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A BitTorrent admin convicted of uploading movie files is being forced to ditch Linux if he wants to use his PC. Scott McCausland (AKA sk0t), the ex-admin of the EliteTorrents BitTorrent tracker, was sentenced to five months imprisonment after he confessed to uploading copies of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith just …

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vee have vays of punishing you....

...although the chap who talks about dongling constraints surely has more to worry about.

Obviously the solution would be to simply pull his net connection. Whatever OS he has, he can't get up to much offline.

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Law

WTF?????

WTF?!

That rich brat Nicole Richie gets slapped rist for driving the wrong way down a motorway while high and drunk....... yet somebody uploads a film and he is forced to get in to bed with satan (windoze), jail time (??) and have his privacy ripped away from him!! I seriously don't get the legal system.... it used to protect people, now it just protects companies! I would scoff at the american legal system, but ours is barely any better!

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Copyright is socialistic

"When are any of you going to understand in any capitalist system property rights are absolutely fundamental to the whole scam."

When you buy a DVD, that disc is *your* property. Individual property rights would imply that you can do whatever you want with your property, including make more copies. Under copyright law, a DVD is not private property.

"There is no common ownership and therefore protecting private property is crucial."

Technically, copyright is not property, but a government-enforced monopoly. When you have something that is not inherently scarce, ownership of that thing is nothing but an artificial construct designed to siphon off more money to people who already have too much.

"In fairness, he stole a $150 million picture made and financed by an independent film-maker."

No, I'm pretty sure Lucasfilm and Fox both still have their film. And for the record, I only paid about $20 for it.

"I had to pay to see this film and I don't see any reason why he shouldn't either."

Maybe because he has a spine and wants to stand up for his rights which he *would* have under a free market? Keep in mind that he probably did pay for his copy. He went to jail for giving copies to other people.

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Ludicrous punishment.

12 months prison sentence for file sharing? Just on the news the other day was some bloke who walked free with just 36 hours community service for child abuse, with one child as young as 18 months.

If the law courts on the governments carry on criminalising the general population whilst letting the real criminals go they will have a bloody revolution on their hands. Except in the governments eyes we would all be terrorists instead of revolutionaries.

The $ is worth more than life. And that stinks.

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Anonymous Coward

Title

Monitoring bracelet? wtf?

Will it work like a Battle Royale neck bracelet?

"ubuntu detected" "bleep bleep bleep" BOOM!

You gots to love a good Japanese Action Movie, and that One RULZ!!

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Anonymous Coward

Terrorist v. Revoulsionary

In the eyes of the government whose authority is challenged, all Revolutionaries are considered Terrorists. This is why the "War on Terror" that the US has waged is so generally damning. If you resist the government authority you are branded a terrorist. Sad when the the US government is defined as "Of the People, By the People and For the People". Maybe that should read "Sheeple"....

Baaaahhhhhhhh......

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This post has been deleted by its author

Law | Ass

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bristol/6960166.stm

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Ultimate Punishment

Send me to prison...cut my balls off...but for the love of god have mercy...don't make me use windozeeeeeeeeeeee

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WinDUHs

I'd sooner stop using my computer for half a year than have my CPU run a single line of Microsponge code.

Oh, and Greets to A. Merkin! Welcome to Earth! Don't worry, you'll pick up this "English" thing eventually...

OR are your purposes not to learn IT on purpose, and hence establish QuantuM AEther links? Either way, Sally Forth, Under skies of Stars and Lightning!

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Anonymous Coward

Leave the US ...

He shouldn't have done what he did. So much is true. Copyrights are permissible because there are also copylefts. One should only redistribute copylefted material freely and ignore anything that's copyrighted.

Nothwithstanding, the sentence clearly shows that the US has become some kind of brutal police state.

Unemployable?

Absurd. Move to another country, find another employer there, or do as I do, and limit yourself to doing projects online. I make more money than I used to, and I live in a very low cost of living area, 100 dollars/month for a beautiful 2-bedroom flat, and the women are neither American feminazis nor total sluts. What would I be doing in that shithole of an American heavy-handed police state. So-called felonies don't count anywhere else. Nor do "credit reports" or any other police state instruments.

The guy is talented. He can solve problems. There's lots of work for him outside that American police state. Just leave that shithole.

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You pays your money and you takes your choice

Smile, it's a democracy - you have no choice.

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Forced Ditch: Here's A Gold Shovel

According to his status as a self-induced monitoring subject, he should take advantage of the opportunity and create a serial "killer app" for a home arrest monitor program that runs on Unix/Linux. He can lead the effort by example, and then market and sell it back to his captors after his term is complete. Who knows he may make millions around the world of law enforcement.

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Anonymous Coward

Copyright For Dummies

This post is addressed to the author of "Script Kiddies and Establishment Stooges" and Luther of "Copyright is socialistic."

Obviously the two of you need to read copyright law a little more in depth because it appears that neither of you understand a lick of it. If YOU create a work, copyright protects it entirely and gives you ALL the credit. Since you both fail to understand DVD copyright, allow me to use art as an illustration. Leonardo DaVinci painted the Mona Lisa. It is HIS painting. If he sold it to you personally, you have NO rights over that painting. Just because you own it does NOT give you permission to copy that painting and distribute the copies. Michaelangelo sculpted David. It is HIS sculpture. If he sold it to you personally, you have NO rights over that statue. Just because you own it does NOT give you permission to have miniatures made and sell them.

It is the same with DVDs. George Lucas created the motion picture. It is HIS film. He sold it to you indirectly (or better yet, he licensed it to you to view). You have NO rights over the motion picture on that DVD. You CANNOT copy it and distribute it freely nor sell the copies. The companies that print the DVDs must obtain a license from George Lucas before they can do such. If the film is out of date, those companies must seek a license from whomever holds the copyright to that material. Printing it on DVD and selling it infringes upon Lucas' copyright, just as copying Mona Lisa or making miniature statues of David would be infringing upon the copyright of the holder.

Imagine you sketched a comic book character and posted it online as your avatar. Next thing you know, I have taken that character and made posters and t-shirts and a comic book, etc. I have stolen your property and infringed upon your copyright. YOU created it. It belongs to YOU. For me to do ANYTHING with YOUR character, even if you don't do anything with it yourself, I MUST receive your permission to do so (a license). If I sit at a fair and offer to do drawings for people and someone comes up to me and asks me to draw a Marvel character, for me to do so I have infringed upon their copyright. I am making money off their character and exploiting their character.

You do NOT own the DVD you purchased. That DVD is a license to VIEW only. The printing companies had to obtain a license from Lucas to imprint the DVDs. Otherwise his film could sit in storage and never see the light of day, but that would not benefit Lucas in the least. So he licenses these companies to imprint the DVDs. You, in turn, are licensing the DVD for your viewing pleasure. Anything beyond this is copyright infringement and you are guilty of breaking the Law. Whether you steal a piece of gum or you steal a million dollars from the bank, you are still a thief and deserve the same punishment under the Law.

The author of "Script Kiddies and Establishment Stooges" claims to have read the Law, but I suggest that he read it a little more closely. He is indeed right that most people need to read more - including himself. Go to www.copyright.gov and read up on copyright and intellectual property rights (something I took in College). There is also something known as "poor man's copyright," which I learned about in Art and Animation school. If I draw something, I can put either the original or a photocopy of the original into an envelope and mail it to myself. When I receive it, I must not open it. The date it was mailed will be stamped on the envelope. If someone steals my work, I can take it to court, give my unopened and dated package to the judge so that he can open it, and inside will be my original creation.

Luther is dead wrong in claiming that the DVD is his own private property and sorely fails to understand copyright laws. According to Luther, because he buys a Windows CD, it is his private property. I suggest that he read the End User License Agreement that accompanies the CD. The CD is licensed to you to use. Nothing more. You have NO rights over that CD or the software contained on it. Likewise, you have NO rights over the DVD or the motion picture that is contained on it. Upon buying it, you entered into an agreement to license it for your viewing. Nothing more.

If you care to argue further upon copyright and intellectual property laws, I'll be more than happy to start quoting sections, paragraphs, and lines to you. But seeing as how I do not frequent this site and only happened upon it by chance and thought I would correct your wrong thinking and understanding, I doubt I will get the chance to do such. Understand that Scott McCausland DID break the Law, but he shouldn't be forced to use an OS that he doesn't care to. If they want to monitor him, it is THEIR responsibility to get that monitor written so that it runs on Linux.

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Anonymous Coward

Whine / WINE

For the love of #$%@....

(1) He got caught being an idiot. We all know that this kind of activity is frowned upon in by US authorities. Any hack worth a nickel should be able to upload a file and not have it trace back to you.

(2) He agreed to the plea agreement!

The only person I feel sorry for is the victim of Nichole Richie or Paris Hilton's next Saturday night drive home.

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Anonymous Coward

Cryme and Punyshment

Doesn't that constitute a cruel and unfair punishment?

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Ohh Harsh...

"Any idea's if its going to be Vista?"

Don't be silly, the monitoring software won't have yet been updated to support Vista (or 64bit XP).

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Anonymous Coward

He should move to Antigua...

...where it may soon be LEGAL to copy/distribute/sell content bearing a USA copyright. Not certain if it is necessary to become a citizen of Antigua in order to freely ignore USA copyright.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/07/16/antigua_wto_mendel/

Yah. This article is 4 pages of tiny text.

Upshot is that the USA stands in violation of several recent WTO rulings, and the country of Antigua may be granted WTO permission to ignore certain USA intellectual property protections. So...move to Antigua...reproduce anything you wish...sell it to the citizens of any country except the USA.

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Weasel words...

"Under copyright law, a DVD is not private property".

Actually, if you read the licence/legal blurb that deals with CDs and DVDs (both software/music/movies) you will find that you OWN the DVD itself... just not what's on it. That's right - while you now own a small piece of plastice, you are effectively only "renting" the software/music/movie on it until such time as the owners of that information (the RIAA, the MPAA, Microsoft) decide they want to revoke your right to use it.

And the most they have to do is provide you with a blank CD/DVD in return.

Really. Read the fine print. It's an eye-opener.

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Anonymous Coward

Poor Fish Fecies

Good grief, upload a film and recieve a felony?

Sounds a skosh over the top to start with, so yeah I agree "they" gave him the felonies, shouldn't be more than a misdermeanor imo.

Then force someone to use windows? I thought we had cruel and unusual punishment provisions in our sentencing, guess not :(

Hang in there man, you'll be back in a few months, and yeah, I think you were supremely corn-holed but thats the system, fight where you can, and keep your pants up where you can't.

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The real point of the article...

The guy pleaded guilty to uploading a torrent in breach of copyright... fine.

He was sentenced to 5 months inside, which he served... I don't see a problem yet.

He was also sentenced to 5 months house arrest, with a monitoring order... I don't see him complaining about it.

He was NOT sentenced to pay any kind of fine... why should he then be to spend money in order to serve the rest of his sentence?

His guilt is not the issue, here. The issue is whether or not the judge(s) can add extra requirements onto a sentence for no reason.

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@ Leave the US

Just a reminder... For a US citizen, and I'm assuming sk0t is, to travel anywhere in the world, he must have a passport, or for Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean, be able to prove that he has applied for one... I'm not sure someone on probation is allowed to have a passport.

IMHO... sk0t should just shut up and stay off his computer until his probation is up...

LateNightLarry

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He needs

The somethingawful freeware that you cannot livewithout thread.

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Anonymous Coward

More than one way to skin a cat.

Three thoices based on your ethics;

1. use M$ or face further legal problems and/or;

2. use a knoppix/ubuntu installation using wine/VMware or DVD-R

or

3. hack the software(?) and claim trojan defence if caught!

There are some v-good distro's which can be installed on a USB stick with various anonymiser/security software e.g. tor which doesn't leave any footprint or evidence of your surfing habits. Simply unplug and go. ;)

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Re Copyright for dummies

In the paragraph re Leo and Mike: would it not be stupid to pay a large sum for a work of art and not obtain the right to make copies? The analogy with a film would be where you buy the actual film and all rights to it.

I think nearly everyone knows that when you buy a DVD, you are just getting some kind of licence to view it - and even that is restricted to private viewing (in one part of the world!). Despite this, I have noticed some advertisements telling us: "Own it now on DVD".

Use of the words "steal" and "theft" is inappropriate here because they normally describe an action that deprives an owner of his property, not just a copy of it.

US law appears to favour money-makers: the length of time after which copyright for books expires was lenghtened in the US - so you can find works in Australa's Project Gutenberg that would be "theft" in the US.

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Anonymous Coward

Copyright For Dummies...

Everything else not withstanding, the most relevant point being made (given that he plead guilty to the crime) is the following:

"Understand that Scott McCausland DID break the Law, but he shouldn't be forced to use an OS that he doesn't care to. If they want to monitor him, it is THEIR responsibility to get that monitor written so that it runs on Linux."

Of course, if the plea agreement stipulated the use of a Windows monitoring tool, he hasn't got a leg to stand on...

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I'm just tired

...of this all.

He probably did wrong. He may be a fighter for the rights we should have, or a dirty thief. I don't really care.

He probably got punished way harsher than he should have. I don't really care.

What I *do* care about is the hypocracy. I mean... who really knows the laws? I do, but the general population doesn't.

And yet every time I put in a DVD that I paid money for I get a little video (that I can't skip) telling me that copying movies is a crime. Um. Obviously whoever made that video either doesn't know the legal status of copyright infringement or they are intentionally misrepresenting the situation to their own benefit.

We're going to keep having cases like this where people argue over whether someone has been treated unfairly or not until the general population *knows* and *understands* the laws involved - including the *reasons* for them.

Personally, I think the people forcing me to watch their dubious legal statements should be fined for misrepresentation or whatever would be appropriate.

Once we start protecting the consumers we can then (justifiably) come down harshly on those that abuse copyrighted content. Right now it's just hit and miss, with both sides playing dirty.

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Anonymous Coward

Title

http://www.blagblagblag.org/anarchism/

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This is absolute pig's swill.. (is that how you spell it? )

And I suppose they wont give him the source code to compile it on linux either.

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How Pointless

Easy solution: 1) Buy a new laptop. 2) Sign up with a mobile broadband plan using a friend's name. 3) Sign up with a VPN provider located outside of your country (and therefore outside your jurisdiction).

And you're back in business. The police will never even know about it. Fools.

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