Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Did The MPAA Hire A Hacker To Break Into TorrentSpy?

from the the-law-only-applies-to-others dept

I guess since the entertainment industry is building up their own police force while also getting the FBI to do its dirty work, it's no surprise that movie industry execs might believe they're above the law. TorrentSpy, the torrent search engine (not file sharing platform) was sued by the MPAA recently. As we noted at the time, TorrentSpy has wisely decided to fight back, as it appears they have a pretty strong case that they've done nothing illegal. However, TorrentSpy is now claiming that the MPAA is playing dirty -- and that they hired a hacker to break into TorrentSpy's corporate network to get whatever internal information possible for the sake of the lawsuit. The hacker ended up scoring financial information, internal emails and details about the company's technology. However, after all of this, the hacker felt bad and 'fessed up to TorrentSpy, who has now sued the MPAA for these actions. If this is proven true, it's a new low for the MPAA. Perhaps when you're used to treating your customers like criminals you start assuming that criminal activity is fine.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Zona, May 25th, 2006 @ 2:24am


    Law is only for those who are too weak/poor to buck it. The strong/rich can and do get away with murder every single day. These intrest's make money off of divisions, metering out content. In stead of seeing file shareing as a universal radio of marketing, they are threatened cause you don't go through -their- stores and sites. Yet in the end the people are bigger than even the corporation. Untill they place us ALL in camps and moniter everyone. The pirates shall reign, and somehow, I think the artist's will survive, connecting to the fan/consumer directly rather than through a company.

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

  2. identicon
    PopeRatzo, May 25th, 2006 @ 4:14am

    Innovators will always find ways to reach their audience. The current plantation system for creative artists (and inventors, by the way) won't stand in the liberating world of a free internet.

    The reason the MPAA and other corporate raiders don't like this is because the truly good artists will flourish and the phoney-baloney ones like Ashlee Simpson et al will fade away. This upsets the delicate balance of The Entertainment/Industrial Complex.

    That's why this is war.

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

  3. identicon
    Louis, May 25th, 2006 @ 4:32am

    The law does not apply to Rich Corporations

    So this is what Bernards says:

    "Torrentspy is trying to obscure the facts to hide the fact that they are facilitating thievery. We are confident that our lawsuit against them will be successful because the law is on our side."

    Yes, the law is on their side, because they have the money to buy it. So, yes, they are above the law.

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

  4. identicon
    SearchIsNotThievery, May 25th, 2006 @ 5:27am

    Re: The law does not apply to Rich Corporations

    In the same way the VCR did not break the law, neither does the search engine. You gonna sue Google because I can find web pages with cracks on it? How about Microsoft because their Media Player let's me burn CDs? You creeps are jokes and are thrashing because your business model is out of date.

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

  5. identicon
    will, May 25th, 2006 @ 6:16am


    I think your getting the MPAA and the RIAA confused..

    MPAA = Motion Picture Association of America

    The same guys that made it their mission to throw a 15 year old kid in jail for as many years as they could get away with for cracking DVD encryption so he could watch DVD's on his Linux machine.. great people!!

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2006 @ 6:37am

    Yeah, soon when you go to rent a movie or into the cinema they'll be asking, "Can I see your papers please?".

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

  7. identicon
    Mike C., May 25th, 2006 @ 6:41am

    Re: Re: Confusion

    The analogy still holds. Remove Ashlee Simpson and replace with King Kong (2006).

    The reason I don't go to the movie theaters anymore is that there is nothing but poor quality remakes or sequels that are just trying to cash in on some gimmick or fad (remake of The Omen for 6/6/06 anyone?)

    Quality is what drives my purchasing decisions. If what is available is not of sufficient quality to entertain me, I won't buy it. Instead, I'll spend my money in an upscale restaurant and have some really good food for a change. At least the restaurant business still understands to some degree.

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

  8. identicon
    Michael Langford, May 25th, 2006 @ 7:07am

    fight back!

    I say if they are going to bully and sue, which most of us cannot afford to fight, we take another route... stand outside a music store for a couple of hours handing out leaflets explaining how people can download the music they are about to buy for free, publicise torrents as much as you can, and don't buy any of the products that RIAA MPAA promote.

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

  9. identicon
    Dead Head, May 25th, 2006 @ 7:29am


    Bernards is an idiot. I use a Bit Torrent client daily. I have never downloaded any commercially released movie or a single commercially released song. I listen to a LOT of hippie jam bands, and they encourage taping. There are also a lot of videos of these same bands floating around, and these guys are smart enough to realize the following:
    1) They make money from touring, not records.
    2)Play well and people will come
    3)Free tapes of these shows floating around kills bootlegger profit and brings more people to the shows. It also raises fan dedication to higher levels (look at the Grateful Dead. Sellout show after sellout show, for decades, with only 1 top ten hit in 35 years.)

    So no, bit torrent DOES NOT encourage breaking of the law. I hope the MPAA is convicted of conspirace to commit an act of terrorism. If it wah the FBI they hacked, thats what the charge would be....

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

  10. identicon
    You Avg. Citizen, May 25th, 2006 @ 8:00am



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

  11. identicon
    Spine, May 25th, 2006 @ 8:30am

    Turning our own against us....... at least the young lad came back to us. I hope the MPAA is aware that hacking is illegal. Breaking the law to catch someone breaking the law is still breaking the law.

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

  12. identicon
    Bob-O, May 25th, 2006 @ 9:22am

    Just remember

    Two wrongs don't make a right... but three lefts do.

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

  13. identicon
    DittoBox, May 25th, 2006 @ 9:24am

    Re: Law

    The rich get away with murder everyday, eh?

    Show me some proof. Any proof.

    I do believe in the so called "gold standard" (whoever has the gold sets the standard) but I don't believe that those really evil rich folks "get away with murder everyday". That's just retarded. There's a lot law abiding and very generous rich people out there, but as with every group the vocal loudmouths tend to be the jerks.

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

  14. identicon
    DittoBox, May 25th, 2006 @ 9:36am

    Re: fight back!

    You can still be nailed for doing this. TorrentSpy has a strong case because their service is "dumb". It goes around collecting links to .torrent files from loads of trackers. It recieves not human input and filters nothing. Some content is legal, some is not. It would be up to the searcher to know what's what and not download non-legal content.

    You on the other hand are advocating full on copyright infringement, you're even providing the means to that end: links to the content.

    I say just support indie artists who have said "screw you" to he RIAA or indie film companies/actors who've done the same to the Screen Actor's Guild and to the MPAA.

    Many times, though the visual effects aren't as good, the movies are better and so is the music.

    We need to overcome the RIAA and MPAA peacefully. We need to overcome the RIAA and MPAA lawfully, by using our free market choice.

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

  15. identicon
    Uncommon sense, May 25th, 2006 @ 9:55am


    Look money makes the world go around.

    All else sounds and looks clever but who cares.

    Laws are in place to serve and protect the interests of money.

    In MONEY we trust and to hell with GOD!

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

  16. identicon
    Alex, May 25th, 2006 @ 10:21am

    eminem and other failures

    basically the mpaa should spend more time suing fakers and posers like eminem, xtina, and brittany spears and stop messing with the poor ignorant losers who BUY those albums. its not their fault.. they are too stupid to realize they can download the albums!

    that didnt make any sense. i just thought it might be cool to razz on eminem, xtina, and brittany since they are all posers and have no talent. thank you!

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

  17. identicon
    James, May 25th, 2006 @ 12:58pm


    That last line there was a good one--and very cold, too. I know of no other consumer-oriented industry that can sue its consumer base and get away with it. Like I said, even though that line is very true, it was still very cold!

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

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2006 @ 4:13pm

    Re: Idiots


    All music here is granted from the bands. Its free and legal and you can put it in any format you want.

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

  19. identicon
    Bangy, May 25th, 2006 @ 4:19pm

    No more PC

    It's the "international banker" types who have had a death grip on just about all forms of media for the past 100 years. They created a system of exploitation that can take advantage of musicians, actors and the like and reap huge profits by controlling the production and distribution of the material. bittorrent has torn down this 4th wall leaving these modern day cockroaches to scamper from the light of truth that THEy are the ones who have been theiving and exploiting to fill their own pockets. lets stop being politically correct and call out these parasites once and for all.

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

  20. identicon
    Chris Longley, May 26th, 2006 @ 6:42pm

    Re: DVDs on Linux

    hey it was their stuff on the DVDs, what gives him the right to watch their stuff on his Linux machine? Also, he didn't keep it to himself for his personal use. Maybe I could get my old Amiga to play DVDs, if I go out and steal some boxes to bolt on to it (it's my right, right?)

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

  21. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2006 @ 1:50pm

    What we really need is some MPIAA exec address's so I can go give one of em something to sue me about...

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

  22. identicon
    Dick Haliburton, Jun 1st, 2006 @ 3:16pm

    Re: Re: Law

    Surely you are a shitwit!

    Do you walk around all day with a paper bag over your head? All you have to do is look at congress and the executive branch to see the rich getting away with murder...

    No bid contracts for Haliburton for billions of dollars--->Totally illegal--->Consequences?NONE whatsoever. Savings and Loan scandals of the 90s, billions of dollars stolen-->consequences?-->NONE. Microsoft skull-fucking its competitors for years-->results of Anti-Trust proceedings-->NOTHING.


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

  23. identicon
    Christov, Jul 26th, 2006 @ 9:12pm

    The rich get away with murder every day

    Common you want a f-ing example all I have to give you is two letters. OJ but hell why not thow in Phill Spector or if you want to maybe get a little off the bandwagon take a look at all of the supposed Clinton Killings while he was in office. but dont stop there open your f-ing eyes and read the paper look at the facts dont try and say that the law is equel when we all know that it isnt. everything has its price you stupid twat.

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

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