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Prolific DVD Bootlegger Is 92 Year-Old WWII Veteran

from the mpaa's-worst-nightmare dept

The MPAA often loves to talk about just how evil DVD bootleggers are. They're the ones that the MPAA most frequently uses to draw a "connection" between "piracy" and "organized crime." Because of DVD bootleggers, we even got a ridiculous, 4th Amendment-ignoring law in California that lets police search DVD printing plants at random with no warrant, just to make sure they're not making copies of movies without authorization. Of course, law enforcement also has a history of seizing authorized DVDs and insisting they were pirated.

So, you have to imagine that the MPAA's PR team is not particularly pleased with the NY Times' profile of one of the most prolific DVD bootleggers out there: a 92-year old World War II veteran named Hyman Strachman, who bootlegs a ton of DVDs every month and ships them off to US soldiers abroad:
One of the world’s most prolific bootleggers of Hollywood DVDs loves his morning farina. He has spent eight years churning out hundreds of thousands of copies of “The Hangover,” “Gran Torino” and other first-run movies from his small Long Island apartment to ship overseas.

“Big Hy” — his handle among many loyal customers — would almost certainly be cast as Hollywood Enemy No. 1 but for a few details. He is actually Hyman Strachman, a 92-year-old, 5-foot-5 World War II veteran trying to stay busy after the death of his wife. And he has sent every one of his copied DVDs, almost 4,000 boxes of them to date, free to American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
There are some great pictures in the article, which show that he's actually using some sophisticated equipment, including a professional DVD duplicator that lets him make seven copies at once. He estimates that he spends about 60 hours a week bootlegging movies. By his own estimates, he sends about 80,000 DVDs per year, and has probably sent over 300,000 total since he started. And soldiers in the field love him for it.

An MPAA spokesperson admits that he "did not believe [the MPAA] studios were aware of Mr. Strachman's operation" and then delicately stated, "We are grateful that the entertainment we produce can bring some enjoyment to [soldiers] while they are away from home." However, you have to imagine that they're seething about the NY Times highlighting how much good a bootlegging operation can do.

Of course, the real shame in all of this is that the MPAA could -- and probably should -- be doing this directly themselves. They should be providing DVDs or streams free of charge to the military. Instead, in their insane fear of piracy, they make it complicated to impossible for soldiers to view films, even when they decide to send them over: "studios do send military bases reel-to-reel films, which are much harder to copy, and projectors for the troops overseas." Because that's exactly what you want for soldiers in the field: having to carry around and mess with heavy and annoying equipment that's likely to break.

As for Strachman, he seems to hope that his age and the fact that he's not doing this for money will protect him:
"If I were younger, maybe I’d be spending time in the hoosegow."


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:25pm

    Fascinating how you're still coming down on the MPAA when they haven't done a single thing wrong or controversial here.

    You're such a ginormous douchenozzle, Masnick.

     

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    Glen, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:28pm

    Great, another freetard helping freetards fighting for our interest across the world. LOCK HIM UP!!!!

    /sarcasm.

     

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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:29pm

    Re:

    Perhaps it is the two-faced nature of the MPAA's position here that is worthy of ire. Did you ever think about that? If this guy was copying DVD's to just give away on the street, he would have been hauled off in cuffs. Since he is sending the DVDs to troops stationed over seas, he is a hero of sorts to the MPAA.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:32pm

    They should sue him, out of principle, but only ask for an injunction and nominal damages. It is ridiculous to just let this guy flaunt the law, I don't care how sympathetic his story may be.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:34pm

    This just shows again that nobody respect copyrights and that the law is for all intent and purposes effectively dead.

     

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    Woog, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:34pm

    Re:

    Perhaps nothing wrong, but they didn't do anything right either.

    Really? Reel-to-Reel and projectors? There is no other motivation to do that except for piracy concerns. I actually thought studios *DID* send DVD's and other "portable" media stuff to the troops. Streaming I'm sure not so much due to local.

    This is just one more example where DRM-or-bust solutions produce a negative effect.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:34pm

    It still bothers me the story claims losses of billions of dollars with nothing to actually support that statement. Talking about how organized crime is behind duping these things... Except so few people bother with the discs of the street anymore.

    Even the MPAA can see the downside of going after a 92 yr old pirate, who has many friends. Friends with guns and the training to use them.

    The sadder note in this is they still send projectors and reels of film... when they talked about not wanting to keep up with technology they were serious.

    To think someone in a warzone would take the time to rip and post a movie sent to them for the world to see really should show the disconnect and fear that possesses them.

    I feel kinda bad for him at the same time, could have gotten 5 movies on each disc using other formats with the same quality.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:38pm

    Re:

    The MPAA really should come down on this guy like a ton of bricks. He must've cost them billions, if not zillions, of dollars. If they're not fussed about infringement after all, why all the noise about it over the last few years? I don't get it...

     

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    gorehound (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:38pm

    This man is now my hero !!!
    Not only did he serve in WW2 and helped to end the Nazis, helped to Liberate Concentration Camps like the 4 my Dad was in, but he also copies movies and mails them out to fellow Servicemen.
    He is helping out our GI's overseas.
    Keep up the good fight !

     

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    wait, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

    you mean they did not try to hang him? burn him? ANYTHING? AFTER ALL THEY HAVE DONE?

    *has stroke*

     

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    MrWilson, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:42pm

    Re:

    Because the legal and PR costs of suing him won't far outweigh any "damage" he's doing... Good strategy.

     

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    one problem, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:43pm

    Re:

    they have no principles. like you. there just trying to come up with a way to make ruining an old war vet look good

     

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    A Guy (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:43pm

    Good for him.

    Anything to support our troops abroad.

     

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    Beech, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:43pm

    Pshaw. This man clearly is clearly just a freetard with some entitlement complex, enabling other freetards with entitlement complexes to leech off of the creative elements of our society while providing no service in return. Clearly this man and anyone who has ever handled one of his evil evil sin discs should be locked up for the rest of forever.



    On a serious note, although I agree with the MPAA (for once, although it hurts my brain to admit it) not charging this man for what he's doing, it does make them look like a bunch of spineless hypocrites. If it was any other person with a bootlegging operation of this scale they would be fined more money than there is in the world, and thrown in jail for a few consecutive life sentences. Then the MPAA would trot the case out as an example of how horrible piracy is. So what is the MPAA trying to say? Being a veteran lets you cost the country trillions of jobs and quadrillions of dollars, but a poor student trying to download a song should be locked away forever?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Re:

    Meh. I would never fault you for enforcing your rights. How would you feel if the newspapers had an article about a guy that was violating your rights and getting away with it? I wouldn't like it.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:46pm

    Re:

    no, it's ridiculous that what he's doing is illegal.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:48pm

    Who know all it took to protect you from the MPAA was a bunch of American flags?

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:54pm

    So the best way to stop piracy is to end the war? I can get behind that.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:54pm

    The MPAA could try to get a judgment against his eventual estate. After all, if the heirs of copyright holders don't deserve to keep benefitting from them, it shouldn't be a problem here. Everyone wins!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:54pm

    Re:

    American Flags that were gifts from Military men with access to Guns and the training to use them....

    Don't think buying Wal-mart's 'chinese' made American Flags would have the same impact....

    Just saying

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    File under:

    But, but, but...piracy!

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Some guy is doing something extremely charitable with my rights? Something I should have been doing all along if every bone in my body wasn't made of greed?

    How dare he!

    Honestly - they're sending movie projectors like it's World War II - and I'm sure they're movies that are a year or two old.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:58pm

    The legacy Hollywood model and this guy have one thing in common - they'll both be dead soon.

     

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    mikey4001, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:58pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    How would you feel if the newspapers had an article about a guy that was violating your rights and getting away with it? I wouldn't like it.


    The newspapers all have articles quite frequently about guys violating my rights and getting away with it. RIAA, MPAA, TSA, ICE, CIA, FBI, DEA, etc. But you're right, I don't like it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 2:00pm

    the studios have no 'insane fear of piracy'. it has only and always been used as an excuse to dupe politicians who are too stupid to think for and research themselves into ramping up copyright laws and to try to maintain control of a non-digital business model in a digital environment!

     

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    varagix, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 2:00pm

    Re:

    I imagine that the man's age, service, and purpose makes it hard to spin the story in their favor. The typical *aa 'suspect' is young, likely a student, and uploads and downloads media for personal reasons. It's relatively easy to spin him as a misguided criminal who never worked a day in his life, to appeal to older Americans (like the politicians, lawyers, judges, baby boomers) that this is a menace and is responsible for everything from the economy collapsing to the imminent coming of Ragnarok.

    But this guy had a wife, has a good three-quarters of a century of adult life experience, risked his life to protect our nation, and is infringing for purely noble and altruistic reasons. It's like he's the kryptonite to the *AA's piracy-poster-boy.

     

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    Kyle Reynolds Conway (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 2:01pm

    “Big Hy” is clearly a life-long freedom fighter. The enemy may have changed, but he's still on the front lines.

     

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    DannyB (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 2:02pm

    Re:

    Every one of those DVDs represents a lost sale.

    Probably several lost sales, because multiple people gathered around for "movie night" and all watched the DVD together.

    So 300,000 pirate DVDs, times an average of ten audience members for each DVD, means 3 million DVDs times $25 or lost sales of 75 million dollars.

    Wait, I must have done something wrong. This must somehow come to Billions of dollars. These trillions of dollars must be the equivalent of tanking the world economy. Thanks to the quadrillions of dollars this guy has cost the economy, is it any wonder why the economy is bad? Think of the septillions of dollars damage this guy has caused to the poor MPAA.

    No wonder the economy is doing so badly. It's all because of one guy.

     

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    DannyB (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 2:03pm

    Re:

    Don't worry. The MPAA is doing its best to ensure that an American flag will no longer protect your rights and freedoms.

     

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    GMacGuffin (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Re:

    Bigtime! Like how most of the spam just came from a few mega-spammers, apparently the majority of DVD bootlegging is due to this syndicate of one.

    The man is taking American jobs! By the hundreds of thousands! Killing our economy! Worst. Pirate. Ever.

    He's a thieving, pirate, traitor (meaning the appropriate punishment should be cutting his hands off, making him walk the plank, then beheading him, respectively).

     

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    MrWilson, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Me? I'd figure out a way to sanction his actions and use it as a tax write-off for charitable donations. And then I'd back the guy up with official (cheap) copies and tout it in a PR campaign about how much my company supports the troops.

    But then I'm not a greedtard...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Re:

    It's like he's the kryptonite to the *AA's piracy-poster-boy.

    That's what piracy apologists like Mike Masnick are hoping at least...

     

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    JACKN2, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 2:20pm

    Don't worry, they will get him once the story dies down.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 2:22pm

    The irony is that it's far more expensive to send fragile projectors and reels of movie film (not to mention either training troops who've never handled a projector or sending a projectionist into hostile territory) than sending, cheap dvd players and dvds!

     

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    Richard, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 2:26pm

    They still make projecters? And put out movies on film? I honestly thought film was pretty much gone.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 2:31pm

    Re:

    dumbass, they haven't done it because they didn't know

     

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    LyleD, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 2:38pm

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it considered illegal to have pirated movies in your possession?

    So although altruistic in purpose, he's actually turning 300,000 service personnel into criminals?

     

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    Matt Bennett, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 2:40pm

    Rock on, old man!

    He probably correctly figures that the studios wouldn't mess with him--and also that it wouldn't matter so much if he was convicted at this point, anyway.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 2:42pm

    Re:

    Do you realize that's the worst thing they could be doing!!
    It's okay to copy as long as you ship it to soldiers. For fucks sake it just means every current case in court should be dropped! "The ones people are making no money from."

    So if he was 20 doing it he would probably be in jail. This is a bunch of bullshit. I'm all for what he's doing and I think it's great. It shows the MPAA are a bunch of hypocrites with their fucking double standards. So once I'm 92 I guess I can start my own bootleg operation as long as I do it 100 percent free.

     

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    Beech, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 2:43pm

    Re:

    Illegal in AMERICA.

    These guys are in Iraq and Afghanistan, who knows what the law allows there!

     

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    LyleD, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 2:44pm

    Re: Re:

    I think it's actually $150,000 per infringement, statutory damages and all that shiz..

    So 300k x $150k = $45,000,000,000

    So there's your billions.. I Wonder how long it's take a 92 year old pensioner to pay that off :)

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 2:44pm

    Re:

    The only reason they haven't sued him is because they're afraid of the PR shitstorm that would result.
    That's it.

    That's nothing to congratulate them over. If the only reason you don't do something is because of PR, then what you believe and campaign for is not to be respected.
    If they had sued him, at least I could say of the MPAA that they believe in what they're constantly preaching and stick to it. However, now we know they don't.

     

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    LyleD, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 2:46pm

    Re: Re:

    So everyone just bins their dvd's before boarding the flight home, gotcha ;)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Re:

    American bases are American soil according to international treaties so it is still illegal.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 2:50pm

    If you read the comments on the NYT article, some of those people just make me want to cry, ranting about how "Big Hy" is stealing from thousands of blue collar workers.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 2:51pm

    Re:

    Hmmm...possession being illegal? I'm not a lawyer, but I don't think I've ever heard of it being illegal to POSSESS infringing material. All the court cases and law I've heard say its illegal to copy copyrighted works, to distribute them without permission etc.
    Basically, as far as I can understand, if Joe copies a DVD movie, he's broken copyright law in the making of that copy. However, as far as I can tell, I don't break a single law if Joe were to then give (not sell) me the copy disc. He's broken the law, in copying and in distributing, but not me in possessing the disc.
    If I'm wrong, feel free to correct me, as long as you quote citations. Flames of course mean you have no argument to make.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 2:52pm

    Re:

    You see the difference between a just cause and an unjust one?

    One can openly say anything they like and get away with it when the cause is just, on the other hand when it is unjust it doesn't matter what you say you ain't getting away with it.

    Maybe that is why the spineless artists that support monopolies don't have the balls to say it to the public because they know it will hurt them.

     

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    Kyle Reynolds Conway (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Or they leave 'em for the replacement troops just starting their tour.

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 2:54pm

    Now this is one hell of an early birthday present, just thinking about the massive teeth gnashing and head slamming that must have gone on when they found out about this guy, and realized if they so much as said a single bad thing about him the public would crucify them... brings a smile to my face that'll probably stay there all day.

     

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    TechnoMage (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 3:00pm

    if the MPAA wasn't just stupid about CwF=RtB

    They would just send over 10,000s of Specially Marked DVDs without extras or anything else, just the movie to the soldiers and then politely ask this guy to stop what he is doing, and tell him that we'll do it for you, you can even help us organize how they are sent, distributed, etc... Keep the old guy in the loop and show some humanity all at the same time.

    HOWEVER, this will NEVER happen....

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 3:15pm

    Hey people. I know this isn't related to the article, but...I've just been banned from the Steam forums. A new visual novel game was released "Analogue: A Hate Story". On the Steam Community forums, I started a thread, with a lengthy post on why I wouldn't pay for it. I basically listed a few questions I ask myself before purchasing digital media and where the game fails to make me consider buy it. In my own opinion, I wasn't flaming, I was being sincere and honest. I also wasn't blatantly advocating copyright infringement, I was merely stating why I wouldn't purchase the game.
    I did mention the word Piratebay, which I then found out was replaced by lovehearts. I edited the post to include me basically going "Why Valve?" and "This is a shitty practice" at this. A few minutes later, I reloaded, only to be told my account had been banned, with the reason being "Piracy". That was it.
    As of now, I don't know if being banned on the forums means being banned from my paid for games too.

    Why I mention it here is that this is the straw that broke the camels back. I have given up on Steam if this is how they treat their customers.

     

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    angrywebmaster, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 3:15pm

    Does the MPAA really want to...

    This hero helped ease the stress of thousands of combat troops. He made no money and in fact poured in thousands of dollars of his money.

    Does the MPAA really want to go after this gentleman and tick off thousands of people with access to automatic weapons and the ability to call in artillery and air strikes?

    I can see it now...

    "Captain, how do you manage to lose a Hellfire Missile and have it drop on the HQ of the MPAA?"

    Apache gunship pilot: "Sir, for some reason the system shorted out and the missile prematurely fired and locked on the MPAA HQ. I have no idea how this happened!"

    Chief mechanic tossing incriminating wiring into the trash freshly removed from an AH64 Apache Gunship:

    "Well sir, it looks like we had a cross connect due to some missed battle damage. It's easy to see how it was missed. When the captain threw the auxiliary power switch, it made a connection with the firing circuits and the missile fired."

    "You two just got back from Afghanistan, didn't you?"

    Chorus "Yes Sir!"

    "By chance did Big Hy send you some DVD's?"

    "Yes Sir!"

    "Obviously this was an act of god and not intentional. Write up what you found with recommendations to prevent it from happening again. That is all"

    Chorus "Yes Sir. Thank you sir!"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 3:20pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'm sorry that no one cares about acts of copyright infringement, I mean, if you've lost those of us who have been alive for NINETY FREAKING YEARS!!!

    I'm sorry.

     

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  54.  
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    Traci Maladolescenza, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 3:41pm

    Re:

    Well, certain movies, yeah. But in the so-called "land of the free", piracy is really the only way to obtain those movies. Surf safe, download through a proxy, and keep your mouth shut.

     

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    varagix, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 3:55pm

    Re: Re:

    I don't know about the possession being illegal, but I gotta point out that copying a legally purchased DVD for personal use or fair use (archiving, education, etc) is perfectly legal. So long as you don't break the DRM on the DVD to do it, that is.

    Ironically, you can do this with some pretty old tech: a VCR with a DVD player hooked up to it can make perfectly legal VHS copies of any and all DVDs, no circumvention required. So long as you don't sell or distribute them, of course.

    Cue copy-monopolists calling me a freetard pirate in 3... 2... 1...

     

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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 4:03pm

    Re:

    And you, as usual, are a maundering twat and shirt-lifter. Please stop, as there is an extreme excess of twats in the world, and the herd will soon have to be culled.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 4:11pm

    Re:

    "when they haven't done a single thing wrong"

    They see it as their duty to protect the artists, right? Well, they're not doing that.

     

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    pixelpusher220 (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 4:25pm

    Re: Re:

    I'm sure they were reel-to-reel episodes of M*A*S*H where they were showing reel-to-reel movies ;-)

     

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

  59.  
    icon
    pixelpusher220 (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 4:30pm

    Re: Re:

    my question, is do they have to be 'consistent' in their prosecutions?

    meaning if they don't prosecute this clearly intentional (willful) crime, doesn't that affect their ability to go after any other infringers?

    Anybody know the specifics of this?

     

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

  60.  
    icon
    pixelpusher220 (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 4:37pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    either that or we need to see John McCain's birth certificate!!!! ;-)

     

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

  61.  
    icon
    Torg (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 4:59pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I agree completely! After all, our soldiers fought and died for those rights...wait...

     

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

  62.  
    icon
    gorehound (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 5:04pm

    Re:

    +1

     

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

  63.  
    icon
    JimDoss (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 5:07pm

    I'd send some too, if I could figure out how to do it!

     

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

  64.  
    identicon
    AC Cobra, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 5:09pm

    So how does this compare?

    So if this is "okay", what about a 25 year old combat veteran of Afghanistan copying DVDs and sending them to combat troops?

    What about a 19 year old student sending bootlegged DVDs to Red Cross aid workers in Rwanda? Still a just cause or does the MPAA have to have it's usual anal freakout and persecute the shit out of her?

    It's a bit of a digression, but personally I think the world's 30% poorest people should be given free premium internet/netflix/cable whatever (for personal non-commercial use only of course). It's the least we could do for them.

     

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

  65.  
    identicon
    Digitari, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 5:16pm

    Re:

    Sir, I think you have a reflective monitor problem, the face you see is your own

     

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

  66.  
    identicon
    Digitari, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 5:27pm

    Re:

    sounds like he is now fighting the "new" Nazi's

     

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

  67.  
    identicon
    Simon, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 5:31pm

    This is impossible.

    Don't you know that DVD's have DRM on them?

     

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

  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 5:37pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "How would you feel if the newspapers had an article about a guy that was violating your rights and getting away with it? I wouldn't like it."

    I agree, which is why I'm very often in favor of abolishing IP laws. IP laws are a privilege, provided for by the government, that violate my rights that exist outside of government.

     

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

  69. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 5:55pm

    Re: Re:

    You're responding to this censored comment:

    "Fascinating how you're still coming down on the MPAA when they haven't done a single thing wrong or controversial here.

    You're such a ginormous douchenozzle, Masnick."

     

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

  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 6:12pm

    Re:

    The RIAA/MPAA have sued old people in the past; what's stopping them from suing this one?

    No, mister, you're the douchenozzle.

     

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

  71.  
    icon
    RadialSkid (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 6:42pm

    Re:

    You mean flout the law. How, precisely, would one flaunt the law?

     

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

  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 6:47pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You can still click on it to read it you know, no need for the repost.

     

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

  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 6:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Nobody with a soul cares about your stupid rights to your imaginary property.

    I'm sorry.

     

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

  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 6:53pm

    Re:

    if only sopa had passed

     

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

  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 6:58pm

    Interesting the NYT picks for comments were all pro-mpaa, while the reader picks were not. Interesting what they did there.

     

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

  76.  
    identicon
    Roland, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 7:01pm

    what about trademarks?

    Forget copyright on this one. Didn't each and every one of these movies start with a trademarked screen, like the MGM lion or such? Trademark law requires they file suit--it's a matter of 'defend it or lose it.' If they refuse to sue the guy, couldn't they lose their trademarks? Wouldn't that be fun?

     

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

  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 7:02pm

    Re: This is impossible.

    Wizard!

     

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

  78. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 7:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Click on what? Masnick has been gradually lightening the type to the point where I can't even see it on my computer.

     

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

  79.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 7:10pm

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

    NINETY FREAKING YEARS OLD!!!

     

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

  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 7:32pm

    Re:

    They're already treading a fine line by suggesting the MPAA might be wrong, and so are now erring on the side of caution.

     

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

  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 8:06pm

    Re: Re:

    I'm here in Iraq right now... and nope, they haven't sent squat. We have family members that will send stuff, of course. Our movie theater also closed down a while back so those of us that are still here don't have a theater. :/

     

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

  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 8:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Dude, I'm legally fucking blind and I can see HOT FUCKING PINK on a white background. If you can't, I would suggest a high contrast setting for the color blind.


    Douchenozzle.

     

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

  83.  
    identicon
    Manok, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 9:38pm

    Well, everybody sympathizes with him??? They don't dare to arrest him? Send the fucking TSA! They don't have such pity hesitation to stop this job-destroyer!

    If not, I am going to hire this guy as CEO of my new MegaGeriatricUpload startup.

     

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

  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 9:45pm

    Re:

    The law shouldn't be ridiculous. I have zero sympathy for the corporate money pushed copyright travesty that is the copyright law of the US. So no.

     

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

  85.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2012 @ 9:51pm

    Re: woog Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:34pm

    Yes and no.

    First of all reel to reel IS NOT a bad thing.

    Firstly, reel to reel doesn't require anything but a projector. Having large televisions is a bit difficult in some places, which is a definite considering as follows:

    Projected movies can be shown to large groups. Need a bigger picture? Move the projector further from the display screen/wall/whatever you're using.



    Now does this absolve the MPAA of being massive pricks? Nope, they server little purpose, to be honest, but to annoy the masses, ie. the customers of the filmmakers. They also increase the cost of all movies by being a tier in the pricing hierarchy, they don't produce anything themselves, so every movie sold is also part of what funds them. But your argument, even though I dislike the MPAA, isn't really a good one.

     

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

  86.  
    icon
    Torg (profile), Apr 27th, 2012 @ 10:27pm

    Re: Re: woog Apr 27th, 2012 @ 1:34pm

    What does using film have to do with projections? Digital data has projectors too.

     

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

  87.  
    icon
    G Thompson (profile), Apr 28th, 2012 @ 12:46am

    Bootlegging?

    I'm having a hard time understanding how this could be classified as bootlegging when there was no commercial/financial gain involved.

    Unless the soldiers themselves were selling the DVD's to others though that would mean they are liable and not the Veteran.

    I'd love to see this go to trial, any defence attorney would have so much fun. And a jury trial would probably be highly instructive in the area of jury nullification.

     

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

  88.  
    icon
    G Thompson (profile), Apr 28th, 2012 @ 12:57am

    Re:

    First see if you can access your paid games.

    If not, then you need to contact consumer legal advice places (Consumerist too maybe???) Also scream it from the rooftops..
    Maybe tell Reddit, Kotaku, Wired, ARS Technica, and write a public letter of disgust to Valve cc'ing all above. Can't hurt and might make em stop the bullshit (I doubt it though)

    If you can access then you are basically out of luck, they can ban anyone and they only want "likable people" nowadays.. seems you are one of those bad bad pirates [congrats ;) ]

     

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

  89.  
    icon
    G Thompson (profile), Apr 28th, 2012 @ 1:02am

    Re: Re:

    This money he has no lost the MPAA is why he is currently "Owner of the Universe!"

    Bow down before his possession ;)

     

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

  90.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Apr 28th, 2012 @ 8:34am

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, they can pick and choose who to prosecute and that's why the only two music piracy cases that have gone to court are ones they thought they could easily win. With all the others they either settle or drop the case. The end result is case law get slanted toward cases with an easy verdict.

     

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

  91.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Apr 28th, 2012 @ 8:36am

    Re: Re:

    Because for a measly $30,000 this guy is doing what the MPAA should have been doing all along? If the MPAA doesn't like it, they should pay off their congresspeople to end the war.

     

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

  92.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Apr 28th, 2012 @ 8:39am

    Re: Re:

    And the opposite is true if you're rich.

     

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

  93.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Apr 28th, 2012 @ 8:45am

    Re: what about trademarks?

    This would be the case if someone tried to pass their movie off as an MGM movie by putting the MGM logo on it. That's misrepresenting the trademark. There is no misrepresentation if they are actual MGM movies so nothing to sue over.

     

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

  94.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2012 @ 9:25am

    "studios do send military bases reel-to-reel films, which are much harder to copy, and projectors for the troops overseas."

    Quotes without attribution are not at all helpful.

     

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

  95.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2012 @ 11:08am

    Re:

    neither are you

     

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

  96.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Apr 28th, 2012 @ 11:51am

    Re: Re:

    Those DVDs represent no lost sales.
    They didn't exactly roll into the warzones with kiosks selling movies. They are completely unwilling to meet the market demand.

    It is so nice to see the MPAA spokesweasel tap dancing around their typical "EVERYTIME YOU COPY A BABY GETS ABORTED!!" media spin they like to use.

    The face they want to put on "pirates" is seedy stereotypes who don't care who gets hurt by their counterfeit DVDs, because taken improperly they can be just as deadly as fake medicines.

    What you see here, is a nice old man who knows something about being in a warzone, and found a way to help out. He spent his own money, kept nothing for himself, and filled a void.

    The MPAA might send projectors and reels of movies, and I am willing to bet they managed to spend 10 times what this man spent, and they only managed to send over 3 copies of Waterworld and Battlefield Earth.

    A 92 yr old man created a better distribution system than the MPAA, the image of being dragged kicking and screaming into the present persists.

     

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

  97.  
    icon
    Laroquod (profile), Apr 28th, 2012 @ 12:07pm

    This is just another of the many data points showing that in a society where ordinary behaviour is criminalised, via selective enforcement, some citizens end up being more 'equal' than others.

     

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

  98.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2012 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And if the government doesn't get the result it wants the first time, it'll keep trying and trying until it does (Ira Isaacs, Max Hardcore).

     

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

  99.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Apr 28th, 2012 @ 3:44pm

    Re:

    isn't it considered illegal to have pirated movies in your possession?

    I was actually curious about this myself a while back. So, I did a bunch of research, and read every law I could find.

    The answer? As far as I can tell, it is not unlawful in any way to possess counterfeit DVD's. As far as I can tell, it's not even unlawful to buy them.

    In neither case is it copyright infringement; none of the 106 rights cover purchasing or possession (just copying and distribution). And I could not find any other law that made these things unlawful. At least not at a federal level; I didn't look at every state law. On the other hand, state copyright laws cannot cover the same materials as federal copyright laws, so I don't know if states would even be allowed to make possession or purchasing unlawful.

    I am not a lawyer, of course. If any of our usual law-spouting trolls would care to chime in, I'm all ears.

     

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

  100.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Apr 28th, 2012 @ 7:21pm

    Re: Re:

    It's pretty clear that it's the copying and distribution that is illegal, not the purchasing or possessing, unlike child pornography.

    That's why Jammie Thomas was sued for making the songs available online, not for downloading them. Downloading is not a crime. Uploading is.

     

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

  101.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2012 @ 8:26pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, unauthorized downloading is an infringing act under US law because it represents making a copy, and copying is encompassed within the rights holder's reproduction right.

    While JRT obviously made a pile of unauthorized downloads (this was established during her several trials), it was the uploads that got her in trouble because it was a violation of the distribution right, and worldwide distribution is not something that major labels take lightly for obvious reasons.

     

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

  102.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2012 @ 8:44pm

    Re: Re:

    There is a nuance here you may want to add to your stable of information.

    It is not illegal in the US under federal law to possess an illegal copy because possession is not, as you aptly note, a violation of the six rights (7 if you include imports and exports) accorded a copyright holder.

    However, if a lawsuit is brought against one who infringed, and the copy in your hand is traced back to the infringer, the copy can be claimed by the copyright holder, which usually takes the form of it and all other infringing copies being destroyed.

    Note that I am speaking only about US law. Copyright law varies among countries, and it would not at all be surprising if some countries make possession also illegal.

    Concerning state law, you are correct that as a general rule copyright matters are the sole province of the federal government. Without going into detail because it would make this comment desparingly long, states are able to deal in matters involving copyright so long as they are not granting rights that are the kissin' cousins of federal law. Thus, it is possible for a state to declare that the mere possession of an illegal copy constitutes an illegal act under its laws. I am not aware of any state having enacted such a law, but in my opinion it is not foreclosed under the Constitution.

     

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

  103.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Apr 29th, 2012 @ 2:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Really? But you still managed to read a "censored" comment? Wow.

     

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

  104.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Apr 29th, 2012 @ 8:52am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Downloading is not a crime. Uploading is.

    The A.C. is right, this is also unlawful. When you download, you make a reproduction, which is an infringement of the copyright owner's 106(a) right.

    It is not, however, a crime, because it doesn't rise to the level of criminal infringement - unless that single download was somehow worth more than $1000.

     

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

  105.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Apr 30th, 2012 @ 4:43am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I first read that as 'repetitively' - I was trying to imaging making someone walk the plank and get beheaded multiple times, once for each transgression...

     

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

  106.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Apr 30th, 2012 @ 4:45am

    Re: Re:

    I do hope you are referring to 'twat = idiot' as opposed to 'twat = female genitalia' - there should be no reason to cull those!

     

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

  107.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Apr 30th, 2012 @ 4:48am

    Re:

    I think he's flouting the law, and at most, flaunting his status.

     

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

  108.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Apr 30th, 2012 @ 4:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Like, when he was young, copyright only lasted a short time. He's lived through most of the bad copyright land-grabs - so he can see what an abuse it is!

     

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

  109.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2012 @ 8:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The 'irony' is that the **AA's WILL probably be able to write off the 'losses' attributed to this man and claim a tax deduction for them...

     

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

  110.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Apr 30th, 2012 @ 8:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How about seeing the long form of it on general principle?

    Or, as the Glaswegians say:

    "Donald, whaur's yer troosers?"

     

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

  111.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Apr 30th, 2012 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Masnick has been gradually lightening the type to the point where I can't even see it on my computer.

    Check your eyes, sparky. We haven't changed anything. But I love that in your desperation to attack me you're just making shit up.

    Is your life really so sad?

     

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

  112.  
    icon
    bratwurzt (profile), Jun 7th, 2012 @ 1:45am

    Re: Re:

    Yeah... suuureee... because we should just take their word for it.

    /dripping sarc

     

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


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