Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick




MPAA Sues Grandfather For $600k -- While Admitting He Did Nothing Wrong

from the that's-a-problem dept

Ever since the entertainment industry started on their brain-dead, own-foot-shooting campaign of suing their own customers, we've wondered how they can get away with suing people who obviously didn't do the crime, such as parents or grandparents. While the industry would have you believe that it's whoever owns the connection that's guilty, the law would certainly suggest otherwise. Earlier this year, we noted that some parents are finally fighting back and the courts seem sympathetic. However, the entertainment industry still hasn't gotten the message. They also still don't recognize the terrible PR they get with headlines about how they're suing a grandfather who doesn't even like movies for $600,000. In this case, the grandson was responsible -- even if he downloaded movies that he already owned on DVD (3 out of the 4). Also, the article, once again, claims that he's being sued for downloading -- but every lawsuit we've seen hasn't been for downloading, but for uploading by offering to share it -- something that some courts are even questioning as well by noting that just leaving a file open to be shared is not the same thing as actively distributing it. So, to review, we have someone who wasn't involved at all being sued by the movie industry for something he didn't do for possibly distributing some movies, when the evidence doesn't even support whether or not he really did share the movies.

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  • identicon
    Oliver Wendell Jones, 2 Nov 2005 @ 12:10pm

    Perfect Opportunity

    Finally, a perfect opportunity for someone to fight back, refuse to pay the "fine" and take it to court.

    In this case I'm sure the MPAA will immediately back down as they have an extremely weak case that they could very easily lose *and* set precedent for future "lawsuits".

    Let's hope someone takes this one on...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Joe Me, 2 Nov 2005 @ 12:43pm

      Re: Perfect Opportunity

      You can sue whomever you want for whatever you want...but maybe tort reform would cause the MPAA to think again about how they approach people.

      They may very well expect to lose this case and others like it, but it could still bode well for them by building a "quiet momentum" to persuade Congress.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mousky, 2 Nov 2005 @ 12:52pm

    No Subject Given

    They may not necessarily be guilty, but they could be partially liable. It is all a matter of how the lawsuit is worded. The 'sympathetic' case you cite in no way shows that the "law would certainly suggest otherwise" - you are stretching the truth with the case in Michigan.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2005 @ 12:54pm

    No Subject Given

    Frankly I am holding out for someone to sue the MPAA and tear the whole damn thing apart.

    Maybe we should start suing them for low grade quality product being released and price fixing with the movie theatres.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Jim Terwiliger, 27 May 2008 @ 4:29pm

      Down with MPAA

      Maybe instead of sueing, we should start shooting. One day things will go to far and violence will result. I for one would cheer anyone that does this. Time to show what the poor can do.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Wayne, 2 Nov 2005 @ 1:07pm

    Sued for offering for download

    The story mentions that the files were offered for download. I suspect than P2P programs automatcially "share" files that are downloaded and that the user has to do something not to share the files. In sounds like the kid didn't really know what he was doing so I suspect he didn't even know he was sharing the files after he downloaded them.
    This imporves their case against the kid, but they still have the problem that the person they are suing didn't do anything.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Patrick, 2 Nov 2005 @ 1:17pm

    This stupid

    I cant believe they are tryin to hold an old man responsible. Can we get a petition together to force the MPAA to disband?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    QuantumG, 2 Nov 2005 @ 4:17pm

    It's about liability..

    Claiming that he isn't liable because his grandson was the one doing it, not him, is about as rediculous as saying that he's not liable if someone cracks their head open on faulty steps in his house because his grandson lives there, not him. He owns the line, he's liable for any copyright infringement performed from that line. And no, it doesn't matter if it wasn't his son but some hackers who broke into his computer; if a burglar breaks into your house and puts his back out trying to lug away your safe, you're still liable. Much like copyright law in general, personal liability is insane and should be abolished.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bmg, 2 Nov 2005 @ 7:05pm

    share share share!!!!

    they make PLENTY of money, everyone should keep doing what theyre doing SHARING.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bmg, 2 Nov 2005 @ 7:05pm

    share share share!!!!

    they make PLENTY of money, everyone should keep doing what theyre doing, SHARING.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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