MPAA caught pirating movie

Link 1
This Link is not yet rated

I love hypocrisy.

Any remaining reservations I may have had about downloading movies have just been burned onto a DVD. Then I put the DVD into a box. Then I put that box into a bigger box, and then I mailed that box to myself and when it arrived … hahaha … I SMASHED it with a hammer!

“The VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston Strangler is to the woman alone.” - Jack Valenti, MPAA

So what does this make the MPAA?

From the second link:

Anyone else read that and hear, “Well THEY broke a rule FIRST! Gosh, Mom, it wasn’t our FAULT! Sheesh!”?

From the first link

I am in the US Army, so any film that has the US Army in it I can legally make a copy of because I am the subject of the film? Can I expand this? I am an employee of the goverment, so any film that has goverment employees depicted in it I can copy? I am a citizen of the US. Can I copy any movie with US citizens in it? I am a resident of the planet Earth. Can I copy any movie with residents of the planet Earth in it? There I think I covered everything. :wink:


Well of course when you download a movie instead of buying it you’re not hurting the MPAA at all. You are hurting the owners of the movies you’re stealing. The MPAA’s possibly illegal act doesn’t excuse yours.

And it’s possible that the MPAA did not act illegally at all:

How interesting. Tell me more.

Who said anything about me hurting the MPAA? Seems like they’re doing a good enough job of that on their own - which is exactly my point. How aggressive do you think they’re going to be in pursuing movie downloads after this? Obviously the law hasn’t changed, but the legal credibility of those who would enforce it has.

I’m no lawyer, but I’ve never heard of that sort of defense of copyright infringement. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t exist, at least not from a bare reading of the law. It is true since it was not done for profit they would not be subject to criminal prosecution. All I can think of is that the penalty might not be so great for this situation, but it looks like they violated the copyright.

Of course, if this was a copy-protected DVD, the point is moot. There is no legal defense against that.

But wouldn’t it be funny seeing the MPAA take it to the Supreme Court?

So according the the MPAA, since they are not selling it commercially for profit, it’s ok to copy it? :rolleyes:

What specifically are/were your reservations about stealing movies, that the MPAA’s action has allowed you to set aside? Why do you feel that stealing from the people who created the movies you download is excused by the MPAA’s making one copy of this movie?

I guess I’m not understanding your point at all, as I am not getting how the MPAA’s making a copy of a film pardons the theft of millions of copies of thousands of movies.

I imagine they will probably continue to be as aggressive as they have always been.

Making one copy of this film in the mistaken belief that doing so was legal is in no way the legal, ethical or moral equivalent to your stealing movies. I have no reason to believe that the MPAA, in copying the film, was acting in anything other than a good faith belief that it had the right to do so. If it in fact turns out that the MPAA had no legal right to copy the film or otherwise acted in bad faith here, and if they fail to make it right, then I will happily join the chorus deriding it (which of course would still not excuse your or anyone else’s multiple thefts). I know for a stone fact that you have no legal right to steal the movies you’ve stolen, and attempting to justify your thefts based on the MPAA’s action is ridiculous.

The MPAA is saying that it is concerned that Dick invaded the privacy of its raters by following them around, digging through their trash, etc. Per the linked article:

The article goes on to quote Dick’s lawyer saying that he is unaware of case law which supports the MPAA position, which doesn’t mean there isn’t any or that the MPAA is necessarily wrong.

No. According to an intellectual property expert consulted for the second article, the fact that the MPAA is not selling the copy for profit is a point in the MPAA’s favor. The MPAA does not appear to be hanging its hat on the “not selling it commercially for profit” hook. The MPAA is apparently maintaining that it has the right to copy the work to preserve it as evidence for possible future legal action based on allegations of invasion of privacy (a civil tort) of its raters.

According to the FBI warnings I have seen lately:

“The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to five years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.”

That’s my point. But one of the MPAAs arguments was that it wasn’t copying the film to sell it commercially. If I rent a film from blockbuster and copy it for my own use, I fail to see how that is different. The “saving it for potential legal action” is a complete bullshit argument IMHO. Even if true, that changes nothing about the law, and I highly doubt it is true.

This sort of thing really pisses me off.

The issue is that the MPAA and RIAA are right about piracy and copying and I fully support their efforts in that area: people should be prevented from ripping off the artists the profess to admire.

But, as is too often the case, the MPAA and RIAA are greedy scum. And every time they act as greedy scum, the set their cause (and the cause of all creative people) back disasterously. Things like this, or CD price fixing, or SONY’s rootkit, or raising download prices, or Hollywood accounting, or any one of a dozen more incidents that stink of greed discredits them and allows the theives to rationalize their behavior.

Both groups are right, even though they are greedy scum. But they’d be better off in the long run if they stop being greedy scum.

This is a little bit of a scare tactic. The only criminal copyright infringement is :

Source, section 506

I doubt the MPAA’s copying was that much.

Again, there is no “we’re justified in doing this because he broke the law and we needed it for legal purposes” exemption written into the law. As you mentioned, Otto, even their own lawyer knows of no case law. So there’s no precedent for this defense for this law. Unless there is some blanket ‘justifiable illegal actions are legal’ provision, I don’t see how this isn’t illegal infringement.

Which doesn’t excuse anyone else’s infringment, it just makes the MPAA hypocrites.

So as long as I don’t copy more than $1000 worth of DVDs within a 180-day period, I’m in the clear?

From criminal prosecution, yes. You’d still be civically liable for copyright infringment. And as long as you didn’t also violate the first part, seeking commercial avantage / financial gain (note those are separate conditions).

And again, if you copy a copy-protected DVD, even if it is legal for you to copy the work, you’re in violation of the DMCA.

(I am not a lawyer.)

No. Dick’s lawyer, Michael Donaldson, is the one who said he knew of no case law supporting the position. Which is what I said:

(emphasis added)

That an exemption allowing copying for purposes of evidence preservation is not written into the copyright law does not mean that there isn’t case law which allows it.

They could argue that making any copy is private financial gain, since you don’t have to shell out the dough to rent it again or if it gets stolen or broken you won’t have to pay to replace it.