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Feds shut down Torrent site.

Old 05-26-05, 01:47 PM
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Feds shut down Torrent site.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/c...wnloading.html

WASHINGTON Federal raiders. Internet pirates. Intergalactic screen adventures. The government announced a crackdown Wednesday on the theft of movies and other copyrighted materials that has the elements of a movie plot.

Federal agents shut down a Web site that they said allowed people to download the new Stars War movie even before it was shown in theaters.

The Elite Torrents site was engaging in high-tech piracy by letting people download copies of movies and other copyright material for free, authorities said.

The action was the first criminal enforcement against individuals who are using cutting-edge BitTorrent technology, Justice and Homeland Security Department officials said.

Elite Torrents had more than 133,000 members and 17,800 movies and software programs in the past four months, officials said. Among those titles was "Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith," which was available through Elite Torrents six hours before its first showing in theaters, the officials said.

The movie was downloaded more than 10,000 times in the first 24 hours.

Authorities served search warrants in 10 cities against computer users accused of being the first to offer copyrighted materials to other BitTorrent users on the Web site, Homeland Security's Customs and Immigration Enforcement agency said. The cities are: Austin, Texas; Erie, Pa.; Philadelphia; Wise, Va.; Clintonwood, Va.; Germantown, Wis.; Chicago; Berea, Ohio; Anthem, Ariz. and Leavenworth, Kan.

Authorities said the warrants were still under seal.

Investigators said many of the copyrighted movies were available through the Web site before their commercial release.

President Bush signed a new law last month setting tough penalties of up to 10 years in prison for anyone caught distributing a movie or song prior to its commercial release.

"Today's crackdown sends a clear and unmistakable message to anyone involved in the online theft of copyrighted works that they cannot hide behind new technology," said John C. Richter, acting assistant attorney general.

People trying to access the elitetorrents.org Web site on Wednesday were greeted with a warning about the penalties for copyright infringement, although officials said the investigation is focusing on those who originally offered the pirated materials.

The message also said: "This site has been permanently shut down by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Individuals involved in the operation and use of the Elite Torrents network are under investigation for criminal copyright infringement."

BitTorrent has become the file-sharing software of choice because of its speed and effectiveness, especially after the recording industry last year began cracking down on users of Kazaa, Morpheus, Grokster and other established software.

The Motion Picture Association of America estimates that movie piracy cost the film industry $3.5 billion last year, not including the sharing of files online. The association assisted in the investigation, officials said.

"Shutting down illegal file swapping networks like Elite Torrents is an essential part of our fight to stop movie thieves from stealing copyrighted materials," said the group's president, Dan Glickman.

Hollywood movie studios last year sued many operators of computer servers that use BitTorrent technology to help relay digital movie files across online file-sharing networks. The group also sued six sites this month that focus on swapping television programs.
My guess is that the main use of Bit torrent is for porn, but it is a great program for things like Old Time Radio and other things that aren't copyrighted.

But you can sure see that if you are a movie/music grabber, it is just a matter of time until you get a nasty letter, etc. some day.
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Old 05-26-05, 01:50 PM
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No, main use of Bit Torrent is for TV shows and movies. Porn might be a very very close second.
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Old 05-26-05, 01:50 PM
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I'd like to see them shut down a Chinese torrent site. Never happen.
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Old 05-26-05, 01:52 PM
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I have got two nasty calls, and one letter to date. While my internet provider was not happy with me, they did not cancle my account.

I have not used bittorrent in over three months, but that is due more to my firewall slowing my stuff down to a snails pace then anything else. Sad thing is all the things I was called on were anime, save the movie The Fast and the Furious. Hell, I buy it when it comes out on dvd!
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Old 05-26-05, 01:55 PM
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I have never used a bit torrent site before, but I was curious about one thing. Is it illegal to download television programs that have already aired? This question came up when I missed the survivor finale a couple of weeks ago.
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Old 05-26-05, 01:55 PM
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What is a bit torrent, Ive always heard about them?
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Old 05-26-05, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by dave-o
I have never used a bit torrent site before, but I was curious about one thing. Is it illegal to download television programs that have already aired? This question came up when I missed the survivor finale a couple of weeks ago.

From what I read it is unknown. HBO and other premium channels have gone after people before, but that is more understandable since their site is a pay service. The others haven't made any issue of it, however. Probably makes the sponsors mad, but then so does Tivo.

gmal - it is a P2P program that allows you to share at great speed because you are downloading different bits of information from different people.
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Old 05-26-05, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by gmal2003
What is a bit torrent, Ive always heard about them?
Someone will give a better explanation, but it's a peer-to-peer file sharing format. You download a little "torrent" file, execute it and it follows directions within that file to connect you to people who have also executed that file. The more people who are running it, the faster the download.

I love it when these industries make claims like they "lost" billions of dollars to piracy. I'd say at least 3/4 of the people who download ROTS also went to the theater. And those who didn't never would have gone to see the movie anyway.

I know that I've download music I would never have bought - how can that cost someone a sale?
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Old 05-26-05, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by gmal2003
What is a bit torrent, Ive always heard about them?
The best thing since sliced bread.

I get all the TV shows I watch the day after they air. I watch them commercial free and with excellent quaility. All the ones I download are from broadcast TV.
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Old 05-26-05, 02:11 PM
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That is the reson that I used the program for some of the more mainstream movies. I hate going to the theater, and I do not have the patience to wait for it to come out on dvd. So I would download it, watch it, and when it was released on dvd buy it.
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Old 05-26-05, 02:13 PM
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I think I smell a lock. Might want to discuss this via e-mail.
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Old 05-26-05, 02:14 PM
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another site shall take place
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Old 05-26-05, 02:15 PM
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But this is still okay in Canada right?
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Old 05-26-05, 02:18 PM
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Everything is okay in Canada!

(Music is still good for now. Not sure about movies/tv shows)
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Old 05-26-05, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by dave-o
I have never used a bit torrent site before, but I was curious about one thing. Is it illegal to download television programs that have already aired? This question came up when I missed the survivor finale a couple of weeks ago.
I can't seem to find it, but I saw an article in EW that said that studios are going after people for this now.
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Old 05-26-05, 02:25 PM
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Idiots. If you strike one down, another will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

If not for all this intervention, we'd probably all still be stumbling around on a buggy Napster and combining .rar files over XDCC, but all these efforts just accelerate progress. Thanks, RIAA and US Government. I'm sure the next evolution of p2p will be even better and faster, and it's all thanks to you.

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Old 05-26-05, 02:26 PM
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Found an article:

MPAA Turns Attention to TV-Show Piracy
By Greg Hernandez
Daily News
05/13/05 11:32 AM PT

Television shows on DVD have become a large chunk of the home entertainment industry for the studios. The TV-on-DVD category, with up to 400 titles released each year, accounted for about US$2.3 billion in sales last year, a jump from $1.4 billion in 2003.

The Motion Picture Association of America , already entrenched in several legal battles against online movie piracy, turned its attention to television pirates yesterday.

In a lawsuit, the MPAA accused six BitTorrent Web sites -- ShunTV, Zonatracker, Btefnet, Scifi-Classics, CDDVDHeaven, and Bragginrights -- of illegally swapping copyrighted television shows to more than 100,000 people each day.


More Suits
"On these sites, anyone in the world can download entire television seasons in a single click," said the MPAA President and Chief Executive Officer, Dan Glickman. "Every television series depends on other markets -- syndication, international sales -- to earn back the enormous investment required to produce the comedies and dramas we all enjoy, and those markets are substantially hurt when that content is stolen."

This marks the first time the MPAA, which represents the interests of the major studios, has targeted TV-oriented sites for swapping television shows. The organization has already filed several rounds of lawsuits since last November dealing with the downloading of feature films.

"Litigation is absolutely an appropriate policy for intellectual-property holders to both protect their rights and to create a culture of respect for their rights," said Andrew Bridges, litigation partner in the San Francisco office of Winston and Strawn.

"I think enforcement, ... education [and] ... effort to provide consumers satisfactory marketplace options are three prongs of an important strategy in the new world of digital entertainment consumption," Bridges added.

Glickman said last month that estimated losses to the movie industry last year reached US$3.5 billion from street sales of pirated movies alone. In a study by Informa Media Group, researchers estimate that online file sharing costs an additional $858 million annually.

Subject to Fines
Under the United States Copyright Act, each violator could be subject to fines of $30,000 to $150,000 per violation for downloading.

Glickman said that the MPAA has been making progress in shutting down many of the BitTorrent sites dedicated to illegal movie swapping and that more than 90 percent of the sites that have been sued have been shut down.

"Since we began shutting these sites down, the time it takes to download a file on BitTorrent has increased exponentially, which means the experience of downloading copyrighted films and TV shows is not what it used to be," Glickman said. "We intend to make it even worse. Protecting the television industry is essential."

Television shows on DVD have become a large chunk of the home entertainment industry for the studios. The TV-on-DVD category, with up to 400 titles released each year, accounted for about $2.3 billion in sales last year, a jump from $1.4 billion in 2003. Sales figures are projected to increase by about 30 percent each year through 2008, according to the Digital Entertainment Group, an industry trade association.

"We've gotten so jaded now that we don't even watch the stuff on TV. We just sit around and wait for the DVD version to show up," said Ralph Tribbey, editor of The DVD Release Report, an industry newsletter. "But the downloading seems so illegal. It's not the same as if a consumer tapes a show over the air and burns a DVD for their own use."

Last edited by DodgingCars; 05-26-05 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 05-26-05, 02:26 PM
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It should be pointed out that the BitTorrent technology has legitimate commericial use as well. For example, Blizzard uses BT to distribute patches for World of Warcraft.
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Old 05-26-05, 02:29 PM
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I was thinking about getting a tivo because to the crack down on tv sites. Then I heard a bad thing. All new TVs, VCRs, and what not will have to have this chip in that will prevent you from recording shows. I'm hoping this isn't true. I guess if I buy a tivo now I can avoid the issue since I don't think they have said chip.
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Old 05-26-05, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by das Monkey
Idiots. If you strike one down, another will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

If not for all this intervention, we'd probably all still be stumbling around on a buggy Napster and combining .rar files over XDCC, but all these efforts just accelerate progress. Thanks, RIAA and US Government. I'm sure the next evolution of p2p will be even better and faster, and it's all thanks to you.

das
I was talking to my wife about this. It really makes little sense that the studios/game industry aren't trying to keep up with technology. While people still download music illegally, I think the large number of people are now paying $1 a song shows that people are willing to pay for convienience.

Or, take the growing video game rom trading thats going on. You can buy a flash card for your GBA and play old Nintendo games on it... Why didn't Nintendo think of this first? They could have sold their NES games for $1-2 a piece online and provided the equipment themselves.

Movie downloads are a joke. If I want to legally download movies, I pay about $4-5 to view it for 48 hours on my monitor. -- I, like most people still don't have their computer hooked up with their entertainment system. I'd rather go to Blockbuster and get the DVD.

I read an article from a guy who said he'd gladly pay $1 or more a show for The Daily Show, because he doesn't have cable and doesn't want to get cable for this one show... so in the mean time, he gets it for free and feels a little guilty.
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Old 05-26-05, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Baron Of Hell
I was thinking about getting a tivo because to the crack down on tv sites. Then I heard a bad thing. All new TVs, VCRs, and what not will have to have this chip in that will prevent you from recording shows. I'm hoping this isn't true. I guess if I buy a tivo now I can avoid the issue since I don't think they have said chip.
"Every" DVD player comes with a chip that only lets you watch DVDs from your region.... I wouldn't worry.
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Old 05-26-05, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by dave-o
I have never used a bit torrent site before, but I was curious about one thing. Is it illegal to download television programs that have already aired? This question came up when I missed the survivor finale a couple of weeks ago.
Most TV industry people consider it stealing. Of course, some of them consider skipping the commercials stealing:
http://www.2600.com/news/view/article/1113
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Old 05-26-05, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
It should be pointed out that the BitTorrent technology has legitimate commericial use as well. For example, Blizzard uses BT to distribute patches for World of Warcraft.
Yes, but what is the percent of legitimate vs. illegitimate BitTorrent going around? I would say 99% is illegitimate.

Just a guess though
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Old 05-26-05, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Baron Of Hell
I was thinking about getting a tivo because to the crack down on tv sites. Then I heard a bad thing. All new TVs, VCRs, and what not will have to have this chip in that will prevent you from recording shows. I'm hoping this isn't true. I guess if I buy a tivo now I can avoid the issue since I don't think they have said chip.
Yea, I wouldn't worry about this either. Even if they do you can guarantee someone will come up with a way to bypass it.
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Old 05-26-05, 02:49 PM
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"It's not the same as if a consumer tapes a show over the air and burns a DVD for their own use."



It seems like essentially the same thing to me.
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