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Punishments For Pirates > Downloaders Beware (Lawsuits)

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message 1: by Rowena, Group Owner (last edited Jun 12, 2010 03:38AM) (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 685 comments Mod
The US Copyright Group (USCG) sues scores of downloaders, and obliges them to travel to Washington to defend themselves.


asking judges in Washington, D.C., to deny attempts by
the U.S. Copyright Group (USCG) to lump scores of people as defendants into copyright infringement cases. The USCG has stacked the deck against the defendants by requiring all of them to defend these cases in Washington, D.C., regardless of where they actually live.

EFF has long been concerned that some attorneys would
attempt to create a business out of mass copyright
lawsuits, shaking settlements out of innocent people who aren't in a position to raise legitimate defenses. EFF is asking the court to step in now and force USCG to follow the rules that apply in all other cases.

For the full press release and link to the amicus brief:

......end of quote...............

I wonder what "legitimate defenses" there are against copyright infringement.

Ignorance, perhaps?


A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
ISSN 1062-9424


Reproduction of this publication in electronic media
is encouraged. Signed articles do not necessarily
represent the views of EFF. To reproduce signed articles individually, please contact the authors for their express permission.

Press releases and EFF announcements & articles may be
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message 2: by Brenna (new)

Brenna Lyons (BrennaLyons) | 93 comments Mod
I can't say what is a legitimate excuse in their eyes. In other cases, ignorance is no excuse.

Perhaps that they already own the paper copy and were trying to get an ebook copy to carry on a trip? THAT might be acceptable if you are downloading, but uploading would stop you cold there.

As far as being told they'd been sold resell rights, I don't think that should fly, since the law for physical goods has already established receiving and reselling stolen goods or counterfeit goods.


message 3: by Rowena, Group Owner (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 685 comments Mod
Maybe, Brenna, but in this case, it's about "Movie downloading".


message 4: by Brenna (new)

Brenna Lyons (BrennaLyons) | 93 comments Mod
But you can own a DVD and want to load a copy on the iPod you're taking on the plane or something. You get the idea...roughly. That's the only defense that MIGHT fly for a downloader, since there was a legitimate purchase somewhere of the item. Beyond that, I can't think of one.


message 5: by Rowena, Group Owner (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 685 comments Mod

This suit bears watching, because it will create a precedent one way or another.

I know that there are publishers of ebooks who are convinced that suing downloaders is the only way to stop piracy.

I've never publicly advocated taking readers to court.

One of the reasons I started this group is to try and help avoid that sort of thing... to educate book lovers so they don't get into a position where they get sued, or have their lives and dream careers ruined by a lawsuit, a conviction, a judgment or by expulsion from their university or college or school.

If the plaintiffs prevail, that's going to be good business for the airlines serving Washington and for the hotels in the neighborhood.

Who'd be on your dream jury for such a case, Brenna? (Remember, the case is in Washington)

message 6: by Brenna (new)

Brenna Lyons (BrennaLyons) | 93 comments Mod
To be honest, I don't think there is any way to get a proper jury, these days. The whittling down of the juries take any possible "jury of your peers" away. The prosecution doesn't want jurors that will sympathize. The defense doesn't want anyone with a stake in the situation.

Technically speaking, I think someone like me would be the perfect juror for this sort of case, since I'd insert common sense into a decision, but that will never happen. One look at me being an author, and the defense would have me booted on the assumption that I'd automatically go for the throat.

I'd love to advocate and stop this from happening, too. The problem? There are 7 types of pirates in the world, and only one type would be educated and back off from what they are doing so as not to ruin their lives. And that's considering I am extremely reasonable about access and incidental sharing, which some authors are not. The other 6 types are intent on doing what they do, so nothing I do is going to stop those ones.

I'm here for the one type that want to know. The rest don't want to hear anything I have to say.


message 7: by Rowena, Group Owner (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 685 comments Mod
Personally, I favor a form of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

I don't go searching pirate sites looking for trouble.

However, if they tell the world via Twitter or Google Alert or Facebook or public blogs or yahoogroups or auction sites etc (directly or indirectly) that they are "sharing" ebooks, then I'm going to attempt to educate them, or at least to point out that what they are doing is against the law and that I do not condone their activities.

Astatalk crossed the line, in my opinion, when they added global "Share This" functionality. That was malicious and stupid and showed intent... and a political agenda.

They should have stayed below the radar.

message 8: by Joe (new)

Joe Vadalma (JoeVadalma) | 25 comments Mod
Rowena, I think your sympathy is misplaced. These uploaders and downloaders know darn well that they are breaking the law and hurting authors and publishers. You can tell from their posts that they are not ignorant of what they are doing. They deserve whatever punishment they get. The ebook publishing industry should do what the music and movie industries have done and start lawsuits against the copyright infringers, especially those who do it on a wholesale level.

message 9: by Jon (new)

Jon (jon_michaelsen) | 8 comments Here, here!

message 10: by Rowena, Group Owner (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 685 comments Mod
Germany is going after "FREETARDS".

message 11: by L.J. (new)

L.J. DeLeon (LJDeLeon) | 27 comments Now that just breaks my heart. NOT!

message 12: by Rowena, Group Owner (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 685 comments Mod

Some people believe with a passion that downloading is legal, and that if they pay $800 for a computer, somehow, magically, authors are compensated for the content used on that computer.

The NYT closed the discussion pretty swiftly.

message 13: by Larry (new)

Larry Moniz (larrymoniz) | 57 comments Yes, and some people have believed sacrificing virgins to their gods was a good thing. Even Timothy Leary believed LSD was legal. All he succeeded in doing was frying his brain. If I pay for a cab ride across Manhattan, do I then have unlimited free use of the taxi?

message 14: by Rowena, Group Owner (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 685 comments Mod
... or of the taxi driver? :-)

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