Felony By Proxy?

from the tough-call dept

Aaron writes “So here’s an interesting question. The latest MPAA anti-piracy legislation to be introduced, the Artists’ Rights and Theft Prevention Act, makes sharing ANY pre-released pirated films on an openly accessible network a felony. Offenders face jail time up to five years and up to $250,000 in fines. So what happens to users whose servers are taken advantage of and aren’t aware they’re sharing the files? ISP Planet explores the idea of “tagging” servers with directories for warez that can’t be deleted without special software. Broadband Reports has an article wondering if the MPAA lawyers are going to buy the “I didn’t know” defense as an excuse. That defense hasn’t held up well in other unrelated hacking cases.” And it won’t hold up well in these cases either. The MPAA will state flat-out that almost everyone using such a defense is lying. While it is very likely that many illegal films will show up on someone’s unsuspecting servers, the MPAA is not known for caring about little technology details like that. The only thing going in favor of the “I didn’t know” defense is that it actually has been working in some cases where it seems fairly unlikely. Witness the recent string of cases using the chewbacca style “a hacker did this to my computer, not me” defenses for everything from denial of service attacks to child porn to tax fraud. In the end, it will come down to how convincing an argument someone can make that they didn’t really put the files on their own servers.

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Comments on “Felony By Proxy?”

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Ugh... says:

No Subject Given

It seems crazy to me NOT to differentiate between someone who is a massive distribution hub, and someone who say just has a single film in a shared directory because he doesn’t know better. OR, someone whose FTP server has been tagged and is being used as a distribution center for warez. It’s like trying to kill a hive of bees by swatting at the air with a hammer, when you should be identifying, and targeting, the nests (original film thieves, hipster warez groups with odd code-names)

Ugh... says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given


How many bits of clueless legislation must we see this year?

Like the BBR report says, Chuck Schumer’s “Do not spam” list (passed recently I think) is just begging for problems….

Maybe there should be some “tech senator” portion of congress that deals with issues the “vanilla” senators are too stupid to understand?

Though we’d likely wind up with all Verizon ex-Ceo’s as senators in this niche, and be worse off…

Road to hell, paved with….etc. etc.

alternatves says:

Ohhh, the fun of SPAM!

Broadband Reports has an article wondering if the MPAA lawyers are going to buy the “I didn’t know” defense as an excuse. That defense hasn’t held up well in other unrelated hacking cases.”

Can you imagine the fun of the lawsuits WRT SPAM comming from a trojaned windows box?

As ‘ignorance is not an excuse’ – think about a few $5,000 or more lawsuits over being spammed where ‘Grandma’ gets stuck with a 5K+ legal bill.

Anonymous Coward says:

Here's a thought for you...

Sometimes when I’m grabbing legitimate content off of P2P networks, my search is fairly nebulous and I then highlight everything specified in the search results and download *everything* I highlighted.

This often achives better results that trying to pick and click. I get the data quicker and I can review what has been downloaded without having to try 10 different sources that don’t share but show up in the search results.

Problem is, I sometimes get content that I shouldn’t. This usually goes away when I apocalypse my machine (appologies to Larry Wall) when I have too much cruft to ever clean out by hand… In the mean time, I guess I’ll just have to risk being a fellon.

…So, I would suggest that “guilt” is in the intent. If you’re television set recieves cell phone calls, sould the FCC be able to prosicute you? I think the war on drugs is stupid enough… we we really need to produce a bunch of innocent criminals in the war on technology (nobody calls it this, but that’s what it really is)?

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