AfterDawn: Tech news

MPAA awarded $110 million in TorrentSpy suit

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 08 May 2008 12:15 User comments (16)

MPAA awarded $110 million in TorrentSpy suit Just a few weeks ago BitTorrent site TorrentSpy was shut down by parent company Valance Media LLC, replaced with a message explaining that the owners "feel compelled to provide the ultimate method of privacy protection for our users - permanent shutdown." TorrentSpy's demise is the result of a MPAA victory in U.S. federal court where they accused the site's operators of inducing copyright infringement. In a final ruling this week (pending an appeal) the court awarded the MPAA $110 million dollars.
"This substantial money judgment sends a strong message about the illegality of these sites," MPAA chairman and CEO Dan Glickman said. "The demise of TorrentSpy is a clear victory for the studios."

In an interview with CNET News, Valence Media attorney Ira Rothken refuted the MPAA's claim, saying "What is really going on here is a Hollywood public-relations stunt." He added "The reason for the size of the judgment was so a bunch of news organizations would write that 'a $100 million judgment was issued against a bunch of pirates' when, in fact, it was declared against a company with no appreciable assets that has already declared bankruptcy."

It's fair to say that neither side is being completely honest. While it's true the jugement wasn't based on the merits of the MPAA's piracy claim, it's hard to imagine any other outcome after they were found to have destroyed evidence and lied under oath last year.

In finding for the MPAA last December U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper stated "The court finds that plaintiffs have suffered prejudice, to the extent that a rightful decision is not possible." She went on to say that the site's operators "engaged in widespread and systematic efforts to destroy evidence and have provided false testimony under oath in an effort to hide evidence of such destruction."

There are clearly legitimate questions about the case, in which the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) presented a friend of the court brief. The brief sided with TorrentSpy on a court order requiring the logging IP addresses for the sole purpose of turning them over to MPAA lawyers. A senior EFF attorney compared it to forcing businesses to record telephone calls or employee conversations.

There are many lessons to be learned from the TorrentSpy case, not the least of which is the inherent danger of giving the courts control over technology they don't understand. But perhaps equally important is that defying the judge is a quick path to losing in court.

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16 user comments

18.5.2008 12:43

Great.
Now every blood-sucking lawyer fresh out of law school will be going after damage suits like this.
Not to mention the morale boost the entertainment Mafia just got.

28.5.2008 12:55
nobrainer
Inactive

How much compensation do you get if you are wrongly murdered by the American police force or army exactly?

does the punishment fit the crime or is human life worthless to the American government?

BTW has the American government been charged for their illegal war, wire-tapping, ect, yet, surely torrentspy admins could have just said we are following the Presidents and Corporations examples of lie, deceive and cheat!




larger pic can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/clonpop/59178757/sizes/o/

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 08 May 2008 @ 13:08

38.5.2008 13:25

Originally posted by mspurloc:
Great.
Now every blood-sucking lawyer fresh out of law school will be going after damage suits like this.
Not to mention the morale boost the entertainment Mafia just got.

So true

48.5.2008 13:34
varnull
Inactive




One day they will lose!

58.5.2008 13:55

Originally posted by varnull:



One day they will lose!
The swastika symbol as used here is actually the version used since ancient times in India to represent deep spirituality.

http://reclaimtheswastika.com/

Quote:
The swastika is an ancient symbol present in numerous and diverse cultures around the world, including the cultures of India, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America.

In India, the swastika has thousands of years of history and still retains its place of pre-eminence among the sub-continent's spiritual symbols. It remains one of the most prominent spiritual symbols in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism, and is found adorning temples and religious shrines throughout Asia.

After its misuse by the Nazis, it became associated with murder and oppression on a scale never before witnessed on this earth. For this reason, in Europe, for many millions, the swastika came to symbolise evil. There arose, as a result of this, a move to ban the swastika.

This website is dedicated to "reclaiming the swastika" - to sharing information that reveals its long and varied history and the spiritually deep meaning that underlies it. For, if we allow the swastika to remain forever distorted, then those responsible will have won.
So if you used this picture (from the above website I may add) to depict America as a deeply spiritual country, then I guess I agree with you.

68.5.2008 15:21

$110 Million judgement against a bankrupt corp. A very phyrric victory. But the MPAA will no doubt tout this one up as Lou Kang (from the movie "Mortal Kombat") would say

"A Flawless Victory"


"The flimsier the product,the higher the price"
Ferengi 82nd rule of aqusition


78.5.2008 20:29

Originally posted by iluvendo:
$110 Million judgement against a bankrupt corp. A very phyrric victory. But the MPAA will no doubt tout this one up as Lou Kang (from the movie "Mortal Kombat") would say

"A Flawless Victory"
So, shouldn't the media also publish a story about how fruitless this really is? The MPAA spent money on its legal staff, didn't get any money in return, shut down TorrentSpy only to be replaced by another version quickly after (can't name one yet, but I'm sure it's coming). These media companies should just quit, and spend a little more time doing quality assurance on their products.

88.5.2008 21:57

Quote:
It's fair to say that neither side is being completely honest. While it's true the jugement wasn't based on the merits of the MPAA's piracy claim, it's hard to imagine any other outcome after they were found to have destroyed evidence and lied under oath last year.
This did not help their cause. I would have to say torrentspy shot themselves in the foot by doing this.

Quote:
There are many lessons to be learned from the TorrentSpy case, not the least of which is the inherent danger of giving the courts control over technology they don't understand. But perhaps equally important is that defying the judge is a quick path to losing in court.
This sums it up quite nicley :) Torrentspy was a great site but really needed to cover their tracks. Let this be a lesson for the other sites out there and any other potential sites that want to go down this path, think twice.

99.5.2008 3:33

How did the movie companies lose $110 million to piracy? Piracy isnt even affecting movies. Such a fucking joke.

Originally posted by varnull:



One day they will lose!

that is the indian version as the person said above.
if you wanted this to work it has to be on like a 30 degree angle.

109.5.2008 13:05

Originally posted by pensfan12:
How did the movie companies lose $110 million to piracy? Piracy isnt even affecting movies. Such a fucking joke.
well to be fair and speak the truth....... actually is affecting movies directly , and from the time that net connections become faster, movies got a hit, thats true.
As they say, if there wasn't any net file sharing, then you would have to Download it "legally" or rent it or buy it, and before that is
Cinema that gets in the way, they are loosing tickets,
cause movies are released to the net before even got released to the cinema, for some country's we are talking about months before they hit the big screen.

To be fair now, they have their rights.

Read this, Posted by Ruy77(as you can see) few days ago.
Originally posted by ruy77:

You can not blame the production studios for wanting to protect their content. If you lived in a high crime area, would you want contents insurance for your home? I know that this scenario isn't directly comparable but you do need to consider the position of these production studios. Let's think about this for a minute and imagine a future where piracy continued to rise and studios kept losing money. Eventually will come a time where no money can be made from this industry at all. So either we will see advertisement ridden media or there will be almost nothing of quality on offer.

I don't know about you but this isn't the future that I want to see

119.5.2008 13:11

MPAA, what a farce.

129.5.2008 15:41
nobrainer
Inactive

Originally posted by SDF_GR:

well to be fair and speak the truth....... actually is affecting movies directly , and from the time that net connections become faster, movies got a hit, thats true.
As they say, if there wasn't any net file sharing, then you would have to Download it "legally" or rent it or buy it, and before that is
Cinema that gets in the way, they are loosing tickets,
cause movies are released to the net before even got released to the cinema, for some country's we are talking about months before they hit the big screen.

To be fair now, they have their rights.

Read this, Posted by Ruy77(as you can see) few days ago.
Originally posted by ruy77:

You can not blame the production studios for wanting to protect their content. If you lived in a high crime area, would you want contents insurance for your home? I know that this scenario isn't directly comparable but you do need to consider the position of these production studios. Let's think about this for a minute and imagine a future where piracy continued to rise and studios kept losing money. Eventually will come a time where no money can be made from this industry at all. So either we will see advertisement ridden media or there will be almost nothing of quality on offer.

I don't know about you but this isn't the future that I want to see


wow, just wow, drm is a global price fixing tool that has been forced on us all.

i'm sorry but what you quoted and stated sounds just like the MPAA/RIAA rhetoric.

they use DRM to tighten control so we have to pay to transfer media from one device to another, we are blocked from watching movies from another country via region coding DRM because its cheaper to import them, have to purchase our music via legal stores in our own territory because the RIAA, sony and co want to charge varying amounts and force credit card region locks on shops to price fix, don't want to be locked into subscription based services as when the company decides to shut off its DRM check servers we are force to purchase all our media again because of DRM.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 09 May 2008 @ 15:48

139.5.2008 16:24

Quote:
Originally posted by SDF_GR:

well to be fair and speak the truth....... actually is affecting movies directly , and from the time that net connections become faster, movies got a hit, thats true.
As they say, if there wasn't any net file sharing, then you would have to Download it "legally" or rent it or buy it, and before that is
Cinema that gets in the way, they are loosing tickets,
cause movies are released to the net before even got released to the cinema, for some country's we are talking about months before they hit the big screen.

To be fair now, they have their rights.

Read this, Posted by Ruy77(as you can see) few days ago.
Originally posted by ruy77:

You can not blame the production studios for wanting to protect their content. If you lived in a high crime area, would you want contents insurance for your home? I know that this scenario isn't directly comparable but you do need to consider the position of these production studios. Let's think about this for a minute and imagine a future where piracy continued to rise and studios kept losing money. Eventually will come a time where no money can be made from this industry at all. So either we will see advertisement ridden media or there will be almost nothing of quality on offer.

I don't know about you but this isn't the future that I want to see


wow, just wow, drm is a global price fixing tool that has been forced on us all.

i'm sorry but what you quoted and stated sounds just like the MPAA/RIAA rhetoric.

they use DRM to tighten control so we have to pay to transfer media from one device to another, we are blocked from watching movies from another country via region coding DRM because its cheaper to import them, have to purchase our music via legal stores in our own territory because the RIAA, sony and co want to charge varying amounts and force credit card region locks on shops to price fix, don't want to be locked into subscription based services as when the company decides to shut off its DRM check servers we are force to purchase all our media again because of DRM.

All that can be done if you pay, if you dont want to pay for watching a movie thats your prob, but dont blaim them for wanting to protect their ownership.
I will break up what Ruy77 said.
If a movie costs 100million dollars and they know that they wont get their money back what the reason of making it at all?
Like all industries, and all bussines, movie industries must have profit.

A recent example.
Why do you think they turned every comic to movie?
Cause they have noticed that it sells and sells a lot=profit.
(another reason is that now they can make them, cause all the effects etc)
Now if the comic trend stops, comic movies will stop too.
If high costs budget movies stops to have profit they will stop eventually make them.
Unless they find a way to secure their content.

As you are complaining now about DRM etc, i am sure that with the same way you will start complaining if they start producing crap movies.

and at the bottom of this, how many things you own without paying for them?

Note* i will agree with you tho, that if you got shot-dead by a policeman, your family will get way-way less than $110mils.

149.5.2008 17:02

I'll be the first to admit, the USA is F...up in a lot of ways; a lot! But to compare it to the Nazis, dishonors the 11 million people who were slaughtered under hitler's rule.

159.5.2008 19:17

Mpaa has no shame. They beat the dog down that was already on it's last leg. I bet TS will fight this and it will get tossed out the window. Cat's game.

169.5.2008 19:21

If you seen the flic Vendetta, then you've seen the United States. And im right in the middle of it.

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