For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Tuesday, 16 November 2004

THE HUNTER AND THE HUNTED: MPAA SEEKS TO PICK OFF ITS QUARRY


The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), a trade group representing seven major movie studios, has filed a bunch of lawsuits against individuals they say are offering pirated copies of films using Internet-based peer-to-peer file sharing programs, reports Findlaw. As yet it is not known how many defendants were sued or where the lawsuits were filed. The group also did not immediately make available a copy of the complaint. The lawsuits reportedly seek injunctions against the defendants (US copyright law also provides for penalties of up to $30,000 for each motion picture traded over the Internet, and up to $150,000 if such infringement is shown to be willful).

The MPAA is using a computer program that sniffs out movie and music files on a user's computer, as well as any installed file sharing programs. Information detected by this program could be used to remove any "infringing movies or music files" as well as removing file-sharing programs.

The IPKat observes that the tactic of pursuing individuals, first pursued by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), appears to be bearing fruit. The notion that downloads of commercially released recordings should be paid for by someone, somewhere, is becoming gradually more widely accepted by computer users, particularly now that a DRM culture is delivering music more quickly and cheaply to consumers than did the old over-the-counter sale of records, tapes, CDs and DVDs. But individuals have to be big enough nuisances before they
arer worth suing: for now, the small-scale infringers probably remain safe from legal action.

The hunter and the hunted? Click here, here and here

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