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  • Studios Go for Top Kill Against BitTorrent Users

    NOTE: This article provides additional details on the U.S. Copyright Group's mass litigation campaign, including settlement offer details

    If you've been sharing "Far Cry" on BitTorrent, you may be in trouble. We're not talking about your ego that may be in trouble, rather your wallet. Last month, Slyck and just about every other tech rag published news that a massive BitTorrent legal campaign was coming to the US. The law firm behind this campaign, known as the US Copyright Group, represents several smaller entertainment studios that produce hits like "The Hurt Locker" and lesser know sensations like "Far Cry".

    Tens of thousands of John and Jane Doe lawsuits were filed by the US Copyright Group and their affiliates - perhaps as many as 50,000. As part of the John Doe process, the plaintiffs in the case must first file these lawsuits before they can obtain the identities of the alleged infringers from ISPs. That process has now been complete, as alleged file-sharers have been identified and are now receiving monetary demands.

    Thus far, the monetary demands seem limited to "Far Cry", but we're expecting other plaintiffs in this campaign, namely those behind "Hurt Locker", will soon identify alleged infringers as well. So far, "only" 4,500 individuals are in the process of being identified. We suspect this number could soar to a number close to 50,000 during the summer. That total will completely blow away the total number of monetary demands initiated by the RIAA.

    The monetary demands being sent are very similar in nature to any other copyright infringement notifications sent out over the last 10 years. They identify the individual, name the charge against them (i.e., sharing "Far Cry"), implicate the severity of the offense, and offer a settlement. The letters sent out so far go to great lengths to point out the logic of settling early rather than fight the case; in the letter, the Tenenbaum case in Boston is named, where the defendant currently faces a $680,000 dollar penalty for copyright infringement.

    By comparison, the monetary demand offers a much cheaper way out. If the accused settle by June 11, $1,500 is demanded. If the accused waits around until June 30, then $2,500 is demanded. After that itís show time. The accused will be named as a defendant in a lawsuit and face the extremely difficult task of defending themselves against the charges. This endeavor has ended in epic failure for Joel Tenenbaum and Jamie Thomas, two both tried to beat the RIAA at the copyright lawsuit game. There have been spotty success stories here and there, but we have a feeling this whole deal is going to get real messy.

    Source: Slyck News - Studios Go for Top Kill Against BitTorrent Users

  • #2
    Wow that sucks bigtime for US users...but use seedbox or use more secure private tracker and I grantee you" you are safe"....this think mostly caught those uneducated filesharer who still believe in public trackers....but nor the less it always suck when the Anti piracy agencoes try to race between themselfs like how scene do for Pre-time...it's gonna take many in now..

    but the plan they have of $1,500 first time is gonna be a success cause noone want to go through all legal shit if they can pay much less amount and get there hands clean....NICELY played....

    oh Rellik thx for sharing this gr8 artical ,.....


    <3 to all My friends here and thx to all who helped me..
    I am more awesome than ScottK .


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    • #3
      Honestly, these law suits are getting out of hand. It's clear the motivation is simple greed, not some ethical stand against piracy. If these studios truly believed that piracy was theft, then they should seek to punish people accordingly: seek an appropriate fine for what is stolen. Instead, they're suing people for thousands of dollars in damages. This is money these studios never would have earned in the first place because the people downloading their content never would have paid for it, regardless if it was pirated or not. The answer to fighting piracy is simple: make better content and sell it cheaper! People know a bargain when they see one and are more than willing to pay for it!

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      • #4
        This ball is getting bigger and bigger... I'm a bit curious about how big this will get.. I think it may suggest that the studios are seeing a solid ROI, with this tragedy. We can expect more and more studio's to jump aboard..

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        • #5
          Originally posted by CanO'Chili View Post
          Honestly, these law suits are getting out of hand. It's clear the motivation is simple greed, not some ethical stand against piracy. If these studios truly believed that piracy was theft, then they should seek to punish people accordingly: seek an appropriate fine for what is stolen. Instead, they're suing people for thousands of dollars in damages. This is money these studios never would have earned in the first place because the people downloading their content never would have paid for it, regardless if it was pirated or not. The answer to fighting piracy is simple: make better content and sell it cheaper! People know a bargain when they see one and are more than willing to pay for it!
          My view is that the U.S. Copyright Group consortium is suing people for thousands of dollars because that's what copyright law allows (statutory damages in lieu of actual damages). The difference between this litigation campaign and the failed RIAA efforts is that the primary purpose of these lawsuits is to monetize illegal file sharing. Deterring file sharing might be a welcome side benefit, but the U.S. Copyright Group is shopping its services primarily as a revenue generator to film producers and studios.

          The producers of Hurt Locker blame illegal downloading for the meager box office of that movie and signed on with the USCG expressly for revenue purposes. The USCG has new technology that will allegedly help overcome some of the issues with the RIAA's lawsuits (e.g., capturing an IP address does not mean you have proved illegal filesharing). Of course, the vast majority of people sued will simply settle rather than face a potentially ruinous verdict. Just some rough justice math (50000 people X $1500, split 70% USCG and 30% studios) and you can see the appeal to the studios.

          As for your last point, I am aware of various studies coming to different conclusions with respect to illegal file sharing, but I guarantee you that every film producer and studio believe that you cannot compete with "free" as a content price point and therefore reject that thesis.

          As I've said in similar threads about the USCG, if you are in the U.S., stay off public trackers and keep your home IP out of the BT swarm. Turning to Usenet for your movie needs might also be a sensible move for the time being.

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          • #6
            I'm slightly worried about this whole hurt locker thing myself.

            I did in fact download the Hurt Locker and it was probably from Pirate Bay. Though I did at least wait until it came out in 720p or 1080p so I'm hoping they were mainly looking for the first people who downloaded it in the "cam" type versions.

            But since then I have learned to only deal with private trackers to at least help with that. Then one of these days I'll probably get a seedbox for an added level of security.

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            • #7
              I grabbed Hurt Locker from piratebay as well, but only fairly recently, so I probably missed the cut, so to speak.

              Also, I haven't been able to find any specific details on this, but i'm assuming they're only looking at U.S. based IPs? I'm assuming they're not going to try to sue a resident of another country, but you never know....

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              • #8
                You two should run verry far.
                That's probably the place they were watching.
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                Commanded by none, yet commended by the Gods. Possessing strength that would make Muhammad Ali cower.
                He is the embodiment of swag, with infinitely more charm and allure than any mere mortal. He is...
                The Exalted

                The Greatest Tutorials Known To Man

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                • #9
                  has there been any cases of an individual being sued after downloading something from a private tracker (not demonoid) and using a seedbox?
                  has anyone that has used a seedbox been sued or received a warning?
                  apart from using private trackers and seedboxes, what else can we do to further protect ourselves?

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                  • #10
                    closest i found was an admin at a private danish tracker getting busted.
                    BitTorrent Site Admin Hit With $262K ‘Bill’ By Anti-Piracy Group | TorrentFreak

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                    • #11
                      Ok so i live in the US but i use private trackers for basically all of my downloads and only sparingly use demonoid. Beyond using a seedbox can anyone suggest some security measures i could try and take to protect myself as i have not been in the BT world long and am not a computer genius by any stretch of the imagination. Also should i worry about this if i am not using public trackers?

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                      • #12
                        I have been using private bittorrent for about 5 years now, public before that and in all this time i got 1 letter and it was for dl'in alexander off a public bt site. Before August I had never heard of a seedbox so I used my home computer and nothing happened to me. I am currently using a seedbox and feel that this does offer me enough protection, at least until later this week when the government here in canada tries to push a copyright law through. If you are still worried, then there are direct dl sites (the ones where people post RS and MU links) and this thread here at TI: http://www.torrent-invites.com/seedb...x-privacy.html

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