Got busted for downloading movie via bittorrent
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Thread: Got busted for downloading movie via bittorrent

  1. #1
    Senior Member wiskic10_4's Avatar
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    Got busted for downloading movie via bittorrent

    In keeping with nihil's "one interesting post a day for twenty-eight days" challenge, I thought I'd share an interesting experience.

    I'm a big fan of downloading movies for free off the web. I try to justify the legality of it all by saying "well, I wouldn't pay to see this anyway, but if it's free, why not" or "I've already bought and lost/traded/sold to Hastings that movie so many times, I ought to be able to download it for free."

    Anyway, it's illegal, we all know that. But I thought no one really cared so long as you weren't sharing hundreds of movies or profiting off of it somehow.

    Well, about two months ago, I found a torrent off of torrentz.com for the movie "Lost in Translation." I downloaded it like normal - I use the standard port, don't go through any proxies or anything fancy. I've never tried to hide what I was doing.

    Two days later my Ma (yes - I'm living with my parents ATM) gets a message from our ISP saying that they've disabled our modem because NBC has called them and said that the movie "Lost in Translation" was downloaded illegally to our IP address.

    And sure enough, the modem was disabled. My Ma called the ISP and played dumb, and they asked that she check her wireless security settings and that they would re-enable her modem, but if it happened again, they would have to cancel her service permanently.

    They also said that we may get a letter from NBC threatening legal action. We haven't got a letter, and I doubt we will. But wow.

    I've downloaded dozens, perhaps hundreds of movies before. I've never had anything like this happen. The movie worked fine (unfortunately - that's 102 minutes of my life that would have been better spent, I don't know, rearranging my sock drawer?). Definitely one that made the "I wouldn't have paid to see it anyway" list. The only reason I downloaded it was that it was on some 100 Greatest Movies of All Time list I found on the web.

    So some questions:

    1.) Do you think they "booby-trapped" me - like maybe the NBC anti-piracy folks seed their own torrents and track the IPs of leechers? Or do you think they just download torrents at random, seed and then track leechers?

    2.) The whole mess could have been avoided if I would have configured my torrent client to download through a proxy, right?

    3.) Could NBC really sue me? Are you responsible for locking down your wireless router? Everywhere I go, I see more open routers than not.

    4.) Is this just a fluke? Or does this happen pretty often? I did a little Googling but I couldn't find anything that really said one way or the other.

    5.) Where do you stand on the legality of file-sharing?

    How's that for the first post of the challenge, nihil?
    My Corner of the Intarwebz: Jeremy Dean Online

  2. #2
    Fastest Thing Alive s0nIc's Avatar
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    lol sorry to hear that m8. However, production stations have been very aggressively tracking down torrent users in the past few months.

    Torrent is probably an easy way to track pirates as all they need to do is seed and/or leech a specific torrent, grab IP Addresses, find out the ISPs they belong to and e-mail the corresponding ISPs.

    Depending on your ISP, they can de-activate or entirely cancel your membership based on their Terms of Agreement/Services, which you agreed to when signing up with them.

    The production stations/company may not be able to sue you, but your ISP can definitely cancel you.

    I know a fair number of people who got notifications from their ISP regarding Copy Right Infringement issues (downloading movies/tv eps)

  3. #3
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Hi there wiskic10_4

    Good post mate!

    I am sorry to hear of your experience, but I guess it will become more common in the future.

    1.) Do you think they "booby-trapped" me - like maybe the NBC anti-piracy folks seed their own torrents and track the IPs of leechers? Or do you think they just download torrents at random, seed and then track leechers?


    I don't think they actually do it themselves? last I heard they employ specialist third parties to do it for them, possibly for legal reasons?.........it might be considered "entrapment" or whatever? They certainly have been posting fake downloads in the past

    2.) The whole mess could have been avoided if I would have configured my torrent client to download through a proxy, right?
    In theory it should, but I would guess that depends on how much your ISP is in league with the MPAA? I think that many proxy sites are known and I don't know to what depth they inspect traffic. It would require a conscious and proactive approach from your ISP as far as I am aware, otherwise all they would see is the proxy.

    3.) Could NBC really sue me? Are you responsible for locking down your wireless router? Everywhere I go, I see more open routers than not.
    They could try, but I don't think they would get very far as it is not possible to prove who was actually using the wireless connection. This is really just "sabre rattling" IMO. Over here the hub/routers that ISPs provide are pretty primitive, so you could not be reasonably expected to notice what was going on.

    4.0 I would say that it is pretty common..........what they are really saying is "if you are doing this, stop............if you're not then please look at your security"

    5.) Where do you stand on the legality of file-sharing?
    OK (UK viewpoint), whilst it is technically illegal, I always consider what harm has been done...............like have you deprived anyone of any revenue that was rightfully theirs? That is how our courts look at things.

    Over here it is legal to possess pirated materials.................it is the downloading and distribution that is illegal

    Cheers



  4. #4
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    I used to be very anti-pirate. I would do research on movies, whatever I could find online, before I went out and bought the video. The quality of some movies being total crap kinda irked me, but I stayed the course like a good little citizen.

    Then, I went through Sony's little rootkit mess a few years ago. Lost my DVD drive when I deleted what I thought was a rootkit driver. Read where someone else had found that Sony had installed what was essentially rootkit software to keep track of what you listened to and watched, using your CD/DVD drives, and had gone through the process of losing their drives when deleting the software. Luckily, they had instructions on getting your drives back. And they worked.

    Now, I just pop down to the local 8urg3r K!ng (slightly obfuscated to throw off search engines) with free wifi whenever I need to download a torrent. My laptop's wireless NIC lets me change my MAC address to another MAC that works. Saves me the hassle of worrying about whether or not I'll sooner or later be fingered by some third-party RIAA/MPAA tracking suite. And I won't have to pay to watch a 2-hour-long turd float across my screen...
    Last edited by NukEvil; March 22nd, 2010 at 03:21 PM.

  5. #5
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    From what I understand, something like Peer Guardian would
    be a good idea. It blocks your client from talking to known RIAA/MPAA
    spies. I believe that entertainment is a right, not a privilege.
    Actors should work for free, or get real jobs.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  6. #6
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    well wiskic... nice thread.. but I generally would hesitate before admitting in an open forum that I'm breaking laws

    however.. here are some of my thoughts

    the RIAA and movie industry needs to make examples out of certain cases to try and discourage people from continuing. There has been a few cases of smalll time people getting charged, convicted and fined (in the hundreds of thousands of dollars) for sharing. one case involved a woman that lived about 20 miles from me who shared about 25 songs. you'll notice I said "shared".. as that is the key word here. These days, it's not the fact that you have downloaded the content so much as it is the fact that you are sharing/delivering the content to others.

    I do believe there is some torrent content put out as a honey pot. some of it is fake, some stuff is put out in order to make more interest in the movie.. a fake sort of advertisement.

    My kids used to install limewire/frostwire on their computers and I'd remove it whenever I got the chance. Of course they'd reinstall it and so finally I gave up on the removing and configured it to have no upload slots. (heh, now downloads would be wicked slow, hehe)

    I think these days most of the warez world has stepped away from using torrents since there are upload hosts such as rapidshare, megaupload, depositfiles, easyshare, filefactory.. etc.. now I do believe that these hosts know that 80-90 percent of the files uploaded are illegal and they will remove if the files are known to be illegal. but hell, rapidshare was once in Germany, the german government went after them so they moved their servers to Switzerland. so you can see where the priorities are, the euro...

    so, while I never use torrents or any p2p app. I will download from some of these hosts

    (oops, did I say that?)

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