Print 15 comment(s) - last by Christopher1.. on Oct 2 at 2:03 AM

A federeal judge in Los Angeles yesterday ruled that StreamCast Networks is liable

The popular file sharing program Morpheus encourages users to download and share music, movies and other copyrighted material without permission, according to a federal judge.  Due to alleged copyright infringement, the Motion Picture Association and Recording Industry Association of America sued StreamCast Networks, the distributor of Morpheus, in 2001.  U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson concluded that there is sufficient evidence that infringement actively takes place on Morpheus.

To help make the ruling, Judge Wilson used e-mails that were sent between StreamCast executives, including one that said that getting in trouble with the law is the best way to get into the news.  Another e-mail reportedly encouraged a user to upload copyrighted material.

It is unknown how much the company will have to pay in damages -- StreamCast is liable for up to $150,000 for each copyrighted song or movie shared with Morpheus.  A StreamCast spokesperson said the company may try to appeal the ruling.

Both the RIAA and MPAA have been engaged in an ongoing battle to try and stop what they view as illegal file sharing.  The RIAA had a part in shutting down the first popular P2P file sharing program Napster in 1998.  The RIAA has also sued the operators of Kazaa and Grokster -- both companies ultimately settled out of court.

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Don't Mince Words
By Dactyl on 9/28/2006 11:12:59 PM , Rating: 3
Both the RIAA and MPAA have been engaged in an ongoing battle to try and stop what they view as illegal file sharing. (emphasis added)

Something is either illegal or it is not. It's not a question of whether the RIAA/MPAA "view" it that way. It's certainly not a question of how much most THG readers (myself included) hate DRM!

It is illegal file sharing. Don't mince words. Tell it like it is. Be fearless in the face of fanboys (like the people who might down-rank this post for stating the obvious objective truth about the law, as if somehow I'm making a value judgment in favor of DRM).

RE: Don't Mince Words
By Sunbird on 9/29/2006 1:42:05 AM , Rating: 2
Apartheid (seperate racial development) was the law here in South Africa, just because its a law doesnt make it right.

RE: Don't Mince Words
By Clienthes on 9/29/2006 2:29:30 AM , Rating: 2
OP did mention that he wasn't making a value judgement. He said he was making a factual statement, and encouraged the author to do the same. The writers on this sight aren't big on "journalistic integrity", otherwise known as keeping your opinion hidden and just reporting the facts. Some folks let that get 'em worked up.

"DRM is wrong." is a values judgement, and is subjective (depending on your philosophical views on the nature of right and wront).

"Violating DRM is illegal." is an indisputable fact. It is not subjective. Whether you agree with the morality of the issue matters not one bit.

RE: Don't Mince Words
By FITCamaro on 9/29/2006 9:39:20 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Whether a law is right or wrong, breaking it is still illegal and you are responsible for the consequences of the act. One can argue that stealing food isn't wrong if you need food to survive. But doing it is still illegal and can get you thrown in jail.

Be responsible for you actions and stop saying "It's ok for me to break the law because I don't agree with it." Drug dealers don't agree with drug laws but that doesn't make it ok for them to sell crack and heroine.

RE: Don't Mince Words
By rykerabel on 9/29/2006 11:43:09 AM , Rating: 2
the author of the article is correct.

wording such as "what they view as" is the approach you take until an actual judge declares it in violation of law.

Much of what RIAA et al "views" as illegal has been declared legal by court ruling. So its still just their "view".

RE: Don't Mince Words
By mindless1 on 9/29/2006 4:34:07 PM , Rating: 2
"IT" what, exactly? Are you arbitrarily accusing all the users of this? It seems to me you are basically stating nonsense- that all illegal filesharing, is illegal filesharing (Duh?). Now let's move on to the filesharing that isn't clearly illegal, but could be argued as such.

This grey area is where the "what they view" distinction is made. "IT" is your random hypothetical concept which cannot be directly applied, but "IT" in reality is actual things being done, specific event that have to be considered on a case-by-case basis, and in some countries people are innocent until proven guilty. IE- someone has not done what you conclude is breaking a law until it has been proven so.

So yes, don't mince words. Don't take a valid statement and drift along a tangent with it until you have deliberately ignored everything except your own agenda.

Some specific acts ARE illegal. Some aren't. We can be sure the courts have in fact found some people innocent, but unfortunately the mob is trying to take advantage of sensless "they're guilty" mentailty just as you have which is quite contrary to law.

RE: Don't Mince Words
By Christopher1 on 9/30/2006 2:25:24 AM , Rating: 1
I have no problem with the MPAA and RIAA going after people who upload popular music or movies, but give me a break!

You cannot hold the developer of a piece of software liable for what someone does with it. If that were the case, then the developers of digital camera would be liable for the production of child pornography.
It just doesn't make sense.

The question should be are the infringing uses the ONLY thing the software is good for. In the case of Morpheus, it isn't.

By QueBert on 9/29/2006 4:14:26 AM , Rating: 2
I bought a Sony CD a few years back that had that blasted rootkit thing, I later learned that by the definition of what an "audio cd" was, what I bought wasn't an audio cd at all.It should have been illegal for Sony to sell them as one. breaking DRM if you own the song isn't illegal I don't give a fvck what the RIAA says. And if it is illegal, I will burn a cd using my sound cards line out if I have to, so I can have a cd I can legally copy. death to Sony, death to Apple, death to RIAA and anyone who supports their Nazi tatics. And thanks for ffing up music so only Pirates can enjoy it they way it's supposed to be (without hassle) great job guys!

By OrSin on 9/29/2006 9:29:46 AM , Rating: 1
Sorry but your completely wrong. Most CD have no DRM but if they did and you bought it know it had it then you have to live with it. Sony case is special since they illegally (yes i said it) added a rootkit and didn't inform the buyers. And where the hell you NAZI tactics from. Was they killing people or invading countries. Please save the overblown bull crap for your friends it just dont play well with people with any sence.

By Christopher1 on 10/2/2006 2:01:04 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, he is right about Nazi tactics. A favorite tactic of the Nazi's was "If you don't do what we want, we are going to destroy you!"

The MPAA and RIAA are doing the same thing by telling p2p developers "Do what we want you to do, or we will sue you out of existence!" It's quite an apt comparison in this day and age.

Judge changed his mind...
By therealnickdanger on 9/29/2006 10:22:39 AM , Rating: 2
That same judge ruled in favor of Morpheus several years ago... Someone should look into his bank account... the industry got to him! LOL

RE: Judge changed his mind...
By Christopher1 on 10/2/2006 2:03:06 AM , Rating: 2
That is quite a possibility. Maybe they didn't give money directly to him, but told him "Rule against Streamcast, and we will give a big campaign contribution to one of your friends!"

That has been shown to have been done by MANY Republican lawmakers and their supporters in the business world. I wouldn't put it past a judge, since most of them do not take their oath to uphold the law and Constitution seriously anymore.

True story
By middlehead on 9/28/2006 11:16:16 PM , Rating: 3
Weird Al's Don't Download This Song came across my playlist just as I clicked on this story.

By ChugokuOtaku on 9/29/2006 7:49:41 AM , Rating: 2
just who the hell still uses Morpheus? Almost everyone I know uses Bittorrent now days, except for the few challenged who are still confined in the realm of limewire

Laws change
By Ckilla on 9/29/2006 10:52:49 AM , Rating: 2
I think what the author might have been getting at is that just by the shear number of illegal downloader’s today, it may be safe to say that it may not be illegal to download in the future. Lots of things where once legal or illegal, the only way change is brought about is through the will of the people.

Personally though i hope it all comes crashing down... Piracy, MPAA, RIAA... I dislike them all equally

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