back to article Judge approves handover of BitTorrent IP addresses

A judge has granted a movie producer the right to subpoena ISPs seeking the identity of anybody who downloaded the Sylvester Stallone movie The Expendables. Wired is reporting that the US Copyright Group (which contracts its mass-litigation services to Nu Image) expects to go after 23,000 file sharers whom it believes …

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  1. Bill Neal
    FAIL

    duh

    friends come over and use my wireless net. can't prove it was me, and there is no law requiring me to monitor everything my friends do, since i'm not handling any credit card info.

    ...living in FL by the way.

  2. Elmer Phud Silver badge

    I'm not a nosy bastard

    So I don't run monitoring on the hub and connections.

    I don't pry in to what others at home are doing on the nett just like I don't tap into thier phone conversations or ask what they are doing all the time.

    And, like Bill, there are quite a few people who can conncect at our place what with folks having iPhones, HTC, iPads, etc.etc.

    Thank (unspecified deity) I'm living in Blighty where we don't get those rapacious law firms who . . .

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    " ... can't prove it was me ..."

    ... but it was done with your equipment, so expect some grief (hypothetically of course). I suppose it would be similar to the situation you'd be in if you let your friends freely borrow your car, and they then used it to knock over a bank. I think you'd be of interest to the authorities for a while at least.

    Mind you, the leap from an IP address to an incontrovertible identification of a perp shouldn't be as easy as they're making out.

  4. Wild Bill

    Surely...

    you are still deemed responsible for what your friends do on your network?

  5. The BigYin

    Easy solution

    Change the law to make you liable for what happens on your network.

    Not saying that's a nice thing to happen, just saying it's something that could happen.

  6. SuperTim

    Maybe,

    but if they subsequently get an order to obtain your equipment and find evidence on it, then you may find the charges difficult to defend. Still, maybe you could counter-sue the producers for false advertising when it came to the film. To say it "starred Arnie" is a bit rich when he was clearly there to add another name to the credits. The film wasn't worth the cost of a cinema ticket.

  7. Danny 14 Silver badge
    Stop

    sure

    Absolutely right. Now all you need is a few 10k to fight your corner (which you might recover in damages, after appeal). And a few weeks off work to attend court sessions. And the sleepless nights entailed in the meantime.

    Dont worry though, the law is (probably) on your side.

  8. Alpha Tony

    @JustaKOS

    'I suppose it would be similar to the situation you'd be in if you let your friends freely borrow your car and they then used it to knock over a bank'

    Yes this is exactly like that.. Only more serious. Like they shot the bank teller and then ran over some children when leaving.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ...friends come over and use my wireless net. ...

    Congrats, now they can get a court order for all your friends equipment as well as yours.

    They're gonna love you.

  10. andy gibson
    Happy

    @Beal Neal

    So, hypothetically you'd have no problem with any of your friends using your wireless to look at child porn? Good luck with the "wasn't me" plea.

  11. Tom 13

    I see, so you want to cop to a distrbution charge

    instead of just the infringement. Good luck with that.

  12. Steven Knox Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Anyone who downloaded that movie illegally....

    ...has already paid too much for it.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    man that

    Man that was a boring film, too much attempt to have a bad story not enough action. My mate fell asleep in the cinema.

  14. The BigYin

    Grow up

    "Oh, but Hollywood only produces crap and doesn't deserve paid." Really? Really, really? So why are you so dead keen to watch it then?

    "Oh, but I'm poor and can't afford it." Really? But you got enough money to spunk on broadband.

    Why not support people doing stuff you like? Why not get behind other movements/organisations (such as vo.do)?

    Got no sympathy for those who engage in copyright infringement via torrents.

    There again, I also have little support for the antics of the RIAA/MPAA/BPI.

  15. ArmanX
    Unhappy

    I'm not worried that they'll find I've watched that film.

    I am, however, somewhat worried that someone spoofed an IP address, and it happened to be mine. Or that when I download a perfectly legal Ubuntu ISO and get my IP address lumped in with everyone else, someone yanks the logs and I get fingered in a "you were there so you must be guilty" sort of way. We're talking about the scumbags that tried to prosecute a grandma, a little girl, and a dead guy, to name a few; something tells me that they're not going to be all that careful about the whole "burden of proof" bit.

    It's not that I'm all for pirating movies. It's that if that law is changed to prevent pirating movies (or impose steep fines, or whatever), it will undoubtedly lead to that law being used to cover all sorts of things - like taking your computer(s), modem, router, etc., all in the name of the law, just because a friend logged on to your network with laptop that was part of a botnet that spammed the President. Your network, your fault, and look, we have the ISP records to prove it.

  16. Alpha Tony

    Surely...

    Sitting through 'The Expendables' was punishment enough?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Well they have to make money on this turd of a movie somehow!

    Type your comment here, plain text only -- no html.

  18. Gritzwally Philbin
    WTF?

    Waste of Effort..

    Good lord, they aren't going to get many names - that film was *horrible*!

    I can't imagine many who'd waste their bandwidth on that rubbish other than spotty teenagers..

  19. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Alternative revenue stream

    So this is how they plan to recoup the losses of a truely terrible film?

  20. Mark 65 Silver badge

    Judge in my pocket

    "Wired is reporting that the US Copyright Group (which contracts its mass-litigation services to Nu Image) expects to go after 23,000 file sharers whom it believes downloaded the movie.

    The order, granted by US district judge Robert Wilkins in the District Court of Columbia, allows the plaintiff to “serve immediate discovery” on listed ISPs “to obtain the identity of each Doe Defendant”, including those for which IP addresses are already known."

    Should they not have to offer some level of proof beyond reasonable doubt in order to do this? "Believes" sounds a little light. I believe they are tossers.

  21. Rattus Rattus

    "seeking the identity of anybody who downloaded the Sylvester Stallone movie The Expendables"

    ...to apologise for it?

  22. xantastic
    Happy

    Not everyone is a moron ...

    http://www.globalregulatoryenforcementlawblog.com/2011/05/articles/data-security/judge-rules-ip-address-does-not-identify-user/

    For example, this guy.

  23. Spasticus
    WTF?

    23,000 it believes...

    ...is that all? How much lost profit is that? Well worth it - what a bunch of counts.

  24. DanM

    Of all the movies to be sued for downloading

    Couldn't they have at least picked one that wouldn't induce howls of laughter from friends, family and colleagues when the name of the movie is divulged? If you're going to do that sort of thing, at least have some taste in what you pirate!

  25. David 45

    ID problem?

    I thought I read elsewhere that a knowledgeable judge has ruled that an IP address does not identify an individual. Does that not apply in this case also?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    I envy the 23,000

    At least they were able to find out that "The Expendables" is crap without making the mistake of paying for it.

  27. copsewood
    Big Brother

    presumed guilt through association with IP address

    'The US Copyright Group is the target of a class action lawsuit by file-sharers, who accuse its lawyers of “fraud, extortion and abuse”.'

    We seem to be missing a word in that sentence, because presumably this class action is launched by alleged file-sharers and not by self-confessed file sharers, because if its the latter, it seems unlikely their lawyer would think they will win.

  28. Deano2099

    well...

    Aren't we all file-sharers though? If you've ever sent any file to anyone else...

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Crap film

    There should be a class action lawsuit against the producer for the number of hours lost from people's lives in watching that POS of a movie.

    When your expensive production flops you may want to recover some costs, but even if this suit is successful the money they'll get wouldn't cover the salary of just one of the many big names in the movie. What's the point?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Will just drives people back to boot sales

    Where everyones local pirate has a multitude of DVD copies to sell cheaply...

    I'm not trying to condone piracy, but now the pandora's box of free / almost free music and movies via BT is open it's doubtful they'll go back in a rush to buying "real" cd/ dvd's at the high chart prices.

    Personally if it's not something I've seen in the cinema I'll wait till Tesco/ Adsa/Sainsburys are selling it in the bargain bin a few months after it's released. I don't mind spending £3/£5 on a film I may half be interested in but I'm not spending £15 on any CD or DVD that will fall out of the charts (and drop in price) in a few weeks.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What they ought to do

    is go round and stand outside the house of anyone who downloaded a Stallone movie and point at them and laugh. And anyone who bought a Stallone movie. And - not sure whether this would work or not - if that didn't force them to emigrate to Retardland, they could fix them up with his mom. But since anyone who actually wants to see a Stallone movie is by definition perverted...

  32. This post has been deleted by its author

  33. fishman

    Conan

    Conan was Arnold Schwarzenegger, not Stalone.

  34. The BigYin

    Err...

    ...Conan was Schwarzenegger. "Copland" was good, "Rocky I" too.

  35. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Pint

    Should be a laugh!

    23,000 sued and 5 will turn up at court, maybe 150 will pay up to clear the fine and at least one obligatory old couple/single-mum fiasco will arise at some point during this ultimately pointless exercise. The merry-go-round starts all over again!

    How many dodgy BT downloads pass over "da toobs" everyday, millions and millions I suspect and you think that get £1000 quid off a couple of hundred people will make one blind bit of difference? You might stop a few hundred people being naughty but it just means millions more thank their lucky stars it wasn't them this time.

    All this ever does is make rich lawyers slightly richer, nothing ever changes. The last Hollywood blockbuster craptastic film will still be on the boards tonight, the last pop-pap album will still be available on torrent sites, nothing will change.

  36. Naich
    Dead Vulture

    Really?

    "The US Copyright Group is the target of a class action lawsuit by file-sharers..."

    Really? Has it been proven that they were file sharers? Or is that precisely the reason why USCG are being sued by these people?

    Of course sharing files is not illegal. Lots of people would like to perpetuate the idea that the act of sharing in itself is wrong, and it's sad to see the Reg lazily conforming to this idea.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Emm..

    Was thinking of d/l'ing it. Is it any good?

  38. Alpha Tony

    @AC

    'Was thinking of d/l'ing it. Is it any good?'

    It's better than Gullivers Travels.

    ..In much the same way as slamming one of your nuts repeatedly in a cupboard door is better than doing it to both of them.

  39. Winkypop Silver badge
    Stop

    23,000 subpoenas - court - fines - jail-time ???

    These people have sufferred enough already!

    They watched the film.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I downloaded it

    It was shit, so glad I didn't pay.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You know the pirates will be prosecuted

    The judicial system punishes those who pirate. Denial doesn't change reality.

  42. chr0m4t1c

    No

    It punishes the low-hanging fruit who have neither the legal knowledge or finances to defend themselves properly.

    I doubt that any of the 23,000 ip addresses will lead them back to whoever actually made the original unauthorised copy or put it on the net for all to download.

    This is the equivalent of going after everyone who bought a dodgy DVD at a car boot sale rather than the person who made the dodgy copies in the first place and does not achieve it's stated aims of stopping the infringement happening in the first place.

    You can also bet that any damages awarded as a result of this case will be disproportionate to the amount of money actually lost (if any).

    With any luck this will see a class action suit for defamation or libel being brought by any innocent parties accused in this case (hopefully 23,000 of them).

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