AfterDawn: Tech news

Supreme Court rules in favour of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in P2P case

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 27 Jun 2005 7:25 User comments (70)

Supreme Court rules in favour of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in P2P case In a major blow to technological innovation today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favour of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in a huge P2P case. Since the case began in March, Justices showed concerns over holding the inventors liable for copyright infringement as they believed it could discourage new inventions, but obviously their minds were changed as the ruling was passed unanimously today. However, it't not all the entertainment industry hoped for and Grokster and Morpheus remain complete legal software.
The entertainment companies accused Grokster and StreamCast Networks (which owns the Morpheus P2P software) of promoting their products to be used for piracy and it seems it was enough to convince the court to partially set-aside an older appeals court ruling in favour of Grokster and StreamCast. "We hold that one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties." Justice David Souter wrote for the court.

Case History

Now we’ll take a look at how this P2P case ended up in the Supreme Court in the first place.

April 25th 2003, Los Angeles

A federal judge in Los Angeles ruled that StreamCast and Grokster were not liable for copyright infringement that took place on the P2P networks. "Defendants distribute and support software, the users of which can and do choose to employ it for both lawful and unlawful ends," Judge Stephen Wilson wrote in his opinion, "Grokster and StreamCast are not significantly different from companies that sell home video recorders or copy machines, both of which can be and are used to infringe copyrights." This ruling had shocked the entertainment companies whom in the past had victory in cases like this.

"This is a very serious setback for the record industry and other content industries, because they've uniformly won these cases in the U.S.," Mark Radcliffe, an intellectual property attorney at Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich said. The MPAA were deeply disappointed with the decision and vowed to appeal it. "We feel strongly that those who encourage, facilitate and profit from piracy should be held accountable for actions," MPAA spokeswoman Marta Grutka said. "We're hoping that people aren't taking this as an invitation to continue along the path of what is clearly illegal activity." Of course the entertainment company’s did appeal the ruling.

See: http://www.afterdawn.com/news/archive/4022.cfm

August 19th 2004, Court of Appeals in Pasadena, California

The entertainment companies felt that the April 2003 decision was unfair and were confident that the appeals court would over-rule the decision. "The services are profiting to the tune of millions of dollars from music that is written by songwriters who are not getting a dime from the use of their music on these services," said Carey Ramos, a lawyer for the plaintiffs. "We believe that the (lower court's) conclusion is fundamentally unjust." However, Fred von Lohmann, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation saw the case differently. "This is not just a case about peer-to-peer," he said, "It is a case that will determine whether technology companies are allowed to innovate or whether they have to ask permission from copyright owners before they build new products."

See: http://www.afterdawn.com/news/archive/4935.cfm

To the shock and dismay of the entertainment companies, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found Grokster Ltd, Streamcast Networks Inc. and Sharman Networks Ltd fundamentally different from for example Napster in the sense that the services do not have a central server. According to Judge Sidney R. Thomas "The technology has numerous other uses, significantly reducing the distribution costs of public domain and permissively shared art and speech, as well as reducing the centralized control of that distribution." This left the entertainment companies the option of appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court. "We are carefully reviewing our next steps," said Jack Valenti, who was then president of the MPAA.

See: http://www.afterdawn.com/news/archive/5496.cfm

So how does this decision affect the common file sharer?

For now the question should be more along the lines of how does this affect common consumers. Many believe that the entertainment industry will take advantage of the ruling and use it in other cases besides P2P. While the entertainment industry takes the stance that it wouldn’t sue a company like Apple for example, over the iPod music player, the device can still be used to store stolen music, which was a fact pointed out in the Supreme Court.

However it seems like some other developers like the creator of BitTorrent, Bram Cohen, for example as he never promoted BitTorrent for use with piracy. The problem is that some P2P services would advertise their services with vague comments like "Find and download music files quickly and easily" - It seems this could be seen as encouraging piracy on the network?

Source:
News.com

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70 user comments

127.6.2005 7:34

I for one am gutted, this is yet another dent in innovation. taken from cnet news.com:

Quote:
Technology companies have feared that a new copyright-focused standard aimed at controlling peer-to-peer networks might result in a rise in lawsuits aimed at blocking new products. The Betamax ruling had protected generations of products, ranging from CD burners to Apple Computer's iPod to personal computers.
I cant begin to imagine the amount of damage this is going to do to future development of these and other similar products. ................................... Nice one Dela, that was quick. see your on the ball as usual.

227.6.2005 7:36

OHHHHHHHH NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Like this is even news. Lets think about this? Who cares that a powerless government ruled against file-sharing. They need to ask the question of why file-sharing exists. It exists simply becuase in a world of instant information and 15 megs per second broadband why pay for software when i can download it for free??? They are not looking at it correctly. The market corrects itself lovely. They are basically trying to stop the nature of free market enterprise which this government is supposse to protect. Bottom line, give us more for the money. I don't know about you...but i am not paying 12.00 us for a cd when i can download hundreds of tracks in 5 minutes. Give me a dvd full of songs for a resonalble price and i won't go p2p to get it. They need to think about what they are selling and why people go and get from file sharing networks. Until then, they can sue anyone they want. Its there buisness model, technology has changed it and they need to change with the times.

327.6.2005 7:41

That sucks, BIG TIME. Oh well, I guess we'll have to rely on networks set up in finland eye. lol

427.6.2005 7:43

"I guess we'll have to rely on networks set up in finland eye. lol" Wasn't sposed to be EYE. It was sposed to be Aye. Damn it.

527.6.2005 7:51

Hold the phone..... I think the key word in their statement is promoting. as in they actively promoted the network as a means of transfering copyrighted materials across the internet. This point and this point alone could be why they got nailed.

627.6.2005 7:54

Indeed, the words used passing the ruling were probably not exactly what the entertainment industry expected, but it's still a huge threat to technological innovation my friend, esp. when dealing with companies like MGM.

727.6.2005 7:57

I honestly believe it may hurt innovation, but of course it can't stop file sharing. Old programs will remain, will be hacked, ports can be changed, and It's not in the ISPs interest to monitor to the level of stopping File Sharers. They make their money from consumers devouring large bandwidth... with out file sharing ISPs would lose much buisness as their users could effectively switch back to modems for simple browsing and e-mail that most users go for. If they aren't doing that or chatting... their on a Decentralized File Sharing Network. Keep your head up Sweeden! This was a poor decision even when not affecting file sharing on some level.

827.6.2005 8:06

For any of the rest of you who prefer the written word to paraphrasing or are somewhat of a legislation junky here is a link to the PDF SC Decision http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/27jun20051200/www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/04pdf/04-480.pdf

927.6.2005 8:10

"We hold that one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties." - Souter This statement is so lose in itself that promoting could simply mean that the file is listed on the site or through a search engine. Supose it shouldn't be a suprise in legislation; speaking at great lengths w/out really saying anything explicitly in the end.

1027.6.2005 8:14

MrTazUK is right, the decision was based on them actively promoting copyright violations. Many of the P2P software programs would say "Find any song, any movie fast!!!" It was that active promotion that was their mistake. On the other hand, the creator of Bittorrent has always said that their software is for distributing Linux distributions and other large files, not for infringing uses. Sure it could be used for that, but it is not being advertised as such.

1127.6.2005 8:24

hmmm, i wrote this based on reuters story, ill have a look at some other sources, see what comes up!

1227.6.2005 8:33

Yes.... the quote i had from Justice David Souter was incomplte so I've re-written parts of the article. So i think we can al rest assured that Bram Cohen can continue bittorrent development withoutn fear etc... ;-)

1327.6.2005 8:47

Yeah....but now...Decryptor, shrink, AnyDVD...all my favorite programs are expressly illegal. They are created and distributed with the sole purpose of infringing copyrights But is Sony going to sue itself for providing me with a DVD burner?

1427.6.2005 8:48

All your movies are belong to us.

1527.6.2005 9:08

From the SC decision: The record is replete with evidence that from the moment Grokster and StreamCast began to distribute their free software, each one clearly voiced the objective that recipients use it to download copyrighted works, and each took active steps to encourage infringement. -nanu-nanu Yeah....but now...Decryptor, shrink, AnyDVD...all my favorite programs are expressly illegal. They are created and distributed with the sole purpose of infringing copyrights No... the legislation doesn't read that way... the product basically has to be promoting; I.E.: DVD burner says on the box - Burn the movies you rent from Blockbuster - software included inside. AnyDVD, Shrink, Decryptor - from what I have seen have been careful to speak of using their software for backups of your owned material, whether they believed that is what is was being used for or not. So under this ruling and the current interpretation of promoting which was furthered by my first quote this post... those programs aren't affected. Of course Shrink and Decryptor have already ceased development. Whether or not some other piece of legislation takes them or others down is another matter entirely.

1627.6.2005 9:15

The fact the U.S. Supreme Court was mentioned says it all, i mean this is a land with like 700 diffrent copyright laws that affect most other places.

1727.6.2005 9:21
djjmill
Inactive

OK, my co-worker and I were just talking about this... So when does Smith and Wesson get sued for some punk on the street shooting someone with one of their .44's? If that many people are file sharing than it's the law of the land.

1827.6.2005 10:01

will never happen. the NRA along with others are so far up the governments ass that it would be swept under the rug.

1927.6.2005 10:07

Guys everyone just needs to relax. The government will never be able to stop the following: Filesharing, backup your own dvd's or anything else, or killing certain softwares. Even if they sued and killed everyfile sharing p2p person software there is still newsgropus, mIRC, AOL, all the old school stuff.. if you were doing in back in 96 like I was that stuff is still there. As for DVD backingup guess what, Slysoft set operations on a small island in the caribeean that does not have any care what they do. In the end guys the government is after the big people who sell thousands of copies of windows xp on the streets of like new york or selling hundreds of thousands of dvd's on the street. Not the average used. Besides, things like bit torrent are decentralized...they can't be killed unlesss you go after websites 1 by 1...then others will just come along...bottom line again... give us something to pay for and we will not file share!

2027.6.2005 10:11

Again, it is a matter of promotion. If Smith and Wesson was advertising "Get free $$$ from Liquor Stores using our product!!!" then they would be in the same position. Instead they market their product as home protection or to sportsmen or collectors. It's a matter of semantics - if you actively promote your product for illegal uses then you are liable.

2127.6.2005 10:14

Very true! Like I can give you a perfect example....Netflix and Blockbuster online unlimited rentals. They are around for 1 thing and 1 thing only, for people to back them up. Now I know people do get it for watching them and returning them...but everyone I know who gets it backs the disks up. Now I know they don't advertise it as such...but come on lets be realistic.

2227.6.2005 10:41
chesty
Inactive

So How would today's supreme court decision affect the P2P sharing program like limewire ? I'm not really sure if even they are based in the united states. I mean there is a lot of things on the limewire P2P sharing program that is so old even the RIAA itself probabaly don't even have anymore in their record catalogs. Is is something like dvdfab or slysoft in which the MPAA says its's illegal to purchase or distribute such things in the united states but it's open for purchase on the internet and noboby gives a hoot or a holler about it ? It sounds kinda bogus to me...........

2327.6.2005 10:59

well of course its bogus. its just more proof that US is goin' to pot.

2427.6.2005 11:07

I agree...sadly but I do...The supreme Court also ruled that they can take your property if the government feels there latest partnership with buisness meets the communities needs...that is the sickest of all...so if you own a home and the local walmart offers you market value and its where they want to build you better get the boxes ready...crazy world...

2527.6.2005 11:44

Typical for the US government to turn their eye on morals and embrace the business side of the case...*sigh* Hmmm...if people insist on using any P2P, I guess Proto Wall/Peer Guardian 2 will protect you somehow....








- Ideal way to deal with the MPAA~RIAA

2627.6.2005 12:08

Wow, I didn't realize how cheap it was getting to buy a supreme court judge these days. Anyway, this doesn't mean a whole lot. They haven't outlawed file-sharing networks, only developement of P2P clients that openly encorage piracy. That's a pretty narrow division of software when you think about it. You don't even need any special education to be able to write a P2P client yourself, it just takes a little self-teaching and some free programming development tools. Sure, they're ruling sucks and was obviously influenced by the RIAA/MPAA's larger pocketbooks, but it's not going to change much.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 27 Jun 2005 @ 12:10

2727.6.2005 12:11

Yes what a shame it is a big dent but the war is not over just cause a battle was lost. knowing this whole thing from the initation (as in following the story from the start) bring on the next round :)

2827.6.2005 12:21

This article points out that this may be more of a victory for P2P than meets the eye: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1831862,00.asp Check it out.

2927.6.2005 12:34

Time for my little animation again :)

3027.6.2005 12:54
duke8888
Inactive

Here is more info The U.S. Supreme Court today dealt a blow to peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing services and a victory to the music and movie industries with a ruling that P2P companies like Grokster can be held liable for illegal trafficking in copyrighted files on their networks. Far from ending litigation over P2P uses, the ruling sends the case back to the lower courts for trial. “They were ruling on our summary judgment motion,” said attorney Michael Page, who represented Grokster and parent company Streamcast Networks. “They found that there is enough smoke here for the court to go see if there is a fire.” Before the court was a motion on behalf of Grokster and Streamcast, which sought an unequivocal statement that offering the service of file trading and software to facilitate it does not make them liable for users infringing. The unanimous decision instead said the courts must look beyond the mere technology and determine the intent of those who create and offer technology in determining liability for copyright infringement. “Here, evidence of the distributors’ words and deeds going beyond distribution as such shows a purpose to cause and profit from third-party acts of copyright infringement,” Justice David Souter wrote for the majority. Representatives of technology and consumer groups said the decision creates a new standard of copyright liability, is confusing and will have a chilling effect on new technology development. “While the immediate impact of the decision for our case is not clear, the impact on technology as a whole will be immediate,” said attorney Richard Taranto, who argued the case for Grokster and parent company Streamcast Networks. “To a large extent, Hollywood really has achieved part of what it wanted here,” said Ed Black, president and CEO of the Computer and Communications Industry Association. “It is time to embrace these new business models and use these technologies.” The decision was widely expected to trigger a rush to Capitol Hill, with technology companies seeking to codify rights to develop new technologies without fear of retribution from the content industries and content providers seeking to lock down control of digital content distribution. But some hope that can still be averted. “There is absolutely no need for Congress to act. The case has been sent back to the lower court for fact-finding. There is nothing that Hollywood should want or need from Congress,” said Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of consumer group Public Knowledge. She noted the decision upholds the Betamax standard and vowed to preserve it. “To the extent that Hollywood wants to run to Congress to change the Sony doctrine, we will oppose that,” she said. But the technology companies won’t rush to the hill, either, she said. “We need to see what the lower court says,” she said. “There is always a danger when you start a legislative process that it will be hijacked by Hollywood and we’ll get something we really, really don’t like.” More likely, the ruling will trigger a new wave of litigation against file-trading services, said Cindy Cohn, legal director for the watchdog group Electronic Frontier Foundation. “Secondary copyright liability can be claimed by anyone,” she said. “I think we are going to see plaintiffs’ lawyers getting very busy.” MGM vs. Grokster has been called the Betamax case of the 21st Century, because lower courts held that P2P services, including Grokster and Morpheus, have substantial noninfringing uses and, therefore, could not be held liable for how consumers use them. In 1984, the Supreme Court found that VCRs, although they could be used to copy movies for sale, also had substantial non-infringing uses, such as consumer time-shifting. The decision gave hardware manufacturers the legal green light to keep producing VCRs for consumer use. In the Grokster case, studios and TV networks argued that P2P networks have little or no saving grace, while the networks’ owners have argued that the technology facilitates a variety of legitimate uses, such as sharing noncopyrighted works and tag-team projects, and should be free of liability for consumer misuse. “Grokster has created an online environment that not only condones, but encourages, fosters and profits from rampant infringing activity. The Sony Betamax decision was not intended to protect this type of conduct or these sorts of infringement-based services,” said Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) president Dan Glickman. “The American consumer will be the ultimate beneficiary of such a decision, as an environment which protects and promotes legitimate delivery services and respects intellectual property rights will result in a higher volume of quality content being available to the public.” Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) president Mitch Bainwol said the content industries are interested in working with the technology manufacturers. But Sohn said the ruling will let the content companies “dictate the terms of digital distribution.” The Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) hailed the decision as a boon to retailers. “While the Supreme Court’s recognition of inducement liability is a positive development that will be useful in stemming the online theft of movies, the VSDA is under no illusion that this decision alone will solve the problem of illegal online file-swapping,” said VSDA president Bo Andersen. “The real antidote lies in reducing demand for illegal copies of movies by making it easier for consumers to get legal copies of movies online. Retailers, who know their customers and their communities better than anyone else have an important future in developing hundreds, even thousands, of legal services for delivering movies.”

3127.6.2005 13:02
Rendering
Inactive

This decision reflects the thinking of an elderly, conservative judiciary. What is it really saying? That small, entrepreneurial companies can be legislated out of the marketplace because they don't have much financial clout. A major reason Sony won its lawsuit against Universal back in 1984 (Universal v. Sony) was that Sony assembled a very expensive, high-powered legal "dream team," consisting of the New York law firm Rosenman, Colin, Freund, Lewis and Cohen and the Los Angeles law firm Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, one of the country's most respected law firms. Another thing this decision is saying is that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer speaks for all copyright holders. In other words, that there are no copyright holders who would NOT object to having their copyright material freely distributed. The court has fully accepted MGM's argument of contributory infringement--the maker of the P2P software contributes to any and all copyright infringement, regardless of whether some copyright holders might view such infringement as acceptable. Some garage bands, for example, who have copyrighted their material but are not under contract with music companies, allow their music to be freely distributed. Some artists care more about self-expression than about the size of their royalties. The Supreme Court completely ignored this, but in the Universal v. Sony case this concept was central to the decision against Universal. For example, Sony had representatives from PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) and the NFL and NHL testify that they would WANT their copyrighted materials to be recorded and used (time-shifted) by viewers. One man's piracy may be another man's democracy. When all is said and done, P2P downloading will continue, as will MPAA and RIAA lawsuits. Even had the MPAA lost this case, it would have continued filing lawsuits against downloaders and it will continue now that it has won it. Maybe copyright law is not the best way to solve technology issues. In subtle ways, innovation in America also lost its case today. Don't let the MPAA fool you. This was never a case about "principles." This was and is about money. Not the money that MGM claimed it was losing. It is about the money they want to be making in a zero-sum world: They want to be the only ones (or along with fee-paying partners like Apple and Microsoft) offering music and movie downloads, DRM'd, price-fixed, for profit. Now everyone will have to try to figure just exactly what "promoting" a product to be used for piracy really means, as merely stating the technical specifications of some products like Sima's video enhancers could be construed as promoting its disencrypting capabilities.

3227.6.2005 14:54

I don't agree with the opinion expressed by the headline of this piece. This is not a clear victory for MGM & the rest of the music/movie biz mafiosi. It is a vague ruling that leaves much to be desired on both sides of the case. As per usual, the lawyers are the only real winners. It's not like the "entertainment industry" couldn't find some way to sue whatever small companys they didn't like out of existence before this. I do agree, the ruling is a real problem for those trying to inovate in the digital media arena. The judges seemed to be aware of this, but the ruling shows them to be pretty clueless about it's real impact.

3327.6.2005 21:45
moocowgal
Inactive

I got a real giggle out of nohelpme's post about Blockbuster and Netflix. They don't say anything but as the saying goes "action speaks louder than words". I've been in more than one Blockbuster Video Store that had blank DVD's for sale.

3428.6.2005 1:15

If Grokster´s and StreamCast Networks' software is the the kind of technology that is used for copywright infringement, what kind of file-sharing tech corresponds to this comment: "The technology has numerous other uses, significantly reducing the distribution costs of public domain and permissively shared art and speech, as well as reducing the centralized control of that distribution"?

3528.6.2005 1:17

I'm not gonna do a copy and paste excercise ^. You're all capable of following a link to this interesting perspective from 'the register' http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/06/27/supremes_punt_on_grokster/

3628.6.2005 3:56

This ruling is actually helpful in many ways. I tend to agree with the register piece as well as well as some of the commentors quoted toward teh end of the latest wired piece. I think the person who summarized the story here is missing the bigger picture and swayed too much by MGM's spin on the decision. The fact is "induce" has clearly been defined as behaviour and advocacy of illegal use, not the development and marketing of the product itself. Moreover the plaintif must prove the prove these facts whcih is quite difficult.

3728.6.2005 14:39

I totally agree with almost everyone in this forum! I understand the copywright thing 100 percent, but if I am not selling the music, movies, and programs I download, I should be okay right? No, our lovely government wants to attack file sharing and make a profit off of us by fines and all that jazz. How many singers and songwriters got that $3000 they won from all the individuals they sued? I seriously doubt they got any money from those lawsuits. They need to start looking into computer hackers, those are the ones that are causing the serious problems on our internet highway!!

3829.6.2005 11:53

Quote:
brasmunky (Newbie) 28 June 2005 18:39 our lovely government wants to attack file sharing and make a profit off of us by fines and all that jazz. How many singers and songwriters got that $3000 they won from all the individuals they sued? I seriously doubt they got any money from those lawsuits. They need to start looking into computer hackers, those are the ones that are causing the serious problems on our internet highway!!
So hackers are the cause of all the money lost over the internet. I get it, and the only reason the government is suing is so they can find new and interesting ways to tax us... Why are you posting if you don't know what you are talking about? Filesharing networks are getting sued by the organizations that represent recording companies and movie studios. Do you know why? Because people are getting for free what they are supposed to pay for, and filesharing networks are at the root of the problem. I use bittorrent to get "backups" but i don't make an ass of myself saying that "The Government" is trying to take my money.

3929.6.2005 12:19

Its always about money. If you take money out of the picture no one would care. The MPAA and RIAA give shit loads of money to GOV.

4029.6.2005 14:16

Quote:
i don't make an ass of myself saying that "The Government" is trying to take my money.
Oh, they aren't trying to take your money; they are. What exactly did they do to deserve ~17% of the money we earn? Did you know that in the U.S. they claimed income tax would stop as soon as World War I was over? So far they're about 86 years late. RIAA, MPAA, government officials, whatever - they're all the same, heavily influenced by a little thing called greed. SD2 is absolutely right - take the money element out of the picture and none of them would lift a finger. They try to make it seem like they're benevolent, saying they make our lives more secure or that they protect our creative works, but they just want more $$$. And if they perceive something as a threat to their making more money, they will twist around the rules in any way they can to stop it - even if it means suing dead grandmothers or smothering innovation. They only care about themselves.

4129.6.2005 14:20

man u speak the truth - btw p2p users won this battle - mgm spent a bunch of time and money taking down grokster, only to have the programmers make a new client. ok - all they have to do now is act like the program isnt for copyright infringement. the mpaa havent even hit the tip of the iceberg....

4229.6.2005 16:03

Quote:
nonoitall (Member) 29 June 2005 18:16 Did you know that in the U.S. they claimed income tax would stop as soon as World War I was over? So far they're about 86 years late.
Did you know that has nothing to do with anti-piracy or the suit against StreamCast Networks?
Quote:
RIAA, MPAA, government officials, whatever - they're all the same, heavily influenced by a little thing called greed
Yeah, and the RIAA, MPAA, and "government officials" are not all the same. RIAA and MPAA have no affiliation with the government and represent their own interest groups. RIAA=Recording Industry Association of America. MPAA=Motion Picture Association of America. (nonoitall) "Hmmmm... so the govenment controls what movies i watch and what music i listen to???" No. If you are wondering why "the government" is so involved, i have three words for you. THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM! Yeah, it exists. If a member of the MPAA like lets say... MGM, wants to sue a file sharing network like StreamCast Networks for distributing their content without paying royalties, then they have to go through the courts which are run by the government. Man, that's a whole lot of ignorance. btw, Thanks for using my quote out of context asshole.

4329.6.2005 16:18

i agree with most of the stuff written here. (toxicfish)dont get so excited man! anyway how does the fact that mgm won the case affect p2p users? as their methods of catching 'pirates' (har har!) gets better, surely the methods of stealth in file sharing will improve, i mean, they already got p2ps that use virtual ip's.these companies like RIAA don't really have a prayer against the might of the internet. my heart bleeds for them, it really does.

4429.6.2005 16:23

Quote:
27. June 2005 @ 16:21 This article points out that this may be more of a victory for P2P than meets the eye:
nice one thanks mate

4529.6.2005 18:19

Quote:
Did you know that has nothing to do with anti-piracy or the suit against StreamCast Networks?
Nor does your comment.
Quote:
RIAA and MPAA have no affiliation with the government and represent their own interest groups.
That doesn't mean they aren't all greedy. When I said they're the same, I meant they share the same qualities, not that they're part of the same exact organization.
Quote:
"Hmmmm... so the govenment controls what movies i watch and what music i listen to???" No.
I never said they controlled what you listen to - the RIAA/MPAA have been using the government to try and control how much you pay for what you listen to/watch though.
Quote:
If you are wondering why "the government" is so involved, i have three words for you. THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM! Yeah, it exists. If a member of the MPAA like lets say... MGM, wants to sue a file sharing network like StreamCast Networks for distributing their content without paying royalties, then they have to go through the courts which are run by the government. Man, that's a whole lot of ignorance.
Did I do or say something to indicate that I didn't know there was a judicial system? It's also quite corrupt, by the way.
Quote:
btw, Thanks for using my quote out of context asshole.
I'm sorry that you feel I quoted your comment out of context - it didn't seem like it at the time (and still doesn't but what do I know?). It just seemed as though you were defending the government against accusations that actually hold up (they do take people's money). As you can see, I have quoted almost all of your previous comment in this one so as to avoid any more excerpts from being taken out of context.

4629.6.2005 18:27

@benjers: You're right - it doesn't really affect P2P that much. They have only targeted a very narrow group: Software developers who promote copyright infringement in their software I think almost all the P2P software sites I go to at least have a disclaimer that explains that anyone using the software should be on guard against pirated files. But even if they outlawed the development of file-sharing software completely, it would still be kept alive by developers in other countries. Even if every country in the world outlawed it, private developers would keep developing new software and networking techniques, it would just be spread more descretely. P2P isn't going away.

472.7.2005 8:33

I don't think we're getting the full story here. It sounds like there was some specific issue with Grokster promoting piracy that has nothing to do with P2P really.

482.7.2005 8:46

Let's see...This is the same Supreme Court that makes it legal for a movie studio by using eminent domain, to take away a group of private homes, pay either pennies on the dollar or nothing for the property so the studio can expand it's back lot, or put up bigger sound stages, or just make a bigger parking lot..in other words, the court would allow the studios to steal peoples homes for the studio's private use but allows the same studios to prosicute and sue the inventors of some technology that can possibly be used to share files... This is sort of like a bank being able to repossess ones car because the bank can resell it somewhere else at a greater profit then suing the car's manufacturer because it was used in a hold-up of the same bank...

492.7.2005 12:01

My wife just reminded me that there is a certain Hollywood hypocisy at work here.... Movie actor Cliff Robertson was charged by the IRS for not paying taxes on over $100,000 of earnings. He launched a private investigation that turned up a producer that was issuing checks in Robertson's and others names, co-signing the checks and cashing them for his own use. When this was brought out, the IRS dropped charges against Robertson and charged the producer with tax fraud. [ the producer's name was withheld at request of the Hollywood studios ] The studios delined to press charges for what amounted to grand larceny and embezzlement so there were never any arrests or charges against the producer. Meanwhile, the major studios blackballed Cliff Robertson for nearly ten years befor an independent studio decided to use him in a movie... James Garner, who played a detective in the TV show ' The Rockford Files ', agreed to be paid through residuals instead of by episode. He signed a contract to do a set amount of shows. He was paid a pittance during the shows run. When the time came for the residuals to come in, creative bookkeeping kept Garner from collecting a cent, yet, The Rockford Files are still showing re-runs and making money for the studios. The first Batman movie was one of the highest earning movies at the time it was released. Yet, according to reports and although the studios made a bundle, there was little or no profit in the movie. Creative book cooking again. MPAA is a case of crooks screaming foul... I just received an e-mail from a Canadian who says the FBI was roaming around up in his area arresting file traders. The regular citezins are getting a little ticked off suggesting that the Roal Mounted Police should be able to come down to California and issue traffic tickets or something. They feel that this is setting a dangerous president...

502.7.2005 13:56

Very true, dufas. The RIAA and MPAA both get far more money selling songs and movies than the artists who actually created the content. For a while, this was a necessary evil, when artists couldn't afford to produce their content on a large scale for the number of people who wanted it. Now, with the internet, artists are perfectly capable of distribuing their content cheaply (or even for free) without a middleman. This scares the h*ll out of the RIAA/MPAA, so they attack people who take advantage of this technology, calling them criminals. They're trying to shed a bad light on P2P so no one sees that there's a free way to distribute media, and in turn, so that no one sees that the RIAA/MPAA have become obsolete. Do you think (reasonably well-paid) stevedores and factory workers were happy when machines came along and did their former jobs quicker, better and cheaper? Many such workers even sabotaged the machinery that was about to replace them, trying to make it appear faulty, unreliable and unattractive to the general public as a method of accomplishing work, and in turn, unfit to replace human labor. See any correlation here? People who make a lot of money always feel threatened when something more efficient comes along. When the RIAA and MPAA say they are fighting piracy to protect peoples' jobs, just whose jobs do you think they're protecting? Their own! They don't want people to see that they are no longer necessary, so they do everything they can to make it look like they still are.

513.7.2005 4:21

Noitall is right. But I would also again like to say they are not keeping up with technology. The cd was first created in the early 1980's. Come on now...for 20 years no one sticks with a medium for that long. Even 8 tracks and cassestte tapes were not around that long lol. Basically, its time to give us our monies worth. I have not paid for a cd sense 1997.... and i won't until i get my monies worth. When you can fit like 1000 songs on a blank DVD-5...why pay 12.99 for 14 songs???? Sorry I am not dumb.

523.7.2005 10:42

Quote:
When you can fit like 1000 songs on a blank DVD-5...why pay 12.99 for 14 songs????
That's a good point too. Even if you ignore P2P and the internet, they're still not taking advantage of superior technology that could save space and production costs. On a single-layer DVD alone, you could fit at least 60 hours of music on there (assuming you compressed it to an ABR of 160 kbps) and nearly twice as much on a dual-layer DVD. The only problem is that the RIAA doesn't want to make any less money than it makes now. Let's say the average CD is $15 and has one hour of music on it. Then, let's take about $3 off that for royalties for the artist(s) and cost of materials (it's probably less, but we'll be nice to the RIAA). So, they make a profit of $12 per hour of music sold on the average let's say. Now, let's say they start using DVDs and compression to cram way more music on a disc the same size. Assuming 60 hours per disc - that's about $150 for royalties and materials. Now, that seems like a lot of money, but you're getting a lot of music, so let's say consumers are willing to pay that since they won't have to pay it nearly as often. In the above scenario, the RIAA is just breaking even. But they don't want to make any less money than they make now, so let's add on the $12 per hour that they made before. Now, that DVD which was barely affordable before costs $870! This seems insane, but it's the same proportion that's used with CDs - the numbers are just bigger. The average person would never spend that much money for one little 12cm round piece of plastic, which is why the RIAA is so afraid of technological progress. Distribution costs of a great deal of information have become so small with DVDs, compression and the internet that the RIAA can no longer make it appear as though they are charging exactly what their product is worth. If the RIAA allows themselves to keep up with technology, they will either have to charge less for their product and lose money, or charge the same for their product and reveal that they are totally ripping people off and lose customers, which will also lose them money. See why they don't like the idea of modernizing?

533.7.2005 15:52

The p2p thing isnt really all bad it can be used as a promotional tool for new artists and film makers to get thier stuff seen by people who may never get the chance to purchase a copy or even see one. I feel like the music and movie industry have kind of been spending too much money to make things and charging way too much to the consumer in the first place,now people are sick of paying rediculous prices and feel they can download and copy things cheaper. I guess if i was a record/movie exec id be pissed and want more money too. but they already tax blank cds and still usually charge too much for original merch.So I dont really feel bad for them. they should sell mp3cds already made box sets.or sell movies to be downloaded and burned leagaly from a site on line.find ways of making things cheaper for the consumer so in the end it would be roughly abit more expensive than copying it, but a better more original product.What i mean is they shouldnt waste money on court battles just to prove a point,they should be looking for ways to use this technolegy to thier advantage and find other ways of making money to drive down costs to make it not worth the time to download and burn a cd. because this problem will never die only get bigger as more people figure out how to use it.

544.7.2005 4:47

Thanks nonoitall for expanding my comment a little more. Its no one's fault there economic model for making money is out of date. Its like suing people to keep their buisness alive. Stay tuned guys, go to cnnfn.com. There was a huge article on how dvd's are not selling as much as they use to now. They are going to blaime piracy I can see it now. No offense, no one downloads dvd's on the internet with the intention of not paying. They are such bad copies they are not even worth the 3 hours of so it takes if you have a good connection. However, don't let these industries fool you. Why does netflix and blockbuster exist??? Why do you think? Why does blockbuster in their stores sell blank dvd's??? Any gueses? Why are dual layer dvd's just now starting to get more popular???

554.7.2005 8:05

Quote:
nonoitall The RIAA and MPAA both get far more money selling songs and movies than the artists who actually created the content. For a while, this was a necessary evil, when artists couldn't afford to produce their content on a large scale for the number of people who wanted it. Now, with the internet, artists are perfectly capable of distribuing their content cheaply (or even for free) without a middleman.
You don't even know what you're talking about. The RIAA and MPAA are lobbying groups, not government factions. All they've done is sue people who have been sharing illegal content. The RIAA/MPAA don't make any money off the artist, the recording companies do.
Quote:
This scares the h*ll out of the RIAA/MPAA, so they attack people who take advantage of this technology, calling them criminals. They're trying to shed a bad light on P2P so no one sees that there's a free way to distribute media, and in turn, so that no one sees that the RIAA/MPAA have become obsolete.
People who are getting music and movies for free are criminals. How can you not see that? If P2P is being used for legitamate purposes, like bittorrent, then yes, it will be accepted. Sony, a top 5 member of RIAA, already owns napster. They are going to create a service for movies to be downloaded much like napster as well. Everything you have said is total BS. You haven't cited one source in your whiny rants.

564.7.2005 8:19

ToxicFish, Do you believe people who download music and dvd's are criminals?? Is what they are doing good?? No I would agree it is not a good thing. I guess the way I look at is the government has bigger fish to fry. Like Iraq, terrorism, drug use in this country on a massive scale. The MPAA and RIAA are suing people in civil court and let them. They are just defending an old way of selling music. They need to sell their music online and cheaply. They are competing with free, so they need to come out with an outstanding product. Once they leave the mentality that they can sell a cd of 12 songs for 14.99 us, then they have made a turn in the right direction.

574.7.2005 8:30

I do not buy music or movies or go to the theatre anymore. Since the RIAA and the MIAA likes to sue 12 year old girls, 85 year old women who don't even have computers, even dead people.. They are going to have to get their next Lamborgini without my help... Before anyone says that not buying their products will hurt the little guy, remember that the entertainment industry loves to call for a boycott against any industry that doesn't fit their view of how the world should be and they do not care how many "little people" get ran over in the proccess.....

584.7.2005 8:51

Make that the MPAA

594.7.2005 9:08

A little quote I would like to use is "money makes people funny." Suing an 85 year old grandma is not good. My opinion, I buy dvd's but I would never sit in a theatre or buy a dvd. I put my money into a nice sorround sound system.

604.7.2005 9:12

Quote:
nonoitall On a single-layer DVD alone, you could fit at least 60 hours of music on there (assuming you compressed it to an ABR of 160 kbps) and nearly twice as much on a dual-layer DVD. The only problem is that the RIAA doesn't want to make any less money than it makes now.
Again, recording studios are responsible for their artist's product, NOT THE RIAA. How many artists do you know of that release more than 15 tracks on their albums? Rarely will you see anyone fill an entire CD. So why would they need to put out their album on a DVD? That wouldn't even make sense. You could fit 900 songs on your 60 hour DVD assuming each song is 4 minutes a piece. Yeay, i got one Beetle's DVD... Pretty much no one else can fill it. People don't just buy cds for the music, but for the bonus material as well. One of the greatest parts of buying a cd is going through the cover art. I am not going to buy a genre DVD, and neither will anyone else. As far as royalties... artists get less that 50 cents a cd. CDs are priced as they are because of production cost, marketing and promotion costs, studio fees, studio musicians, sound engineers, producers, etc. And all must be recovered by the cost of the CD. RIAA.com/news/marketingdata/cost.asp" class="korostus" target="_blank">http://www.RIAA.com/news/marketingdata/cost.asp Stop spreading your BS.

614.7.2005 9:21

I don't think its bs. Coming to a dvd format could give them several options. You could hear alot more tracks like the b-sides and outtakes. You could hear a lot more unreleased tracks. You could get more of what the artists's original intent was. Think of it as a painter would, the artist would get a much bigger canvas to create on. A CD in my opinion, a medium developed in the late 1970's...does not cut it in 2005. Sorry, but it just dosen't. If that is the way you feel I respect your opinion. Then why not get a car from the late 1970's or never upgrade your house or anything else. There is one thing that is constant, and that is change.

624.7.2005 9:27

Quote:
nohelpme A little quote I would like to use is "money makes people funny." Suing an 85 year old grandma is not good.
I couldn't agree more. The thing is, how do you think that grandma was discovered. The suits are centered off of traffic. All they see is an IP adress and possibly what files are transfered. They needed to send a message that file sharing is not good. And it worked. When people found out that no one was exempt, alot of people were scared out of it. I download "backups" all the time. By us doing this, we are driving services. iTunes and napster are a direct result to illegal file sharing. What i don't support is people who are ignorant to why these law suits are happening. Filesharing is illegal, plain and simple. If i came into someones house and kept stealing food from the fridge, the homeowner would get pretty pissed and put up an alarm system or something. It might look ok if that fridge was the only source of food for miles around right, but it would still be stealing. If the homeowner were nice, he would make a restraunt for all the hungry people to eat...

634.7.2005 9:36

I agree that filesharing is not a good thing. No doubt. But just in basic economics I know that the way they are selling their product and ripping the average consumer off is not good either. I think we just need to get to a happy medium.

644.7.2005 10:08

There is no happy medium, thats the problem. They wont cut their prices, and we wont be ripped off. Stalemate.

654.7.2005 10:09

I used to download movies to see if I liked them, I didn't care if it was a bad cam or not. if it was a good movie, {this is subjective..you may like movies I don't like and visa-versa), I would go to the theatre and if it was extra enjoyable, I would purchase a DVD when they came out. I did this because I got tired of wasting money or time, The studios would put out a piece of crap and still make tons of money on it. One cannot beleive the adverts for a movie, the critics are mostly brain dead or hollier than thou types..or on the studios pay-roll. There are music fans that I know personally that feel the same way. Buying a CD whose cover or adverts promise one thing but delivers another. It gets tiresome and a waste. Meanwhile, the entertainment industry laughs all the way to the bank. The latest reports are that movie viewership is down but profits are up..Wonder why that is ????

664.7.2005 10:19

QUOTE: There is no happy medium, thats the problem. They wont cut their prices, and we wont be ripped off. Stalemate. I don't agree. Just like anything they can improve the quality of their product and make it better and people would buy it again. They just can't expect us to buy the same old thing over and over.

674.7.2005 10:26

Thats basicly what I meant, CD's havn't changed for 20 years!

684.7.2005 10:55

Quote:
You don't even know what you're talking about. The RIAA and MPAA are lobbying groups, not government factions.
Please stop putting words in my mouth. I never said the RIAA and MPAA are part of the government, only that they share similar traits.
Quote:
All they've done is sue people who have been sharing illegal content. The RIAA/MPAA don't make any money off the artist, the recording companies do.
Do you know what the 'RI' in RIAA stands for? Believe me they don't make all their money off lawsuits. Even if not always directly, they make a ****load of money off music artists - they wouldn't exist if they didn't.
Quote:
People who are getting music and movies for free are criminals. How can you not see that?
I do see that, but only because a law says they are. Not all laws make sense though. Many murderers and rapists get off easier than a kid who brings a camera into a theater would.
Quote:
Everything you have said is total BS. You haven't cited one source in your whiny rants.
Exactly the same comment applies perfectly to you. My source of information is the same as yours - personal opinion. Cool your jets and stop attacking people for having a point of view.
Quote:
As far as royalties... artists get less that 50 cents a cd. CDs are priced as they are because of production cost, marketing and promotion costs, studio fees, studio musicians, sound engineers, producers, etc. And all must be recovered by the cost of the CD.
As I said, I was generous. Actually, your statement supports my idea - CDs are ridiculously overpriced. A very small percentage of money made by them goes to artists who actually create the content; it goes to middlemen. Now, with better technology available, middlemen are no longer necessary and like I said before this scares them and makes them want to fight it.
Quote:
Stop spreading your BS.
This is another off-topic remark about me and my opinions. In the future, please don't clutter a news forum with it, but use the PM feature if you wish to attack me personally.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 04 Jul 2005 @ 10:56

694.7.2005 11:36

I have been following the comments here. There seems to be a mis-understanding among some. While the MPAA and the RIAA are not the studios per say, they represent the studios just as The American Medical Asc. represents doctors, The SAE [Society of Automotive Engineers] represents tha automobile industry, or your own lawyer represents you. The MPAA and the RIAA handle public relations, do political lobbying, handle internal and external legal matters and is a general cushion between the public, unions, entertainers and the studios. They do things in the studio's name Just as your lawyer would do things in your name. There is strength in numbers, so, many entities join together for 'THEIR' common good, not anyone elses. As an example, in the 1950s,the government was trying to shut down automobile racing. Different groups of racing orginizations got together and formed several groups such as the NHRA and NASCAR to keep the different forms of racing together. While these groups were originally formed as lobbying tools, they migrated to being the heavy hammers in all situations for their interests. The same thing is in effect for the RIAA and the MPAA.......

704.7.2005 14:26

Thanks for the clarification dufas.

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