The discussion here suffers greatly because of inexact language: people using the word "privacy" when what is actually meant is "anonymity".
People in public places (should) have no expectation of privacy. What some people do have is an expectation of anonymity. This is because, even 10 years ago, it was not practical for an average person to identify a stranger, even given a photograph of him or her.
This is no longer true, and therefore older people's expectations are out of phase with reality. Unfortunately, (some) people believe this can be "fixed" via legislating a new reality.
I predict this will work just as well as legislating in order to fix broken business models.
Although the expressive aspect of the conduct alleged here – the posting of copyrighted movies to BitTorrent – is somewhat minimal, that does not mean that discovery to identify the anonymous user without adequate initial evidence that individual Doe Defendants committed the alleged infringement.
Methinks a verb went missing there, although from context it's pretty clear what they meant.
As opposed to crawling out from under a rock and posting on Techdirt? Your post shows how little you actually understand the legal reality of what happened...
BTW, the most important thing he did (which you missed --- perhaps because of a blind spot?) was probably this: he made a lot of friends (not necessarily close personal ones) and gained a lot of respect.
MPAA is a member of HypAA (Hypocritial Assoc of America)
What's even more disingenuous about the MPAA's brief is that it argues that deciding if material is infringing is "too much work" for rightsholders, while we all know that they have argued in other cases that deciding if material is infringing isn't "too much work" for others (e.g., Google).
I have the distinct impression that uninvited amicus briefs are hardly ever "impartial" in the colloquial sense of "disinterested" (I suppose Lord Justice Salmon meant the word in a different, legal sense, as in "not sharing a direct interest with either party of the case").
That's not what the dissent in Aereo says, Mike. Judge Chin said that Aereo was different than Cablevision such that Aereo couldn't seek safe harbor in the Cablevision decision.
Unfortunately true. Chin makes the probably correct point that Congress, in its lobby-blinded cluelessness, went out of its way to define "transmit" to "include all conceivable forms and combinations of wires and wireless communications media, including but by no means limited to radio and television broadcasting as we know them".
> The fact that that makes no sense should tell you that it's wrong.
I agree with you there, probably because the things that we are thinking are wrong are totally different. You didn't mean "copyright law", by any chance?
In the first-sale rights ruling, the judge ruled that it's perfectly OK to sell your digital download along with the storage media to which you originally saved. Unfortunately, it is trivial, when you decide to resell your content, to copy the file or files you want to sell to any sufficiently old flash drive or card, in such a way that the resulting media is indistinguishable from the result of having downloaded those files directly to the media.
Hey, suddenly all those old, relatively-tiny-capacity flash drives will become useful again!
> BUT must be done in a professional, methodical way
Unfortunately, just being accused of possessing child porn is more or less a social "game over". It's a shame that most people aren't technologically adept enough to understand that in this era of ubiquitous computing (and therefore, ubiquitous vulnerabilities), almost everyone could end up being (wrongly) accused. Personally, I'd back legislation that requires all investigations of such crimes to be "under seal", and which would severely limit the punishment for the crime if "somehow" this required secrecy was botched during the investigation (yes, I know that's not optimal, but I cannot think of any other way to motivate law enforcement properly).
The fact that fair use is only a defense, combined with the high cost of getting to (Federal) court, is already a bigger show-stopper in my eyes than the vagueness. Because of the high value of precedent in common law, I disagree that there's "virtually no way to know" the probability that the court system will rule for or against --- eventually (and here there is a second, totally independent way in which the high cost of getting a case to court puts a stumbling block in front of the blindfolded Justice) inspecting the consensus of rulings could give someone a good idea where he stands.
Unfortunately, the more innovative the artist, the less likely that would work... so you do seem to have a stronger point there than I originally thought.