Craigslist Forced To Cough Up Name Of Oscars Ticket Seller To The Movie Industry

from the but-why? dept

Apparently, the Motion Picture Academy, the folks who put on the Oscars (also known as "The Academy Awards"), say that the tickets to that event are non-transferable. That's fine. It's their event, they can set up whatever rules they want. However, where it gets strange, is that they are now suing a bunch of folks who tried to sell their tickets online, and even got a judge to force Craigslist to reveal the name of a seller in order to sue him.

So, here's my confusion: if the tickets are non-transferable, why not just check IDs at the door and not let those who were not given tickets?

As for forcing Craigslist to reveal the name of the seller, why is that allowed? The Academy can have whatever rules it wants in terms of letting in or not letting in people, but what law was broken by the seller, and what makes it so that Craigslist should be forced to give up the name of an anonymous seller? All the Academy had to do was not let the person in the door, but apparently it chose not to run things that way. But that's the Academy's choice, not a legal issue the requires revealing the name of an anonymous seller.

Furthermore, the Academy's explanation for this also seems ridiculous: "If you don't know who's inside the theater, it's very difficult to provide security." Really? Most places that provide security don't know the names of everyone who's there and they seem to do just fine. And, again, if knowing who's in there is such a big deal, then why not identify them as they enter, and verify that they're supposed to be there? None of that would then involve lawsuits. But, then again, this is the movie industry, which has shown a penchant for lawsuits over actually thinking things through and taking the easier path.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    some old guy, Jul 25th, 2008 @ 5:30pm

    ya

    None of this actually makes any sense at all. Why am I not surprised?

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2008 @ 6:09pm

    the really fun part is no one from craiglist showed up in court so it was a win by default. you can bet that ebay would have bothered to show up and fight this.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2008 @ 7:14pm

    Re:

    "you can bet that ebay would have bothered to show up and fight this"

    Yeah, because like ebay is soooo ethical ....

     

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  4.  
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    Howard_NYC, Jul 25th, 2008 @ 7:35pm

    this is so high school

    the cool kids get pissed when someone crashes their party...

    this is so high school

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Alex, Jul 25th, 2008 @ 7:44pm

    Re: this is so high school

    It's not like they ruined the show or anything, the people running it did a fair job of that.

     

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  6.  
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    Just curious, Jul 25th, 2008 @ 7:59pm

    So if I sue someone for something that is not actually supported by law, and the person I sue does not show up, I simply get what I ask for no matter if it is valid or not?

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2008 @ 8:09pm

    Re:

    Yup, so I think I might sell tickets to an event but if I ever find them being resold after saying they are non-transferable I will sue them as well. Yay American idiocy and greed wins again!

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Bryan Henderson, Jul 25th, 2008 @ 8:40pm

    Re:

    So if I sue someone for something that is not actually supported by law, and the person I sue does not show up, I simply get what I ask for no matter if it is valid or not?

    No. But the judge can't refuse to believe evidence submitted by the party that did show up if there is no one on the other side to contest it, and won't generally go out of his way to find a legal argument for the other side. This is a case where the Academy says it won't hurt Craigslist to turn over the info, and without anyone to say otherwise, the court would have to accept that.

    And the fact that Craigslist didn't show up probably means Craigslist didn't think it had a viable defense either.

    But I have seen people lose cases where the other side didn't show up, simply because the party that did show up had no case. These were small claims court; lawyers wouldn't let a case like that get to trial.

     

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  9.  
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    Bryan Henderson, Jul 25th, 2008 @ 8:43pm

    There doesn't have to be a law broken

    Just a clarification of legal process: Subpoenas are available in civil cases too; there doesn't have to be a crime, just a dispute between two people that some evidence would help resolve.

     

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  10.  
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    pwb, Jul 25th, 2008 @ 8:51pm

    If Craigslist didn't show up, how'd they get the name?

    This is totally ridiculous. I can't think of any reason why Craigslist should be compelled to reveal the person, if it even knows who it is.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2008 @ 9:09pm

    Re: Re:

    Yeah, because like ebay is soooo ethical ....

    They hold their stock holders interests, so that is ethical.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2008 @ 4:21am

    Mike.... ?

    Your grammar is horrendous

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    You never know, Jul 26th, 2008 @ 6:08am

    The way the academy sees it, this is a chance to make several hundred times the amount of the ticket in question, and all it takes is a stupid judge on the take and a couple of ambulance chasing lawyers.... (Oh Oh, now I've done it. They will be after Tech Durt to give up my name! LOL)

     

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  14.  
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    Recent ticket-holder, Jul 26th, 2008 @ 6:49am

    This is a non-lawsuit

    Maybe I'm wrong on the, but has anyone actually broken the law or even the rules??

    Doesn't non-transferrable mean that no one else can USE it?

    Is it illegal for someone to POSSESS it??

    Even if they never go.....

     

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  15.  
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    Tin Ear, Jul 26th, 2008 @ 9:41am

    Re: This is a non-lawsuit

    You're right. I know people who collect tickets. Concert, train, games, etc. Some of them would pay good money for an unused Academy Awards ticket, and NEVER INTEND to go to the actual show.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    javaholic, Jul 26th, 2008 @ 11:13am

    Craigslist & Academy awards

    Stop using Craigslist and Don't watch the Academy awards, they are boring anyeway!

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Beluga, Jul 26th, 2008 @ 11:40am

    What's the big deal?

    I'm all for privacy and all, but if you look at Craigslist Terms of Use (section six), it's pretty clear that if asked by the courts, it would release information. Also, it is noted in section five in their Privacy policy.

    This is a non-story. Craigslist provides a service and doesn't have a legal department. Are the Academy Awards over-reacting? Yeah, likely, but Craigslist isn't doing anything wrong here.

     

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  18.  
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    Jack (profile), Jul 26th, 2008 @ 12:15pm

    Just shows whom has all the money$$$$

    this shows how much i know,,, i thought the tickets (for the presentation of the Academy Awards) were sent out to those the Academy wanted to be at the show. i have been completely unaware that theses tickets were available for the general public to purchase. unless the tickets that were for sale were for the red carpet. not to be confused with the tickets for entry to the awards presentation.
    i think there may have been some gross confusion on this case, which shall more than likely appear in an upcoming show made for television. the film industry's little sibling.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    WG, Jul 26th, 2008 @ 1:37pm

    Craigslist dumbed-out on this one...

    "Are the Academy Awards over-reacting? Yeah, likely, but Craigslist isn't doing anything wrong here." To me, this smacks of a frivolity. On one hand, ANOTHER JUDGE should just bitch-slap the MPAA for pursuing such a stupid tangent of thinking (as put forth by Mike); on the other hand, Craigslist just rolled over and put its ass up in the air to the extent that anyone with a hard-on could go ask a stupid judge for anything they thought would be useful in sticking it to Craigslist, or any other service vendor, in crafting a potential lawsuit. Mike pointed out in a recent article of his that it's been proven over and over by the courts that content providers should not be held accountable for the actions of its patrons. Maybe this so-called judge should bone up on the law, and Craigslist should grow a set of balls. We're going somewhere with all of this bull, but why in a handbasket filled with idiots like these?

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Edward, Jul 26th, 2008 @ 2:10pm

    Um, here's my confusion...

    If you don't understand a court's role in enforcing private contractual terms, much less the difference between breach of contract and violation of a law, how did you ever get a job writing about legal issues? You may have every right to be outraged in this case. (No, Chucky, that's not a right recognized by law.) Among other things, this does involve some rather tortured, even fantastic invitee/licensee analysis. But what you offer here gives the impression your particular legal acumen enables you to do little more than call one "stupid" and run.

     

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  21.  
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    Jack (profile), Jul 26th, 2008 @ 3:16pm

    Edwards "confusion"

    lol

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2008 @ 4:46pm

    Where are they going to keep their ID?

    Checking ID's seems like a good idea. However, given the outfits some of the starlets wear I doubt that they have anything as practical as a pocket to store an ID. I am guessing that even a lot of them men's tux's don't have pockets.

    It seems like this would be an ideal situation for face recognition software. They should probably use a concealed camera for this because most of those attending would stop to pose for any camera they saw and there would be a huge bottleneck.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    chaz, Jul 26th, 2008 @ 7:15pm

    do this...

    if the MPAA is going to go after everyone that posts to craigslist... would it be a dog chasing his own tale if everyone (non ticket holders) put 'tickets' for the show online??? I think the MPAA would have way to much to do... ha ha

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    JS, Jul 26th, 2008 @ 7:26pm

    I don't blame them...

    They probably just wanted to make sure that John Coctostan wasn't allowed in to do any of his investigative journalism. He had tried to get Mr. Underhill's ticket.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Rjupiter, Jul 27th, 2008 @ 3:25am

    I don't get it!?

    I have sold stuff on CL and to my recollection they do not have nor require my name or information when I post stuff there, only an email address. So what exactly is CL or how is CL handing anything over to anyone?

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    tnjeff, Jul 27th, 2008 @ 8:41am

    Re: I don't get it!?

    You're right, but it's not impossible.

    Firstly, the Motion Pictures Association will need the IP address posted. From there, they would know which ISP to go and subpoena for their customer's info and voila... unless the person who posted on Craigslist used an anonymizer service where the IP address is then "covered" up - that again is just a hurdle unless the anonymizer service is based out of say, Russia where their government tend not to cooperate with the US government...


    ===========
    I don't get it!? by Rjupiter on Jul 27th, 2008 @ 3:25am

    I have sold stuff on CL and to my recollection they do not have nor require my name or information when I post stuff there, only an email address. So what exactly is CL or how is CL handing anything over to anyone?

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    anon, Jul 27th, 2008 @ 12:09pm

    Re:

    Craigslist doesn't charge to buy/sell. ebay does. who do you think has more money to throw away on frivolous lawsuits? Think, people.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Rocco, Jul 27th, 2008 @ 1:43pm

    to tnjeff

    or if the person sent it via wifi that is not connected to them. Sure they could get a MAC address to prove who it was if they caught the person, but that, I would think would be incredibly difficult. Tons of places offer free wifi nowadays, especially (I would think) any place that caters to the crowd that would be on the Oscars ticket holders list. Think the person trying to sell them will get invited next year. It'd be funny if they won an award next year but could not accept it in person because they have been banned from all future Awards shows.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    bladestall, Jul 27th, 2008 @ 6:50pm

    Jailhouse lawyers

    Before you take the case as a jailhouse public defender, "suing" rarely ever means that the defendant did anything illegal....that while their is a suit....and not an arrest. I can sue you for ignorance. You didn't do anything illegal. I am just suffering in extreme mental anguish from your stupidity. And I feel like I deserve money to make me feel better. Of course this is just hypothetical - I don't really think your stupid :-). You get how that works? In my opinion, it will never fly, unless the attorneys for the Oscars can demonstrate how it affected them monetarily.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Jeff, Jul 27th, 2008 @ 11:00pm

    Unfortunate...

    Yet another attempt at total control by the movie industry. Didn't we learn anything from Jack Valenti and DeCSS?

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Scott, Jul 27th, 2008 @ 11:07pm

    Re: Jailhouse lawyers

    Just to clarify this, I could sue you due to mental anguish over your use of "their" instead of "there"?

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Scott, Jul 27th, 2008 @ 11:12pm

    Re: Unfortunate...

    Motion Picture Academy is basically a professional society, like the IEEE or ASME. They are a collection of people who work in the movies such as actors, producers, directors, writers, makeup artists, costumers, special effects artists, etc. While they make rules governing how their members do business, they do not deal with the public beyond verifying a person's membership and standings or providing guidelines for how things are done.

    Motion Picture Association of America is a different animal. They are a collection of companies. They provide ratings and have declared themselves watchdog over the member companies' rights under copyright law.

    Two different things entirely.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Mike, Jul 28th, 2008 @ 8:41am

    Craigslist wasn't exactly forced

    Craigslist didn't get forced to disclose this, they didn't even bother to show up in court to try to keep the information private at all. The MPAA is certainly to be held responsible for frivolous lawsuits which could have been avoided if they had implimented their own checks and balances as they should have, but also to be held responsible is Craigslist for not even attempting to put forth even a feeble effort to make it *look* like they cared about their users privacy. Reference Link

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2008 @ 12:36pm

    Is he for real???

    "...what law was broken by the seller..." Is this guy kidding??? His opening sentence was how the Academy says the tickets are non-transferable. He just answered his own stupid question! & his lame comment about the security...Is he so young that he doesn't remember the streaker while (I think it was) Peter O'Toole was on stage??? In today's in-your-face society, I think security is even more important at these type of events.

    I'm sorry, but on this one I am 100% behind the Academy. I think the general public has become ridiculous with their desire to be allowed everywhere by whatever means they think they can use! Yes, these people are celebrities, but they're also people who would like a couple of hours when Ma & Pa Kettle aren't slobbering all over them like they're K-Mart's blue plate special!

     

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  35.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Jul 28th, 2008 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Is he for real???

    Is this guy kidding???

    No. I'm not kidding.

    His opening sentence was how the Academy says the tickets are non-transferable.

    Just because you say something is so doesn't make it so.

    He just answered his own stupid question! & his lame comment about the security...Is he so young that he doesn't remember the streaker while (I think it was) Peter O'Toole was on stage??? In today's in-your-face society, I think security is even more important at these type of events.

    Again, you have not explained why knowing someone's name ahead of time makes security any better. How is this different than any other event (movie, sporting event, concert, etc.) where security doesn't know everyone's name?

    And, if knowing everyone's name is so important, what's wrong with just checking IDs at the door, as explained.

    You seem to have missed the point entirely.


    I'm sorry, but on this one I am 100% behind the Academy. I think the general public has become ridiculous with their desire to be allowed everywhere by whatever means they think they can use!


    Again, we said nothing about letting people go wherever they want. We just asked why the MPA is suing over their own security faults. If they don't want people in to the event that they don't know, that's FINE. I even said that. But to sue over someone selling the tickets is the wrong response. Just check IDs at the door.

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    Ric Erickson, Jul 29th, 2008 @ 7:15am

    Craigslist Forced To Reveal Seller's Name

    I read your item and I read the AP item. Nowhere did they say that Craigslist complied with the demand to reveal the seller's name. AP said that nobody from Craigslist appeared at the hearing. You, TechDirt, are guilty of using Craigslist as a come-on headline. But I forgive you.

    best regards, ric

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    John, Jul 29th, 2008 @ 1:32pm

    Some sarcasm to lighten the mood

    "If you don't know who's inside the theater, it's very difficult to provide security."
    Of course security needs to be extra tight during the Academy Awards show, because, as we all know, the show is the #1 target for terrorists. Imagine what would happen if someone blew up the auditorium. What would we do without powerful people such as Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise, and others. Our society would be ruined without all those great actors and actresses! It would be the end of movies as we know it! Just think- no more "Dave" or "Space Chimps" or "Baby Geniuses" to entertain us.

    [end sarcasm]

     

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

  38.  
    identicon
    Terry Wagar, Feb 16th, 2009 @ 11:29pm

    open murder conspiracy in portland oregon

    Eric Carlson and Joan Wagar, A,K,A, Doubleclick and Mrs Dash,( yes those are there nicknames they gave each other.) admitted to poisoning me while I was a plasma donor back in 2005.
    Eric Carlson pedofied me behind prison walls and then framed me as a pedophile on march 26th 2007, I caught the crime on a audio recorder I put in Joan's purse.
    there were people in authority helping them with this and nobody in authority will help they pretend nothing happened and refuse to investigate this.
    Eric Carlson changed his hair color and his name but this is not hidden, only ignored by the authority's and media
    I'm disabled from being poisoned and the hospitals refuse to admit I'm poisoned.
    My Family is in danger from these people and I have no other recorse but to make these charges public.
    My name is Terry Wagar,Im from Portland Oregon and I'm backing up these charges.
    I have been threatened with harassment charges by a Sargent Walker, She is a portland police officer stationed at the OHSU hospital, for the non crime of reporting a multi murder conspiracy within that hospital.
    They don't give a s4!t Joan and Eric was poisoning a plasma donor!
    Why don't you give A s4!t Portland Authority's, its already reported.
    Where did Mrs Dash keep her stash?
    In A garlic salt shaker!
    What did Doubleclick do with his dick? YOU F@@king Pedophile!

    http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2008/11/382778.shtml

     

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


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