Friday, December 30th 2011

Hurt Locker Copyright Extortion Racket In Tatters, Plaintiffs' Hypocrisy

Voltage Pictures, producers of movie Hurt Locker attempted to use a reverse class action tactic to extort hundreds of millions in 'settlement' claims aka extortion demands over alleged 'losses' due to 'piracy' – something that has never and can never, be quantified and proved. However, their attempt has failed miserably – plus read on for how Voltage Pictures did a little content 'theft' of their very own to make the movie.

The idea was to use the services of the US Copyright Group (USCG) to extract personal subscriber information from ISP's via subpoenas and then send demand letters averaging US $2,000 to hapless victims, with the hope of racking in a grand total of around US $94 million - way more than the film ever made, about US $12.6 million.
The USCG quickly unloaded lawsuit claims against 47K members of the unwitting American public, even as Voltage Picture spewed a stream of vitriol suggesting that the children and families of file sharers would hopefully "end up in jail".
explained DailyTech, putting it very well. Yes, let's get the kiddies in the name of corporate copyright and profit...

However, the ISP's, not terribly keen on throwing out their customers (those being the people who keep them in business, note) dragged their feet with the subscriber information demands, which really messed up VP/UCSG's little extortion racket. This forced USCG to drastically reduce the number of claims to just 2,300. Even this reduction wasn't enough though, as without the required subscriber information, they couldn't send out their precious 'settlement' letters in this reverse class action tactic and had to ask the court for one extension after another. However, even though the presiding judge was Judge Beryl Howell who had previously been an RIAA lobbyist, spending years decrying the evils of piracy was sympathetic to their cause, in the end got fed up with the UCSG's antics and did what she should have done in the first place: threw the whole sham case out of court, ending VP's expensive experiment in mass litigation.

Well, nearly. It appears that VP wants to focus on sending out a smaller number of 'settlement' letters, but demanding bigger amounts from each mark. Oh, so hang on, economies of scale apply here do they? If the amount downloaded illegally in total allegedly loses them X million dollars, then shouldn't that be spread evenly among all the 'perpetrators'? You can't just claim more from a smaller number of people to make up the difference! You might as well just go after one person and nail them for the whole amount! This is another telltale indicating that it's nothing more than an extortion racket and anyone caught by one of these extortion letters should use it as part of their defence.

It's a very, very good thing that this tactic failed. Had it worked, the media cartels would have launched wave after wave of reverse class action claims, extorting hundreds of millions from the American public, all in the name of copyright. The USCG alone had set a goal of suing over 150,000 Americans. What in particular makes this so disgusting is that 99%+ of these defendants don't have the resources (ie they're too poor) to defend themselves in court against these lawsuits from companies with deep pockets and would therefore be forced to cough up the money demanded in the 'settlement' letter. Note that making this kind of mass litigation quick and easy is one of the aims of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) currently going through Congress, so it's incredibly important that it's never passed into law.

DailyTech made the following important points:
They also point to growing legal support for the notion that an IP address cannot be equated to a person -- something the tech community has long understood. Given that somebody
crack your Wi-Fi connection, download content, and leave you with the fine, this seems a pretty valid point.

Voltage, for its part, appears to be unwilling to give up the fight. It reportedly is changing gears, hoping to launch a number of smaller suits against individuals, with higher settlement targets.

But like the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), it may find itself fighting against the wind. The RIAA spent $64M USD to win a mere $1.4M USD from pirates during its most prolific lawsuit period between 2006 and 2008.
And now the juicy bit that you've been waiting for: Hurt Locker writer Mark Boal spent time with Army Master Sgt. Jeffrey S. Sarver and his company of brave soldiers before making the movie. Sarver claims that the films storyline has been lifted from the time they spent together, but that Boal claims it’s fictitious expressly to avoid paying any kind of compensation to the soldiers who risked their lives on the battlefield. Yes, the film makers are hypocrites: hypocrites against the very people who help defend their country for them! Disgusting. These accusations are very similar to those being made against the major music labels, who reportedly have been lifting works from independent artists on a large scale.

So, just how low will these copyright maximalists go?
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67 Comments on Hurt Locker Copyright Extortion Racket In Tatters, Plaintiffs' Hypocrisy

#1
scaminatrix
by: LordJummy
So in short, you are trolling. That's great. Maybe stick to the nonsense forum for that?
Someone's gotta be the MailMan. Enjoy the thread while it lasts. Threads like this are just perfect for finding out which users engage in illegal activities.
You can argue over why it's right and wrong and use your car and tree analogys all you like; the fact is, this thread is not about whether pirating is right and wrong or why it's done (even though it's turned that way) so you were all pretty much trolling before I even got here.
Posted on Reply
#2
LordJummy
by: scaminatrix
Someone's gotta be the MailMan. Enjoy the thread while it lasts. Threads like this are just perfect for finding out which users engage in illegal activities.
You can argue over why it's right and wrong and use your car and tree analogys all you like; the fact is, this thread is not about whether pirating is right and wrong (even though it's turned that way) so you were all pretty much trolling before I even got here.
All I see here is you trying to justify your trolling, and obscuring it by blaming other people because they were trolling before you? Take accountability for your actions.


BTW the thread is obscured and off topic because of posts like yours. Just because other people made ignorant posts similar to yours before you did doesn't make it okay for you to do it. YOU just posted about how terrible piracy is and how pirates are bad, etc. Have you already forgotten that?
Posted on Reply
#3
scaminatrix
by: LordJummy
Take accountability for your actions.
I do. Your first post in this thread and every post after was trolling. Gonna take accountability for that?
Posted on Reply
#4
digibucc
by: scaminatrix
I do. Your first post in this thread and every post after was trolling. Gonna take accountability for that?
trolling is not what you obviously think it is. if the topic of conversation has naturally changed, keeping in line with that topic is not trolling. if you think post titles are static barriers of what is allowed for discussion and what is not... welcome to the internet. i'm not advocating off topic, just saying "on topic" is grayer than "the title says this, so keep it at that"

trolling is posting something with the explicit desire to invoke an emotional response. (when that's not the intention of the thread)
Posted on Reply
#5
LordJummy
by: scaminatrix
I do. Your first post in this thread and every post after was trolling. Gonna take accountability for that?
Just more trolling from you. I was combating trolling in my first post. I stand by everything I type or say, right or wrong. If you can explain what I said that could be construed as trolling in that first post or any other thereafter, then I will do my best to explain why I wrote it. Until then, I don't owe you a thing.
Posted on Reply
#6
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: LordJummy
I think you did, actually. Your complaint with the analogy was trivial and unrelated to the actual subject. Your initial response was a clear indication that you didn't understand the subject. If that's inaccurate, then perhaps you can grace me with a more substantial response. Until then don't bother replying with something like this, and please PM it to me. Thank you.

We shouldn't do anything about pirates. We should be looking at society, and why people have to resort to pirating in the first place.
See the edited post.

"Have to resort to" is an interesting choice of words indicating people have no choice. Which they totally do. In the western world anyhow. A lot of people are not resorting to it, they just do it because .. I don't know really. They want to eat the cake and keep it to or something? The number of people that pirate stuff because "down with the Man" (or whatever) and actually mean that are likely very few. Oftentimes it feels like a prayer of some sorts people use to make themselves feel good about it.

While it's true we have other problems and so on piracy is a part of it and everything is connected.
Posted on Reply
#7
scaminatrix
by: digibucc
trolling is not what you obviously think it is. if the topic of conversation has naturally changed, keeping in line with that topic is not trolling.

trolling is posting something with the explicit desire to invoke an emotional response.
I think what this has turned into is too far off of the OP; I would say it's deviating too much and it's the same as all the other threads that get locked by the 4th page. Yes I know Jummy will say because of posts like mine but really it's because people just can't have a civil debate without resorting to insults. And I have seen numerous offensive remarks in this thread.
Posted on Reply
#8
erocker
by: scaminatrix
Someone's gotta be the MailMan. Enjoy the thread while it lasts. Threads like this are just perfect for finding out which users engage in illegal activities.
You can argue over why it's right and wrong and use your car and tree analogys all you like; the fact is, this thread is not about whether pirating is right and wrong or why it's done (even though it's turned that way) so you were all pretty much trolling before I even got here.
by: LordJummy
All I see here is you trying to justify your trolling, and obscuring it by blaming other people because they were trolling before you? Take accountability for your actions.


BTW the thread is obscured and off topic because of posts like yours. Just because other people made ignorant posts similar to yours before you did doesn't make it okay for you to do it. YOU just posted about how terrible piracy is and how pirates are bad, etc. Have you already forgotten that?
by: scaminatrix
I do. Your first post in this thread and every post after was trolling. Gonna take accountability for that?
by: digibucc
trolling is not what you obviously think it is. if the topic of conversation has naturally changed, keeping in line with that topic is not trolling. if you think post titles are static barriers of what is allowed for discussion and what is not... welcome to the internet. i'm not advocating off topic, just saying "on topic" is grayer than "the title says this, so keep it at that"

trolling is posting something with the explicit desire to invoke an emotional response. (when that's not the intention of the thread)
by: LordJummy
Just more trolling from you. I was combating trolling in my first post. I stand by everything I type or say, right or wrong. If you can explain what I said that could be construed as trolling in that first post or any other thereafter, then I will do my best to explain why I wrote it. Until then, I don't owe you a thing.
I'll say this once. Keep your conversations on the topic an off of one another. I'm not going to close this thread down, but I will keep people who cannot post appropriately out.

Thanks for your cooperation.
Posted on Reply
#9
digibucc
by: Frick
While it's true we have other problems and so on piracy is a part of it and everything is connected.
but the human desire to get something for nothing will not change, at least NEVER with the tactics that are currently used.

so if the tactics are useless in preventing piracy, and all they do is potentially reward companies for sales they never might have had in the first place, something is obviously wrong.

so instead of focusing on the pirates, who (again) likely wouldn't have bought the product anyway - focus on more effective ways of stopping them from being able to, without showing obvious disdain for your paying customers. wide nets are not ok, as innocent people will get snared, and this is not a life-threatening situation worthy of such action.

when i can't play a paid game 5 years after release, because of the copy protection they used to stop pirates from getting it in the first 2 days, the company is doing something wrong. pirates are inevitable, they need to do business without burdening the people who PAY THEM.
Posted on Reply
#10
LordJummy
by: Frick
See the edited post.

"Have to resort to" is an interesting choice of words indicating people have no choice. Which they totally do. In the western world anyhow. A lot of people are not resorting to it, they just do it because .. I don't know really. They want to eat the cake and keep it to or something? The number of people that pirate stuff because "down with the Man" (or whatever) and actually mean that are likely very few. Oftentimes it feels like a prayer of some sorts people use to make themselves feel good about it.

While it's true we have other problems and so on piracy is a part of it and everything is connected.
re·sort /riˈzôrt/

Verb:
Turn to and adopt (a strategy or course of action, esp. a disagreeable or undesirable one) so as to resolve a difficult situation.


This is the actual definition ^

People require entertainment, and crave art. Many who pirate can't afford to download albums, go to the movies, etc. Does that make them unworthy of the art? Does that immediately make them evil wrongdoers? I have a feeling if the pirates who can't afford the material suddenly had plenty of means, they would probably pay for the things they pirated.

If I were a recording artist, I would want people to hear my art regardless of whether they could afford it. This is a conversation too complex for a topic as specific as this threads'. This is all extremely subjective, and everything I am saying is my personal opinion.

I will retire from this discussion as there doesn't seem to be anyone serious left here. Unfortunately this is a trend I've noticed that has prevented me from posting much over the past couple months. Feel free to PM me if you have an argument with me you want to settle.

Thanks.
Posted on Reply
#11
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: LordJummy

People require entertainment, and crave art. Many who pirate can't afford to download albums, go to the movies, etc. Does that make them unworthy of the art? Does that immediately make them evil wrongdoers? I have a feeling if the pirates who can't afford the material suddenly had plenty of means, they would probably pay for the things they pirated.
I looked up that very word to make sure I understood it corectly. Which is why I added "in the western world" where people tend to have money. Yet they pirate. I know tons of people who have not bought a single movie in a decade and yet they have them all in vast HDD libraries. And while one can agree that art should be for everyone it can cost a shitton of cash to produce (look at all the blockbuster movies for instance), how would that work (if I'm allowed to go on a tangent)? One can also argue that the pursue of creating art is lost in greed, and it is. It's unfortunatly how the world works and that will not change if not God, Santa Claus and the Flying Spaghetti monster team up and take care of it.
Posted on Reply
#12
TheMailMan78
Big Member
This is just great Frick. You see what you did? Now they won't stay and argue why being poor justifies their massive pirated collection Justin Bieber videos and songs.
Posted on Reply
#13
copyrightextortion
Abuse of Copyright Law by Copyright Trolls & Bullies

There are two types of people in this world.

1. Those who want to make money by protecting their work legally via copyrights

2. Those who want to share everything freely, openly and without any type of restrictions

I, myself belong to the latter type who loves to get educated (and educate others) via free research in libraries or web. If there's any copyright which I'd want to display on anything I produce or work, it will go something like this;

(0) PUBLIC DOMAIN. TO THE EXTENT POSSIBLE UNDER LAW, MR.ABC HAS WAIVED ALL COPYRIGHT AND RELATED OR NEIGHBORING RIGHTS TO THIS WORK.

My reasoning is simple; For every free input, there should be a free output. However, not everyone will agree as they will come up with a gazillion reasons and logics to make money off of someone's FREE and public domain information. These money-hogs actually use (or abuse) the copyright law to extort money out of an innocent and a totally naïve researcher via threats to sue in the court of law for the lack of licensing, a modern term of paying to use their information or media. This reminds me of a James Bond movie slogan "License to Kill". Sometimes, too much law prohibits free spirit of innovation, research or movement of information across different mediums.

To avoid such copyright trolls, you can always include the following information at the appropriate section of a web-page or a book;

1. Title of the media or publication
2. Author's or Owner's name
3. Online Link Where found

If you have modified their work in any way (provided their license allows you to do that or you got their permission via mail), you can add the word "DERIVATIVE" or "BASED UPON".

For example, you need an image of a squirrel in your website or a book. If you use online research tools, you'd see hundreds of images related to squirrel which are licensed by greedy individuals or organizations ready to sue you in the court of law unless you pay their license fee. To filter out such money-hogs, there's a very useful online tool;

http://search.creativecommons.org/

Checkmark the "use for commercial purposes" and the "modify, adapt, or build upon" boxes. Select the appropriate website where you want to research (Be ware to avoid the ones mentioned below). And enter your search term "Squirrel". Select the image to extract the reference information as mentioned above before using it.

In the worst-case scenario, if you mistakenly (or innocently) used someone's licensed work and they request you to take it down, you can request further information to prove they are the actual owners of that particular item. If they cooperate with you nicely and professionally by providing you with the maximum information possible (which is verifiable), you should honor their request to remove their copyrighted work immediately. Otherwise, there's almost a quarter million dollars fine for using someone's copyrighted or licensed work without their consent. However, If that individual or organization starts off by threatening to sue you instead of a nice request, you got a copyright troll on your hands.

Unless they provide you all of the information (they may provide you part of it, but not all), simply ignore such threats. If such a troll happens to be an attorney, research about their respective bar association license number and file the complaint with the bar's administration. You can also file the complaint in the respective State's Attorney General's office and FTC as well. Trollish attorneys are usually relentless and use all kinds of legal jargon to prove you as some sort of a criminal in their letters by assuming you are guilty of a deliberate and a willful violation of their client's copyright or license.

I used to hate the "IGNORE" word. But today, I love it. It pisses the hell out of copyright trolls who are so desperate for our money and attention. There should be a provision to "criminalize" such an abuse of copyright law by trollish organizations, individuals and attorneys. Let's rally our own Congressmen and Congresswomen to introduce such "Anti-Bullying" and "Anti-Trollish" provisions to the copyright law.
Posted on Reply
#14
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
Great first post there, copyrightextortion. Well said. :)
Posted on Reply
#15
TheMailMan78
Big Member
NECRO THREAD

@copyrightextortion OR you could just use your own original stuff and not rip other people off. Could do that too. Anyone can ctrl-c, ctrl-v. Why not contribute instead of leaching of off other peoples hard work?
Posted on Reply
#16
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
2 damn years for a wall of text.
Posted on Reply
#17
TheMailMan78
Big Member
by: cdawall
2 damn years for a wall of text.
I know lol
Posted on Reply
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