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Movie Still from IP Man 2
Illegal copyright violations plague the RIAA and MPAA, but issues remain

More than 200,000 accused BitTorrent file sharers have been targeted in the United States for sharing copyrighted material since 2010, though the cases remain rather sketchy while the legal courts get things sorted out.

In the most recent round of lawsuits, porn companies went after unsuspecting pirates of their copyrighted material.  Similar to other reported cases, some were unjustly accused of downloading files they've never heard of, while others simply tried to settle out of court and make things go away.  

However, lawyer Evan Stone has sued an unknown number of John Doe defendants for downloading "IP Man 2," a martial arts movie dubbed in English.  Ironically, the lesser-downloaded version of the popular martial arts movie was downloaded and drew the attention of lawyers.  

The "Ip.Man.2.2010.DVDRip.XviD.AC3-ViSiON" of the film still remains extremely popular among BitTorrent file sharers.

The copyright groups blame billions of dollars of lost revenue on online piracy that seems to only grow more popular among Internet users.  The U.S. court system has been oversaturated with lawsuits from copyright holders and lawyers looking to punish accused file sharers.  

The majority of those receiving settlement letters can arrange to settle for as low as $2,500, or face harsher monetary penalties if they decide to go to trial. 

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) believes its film industry loses more than $6 billion every year because of piracy from unauthorized transfers.  

Independent filmmakers also are relatively unhappy with online piracy, though have had a more difficult time trying to crack down on piracy.  Without the help of the RIAA's organized infrastructure, they've had to fend for themselves.

Similar to cases against accused peer-to-peer file sharing users, BitTorrent users have become easy targets for copyright groups to target.  Most users simply download and share content without attempting to conceal their IP address -- making it even easier to target said pirates.

For people still willing to share files via BitTorrent, experienced users warn to use proxies and other alternative means to conceal your identity.  However, it has still proven difficult to hide from authorities that are better increasing their tracking ability of pirates.

From copyrighted music discographies to movies and pornographic material, there is still a large amount of copyrighted material up for grabs by Internet users.  Regardless of what copyright groups and governments attempt to do, Internet piracy is going to be a problem that rages on beyond 2011.



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You can't lose something you didn't have.
By CrazyBernie on 8/12/2011 9:17:05 AM , Rating: 4
That's all I have to say.




RE: You can't lose something you didn't have.
By Flunk on 8/12/2011 9:30:34 AM , Rating: 2
So you're saying that the concept of intellectual property is an illusion? Wow, better pull the plug on any new Hollywood movies. There is no money in it anymore.


RE: You can't lose something you didn't have.
By sprockkets on 8/12/2011 9:43:09 AM , Rating: 3
Movies are NOT "ip", a mythical term coined by lawyers, which in reality doesn't exist. It falls under copyright due to it being part of the arts.

When the MPAA decides to talk about how much money they make off of DVD/streaming sales, we'll talk about piracy losses.


RE: You can't lose something you didn't have.
By alphadogg on 8/12/11, Rating: 0
RE: You can't lose something you didn't have.
By sprockkets on 8/12/2011 11:39:21 AM , Rating: 3
You are erecting a strawman argument - I never once said that just because ip is a myth that movies shouldn't and don't have any form of protection.

You are trying (or either misled by idiots in the MPAA and Joe Biden) to use that phrase to somehow associate copyright infringement on the same level as real property theft.


RE: You can't lose something you didn't have.
By codeyf on 8/12/2011 11:10:25 AM , Rating: 2
Or perhaps he's referring to the "money lost". As in, if you weren't going to buy a ticket / DVD of the movie in the first place, what revenue is lost?


RE: You can't lose something you didn't have.
By mcnabney on 8/12/2011 11:22:57 AM , Rating: 4
The best example of no 'real money' lost would be the frequent piracy of Adobe Photoshop. Sorry, but teenagers and poor college students are not really going to run out and buy a $500 software tool. They will hardly use any of the useful features and filters anyway. If anything, Adobe probably makes money on piracy because some of those young people will grow up and actually work in the digital arts. THAT is when they will buy the real software. And they will choose Adobe because they have been using it all along.


RE: You can't lose something you didn't have.
By zmatt on 8/12/2011 12:10:40 PM , Rating: 2
That's a good example, to be more related to this topic, IP man 2, a movie I have never heard of, was never shown in the theaters in my area and I have never seen advertised. if I were to download it, would they lose money considering that there was no way I would actually see it and pay them? Revenue is not lost when your are pirating something you can't get a hold of normally.


By Obujuwami on 8/12/2011 1:50:26 PM , Rating: 3
and to take your point one step farther, what if you can't buy the DVD because it's not available in your state/country? Is it really money lost if you can't purchase it via download or via a physical DVD?

I think they (RIAA/MPAA) should be a bit more transparent with their earnings and possibly put a real profit to loss ratio on this instead of spinning it as they are going out of business. They need to earn back the peoples trust and possibly take a moral stance to make sure that they give the people the product they want at a decent price instead of figuring out how to screw people out of as much money as possible just to afford their corporate jets and caviar lunches.


RE: You can't lose something you didn't have.
By alphadogg on 8/12/2011 4:13:51 PM , Rating: 3
All justifications you come up with miss the fact that holder rights and laws were broken. The fact that you can't meet the rules required by the copyright holder doesn't mean you get to ignore them.


RE: You can't lose something you didn't have.
By EricMartello on 8/12/2011 5:04:36 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
All justifications you come up with miss the fact that holder rights and laws were broken. The fact that you can't meet the rules required by the copyright holder doesn't mean you get to ignore them.


So in turn these copyright holders "break rules" themselves by filing frivilous "john doe" lawsuits based on little more than the presence of an IP address within a list of many. Didn't a court already rule that IP addresses cannot be used as an identifier for legal purposes?

Copyrights exist to give rights holders a legal avenue to seek damages against someone who plagiarizes their material and either passes it off as their own or attempts to make a profit.

Pirating means you are selling stolen goods for profit, so if you are SELLING bootleg discs of movies on the street then you are a pirate.

SHARING media online is not even close to pirating. Nobody there is making a profit, and people have always shared media with each other since media existed. You are not a pirate if you download something and then participate in seeding the torrent, because at no point are you profiting from the material nor are you passing it off as your own.

The only wrongdoers here are these large, bloated media conglomerates who abuse the legal system, pay off elected officials to do their bidding and ultimately undermine the rights of individuals, going so far as to violate CONSTITUTIONAL rights.

Fair Use needs to be updated and expanded to encompass online media sharing. People will still buy movies and discs of content they actually like...or as another said, if it is actually available where they live.

As for the US courts allowing these lawsuits to continue, it's time that people started fighting back and holding public officials accountable for their misguided actions in allowing this abuse of public resources to continue.


RE: You can't lose something you didn't have.
By betacat on 8/16/2011 9:51:09 AM , Rating: 2
As my mother says: "Two wrongs don't make a right."

Yes, some copyright holders are excruciatingly aggressive about their assets. That doesn't mean that it somehow gives you right to contravene their rights. You also have to admit there is a blatant disregard for rights on the other side of the debate.

Basically, if I haven't given you any rights to share, copy, transfer, whatever, my copyrighted assets, you can't touch them, no matter what amount of stretched justifications you invent.

Since when is any artist's music, photography or other digital assets, a "public resource"?

I get the temptation and the ease with which we have access to these intangible materials. But, the best thing to do is move on to those that are in a free environment.


By EricMartello on 8/23/2011 1:20:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
As my mother says: "Two wrongs don't make a right."


Kicking off a response with a platitude is a solid indicator that your post will have nothing of value to contribute, but let's see...

quote:
Yes, some copyright holders are excruciatingly aggressive about their assets. That doesn't mean that it somehow gives you right to contravene their rights. You also have to admit there is a blatant disregard for rights on the other side of the debate.


Sharing media of any kind is not "a blatant disregard for rights". Anyone who thinks it is, is either painfully confused or on the sinking ship that is the MPAA/RIAA.

When copyright legislation is getting preferential treatment over CONSTITUTIONAL rights it shows that the people writing these laws are doing so solely for their own interests. Laws in a democratic country need to be accepted by the people, and things like the DMCA and ACTA heavily violate fundamental constitutional rights.

quote:
Basically, if I haven't given you any rights to share, copy, transfer, whatever, my copyrighted assets, you can't touch them, no matter what amount of stretched justifications you invent.


I'm sorry but I do not view you or any of those companies as an authority on anything. If you sell me music, movies or books I can and will share them with people I feel may be interested. The only time there is a valid legal concern would be if I copied and sold these items for a profit, or if I attempted to republish them as my own works. Sharing is not piracy, not a crime and needs to be protected under fair use.

quote:
Since when is any artist's music, photography or other digital assets, a "public resource"?

I get the temptation and the ease with which we have access to these intangible materials. But, the best thing to do is move on to those that are in a free environment.


The value of media has been greatly inflated over the last few decades due to a few large companies controlling almost all of it. Today, the barrier of entry to any form of media is drastically lower and therefore the TRUE value of the media is being revealed.

Yes, the RIAA believes a CD should cost $20 but the true value is more like $2-$3. If your business model hinges on manipulating the market and you lose the ability to manipulate the market - guess what, your "assets" are no longer going to sell when priced outside of the market.

Any artist who is truly an artist does what they do because they want to share it with others. Profiting from their work should be a secondary consideration - and for many it is. Public resource? Hardly...sharing media is what allows good artists to enjoy success without the need for a bloated corporate parasite taking 95% of their revenues.

As long as the copyright laws protect the artists from copy-cats and true pirates, they are sufficient. Attacking the people who share their works is detrimental across the board.


RE: You can't lose something you didn't have.
By foolsgambit11 on 8/14/2011 3:57:53 PM , Rating: 2
On one level, I agree, and on another, I disagree. People should take breaking a law seriously, whether they agree with it or not. But the law is not the same thing as justice. There is a valid argument to be made for civil disobedience when it comes to unjust laws. However, most people pirating media aren't engaging is civil disobedience, they're just not taking IP laws (which include copyright) seriously. In this sense, it's like speed limits - most people speed, but it isn't because they think speed limits are wrong, necessarily; they just don't really give them that much credence. Maybe they understand that the laws exist for a good reason, but they think they should be more lax in their implementation - so perhaps there's a bit of civil disobedience mixed in there, but it isn't the primary reason for the infringement.


By betacat on 8/16/2011 9:54:08 AM , Rating: 2
Sure. The freedom to engage in civil disobedience in order to spur large-scale changes is a hallmark of American society.

But, civil disobedience is justified because you can't afford Katy Perry's new album? :/


By BZDTemp on 8/13/2011 8:57:19 AM , Rating: 1
Exactly.

The same effect is why Windows is the standard OS and not Linux.


By TheRealArdrid on 8/12/2011 1:42:13 PM , Rating: 2
Of course they're an illusion. Intellectual property rights are intangible and fundamentally inexhaustible. They're a legal fiction to incentivize the creation of arts and science for the public good. That doesn't mean one can't use them to make money. Don't confuse the ability to make money through intellectual property with the fallacy that one loses money if their intellectual property is "stolen." You can't steal something that's intangible, inexhaustible, and capable of infinite replication.


By inperfectdarkness on 8/12/2011 10:56:36 PM , Rating: 2
no, you can't lose revenue that you wouldn't have in the first place. as has been brought up NUMEROUS times in lots of other postings such as this, the movie/music companies are making a WILD assertion that there's a 1:1 correlation between illegal downloads and lost profit.

this assertion completely disregards the possibility that:

1. said individual may NEVER buy said movies/music in the first place, regardless of ability to download it.

2. failing profits may have more to do with the unimaginative, rehashed offerings put forth by those companies--than it has to do with people illegally obtaining such work.

3. unrealistic profit-margins/expectations have killed much of the movie market. i'm barely in my 30's. when i was a teenager, a movie cost me $2-3. recently, i went to go watch "xmen: first class". my ticket was $12.

if hollywood wants to make more money on movies, they need to start "going back to basics". i can think of several movies with an <10M budget that were more entertaining than a LOT of 100M budget "blockbusters".

new scripts, fresh-face actors (who cost less than the 20M/per picture take that many a-listers get), and a push for independant productions as the primary engine for movies. THAT'S what's needed to increase profits. when the movies start costing 1/10th of the price, you can easily chop the ticket prices in half and STILL reap a huge profit margin. and you'll get a LOT more people in the seats while you're at it.


By betacat on 8/16/2011 9:55:07 AM , Rating: 2
"music companies are making a WILD assertion that there's a 1:1 correlation between illegal downloads and lost profit"

So is a 1:0 correlation being made by the other side of the debate.


Wrong arguement
By NellyFromMA on 8/12/2011 10:14:18 AM , Rating: 5
The people who are posing an arguement against the prosecution of 'music and movie pirateing' or otherwise non-interactive media are looking at this all wrong every time I read or hear about this.

The question that needs to be posed is: if I buy a movie and me and 9 of my friends watch it not-for-profit, what's the difference between that and if one out of every 10 people buys your crappy movie or awful cd while the other 9 get it online for free.




RE: Wrong arguement
By christojojo on 8/12/2011 11:09:18 AM , Rating: 3
The thing is the companies want the money for everyone of your friends by age weight and quote they use afterwards.

Theoretical lost profits has always irritated me to. You cannot say this many downloads equals this many lost profits. Its a guess in how many would buy this or that terrible movie or soundtrack versus checking out the train wreck for free on TV. I also love the big companies complaint about theft of IP when the companies don't pay a lot of the originators much because of their theft/ sneak/ dishonest contracts.


RE: Wrong arguement
By 4745454b on 8/12/2011 11:27:36 AM , Rating: 2
I can go to my local library and "rent" (for no money at all mind you) many movies. I know I can get the original "Italian Job" there. How come the MPAA doesn't go after libraries?

It was also fine years ago to tape things off the air, either radio or TV. My dad has old recording or Dr. Demento, and I have an uncle with a complete copy of ST:TNG on VHS. So that's ok but if I download a torrent of ST:TNG I'm a law breaker?

I understand that downloading Captain America right now would be wrong. If I want to see it I should go see it. If I want to see IP man, go stream it off of Netflix. But how is downloading a copy of X song off of Limewire any more wrong then recording it off of the radio, or using one of those programs to rip it off Youtube?

I also totally agree. Just because 1million people downloaded something instead of seeing it in theater doesn't mean you have lost revenue of $7mil. Many times people grab stuff just to see it, and they never would have done so if it wasn't available.


RE: Wrong arguement
By Solandri on 8/12/2011 3:09:30 PM , Rating: 2
The copies of movies sold to libraries and rental firms like Netflix and (RIP) Blockbuster cost considerably more than the retain copies you and I buy. That's how the MPAA makes money off of rentals.

Incidentally, IP Man 2's gross international revenue was US$15 million. At $2500 per settlement, they need to get settlements from only 6000 people to exceed that. When you can make more money suing over a product than you can selling it, that should tell you there's something seriously screwed up with the law allowing you to sue.


RE: Wrong arguement
By 4745454b on 8/13/2011 6:25:58 AM , Rating: 2
I understand that's how it works for rental places, but I'd be willing to bet libraries still work on a donation system. Libraries are too poor to be paying big $$$ to the MPAA.


RE: Wrong arguement
By TheRealArdrid on 8/12/2011 1:56:52 PM , Rating: 2
There is no difference except for the fact that Big Media expects to be paid for any access and any instance of their content and fair use currently prevents them from doing that in the former part of your example. Believe me, if they had it their way, they'd file suit against you and your friends for watching that movie in your home. As far as they're concerned, each of your friends should pony up some money for the privilege of being able to view that content in your home.

It's no different than the asinine statement made by the RIAA years ago. They truly expect to be paid for everything. Purchase a CD at the store? Pay us. Want to rip that same CD to your PC? Pay us. Want to copy that ripped music to your MP3 player? Pay us. Want to play that music at a BBQ you're hosting? Pay us for every single person who hears that CD.

That's the world they want. And, in the case of those individuals who would have never purchased the content in the first place, Big Media isn't losing a single red cent.


IP Man and IP Man 2 are must see
By powerover9000 on 8/12/2011 9:32:01 AM , Rating: 5
IP Man and IP Man 2 are must see.

They are on Netflix streaming. They are not simply martial arts films, like the news piece contends. There is a lot more to it. They are my new favorite movies of all time.




RE: IP Man and IP Man 2 are must see
By Aikouka on 8/12/2011 10:29:34 AM , Rating: 2
Ip Man 1 was a fantastic movie, but I wasn't nearly as enthused with Ip Man 2. My guess as to why is probably the story not being as... captivating? I'd bring up a few examples, but I don't want to spoil the movies for anyone.

It's probably worth saying that I'd still recommend watching them both even though I didn't like the sequel as much. There's actually a third movie as well that's more of a prequel (Ip Man: The Legend Begins). The story isn't as good as even Ip Man 2, but it's entertaining at least.


By ClownPuncher on 8/12/2011 11:38:27 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. The second one was definitely more of a martial arts movie with a bit of story attached, the first was a story with politics, actual writing and martial arts.


The word is DENIAL - look it up
By Beenthere on 8/12/2011 2:03:11 PM , Rating: 1
The pirates can spew hate at the copyright holders all day long but the law is on the copyright holder's side and the pirates will continue to be prosecuted for their crimes. Denial is not going to change reality. In fact the U.S. and other countries are working on legislation to make piracy a felony with mandatory prison time.




RE: The word is DENIAL - look it up
By Peter898 on 8/12/2011 4:32:51 PM , Rating: 2
The word is : Employee !!
Look it up !!!
Is your paycheck signed by the same people who 'contributed' to the 'campaign-funds' of the Gangsters who created those imbecile laws ?


By espaghetti on 8/12/2011 9:13:25 PM , Rating: 2
I see what you did there..
Class warfare..
Is that you Frances Fox Piven?


RE: The word is DENIAL - look it up
By kraeper on 8/12/2011 5:06:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In fact the U.S. and other countries are working on legislation to make piracy a felony with mandatory prison time.


No, the **AA (ie.. your employer) is spending millions lobbying in the US and other countries to make harsher penalties. The fact that they are wasting time paying forum/comment trolls reveals how far lost they really are. People don't have to be pirates to see how corrupt the **AA are. Quit over-charging for your easily-replicated products, and the incentive to not get ripped-off goes away. Start paying writers what you pay the CGI crew and you won't have to do prequels of sequels of reboots. Fire the lawyers, fire the DRM programmers and accept that some people will slip in the back of the theater, or go watch two movies after paying for one. This isn't new. No business in the world is immune to theft, but some figure out how to deal with it and move on, including businesses who lose physical goods when they are stolen from. Those businesses suffer *actual* monetary losses, not *theoretical* losses based on what the consumer MIGHT have paid multiplied by some random, large number. Others cry and cry and cry from their multi-million dollar mansions about how much money they're losing from people who wouldn't have paid anyway.

Innovate or die. Business has always been that way, and the **AA are dying from a lack of innovation, not piracy. And to make up a fantasy about movie downloaders going to jail while rapists walk the street isn't helping your public image any.


RE: The word is DENIAL - look it up
By betacat on 8/16/2011 5:30:55 PM , Rating: 2
And, if you and all the other freeloaders had actually paid for the legal rights to the content?

I know, I know. If you had to pay, you wouldn't have bought it, so ergo, no crime... even though you did flaunt the licensing set by the holder.

No ephemeral bits were harmed in the making of your infrigment.


Failing Business Model
By adrift02 on 8/13/2011 12:25:36 AM , Rating: 2
It's interesting that IP Man 2 is being brought up as it reminds me of an example which points out how idiotic copyright holders are being. My buddy and I were going to watch IP man 2. We wanted immediate access to it being that he was coming over in a couple hours. Unfortunately, Netflix had shipped the DVD version too late and I wasn't getting it until the next day. Of course they hadn't allowed it to be streamed at that point. We swung by redbox hoping they had it, all sold out. So what did I do? I downloaded it.

Does the MPAA mark this as a lost sale at 100% retail value? Yes. Did they actually only lose revenue from potential royaltee fees? Yes. Was it a result of their refusal to adapt to the changing comsumption habits of their customers (streaming)? Yes.

Am I a thief? Nope, I just chose the most convienent method available. It's not my fault that "legal" (reasonable) means wernt made available to me.




Words have defined meanings !
By Peter898 on 8/12/2011 4:28:05 PM , Rating: 1

quote:
Piracy is a war-like act committed by non-state actors (private parties not affiliated with any government) against other parties at sea, and especially acts of robbery and/or criminal violence at sea. People who engage in these acts are called pirates.


What that has to do with private persons engaging in non-profit FILESHARING is beyond me ..




It's time the pirates got in touch with reality
By Beenthere on 8/12/11, Rating: -1
By kraeper on 8/12/2011 12:19:25 PM , Rating: 2
OR they're watching the news, and know how many have actually been prosecuted and gone to jail.

Hint: You either don't know, or are afraid of the answer. Probably the latter since you're spewing the **AA company line.


By neogrin on 8/12/2011 12:34:29 PM , Rating: 2
Sooner or later copyright owners will come to understand that creating something once and expecting to get paid for it over and over again is not a business model that will work anymore.

You can receive a much smaller return on your "ip" or nothing when "pirates" take you out of the supply chain - your choice.(when something is physical you can charge more because of supply and demand but digital "objects" can be copied without limit and at no extra cost. There is no longer any scarcity to the product so price of the product must go down...alot)

If the copyright owners haven't figured out by now that they need to come up with a new business model (not continue trying to legislate an outdated, broken one), they are clearly in denial.


By JKflipflop98 on 8/14/2011 12:08:11 PM , Rating: 1
Sooner or later you RIAA asshats will realize that you can't just stand still in time and expect your business to keep thriving. You either keep up with the times, or you fall by the wayside. You keep spouting the "the law is on the copyright holders side". . . well, Jackass, the people are not on your side.

Eventually we'll get a leader that doesn't have his head up his ass and this stupidity will come to a halt.


"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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