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back to article US authorities shutdown websites accused of movie piracy

US feds and customs officials shut down seven websites yesterday, for allegedly hosting pirated copies of popular Hollywood films and TV shows. The net seizures came just one week after the White House announced its enforcement plan for confronting theft of intellectual property. US authorities have accused (pdf) the sites of …

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Anonymous Coward

so that's the piracy problem solved then

no one will ever be able to download Toy Story 3 again.

lunch?

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Freetards

You are never going to eliminate piracy until the motion picture industry compromises too. The Sonny Bono copyright extension act extends the copyright of movies to 120 years. That allows the motion picture industry to have almost infinite copyright protection. That is not right folks. If this were applies to the entire patent industry, generic drugs would be eliminated instantly! The copyright laws were passed to protect works of art. But with the infinite copyright laws as they stand, most less than popular movies will be buried forever as the motion picture industry views them as not worth the effort to re-release.

As far as software is concerned, copyrights have been only recently created. When I started as a computer programmer/ analyst in the 60's, code was thought to be un-copyrightable. Through efforts by monopoly software development firms, that was changed. Indeed, you, in theory, don't even own the copy of Windows that you are using, but you only have a license..

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FAIL

WTF

"Six of the websites were described by the attorney’s office as “linking” sites that give access to portals where “pirated movies and television programs are stored”.

Is this guy related to our old friend Senator Conroy?

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Stop

Double Standards

Six of the websites were described by the attorney’s office as “linking” sites that give access to portals where “pirated movies and television programs are stored”.

So when does Google get shut down?

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No double standard

They are just obeying the first tenet of American jurisprudence - Innocent until proven contrary to the interests of the highest-paying lobbyist.

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Sigh...

Google, Bing et al will remove links to copyright content, if requested to do so by the rights holder. They also do not solely exist to link to copyright content. If you operate a site which is solely (or mainly) to link to copyright content and don't respond to takedown requests, sooner or later you're going to end up in some sort of legal trouble.

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FAIL

Freedom of speech?

Providing people information on where to go should they wish to break the law is not, and should not be, illegal. Breaking the law is, by definition, breaking the law. Providing information to allow an adult the option of breaking a law is free speech.

Fecking yanks can't even understand their own First Amendment.

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WTF?

Wait a second...

'“Criminal copyright infringement occurs on a massive scale over the internet, and reportedly results in billions of dollars in losses to the US economy. That translates into lost jobs and real hardships for ordinary working people,” said US attorney Preet Bharara, in justifying the action.'

"Criminal copyright infringement"?? Sorry, I always thought that copyright infringement was a civil offense; not a criminal one, in the U.S.

Guess I was wrong...

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No Electronic Theft Act (NET Act)

Maximum penalties can be five years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NET_Act

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Paris Hilton

Sure ...

"Criminal copyright infringement occurs on a massive scale over the internet, and reportedly results in billions of dollars in losses to the US economy. That translates into lost jobs and real hardships for ordinary working people," said US attorney Preet Bharara.

If you believe that claptrap, then I weep for you. Paris Hilton will call you stupid, which is not an honor. The real cause of loss of billions of dollars in losses to the US economy is the sorry movies Hollywood keeps producing. Garbage in, garbage out. But we live in a world where a person cannot blame themselves. This is how the movie execs are thinking: People aren't seeing our movies. We are perfect and never make a bad movie. Since all our movies are good, piracy is to blame for lost revenue.

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Err...

If the movies are so bad, why pirate them in the first place?

Seriously: If you want to send a message to the movie industry about their lamentable output, don't pirate their movies! They see a pirated movie as a lost sale, if you add up the sales and lost sales, their output seems very popular. If people didn't pirate movies they weren't prepared to pay for because they're not good enough, the movie industry may well look at their output and may possibly improve it.

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Here we go again...

When - for the life of me please tell me when - they will learn that claiming "billions of lost sales" does not equate to their bottom lines?

As many others have said over the years, if (hmmm) I were to ever "pirate" anything, it's because I want to see/hear what it is like before I waste by hard-earned on forking over for a DVD/CD/BR etc. that 99.9% of the time is crap.

If they want to bolster their revenues then why not try producing some original material instead of countless sequels, re-imaginings, remakes or whatever else.

The music and film industries are so bereft of creative talent that they probably deserve to be thinned out (starting with the major labels and studios).

I would say, not too cynically, that those labels/studios do not want to see the end of piracy as the figures they are trying to claim represent a much better/greater revenue stream than bums on seats in cinemas and CD/DVD/BR sales from retail outlets.

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Anonymous Coward

@Alien Dr

"If they want to bolster their revenues then why not try producing some original material instead of countless sequels, re-imaginings, remakes or whatever else."

Absolutely - no more fucking good vs. evil films. That theme has been done to death, different actors, different scenes, but all the same story.

We all know the ending - good triumphs. Who'd a thunk? Entertain us, don't just flash beautiful people and gratuitous violence across a screen and expect us to enjoy it again and again and again. Oh wait, there is a huge audience of dullards for that crap.

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FAIL

Re: Here we go again...

At least they had the decency to qualify it by saying 'reportedly'. But that kind of renders it hearsay doesn't it?

Do you really watch a film and then buy the DVD/BD though? I don't usually watch a film more than once, I just pirate to get content for free. I quite enjoy most of what I download too, I wouldn't say 99.9% of it is crap, just vastly overpriced. So, in my case, it won't do them any good to innovate their material. I think they should be looking at innovating their distribution channels and pricing models.

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Not just try before buy

Some are just cheap. They will watch it for free, but there is no way they are going to pay $10 for a movie ticket (more for the latest 3D fad), $10 for some flat watered down pop and over salted popcorn.

If they had a magic button that would block all movie bootlegs it would not cause sales of theatre tickets and DVDs to jump by millions of dollars (forget billions). Some of the less hyped movies might even go down.

The "each download = the loss of the full SRP" is crap.

The 'everyone is hurt, your going to lose your job, there will be no milk for your baby" stuff is crap. It's not magic money, people have a fixed amount and it will be spent some place else.

The number of downloads claimed is crap. They pull a number out of their ass, then multiply by 10.

Crap^3

I find it hard to feel sorry for them.

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Courts ?

Do they still have courts over there in the Colony ?

Or have they gone back to hangin' 'em fer jus' lookin' a-shifty ?

You remember courts, those places where people were innocent until proven guilty.

Oh wait .....

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FAIL

What a joke

And a huge waste of taxpayer money. My favourite line was this one:

“Criminal copyright infringement occurs on a massive scale over the internet, and reportedly results in billions of dollars in losses to the US economy. That translates into lost jobs and real hardships for ordinary working people,” said US attorney Preet Bharara, in justifying the action.

First of all, it doesn't result in billions of dollars - the simple reason is that if you can't pirate, you won't see the movie at all, and fewer people will be talking about it.

Who in the fuck are they trying to kid? Ordinary working people? Since when does profit flow to ordinary working people? These studio bastards wouldn't give 1 penny to ordinary working people if they didn't have to.

What a crock of shit.

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crock of shit yourself

There is an army of working people involved with the entertainment industry. Not all of them are highly paid actors, producers, and executives. The design and manufacturing software that my company creates is used by small job shops in America to design and create props and costumes for the films. The equipment like swords and armour used in LoR was specially designed and made by CNC machinists, not to mention the ordinary people working away in the background writing software algorithms for the CGI special effects.

You really need to either get your head from out of your arse or shove it a bit further on up there to better muffle your moronic opinions.

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FAIL

Oh puh-lease

....So the CNC machinists for LoR's didn't get paid because of copyright theft? Are they missing meals and going on the governent dime to pay the bills? Cry me a river.

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Unhappy

Not AGAIN!??!

ThePirateCity.org is already owned by the DHS, but some of the other are still registered to companies in other parts of the world (notably, china). Does that mean that US laws now apply worldwide? Or does that just meant that it is time to remove the US from the DNS system for "getting way out of hand"?

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FAIL

Effectiveness debatable

Two sites are already back up with a slightly different URL - apparently hosted on the Antarctica?? (If their IP is any indication.)

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Stop

Which 2...

...pray tell?

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Pirate

These:

Movies-Links and TVShack. I won't post the links, they are easy enough to find on other news sites.

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Anonymous Coward

blah

I dont condone piracy, but it seems that each blockbuster that comes out costs millions and makes milions... and its the big films they make such a bruhaha over... I dont see the current impact of piracy there... also movie stars are held at a similar level of contempt as football players are, as afar as hardships are concerned...

I know its not as simple or as clear cut as that, but a lot of piracy is spur of the moment... I know i have watched pirated films that I would have no intention of seeing other wise, but if i have enjoyed them, i may buy (and i have done on several occasions) or be more inclined to see more of that persons work... there is give and take...

im not a total freetard, the blueray collection here is about 60, old dvd's 200 and I make regular use of my orange wednesday... so I think a little soft piracy doesnt hurt anyone!

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I downloaded Chihiro Onisuka from YouTube...

...liked, but couldn't justify €15 for the CD and €35 for postage (from Amazon Japan). Amazon local would punt it for around €40. Finally I found a friend who, for a mite over €20, is going to bring it back from Japan and post it. What a bleedin' palaver!

Shall we start on the other CDs I'd like which are a similar story? But, hey, Chihiro made a little bit of profit from my freetardery; but don't fool yourself. I'm sure the music company made a bunch of yen, but the artist herself? Pennies...

.

I don't suppose it would occur to the studios to release songs for a small fee (as iTunes/Amazon do now) *without* *geographical* *restrictions*; and "acceptable" bitrate XviDs of movies for, say, €3 a download. Would I freetard or would I pay a few euros for a legit download? DRM free, as well, so I can play it as I wish on the device of my choosing. If it is a choice of a few euros for a download, or €18 for a DVD... Hell, most of my recent DVDs have been from the €2.99 stand because, frankly, unless I specifically want it, I just CANNOT justify nearly twenty quid for a single movie. That's, like, four times what it costs to watch it at the cinema. But, hey, when have the media companies ever performed logical mathematics? I bet a lot of effort goes into pitching CDs and DVDs at the "highest price the market will stand".

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Alert

Just a heads up

If your going to buy any DVDs distributed in a foreign country be sure that your DVD player is region 0 and can handle translation between PAL and NTSC video formats. Otherwise you end up with very expensive coasters.

Region code, yet another way the market is controlled by greedy people.

Long live Jon J.!

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Regions?

You know, the USA must be the last place were DVD players come region-locked. Haven't seen a region-locked DVD player in Os since the late-90s (and that includes big-brand names like Sony and Panasonic) - when they realised that people were buying region-free by preference (1), they dropped that little function from the players. And most of them do NTSC/SECAM on PAL TVs these days...

(1) my first DVD player came with instructions on how to switch the region settings, apparently photocopied from an in-house maintenance manual.

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FAIL

Just the domain names?

If they haven't confiscated the servers only the domain name, then it'll be trivial to point another name at the sites IP. DNS 101.

I hope this operation didn't cost lots of money.

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Well the point is

that the servers mostly belong to foreign businesses, and are, well, abroad. So they hijack the DNS, to prevent people fro Uzbekistan to access machines located in China. Because someone broke US law, uder which juridiction no-one was in the first place, but for the DNS overlords.

Which brings us to the conclusion: either US courts have to put their act together, or the rest of the world need to set up an alternate DNS authority. Preferably the latter.

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Black Helicopters

Genuine Question

"That translates into lost jobs and real hardships for ordinary working people," said US attorney Preet Bharara.

____________

How does piracy of movies or TV programs (etc) cause hardships for an ordinary working person? Also, exactly how many people have DIRECTLY lost their jobs due to piracy?

As an ordinary working person the only hardship I face is the sometimes OTT hoops I have to jump through in order to play some of my legally obtained material due to DRM restrictions.

ObDisclaimer: I have no love for pirates and/or freetards - if something is worth 'consuming' it is worth paying for.

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Grenade

Just give us an alternative!

Just give us a website where we can pay $5 to watch any movie online, with no special software, subscription fees, or DRM.

If there were a legal alternative, people wouldn't be stealing. Movie industry, have you learned nothing from the music industry & iTunes?

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I don't really hold with piracy, but...

...I'm still not stupid enough to confuse infringement of intellectual property rights with theft. In fact, if anything, over-zealous use of IP is more like theft than piracy is because the great effect of theft is that it unilaterally restricts use of an item.

Just thought that had to be said rather than allowing the notion to slip under the radar into our global consciousness with lines like the following:

"The net seizures came just one week after the White House announced its enforcement plan for confronting theft of intellectual property."

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Coat

El Reg Missed !

The original AP story said, OH MY GOSH, that some of the sites had posted movies 'just hours after they had been released!!!!!!'

Of course then they didn't have to say ... 'as usual, it still an inside job, no powerful were offended'

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Unhappy

Shame...

...TVshack is down.

they had the best database of links to old episodes of UK and US shows (namely Fawlty Towers, Red Dwarf etc)

I agree with many of the commenters here, how come they close the LINKING sites down when Google gets no problem for linking to the same places...? double standards anyone?!

Ultimately, the videos linked on TVshack were hosted by Tudou (Far Eastern website, maybe Chinese?), megavideo et al.

Although Megavideo is a file locker and frequently removes infringing videos (al a Youtube), Tudou is a dodgy website with poor quality vids but obviously cant be taken down by US authorities as they aren't US-based!

nevermind, there are plenty more of these sites!

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You don't get it

"Tudou is a dodgy website with poor quality vids but obviously cant be taken down by US authorities as they aren't US-based!"

Most of the sites they "took down" are not based in the US. They did not take anything down, they hijacked the DNS entries. Which should make clear for everyone that having a central DNS authority under the control of a single state is bad as it gives a single state complete, absolute power on the intertubes (as the unwashed masses see it). It's especially bad when said state is the worst bully-state on the planet, as is currently the case.

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Anonymous Coward

i have practically stopped watching tv

I now get all of my tv shows from sites like these, on demand when i want to watch it, i can pause, rewind etc, and no advert breaks every 30 seconds. And i get to watch them as soon as they are broadcast, in any country.

The experience is still better than anything offered by tv companies, virgin tv on demand is close, but doesn't have the range available.

When alternatives are available, people will stop doing it, and yes, i do buy a lot of tv shows on dvd, but only when they are released several months later, but until then, i, and many others, will continue to watch tv shows via the net.

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Anonymous Coward

Return my money

Two words: Zombie Nation.

Return my money and I will stop pirating to preview the films first. Until then, get stuffed!

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Anonymous Coward

Not Gone Yet

To all whom are concerned,

Yesterday, a saddening act happened to our community. Ninjavideo.net was seized by the ICE for the illegal distribution of copyright materials. We have lived in the shadow of such action for over two years.

Today, the world has lost a collection of media that many will never be able to access again. Today, we have lost a database which not only shared media, but which introduced people around the world to media which they may not ever have heard of if it were not for Ninjavideo. Today, we have lost a place where media was not restrained by the subscription fee you pay, by the channels available on your meagre little box, or by international boundaries.

Americans have lost the ability to watch BBC documentaries once again. Brits have lost the ability to watch American sitcoms without waiting and having to pay extra. The rest of the world has lost the ability to watch programs not filtered by their countries’ respective tastes, choices, or budget limitations. Today, we have lost a friend.

We have lost the ability to search for new experiences without having to pay for the freedom. The entertainment industry is the one who deserves the privilege of our attention. We should be able to choose what to support before we give it money. You are again forcing us to pay for the freedom to browse before we buy. And many of us buy. And many more of us would buy if we were able.

Yet ability, nor care, nor freedom is in this equation.

We, as loyal fans, as dedicated artists and commentors, as consumers of your best and despisers of your worst, should be free to give when we are able and willing, and not be subjugated when you are able and unwilling.

Listen to our voice, our manifesto, our hopes and dreams for a future where music is given, as Radiohead have shown us, where films are shown, as London Free Film shows us, and where TV has no boundaries, as The Daily Show allows.

Please, take a moment to listen to us.

We have taken more than enough of our time listening to you.

Manifesto mp3: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=CCKTBMS0

Manifesto PDF: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=UEROOBGG

Spread the word.

With utmost sincerity,

The NinjaVideo Community

For it is in giving that we receive.

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Silver badge

@Here we go again...

but every Hollywood movie loses millions of $ (even Forrest Gump, Spiderman and LotR all made a loss)

So stopping this industry would save the US economy billions of $ - close Hollywood now

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Anonymous Coward

In what world do you live?

The movies you cite (and, indeed, most big Holliwood productions these days) covered their budget in the first week (two dys for Spiderman). And went on to make millions in profit. And that's not counting all the surrounding market (action figures, T-shirts, etc).

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Gates Horns

Dunno

@LINCARD1000 Thats the thing, they can't seriously count money lost on a download. If the person wasn't willing to pay to watch it, what makes them think they would have paid to watch it if it wasn't available to download. if piracy was 0% they would still find excuses to fire people, so the lost job excuse is B.S.

Its more about control if the movie companies could completely stop piracy, including DRMing legit movies so you u cant make backups for example. They will either charge A LOT more for movies and/or change the model to where you pay the same price(or more) for movies but its only a rental(time based, look up original DivX from circuit city)

I don't condone piracy, but they have greater injustices in the USA that get ignored(BP, gas companies poisoning the water supply etc)

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@AC - Dunno

Heh, I guess my questions were more rhetorical than anything. People who generally pirate would typically not have paid anyway - you are quite right. I was going to ask another question of what would happen if suddenly people stopped pirating material... would the studios etc remove the DRM or lower prices? No, I suspect not - self-answering question, really :-)

And yes - there are much worse things happening that deserve more attention than poor little rich-boys only making 50 billion instead of 51 billion bucks.

Now if you will excuse me, I shall go back to quietly sobbing into my keyboard at the usual corporations getting away with murder as they not only rape the consumer, but the environment as well :-(

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Thumb Down

Polished dog turds

Hollywood produces a lot of shiny crap.

But it's still crap.

Will "Hancock" Smith I'm looking at you!

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Silver badge

Only billions ?

The losses are now counted in mere billions ?

Not tens of billions, or hundreds of billions, just billions.

Less than 10, then.

So, things are getting better.

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Terminator

Interesting statistics.

The court PDF contains interesting statistics.

“The American motion picture and television industries employ approximately 2.4 million people, to whom the industries pay over $140 billion in wages yearly. “

That’s an average salary of 58,333, given the high salaries that some of the high rollers earn, the average salary in the motion picture and television industries must be fairly shit. This explains the quality of some of the ‘merkin TV and films I’ve had the misfortune to see recently.

“The U.S. economy loses an estimated $25.6 billion per year, and an estimated 375,000 jobs per year, to criminal copyright infringement.”

That’s 6,667 per job!!! FFS that not a job that slavery!!!!

Maybe these people can't afford to buy their own product. I’m beginning to see a pattern.

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FAIL

back again

http://tvshack.cc/

apparently the internets don't belong to the FBI just yet.

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