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DVDR-Core owner set to stand up to MPAA

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 16 Mar 2005 7:01 User comments (13)

DVDR-Core owner set to stand up to MPAA Alexander Hanff got a bit of a nasty shock last Saturday morning when he opened his front door only to be served with a lawsuit by Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal City Studios and Warner Bros. The movie studios claim that he ran a BitTorrent hub where he made it possible for P2P users to download and share copyrighted movies with each other. In case you've been away for about the past four months, you probably are familiar with action taken by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) against several BitTorrent sites.
However, this situation is a little different. For example, he was served with a lawsuit by major Hollywood studios at his home in England on a Saturday morning. He also never administered the site, just paid for it. A group of online friends ran the site, and he has never even met one of them in person. Also, he has no plans in backing down and taking a beating from the studios, he plans to fight this battle.

"I am certainly not going to settle for anything that will compromise my integrity or the integrity of our members," Hanff said. "They can bankrupt me. I don't own a house, so they can't take it. I own a few guitars that they can have and an old inkjet printer. It's a waste of their time and of my time." He believes that BitTorrent hubs should be treated the same as P2P networks, which are generally considered legal. On a BitTorrent hub, there are no pirated files, only .torrent files which can be used along with a BitTorrent client to locate other BT users who can share the files with you.

It's also worth pointing out that BitTorrent is in fact completely legal software, as well as the many clients that have been written to use its technology also. BitTorrent is used for enormous amounts of legitimate purposes, such as distributing Open Source software at very low cost, which pretty much any BitTorrent hub is capable of doing. Hanff believes that hubs do pretty much the same thing as search engines do. "Torrent files don't contain any data," Hanff said. "This is a search engine scenario. Why aren't Google, Yahoo or Microsoft getting sued?"

Hanff shut down the site himself in December following the legal action taken on other BitTorrent hubs around the world. "The servers were wiped clean by the administrators," Hanff said. Another thing that upset him about this case is the fact that he never received even one complaint from any of the movie studios. "I never received a complaint, and I took the site down on my own," he said. "Now, three or four months later, I am getting served." The suit was actually filed on December 14th in the District Court for Northern Illinois.

"Though you may currently be located in the United Kingdom, you will be subject to the jurisdiction of the United State federal court by virtue of your engaging in BitTorrent activities through a US Internet Service Provider, among other reasons," the studios said via their lawyers. They claim that the site provided links to thousands of pirated files, many of them movies like "The Bourne Supremacy" and "Big Fish". They threaten to seek anywhere from $750 to $150,000 for each pirated movie that ended up listen on the hub.

There were never any ads on the site so Hanff never even made any money off the hub. He is going to appeal for legal advice and possibly financial support on his site, but is discouraged over the LokiTorrent case where users donated money, but the site didn't last very long. "Loki kind of ruined it for people like me, but I am going to appeal for legal advice on the web site," he said. This will be an interesting fight to watch.

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13 user comments

116.3.2005 8:14

Seriously...haven't we all had enough at the dispicable attacks by the MPAA and RIAA. It seems to me that the only reason as to why they are having such a problem with this, is because...well all can relate to this...controlling and trying to stop something that is NEVER going to happen. Honestly...what next...going to come after people who download free software or trial software, cause they are saying that they keep downloading the same stuff whenever it expires? And so the battle continues....

216.3.2005 12:00

I, for one, have completely ceased supporting anything that might or has some connection to MPAA or RIAA. I don't go see Hollywood movies, I don't buy music. If everyone on this planet would do the same, they probably would realize how stupid their actions are. Quiet resistance is the answer, since all filesharers have already been branded as thiefs and criminals in most countrys. I´ve already inspired 5 of my friends to do the same. You can do it to =) Right?

316.3.2005 12:00

Alexander Hanff, best of luck man, I know you probably won't be able to read this, but, I wish this guy luck. He has guts, I think his quote:

"Torrent files don't contain any data," Hanff said. "This is a search engine scenario. Why aren't Google, Yahoo or Microsoft getting sued?"
should be posted all over the web, as what he said is true, f***in' greedy MPAA, they must be after his old inkjet ;) (as they collect sh** like that :P)

416.3.2005 12:39

Damn right! Like an electronic militia...LOL! I know I won't be buying any music far as movies go...well, lets just say that the movie has to be one of my favorites before I buy it. Other than that.....I keep my secrets to myself! ;)

516.3.2005 13:41

I think his quote should be posted all over the web, as what he said is true, f***in' greedy MPAA, they must be after his old inkjet ;) (as they collect sh** like that :P) Quote:"Torrent files don't contain any data," Hanff said. "This is a search engine scenario. Why aren't Google, Yahoo or Microsoft getting sued?" I will no longer buy music or movies but I will donate my old ink jet printer to the MPAA and RIAA. poor rich F%^$ers

616.3.2005 15:50

f***in' greedy MPAA, they must be after his old inkjet ;)
LOL - I was having a really bad day today until I read this post. It cracks me up just imagining that this was their real motivation.

716.3.2005 18:27

I find these actions quite disgusting and distasteful. The MPAA is acting in a very foolish and wreckless manner, just as the RIAA and is very foolishly alienating its supporters. These people seem to have forgotten that their life depends on consumers. They wouldn't make one damn cent if all of us just said "to hell with them!!" Then they want to come after guys like Hanff who probably didn't cost them nearly as much as it's going to cost him just to fight them off. It's infuriating and I will do my best to make sure they don't get anymore of my money.

816.3.2005 18:29

@nonoitall, I am glad that i could brighten your day :D Have a good day/night everyone. Peace, Pop Smith

917.3.2005 0:04

has anybody ever tried sueing someone, who sued them, for emotional tramutization that occured as a result of the lawsuit against them??? wonder if it'd work.

1017.3.2005 0:10

I can just picture some big evil-looking executive twirling his moustache in an MPAA office with a bunch of other bigshots scheming - "That inkjet will be ours and when it is we shall rule the world! Oh, and we can give... er... SELL the guitars to our good friends at the RIAA."

1117.3.2005 2:56

I´m not sure what the point of this is anyway, i am no legal expert but even if they win the case against him (presumably to be heard in the states where you can sue someone for smiling at you) , it wouldn´t be enforceable unless he steps foot on US territory. Or am i missing something here ? The fact that he took down the site voluntarily before they served him papers is a huge hole in their prosecution.

1217.3.2005 13:03

Hell...I'm traumatized over this blasted article... ;)

1328.8.2005 0:30

Lets really think about this hmm we are the ones who help these joobs sue us..... in that point in mind I am glad I stop buying music yrs ago and movies i buy if any are the $5 walmart and thats once a yrs if that also I pretty much help them out buy saying lower ur damn prices and maybe we might buy more as for music hmm nothing really good so why buy........MPAA/RiAA cry up A river sonner or later you will trash as u treat us cuz no peeps to get no money/ jobs for u and why would anyone need u anymore u fools as for peeps music/ movies will always need us and when those crack head realize that all the work/time spent on this crap would be for nothing .... NO money-No MPAA-NO RIAA Go join Bush u greedy Losers :)

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