Copyright Industry Responds To iiNet Ruling By Asking For Gov't Bailout; Aussie Gov't 'Studying' It

from the expected,-but-not-cool dept

So, the Australian court ruling in favor of iiNet was quite brilliant, not just in getting the technology and the law (and common sense) right, but also in explaining why it wouldn't make much sense to change the law either. But, of course, that's not the way the big industries that rely on copyright as crutch operate. If they don't get their way, they go crying to the gov't to have their business models propped up and thrust into the law. So, of course, the "anti-piracy" (i.e., the "we can't adapt so let's drag the whole world backwards") group AFACT has already jumped out and demanded that the Australian government change the law in response to the ruling. And, of course, the Australian government says it's "examining" the issue.

Of course, this just shows how far gone AFACT and its members (Hollywood studios mainly) are out of touch with what this ruling is saying. The ruling points out, quite clearly, that the problem isn't with the law and it's not with the technology. Changing the law doesn't fix things. The problem is with how the big movie studios have failed to adapt, and are now blaming totally blameless parties for their own failures. The proper response is: "Okay, it's time to come up with better business models." It's not to ask the government to artificially blame a third party that had nothing to do with the infringement. It's really a rather stunning statement of incompetence that any industry thinks the cure to their own business model failures is to legally make an innocent third party responsible.


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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:05am

    Mike, what better business models are you talking about? If everyone is stealing your product outright, and not paying for it, what business should you be in?

    It isn't like a movie company is suddenly going to start giving live performances of it's movies, so that it can charge huge ticket prices for the events.

    What a judgment like this does is encourage content producers to not bring their product into the Australian market, because there is no supportable business model. Perhaps they will run movies in theaters, but never release them in any other format.

    What the government is considering is similar to what they would have to do if a judge ruled that shoplifting was legal, because it was too widespread and to difficult to pick the suspects off of store video. They are having to consider what the fallout would be to entirely legalizing online piracy.

     

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:08am

      Re:

      G'morning Igtor!
      About your travels--I suggest Moscow; you'll like it there.

      Keep at it with that "fake it till you make it" thing. Perhaps if you repeat something enough times, somebody will believe it's true. (Also, did your employers hire a second shill to pick up your slack time? I notice you're on 24/7 now...)

       

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      Ima Fish (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:19am

      Re:

      "stealing your product outright"

      How many times do we have to explain that theft and infringement are two entirely different concepts and are not analogous.

      "It isn't like a movie company is suddenly going to start giving live performances of it's movies..."

      You're kidding right? Despite so called piracy the movie industry had its very best year ever in ticket sale profits.

      "What a judgment like this does is encourage content producers to not bring their product into the Australian market..."

      Will not selling content in Australia make it unavailable on P2P? Nope, it'll still be there. So how does not selling it help? That will only force customers to use P2P.

      What this judgment should do is to force the content industry to sell its products in way that people want to buy.

      "What the government is considering is similar to what they would have to do if a judge ruled that shoplifting was legal..."

      Once again, theft is different from infringement. If you're still arguing that after reading this site for as long as you have you're either an idiot or you're lying. And I don't think you're an idiot.

       

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        The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:26am

        Re: Re:

        Sorry Fish, but reality is this:

        If everyone downloads, nobody buys. There might as well have been shoplifitng, because the effects are the same, no sales.

        Not selling it isn't a choice to force people to P2P, it is to stop wasting money in a market that isn't buying. Australia is a very small market. If their legal system is going to permit unlimited piracy, why would anyone want to retail in that market?

        My feeling is you would see movies in theaters, maybe on pay per view, and that would be it. No retail, no rentals (movie not available in the market, importing for rental would be actionable), no nothing. If the people are going to P2P anyway, why bother getting into the market?

        Further, it would greatly hurt the Australian home market business. With such a small marketplace, the income from retail sales of DVDs and such is very important. Without a vibrant retail market, the funds to produce Aussie films would disappear, and with it an entire industry.

        They are isolated enough that they could show us all exactly what happens when you remove the income from the movie industry.

        Theft and infringement has the same results: Someone has what they didn't pay for, and the owners have one less potential sale. Since everyone keeps telling is here that reproduction costs are so low, the stealing of the physical DVD isn't really the big part of the discussion, unless you want to change things and say the plastic disc is a significant part of the retail price.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:33am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Murder and cancer have the same results, someone is dead! I think we should throw cancer in jail for murder.

           

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            The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:44am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You are almost right. Murder and Cancer both support the funeral home business. But one is an over act from someone else, and the other is just an illness.

            Nice try, but still a fail.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:13am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "infringement And just not buying have the same results: the owners have one less potential sale."

            Fixed that for you anti-mike

             

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              The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:31pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Sorry, but the quote is:

              "Theft and infringement has the same results: Someone has what they didn't pay for, and the owners have one less potential sale."

              They are the same. Thanks for playing misquote me.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 2:23pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I was pointing out the obvious flaw in lost sales logic. Thanks for playing dumb.

                 

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                  The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 4:17pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Again, if it is only a small percentage of the people infringing, you might have a point. But the courts have pretty much turned file sharing in Australia into a free for all, and if everyone is downloading, who is left buying?

                  Nobody. Then the potential sales lost are actual sales lost, no?

                   

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                    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 5:27pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    But the courts have pretty much turned file sharing in Australia into a free for all, and if everyone is downloading, who is left buying?


                    This is so wrong that even you, Anti-Mike, can't possibly believe it. The court did not even come close to turning Australia into a free for all. Australia already has very strict copyright laws, and individuals are responsible if they infringe.

                    All the court did here was note that you shouldn't blame a third party for the actions of someone else. I mean, that's just basic common sense.

                    How you could flat out lie and claim that means there's a "free for all" in Australia is beyond me, unless, once again, you are being purposely deceitful.

                     

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                      The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 6th, 2010 @ 6:02am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      The courts have exactly made it a free for all, because they have made it effectively impossible for a copyright holder to expect to get proper legal proceedings underway in any reasonable amount of time.

                      With this judgment, the copyright holders are bound to bring the ISP to court, prove their entire case of copyright infringement against a "john doe", all to only get the user information from the ISP. That process could take years. Then they go back to square 1 with the user info, and restart the entire process from zero. Another few years to get satisfaction.

                      Meanwhile, they have spent hundreds of thousands (if not millions) to prosecute the case, and they are likely to find the defendant at the end is like Jammie Thomas, without two cents to rub together. So they are down a ton of money, and it took years to get that SINGLE copyright violation to stop.

                      Essentially, the Australian courts have made it pretty much impossible to stop file trading. They just raised a price and time barrier that no longer makes it worth going through.

                      It creates a free for all. The chance that a user would face any legal action is negligible, which creates a free for all.

                      If you can't see that...

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2010 @ 9:40am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Lawsuits and the justice system take too long! We have to do something that doesn't involve them!

                        Copyrights last too long. We have to do something that doesn't involve them!

                        I know, I'll pirate as a form of civil disobedience against things taking too long! Problem solved and if you can't see that . . . .

                         

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                        Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 6th, 2010 @ 7:18pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        The courts have exactly made it a free for all, because they have made it effectively impossible for a copyright holder to expect to get proper legal proceedings underway in any reasonable amount of time.

                        Not at all. There is nothing in the decision that says anything like that. It just says you shouldn't be able to demand that a third party take action when YOU have not taken legal action.

                        If iiNet is served with a legal requirement to hand over the names it will. Until then, it is acting entirely appropriately, which is what the court said.

                        With this judgment, the copyright holders are bound to bring the ISP to court, prove their entire case of copyright infringement against a "john doe", all to only get the user information from the ISP. That process could take years. Then they go back to square 1 with the user info, and restart the entire process from zero. Another few years to get satisfaction.

                        That's simply not true and you know it. We've already seen in the US what the process is to get a legal subpoena. What you describe above is not true. And nowhere do you have to try the person a second time. I mean, do you understand how the legal system works?!?

                        Essentially, the Australian courts have made it pretty much impossible to stop file trading. They just raised a price and time barrier that no longer makes it worth going through.

                        No, they just said that the copyright holder cannot just demand that the ISP block the user or hand over their name without actual evidence.

                        iiNet did the proper thing. It handed over the evidence to the police to let them handle it. Why would you expect otherwise?

                         

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 3:05pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I just read an internet summary on a terrible movie. I was told the entirety of the plot and characters (as much as was needed), and all the badly done "twists".

                I didn't pay for it.

                The owners have one less potential sale.

                Apparently I just committed theft.

                 

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                Another AC, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 4:05pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                A lost 'potential sale' isn't a lost sale, so this? Total fail, and you know it.

                 

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          Ima Fish (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "If everyone downloads, nobody buys."

          But why did people start downloading music way back in the mid 90s? Because there was no legal means to download music. If iTunes had been opened in about 1998, a year before Napster, there would have been little reason for the vast majority of people to use Usenet and IRC because iTunes would have been much easier. And because everyone would have been using iTunes, there would not have been any demand to create an easy to use program such as Napster.

          You can blame the people, but I blame the industry for refusing to provide the service people wanted.

          "Theft and infringement has the same results"

          Nope, when you steal physical property, the owner of the property loses his ability to use, sell, or lease out his property. That's the result of theft.

          When you infringe, you're violating a government granted monopoly. (Much like those people in the 70s who would install a second phone in violation of AT&T's government granted monopoly.) When you download a song the music industry does not lose a sale, it loses a possible sale. The same could be said of radio. I might hear a song on the radio for free and think, "God, that song is awful, I'll never buy it." On the other hand, I've heard plenty of music online which caused me to buy the music. Music is an odd product, you really can't sell it until someone else has wide access to it.

          And unlike theft, the holder of the copyright still has the monopoly over his music and can still sell it, use it, and lease it out. Accordingly, the results are completely different.

           

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          btr1701 (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:52am

          Re: Re: Re: Nonsense

          > If everyone downloads, nobody buys.

          Well, except for the fact that empirical studies have shown that the people who download the most also buy the most.

           

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          PaulT (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:59am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Australia is a very small market."

          You see, that's part of the problem. It's small because their business models are set up to be dependent on regionalisation. There is NOTHING to stop them selling the same DVD or download to customers in Australia as they do in the US. No translation is needed, no format issues for digital files, no need to offer anything other than an identical product. Perhaps licensing and other issues would get in the way, but that's an invention of the industry, so again a business model problem.

          The only reason why Australia is a "small market" is because the industry themselves have sectioned it off that way. If they sold to the English speaking world as a single market, then it would be part of a very large market.

          Regionalisation made sense in the physical world, but none in the digital arena. It's an outdated business model, hence it needs to be changed to stay competitive in the modern world.

           

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          kirillian (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:38am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Sorry Fish, but reality is this:

          If everyone downloads, nobody buys. There might as well have been shoplifitng[sic], because the effects are the same, no sales.


          Sorry Anti-Mike, but the reality is really this:

          Since when does everyone download!?!? Those record box-office sales and the fact that people still buy DVDs, CDs, digital music, etc. despite the ridiculousness of pricing distribution methods is indicative of the fact that not everyone is downloading. More importantly, it shows that there is a huge current of people that are willing to pay those prices to get that entertainment value (remember from economics 101, even this makes sense as someone is always willing to pay no matter the price).

          Not selling it isn't a choice to force people to P2P, it is to stop wasting money in a market that isn't buying. Australia is a very small market. If their legal system is going to permit unlimited piracy, why would anyone want to retail in that market?


          The fact that people are still willing to buy at current prices should indicate to you and those in charge of these media companies that there is a semblance of a market out there. In fact, a good market response to this slack in demand would be to adjust pricing and supply to match, then to find a new product or a new way to sell the product to match the market (I learned that in economics 101 and it's played out for me in real life every day, where the hell did you go to school that it's so different for you?!?!?). Obviously, there is a demand for something else that these media companies FAIL to recognize and/or acknowledge. Companies that fail to deal with these kinds of market forces fail.

          My feeling is you would see movies in theaters, maybe on pay per view, and that would be it. No retail, no rentals (movie not available in the market, importing for rental would be actionable), no nothing. If the people are going to P2P anyway, why bother getting into the market?

          Further, it would greatly hurt the Australian home market business. With such a small marketplace, the income from retail sales of DVDs and such is very important. Without a vibrant retail market, the funds to produce Aussie films would disappear, and with it an entire industry.


          You are correct in stating that the revenue derived from DVDs is shrinking. However, I don't think it's fair to say that this market is needed to hold up the entire industry...we've had multiple studies show that revenue from other avenues and products is increasing. Making a jump from saying that failing DVD revenue is the cause of a failing industry is jumping to conclusions. Perhaps customers no longer value DVDs at the prices they are sold for? For example, I know of a number of people that no longer buy DVDs because they find NetFlix streamed into their home a far greater value. Thus, there are other possible explanations that have not been addressed properly. Making conclusions that piracy or anything else is killing business without addressing such explanations is actually rather disingenuous.

          They are isolated enough that they could show us all exactly what happens when you remove the income from the movie industry.


          This is perhaps true. I would think that the results could be significant, but I, personally, wouldn't go so far as saying exactly...somehow, I feel that the American entertainment industry has much deeper pockets perhaps than their Australian counterparts...that could change the game, no?

          Theft and infringement has the same results: Someone has what they didn't pay for, and the owners have one less potential sale. Since everyone keeps telling is here that reproduction costs are so low, the stealing of the physical DVD isn't really the big part of the discussion, unless you want to change things and say the plastic disc is a significant part of the retail price.


          As a moral person, I have to agree that infringement results in a moral dilemma; however, as a rational person, I am concerned that equating infringement with stealing is completely irrational. The problem is actually one of "Counting chickens before they hatch". Potential sales are not reliably countable. Conditions change, marketing equations become obsolete quickly (assuming they were reliable and accurate in the first place), Consumer demand shifts. Stating that infringement results in a lost sale is either blindness or an outright lie. At the very least, it is an extremely weak argument that does not hold up under inspection - there is no evidence to support it and plenty of evidence both logically and through numerous studies supporting that logic to refute it.

          Interestingly, your method of evaluating whether something is stolen is rather unique. I have heard in contrast that something is stolen when you no longer have the original item to sell. I'm more liable to agree with that second notion as I can't see making a copy of something even without permission being equated with stealing. However, such is really a philosophical discussion and I haven't really heard any convincing arguments for any good line-in-the-sand differentiation that would provide the needed clarity for this debate.

           

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          Cynyr (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:09am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Not everyone downloads, Some of us just would like our media in a different format. In my case something that i can store on my PS3's harddrive so my kids are not getting into the DVDs and scratching them. I'm down to 4 dvd's that i can't rip. "Helen of Troy" crashes the firmware in my dvd drive. "The Dark Knight" has a bad table of contents, it plays if you use the menus but not if you try to play a "track". and my two Bluray movies, which I knew would be an issue when I bought them. So for those first two(maybe even the later two) I would feel justified in downloading a copy in a simmilar resolution to the copy that I have. ie, No bluray copy of "The Dark Knight". "The Dark Knight" has a thing to download a copy of the movie legally, but it requires windows media player 11, and windows XP or better. I'm not running that so I'm out of luck there.

          As it stands I don't see movies in the theater. Last one i saw i think was 300, there might be one since then. I'm not opposed to buying DvD's i like owning the disk, how about providing a free and clear copy of the movie(maybe just dump CSS) and do not show me the "you wouldn't steal a car..." and let me skip the previews.(Disney DvDs are very bad for this) All in all give me what I want and then let the market decide the price and it will sell. I'd love Dvds that when inserted just started playing the feature.

          I buy very very few DVDs these days, most are shipped to me in little red envelopes and shipped back in the same. So the rental market is a "lost potential sale" which you seem to be against. If I could get all of those streamed to me I'd probably stop getting the little plastic disks all together.

          If DVDs were unavailable it would not change my theater viewing habits in the short term, or mid term how about in 12 years when i can leave the kids at home alone?

           

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          tracker1 (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:11am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If I'm the baker, and I choose to charge $10 a loaf for bread, and all the other bakers do the same, then change the laws so only professional bakers can legally buy yeast would you expect shop lifting rates to go up?

           

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          The Anti-Anti-Mike, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:44am

          Re: Re: Re: Welcome to logical fallacy land

          To your first point, if everyone downloads no-one buys. Last time I checked there are plenty of ways to legally download and a lot of people are doing that.

          To stop selling means you can no longer make a profit, what part about record film and movie profits last year do you not understand? Perhaps you just ignore the facts to reach your conclusion.

          To your point about the Aussie film industry disappearing. Please show evidence of this happening. Has the market shrunk? Is there less major films or less independent ones being made? Let me answer that for you actually since you do not rely on logic rather your uniformed opinion. There are more movies that ever! Not to mention it is now 2010 and file sharing isn't new. Where is the impact???

          Australia has their own major film production market so they are not "isolated". Bad example and poor reasoning.

          As far as theft and infringement having the same results, well that is just laughable. One of course deprives the property owner of what is theirs and one does not. I guess if you repeat it enough it is true?

          You then go on to play the devil's advocate (extremely poorly I might add) and say that stealing isn't stealing because reproduction costs are so low??? If your not playing devil's advocate are you suggesting people steal from retail stores rather than download since they are the same thing? I think the law and reality would disagree.

          I guess I shouldn't even respond, but it is hard sometimes to ignore your rambling when your obviously unable to use even the most basic evidence or logic to prove your point.

           

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:41pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If everyone downloads, nobody buys. There might as well have been shoplifitng, because the effects are the same, no sales.

          If everyone could eat food at home, no one goes out to restaurants...

          Oh wait...

           

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          John Fenderson (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 4:16pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "If everyone downloads, nobody buys. There might as well have been shoplifitng, because the effects are the same, no sales."

          Demonstrably untrue, both by numerous studies and anecdotally amongst the people I know who do engage in copyright infringement (both music and software): those are the same people who buy more music and software than the non-infringers (including myself) that I know.

           

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          The eejit (profile), Feb 6th, 2010 @ 2:08am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Unfortunately, people are starting to ADD to their content by using '+ digital copy' with their discs.

          Plus, theft doesn't just affect the movie industry; it also affects the store. Theft actually means a lost sale. Sharing doesn't. Didn't you EVER share an 8-track of cassette with your friends?

          Also, you REALLY should apply more real-world experience, you're a lot more enjoyable to read.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2010 @ 6:50pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          you are fucking tool aren't you? wow! what industry or ceo of what firm are you from?

           

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          BigKeithO, Feb 8th, 2010 @ 2:08pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Maybe the industry should take a page out of Netflix book and open up a streaming service of their own? If I could watch a massive library of movies on demand for $9/mo with studio quality visuals and sound you bet your ass I would jump at that.

          The problem is they still want to sell their discs at $20-$25 a pop instead. I am not the only person would would jump at this, just ask Netflix.

           

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        Hephaestus (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:43am

        Re: Re:

        Ima ... "It isn't like a movie company is suddenly going to start giving live performances of it's movies..."

        you didnt point out that every performance in the theaters is a live performance....

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:26am

      Re:

      Umm, no. He ruled that the car dealership that sold the car that the shoplifters used to drive to the store cannot be sued for theft.

       

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      Rekrul, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:38am

      Re:

      Mike, what better business models are you talking about? If everyone is stealing your product outright, and not paying for it, what business should you be in?

      Digital sales seem to be doing pretty well for the music industry, how about trying digital sales of movies?

      Look at iTunes; It became successful despite requiring people to use special software, put up with DRM and activations and a ton of other crap. Even though people could already download DRM-free copies of songs, they still bought from iTunes. If it worked for music, why wouldn't it work for movies?

      The studios wouldn't even need iTunes (I don't know why the record companies need it either), just set up their own web site to sell downloadable digital copies. Of course, for this to work, the copies need to be a standard, DRM-free format that people can play on any device they wish. They should also make their entire library of films available for digital sale. Unfortunately, they can't do this as the current copyright mess would prevent a significant portion of the films from being released. Just releasing a single old film on DVD probably costs them in excess of $50,000 in lawyer fees just to straighten out the rights to everything in the film.

      Studios are sitting on goldmines of old films, which they either can't or won't release.

      What the government is considering is similar to what they would have to do if a judge ruled that shoplifting was legal, because it was too widespread and to difficult to pick the suspects off of store video. They are having to consider what the fallout would be to entirely legalizing online piracy.

      Bad analogy. A better comparison would be with the post office or phone company.

      Counterfeit goods get shipped through the mail all the time. Should the post office be required to open and inspect the contents of every package? If they don't, is it reasonable to pass a law allowing them to be sued out of business for not catching the people sending illegal goods through the mail?

      What if a person keeps calling in bomb threats to a large corporation. Should the corporation be able to sue the phone company for not listening in on its customers' calls and preventing this person from making the threats?

       

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        The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:47am

        Re: Re:

        Digital sales seem to be doing pretty well for the music industry, how about trying digital sales of movies?

        If everyone has an internet connection, and piracy is 100% legal (no risk of getting caught), why would anyone pay?

        Counterfeit goods get shipped through the mail all the time. Should the post office be required to open and inspect the contents of every package?

        Actually, the post office inspects a lot of packages. The percentage of illegal goods in the mail is low compared to the overall amount of mail going through. If the amount of illegal goods in the mail was as high as the amounts of piracy traffic on the internet, you can be sure they would be checking every package closely.

         

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          btr1701 (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:54am

          Re: Re: Re: Nonsense

          > > Should the post office be required to open and
          > > inspect the contents of every package?

          > Actually, the post office inspects a lot of packages.

          Not without probable cause, they don't. To do otherwise would be a felony *and* a 4th Amendment violation.

           

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            The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:02am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Nonsense

            https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/

            So you are telling me these guys don't exist?

            You don't think that at least some packages aren't checked by bomb sniffing machines, perhaps x-ray machines, sniffed by dogs for drugs, etc?

             

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              btr1701 (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 2:16pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Nonsense

              > https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/

              Of course Postal Inspectors exist, but just like all the rest of us in federal law enforcement, they have to obey the Constitution and the various laws of the United States.

              I'm a federal agent and I can't just yank mail out of someone's mailbox and open it, unless I have probable cause that the specific individual in question is engaged in criminal activity and that the piece of mail contains the fruits, instrumentalities or evidence of that crime. And even then it's not up to me. I have to present that probable cause to a judge and have him/her sign off on it in the form of a warrant.

              A postal inspector is bound by those same restrictions.

              > You don't think that at least some packages aren't checked
              > by bomb sniffing machines, perhaps x-ray machines, sniffed
              > by dogs for drugs, etc?

              Anything that shows the actual contents of the packages (x-rays, etc.) is subject to the same warrant requirement. The courts have ruled that things that sniff for bombs and drugs (dogs and machines) are not searching the actual property in question. They're merely sampling the air around the property, which is in the public domain and which therefore contains no expectation of privacy, hence no 4th Amendment violation.

              If there were some way to "sniff" the outside of an email or a file for copyrighted material, then it might be legal to do so. As it is, you can't tell what's in an email or a file without looking at its contents, which is the equivalent of opening the mail in your analogy, and which would make doing so a constitutional violation.

               

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                The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 4:26pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Nonsense

                If there were some way to "sniff" the outside of an email or a file for copyrighted material, then it might be legal to do so. As it is, you can't tell what's in an email or a file without looking at its contents, which is the equivalent of opening the mail in your analogy, and which would make doing so a constitutional violation.

                Actually, you can do it. Ports, packet size, source, etc. There are plenty of ways you can tell what is in a packet without opening the packet. You can know that there is P2P traffic, and at minimum you can shape it. Since much of what goes on is "public announce", you can use the IP address to query for files, and away you go.

                You don't have to actually look at the packet content to know it's P2P, and from there, you can look at other publicly available information to discover illegal file trading.

                As a law enforcement agent, you would know that this sort of combination of information would be more than enough for warrant, right?

                 

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                  btr1701 (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 6:38pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Nonsense

                  > You can know that there is P2P traffic, and at minimum you
                  > can shape it.

                  And then people start encrypting all their traffic and you're back to square one. Can't tell what it is unless you decrypt and look at it, and for that you need probable cause and a warrant.

                   

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                    btr1701 (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 6:46pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Nonsense

                    > As a law enforcement agent, you would know that this sort of
                    > combination of information would be more than enough for
                    > warrant, right?

                    Actually, it wouldn't. Since P2P use in and of itself isn't illegal or necessarily indicative of criminal activity (or even civil infringement), a cop would need a quite a bit more in order to meet the probable cause standard. Only by looking inside the file could that standard be met, but to do that, probable cause is required (at which point the entire process descends into a never-ending spiral of circular logic).

                    But more to the point, the sort of copyright infringement at issue with file sharing is not a criminal offense in the first place. It's a civil offense, which means the sort of invasive searching granted by search warrants isn't even available to the police. Hell, investigating civil wrongs between private parties is neither the job of the police nor is it even within their jurisdiction.

                    No, the best a rights-holder can hope for under the law is a subpoena, the standard for which also won't be met merely by Disney (or Warners or whoever) going to a judge and saying, "Your honor, we can tell that John Smith is using P2P." Without more than that, they'd never even get a subpoena, let alone a criminal warrant.

                     

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          btr1701 (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:57am

          Re: Re: Re:

          > If the amount of illegal goods in the mail was
          > as high as the amounts of piracy traffic on the
          > internet, you can be sure they would be checking
          > every package closely.

          Not unless Congress managed to pass an amendment to the Constitution limiting the scope of the 4th Amendment and repealing 200+ years of search-and-seizure jurisprudence.

          That's about as likely to happen as the sun suddenly rising in the west tomorrow morning.

           

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            Chargone (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:36pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            please explain (people arguing this on both sides) how that has anything to do with stuff happening in Australia?

            I've seen that a lot here. issues in other countries somehow come back to American constitutional issues...

            it confuses me.


            (then again, NZ, the UK, and Israel are the only countries in the world, according to the wiki, to have a constitution that is Not formally codified... *shrugs*)

             

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              btr1701 (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 2:19pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              > please explain (people arguing this on both sides) how that has
              > anything to do with stuff happening in Australia?

              It doesn't. The Anti-Mike turned it into a discussion of American law when he started comparing enforcement against file-sharing to how the American Post Office operates.

              I merely responded in kind.

               

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          identicon
          Joe Dirt, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:05am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "If everyone has an internet connection, and piracy is 100% legal (no risk of getting caught), why would anyone pay?"

          No one says that piracy should be legal. just go after the responsible party, not the means to access it. Using your analogy, we should outlaw doors because they give people access to the department store so they can shoplift.

           

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          •  
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            Crosbie Fitch (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:31am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I say that piracy should be legal, i.e. making unauthorised copies of published works, distributing and/or selling them.

             

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            The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:07am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Actually, someone just did (see post above). ;)

            You have to think about it for a second. If end users can use their internet connection with no risk of being caught (because the ISP is under no obligation to track users or help in any manner to track illegal file trading), it is essentially a court ordered license to infringe openly. At this moment, there is nothing stopping Australians from infringing to their hearts content, even to open and operate seeders and trackers from their home PCs.

            If you make copyright holders push the process through court for each "violation", it could take years to even get to court. First they would have to summon the ISP, and they would have prove in a court of law that a violation took place, and that the violation was this IP, etc. Essentially, it could be a full on trial just to get the user information. That could take years by itself. Then you take that user information, and start the process over again from scratch, which again could take years. Anywhere along the way, a minor error made could derail the process and send you back to start.

            How long did the Thomas and Tenenbaum cases take to make it through court? How many more years do you think they will go on before they are put to bed entirely, one way or the other?

            Violations take seconds, prosecuting or even attempting to stop by injunction those violations could take years. Something isn't right at that point.

             

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              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:48am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              So what you are saying is that the established legal system is too slow, so we should let some special people be allowed to bypass it and become Judge Jury and Executioner, a power we don't even give to the president. And why should they get these exceptional power? Because thy want to be able to sell more of something that they are already selling in record numbers? Not only that, but the product they want to sell is a luxury item. I can see why the hundreds of years it took to build up our legal system should be thrown out for there cause.

               

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                The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:37pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                No, I didn't say any of that.

                I am saying that the legal system needs an expedient method to allow copyright holders to be able to react to infringement in a timely manner. There needs to be a short and simple way (1 business day) for a court to be able to issue an order to an ISP to turn over customer information, so that they can be served properly and the legal case can move forward.

                There is no "Judge Jury and Executioner", just the ability to get the right party on the line for the violation.

                Essentially, the standard for obtaining the information from the ISP should be "probable", and only with the requirement to disclose which customer was on which IP at which time. The rest of the case would have to go ahead as normal. Nobody would be found guilty of anything, they would obviously get their day(s) in court, and could move any legal action the like from there. But it is very hard for a copyright holder to move forward if they have to go through the entire process of proving a violation completely (in a legal sense) before a judge even considered to order the ISP to do anything. That by itself can take years, which is insufficient remedy for the copyright holder.

                 

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                  identicon
                  The Anti-Anti-Mike, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 2:06pm

                  TAM is SPAM

                  "No, I didn't say any of that."

                  That is what you said, and then you posted it again. You argue over semantics, but you still re-state the process is simply too slow. Well there is a reason for this, it's called due process. It goes slow so mistakes aren't made like jumping to conclusion about who may or may not have infringed based solely on an IP address.

                  You have never confronted the fact that your slippery slope argument has not manifested itself. It is 2010! Where is this digital apocalypse that necessitates any of you crapp-ass ideas?

                  You act like the RIAA or the MPAA are some sort of national security agencies. They aren't! They are a private entity and should receive no special legal rights just because they provide you with a major hard-on every time you think about them.

                  It is clear you do not have a legal mind. It is clear you do not have a logical mind. It is clear that you do not understand the issues that the 21st century has thrust upon us.

                  You are a bad joke here on Techdirt. All you do is debate these points ad nauseam. Forget your logical fallacies and 19th century thinking and actually join the conversation for once.

                   

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                    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 4:22pm

                    Re: TAM is SPAM

                    Nope, you still have it wrong.

                    The system needs to allow the copyright holders to rapidly identify the right people to serve and deal with under the existing legal framework. I don't make any of them into "judge and jury", I just think it is better if the right parties meet each other in a court of law, rather than playing "who is hiding behind bush #1".

                    I am not suggesting for a second to violate anyone's due process, in fact, I am pushing to get the right person in court to have their due process. Right now, the copyright holders are fighting the ISPs, which is pointless. The ISP should get out of the way and be neutral, rather then being obstacles to justice.

                    Then due process goes all the way to the end, with the party who is charged able to get their day in court to fight the charges, rather than using the ISP as a punching bag.

                     

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          identicon
          RD, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:33am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Actually, the post office inspects a lot of packages. The percentage of illegal goods in the mail is low compared to the overall amount of mail going through. If the amount of illegal goods in the mail was as high as the amounts of piracy traffic on the internet, you can be sure they would be checking every package closely."

          Lie. Blatant falsehood. Cite your source for such a ridiculous statement of the "amounts of piracy traffic on the internet." You cant, because you CAN NOT KNOW the amount of "illegal" traffic on the internet. You cant know that any given packet contains illegal material.

          This is just more lies and obfuscation to make it seem "reasonable" that something like an ISP can just MAGICALLY know what content that flows across their wires is illegal, and what isnt.

          Listen very carefully:

          IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO KNOW how much traffic on the net is illegal. Some, a SMALL portion, yes, but NO WAY, NO HOW to know how much of the total is illegal with any degree of certainty. Its simply not technologically possible. You and your Corporate Masters lies and deceit on this topic are appalling. To then use these lies to forward an agenda of scare-mongering and making most of the population out to be criminals makes you Traitor Against Mankind.

           

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            The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            RD, please, I will correct you again. I DON'T WORK IN THE MOVIE OR MUSIC BUSINESS. I have no corporate masters, I am not getting paid, I am not scare mongering. Get over it already. You sound like a fool when you get off on that sort of thing.

            How much P2P traffic? http://torrentfreak.com/peer-to-peer-traffic-statistics/

            I trust torrentfreak is a good enough source for you?

            How much of it is illegal? Well, considering what are the most popular downloads on big torrent sites (such as Pirate Bay), it appears that most of it is illegal. I don't see unix distributions in the top 200 downloads, do you?

            heck, I will give you a break. If the torrent freak numbers are right, and even 50% of traffic is p2p, and if even only 50% of p2p traffic is illegal content, you would be looking at 25% of all traffic being illegal.

            I really doubt that 25% of all mail handled by the US mail is illegal material.

             

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              identicon
              RD, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:50am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "RD, please, I will correct you again. I DON'T WORK IN THE MOVIE OR MUSIC BUSINESS. I have no corporate masters, I am not getting paid, I am not scare mongering. Get over it already. You sound like a fool when you get off on that sort of thing."

              It is well known that The Industry employs people to troll message boards and chat rooms to lie, obfuscate and misrepresent these issues to try to "win the hearts and minds" of the gullible. If you are NOT getting paid for this shilling you do, then you are an even bigger fool than you appear to be.

              "How much P2P traffic? http://torrentfreak.com/peer-to-peer-traffic-statistics/

              I trust torrentfreak is a good enough source for you?

              How much of it is illegal? Well, considering what are the most popular downloads on big torrent sites (such as Pirate Bay), it appears that most of it is illegal. I don't see unix distributions in the top 200 downloads, do you?

              heck, I will give you a break. If the torrent freak numbers are right, and even 50% of traffic is p2p, and if even only 50% of p2p traffic is illegal content, you would be looking at 25% of all traffic being illegal.

              I really doubt that 25% of all mail handled by the US mail is illegal material."

              Great. 50% of all files on Torrent Freak are illegal. SO FUCKING WHAT?? Once again, you SIDESTEP the issue and question, and present a strawman/false argument.

              TORRENTFREAK (and indeed, even ALL torrents EVERYWHERE)

              ARE

              NOT

              ALL

              TRAFFIC

              ON

              THE

              GOD

              DAMN

              INTERNET!

              What the fuck does it take to sink in to your pathetic head, NOT EVERY PERSON IN THE WORLD (or even who has an internet connection) IS USING P2P!!!

              Its a SMALL FRACTION of the total population and/or the total amount of ALL internet users.

              Its unamerican scum like you that try to buy our politicians and attempt to brainwash people into believing these lies that are the problem with these issues.

               

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                The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:59am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                RD, you fail reading.

                I didn't day 50% of the files on torrent freak are illegal. I use torrent freak only for some quick (but somewhat out of date) stats about P2P traffic. The traffic numbers had nothing to do with torrent freak, but about p2p in general.

                TRY

                READING

                SLOWLY

                IT

                HELPS.

                Its a SMALL FRACTION of the total population and/or the total amount of ALL internet users.

                We aren't talking number of users, we are talking traffic. I use about 30-40gig a month of traffic. One of my friends who is a big file trader (and I tut-tut him regularly about it) user about 250 gig a month. On that scale, if 1 out of 10 users is using P2P, they are still using half the traffic.

                So please, can you read my statements a little more closely before going off?

                PS: I still don't work for the movie or music industries. However, you are still a rude person.

                 

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                  kirillian (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:29am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  All rudeness aside. Your friend's situation is merely anecdotal - not valid as good evidence.

                  I know Mike ran an article about a study a while back that showed that P2P traffic was not nearly as high as claimed by those who would benefit from such (i.e. ISPs discussing bandwidth caps or entertainment industry people discussing the amount of P2P use).

                  I ran a google search on 'study p2p traffic amount' and found this right at the beginning of the results (first link was more of a paper than an easy to read article...I hate posting thick reading like that):
                  Zeropaid Article on P2P traffic

                  Looking for Mike's article, I found this, but I couldn't find the one I vaguely remembered:
                  Techdirt Article

                   

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            •  
              icon
              PaulT (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:07am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "RD, please, I will correct you again. I DON'T WORK IN THE MOVIE OR MUSIC BUSINESS. I have no corporate masters, I am not getting paid, I am not scare mongering. Get over it already. You sound like a fool when you get off on that sort of thing."

              Here's the thing: I don't recall you making any claims in these threads that are not pro-industry, pro-copyright owner, anti-consumer points of view. Even in a thread where an innocent person was being threatened with losing her internet connection, and thus her livelihood, off the back of false allegations, you defended the industry.

              The obvious assumption is that you have a stake in their success. If not, then where do these views come from? Why are you usually so unwilling to accept an anti-corporate viewpoint?

              "Well, considering what are the most popular downloads on big torrent sites (such as Pirate Bay), it appears that most of it is illegal."

              Obviously, it depends on where you go for your data. I'm not aware of a centralised list, so you have to make assumptions about where to go. If you go to the trackers that largely deal in infringing content (such as TPB), then you will get a skewed view.

              For example, World Of Warcraft uses P2P to distribute patches. That's one file for each user, and you're forced to download the patch if one's available before you can play. Since they have (I believe) over 12 million players, that's 12 MILLION files distributed through P2P - EVERY time they release a patch.

              Such traffic will show up on TorrentFreak's stats, but NOT on your random Pirate Bay searches. So, your assumptions are flawed at best.

               

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              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:18am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Aren't you the one who claimed there is a conspiracy of trolls trying to "shout you down?"

              Get over it already. You sound like a fool when you get off on that sort of thing.

               

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              techflaws.org (profile), Feb 6th, 2010 @ 2:42am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You sound like a fool when you get off on that sort of thing.

              You sound like a fool all the time. Does that stop you from posting? Unfortunately not.

               

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          Joe (profile), Feb 18th, 2010 @ 9:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If everyone has an internet connection, and piracy is 100% legal (no risk of getting caught), why would anyone pay?

          Ask all the people buying stuff from iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, Blockbuster and all the other media delivery services. Those companies have a lot of paying customers, and those customers are all buying things that can easily be found online for free illegally.

          You may argue that those companies are all US-serving, to which I would argue that there's basically no risk in downloading anything illegally in the US already (which is somehow 100% legal by your definition too).

          So, of those paying customers, "everyone has an internet connection" with "no risk of getting caught" and they're still paying. Your concerns seem somewhat unfounded.

           

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      identicon
      OtherKevin, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:06am

      Re:

      What the government is considering is similar to what they would have to do if a judge ruled that shoplifting was legal, because it was too widespread and to difficult to pick the suspects off of store video. They are having to consider what the fallout would be to entirely legalizing online piracy.

      Nobody is suggesting that copyright infringement is legal, or should be made legal, and it's absurd to claim that. All the judge said is that you're not allowed to sue Party X for something that Party Y did.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      James, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:58am

      Re:

      No Its like the manufactures of bags used by people who shop lift being responsible for the shoplifting.

      The ISP provide a service, just like car rental company does, but if I speed in that rental is the rental company responsible? Hell No I am and the police will prosecute me and not the rental company!

      If I perform Illegal actions on the internet, my ISP is not responsible for my actions, I am responsible.

      ALSO my rights are that I am innocent UNTIL proven guilty in a COURT of LAW. - 3 strikes is a clear breach of my basic rights and it nice to be living in a country that I have rights :)

       

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        The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:09am

        Re: Re:

        James, actually, I can speak from experience in this area.

        Car Rental companies are often held liable for their customers actions. From parking tickets (assigned to the car and not the driver) and speed camera tickets (similar), to cars seized by police and border customs agents for smuggling or other illegal activities, the car rental companies are held accountable for their actions. Rental car companies must effectively swear under oath that they have no knowledge of the intended uses of the cars, they must pass along fines (and often eat them when clients don't want to pay), and they often can spend months or even years to get a car out of an impound situation.

        Effectively, car rental companies are found guilty until proven innocent.

        In ontario right now, if you are going more than 50kms over the speed limit, your car is automatically (without trial) seized for 7 days. Car rental companies do continue to charge their clients for this time (as part of the contract), but customers from outside of the area often just leave and don't come back to reclaim the car from the impound, leaving the rental companies to do the work. The rental companies incur costs, and they can go after the end user, but because the end user is often in another jurisdiction, often another country, it is very hard to properly recoup those costs in a timely manner.

        The rental car companies do have some liablity, and their only way to clear their names is to confirm the renter's information, provide a copy of the rental agreement, and claim to be an innocent party. If ISPs were held to the same standard, there would be no issue here.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Congratulations, you just proved iiNet's point. You are describing law enforcement requests, which iiNet has no issue complying with.

          When the MPAA goes to a car rental office and demands customer information and immediate action because someone maybe saw a renter playing a pirated copy of a movie on a DVD player in their rented car, you might sound less stupid.

           

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          PaulT (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:50am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Nice attempt, but the analogy isn't quite correct (although I accept that you didn't make it originally). In the situations you described, the requests come from law enforcement personnel, and are backed by evidence that would (hopefully) stand up in a court of law should such a thing be necessary.

          In the situations we're talking about, there's only an IP address (which, despite your delusions, is not a reliable identifier) and often little else other than the claim that the IP was used to infringe. The allegations are coming from private citizens, and there's a far lower burden of proof.

          To use this analogy, it would be like somebody walking into the car rental office and demanding that they stop a person driving a car they rented because they claim to have seen a car with that licence number breaking the law.

          As ever, I don't think that the idea of ISPs kicking people off is the real issue. It's the fact that so little proof is provided and what little there is tends to be horrifically flawed. If we were talking about subpoenas issued by a court of law based on solid evidence, it might be OK (albeit objectionable due to free speech and other issues). Right now, it's the word of a private company against yours, and based on evidence that's ridiculously easy to get wrong, be it accidentally or due to malice.

           

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            The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 6th, 2010 @ 6:09am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            To use this analogy, it would be like somebody walking into the car rental office and demanding that they stop a person driving a car they rented because they claim to have seen a car with that licence number breaking the law.

            My point exactly is this: They citizen (copyright holder) shouldn't have to prove their case entirely before they can get to this information. There needs to be an expedient way for the copyright holder to be able to get the right person in court. The Australian court judgment essentially means that the copyright holder has to entirely prove their case against the ISP, and show it all, and then MAYBE the ISP will be obliged to provide user data (if they kept it that long). It makes ISPs into road blocks to legal action, which they should never be.

            As for IP addresses, as I say, you may think they are not reliable indentfiers, but outside of people hacking IPS, they are pretty hard to get around. You cannot make bidirectional communication with an IP address that isn't in the routed block. Yes, you can fake a header, but you would never get an answer back (as it wouldn't be routed to you). ISPs log user names, MAC addresses, and IPs together typically, so it is a pretty good triad of information.

            Can someone hack it? All things are possible, but it would be pretty rare that all three of those things would match up, right?

             

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              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2010 @ 9:43am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I thought the ISP did do something, like send the complainst to the authoritites who then didn't do anything because they were too busy trying to deal with the murderers, rapists and actual thieves.

              Maybe IP just isn't that important? At least to the cops.

               

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              PaulT (profile), Feb 8th, 2010 @ 5:07am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Again, you're a little too trusting and naive here... You assume that these indicators are actually being matched up in the way you describe - they're clearly not. Second, it's not necessary to alter all of these details - read a little bit into how routing tables and IP addressing works, you might be surprised at what's necessary, and how easy it is to obtain the IP/MAC pairing if required. Thirdly, the ISP's records are not necessary except for assigning the IP in the first place and for investigating the supposed owner of the IP at a particular time. In order to spoof the IP, it's irrelevant.

              "They citizen (copyright holder) shouldn't have to prove their case entirely before they can get to this information."

              Please explain why you're OK with innocent civilians being cut off from internet based on mere accusations, and why you consider a bunch of entertainment salesmen more important than the average citizen. Again, and IP is an indication of a network device, and easily faked. It is not an identifier of who committed the "crime", and as not every trollish post here under the name "The Anti-Mike" is posted by yourself.

              "There needs to be an expedient way for the copyright holder to be able to get the right person in court. "

              There also needs to be adequate protection for end users, so that they're not punished for another's crime. I happen to think that a person's privacy and possibly livelihood is more important that propping up a failed and outdated business model. Since the content industry has shown, time and time again, that they are not capable of accurately identifying infringers with IP information alone, a higher burden of proof is necessary.

              "The Australian court judgment essentially means that the copyright holder has to entirely prove their case against the ISP, and show it all, and then MAYBE the ISP will be obliged to provide user data"

              Which is exactly the way that it should be. If the IP holders can convince a court that information is necessary, then the ISP should provide it. Not one second before that, however, and certainly not in the way that it's being demanded in the US, with no due process.

              Upgraded your WEP router btw?

               

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      Burgos, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:56am

      Re:

      What the government is considering is similar to what they would have to do if a judge ruled that shoplifting was legal...

      Argument fail, again:

      Shoplifting == Theft
      File sharing != Theft

      Can't compare apples with pineapples.

       

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    Ima Fish (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:07am

    As I said before, when the copyright industry if faced with competition, they sue. When they cannot sue, the have the laws changed so they can sue.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:08am

    Question:

    "The proper response is: "Okay, it's time to come up with better business models.""

    Do major or minor movie studios have any ownership in the major movie theatre companies? If not....why hell not? It's seems to me that one effective business model could be a co-owned series of theatre companies by the different studios who then utilize the physical space of the theatre to make money. There are some avenues already in place to monetize the theatre, but also some additionals they could do as well:

    1. Ticket sales: if they lowered ticket prices to, say $5, I think you'd see an uptick in attendance, and you offset the price change by the methods to follow.

    2. Concessions: They're in high demand, so I don't mind the currently high prices all that much. They profit made there has to be HUGE.

    3. Tiered seating prices: While you don't want the differences to be huge, there is value in where in the theatre you're sitting. I'm kind of surprised a scaled price model with assigned seats like in a sporting event hasn't been put into place before....

    4. Headphones: I have to say, I can't BELIEVE this hasn't been done before. You put a headphone jack into the arm rests a la on airplanes, and you charge for the headphones. Audio still plays in the theatre, but for those that get annoyed by retards talking and cell phones ringing, also known as almost EVERYONE, you charge for disposable headphones, say $3-$5 per.

    5. Luxury accomadations: More theatres need to go to combine the dinner/movie idea in house. Why haven't theatres put in restaurants to accomodate couples and/or famalies? Why aren't their drink servers in the crowd during the previews?

    6. Physical addons: One sheets from the director introducing them to the film, informative "playbooks" to go with the film, signed or unsigned 3x5 pics of the actors as they were filming on set, etc., could be provided for an additional price, say $5-$10.

    And that's without thinking about it that hard....

     

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      ethorad (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:22am

      Re: Question:

      Good list.

      On the concessions - agree that the profits there must be huge. No wonder the corn farmers were so upset about piracy!

      Also agree on tiered seating prices, I think some places do this (not sure, it's been years since I last went to the cinema as it's overpriced for what they offer).

      On headphones however I think you'd rapidly have people complaining that you charged for it and wanting to use their own headphones. Plus part of the point of going to the cinema I thought was the better sound system than at home?

      For combining dinner and a movie (complete date experience in one building!) that's a good idea. I go to classical concerts fairly regularly and they've always got a couple of nice restaurants in the same building. Means it's more convenient to make it a night out.

      Similarly at the concerts there's always a program for sale that's fairly overpriced for what it is (a couple of pages of blurb, some bios and a load of adverts) but I still buy one every time. Why? For a momento I guess ...

      Thinking about it, perhaps the cinemas need to take some ideas from concerts/theatres? Admittedly you can't have the stars on hand in every cinema but the other things could be incorporated.

       

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        Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:28am

        Re: Re: Question:

        That actually makes a great deal of sense, considering the natural correlation between concert theatres and movie theatres.

        *Disclaimer: that last post will probably be about as good as it gets from me today. It's my birthday, and I plan on going all John Daly on myself. Can't you just see the drunken comments now?

         

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      The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:43am

      Re: Question:

      Ticket sales: if they lowered ticket prices to, say $5, I think you'd see an uptick in attendance, and you offset the price change by the methods to follow.

      Okay, this is one of those rare cases where I will apply real world job experience to a comment. One of my past jobs (for about 10 years) was what is called "yield management". It is why nobody on an airplane pays the same price for the same flight.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yield_management - this is a pretty good explanation of what it is.

      So, let's talk about dropping ticket prices.

      You first have to look at how busy the theaters are. If you are playing to packed houses, there is no reason to lower ticket prices. If you are playing to full houses sometimes and empty rooms other times, that is where you play with ticket prices.

      In many cities, you have a "cheapie day". In my area, it's "Cheapie Tuesdays" where tickets are 50% off. Now, it's a good thing to do because Tuesdays use to be the weakest night for movie attendance, with rooms playing less than half full. By cutting prices in half, they have pretty much filled the rooms, and they sell more popcorn and soda, which is what really makes the theater owners grin.

      They also do things on daytime showings, including running movies at lower volumes for mommies with their young kids (quiet enough for young children to sleep) and they don't charge for children. Again, it is an issue of looking at an empty room and finding ways to fill it.

      Thursday to Sunday, the rooms are full (and many theaters run an extra midnight screening on friday and saturday to keep up with demand). There is no reason at this point lower ticket prices on those days, that would just be cutting revenue. If the room is full, the price is right.

      As for 3, a good theater doesn't have bad seats.

      4 - it would create a massive system to support, and little in the way of returns. Most people would just use their ipod headphones, and they would be stuck having to repair and replace headphone jacks on a regular basis. Little income for many costs.

      5 - Theaters are all about seats per showing. If you add tables and food, you limit the number of chairs per show. With half as many seats, you need twice the ticket price to break even on the movie.

      Most of the theaters up here now include everything from video games to bumper cars to chain food (taco bell, KFC, etc) inside the building. They have wisely moved the lineup areas from outside the building (as it use to be done) to inside, which encourages people to come early and spend extra money. They are already doing it. There is a balance though, against having people hanging out all day in the place and making the entire experience less desirable rather than more desirable.

       

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        The Groove Tiger (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:57am

        Re: Re: Question:

        "Okay, this is one of those rare cases where I will apply real world job experience to a comment."

        Everything makes sense now.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:24pm

          Re: Re: Re: Question:

          It does! This is the first TAM comment I've ever read that actually contained coherent thought. Please, TAM, apply real-world experience more often. You're more enjoyable to read when you do.

           

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        Ima Fish (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:01am

        Re: Re: Question:

        Actually, I have to agree with you. There is no reason to drop ticket prices when ticket sales are through the roof. In fact the movie industry might want to consider raising ticket prices to keep up with the demand.

         

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          Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:09am

          Re: Re: Re: Question:

          Yeah, thinking about more, dropping tix prices wouldn't make sense, so you can keep those where they are and utilize some/all of the other ideas I had. I still don't see why the headphones wouldn't work. The infrastructure can't be THAT tough in costs, or the airline industry wouldn't do it....

           

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            Ima Fish (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:14am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Question:

            Actually you can get headphones in movie theaters. Tell them you're hard of hearing and you need an accommodation. They'll give you set of headphones and a wireless receiver.

            I have no idea if this will work in Australia, but it'll work in the US.

             

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            PaulT (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:43am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Question:

            I rather see them start employing people who are willing/able to approach people who are being disruptive, rather than selling you an inferior workaround (seriously, isn't the sound system a big reason to go in the first place?).

             

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        IshmaelDS (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:22am

        Re: Re: Question:

        as to #5 I'm pretty sure it wasn't meant for the dinner to be IN the theatre but out in the lobby/waiting area where there are currently the fast food chains. I wouldn't go to one of those if you paid me. I think if you could put an actual resturant in the theatre it would be a great thing. Nothing fancy, but a decent sit down meal kind of place.

         

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        Ex local music promoter geek, Feb 7th, 2010 @ 10:18pm

        Re: Re: Question:

        If the room is full, the price is right.

        Excellent point! So if people are stealing rather than buying movies for home, the price is what? (hint wr_ng)

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:47am

      Re: Question:

      Do major or minor movie studios have any ownership in the major movie theatre companies? If not....why hell not?

      Because of an antitrust case in 1948 decided by the US Supreme Court. See:

      United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc., 334 US 131 (1948) (also known as the Hollywood Antitrust Case of 1948, the Paramount Case)

       

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    AnonyMouse, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:41am

    Yea... AUS is a tiny insignificant market...

    http://www.ibisworld.com.au/industry/default.aspx?indid=635

    For the love of God TAM... Read before you speak lol

     

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      The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:05am

      Re:

      http://www.the-numbers.com/market/2009.php

      The US box office alone is 5 times the entire Australian industry from end to end.

      or this one:

      http://www.allbusiness.com/media-telecommunications/movies-sound-recording/10512814-1.html

      Total worldwide feature film revenue for major U.S. studios is expected to soar from $34.9 billion in 2007 to $41.6 billion by the end of 2011 - with the U.S. contributing nearly half of that, or $20.4 billion in revenue.

      The US film industry being more than 10 times the size of Australia, just on the revenue side, and I am not clear this includes all the same revenues.

      So yeah, Australia is a small market, likely in the 2 or 3% range of the worldwide total.

       

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        PaulT (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:52am

        Re: Re:

        One of the podcasts I listen regularly to is from Australia, and the biggest complaint they have is the unavailability of movies. Many movies are never released there, and the population centres are so spread out that anything that's not mainstream will *never* get played theatrically. They often have to wait months or years for movies to become available to them, if they ever get an official release.

        Do you think that this might have *something* to do with the smaller market?

         

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        Nastybutler77 (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 1:21pm

        Re: Re:

        So based on these numbers you are throwing around, where exactly is there a problem with downloading? The revenue of the U.S. studios increases from 2007 to 2011 by $6.5 BILLION dollars year over year, and you're whining about "piracy?" So which is it? They're swimming in money, or being destroyed by "piracy?"

        Way to disprove your argument.

         

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        The Anti-Anti-Mike, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 2:18pm

        Re: Re: Statistic are not his strong suite

        "The US box office alone is 5 times the entire Australian industry from end to end."

        The links you provide do not discuss Australia compared to US. Lets say just for fun the numbers you pulled out of your ass were true. Did you factor in that Australia's population is about 1/10th of the United States? The US is at least 10 times bigger! Waaaiit, why am I even trying. We have already established that logic holds no allure for you.

         

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        Another AC, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 4:23pm

        Re: Re:

        Considering the population of Australia is 21 million, and the population of the US is 304 million... Well, simple math, isn't it?

         

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    RD, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:42am

    TAM the amazing TAMHOLE

    "If everyone downloads, nobody buys. There might as well have been shoplifitng, because the effects are the same, no sales."

    Here is a news flash for you genius: NOT EVERYONE DOWNLOADS!!!

    Let me say that again so you will get it:

    NOT

    EVERYONE

    DOWNLOADS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    In fact, the amount of people downloading from things like p2p are VERY SMALL in relation to those who dont. It has ALWAYS been this way. It is always a small subset of the total population that downloads stuff and DONT pay for it. There are many reasons for this, from the moral issue, to just the fact that most people dont have a clue about it or dont care (and lets not forget the vast amount of people in the world who dont even USE the internet.)

    I know its popular with your Corporate Ass Masters to scream and cry that "piracy" is some huge issue, but its not, not when a SMALL FRACTION of the world is doing it. It simply cant have THAT big of an impact. And it will never, I repeat

    N E V E R

    reach the level of "Everyone". Ever. Its been 40 years since the computer and ~20 since the net/internet. If EVERYONE was doing it, they would be by now, or we would at least be a lot closer, and we arent.

     

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      Hephaestus (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:56am

      Re: TAM the amazing TAMHOLE

      "that "piracy" is some huge issue, but its not, not when a SMALL FRACTION of the world is doing it."

      The funny thing being that if RIAA, MPAA, etc get their way and get ACTA passed and everything passes constitutional muster (doubt that alot) they will still go under because of the internet. There is so much competition for peoples time, gaming, texting, phone calls, so much in the way of free music, the use of free music to promote bands is increasing, they dont stand a chance.

      In 20 years people will look back at this laugh at how silly it all was.

       

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    AJ, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:01am

    hmm

    Maybe people want their media by "Downloads". Why not put together a business model to give them what they want? If people want the movie right away, they want it in the comfort of their own home, and they want it in a form that they can use on whatever device they want, they will have it. If the media companies won't give it to them, they will take it, and they won't feel the least bit guilty because the "people" have assigned the value of the actual media very close to zero. Like it or not, agree with it or not, that is the case. You can toss every lawyer and politician in the world at the problem, it won’t change what people want.

    What we will pay for you ask? The Experience .

    Take the movie Avatar. I could have downloaded the movie, sure, it's out there, but I wanted the experience; because what it offered, vastly outweighed what I could get for free. Off to the I-Max. Giant screen, booming audio, 3-D visuals, this allowed me to immerse myself into the experience. You can't get that in a torrent download; you could get the media, but not the experience. I gladly forked over the 30 dollars in tickets and felt good when it was over that I got my monies worth.

    I don’t agree with downloading media on p2p, nor do I disagree. I simply recognize the void that people who use p2p are trying to fill. There is no reason why the media companies can’t adapt, and come out looking like a hero to the consumer. They simply chose not to.

     

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    Henry Emrich, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:18am

    Why bother?

    1. TAM still hasn't admitted that copyright is intended to be a limited-duration, State-granted monopoly *privilege".

    2. Nor does It admit that It's corporate overlords/pay-masters have been very busy buying themselves term-extensions WHICH ARE THEN APPLIED RETROACTIVELY WITH THE SPECIFIC PURPOSE OF PREVENTING THEIR MONOPOLIES FROM EXPIRING. (Use of caps lock was intentional, in the same way that some people speak very slowly -- yet very loudly -- to the mentally-challenged.)

    3. TAM *still* regards digital files and physical objects as equivalent. As such, It remains incapable of offering a satisfactory explanation of how MAKING MORE digital files (copying) "steals" the originals.

    Simple empirical expirment for TAMtroll:

    Go to a library (ooh, those evil, evil dens of "book-sharing!" Remember kids, every book you read at the library represents a "lost sale!") :)

    Use the copier, and copy a few pages from one of the books.

    Guess what, TAM? After doing so, the "original" ten pages do NOT magically vanish from the book. Y'know what *would* constitute "stealing" in this case? If I ripped the pages out of the book, THEN I would be "stealing", because --- wait for it --- *I* would have the pages, but everybody else wouldn't.

    But TAM-troll will probably now proceed to whine about how I didn't copy the entire book, so this falls within "fair use". Except, Y'know what?
    Your corporate overlords/paymasters didn't even want to "permit" copy machines in the first place. Hell, they didn't even want to "permit" people to re-sell their OWN PHYSICAL COPIES OF BOOKS, which is why the whole "first sale" thing was codified in the first place.

    Of course, TAM is simply too mind-numbingly stupid to admit when It is completely and utterly wrong, learn how NOT to be wrong, and stop excusing/cheering on runaway corporate privilege.

    So why do any of you even try? It's incapable of understanding even the simplest counter-arguments, because It can't manage to wrap it's "Anti-Mind" around anything but the specious "you wouldn't steal a car" non-sequitur queefed up by it's corporate overlords.

    TAM is either a corporate plant, stupid beyond comprehension, or an extremely finely-crafted parody of the worst forms of IP-apologist "argument" imaginable.

    Everything It writes reminds me of the "Jeff K." stuff. (Anybody else remember that from the "Jargon File?")

     

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      The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:34am

      Re: Why bother?

      Geez, this again? Can you quit ranting about me and discuss the subjects at hand?

      1 - "TAM still hasn't admitted that copyright is intended to be a limited-duration, State-granted monopoly *privilege"." - keyword is limited, and what you consider limited (an hour) and what the law considers limits (70 years or so) is the subject of debate. Nor does it grant a monopoly of any sort, as it doesn't stop anyone else from creating other content. A monopoly would stop everyone else from making movies, music or books. Copyright does none of those things, it only grants protection in a very narrow way, over the specific work, characters, and settings, and even then in very narrow ways. A monopoly would stop everyone from writing a science fiction book because there is already 1 science fiction book out there. That is not the case, there is no monopoly. One look around a book store will tell you that.

      2 - "Nor does It admit that It's corporate overlords/pay-masters have been very busy buying themselves term-extensions WHICH ARE THEN APPLIED RETROACTIVELY WITH THE SPECIFIC PURPOSE OF PREVENTING THEIR MONOPOLIES FROM EXPIRING." - Actually, outside of some VERY RARE CASES, material has not been pulled back from the public domain. No matter what you think, the "overlords" (not my overlords,I don't work in music or the movie industry) would have to be extremely powerful to overwhelm 50% of the house and senate and somehow bamboozle a sitting president into signing a bill into law. I would suggest you ask your sitting Representative why this happens.

      3 - "TAM *still* regards digital files and physical objects as equivalent." - no, I consider the CONTENT of digital files and physical objects to be the same. Nobody is out shoplifting empty books, and nobody is out illegally sharing empty P2P files. The media or medium isn't relevant. You obtain something that you haven't paid for or don't have the rights for, the result is exactly the same for you. You have something you don't legally have the rights to have.

      "TAM is either a corporate plant, stupid beyond comprehension, or an extremely finely-crafted parody of the worst forms of IP-apologist "argument" imaginable." - Not a corporate plant, not stupid (not mensa material, but not a drop out either), and with no intention of parody (except the name and the mike image).

      More than anything, I can take from your comments that you have never produced anything of true value in your life, nothing you are proud of, nothing that took great time or effort on your behalf. You have never had someone steal your ideas or your products and resell them for their own benefits. I would say that you are the worst for of IP-minimalist, a child who gets upset when there aren't enough free toys to play with in his pram, and always looking to take the toys from everyone else's pram too.

       

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        btr1701 (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 6:49pm

        Re: Re: Why bother?

        > 1 - "TAM still hasn't admitted that copyright is intended to b
        > a limited-duration, State-granted monopoly *privilege"." - keyword
        > is limited, and what you consider limited (an hour) and what the
        > law considers limits (70 years or so) is the subject of debate.

        No, the real issue comes with Congress's constant extension of the copyright term. By continually extending it, Congress is essentially making copyright perpetual, which is the exact opposite of "limited".

         

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    PaulT (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:36am

    Business model

    OK, it's an independent movie (albeit distributed by Lionsgate) but here's a link to one great alternative idea:

    http://www.dreadcentral.com/news/35620/heartless-comes-your-home-whatever-way-you-want

    B asically, Philip Ridley's new movie Heartless will be available in the UK on DVD, Blu Ray, VoD and for download just 3 days following its theatrical release. This might not be a great model for *every* movie, of course, but it's a nice nod to the audience. Want to go to the cinema? Cool, go. Don't want to? You can obtain the movie anyway on the other side of the opening weekend. Saw it in the cinema and loved it? Buy it now!

    It's not a bad movie either, as I saw it at the world premiere during Frightfest in London last August. It's not so much of a horror movie as the poster might suggest, more of a mix of genres wrapped around a modern retelling of Faust. Although I enjoyed it, I wasn't going to rush out and buy the DVD (but I do want to get the soundtrack as soon as I can). However, I will definitely do so now, if only to support this new model, as it's definitely a way forward in my eyes.

     

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    Sam I Am, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:47am

    an anti-corporate plant?

    "a child who gets upset when there aren't enough free toys to play with in his pram"

    Uh-oh, now the secret is out on TechDirt. lol

    Just wait till Mr. "I may not know what I'm talking about but I'm certainly going to talk" gets his potty-mouth going again. It's just a matter of (sputtering) time. :-)

    And by the way Henry, in answer to the Anti-Mike, what Do You Do for a living, anyway? Tell us your true area of 40-60hour-a-week expertise so we have a context for your learn-ed opinions.

     

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    anti anti mike, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:47am

    torrent freak where all the right nfo is

    yea anti mike torrent freak is a perfect example of a moron running a blog
    record profits and they want a bailout
    HOW ABOUT we put them in a bowl the lot of them and YOU anti mike and fire it off to mars

    i hereby declare hollywood can have mars NOW FUCK OFF TO IT ALREADY

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:16am

    Lets fix terrorism with the entertainment industry ideology.

    This is a notice that all travel agents should be punished as terrorists, for selling plane tickets and providing terrorists possible access to planes. Not only that, if you are a travel agent and want to stay in business and avoid terrorist charges, you must search everybody’s luggage and person. Including but not limited to a full cavity search. We will be installing an indicator system in your office and if that indicates that the individual might be a terrorist, you are to perform a citizen’s arrest and hold them in your cellar until the authorities get around to investigating the suspect. We know our indicator system produces a lot of false positives, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

    It sounds a lot more foolish when the same ideology is applied to other industries.

     

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      Hephaestus (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:02am

      Re: Lets fix terrorism with the entertainment industry ideology.

      Dude absolutely wonderful !!!

       

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      The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 6th, 2010 @ 7:36am

      Re: Lets fix terrorism with the entertainment industry ideology.

      Actually, if a travel agent is found to be knowingly selling tickets to terrorists, they would be charged with conspiracy and locked up for a very long time.

      So your example is a "fail".

       

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    Headbanger, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:24am

    Bailout?

    No offense, but "bailout" conjures up images of AFACT begging the government money.

    Perhaps: "Asking For Gov't Bailout" > "Asking Gov't For Change in Law"?

     

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    Headbanger, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:33am

    typo

    "begging the government for money" :p

    Also, from what I've read, iiNet was forwarding the complaints from AFACT to the Australian police. I'm guessing the police either don't care, or that they view the evidence as insufficient (to which I would agree). I'd be curious to hear what the police were thinking when they got all of that information forwarded to them. If the police don't care, or they think that the evidence as insufficient, how zealous would they be in enforcing new legislation that mandates them to do so?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 11:17am

    According to my Governmentese to English phrasebook, "examining the issue" translates as "negotiating the kickback".

     

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    Henry Emrich, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 11:26am

    TAM, you really are a pinhead, aren't you?

    1. "What the law considers limited"....
    How exactly do backdoor-deals by corporate lobbyists constitute "the law?" The recent supreme court decision in regard to "citizens United" probably gives you total cream-jeans, seeing as it pretty much explicitly legitimizes such things.

    2. "Only a small amount has been pulled back from the public domain"....

    So, not only do you define "the law" as "whatever corporate lobbyists manage to buy/bribe from their cronies", but you *also* defend re-monopolization of PREVIOUSLY FREED content on the grounds that it supposedly doesn't happen "all that often".
    So how much is "too much", moron?
    Any attempted justification for such conduct will simply be ignored as the idiocy that it is.

    3. "You've obviously never created anything of value"....blah blah blah, last resort of IP trolls. The poor beleaguered, Promethean "Creators" somehow "deserve" perpetual monopoly power over all culture "product", as do their decendents. Why? Because "the law" (which was/is bought out of any semblance of it's original intent by corporate lobbyists) says so.
    And if those lobbyists somehow manage to fuck up and allow something to "fall" into the public domain, well, no worries there, because they can just retroactively monopolize it again, "copyright bargain" be damned.

    Any objections to this state of affairs simply *must* simply be the whinings of the un-created masses, who, in their stupidity fail to realize that they "owe" the promethan corporate Ubermenschen perpetual monopoly.

    Fuck you, TAM -- I will *never* ease up on your feeble-minded, troll ass, because you don't deserve me too.

    In other words, Anti-Thought: FUCK YOU, and your corporate Overlords.

     

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    Henry Emrich, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 11:41am

    WHat do *you* do, "Sam?"

    You have yet to offer ANY coherent arguments in defense of your views. What is this? Ten different sites.

    What I do is NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS. Y'know why?
    Ray Beckerman.
    Musicians who don't suck RIAA corporate cock like Lars Ulrich & Co.

    No, instead we're supposed to take the word of a glorified lighting-tech who seems to spend a FUCKLOAD of time trolling here, p2pnet, torrenfreak, etc. etc.

    Ray Beckerman is a lawyer fighting your corporate chums,
    but, IIRC, your response to him was complete and utter contempt. (Something about a "country hick lawyer routine" or some such, but to find the exact refference would involve wading through a vast swamp of your feeble-minded drivel on I don't know HOW many different sites.)

    As for musicians, hell...you just glibly discount any and all examples who DON'T just parrot the corporate talking-points: one woman isn't a "real" musician -- she just sells empty bottles and does "amateur" music on the side. Trent Reznor doesn't count because he's a "big name", and he DID have a label-deal at one point, etc.

    So, no: I'm not telling you a fucking thing about who I am, or what I do, because no matter *what* I said, you'd find some reason why it would under-cut any points I've raised, repeatedly.

    Go spam some other blogs. (I'm really fascinated by the fact that a high-powered, promethean Ubermensch like yourself can find time to reiterate RIAA talking-points on multiple blogs *and* still manage to find time to create innovations in "showcase ventilation" that supposedly justify your support for corporate IP monopolies in perpetuity.

    Dickhead.

     

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    Pessimistic Optimist, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 2:23pm

    Martha's polishing the brass on the Titanic.

    That's the biggest problem with anti-pirates. They speak in absolutist terms as if no other reality is possible. They always reduce everything to black and white. It's like they live in this tiny little bubble of their own creation, using it as a filter to only hear what they want to hear. Well sorry to burst your bubble but the truth about reality is that it's a billion shades of gray.

    The copyright industry and it's supporters delude themselves into believing they can somehow put the genie back into it's bottle through the force of law. No law can stop a tidal wave. Build all the walls you want, the world will simply break them down as fast as you can build them. When this is the undeniable reality you live in, wouldn't it be better to compromise and find a peaceful, diplomatic resolution? While fighting to the bitter end can be considered honorable in some instances, making peace and living to see another day is not a dishonorable thing either. Stop being blinded by ego and greed and you might finally come to realize the world isn't out to get you. Sorry, but you're just not that important.

    Some wars simply cannot be won regardless of the depth of your faith that you alone hold the moral high ground. In a war, both sides always fervently believe that. History shows us that in the final analysis both are always wrong. Why? Because those who believe they have the moral high ground are always the ones who feel morality gives them the right to use any and all means necessary to win their war. It's flawed human reasoning at it's best. Based on their actions over he past decade, it's clear the copyright industry is suffering from that same delusion right now.

    Your customers are NOT your enemies. The Anti-Mike says, in his very black and white way, "If everyone downloads, nobody buys." However, we all know this simply isn't true. Downloaders ARE consumers and it's folly to believe a person can only be one or the other. Like a great many others, I am living proof. I download and yet am happy to pay a reasonable fee for anything I feel has real value. I've down so many times, whether it be software, music, or movies. I even donate to the stuff that is actually free, when it's deserving enough. The real problem is that a great deal of what the entertainment industry is shoveling is mass produced horse shit. You can try to polish a turd but it will always be just that, a giant turd.

    The way I see it, businesses are much like a living entity. Like all life, it is a constant struggle to survive. Only the fittest are likely to make it. You may hate reality, curse at it, create new laws in a feeble attempt to bend it to your will, shaking your fist at the heavens, but in the end it all comes down to ones ability to live in balance and harmony with their environment, whether that be ecological or economical. When you start rocking the boat, you end up swamped and drown. Reality is what it is. Learn to cope with it or suffer the inevitable consequences.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 2:26pm

    If only The Anti-Mike has a more Reasoned Mind...

     

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    Sam I Am, Feb 6th, 2010 @ 6:11am

    re: Mike

    "All the court did here was note that you shouldn't blame a third party for the actions of someone else. I mean, that's just basic common sense. "

    Blame, yes, I agree, they bear no blame, but this is also about bringing resources to bear on a situation where the ISP in probably the feasible pinch point. If 99% of all electric bills were for unlawful activity as bit torrent appears to be, we might reasonably expect the electric utility to be brought into the surveillance mix. We wouldn't blame them but the regulations might reasonably change to require them to filter and assist. No?

    There are cases where separate but involved third parties bear at least partial responsibility. Prorated liability is a central part of our justice system, isn't it?And liability tends to grow when they profit directly. In this case, the ISP does profit, especially if (and when) they begin to sell metered bandwidth.

    For those who believe the ISP should have NO involvement whatever, just as certainly a property owner has some liability when they know (and can be shown to know) an unlawful activity, say money counterfeiting, is the sole business operating from a commercial site they lease. IANAL, but I think specific knowledge of criminal activity constitutes a form of involvement, with reasonable obligations.

    The post office analogy is appropriate only if and when a certain recognizable brown paper parcel, say, (bit torrent packets) can be shown to be carrying contraband 99% of the time, as it appears bit torrent does. At that point, the 99% point, "common sense" would indicate mail carrying regulation might reasonably be informed with at least the obligation to pull these parcels that match the criteria from the stream, and pass them on to law enforcement. Afterall, we have a statistical 99% certainty, right? Or simply provide an access point for law enforcement independent of the ISP to monitor, in the same way a local municipality makes room for a State Trooper with a radar gun.

    That may, in fact, become the norm over time. The 1% of bit torrent used for lawful purposes is unjustly inconvenienced, that's true. But if 99% of all shoes at the airport contained unlawful material, we might reasonably expect to have to take our shoes off at the airport, too, and that seems fair to me. We wouldn't blame the airport, but we'd certainly require them to facilitate looking at the shoes.
    Oh wait. We already do. :-)

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2010 @ 9:47am

      Re: re: Mike

      What? You're really expecting the post office to inspect packages?

      That's insane and costly.

      My right to privacy trumps your fight on piracy. True story.

       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 6th, 2010 @ 7:22pm

      Re: re: Mike

      Blame, yes, I agree, they bear no blame, but this is also about bringing resources to bear on a situation where the ISP in probably the feasible pinch point. If 99% of all electric bills were for unlawful activity as bit torrent appears to be, we might reasonably expect the electric utility to be brought into the surveillance mix. We wouldn't blame them but the regulations might reasonably change to require them to filter and assist. No?

      I'm confused. How would 99% of electric bills be for unlawful activity?

      And are you honestly trying to claim that 99% of internet activity is unlawful? Please.

      There are cases where separate but involved third parties bear at least partial responsibility. Prorated liability is a central part of our justice system, isn't it?And liability tends to grow when they profit directly. In this case, the ISP does profit, especially if (and when) they begin to sell metered bandwidth.

      But they don't profit directly. They might in a very indirect way. You're really stretching here, Sam.

      For those who believe the ISP should have NO involvement whatever, just as certainly a property owner has some liability when they know (and can be shown to know) an unlawful activity, say money counterfeiting, is the sole business operating from a commercial site they lease. IANAL, but I think specific knowledge of criminal activity constitutes a form of involvement, with reasonable obligations.

      Do you simply not understand how technology works? The court explained it. You should read the decision. It pointed out -- entirely accurately -- that there is no way for the ISP to know for certain that the act is infringing. Are you suggesting thats' not true?

      At that point, the 99% point, "common sense" would indicate mail carrying regulation might reasonably be informed with at least the obligation to pull these parcels that match the criteria from the stream, and pass them on to law enforcement.

      Indeed. And that's exactly what iiNet did. So you agree with iiNet. But the studios wanted more. They wanted iiNet to play the role of the police, and the court said that was inappropriate.

       

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    peter jackson, Feb 6th, 2010 @ 7:53am

    Thats not bad at all

    Actually, if a travel agent is found to be knowingly selling tickets to terrorists, they would be charged with conspiracy and locked up for a very long time.

    So your example is a "fail".

    sure is.

     

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    Sam I Am, Feb 6th, 2010 @ 1:41pm

    Reasonable cause

    "My right to privacy trumps your fight on piracy. True story."

    No question, but like everything in a democratic society, only to a point. Everything is a balance and remember, at least here in the USA, privacy isn't guaranteed in the constitution, it's a suspendable privilege (remember jail time?) and was never an unalienable right.

    If enough data accrues that confirms 99% of bit torrent is infringing, AND the administrations (now and future) decide that digital industry, jobs and tax revenue is worth giving a shot at protecting for now, you could prove very seriously wrong.

    So I'll ask you:
    If "99% of all packets are likely to be unlawful" isn't reasonable cause to stop and look, in a car, in your bag, in a torrent packet, 99%.......what is?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2010 @ 2:04pm

      Re: Reasonable cause

      Prove it because you're using a lot of ifs and, thankfully, I live in a country that values privacy.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2010 @ 7:15pm

    if its worth owning, i'll buy it.

    but ideology and reasoning of those like "the anti mike" really make me want to just start pirating everything that comes from the MPAA/RIAA/ASCAP

    independent artists, i'll buy your works anyday!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2010 @ 3:48pm

    I am infringing your copyright - do you really want to sue me?

    It has to be said...

    If I buy a car I can test drive it (for free as in beer) (before i purchase) to judge if it is fit for purpose (as advertised).

    Movies are advertised as entertain(ment/ing). I have a right to either judge them fit for purpose or to return them for a full refund if not as advertised (ie: I did not find it entertaining... and with quite a few that is exactly the case).

    Name me one place I can get a refund for a legally purchased movie (with the sole exception the media is damaged and even then only for a few days from purchase) if I fail to find it entertaining? Oh wait - it gets better... as I have actually purchased a license to view the content stored on the media (read the fine print) then should not the studio replace that media free of additional charge (excepting resonable postage/handling) should I lose or damage it or it simply degrades?

    So I download/copy and watch - and if it is indeed fit for purpose - I buy a retail box. I have bought (licensed actually according to the *AAs) and have over 200 legal copies on my shelf. I delete the crap they claim is entertaining usually only having watched half the movie or less. I also go see the good ones at the cinema after having already watched them at home. So sue me if you want - but count on the purchases to stop.

    If I connot see it first I refuse to purchase it without the ability to refund. I can walk out of a cinema half way through a film and get a full refund. I can return any other physical product for a refund if it either fails to be fit for purpose (a kettle that doesn't boil water) or is not as advertised ( "Best Kettle Ever Made"... takes 20 minutes to boil 1 cup of water).

    These are my LEGAL rights under current law.

    So (please) sue me. I will take a feather from your cap and force the courts to find YOUR failure to provide consumer redress unlawfull - then with the help of likeminded citizens go class action and at the same time seek new laws targeted specifically at YOUR business to ensure in the future YOU obey the law.

    Supply & demand. Strangely (considering your artificial restricions, constant willingness to attack and demean me in public) I am willing to provide the demand... where is the supply?

     

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    Sam I Am, Feb 7th, 2010 @ 6:06pm

    commentary like this

    A "full refund" if you didn't care for the viewing of a certain motion picture after the fact is like demanding that same refund at an amusement park if you didn't care for the ride, a theatre if you didn't like the stage play, a performing venue if you didn't like the band's set list, the entry to a national park if you didn't like the view and the snackbar. Some people are never happy. Good luck with all that, of course.

    Talk with your legislator if you think you have a genuine chance at an effective class action, but for heaven's sake, spare us. Angry, self-righteous and ultimately pointless commentary like this DESERVES to be demeaned in public.

     

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    Plain speak., Feb 7th, 2010 @ 6:24pm

    I have access to a rip-off copy of Avatar.
    I chose not to watch it.
    I went to the cinema on urging of friends, my first trip in 6 years.
    Loved it.
    Planning to go and watch it again.
    Checked the rip-off copy - it's a bit to dark and only in stereo.
    I will be buying a real copy - when it comes down to $10-15.

    Make a picture worth seeing at the Cinema & people will go.
    Sell it at a realistic price and they will buy it.
    Even though the rip-off , in this case , arrived before it opened at the Cinema - and cost me nothing.
    A lesson for the industry there?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2010 @ 9:44pm

    @commentary like this

    You raise some fair points Sam I Am - but allow me to respond thus...

    Refund at the cinema ONLY if I leave early (usually less than half way).

    The amusement ride analogy I do not consider quite the same situation (how do you leave one?) as they rarely claim "the best amusement ride ever made" - or if they do my apologies - haven't ridden one in well over 10 years.

    As for the Theatre and a live band - I will not ask for a refund as the "artists" perform live - I am paying for that performance and live performance comes with all sorts of risks to the audience (there is no implied/explicit guarantee of quiality). Regardless of that difference if they were to advertise it as a Rock performance and at the venue I discover they are performing Pop - would that justify a refund if you leave??

    Paying for a National park - heh nice. I always will and always do - it supports a good cause (and they dont promise me the best experience ever). My point was directed solely at the Movie/music industry.

    In my view to view a recording with an associated cost far less than a live performance for any one instance of viewing I believe my ultimate point remains valid.

    As a footnote - did not mean to come across all angsty - but seriously.. i want to consume - why do they put artifical restrictions on how I consume? And how can we change this except by not bying, challenging in the courts, or having the laws changed?

    PS - @plain speak - well said :)

     

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