Anti-Piracy Group So Desperate To Go After Popcorn Time That It Threatens A Blog Software Maker

from the no,-it-doesn't-make-any-sense dept

We've seen, over the years, how copyright holders and anti-piracy organizations have continually moved up and down the stack in trying to shut off access to things they don't like. They've sued users for sharing, as well as companies and individuals who build tools that can be used for infringement, of course. Those were the obvious ones. But, lately, they've been targeting hosting providers, registrars, ISPs and ad networks as well. And, apparently, now some are so desperate that they're going after totally unrelated software providers. At least that appears to be the case in Greece, where the Greek Society for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AEPI), sent an angry threat letter to John O'Nolan, who created Ghost, an open source blogging system. Why go after Ghost? Well, apparently because one of the more popular forks of the Popcorn Time streaming system has a blog that uses Ghost. Ghost doesn't host it. Popcorn Time is just using its software. It would take one hell of a ridiculous interpretation of secondary liability to put any liability on Ghost. It would be like going after BIC because someone at Napster wrote notes using one of their pens. But such is the ridiculous state of the anti-piracy world today, where such moves seem sensible.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    Violynne (profile), 30 Jan 2015 @ 7:33am

    It would take one hell of a ridiculous interpretation of secondary liability...
    An anti-piracy crusader isn't known for their eloquent study of language, but rather the ability to destroy it.

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

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 30 Jan 2015 @ 9:50am

      Re:

      Ridiculous interpretations are what copyright dinosaurs do.

      SOPA. PIPA. PROTECT-IP. DMCA.

      It's everyone else's job to stop piracy. No matter how far removed everyone else is from the actual piracy -- it is still their job to fix it.

      They just can't seem to go after the direct infringer.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2015 @ 10:23am

        Re: Re:

        They just can't seem to go after the direct infringer.


        In all fairness, they did sort of try that earlier on. At which point they discovered that locating the right person to go after is hard, generates a lot of bad publicity, isn't very efficient, and generates a bunch of legal fees for very little in return seeing as the people they're going after usually don't have much money. So they stopped doing that to focus on sites and services instead.

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

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 30 Jan 2015 @ 10:33am

          Re: Re: Re:

          In all fairness, while they did make a brief foray into suing individuals as you describe, their history prior to the internet is chock full of focusing on products and services that they feel threatened by rather than the people who are actually engaging in copyright violations.

          Look at their reaction to the cassette tape, VCRs, and DATs. What they're doing on the internet is just continuing their long tradition harming innocent bystanders in as attempt to maximize revenue.

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

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 4 Feb 2015 @ 10:05am

      Re:

      If the Greek courts uphold this, you could equally well sue the Greek government because a copyright infringement took place within their borders.

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

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 30 Jan 2015 @ 8:35am

    It's kind of poetic. The MPAA goes after a Ghost, achieves nothing as ghosts don't exist.

    They could, you know, be as smart as Netflix and see it as a competitor then strive to offer better services. We already saw an unicorn with Wheeler, why not dream?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2015 @ 9:30am

    They don't care about legalities or morals. They only care about the money.
    If they can find some way to sue your dead great-great-great-grandmother for a couple of bucks, they wouldn't hesitate to do it.

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

    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 30 Jan 2015 @ 11:16am

      Re:

      They don't care about legalities or morals. They only care about the money.

      I disagree. I think what they actually care about is establishing legal precedents in their favor. That way the money keeps flowing in with minimal effort on their part.

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

    • icon
      Allaun Silverfox (profile), 30 Jan 2015 @ 3:14pm

      Re:

      Well, it wasn't the MPAA. But the RIAA HAS sued dead people before.

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

  • identicon
    Michael, 30 Jan 2015 @ 9:31am

    Ghost should be sued.

    This company is clearly taking money right out of the pockets of Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, and Whoopi Goldberg.

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

  • icon
    ricebowl (profile), 30 Jan 2015 @ 9:50am

    Baby steps

    I wonder how long it'll be before they get bored with all these baby steps, and finally take the issue head on by suing the church (or, rather, religions in this case) as a proxy for God? After all, God gave us free will (broadly-speaking), which directly led to us having a knowledge of good and evil, and allowing us the choice to pursue evil of our own volition. Therefore, surely, the ultimate responsibility must lie in the hands of the Almighty for both negligence (allowing piracy to happen at all) and for inducing piracy (by granting/allowing the knowledge of evil, and permitting its pursuit).

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2015 @ 5:36am

      Re: Baby steps

      "After all, God gave us free will..."
      You darned "free-willers" make me sick - free will is a myth derived from our limited, human perceptions. You go after God for this one, because He is the who predestined it all - can't be any more liable than THAT.

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

  • identicon
    Huggo Algerno, 30 Jan 2015 @ 9:58am

    Anti- piracy

    This term has always bothered me since that is not at all what they are, what they really are, are Privateers State sanctioned pirates used to interdict enemies commerce.

    "We've seen, over the years, how copyright holders and Privateer organizations have continually moved up and down the stack in trying to shut off access to things they don't like."

    Sounds better and is more accurate I think.

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

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 30 Jan 2015 @ 1:08pm

      Re: Anti- piracy

      Anti- piracy
      This term has always bothered me since that is not at all what they are, what they really are, are Privateers State sanctioned pirates used to interdict enemies commerce.


      They're really pro-piracy, because if piracy ceased to exist, they would be out of a job. Eliminating piracy is the last thing they would want to do.

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

  • icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 30 Jan 2015 @ 10:03am

    Even worse

    I took a quick look at that blog and couldn't find a single instance of anything remotely like copyright violation happening there.

    So it's even worse than chasing the maker of undeniably legitimate software for an unrelated person's use of that software. The blog in question isn't even arguably violating copyright in the first place.

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

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 30 Jan 2015 @ 1:10pm

      Re: Even worse

      The blog in question isn't even arguably violating copyright in the first place.

      They want to hold someone liable for making software that someone else uses to write about a service that other people use in a way that could violate copyright. Almost makes your head spin.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2015 @ 10:26am

    add in it's so desperate to NOT have to do anything similar to what Popcorn Time does, ie Not want to compete!!
    any way that these bloody industries can go, anything they can do to prevent having to join the digital age, they will try! it costs a whole hell of a lot more to keep spending out but getting nothing in, so when will there be this necessary change of mind?

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2015 @ 10:39am

    You tell em, Pirate Mike!

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

  • icon
    Get off my cyber-lawn! (profile), 30 Jan 2015 @ 10:43am

    Actually, this is standard practice

    ...the same type of crap as when a plane goes down and the lawyers sue EVERY MANUFACTURER OF EVERY NUT & BOLT on the plane looking for settlements...even if the plane crashed due to pilot error.

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

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 30 Jan 2015 @ 11:07am

      Re: Actually, this is standard practice

      Well, at least there's some kind of logical connection there (however tenuous). The manufacturers of the parts of an airplane could conceivably have had a fault in their product that contributed to the crash.

      In the case of the maker of blog software, there isn't even that much of a connection, though.

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

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 30 Jan 2015 @ 1:11pm

        Re: Re: Actually, this is standard practice

        The manufacturers of the parts of an airplane could conceivably have had a fault in their product that contributed to the crash.

        Maybe if they sued the manufacturer of the trucks that were used to pour the runway the airplane took off from...

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

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 30 Jan 2015 @ 11:03am

    Seems straightforward

    Seems like a straightforward rule to determine who to punish. Let's see...

    1. Everyone uses Microsoft Windows. (Well, not everyone, but close.)
    2. That means Microsoft Windows is used by murderers, druggies, robbers, politicians, rapists, and investment banks.
    3. So Microsoft is responsible for all that crime!

    No wonder we have so much crime! We need to lock up Microsoft!

    Or, on the other hand, we could recognize the idea that software companies are responsible for how the users employ their software as: The. Dumbest. Idea. Ever.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2015 @ 1:04pm

    Maybe MAFIAA thought they were infringing on the Ghost Busters movie.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Jan 2015 @ 7:34pm

    I'm waiting for the next chapter where they claim it is all googles fault because its all on the internet and google is the internet.

    I wonder if anyone has ever pointed out to the courts & legislators that these groups have no actual understanding of the technology they are constantly blaming for everything.

    How much of courts time is wasted on these idiotic claims that have no good faith basis to be brought?

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 30 Jan 2015 @ 9:38pm

      Re:

      I wonder if anyone has ever pointed out to the courts & legislators that these groups have no actual understanding of the technology they are constantly blaming for everything.

      It would be a waste of time to do so, because more often than not, the courts and legislators don't understand the tech either, and have absolutely no interest in doing so.

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

  • identicon
    Popcorn Time, 31 Jan 2015 @ 10:02am

    I already have a copy of the software.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous, 31 Jan 2015 @ 4:58pm

    I ♥ Pirate Bay

    I haven't used popcorn time yet myself but I am thinking about it and why. I pay for Netflix, so I am not a pirate, but often Netflix, TimeWarner Cable on demand doesn't update with the latest movies fast enough, and who wants to pay $5 a movie for a one night rental anyways when I can just google look for torrents, or movies and stream them for example (Not download) technically I could still put on a third party recorder and break anti piracy laws by recording my computer screen, but my point is Streaming Movies, should be legit just as sync tube.

    If you don't like piracy of Music, Games, or Movies, Please keep them all to yourself do something like.

    . Body search everyone who enters the theater even playing your copyrighted movie for (Cellphones, or anything that can record.)

    . Make people sign a real life document legally binding contract before going inside.

    Why do you honestly think Hackers go after companies like Sony, I wont say I support illegal crimes, but my honest opinion some of these companies deserve what they get for being jerks to the consumers, and I am glad someone who had the skills actually stood up for George Hotz, and being against piracy, when I buy my PS3, PS4, Any hardware I will do what I please with it unless you make me sign a legally binding contract at the time of the purchase you have no right to tell me I can't modify my hardware which I legally can do what I want with.

    Thanks, Keep Torrents, and Internet streaming alive, and not like I am a free-loader of stuff either I have thousands of dollars worth of digital content purchased, but I am not running out to buy $50 DVD's or Blu Ray when its the digital age no one uses that crap anymore, and no one wants to pay $5 or $8 Plus Tax on the Time Warner Cable Bill or whatever for an on demand movie for one night I don't, now perhaps if I was streaming the movie to all my friends on the internet as well maybe like on sync tube.

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.