back to article Court slaps UK BitTorrenters with landmark damages award

The Central London County Court has ordered four BitTorrent users to pay a video games company £750 interim damages following a landmark victory by no win, no fee copyright lawyers. The final damages could run to £2,000, plus costs of up to £1,500, the Evening Standard reports. The decision will cause salivating among …

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Hardly a landmark judgement

when one party didn't turn up.

It doesn't count as legal precedent for that reason.

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Happy

@alistair millington

Yes, but you have to buy *Vista*

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Paris Hilton

So what about...

the old chessnut of 'lending' items.

So I lend my mate a game/cd for their listening pleasure, once they play it am I guilty? If they copy it am I guilt? are they guilty? What's the boundary between sharing with friends and sharing with strangers?

Clear as mud.

So i give old dvds to my dad. Is that "piracy"? he's not paid for them. he would have purchased his own if i hadn't given them to him, am i stealing from the industry involved, or do i just think their product is so lame i end up giving it away, which is surely my right having purchased the original anyway??

Some definition is required to say when copyright infringment occurs.

Paris - because way confused...

AC because my friend contributed so i don't want him to sue me...<lol>

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"It's not the number of copies though"

"It's not the number of copies though, it's the _right_ to distribute the work, that is to give it away on bit torrent."

So because 2 grand has been paid, they now have the right to distribute the work.

Cool.

Yes, I'd agree that 2 grand is about right.

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Re: They aren't fines

And the UK Bill of Rights says that you can only be deprived of liberty or property after a trial by your peers.

So when that's done, we'll pay the paytards/

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Alert

No surprise

It's no real surprise when the defendents didn't turn up. Did they even respond to the court papers?

You can only claim actual damages, so I assume the lawyer set out how many other people had taken copies of the game. Now, since it was undefended, they'll just get a default win.

Same as with parking tickets from private companies. The law does not allow for financial penalties to be imposed, but a rare case taken to small claims, if left undefended, will get a default judgement. Even though no private parking company has ever won a defended case.

You can also apply to have the case seen in your local court. The fact it was heard in central London, near the solicitors, makes it unlikely the defendents responded to anything.

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"Piracy is theft "

No, theft is theft.

Piracy is copyright infringement.

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Lending and copyright

Again this needs to be clarified. If you lend something to somebody and it's against the terms of the license, then that's potentially breach of contract or license terms, not breach of copyright. Whether such contractual terms are strictly enforceable or not might have to be tested in law. The same, incidentally, holds true for resale. For instance, it is not possible to stop the resale of books or music recordings in the UK as case law is against it. However, in the case of software licences then I do not think that it has been tested in law for individuals. Certainly corporate software licenses generally can't be resold and that would most certainly invite legal action (one of the reasons why outsourcing companies that run systems often don't take ownership of the software licenses or possible IT equipment - EDS found that out).

However, if you lend somebody a copyright article knowing it is to be copied, then that is a breach of copyright - by both parties. Of course demonstrating the "knowing" bit is a a little difficult. But remember - this is balance-of-probabilities, not beyond reasonable doubt. Lend somebody licensed sofware with an identifiable and unique registration number, then it might be traceable.

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jai
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leechers

so leechers, in theory, should have a sound defense as they can prove they never let anyone download from them, and are therefore not liable for any further fines beyond not paying for the software

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Anonymous Coward

"I can't wait for one of these cases to actually come to court"

Some people never read the stories. And some people never even get to the headline.

RTFA?

RTFH!

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Dumb maths

@gothiclaw:

"Are we honestly expected to believe that the average bittorrent user could have uploaded a total of 37.5 gigabytes of this game, particularly with upload speeds in the UK being less than the download speeds?"

No, not an "average bittorrent user" but these particular Freetards.

This torrent is about 600MB. Leave your torrent tracker running for a couple of months and a 62:1 ration is not difficult to achieve.

Now I know where the "tard" in Freetard comes from.

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@Mark

"So because 2 grand has been paid, they now have the right to distribute the work. Cool."

Paying a fine for trespassing on the Balmorel Estate does not entitle you to the deeds of the Balmorel Estate.

Defective logic like this can only come from a Freetard.

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Black Helicopters

Its a question of how much data is shared.

According to the Copyright, Designs and Patents acts1988:

A person commits an offence who: [...] distributes otherwise than in the course of a business to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the owner of the copyright.

In other words, for file sharing to be a penal offence (ie with a statutory fine / prison sentence) it is necessary to share enough copies of a file to significantly dent the income of the IP. Now, if a file sharer doesn't seed a file, then they are only going to be part of a downloading swarm for as long as it takes to download the file. This means that the downloader is only going to upload the equivalent of a single game's worth of data. That's the same as making a copy of the game and giving it to your mate. Some may feel that file sharing is a 'crime' in the same way that stealing a CD is, or that it is equivalent to piracy - but in the eyes of the law that just isn't the case.

This is the weakness of the law as regards file sharing - the typical file sharer is committing a very large number of civil offences, (as opposed to a pirate, who is committing a penal offence), and so cannot be arrested by the police. A private court case taken on a single file being shared should not result in a fine of more than a few tens of pounds (unless you're seeding files) to compensate the two copies worth of copying that has taken place. The only direct way round this is to make the sharing of a single file a crime along the lines of selling drugs.

This is why ISPs and Torrent sites etc are a better target, as they can be said to be taking part in an activity that can 'prejudicially' affect the copyright holder due to many copies of a single file it distributes. A single file sharer loses an IP one or two sales of a game or piece of music - a Torrent site can lose him or her thousands of sales. That is, if a Torrent site can be held liable for the material it distributes.

This puts ISPs in a strange situation. As long as ISPs are unable to spy on your internet use, they are no more responsible for file sharing than the Royal Mail is responsible for me posting out copies of a CD. However, if ISPs are able to snoop on your internet use, they suddenly find themselves being potentially responsible for the illegal distribution of copyright materials and could end up in prison. Thus, companies who wish to use spyware technologies like Phorm will find themselves able to easily determine who is filesharing and so will have to co-operate with the government to clamp down on P2P. This is, coincidentally, exactly what is happening at BT.

There is a clear 'you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours' thing going on here - the ISPs ban file sharing, the government allows ISPs to monitor our internet use without our permission. For them its a win-win situation.

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@Steven Jones

Actually the UK does have a limited form of punitive damages, we just call them exemplary damages. See Rookes v. Barnard .

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Johnny Appleseed

"Leave your torrent tracker running for a couple of months and a 62:1 ration is not difficult to achieve."

Would that it were that easy...

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They didn't show up!

"And that's where I have a problem with this. If you take someone to court to seek damages you have to show that a specific financial loss has occurred, and that the loss is the fault or responsibility of the party from whom you seek damages. So if I buy a washing machine which has an electrical fault which causes a fire that burns down my house, in order to be awarded damages I've got to be able to show that is was the washing machine that caused the fire."

AND

"Are we honestly expected to believe that the average bittorrent user could have uploaded a total of 37.5 gigabytes of this game, particularly with upload speeds in the UK being less than the download speeds?"

....

Well.. no. You don't have to show any damages in any meaningful way, and can make any stupid claim you want that someone shared 900,000 times, IF THE DEFENDENT DOESN'T EVEN SHOW UP. If the judge was on the defendent's side, they could have showed up and said "this is a load of crap" and the judge might just say "yes it is, case dismissed." But, if they don't show, they judge has to go with the prosecution, no matter how crap a case they made. I mean, hell, some spammer sued Spamhaus here in the states for $11 millon, and won, because noone from Spamhaus showed up (of course, Spamhaus is also not subject to US law, so the spammer hasn't collected a cent.)

Of course, if this is done like it is in the US, these guys that didn't show up to court might not HAVE to pay anything, and they might just have collection agents asking "please pay the 750 you owe" at worst.

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Anonymous Coward

Balmorel Estate?

If you mean the Balmoral Estate then perhaps you should read "Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003". Generally in Scotland there is a right to roam. Having said that you'll most likely be charged with some other misdemeanor.

When it comes to Freetards "The Queen" is surely an overachiever in this field.

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@Fines were too small

Piracy is not theft. It's piracy. Heave to and prepare to be boarded - or just shut up. The music/movie industries have left themselves wide open to "piracy" by adopting the cheapest media possible. The IP issue is sort of like arguing that it's illegal to pick the lock on your house when you forgot your keys inside. It's possible, and easy, to circumvent the protections on most media, therefore it ought to be OK to do it yourself, or even pay someone to do it (i.e. locksmith).

P.S. You suck but your position just serves to reinforce sound logic: so keep up the good work...coward.

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Paris Hilton

No win big fee

No win no fee until the counter suit which will happen one day. When I first saw this I had to check it wasn't April 1st again already. Suing over an 8.99 game which is utter shite anyway?

These lolsuits are daft, how do they expect to ever win one in the UK when they have to prove damage to business when what's at stake is a bunch of people that wouldn't buy the damn thing anyway?

What's even worse is maybe a few people actually enjoyed the game and bought it - so not sharing would be damaging to their busines.

Even paris could figure this one out. In fact she did - and made a packet on the DVD sales - go figure.

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Pirate

@Kwac

"No, theft is theft. Piracy is copyright infringement."

Stop talking through a hole in your head.

Theft is just that.

Copyright infringement is just that.

Piracy is robbery on the high seas.

Something really needs to be done about all these Somalian "copyright infringers"

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re: Lending and copyright

Back in the good old days, Borland's License Agreement was unique in that it was (a) less than half of one A5 page in length and (b) stipulated that its software should be treated in exactly the same was as a physical book. That metaphor was easy to understand by all and although the underlying principles remain the same today, all licensing agreements are now couched in often hard to understand legalese and indeed may prove unenforceable.

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@kevyn

Thanks for the clarification on the exemplary damages poinbt. It looks like the circumstances are very restrictive and it's also controversial.

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Ask the ISPs how much data they've uploaded

If the damages awarded to the prosecution are related to how many copies were illegally distributed, why not do the following:

Require the prosecution to supply the ISP's record of how much data the defendant uploaded during the time they were sharing the file?

I'm pretty certain ISPs collect this data anyway to help them manage their networks more effectively. If the prosecution is forced to include this data in any claim, it puts an upper limit on how much they can claim in damages.

So if the file in question is 20MB and your ISP's logs show that you uploaded 200MB over the few days you were sharing it, the maximum possible damages that could be awarded to the prosecution would be for 10 illegal copies.

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@Steven Jones

Just one point to add.

As this is a civil suit the damages seem to fall into the small claims category (upto 5000) wouldn't be because the standard of proof is even lower is it?

I've helped friends successfully defend against small claims with nothing more than the plantiffs paperwork and actually turning up.

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@Scott

the way bit torwent works they can be very shure that the torrent contains the copyrighted work I can not be bothered to explane here but it biols down to "they download it and check"

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Re:"Piracy is theft "

No....Piracy, until the copyright brigade nicked the word for their own devices, meant:

1. practice of a pirate; robbery or illegal violence at sea.

If you ask me, they chose the wrong word as everyone knows that REAL pirates are cool.

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Anonymous Coward

This is not a lnadmark result and sets no real legal precedent

And why?

Well because the defendents rolled over and died, rather then defend there case.

It will be interesting, how you DL, who are no doubt reading this article and posts, how well you fair when someone stands up and challenges your accusations, especially if you decide to take some of the innocent people to court, like the guy who has been accused even though they had no ISP account at the time of the so called copyright infringment.

Of course no doubt DL, you will use this result as another means to extort money from people with threats of 'Hey we have won 4 cases, cough up or it may be you next'

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sharing

"But until the vast IT community comes to understand that file "sharing" other people's work is wrong, this problem will continue."

Please go stick your nose back to scoring brownies... There's nothing wrong with sharing...

People do it all the time. We share the air we breath we share the planet we live on etc...

And yes we even share other peoples work... before p2p and the internet and now as well...

The only difference is internet made sharing easier and global... Before it was a smaller

circle of people. But still with the small worlds theory a group of 6 people should be enough to share anything they share with the rest of the world.

I share... yes other peoples work and my own. It's called Free Software and Open Source.

I don't even bother sharing proprietary/commercial software since it goes against my

philosophy. My audio media is all freely shareable(http://www.jamend.com and others).

I don't share movies since I don't actually watch them and care much about. I do share(read get via p2p and seed) TV shows and Anime though but then I do pay my local cabelco for TV and internet so I don't consider that to be really bad since people do get payed for it in the end. The only reasons I do this are

a) I don't have a PVR/DVR to record them all

b) most shows are unavailable in their original language

c) most shows tend to come around here 2-3 years AFTER they are released on DVD

I belive p2p will be the next TV and that we will be paying our ISPs for the premium of getting

TV shows off the net(in any way we want(that's the IMPORTANT BIT)).

Don't force me to run DRM crapware, don't force me to use YOUR software to get it. Just

make it possible for the current crews that provide TV rips on torrents to do so legaly(hell

hire them with all the extra dough you'll be getting there).

You could have an all-you-can-eat flatrate, a N-shows per week/month/3 months/6 months/year rate etc... Just incorporate that into the ISPs billing and make sure it goes to the right people.

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Stop

Bad precedent

This just gives the leeches another way to pull out money from the system. I mean, is this really a useful contribution to society?

I mean, don't get me wrong, I don't advocate piracy / copyright infringement or whatever.

But this sort of "lawyers chase ways to screw people for cash to keep their parasitic industry afloat", really annoys me. Get a real job and contirbute to society, rather than taking from it.

Harassing software companies to sue their customers must be a bad idea unless you're a crap company.

I'll ditch codemasters if they go down this road. Embargo their stuff, we've got to discourage this kind of spammy litigation.

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Anonymous Coward

@ AC

"By Anonymous Coward

Posted Wednesday 2nd July 2008 19:59 GMT

Go

"So because 2 grand has been paid, they now have the right to distribute the work. Cool."

Paying a fine for trespassing on the Balmorel Estate does not entitle you to the deeds of the Balmorel Estate.

Defective logic like this can only come from a Freetard."

What? It's your logic here that has failed miserably here. He was responding to the idea that the high costs cover more than just fines for letting people download the software but extend to costs to cover the right to distribute the software. He is suggesting if you have to pay for this right you should get this right which is a reasonable suggestion although if you have done this without acquiring the right first then a penalty charge on top of the right to distribute seems reasonable.

Your fine for trespassing analogy covers the fine for allowing others to download the software from you but doesn't cover the additional fee covering the right to distribute that these people are suggesting the court judgement covers. The latter is akin in your analogy to having to pay a permit to access the estate as punishment on top of the fine for accessing it in the first place. It would seem reasonable therefore to be allowed to use that permit if you're having to pay for it, else the simple fine for trespassing would be much more reasonable.

How interesting that the logic of so-called freetards is so often correct compared to that of those who believe they're somehow above freetards. But then, I suppose it's a demonstration of the nonsensical nature of the freetard word as all too often the argument from so-called freetards is far more logical and far more intelligent than those who attack these supposed freetards. I guess when the other party has to resort to making up insults it only serves to demonstrate further how that party realises it has no other recourse than covering weak arguments by attacking in such a way. But then, that's par for the course when the inventor of the word is a wannabe journalist working for The Register who has a history of attacking people far more intelligent than himself with the mistaken belief that he is somehow better than them.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: @ AC (no the other one)

>>I guess when the other party has to resort to making up insults it only serves to demonstrate further how that party realises it has no other recourse than covering weak arguments by attacking in such a way.

Freetard.

What?

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@Freetard

The term Freetard was coined, by the Reg, to insult people who claimed Linux users should be supported with the same urgency as disabled people, which is a silly claim and does indeed imply that using FOSS is a disability.

What's up, can't you keep track of your own insults?

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Loss of £8.99 ???

Well no.

Take off VAT: £7.65

Take off 100% mark up by the retailer: £3.82

Take off production costs of CD, box, ..., say £2.00: £1.82

There are probably other unit costs that I have not thought about.

Multiply that by how many times uploaded (100): £182.00. Hmmmm

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@matt

The small claims court is designed to allow a plaintiff to claim for damages without the expense of legal representation. I think it is at the option of the plaintiff and not automatic. I also don't know if the small claims court process can be used by companies. In any case, this is something that was initiated by lawyers, so they probably aren't going to favour a process that leaves them out of the loop.

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@steven jones

Good point,

I'll have to have a check to see what is covered by small claims...... I'm so used to helping people with defences and not instigating

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Gates Halo

How many times ...

-- "you cannot steal something that is not there"

-- Can you steal electricity? I believe you can be convicted for that form of theft.

You can steal electricity because it is a limited resource. By using it you are depriving the owner of selling it to someone else. Every unit of electricity you use has to be generated. The cost of creating a song, film or software product is a fixed cost whether you sell 1 copy or a trillion.

Copying something digital does not deprive the original owner of the product.

File sharing of copyright material is not "theft" just as taking a picture of a car isn't "car theft".

You can argue it is wrong but claiming it is "theft" is simply stupid and misinformed.

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Pirate

Just a thought...

An unscruplious (surely there is no such thing) company, which I'm sure Davenport Lyons is not, could proceede thus:

Firstly, from your list of potential victims, choose ONLY those who live a fair distance from the court this would be dealt with in.

Then, drop the case against anyone who shows sign of defending themselves.

You now have a list of people who are unlikely to even turn up, or present a defence.

Now switch the meat grinder on.

On securing the default judgement, when no payment is forthcoming, pass the debt onto your usual firm of thugs - sorry - debt collecters.

Rinse - repeat - profit.

The other development that's coming along shortly is... Scammers.

"an immediate without predujice payment to Shaftem Screwyou & Spong will result in this case against you being dropped"

You all ready for this guys?

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What about shops which buy your old DVDs?

Most EULAS state you cannot sell or accept for sale (purchase) the software contained on the DVD/CD etc right?

So does that, under this kind of developing law, make Game, ExtraVision and others criminals? They are selling on something already paid for and making a profit. Are you culpable of offense for accepting payment (reselling) what is now your property? Some might point to my point being a fuzzy one but have a peep at the EULA....

as previously mentioned, it's another case of the small being run over roughshod by the mighty.....

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Bronze badge

@Can you steal electricity

I recall the crime being Abstraction rather than Theft.

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Unhappy

@Various...

@Steven Jones:

Thanks for saving me the effort of explaining this to the large number of readers who need to take a greater interest in how the various legal systems in the UK actually work... :-(

@Daniel Grey and others:

There is no such thing as a "UK Bill of Rights", no matter where you read about it. The 1689 Bill of Rights relates only to England (and Wales??), because until 1707 Scotland had its own Parliament, and even to this day the Scottish civil and criminal legal systems are wholly separate and distinct from those in England and Wales. However, the Scottish Parliament did pass the 1689 Claim of Rights, a different constitutional instrument in its own right.

@Matt Hawkins:

No, you cannot steal electricity - it is not, and cannot be, "property" within the meaning of S.1 Theft Act 1968. But you can "abstract" or "divert" it.

Just one final point: the (English) High Court is mentioned, but if the individual awards of damages are so small (well under the £5,000 limit used in allocating cases to the appropriate case track), why were these not classed as "Small Claims", where neither side can claim legal costs? If these people had been sued individually, they wouldn't have to pay a penny in legal costs to the other side, only witness expenses and the issue fee for the summons.

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Anonymous Coward

@piracy semantics

To all those who argue that "piracy" in the context of infringing copyright (etc.) is not the same as "piracy" in the context of boarding ships, raping the women, drinking the grog and saying "yaaaarrr":

Yes you are right. But, guess what, in English (and many other languages, but let's stick to what we know) words can have different meanings. Like it or not "piracy" these days is far more likely to be understood as infringing copyright than firing a broadside and wearing a parrot. Get over it.

RE: the fucktards who claim the defence "just because I downloaded the [song/movie/game] doesn't mean I'd have paid for it so the loss is zero:

Grow up. It is just as valid to claim that every illegal download is a lost sale because a copy of the whatever was appropriated and no monies changed hands. If you didn't want it you wouldn't have downloaded it. A similar, but obviously too intellectual argument for the fucktards is if I TWOK (note you cannot steal a car in the UK, you take it without consent instead) a Ferrari I would not be able to use the defence that I would never have actually bought one if I had to put my money where my mouth is.

back to the story, personally I think they are lucky not to be done for contempt for not turning up to court when summonsed.

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Coat

@ Lee

"Like it or not "piracy" these days is far more likely to be understood as infringing copyright than firing a broadside and wearing a parrot."

Ah, so if I hypothetically called you a "stupid cunt", you might understand I really mean "diamond geezer"?

Great.

This fucking with the "semantics" of the word "piracy" is pure propaganda, not a natural language development - accept it as truth at your peril. And if you want to postulate that it's valid to claim an unlawful copy as a lost sale, then it's you that needs to do some growing up, as well as maybe returning from that alternative universe..

I'll get me trousers, if that's what the RIAA are calling coats these days.

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Flame

@Fines were too small

I was just wondering, what's it like working for the BPI? is the food at the cafeteria good?

---Or---

Are you already bored, Mr Gates?

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Go

Weakest excuse ever

"I'm not cheating anyone of the sale because I wouldn't buy it otherwise".

So because you're NOT prepared to pay for it you should get it for free?

If that was a valid argument then no-one would pay for IP! Seriously, why would they, when they could just say "I'm not prepared to".

And so IP providers, be they coders, authors or actors, should produce this work in their spare time? Working two jobs so they can afford high end dev machines, decent microphones, studio time etc.

There are some truly great projects that HAVE been produced in open source, but that doesn't justify saying that pay-ware developers have only themselves to blame for having spent billable time working on it.

Of course I'm wasting my time, soon it'll be argued that the BBC/Fox/whoever should set up paypal donations to make Doctor Who/whatever/Scrubs, and that since people still don't have to pay, then the shortfall should be made up from corporate taxation, and that those corporate revenues will actually be larger because they'll have found some magic way of making loads more money now that these wonderful excuses for not paying your way have been introduced.

To be honest, yes I fileshare, but only to watch once, and only until I can buy a legit copy. (Still waiting for BSG season four on DVD)

I know one person who tries to claim that he'd buy DVDs but the rips are of better quality! (An argument refuted by the specifications of that codec, several broadcast and signal processing engineers, and my own eyes.) There will always be people thinking up tenuous reasons why they should be exempt, it astonishes me that they aren't recognised as the thieves they are!

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Call yourself scruffy

Plenty of people pay for IP (itself a vile neologism - who knew that I would turn out to be a socialist of thought) - Much freeware comes with the ability to donate automatically.

Historically, art thrived under a system of patronage - effectively a donations based business model.

Either way, the argument is that downloading media without paying does not give rise to measurable damages (on the individual level) - The issue of damages arises in this, and pretty much every other case, at the point of distribution. The infringement is in giving the media away for free without license from the creator.

You make an egregious oversight referring to the BBC - which, of course, is funded by the taxpayer in any case. Many television networks are funded by advertising revenue. The upshot is still a free product to the consumer.

And then you admit to rank hypocrisy - There being, of course, a time value attached to IP, which you appear to being not prepared to pay.

Then you go all straw man on us - albeit in a way that condemns your own actions as theft. So well done there.

AC @ post number 2 - your reasoning is specious and wishful at best. You're not Bruce Everiss are you?

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nana

Even though patronage is a viable business model, producers can't be forced to adopt it retrospectively, nor are you going to persuade investors to hope that people will donate for it.

Your argument is a little bizarre, "The infringement is in giving the media away", so it would be worse if they were burning those files to optical disc and mailing them to each other?

The BBC is funded by several revenue streams, British TV licence sellers, overseas sales of rights, sales of media, sales of merchendise. It only appears to be "Free" wthin the UK.

Okay I misphrased that, "There's a difference between sharing something that simply isn't available, to buy AS SOON as it's available, and just getting a free ride out of some half arsed argument". And there are a lot of communities (such as uknova) that work on similar principles. Anyway, Looks like the writing's on the wall for file sharing, bah, nice while it lasted!

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scruffy

You are wrong to infer that I was suggesting the forced adoption of an historical, albeit workable, business model, and misguided to add a layer of complexity in the form of the attractiveness to investors. Consider advertising - a form of patronage - The investor donates money to be associated with a creation, in the hope that a positive association leads to a benefit.

To the original comment that you challenged: Person A is not depriving anybody of an actual or opportunity income, given that they would have gone without in the absence of "it" being available for free by another source.

They do not contend that they have a right to the "it", nor that the creator be compelled to provide "it" for free on the basis that A does not wish to pay.

The creator suffers in no respect whatsoever.

"would [it] be worse if they were burning those files to optical disc and mailing them to each other" - What is the difference between sharing the media physically or electronically in this context? You might have been better of asking if it were worse if they were _selling_ those files to each other, which would result in a fairly definitive _yes_, although damages would and have generally been awarded in both cases.

The difference that you are so quick to rationalise, in order to forgive your own thieving nature, is moot. The premium accorded to time is everything when it comes to copyright. It (copyright, that is - not time) was, and still is, a legal construct that provides protection, to the creator of a work, of income from that work - and here's the relevant bit - for a specific time period. After which, people may copy / derive / generally muck about with the work.

The BBC / fee thread of your argument doesn't seem to be anything other that a fanciful straw man, and your conclusion that the writing is on the wall for file sharing is entirely unsupported supposition.

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Flame

@Lee

> (note you cannot steal a car in the UK, you take it without consent instead)...

Actually, Lee, that's (to use a technical legal phrase) "complete bollocks".

Of course you can steal a car... S.1 Theft Act 1968. But, where someone takes a car, and the police cannot prove "... the intention of permanently depriving the other of it" [Section 1(1) of the Act], then usually "taking a conveyance" [Section 12 of the same Act] is charged instead.

So, for example, someone changes the ID marks or resprays the car to make it look different, straight theft would be the charge.

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Alert

they should be paying us

until i get 10 pence every time i have to put up with the insipid crap that does under the name of pop music (and a pound every time i have to see that talentless slut madonna gyrating her ancient and spectacularly repulsive body to yet another emptyheaded piece of crapi'll have fuck all sympathy for those talentless parasites on the backside of art

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Stop

Is this legal?

Is this legal what Davenport Lyons are doing?

Isn't it classed as wire-tapping?

Does a law firm have the right to wire-tap?

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