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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Judge Decimates BitTorrent Lawsuit With Common Sense Ruling

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Author Topic: Judge Decimates BitTorrent Lawsuit With Common Sense Ruling
philnotfil
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We need more of this.

torrentfreak.com

The company with the rights to a sex tape is suing 5000+ defendants from multiple states in a single lawsuit. The judge

quote:
The case has become particularly interesting during the last couple of weeks. Judge Bernard Zimmerman’s criticism has been developing on a number of fronts including a general lack of progress, issues of jurisdiction, joinder, and the nagging feeling that the court is being used a collection agency – i.e a means to an end of achieving cash settlements from BitTorrent users.
quote:
“If all this is correct, it raises questions of whether this film was produced for commercial purposes or for purposes of generating litigation and settlements. Put another way, Article 1, section 8 of the Constitution authorizes Congress to enact copyright laws ‘to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts’.

“If all the concerns about these mass Doe lawsuits are true, it appears that the copyright laws are being used as part of a massive collection scheme and not to promote useful arts,” he concludes.


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Lyrhawn
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How are we defining useful arts?
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Pete at Home
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Don't need to for this case. Read the article.

Also read http://torrentfreak.com/lawyer-refuses-to-tell-court-how-profitable-bittorrent-settlements-are-110905/

quote:
Last month a lawyer was ordered by a judge to reveal how much money he has received from threatening to sue alleged BitTorrent users. The lawyer, Ira M. Siegel, missed the court’s deadline and even then failed to answer fully as required. After describing the EFF as a group wanting “freedom from the tyranny of having to pay for content,” his eventual response began with a surprising attack on an anti-copyright troll blogger.

......
At a hearing late August, Judge Bernard Zimmerman expressed unhappiness with the lack of progress in the case, as well as the possibility that the case is really just a fishing scheme to get money. Siegel took umbrage at the suggestion, and went on to lambast the EFF as wanting “freedom from the tyranny of having to pay for content.”

The jurisdiction issue was another sticking point. Judge Zimmerman had trouble with Siegel’s claims that being in a BitTorrent swarm subjects people to nationwide jurisdiction. There was also concern stemming from the Plaintiff and the lawyer being based in southern California, while filing in northern California.

At the end of the hearing the Judge made an order requiring the presentation of several items of information including details of any settlements paid (the previous week Siegel had dismissed 68 defendants with prejudice, indicating a settlement), copies of all settlement demands sent out, details of the distribution of the work, and the hiring of the Copyright Enforcement Group.

Zimmerman’s concern; that courts are being used as collections agencies.

The response to this motion was due by the end of August but not only did Siegel miss the deadline by filing late, he failed to respond as required, and refused outright to reveal how much he has received in settlements. Furthermore, he began his lengthy response with a surprising attack on blogger Sophisticated Jane Doe, a defendant from another case who posts on the FightCopyrightTrolls.com blog.

Sophisticated Jane Doe has been covering developments in the current case and Siegel is clearly unhappy with that. He describes Jane Doe as someone “who wants to see roadblocks in the way of copyright enforcement” and takes issue with ‘her’ (Siegel points out that sex should not be taken for granted) use of terms and phrases such as “Troll”, “he extorted”, “most sinister” and references to “shameless” honeypot schemes.

I have nothing but praise for Judge Zimmerman's decision to separate pimp and state. Wish he'd slapped sanctions on the bastard for contempt of court.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
“The Court’s concerns are heightened by plaintiff’s refusal to file under seal a copy of its settlement letter and related information about its settlement practices. The film sells for $19.95 on plaintiff’s website. According to public reports, plaintiffs in other BitTorrent cases, rather than prosecuting their lawsuits after learning the identities of Does, are demanding thousands of dollars from each Doe defendant in settlement,” Judge Zimmerman begins.

“If all this is correct, it raises questions of whether this film was produced for commercial purposes or for purposes of generating litigation and settlements. Put another way, Article 1, section 8 of the Constitution authorizes Congress to enact copyright laws ‘to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts’.

“If all the concerns about these mass Doe lawsuits are true, it appears that the copyright laws are being used as part of a massive collection scheme and not to promote useful arts,” he concludes.

How do you prove that someone created something INTENDING for it to be stolen just so they could sue and receive damages?
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Pete at Home
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Doesn't need to prove. the question was raised, so the judge asked for evidence relevant to the question, and the attorney refused to provide that evidence. Resolve the issue against the spoliator.

The courts were being used as a vehicle for extortion. People, innocent or guilty, were shelling out thousands of dollars as "settlements" to keep their names out of a big porn suit. And apparently the scam was big enough that the attorney flat out refused to tell the judge how much. Son of a bitch should be disbarred for extortion and open contempt of court.

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
And apparently the scam was big enough that the attorney flat out refused to tell the judge how much. Son of a bitch should be disbarred for extortion and open contempt of court.

Agreed.
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TheRallanator
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
How are we defining useful arts?

Same way we define "artistic merit" in obscenity trials. Judges are invested with the magical power of knowing it when they see it.
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Pete at Home
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Yes, once upon a time, one isolated judge, writing for the minority opinion, said "I know it when I see it," and ever since, cultural lefties pretend that's the sole legal standard for distinguishing porn from art.

Yawn.

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TheRallanator
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Yes, once upon a time, one isolated judge, writing for the minority opinion, said "I know it when I see it," and ever since, cultural lefties pretend that's the sole legal standard for distinguishing porn from art.

Yawn.

That's not quite how I intended it. What I mean is that terms like "artistic merit" or "useful arts" tend not to be explicitly defined by any legislation, so rulings on whether something qualifies as one of those things tend to be subjective, or based on precedents which were subjective, or based on generally used guidelines established (which, you betcha, are subjective).

Besides, if I wanted to get on my lefty high horse about the stupidity of obscenity law in the United States, I'd have opened up with a snide remark about how "community standards" are the sole legal standard [Smile]

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noel
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Rallanator,

From the panoramic view of a lefty high horse, are there any subjective values that *should* find protection under law?

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by TheRallanator:
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Yes, once upon a time, one isolated judge, writing for the minority opinion, said "I know it when I see it," and ever since, cultural lefties pretend that's the sole legal standard for distinguishing porn from art.

Yawn.

That's not quite how I intended it. What I mean is that terms like "artistic merit" or "useful arts" tend not to be explicitly defined by any legislation, so rulings on whether something qualifies as one of those things tend to be subjective, or based on precedents which were subjective, or based on generally used guidelines established (which, you betcha, are subjective).
Well of course they are subjective. Uberconservatives have just as hard a time with the idea that "reasonable search and seizure" is likewise subjective, and that the 4th amendment written in the 18th century could protect against wire tapping. A reasonable expectation of privacy is subjective, and thank heavens for that.


quote:

Besides, if I wanted to get on my lefty high horse about the stupidity of obscenity law in the United States, I'd have opened up with a snide remark about how "community standards" are the sole legal standard [Smile]

Then you'd have been wrong, since the "community standards" is not the *sole* legal standard in US constitutional law. Otherwise whole cities could ban Playboy, and they can't. The community standard rule is more often invoked on the side of the pimp/pornographer, e.g. in Las Vegas where pimps can harass a man walking down the street with his wife, shoving nude pictures in his face and asking if he'd like that girl to come to his room.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by noel:
Rallanator,

From the panoramic view of a lefty high horse, are there any subjective values that *should* find protection under law?

Privacy is a clearly subjective value which cultural lefties tend to enshrine. (And I generally agree with them as to privacy). European lefties focus more on "human dignity" rather than privacy, which leads to many but not all of the same practical results.
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jasonr
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quote:
The community standard rule is more often invoked on the side of the pimp/pornographer, e.g. in Las Vegas where pimps can harass a man walking down the street with his wife, shoving nude pictures in his face and asking if he'd like that girl to come to his room.
Now that's service! When a visited LV for the first time with my wife in February they had entire tribes of silent Mexicans in coloured t-shirts doing the work. No talking, just flicking the little flyers with their palms to make the most distinctive sound, as if to say: "hey young man holding hands with pregnant lady pushing stroller, you know you want some action on the side..."
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Pete at Home
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They didn't actually hold the flyers in front of your face?

I held out my hand 1 foot in front of my face so they couldn't shove the flyers there, and it pissed the pimpitas off; one started making rude comments about my wife in Spanish. I responded, in Spanish, asking if she's not ashamed to be whoring her own daughters. It didn't go over well.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
one started making rude comments about my wife in Spanish. I responded, in Spanish, asking if she's not ashamed to be whoring her own daughters. It didn't go over well.
I wish I could've been there... [LOL]
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Pete at Home
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Come visit me in Vegas and I'll give you a repeat performance.

There are certain advantages to knowing where the security cameras are on the strip.

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jasonr
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I actually found the Mexicans to be surprisingly unobtrusive. Sure, there were 8-9 of them on every street corner, but they never shoved anything in my face. Just *flick* *flick* *flick* with the flyers.
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Pete at Home
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Perhaps there's been a change in management since my experience, or maybe the area that you went by is controlled by a different Mexican gang than the one that I went by. Not Mexican-American gang; Mexican-Mexican gang. I have on good authority that's who is running most of the street-advertising call girl rackets these days.

The ACLU actually argued a defense for the rackets showing California models in their ads, and then sending up some worn out Mexican slave woman to the room ... the argument went something like not a fraud because the customers want a fantasy, bla blah, first amendment blah blah, commercial application free "speech" not distinguishable from private free speech, blah blah, content based prohibition is most eggregious, blah, banning wishful thinking promises would send us down a slippery slope to banning religious proselytizing, blah blah, and so forth.

And that's how the American civil "liberties" union manages to defend the profits of a system that relies on human trafficking and sexual slavery.

[ September 15, 2011, 12:20 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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