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Category — BigMedia v P2P Providers

How the RIAA Litigation Process Works

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersBigMedia v. P2P Users

Recording Industry v. the People has a terrific article on the ex-parte cookie-cutter process the RIAA uses to sue its thousands of defendants. As they explain: "at the core of the whole process are: (1) the mass lawsuit against a large number of "John Does"; (2) the "ex-parte" order of discovery; and (3) the subpoenas demanding the names and addresses of the "John Does". The RIAA settlement offer is usually for $3,750, non-negotiable, and contains numerous one-sided provisions. There are several lawsuits challenging this process. Read the linked article for details.

Source: Recording Industry v. The People.

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Russia-based AllofMP3 Launches DRM-free allTunes

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersDRM-Free ServicesNew Business ModelsPiracy

Russian-based AllofMP3.com has released a beta of its latest desktop music library and download tool allTunes. Although the name is an obvious play on iTunes, those familiar with AllofMP3 will know that they are infamous for extremely cheap, high quality and quasi-legal, DRM-free music downloads in MP3 format on the web.

Sources: Tech Crunch | ars technica | All About Symbian

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Torrentspy Fights Back Against MPAA in Motion to Dismiss

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersCases

Text of Motion to Dismiss
The U.S. Supreme Court decision in MGM v. Grokster clearly found Grokster to be contributorily liable for inducing its users to directly infringe the copyright in content shared through the Grokster peer-to-peer file sharing network, on the basis that it took “affirmative steps” to induce such infringement. Absent affirmative steps to induce copyright infringement, Grokster arguably would not have been liable. Since that decision was handed down, the entertainment industry has attempted to expand what the decision actually said in arguing, without foundation, that file sharing and torrent tracking sites were, per se, illegal on the basis of the Grokster decision. The Supreme Court did not make that ruling. This is the argument Torrentspy is aptly making in its Motion to Dismiss at lines 18 to 20:

There are no facts showing a “clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement” on the parts of defendants. (Grokster, at 125 S.Ct. 2770.)

Sources: BBC | PC World Australia | Techdirt | The Register | The Inquirer | MacWorld | Playfuls | Afterdawn.com | EarthTimes.org | Torrentspy Press Release | LinuxWorld.com.au | ITNews.com.au | WebProNews | Slyck | PC Advisor

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AllPeers, The P2P File Sharing FireFox “Killer App”

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersNew Tech

AllPeers is preparing a BitTorrent-based Firefox extension service that will let users share files privately through a Web browser using a “buddy list” of friends and acquaintances. By contrast most file-sharing networks today are all-or-nothing propositions — you either share files with the entire Internet, or with no one.

Sources: CNN Money.com  |  Techcrunch  |  Red Herring  |  P2PNet  |  Yahoo! News  |  Betadot.com

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The Pirate Bay: Here to Stay? (Wired Feature)

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersPiracy

One prominent site is missing from the movie industry’s recent round of lawsuits, and it happens to be the simplest and best-known source of traded movies — along with pirated video games, music, software, audio books, television broadcasts and nearly any other form of media imaginable. The site is called The Pirate Bay, and it’s operated by a crew of intrepid Swedes who revel in tormenting the content industries.

Source: Wired

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P2P Shut Downs and Settlements in South Korea and Europe

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersDecisionsPolice ActionsSettlements

Legal actions have taken place recently that put dents in P2P file sharing around the world. The South Korean file-sharing network Soribada announced on Monday that it has agreed to a settlement with KAPP (the Korean equivalent of RIAA in the US) related to charges of copyright infringement before that country’s Central District Court. Soribada will pay KAPP the sum of KRW 8.5 Billion (US $8.7 Million) to end the dispute.

Source: DMR Watch

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Hollywood Hails eDonkey P2P Shutdown

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersCasesPolice Actions

Swiss and Belgian police have shut down a major component of the eDonkey file-sharing network, used mainly to trade copies of copyrighted movies and music.

ZDNet | MSNBC | The Register | Reuters | Inquirer | MP3.com | CD Freaks | TG Daily | PC Pro | ITWorld | afterdawn.com

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Kazaa, Record Company Lawyers Ready for Australian Appeal

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersCases

The appeal follows the September 5, 2005 judgment, which was dubbed a “landmark” decision by both sides. The judgment guaranteed the continued operation of Kazaa, while the record companies saw the decision as striking at the heart of internet piracy. At the time, the record companies reportedly said they would not be appealing the decision.

Sources: The Register | Slyck | Smarthouse | MP3.com | P2PNet

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RIAA’s Next Big Target: Russia

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersDRM-Free ServicesLobbyingPiracy

Certain regions remain outside the RIAA's and IFPI's sphere of influence. One of those is Russia. A number of music download services operate out of that country, including the well-known AllofMP3.com. None of them have the blessing of the IFPI or any of the labels to offer music for sale, yet they have been given the green light to stay in business by Russian law enforcement. Now the RIAA is attempting to gain the support of the US government in its fight against the Russian music download services.

Source: ars technica

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BitTorrent and MPAA Reach Agreement

Categories: AgreementsBigMedia v P2P ProvidersiVOD/iTVMilestonesSettlements

BitTorrent and the MPAA reach an agreement under which unlicensed copyright movies will be expeditiously removed from BitTorrent.com's recently launched search engine

Sources: Wired | ZDNet | Reuters | BBC | The Register | Los Angeles Times | Forbes

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Korean Soribada P2P Site Shut Down After Court Verdict

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersInjunctionsPolice Actions

A Korean, P2P Network, Soribada, was shut down after its Central District Court to enjoined the service at the behest of the Korean Association of Phonogram Producers (KAPP — the equivalent of the RIAA in the US). A lower Korean court had previously cleared Soribada of wrongdoing.

Sources: DRM Watch | Chosun | The Register | afterdawn.com

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Grokster Shuttered in Court Settlement

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersInjunctionsSettlements

P2P Companies to Exit Business as RIAA Cease and Desist Letters Flow

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersCasesCease & Desist

Several makers of popular P2P file sharing software have received cease-and-desist letters from the RIAA, and some of them are in the process of shutting down or selling themselves at bargain-basement prices to other companies.

Sources: DRM Watch | CNet | Billboard

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Australian High Court Rules Against Kazaa

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersDecisions

Text of Decision (UMA v. Sharman)
The Federal Court of Australia decided on Monday that the Kazaa file-sharing network has authorized copyright infringement and must modify its technology to curtail infringing activities within two months. Providing authorization to infringe is a violation of Section 101 of the Australian Copyright Act and is somewhat similar to principles of secondary infringement in other copyright laws, such as vicarious infringement in US law.

Sources: DRM Watch | CNet | TechLawJournal | ZDNet

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U.S. Supreme Court Finds Grokster Liable

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersDecisionsMilestones

Text of Decision
Grokster is held to be contributorily liable for inducing/encouraging its users to directly infringe the copyright in content shared through the Grokster peer-to-peer file sharing network.
Sources: Wikipedia Entry | PDF version | EFF Page | DRM Watch

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Company Claims Ability to Wipe Out File-sharing

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersDRM Arms RacePrivacy

ViralG says it has developed digital rights protection software that can be incorporated into digital movie, music or software releases and set to play havoc with P2P networks on which releases may appear.

The Register

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The BitTorrent Effect

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersCases

Hollywood movie studios launched new legal action Tuesday against operators of sites that help connect people to movies on three major peer-to-peer file-sharing networks. The MPAA also targeted operators of servers for the eDonkey and Direct Connect networks. The group’s actions include criminal complaints and cease-and-desist orders issued to ISPs on four continents. Acting in cooperation with the MPAA, French law enforcement authorities took related action Monday, and actions by authorities in Finland and the Netherlands followed Tuesday.
Source: Wired

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Hollywood Wants BitTorrent Dead

Categories: BigMedia v P2P Providers

This is a very good overview of BitTorrent by Wired: “Movie studios hate it. File-swappers love it. Bram Cohen’s blazing-fast P2P software has turned the Internet into a universal TiVo. For free video-on-demand, just click here.”
Source: Wired

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Music Rebels Seek to Tame P2P

Categories: BigMedia v P2P Providers

After years of bitter battles between copyright holders and file-swapping services, the outlines of a partial truce are emerging that may soon see major record labels partner with peer-to-peer networks to create legal online music stores.
Source: ZDNet

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Grokster & Streamcast Win Major Court Victory

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersDecisions

Text of DecisionHTML Version
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Grokster Ltd. and StreamCast Networks Inc., unlike the original Napster, were not liable because they don’t have central servers pointing users to copyright material.

Note: This decision was ultimately overtuned by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 27, 2005. See related stories posted on June 27, 2005.

Sources: MSNBC | Tech Law Journal

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Canadian Federal Court Rejects Motion to Disclose IP Addresses of P2P Users

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersDecisionsMedia LevyPrivacy

Text of Decision (Reversed, in part, on appeal)

Update (May 19 2005): Note that the findings of the court described below as to: (i) the lack of infringement; and (ii) the tests that must be met to compel disclosure; were subsequently overturned by the Court of Appeal. Click here for my post on the appeal court's ruling.


In BMG Canada Inc. v. John Doe, 2004 FC 488 (aff'd/rev'd 2005 FCA 193), much like the RIAA is doing in the U.S., the Canadian Recording Industry Association ("CRIA") brought a Federal Court of Canada motion to compel Canadian ISPs to disclose the identities of 29 individuals they allege were violating copyrights through the use of KaZaA and iMesh P2P file-sharing networks. CRIA submitted that the individuals used the IP addresses registered with the defendant ISPs and, as such, sought disclousre of their identities from the ISPs. Judge von Finckenstein ruled that CRIA did not meet the necessary tests for granting such an equitable bill of discovery. Specifically, CRIA did not meet the required tests in the following ways:

A. CRIA did not establish a prima facie case against the unknown wrongdoers:

Affidavit Deficiencies:

  1. The affidavits in support of the motion, being provided/sworn by the President of MediaSentry Inc. (Gary Millin) consisted largely of hearsay. His employees identified the IP addresses of the John Does, not Mr. Millin
  2. The Media Decoy system used by MediaSentry, distributes millions of bogus or inoperative files over the Internet to look like music files. Mr. Millen did not actually listen to the files copied by the John Does to determine if they were infringing files, decoy files or other files.

No evidence exists to connect the pseudonyms and the IP addresses:

No evidence was supplied as to how MediaSentry linked the pseudonyms used by KaZaa and iMesh users to the IP addresses identified by MediaSentry.

No evidence of infringement in copyright:

  1. Section 80(1) (Copying for Private Use) of the Copyright Act provides:"the act of reproducing all or any substantial part of a musical work … onto an audio recording medium for the private use of the person who makes the copy does not constitute an infringement in the musical work" and, as such, "the downloading of a song for personal use does not amount to infringement".
  2. Merely placing personal copies of songs into shared directories which are accessible by others via a P2P services does not constitute either: (i) the distribution or unauthorized copies or (ii) authorization of the reproduction; of sound recordings which is prohibited under the Copyright Act.
  3. The judge analogized to the L.S.U.C. v. CCH case where the establishment of facilities that allowed photocopying in a room full of copyrighted material did not amount to authorizing infringement. The judge could not see a real difference between that and a computer user that places a personal copy on a shared directly linked to a P2P service.
  4. The judge also noted that Article 6 of the 1996 WIPO Treaty, whereby authors would have the "exclusive right of authorizing the making available to the public the original and copies of their works", does not form a part of Canadian copyright law as the treaty has not yet been implemented in Canada.

B. CRIA did not show that the ISPs were the only practical source for the identity of the P2P users:

The person from whom discovery is sought must be the only practical source of the information available to the applicants. CRIA did not establish who the operators of the KaZaa or iMesh services were or whether the information could be determined from such persons.

C. In light of CRIA's delays, the public interest for disclosure was not outweighed by privacy concerns:

  1. While the plaintiffs are entitled to protect their rights, in light of legitimate privacy rights of Canadians, the judge must be satisfied that the information is reliable and disclosure is the minimum required for the plaintiffs to identify the alleged defendant. The ISPs indicated they could only reliably produce the requested information if requested in a timely fashion (ie: within 30 days or less of the alleged incident).
  2. However, the notice of motion requesting disclosure was given months after the evidence was gathered.
  3. Given the age of the data, its unreliability and the serious possibility of an innocent account holder being identified, the court was of the view that the privacy concerns outweigh the public interest concerns in favor of disclosure.

Subsequent Federal Court of Appeal Post:

Related Stories: WikiPedia | P2PNet | Gen X at 40 | CNet | Lang Michener

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Makers Of File-Sharing Software Bolster Efforts To Mask Users’ Identities

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersBigMedia v. P2P UsersDRM Arms RacePiracy

Vendors are rerouting connections through proxy servers and using firewalls and encryption to thwart efforts by the recording industry to sue online music swappers.
Source: Information Week

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Small Companies Legally Thrive On Internet Piracy

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersBigMedia v. P2P UsersPiracy

There’s a budding cottage industry devoted to thwarting file-sharing and other Internet piracy.

Sources: Information Week

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Program Lets P2P Users Roam Free with PeerGuardian

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersDRM Arms RaceDRM CircumventionPiracy

A new “cloaking” application that protects individuals from network snooping is making the rounds among file traders, marking the latest salvo in the increasingly volatile battle between music labels and file traders.

Sources: Wired | Wikipedia | Phoenix Labs – Home of PeerGuardian

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