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Old 05-08-2008, 02:17 PM   #31
Razi
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Of importance , does Torrentspy have $110m - did they charge for these downloads - or was it all paid for by adverts .
If the latter , then aren't the advertisers liable too ?
So these sites adverstise stuff and charge for it. I read on this board that Demonoid put up music by unsigned or independent bands and shareware etc. Can't they prove that they are in the business of facilitating access to independent artists and advertisement for whatever (as long as it is legal) and some 'rogue users' (read pirates) make wrong use of their facilities. But then they are not Sony Corp whose video recorder was exempt from such law on similar grounds. Talk about double standards. Why do Sony get away with everything? Yeah catch the small fish and we have people here who are happy at this development. You can't protect the small fish, rest assured the net would reach everybody, including the big fish. Where will all this stop?
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Old 05-08-2008, 03:04 PM   #32
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If I understood the case right, they didn't get convicted on base of file-sharing but because they destroyed the evidence (server logs). No?
I think they were convicted for facilitating illegal activity, and fined according to the max allowed penalty because of their destroying their records.

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Can't they prove that they are in the business of facilitating access to independent artists and advertisement for whatever (as long as it is legal) and some 'rogue users' (read pirates) make wrong use of their facilities.
Judging by the court's decision, obviously not: They clearly felt the primary purpose of TorrentSpy was to facilitate the illegal sharing of copywritten works, hence their decision.

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But then they are not Sony Corp whose video recorder was exempt from such law on similar grounds. Talk about double standards.
There is a point there... the VCR was clearly considered by the courts of the day to be primarily a home use device, as opposed to an intentional copyright infringement device. It also did not equal film in quality, and did not easily lend itself to mass-copying in high quality, so it presented less of a threat to studios.

(Maybe that's why VCRs are being slowly but surely phased out of use by the manufacturers, to be replaced by DVDs and technology they can more easily track and control... if they figure out how, that is.)

But that's all old news. Times have changed, and so has the ability to more easily copy and distribute others' works in high-quality formats. The latest laws (and penalties) seem to reflect that reality. And I think the artificially high penalties are a result of the novelty of it all, and a lack of more sensible precedents.
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Old 05-08-2008, 03:05 PM   #33
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The problem is, torrent search sites aren't in the business of facilitating legal transactions, those are at best a smokescreen for their real business of facilitating piracy.

Note too that nobody is saying that BitTorrent should be prosecuted, which would be the closest parallel with the Sony VCR case. Because there are plenty of legal uses for torrents.

But, like weeding your garden, you have to put the effort into regularly stomping the major offenders in piracy, or else things will get completely out of control.
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Old 05-08-2008, 03:21 PM   #34
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Of importance , does Torrentspy have $110m - did they charge for these downloads - or was it all paid for by adverts .
If the latter , then aren't the advertisers liable too ?
It's not really important to the courts if TorrentSpy has $110M, any more than it would be important if a car thief had $20,000 to buy his own car, or only $20. To the law, a thief is a thief, and they (theoretically) levi punishments according to the act, not the crook's personal resources.

It's not important at all if they charged for the downloads, if they were convicted of facilitating their distribution.

I don't know if TorrentSpy had advertisers or supporters (having never been to the site), but if they did, and the advertisers/supporters knew they were distributing illegal material, then I agree they should be held liable for damages. I also know that in reality it doesn't always work that way.
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Old 05-08-2008, 03:27 PM   #35
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But, like weeding your garden, you have to put the effort into regularly stomping the major offenders in piracy, or else things will get completely out of control.
This, too, has a parallel in the VCR years, when major movie copiers (duplicating and selling hundreds to thousands of illicit copies to the public) would get busted, while authorities turned a blind eye to individuals that copied movies for each other. Keeping the former under control was enough to allow them to ignore the losses from the latter.
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Old 05-08-2008, 03:43 PM   #36
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Does this mean that Google's going to be in trouble when the RIAA discovers that you can do this: "insert song name here" filetype:torrent
?

Considering that TorrentSpy didn't hold any infringing material and merely served links, I wonder what sort of criteria need to be met to be liable for "facilitating" infringement. Are they going to hold telecom companies liable for facilitating the organization of crimes over the phone? Hard to say where to draw the line.. though it was a civil case I suppose, and thus as far as I'm aware, people can be found accountable on flimsier cases.

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Old 05-08-2008, 03:58 PM   #37
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These points have already been made earlier in the thread, Guesser. You may find it useful to read the responses already posted.
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Old 05-08-2008, 04:03 PM   #38
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I saw a bit about it (I did miss your Sony vs. Universal post though) -- I was pointing out the "filetype" feature which fully makes Google into a torrent index. If Google put a single option on their page that said "search torrents" and put the filetype feature to use, it now seems likely that they would be held liable for infringement.

To add something that's perhaps newer, I believe that terms of copyright exclusivity should be shortened. They are needlessly long beyond what would best serve the public interest.

Last edited by Guesser; 05-08-2008 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 05-08-2008, 04:21 PM   #39
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I see little difference between a 1 million dollar fine and a $110 million fine. Both are amounts greater than Torrentspy can pay. That the fine is so large will probably actually harm those who want strong copyright protection as it makes the copyright law seem ridiculous. In addition Torrentspy is one of the few US based sites there are/were and this will have little to no effect on Torrent sites which are no longer U.S. based.
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Old 05-08-2008, 04:25 PM   #40
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Clearly the aim was to force the site operators into bankrupcy. The actual amount of the fine is, to a certain extent, irrelevent. As bankrupts, those people will (assuming it works the same as it does in the UK) for forever barred from being directors of companies, or engaging in many other types of business, will have extreme difficulty getting credit, and experience numerous other financial issues which will be with them for the rest of their lives. It seems an overly-harsh penalty to me.
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Old 05-08-2008, 04:50 PM   #41
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It seems an overly-harsh penalty to me.
Maybe the courts should have simply thrown the owners in jail for a decade or so. Since money isn't really the issue, the perpetrators should simply be incarcerated, leaving it up to them to be "rehabilitated" and eventually reintroduced to a society that accepts that they have paid their debt.

But man, won't those jails be stuffed to the walls...

Actually, community service for a few years (decades?) makes plenty of sense for those guys.
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Old 05-08-2008, 04:53 PM   #42
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This, too, has a parallel in the VCR years, when major movie copiers (duplicating and selling hundreds to thousands of illicit copies to the public) would get busted, while authorities turned a blind eye to individuals that copied movies for each other. Keeping the former under control was enough to allow them to ignore the losses from the latter.
Right, and the same thing has happened with illicit CD and DVD duplicators.

Keep in mind, too, that while there are some big players in the multimedia content industries, there are also a lot of small guys who are just scraping by, and really feel the sting of piracy. Most musicians, writers and artists fall into this category. They don't make enough money to do it full time.
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Old 05-08-2008, 05:18 PM   #43
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Clearly the aim was to force the site operators into bankrupcy. The actual amount of the fine is, to a certain extent, irrelevent. As bankrupts, those people will (assuming it works the same as it does in the UK) for forever barred from being directors of companies, or engaging in many other types of business, will have extreme difficulty getting credit, and experience numerous other financial issues which will be with them for the rest of their lives. It seems an overly-harsh penalty to me.
Harry, the bankruptcy laws on this side of the pond are less long-term draconian. Ten years eliminated most (not all) of the limitations. RSE
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Old 05-08-2008, 10:14 PM   #44
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Well if these artists are good at their craft they will succeed. If not they should keep the "full time job" that they already have. Actually, P2P, YOUtube and torrent sites have helped quite a few unknown artists become famous and land a contract with a major label. There are also a lot of ordinary people scraping by and enjoying the benefits of file sharing. The record industry sold overpriced CDs for years and now the consumer is getting even. The industry did not adapt to a new paradigm. So they have suffered until they followed they way of Ipod and Emusic.

Will the Movie and Publishing industry follow the same course. Maybe so. But, charging a site millions of dollars in penalties does not solve the crime; it only shows the Movie Industries ineptitude and weakness. Yet, They still make millons of dollars at the box office each week. What a crock.






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Right, and the same thing has happened with illicit CD and DVD duplicators.

Keep in mind, too, that while there are some big players in the multimedia content industries, there are also a lot of small guys who are just scraping by, and really feel the sting of piracy. Most musicians, writers and artists fall into this category. They don't make enough money to do it full time.
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Old 05-09-2008, 01:12 AM   #45
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I don't know if TorrentSpy had advertisers or supporters (having never been to the site), but if they did, and the advertisers/supporters knew they were distributing illegal material, then I agree they should be held liable for damages. I also know that in reality it doesn't always work that way.
Well let's take a magical ride down the WAYBACK Machine and have a look http://web.archive.org/web/200601062...orrentspy.com/

Yep looks like they had advertisers (PC WORLD is one) and sold shirts too! I say they ought to sue anybody wearing clothes...which is why I am now officially naked!
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