I have only heard of one person that has gotten a strike. One of my students told me about his uncle getting a strike notice. His uncle only has one computer which is wired directly to the cable modem; he has no wifi at all. His uncle doesn't torrent anything. His uncle's activities online are mainly poker, email, youtube, and following some sports teams. His uncle doesn't download any type of music, movies, or porn. He is a bit paranoid about getting viruses and only plays poker on one site that was recommended by a friend. And yet his uncle's ISP accused him of downloading hiphop.
Cinedgim did goof. They should have put the 7 minutes on Usenet instead. Apparently the studio execs still haven't realized that all the real pirates (and therefore a lot of their paying customers) have moved over to Usenet.
A lot of crack addicts will use as long as crack is available. If there is a cop standing there watching they will still be unable to resist the urge to partake.
I think the primaries in the Prenda saga are pretty much like crack addicts. They will keep filing mass copyright cases as long as they have their attorney licenses. They just can't help themselves. In fact, if they lose their law licenses I wouldn't be surprised to see them still try to file, perhaps using some washed-up lawyer or new law school graduate to do their dirty work.
Of course, I'm not sure Techdirt readers are much different. I keep swearing I am not going to read another story about Prenda. But when the next one appears I just have to peek. And then comment. Twice on the same article. I think I need an intervention.
I think $150,000 is the statutory amount. If someone didn't show up and the judge did the statutory rate that is likely the amount to be chosen. So it has at least plausible that they have gotten default a judgement in that amount.
Someone suggested that we treat members of congress like NASCAR drivers. Members of congress would have to ear decals of their sponsors. A million dollar contribution would be a 6 inch decal on the chest. 50K would be a button on the shoulder. My personal criticism of the plan is that congressmen aren't large enough to display all the decals they would need to wear.
Stores whine about customers just using them for window shopping and then going online for purchases. I am sure that happens sometimes. However I tend to do the opposite. I often go online while shopping in stores so that I can read the customer reviews about the products before I buy them in the store. Sometimes I look up items before going to the store. But more often I use either Google Goggles or the Amazon scanner app to scan the item and bring up the product.
Information online is usually much better and more significant than what I can learn reading the box or looking at a display item. Show tradition brick and mortar stores pay online sources when I make a local purchase based on reviews I read online?
It might be an easy way to stifle free speech you don't like.
Hmmmm.... Maybe I need to whip up a bot to artificially inflate Westboro Baptist Church page views. Nah... The more people that see their garbage the better. More harm is done to them by leaving their videos in place.
So do if I get a discount if I get information online and go to the store to make an actual purchase? It seems like I should because I am not bothering store personnel with questions. The store is benefiting from information I got elsewhere.
1) It is going to be very hard to demonstrate any actual financial losses resulting from copying because apparently there was no commercial market for the products in the first place. Of course with the wonderful, wacky world of statutory damages no one has to prove damages.
2) There may not be enough evidence to prove that Steel uploaded the videos, but there probably is enough evidence to justify asking him under oath whether he did upload it or knew who did. I sincerely hope that if that happens there is video in that court. Watching him squirm would be very entertaining.
There are several businesses based on selling legislative data. I'm fine with that concept because the companies usually also provide some filtering and additional organizational tools. They are providing a useful service and should get paid for it if they want to be paid.
The distribution companies don't exactly have a monopoly right now, but it can be hard for small businesses and individuals to get their hands on the data in a useful form. Wiki-izing the legislative data would make it much more accessible and uniform.
There would still be a market for paid access to legislative data as long as the tools and filters were doing a good job. There might be some pressure to improve the quality of those tools to compete with the unfiltered data, but that is a good thing, at least for the public.
I would not be surprised to see the companies already in the business of selling the data try to block this effort. I would have a problem with that.
It does have a lot of merit. The person claiming copyright should always have to prove that they have a valid copyright. The person suing should also have to prove the actual amount of damage being done.
This would tend to make suing for copyright much more expensive and less likely to succeed. It would still be worthwhile to sue if someone else was actually harming your profits by copying your work. On the other hand it would make it unprofitable to sue when it is true fair-use issue that isn't actually causing harm to the copyright holder.
This is another example of why copyfraud needs to be a crime. There should be treble damages if the person did not take reasonable steps to insure that they had a valid copyright on the work before filing a claim of copyright.
I am still dubious about whether cable providers are going to be willing to actually cut off customers. Each residential customer is worth from $800 to $1800 of revenue per year and business users with open wifi are worth considerably more. The marginal cost of supporting a subscriber are low. Every customer represents a significant profit point. How many cable companies are going to be eager to cut off profit points, especially in a market is essentially subscribed-out and has flat growth potential?
Some companies like AT&T actually seem eager to roll out 6 strikes, and that seems very odd. I wonder if they want to use 6 strikes to leverage in some type of "paid content" model that results in tiered internet services.
It is also possible that the movie industry has offered some sweetheart deals to cable companies that roll out six strikes. That would make the behavior of companies like Comcast and AT&T more understandable, but it would call into question the wisdom of the movie industry giving up revenue without any apparent way of actually increasing their own receipts. The cable companies may piss off their customers, but from the standpoint of the cable companies their subscribers are usually a captive audience with no other service options. The MPAA, on the other hand, is going to piss off their customers who do have a lot of other entertainment options.
It will be interesting to see how this whole thing works out in places like Kansas City where there is a viable option to subscribing to a 6-strike cable service.
Actually, the Death Star petition got a better response than most of the petitions have gotten.
I think the responses are mostly written by junior staffers who use the petitions as an opportunity to practice the vital political skill of responding to a question without actually saying or doing anything meaningful.
For once I have something in common with the MPAA and RIAA. I don't like what Google is doing, either. I don't like Google tweaking its optimal searches. I don't like Google putting pressure on payment processors to try to enforce nanny-state rules. I don't like it using Content-ID to remove items from YouTube that are not copyright violations.
Of course Google does have to enforce laws that have already passed. However, lately it seems intent on trying to enforce laws that the MPAA dreams about passing.
It is sad that the entertainment industry has so many politicians in its pocket that it can effectively use the threat of new laws and government witch hunts to force companies to do its bidding without the bother of going through the legal system.
It looks like Dotcom is branching Mega out into other things relating to a broad range of "privacy" services. That will at the same time give his service some legitimate cover and piss off every government in the world.
I would love to see some usenet, proxy, and vpn figures for France and Spain. I am guessing that HADOPI has created some fantastic business opportunities for services that are a lot harder to track and shut down than torrents.
Next up, France and Spain will probably try to go after payment processors for usenet and vpn providers. That would be a big win for Bitcoin and credit card systems based out of tiny Caribbean countries with dodgy banking laws.
There probably is a negative side in all of this. With all of these moles being whacked by the media syndicates, exterminators and lawn service companies are probably losing a lot of business.