MPAA/Sony Pictures Realizes That Shutting Down Muni-WiFi Over Single Download Was A Bad Thing

from the back-up dept

Last week, we wrote about the ridiculous situation, whereby the MPAA had an entire muni-WiFi network shut down because one person using that system had downloaded a single film. The story ended up getting a fair amount of press, and it looks like the MPAA and Sony Pictures in particular, quickly realized that this was really, really bad publicity for the company. After the company got bombarded by complaints, Sony Pictures contacted the town and asked them to turn the WiFi back on, while also claiming it could help the town set up tools to block such things in the future. Of course, as Broadband Reports notes in the above link: “Of course if the MPAA and Sony had approached the network owners like human beings in the first place — instead of engaging in the kind of scorched earth tactics they’ve employed for several years now — they probably wouldn’t have gotten the bad press to begin with.” But, acting like human beings in the first place isn’t the sort of thing the industry does well.

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Companies: mpaa, sony pictures

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Comments on “MPAA/Sony Pictures Realizes That Shutting Down Muni-WiFi Over Single Download Was A Bad Thing”

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Anonymous Coward says:

I just wish you guys actually read the story:

Last week, the network – said to be used by hundreds of people – was completely shut down by the county’s Information Technology Department, after Sony Pictures tracked one user sharing a single movie and issued a complaint.

The MPAA didn’t demand the network by shut down, the County’s ITD decided to do it rather than deal with the problem.

The story is very different when you stop be outraged long enough to understand what happened.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

It’s what government entities do. You could probably shut down a few services provided by the government for even a short period just by sending a scary sounding letter.

That’s how government functions. “How can we avoid a lawsuit?”

A zero-tolerance policy makes sense, to the government.

kryptonianjorel (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I can’t stand government! Its one thing if little Billy rolls over and gives in to their crazy demands, but when a city falls to these kinds of things, it makes me disgusted. Don’t cities have lawyers? or at least people who can tell them that the MPAA can’t pin it on them, let alone PROVE that it happened in the first place?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

But this strategy worked on the really well and for damn cheap. Hardly any extra man hours except for the towns PR department.

The city management didn’t want to fight that lawsuit. They just shut the Muni Wifi down and blamed the bastards at the MPAA and Sony. The press picks up the story about the bastards harassing this small town out of muni wifi. Lots of people call Sony and the MPAA Bastards to their face. They don’t like being called bastards. Sony and the MPAA fold. No court costs.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Section 230, lalalala, you know the song, sing along.

Huh? Section 230 has nothing to do with this, as it explicitly carves out intellectual property. Section 230 safe harbors are irrelevant here.

You may have meant the DMCA safe harbors which are different than the Section 230 safe harbors, but if that’s the case you’re still wrong. That’s because one of the major differences in the two safe harbors is that the DMCA one does make you liable if you don’t take action.

So, despite your claim that there was no reason to turn it off, a reading of the DMCA says the opposite.

Hope that helps clarify things for you.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Sony

Having dealt with Sony, the RIAA, the MPAA, and other “rights” bodies for more than 15 years, I can tell you from a personal perspective that I completely agree with the IT department on this one. Better to shut off a useful service to thousands of people over the malfeasance of one than to deal with the “Rights” bodies for even fifteen minutes.

Sony is THE reason I cut off all consumption of Intellectual Property in my household in March for music and video.

We do not watch movies on the web. We do not watch movies from cable. We do not have a working broadcast television. We only buy DVD’s from the used market, and sparingly at that. We do not EVER buy Sony movies, and we do not have CD’s of Sony acts. I avoid purchasing any electronics with Sony IP in it – in fact, I will not buy a Blu-Ray player for just that reason.

I take nothing from Sony, I give nothing to Sony. Sony does not exist in my world. I find it’s a better place so. I do not urge others to follow my course, but for me, it works.

Anonymous Coward says:

It makes you wonder.

I wonder if hospitals will have their networks shutdown if anybody use them to download anything.

Could it happen?

Public services vital to the community having their connections cut off because of intellectual property laws?

No more teleconferencing and VOIP for business that can’t stop everything.

What is the economic impact of such laws on companies?

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: It makes you wonder.

“Public services vital to the community having their connections cut off because of intellectual property laws?” ie a hospital

Thats one I hadn’t thought of before I will add it to the list ….

How 14 year old Bobbie was arrested, tried as an adult, raped in jail, now has AIDS, Is going to die, because the Intelectual Property Police got the IP address wrong.

How because of graduated response, poor little Jills VOIP didnt work and she was raped and murdered because she couldnt call for help.

How a poor 90 year old lady named Beatrice lost her house because of she was accused of file sharing and didnt even have and internet connection.

Hospital having its internet access cut off preventing test results from being received causing flesh eatting bacteria to kill a person.

Police station having its internet access cut off disabling 911 services during an emergency resulting in the death of hundreds.

Anonymous Coward says:

Sony Pictures in particular, quickly realized that this was really, really bad publicity for the company. After the company got bombarded by complaints

Sony used to be a well respected, quality brand name, but given their ignorance, arrogance and incompetence the past decade (everything from the rootkit debacle, to several major recalls, to their “fansite” scams) I think a lot of people are starting to realize that these days Sony pretty much just sucks.

Personally, I try to avoid buying anything Sony (at least first hand) as much as possible. Which is often not an easy task given the extent of Sony’s business interests.

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