Can The Operators Of A Site Targeted By Homeland Security Crowdsource A Defense?

from the legal-long-shots dept

We've already covered the bizarre story of Homeland Security effectively working for Disney in seizing some domains of sites that were used to file share movies (way, way, way outside of Homeland Security's mandate), and covered the sneaky attempt to defend those moves by conflating copyright infringement online with counterfeit drugs being sold online. It's also still not clear that Homeland Security even has the legal right to seize those domains as it did. Now, one of those sites targeted by Homeland Security, NinjaVideo is trying to fight back, and appears to be trying to crowdsource a legal defense fund to handle the fight. I honestly don't know anything about NinjaVideo or what the site did, so I have no idea if it has a strong or weak case. I also do wonder how many people will really step up and support the site -- though if many do it could make for an interesting case study on its own as well. Either way, it's worth watching to see how successful the site is in raising money for its fight -- and then in the legal fight itself.

Filed Under: copyright, crowdsource, homeland security
Companies: ninjavideo


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  1. icon
    average_joe (profile), 25 Jul 2010 @ 4:07pm

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

    Call me out on whatever you want, Modplan. I will respond as best I can. I fully admit that I don't know everything, I'm human, I make mistakes, and I have much to learn. I also think I'm a pretty smart guy, I'm at the top of my class, the judge I work for values my intellect, and I don't run away from fights. If anything, I've shown my ability and desire to back up my assertions with research and authority. How many other posters do that? Not many, if any--you included. I happen to be in a position where I have unlimited access to online legal databases and the training to use them. I know most people I encounter in comment sections do not have the same.

    None of that changes the fact that I'm calling out Mike. He's been making claims that I think are biased and baseless, and he should be the one to back up his assertions. I've noticed a tendency for him to try to turn the argument around so the other guy is on the defensive. I won't let that happen here. Mike made the claims, and he's the one to defend them if he's to be taken seriously. Argue with me all you want, Modplan, but none of that will take away the fact that I'm calling out Mike for his statements, and I will continue to do so. This is between me and Mike. I'm ready, willing, and able to back up my arguments. I've yet to see Mike do the same.

    In the past few days, I've called Mike out three times without a single response from him. I'll start keeping tab so we can all play along. Here are my posts calling him out:

    (1) http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100714/11055510215.shtml#c355

    "Mike,

    I thought the recurring complaint on Techdirt was that copyright wasn't designed primarily to benefit the author. Is the complaint now that it doesn't serve the author enough?

    And isn't copyright doing its job? It seems to me that authors are all producing plenty of works. Whether or not an author has contracted/licensed away his rights has little to do with whether or not the works are benefiting the public, right? How are middlemen interfering with copyright's aim?

    If authors weren't being stimulated by copyright to create their works, then why are they choosing to copyright their works? They don't have to copyright their works, right? But they choose to.

    And didn't the Statute of Anne seek to break up a publishers' monopoly by offering, as an alternative, an author's monopoly of limited duration?

    I think you misunderstand the Statute of Anne: "Probably the only feature of the Statute of Anne that pleased the booksellers was the grandfather clause that continued the old copyrights — the stationers' copyrights — for a period of twenty-one years. Otherwise, the statute was designed to destroy the booksellers' monopoly of the booktrade and to prevent its recurrence. Thus, the statute provided for a highly sophisticated copyright that made the author the initial owner of copyright (relegating booksellers to the statute of assignees), made the creation of a new work a condition for copyright, and limited the term of copyright — formerly perpetual—to two terms of fourteen years each." 47 Journal of the Copyright Society 365."

    (2) http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100723/15141110344.shtml#c117

    "Let's see.

    "We've already covered the bizarre story of Homeland Security effectively working for Disney in seizing some domains of sites that were used to file share movies (way, way, way outside of Homeland Security's mandate), and covered the sneaky attempt to defend those moves by conflating copyright infringement online with counterfeit drugs being sold online."

    Why do you think DHS works for Disney? Isn't it more likely they work for intellectual property rights holders in general against pirates and counterfeiters? Exactly which part of Homeland Security's mandate are you referring to? I'd like to see the exact verbiage of the mandate that you think they are working outside of. Why does DHS's IPR website distinguish between piracy and counterfeiting when you say they conflate the two? Can't they be against both? Isn't this sort of thing exactly within their mandate? Please explain your side, thoroughly, and with well researched arguments.

    "It's also still not clear that Homeland Security even has the legal right to seize those domains as it did."

    Please explain this claim in detail. Which part of civil forfeiture concurrent with a criminal investigation don't you get? Please cite authority for your position that this legal right is unclear. Please explain exactly how you've decided that it's violative of due process. Have you read what the courts have to say on the issue? Please explain what the courts say and then explain how they're wrong and you're right.

    You've insulted me and questioned my intelligence and understanding of the law. Somehow you think the fact that I'm in law school means I know less about the law than you.

    I'm calling you out, Mike. Back up your arguments.

    I'm back to hitting the books, but I'll check in later to see what you have to say. I'm sure the peanut gallery will chime in too, but I can almost guarantee no one will have anything substantive to say."

    (3) http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100722/03152710320.shtml#c152

    ""This is, clearly, a blatant abuse of copyright law, and not at all what the law intended to do. Between this and the shenanigans of US Copyright Group, is it really too much to ask that the courts or Congress recognize that copyright law is being blatantly abused in a quasi-shakedown system?"

    What exactly is copyright law intended to do? Exactly how is this an abuse of copyright law? Use citations and authorities to back up every aspect of your arguments. Point us to scholarly sources. Give us a detailed, thorough analysis of the issues. Leave your unsupported opinions at the door.

    "Again, this is not what copyright law is supposed to be for."

    Again, please explain this in detail using several different sources as authority. Can you make arguments that would hold up in a court of law?

    I really wonder about you, Mike."

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