Print 17 comment(s) - last by BladeVenom.. on May 27 at 11:31 PM

Suit filed in the US District Court for the Central District of California accuses MPAA of hiring less than legal consultants

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), along with the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA), have stepped up their attacks against illegal file sharing in the US.  One of the web sites being sued by the MPAA, TorrentSpy, has now filed a countersuit because it claims the MPAA hired a hacker to spy on the internal operations of the web site.  Valence Media, the company that operates TorrentSpy, claims that the MPAA offered a hacker $15,000 to gather information on the company.

The hacker reportedly stole a spreadsheet that contains income and expenses for dates ranging from January to June 2005.  The hacker turned over information that shows the relationship that he had between the MPAA after being told to gather incriminating information against Valence Media. 

Representatives from the MPAA deny the accusations pitted against them by TorrentSpy.  The trade group also says this is just a "desperate attempt" at covering the overall idea that the site allegedly facilitates piracy.  Some analysts believe if the case does go to court, this example of industrial espionage via paid hacker will be one of the most high-profile tech-related lawsuits in years.

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Who could have imagined it?
By phisrow on 5/26/2006 5:34:17 AM , Rating: 5
I always thought that the MPAA were such nice, quiet, boys. Who could have imagined that they would do such a thing. </sarcasm>

RE: Who could have imagined it?
By Viditor on 5/26/2006 5:48:06 AM , Rating: 2
If proved, this would be criminal charges as well...

RE: Who could have imagined it?
By Chillin1248 on 5/26/2006 5:48:48 AM , Rating: 4
Would this not disqualify the evidence collected against Torrentspy as well?

RE: Who could have imagined it?
By ThisSpaceForRent on 5/26/2006 8:30:25 AM , Rating: 2
I believe it would. I was told about a patent infringemnet case involving Motorola, and a competing company. Basically a design for a Motorola phone was stolen, and a Motorola employee noticed the offending design at a test lab, and he, um, borrowed the phone to take back with him. Long story short, since Motorola stole the phone, their case was thrown out.

RE: Who could have imagined it?
By geeg on 5/26/2006 10:35:35 AM , Rating: 2
Imagine, poor grandma/grandpa defendants had paid the hacker fees..

RE: Who could have imagined it?
By Samus on 5/27/2006 9:01:26 AM , Rating: 2
Absolutely, if the evidence was collected illegally, the jury can't take it into consideration (and neither can the judge is its a trial by judge) because it shouldn't exist.

No suprise...
By Cunthor01 on 5/26/2006 7:14:15 AM , Rating: 4
Everyone already knows that MPAA and RIAA are criminals.

RE: No suprise...
By Samus on 5/27/2006 9:02:05 AM , Rating: 2
ditto, this has been going on for years.

Not too amazing...
By InternetGeek on 5/26/2006 10:12:01 AM , Rating: 2
Any persons that this news takes by surprise doesn't know how the internet works.

RE: Not too amazing...
By Viditor on 5/26/2006 11:12:45 AM , Rating: 2
It's the getting caught that's surprising...:)

RE: Not too amazing...
By BladeVenom on 5/27/2006 11:31:21 PM , Rating: 2
Payola, collusion, price fixing, cheating their artists, and thier lawsuits are nothing more than extortion, they are nothing more than organized crime.

Pots & Kettles
By vingamm on 5/26/2006 11:38:27 AM , Rating: 2
Oh Ok I see how it is. We get fined, go to jail, and have our equipment conviscated if we DL a single movie, but they can higher "criminals" (as they call them) to infiltrate our organizations steal confidential and personal information and then use it to their advatage against us. Does any one besides me see a double standard here? I hope they freaking get nailed on this! I think bootleggers (people who seel the movies) are lame to, but that does not give them the right to break the law either. I did not have much respect for them to begin with (more than for the RIAA at any cost), but now they are swimming at the bottom too.

RE: Pots & Kettles
By bpurkapi on 5/26/2006 2:09:42 PM , Rating: 2
Double standards are a cold hard fact of life... Riaa has lots of money to work with and pursue a strategy of targeting a single individual at a time, essentially David v. Goliath. We all know that David v. Goliath was a myth so in the real world Goliath wins. The only way that Goliath doesn't win is if 500 Davids get together and kick his a**. This means what needs to happen is a class action lawsuit with the likes of Torrentspy and a bunch of other people accussed against these criminals.

Not too shaby eh?
By nangryo on 5/26/2006 5:55:46 AM , Rating: 2
Hmm... , I think it's newa way of bussiness.
Let's say.. they hired around 10 hacker.., so he total cost is US$ 150.000,-

Then they making money by suing their target..., and get about US$ 1++ Milllion dollar in return...

Still profitable... not too shaby eh?
What a sad way of living..

dangling html tags
By RyanHirst on 5/26/2006 1:22:22 PM , Rating: 2
Corporations just can't seem to remeber to close their *SATIRE* and *HYPOCRISY* tags, can they?

Snowballs chance in hell.
By Orpheus333 on 5/26/2006 4:45:09 PM , Rating: 2
Does torrentspy really have the resources to fight the MPAA? Court costs aren't cheap. I could see a rally of support for torrentspy if these allegations are indeed overwhelmingly true, still, it will be far less than needed to offer a serious threat to the MPAA.

I don’t think this is as good of news as we would like to hear/are taking it to be. IMO one of two things will happen: the case gets thrown out- Nothing happened to the MPAA (see Motorola example). Or, the MPAA settles outside of court with torrentspy- Nothing happened to the MPAA. Hopefully the latter wouldn't come true, but they would offer an almost irresistible amount to a company which I can’t imagine is very well off, it would be hard for anyone to pass up.

I seriously doubt the MPAA as an organization is threatened by this discovery. They'll just find another way, probably more sinister, and get their desire in the end.

Even though we would all kill people concerning the MPAA, would we open our wallets to support the site? This, ofcourse, is all assuming that the company is micro in comparison to the funding backing the MPAA

MPAA & RIAA IDEA for you here
By SaintSinner1 on 5/26/2006 5:48:51 PM , Rating: 2
MPAA & RIAA should hire assasins to eliminate some number of people downloading illegaly files. Any illegal downloading activities would stop immediatly and problem solved.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
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