 27th, 2011 @ 8:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    I suggest you put forth some evidence

    Like those videos showing cops going off the deep end?

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2011 @ 8:34am

    Re: *Tsk tsk tsk*

    He jumps from an ad hom attack to a comparison on drug charges with nothing to back it up.

    Nothing to back it up?

    Jay, you dismiss Smith's own confession and the grand jury's indictment to question the dollar amounts of the Ninjavideo criminal enterprise.... with nothing to back it up.

    Yu suggest that maybe the government added money the kid made working at Starbucks or any legitimate job e may have had..... with nothing to back it up.

    You grasp at every straw in the hope of casting FUD over the governments case against a confessed criminal in a slam dunk case... with nothing to back it up.

    And it's apparent to everyone that the only

     

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  48.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Sep 27th, 2011 @ 8:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    It's posts like this (which are becoming more and more frequent around here) that really undermine your credibility.

    Actually ad hominems and trying to potrait Mike as saying something he didn't just enforces it, even to casual observers of this blog. After all, if ACs like you need to paint him like that, to make him look bad, that's all one needs to know.

     

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  49.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Sep 27th, 2011 @ 8:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Dude, just because manage to refrain yourself every now and then from misusing "reamed out" does not mean it's not you. And even if not, you trolls are all alike and failing. So what?

     

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  50.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Sep 27th, 2011 @ 8:51am

    Re: Re: *Tsk tsk tsk*

    "Jay, you dismiss Smith's own confession and the grand jury's indictment to question the dollar amounts of the Ninjavideo criminal enterprise.... with nothing to back it up. "

    I did. It's all above.

    "Yu suggest that maybe the government added money the kid made working at Starbucks or any legitimate job e may have had..... with nothing to back it up."

    I said it's a possibility. The $500K number is kind of difficult to accept when it wasn't just 5 people, this isn't a criminal empire, and the Feds have a habit of "confusing" numbers in order to make their case.

    "You grasp at every straw in the hope of casting FUD over the governments case against a confessed criminal in a slam dunk case... with nothing to back it up"

    It's not a slam dunk case, but you keep thinking that. I just said the math doesn't add up to the 18 payments equating to $500K. That's not that hard to figure out. But then when your opponent only wants to shift sights to irrelevant BS, hey, that's on them.

    BTW, the war on drugs has failed and has significant consequences beyond criminalizing people. But I guess all of that is ignored in order to ruin people's lives for civil cases the copyright holders should run instead of this criminal offense, which is far cheaper for the MPAA and RIAA.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2011 @ 9:05am

    It's not a slam dunk case, but you keep thinking that.

    Yes it is. The ringleader confessed. He's going to testify against his accomplices. They are going to plea out as well. If they had a case, they'd be in court. Jesus Christ, even Masnick isn't tossing around these bizarre excuses and has himself commented on the strength of the government's case.... and he's the Lord High Apologist.

    BTW, the war on drugs has failed and has significant consequences beyond criminalizing people. But I guess all of that is ignored in order to ruin people's lives for civil cases the copyright holders should run instead of this criminal offense, which is far cheaper for the MPAA and RIAA.

    Jay, despite what you believe these guys made $500,000 from content that didn't belong to them. That is a crime is this country. They weren't "sharing" they weren't part of a free speech crusade. They were in it for the money... a half million of it. They got, they're getting fined and then going to jail. Tough shit. This wasn't P2P file swapping or a kid downloading a movie. This was an on-going criminal enterprise.

     

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  52.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Sep 27th, 2011 @ 9:42am

    Re:

    "The ringleader confessed."

    Newsflash. Matt isn't the "ringleader" in the community. Your naivete is showing.

    " If they had a case, they'd be in court."

    If the government had given steps as to how to bring a case against this smaller community, maybe they would. I noticed you ignored everything here where I start with "They had their site taken down." You might wanna read that again.

    "Jay, despite what you believe these guys made $500,000 from content that didn't belong to them."

    So far, they're charged with releasing Avatar ($2 billion in revenue), 2012 ($770 Million in revenue worldwide), Iron Man 2 ($624 Million in revenue), and the A-Team ($177 million in revenue).

    So far, the early release didn't seem to hurt the movies in making money. Further, until I see the amounts of donations (which are people giving money freely to Ninja btw) I'm still believing that was a service they provided. Same as Hulu or TVShack. I guess it's telling that you believe Matthew deserves jail time for this. So I don't even have to ask how you feel on Richard (TVShack's admin) being extradited to the US for copyright infringement when what he did (linking to material) was legal in the UK. I guess the Bryan McCarthy arrest must fill you with glee as well.

    " They were in it for the money... a half million of it."

    You don't know their motivations, except to paint them in a bad light. Pretty telling man.

    " This was an on-going criminal enterprise."

    ... Wow. And yet you claim I need medication... I guess now, you'll say the US extradition against Richard O' Dwyer is justified so long as other countries respect copyright. Was he a criminal as well as a student? Such evil masterminds are taking over the world!

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Willton, Sep 27th, 2011 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    Read the link in my story about how "these things work," or better yet, watch the documentary that discusses. From there you quickly learn that the feds have no problem whatsoever getting people to plead guilty to false information. In fact, they seem to revel in it.

    So you're going to take one data point and extrapolate it to the furthest reaches of the universe? That's pretty damn irresponsible. You are taking the bad acts of a select few and using it to smear an entire class of people who work for the Department of Justice. That's just as irresponsible, if not moreso, as taking the acts of the persons involved in this Ninjavideo case and attributing them to all persons who engage in peer-to-peer sharing networks. Your implication that U.S. attorneys regularly subborn perjury is pretty f***ing disgusting and shows off your bigotry.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Willton, Sep 27th, 2011 @ 12:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    Like those videos showing cops going off the deep end?

    Cops are not U.S. attorneys. I suggest you learn the difference.

     

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  55.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Sep 27th, 2011 @ 2:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    The Revolving door of the Department of Justice is quite well known. Giving jobs to those that lobby is one of many abuses that is well documented.

    But then you're ignoring the fact that Neil McBride, the AG was once campaigning for more copyright through his work as the VP of the BSA, aren't you?

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2011 @ 2:55pm

    Re: Re:

    "The ringleader confessed."

    Newsflash. Matt isn't the "ringleader" in the community. Your naivete is showing.

    Hmmmm. Most media outlets name him as founder, his name is on most if not all of the ad contracts. I'd say ringleader is the right word. Feel free to disagree since this is an infringing case.

    " If they had a case, they'd be in court."

    If the government had given steps as to how to bring a case against this smaller community, maybe they would. I noticed you ignored everything here where I start with "They had their site taken down." You might wanna read that again.

    You're rambling again

    "Jay, despite what you believe these guys made $500,000 from content that didn't belong to them."

    So far, they're charged with releasing Avatar ($2 billion in revenue), 2012 ($770 Million in revenue worldwide), Iron Man 2 ($624 Million in revenue), and the A-Team ($177 million in revenue).

    Yes. And???

    So far, the early release didn't seem to hurt the movies in making money.

    So maybe I should go steal something from Walmart and then argue to the judge that I didn't seem to hurt Walmart's earnings. Brilliant!! Why didn't I think of that?

    Further, until I see the amounts of donations (which are people giving money freely to Ninja btw)

    They received donations for the purpose of monetizing their continuing criminal enterprise.

    I'm still believing that was a service they provided. Same as Hulu or TVShack.

    Right jay, same as Hulu or TVShack EXCEPT Ninjavideo didn't pay for content. Other than that, you're right.


    I guess it's telling that you believe Matthew deserves jail time for this.

    Very insightful. I suggest he pirate a few seasons of "Oz" to learn more about his upcoming experience.

    So I don't even have to ask how you feel on Richard (TVShack's admin) being extradited to the US for copyright infringement when what he did (linking to material) was legal in the UK.

    Online gambling is legal in other countries too. What happens when those companies provide services to US customers. Oops. And yes, I look forward to Richard's extended visit in the US.

    I guess the Bryan McCarth

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Willton, Sep 27th, 2011 @ 4:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    The Revolving door of the Department of Justice is quite well known. Giving jobs to those that lobby is one of many abuses that is well documented.

    Why is giving jobs to those that lobby an abuse? Is there something particularly wrong with hiring people who have experience dealing with the issues the DOJ faces regularly?

    But then you're ignoring the fact that Neil McBride, the AG was once campaigning for more copyright through his work as the VP of the BSA, aren't you?

    I'm ignoring it because it's not relevant to the topic at hand. This question raised in this thread was whether members of the U.S. Attorney's office, which is part of the DOJ, regularly suborn perjury. I don't see how the AG's past employment has any relevance to that topic.

    You need to learn how to focus.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2011 @ 7:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.


    I really think you are have reached the edge of going from paranoid to a bit of a nut case when it comes to police action, you allow the occasional bad
    actor to shade your entire view of all law enforcement, and you seem not to understand how the legal system works. You are great and spouting off theories
    and tickling friendly lawyer's thought patterns, but it is clear you have never been involved in a criminal case.





    Look over at The Volokh Conspiracy.

    Your appeal to authority is not impressive.

    I suppose you aren't smart enough to argue with the libertarian members of The Federalist Society.

    Why do you keep coming here?

     

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  59.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Sep 27th, 2011 @ 11:49pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Can you do me one favor? If you're going to write a lot, please finish your thoughts? It'd help a lot in keeping this moving.

    "Most media outlets name him as founder, his name is on most if not all of the ad contracts. I'd say ringleader is the right word. Feel free to disagree since this is an infringing case."

    This isn't that hard to figure out. I'm sure if you googled NV or listened to any of the videos on Torrentfreak, you'll quickly figure out who the "ringleader" is. But even then, it's a misnomer since each played a different part in the site. For the most part, it seems they all had something they did on the site, and people filled the spots that they felt most comfortable in. And even then, there's others that probably filled roles. You can't run a site with just 5 people, with one being all the way in Greece.

    "You're rambling again"

    Now who's playing ignorant with facts?

    Guess it's time for a timeline of events as the government did them. Bear in mind, I'm answering your question here:
    "And you argue stupid shit that has everything to do with the nature of the crime and nothing to do with the facts and law."

    So let's deal in facts as reported.

    Jun 29, 2010 - Nine sites are taken down. From Disney HQ. In one of the stories, "Officials also seized assets from 15 bank, investment and advertising accounts, and executed residential search warrants in North Carolina, New Jersey, New York and Washington." That links up to all four suspects here.


    Complaint comes in a full six months after the site is taken down with no way to complain to a judge about this. The people have to wait a full year and a half for an indictment on five videos that have gone on to make more than $500K in revenue but somehow, because it's released early on THIS website, they're interfering with the profits of Hollywood. And this exact process, the jailing of people for running a website with links on it, a conspiratorial look at people who come together to build something based on donations, not "illicit" or "ill gotten" goods, but people freely exchanging money for a service along with cheap ads, THIS is the future envisioned by Hollywood and Protect IP?

    December 30th, 2010 - Forfeiture of 7 out of 9 sites. Ninjathis and Ninjavideo are oddly absent...

    (Side note: Law enforcement abuses seizures regularly)

    May 24, 2011 - Justice Department stalling on domain seizures. Plenty of debate on this in the months of Jan-May, but I'm keeping this a shorter reply.

    February 17th, 2011 - FOIA request into domain seizures is put forth... Still waiting on a response today.

    June 9th, 2011 - ICE says domain seizures a success. (They're wrong btw)

    Jun 13th, 2011 - Rojadirecta sues the US government, forcing the government to make up a story about their "successful" mission.

    July 20th, 2011 - US government shows its poker face for lawful seizure.

    August 8th, 2011 Rojadirecta calls USG's bluff.

    Now with this, we get to NV...

    Since we've seen that through Roja's case the aiding and abetting doesn't work, the government upped the ante for these people.

    September 9 2011, the five with NV indicted.

    So, I've detailed through the links on the date, that the government hasn't given them any way to contest the domain seizures. The government has tried to stall for time while building a case or basically ignore the people wanting to challenge the seizures. I have yet to go into Richard O'Dwyer or Bryan McCarthy because that's basically more of the same issue. There's good writeups on how the seizures aren't legal. I like Karl's the most, for this part here:

    Under 17 U.S.C. 512's "safe harbors" provisions, if the sites followed the rules laid out therein, they are not liable for infringement at all, and the only relief available is laid out in 512(j). Nothing in 17 U.S.C. 506 takes those safe harbors away. Even if you wrongly believe it did, obeying the law would (once again) make you an "innocent infringer" at most, thus ineligible for criminal infringement under 506. Yet there was not even an attempt to show that the sites did not follow those rules. And apparently many did.

    So, my hypothesis still stands. Based on everything that I've shown, there is a possibility that the government lumped Ninjathis with Ninjavideo to bring out a higher amount. Based on the 15 bank, investment, and residential seizures, it seems that the government took everything they had to make sure they couldn't fight back. From all looks of it, this actually came out of nowhere. Nothing in regards to an indication that the five were to be indicted.

    No clear way to challenge the proceedings. No judicial hearing. No magistrate to complain to. No, it's right to indictment after a year and a half of silence.

    I hope that answered your question. If not, I got more.

    "Yes. And???"

    From all looks of it, while you split up my sentence, you missed the fact that all of the movies made a lot more than their budget even though they were released early on one site. Somehow, it's hard to miss the fact that the movie is still available on Pirate Bay, and so many other sites, yet still makes a lot of money... Hmmm...

    "So maybe I should go steal something from---"
    Non-sequitar.

    "They received donations for the purpose of monetizing their continuing criminal enterprise. "

    Links aren't criminal yet, bucko. And the government has yet to prove that. And last I checked, donations were given freely. As in, Hollywood has no claims to that money. The entitlement of those in industry is staggering...

    "Online gambling is legal in other countries too. What happens when those companies provide services to US customers. Oops. And yes, I look forward to Richard's extended visit in the US."

    We'll see Nov 3rd won't we? Also, your online gambling jibe? Needs work. We both agree it's legal in the US and outside, just some cops seize assets to fund their police force. Fancy that, the cops using seized assets to make their paychecks bigger.

     

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  60.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Sep 28th, 2011 @ 1:29am

    " Is there something particularly wrong with hiring people who have experience dealing with the issues the DOJ faces regularly?"

    It's a conflict of interest. A bias to only one sort of resolution and it greatly influences the way government affects people. That should be avoided in our government. Sadly, it's not, and we are facing a lot of problems of people such as Mitch Glazier or Neil McBride in high, appointed positions while they look to criminalize the populace.

    "This question raised in this thread was whether members of the U.S. Attorney's office, which is part of the DOJ, regularly suborn perjury."

    Do you want the FBI, CIA, or just the US Attorney's office?

     

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  61.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 28th, 2011 @ 2:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    So you're going to take one data point and extrapolate it to the furthest reaches of the universe? That's pretty damn irresponsible. You are taking the bad acts of a select few and using it to smear an entire class of people who work for the Department of Justice. That's just as irresponsible, if not moreso, as taking the acts of the persons involved in this Ninjavideo case and attributing them to all persons who engage in peer-to-peer sharing networks. Your implication that U.S. attorneys regularly subborn perjury is pretty f***ing disgusting and shows off your bigotry.

    If you have any awareness of the plea bargain system in the US, you would know that this is a common practice. This is why many other civilized countries do not allow plea bargains, because they know that the system itself is corrupt. The incentives are to get those charged to confess to *something* to chalk up a win and avoid court.

    I'm not saying it always happens, but it's very common. And because of that, you simply cannot take confession statements from plea bargains as being accurate.

    You would be a fool and an idiot to do so. Which are you?

     

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  62.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Sep 28th, 2011 @ 2:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Jay": READ THE 2ND LINK, don't remain willfully ignorant.

    I suggest you learn the difference.

    Same diff, the rot starts at the top.

     

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


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