When The Entertainment Industry Can't Legally Shut Down A Site It Doesn't Like, Bogus Charges Can Do The Trick

from the industry-bullies dept

Back in 2009, we wrote about how anti-piracy organization FACT worked closely with UK law enforcement to have the guy who operated Filesoup arrested. At the time, we noted that it wasn’t at all clear what he was doing that was illegal, as the site was merely a forum. Though some people did, in fact, use that forum for the sake of infringement, that shouldn’t implicate the forum host. And, in fact, after about a year and a half, the courts dropped the case, realizing that the arguments the industry kept feeding law enforcement didn’t add up to anything illegal. The court noted that the charges never should have been brought in the first place. Of course, that’s small comfort to the folks who ran the site and had to go through this ordeal. The site has announced that it’s shutting down, and the arrests and lawsuits were a big part of what killed it.

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Companies: filesoup

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Comments on “When The Entertainment Industry Can't Legally Shut Down A Site It Doesn't Like, Bogus Charges Can Do The Trick”

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52 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

typical of the way the entertainment industries do things. they are always complaining about all the illegal activities that are going on but are very quick to act in the same illegal way when they cant achieve what they want. usual double standards. nothing illegal with what is happening somewhere, just not liked, so sue knowing it will cost an absolute fortune to defend against trumped up charges forcing closure and getting what was wanted all along. shame the various law makers didn’t do something about this practice but there again, they aren’t getting kick backs from legal sources are they?

G Thompson (profile) says:

Idle question

Not to up on UK law in this regard, but if anything like AU law (which AU is based more on UK law than USA) then yes and no..

To initiate and win at a malicious prosecution suit they would have to prove that the charges were laid for malicious purposes, which is easier said than done. Since FACT would state (as the police would too) that they were basing their ‘facts’ on what they understood at the time and for no nefarious purposes. Though if you could prove it by evidential means (whistleblowing, emails, etc) then the case would be an interesting one.

They might be able to prove Tortuous Interference though for any of these there is one glaringly obvious and real stumbling block. MONEY! It costs money to take a civil case to court or even to put paperwork together, and this is something Filesoup and it’s principals do not currently have, unless some nice person would like to foot the bill for solicitors and barristers which do not come cheap.

Anonymous Coward says:

ICE T

You would think that someone would be filing takedown notices against all the entertainment industry’s websites and just generally crank up the heat, since there doesn’t seem to be any consequences for false accusations.
They must be infringing on something!

Of course,they do control the ICE Machine.

Where’s Anonymous when u need them?

Josef Anvil (profile) says:

You guys are AWESOME!

Time for a recap… Instead of FACT, which makes little sense given the way the organization operates, it looks like there are quite a few good suggestions for changing their acronym to BOGUS that would better describe them and no longer confuse the police.

Brain-dead Old Guys Uselessly Suing
Buying Officials and Guilds then Uselessly Suing
Bitchy Old Guru’s Underestimating Society
Bribing Officials Gets U SOPA
Benign Organization Going Ultra Syncophantic

Good stuff. Remember that it’s this type of group effort that got Rick Santorum the infamous meaning for his last name.

PaulT (profile) says:

Idle question

Almost irrelevant, sadly. Even if they can, or even are, pursuing this to the limits of the law, their business has already been shut down. If it took this long for the authorities to even admit they didn’t have a case, the negative effects of such false accusations will have had their effect on the industry long before they get their due compensation.

Anonymous Coward says:

within five to ten years the entertainment industry will probably be running its own, government sanctioned paramilitary hit squads. Just wait till 12 year old Lucy is abducted in the middle of the night by heavily armed stormtroopers, dragged to a kangaroo court with a jury of “big media” execs, then sentenced to death for downloading the Justin Bieber discography.

Her only chance for dying with any dignity would be to refuse to dig her own grave before they shot her in the back of the head…

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Idle question

I’d agree with you that the business is gone. If, however, they get a ruling against the authorities then that informs the next site to be clobbered like this. Whether or not they can afford it and want to pursue it is the question.

There’s already the court ruling that says the arrest and all that followed shouldn’t have happened which sets something of a precedent itself. Something that backs that up would be helpful if not entirely necessary.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Stand on a street corner and sell access to child porn, or to snuff movies… and see how long it takes before someone takes you out.

Most of the major file locker sites, besides being a great place to keep your pirated goods, are also great places to keep your child porn and abuse videos. It’s a business model that invites abuse.

Forums generally are just front ends for the affiliate programs of these file locker sites. Rip a DVD, put it up, spam every pirate movie forum, and collect a pay check when people pay to get access to your file.

Understanding what they do and how they operate is key to understanding why, if it isn’t illegal, it should be.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re:

“Most of the major file locker sites, besides being a great place to keep your pirated goods, are also great places to keep your child porn and abuse videos. It’s a business model that invites abuse.”

Even more than that, they were great ways to get legal content and for the people who produced it to get some cash at the same time. Yet, you seem intent on ignoring the many legitimate uses and double down on your idiocy by building strawmen and other crap (has any child porn been found on MU or Filesoup, for example? Citation please).

“Forums generally are just front ends for the affiliate programs of these file locker sites. Rip a DVD, put it up, spam every pirate movie forum, and collect a pay check when people pay to get access to your file.”

What you’ve just described is exactly how legal content was advertised as well. But, you ignore independent artists so long as your corporations can shut down competition, we know that.

“Understanding what they do and how they operate is key to understanding why, if it isn’t illegal, it should be.”

If it’s not illegal, then they should not be shut down or prosecuted unless the law is changed to make them illegal. Not only do you reject the idea of innocent until proven guilty that Western justice is based upon, you also seem to want to make up laws that can be applied at a whim to people who don’t know they exist (because they don’t). As ever, reality is this way over here, join us…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

>Most of the major file locker sites, besides being a great place to keep your pirated goods, are also great places to keep your child porn and abuse videos.

Emphasis mine. Funnily, if there were child porn and abuse videos on said file lockers, I think there’s been enough attempts at enforcement to even get at Usenet/TOR groups so if you’re going to insist that file lockers have child porn and abuse videos and are completely untouchable, go ahead and make citations. Unless you’re speaking from experience?

For the Record says:

Where's the accountability?

Any entity filing false charges, especially charges that were origionally filed as part of some agenda driven by greed or profiteering has to be held accountable when those charges are found to be completely unfounded. All pain and suffering even in just stress and costs associated with the defense against false and or unfounded accusations should be compensated for. OTHERWISE, I am calling BULLSHIT.

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