If You Have Ever Downloaded Even Just One Movie…
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As they promised that they would, the Motion Picture Assocation of America (MPAA) and their members have filed hundreds of lawsuits this week against people who have downloaded, traded, or otherwise pirated commercial movies.

Like their brethern in the Recording Industry Assocation of America (RIAA), who filed hundreds of lawsuits against file-sharing users who had downloaded music in MP3 format using services such as Napster and Grokster, the MPAA has filed what are known as “John Doe” lawsuits, which allows them to file the lawsuit without knowing who it actually was who did the dirty deed (hence the “John Doe” – the universal name for someone whose name you don’t know), and then subpoena the information associated with the IP address used to download the file, to find out who actually did the downloading.


Where the similarity ends, however, is that the RIAA for the most part only went after people who had downloaded hundreds, if not thousands, of songs. The MPAA and friends are suing people even if they have downloaded only one movie ever. One. Ever.

The odds are pretty good that if somebody has only ever dowloaded one movie, a) they did it for their own personal use rather than to traffic in pirated movies, or they did it to experiment (in which case they probably didn’t even inhale), b) they probably discovered that for the time it takes to download a movie, they could drive to Blockbuster, rent the movie, take it home, watch it, and return it, all before the download was done, c) given ‘a’ and ‘b’, if they’ve only done it once, and it wasn’t recently, they probably aren’t going to do it again, and d) the odds of the MPAA actually recouping their cost of the lawsuit from the type of individual likely to download one movie seems slim. The MPAA is asking for up to $150,000 per movie in damages, and of course attorneys fees alone will in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But, says John Malcolm, director of the MPAA, “We need to nip this thing in the bud. One copy could easily become tens of thousands of copies available around the world. We do not believe that any amount of illegal use is sanctioned.'”

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We’re sure that they will be just as successful as has been the RIAA.

You can read more about this at the Washington Post both here and here.

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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What info did you find here today?:

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