Who's More Ethical: TorrentSpy Or The MPAA?

from the just-a-simple-question dept

Wired has an interview with Robert Anderson, the guy who hacked into TorrentSpy's servers and handed over a bunch of internal TorrentSpy info to the MPAA. From the interview, it's quite clear that the MPAA knew that it was getting access to content that had not been legally obtained, but it still pushed Anderson for more such info (including asking him if he could obtain similar info about The Pirate Bay). Yet, because they know how to cover themselves legally, they made Anderson sign a contract saying that all of the info he gave them had been obtained legally. But, still, it's quite clear that the MPAA has no qualms spying on people using questionable means. At the same time, however, we've noted that TorrentSpy is so aghast at the idea of spying on its own users, that it shut off US access to its site to protect its users from court-ordered spying. So, which organization comes across as more ethical here? The MPAA, who's actively trying to get confidential information from various torrent tracker sites? Or TorrentSpy, who's actively trying to protect the privacy of its users? Yet, why is it that people act as if the MPAA has the moral high ground here?

Filed Under: bittorrent, hacking, spying
Companies: mpaa, torrentspy


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  1. identicon
    Dictionary Man, 24 Oct 2007 @ 9:57am

    Re: ethics

    If someone repairs your A/C at your house and you refuse to pay them, have you stolen something?
    Just because you are not taking a tangible object does not mean it isn't theft. The argument for it being stealing is that, as a consumer, there is a likelihood (no matter how small) that you might purchase the film (or a viewing thereof). If you obtain a viewing for free, you have effectively cost the industry potential money. In this way, watching a movie at a friends house is also a type of theft. If the MPAA had their way you probably wouldn't be allowed to do that.
    Don't get me wrong, I don't see any problem with downloading the files, I just recognize that getting the entertainment without paying for it is a form of theft of services.
    If there are any MPAA people reading all this, I'd like you to know that I'd happily pay for my downloads if you would provide a reasonable outlet for me. Say $5/movie, and I can burn off a DVD when I get it downloaded? Not your cup of tea? Paying $30 for a DVD isn't mine, so we'll have to just agree to disagree for the time being.

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