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View Full Version : MPAA violates it's own rules?


Revgen
24th January 2006, 18:15
An LA Times article shows the MPAA's double-standards when it comes to following it's own rules. The organization apparently made a duplicate copy of a film that it didn't own a copyright for, and without the owner's permission. The owner has now gone after them about it and the MPAA calls it a "stunt" for the filmaker to promote his film.

At the very end of the article, a professor that the LA Times talked to said that the MPAA has a "legitimate defense" because they aren't selling the filmaker's work for commercial gain. He also says that he doesn't believe the MPAA would have any trouble defending itself.

Hmm... very interesting. The last I heard, those who distrubute motion pictures over P2P don't make any money off the movies they share, yet these people are "thieves, pirates, and criminals". It's amazing who the double-standard seems to apply to.

Here is the link: http://www.latimes.com/business/custom/cotown/cl-et-mpaa24jan24,0,2188275.story?coll=la-tot-promo&track=widget

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adam
24th January 2006, 20:16
I admit this looks shady as hell but I don't see how it is anywhere close to being like fileswapping on P2P. The MPAA made copies to use as evidence. The guy spied on MPAA members and rooted through their garbage and then put them in his film without their knowledge or consent. The only reason this guy found out that copies had been made in the first place was because he got a call from the authorities. I think that lawyer's statements are taken out of context. If the MPAA has a defense its not that they didn't use these copies commercially, its that their non-commercial use shows that they only made the copies for use as evidence.

If someone stalks me and then lends me a tape of them doing it, I'm going to keep a copy as evidence. That is perfectly legal.

*.mp4 guy
24th January 2006, 20:50
If someone stalks me and then lends me a tape of them doing it, I'm going to keep a copy as evidence. That is perfectly legal.

Surprisingly not, If you violated copyright law and DRM to do it. I also beleive that It couldn't be used as evidence if there was any recording of the stalkers voice on the tape that they did not give you permision to record.

Revgen
24th January 2006, 20:58
@adam

Last I checked, looking through somebody's trash can is not illegal as long as it's sitting on a public sidewalk. It's no different than what a P.I. does. Following someone with a camera is not illegal either as long as they are in public, since it's protected by free speech. If it was then why do the paparazzi get away with it.

On top of that, the MPAA has yet to file charges against the filmmaker, yet keep his film for "evidence".

If so, then on what grounds does the MPAA have to keep this movie?

Am I wrong?

adam
24th January 2006, 23:06
I did not say that what was documented on the tape (spying, rummaging through garbage, etc..) was per se illegal but clearly it could serve as evidence of illegal activity if it in fact rose to that level. There are protections against such activity if it amounts to stalking and its a good idea to retain such evidence if permitted by law.

As for violating copyright law and DRM. First off they go hand in hand. DRM is legally protected by the DMCA which exempts anything that any other provision of copyright law exempts. Thus if what you are doing is not copyright infringement than it does not matter if you bypassed DRM, encryption etc..., and for that matter the article said nothing about this video having any protection anyway.

Everyone always cries Fair Use this, Fair Use that on the internet, well if this isn't a case of Fair Use than I don't know what is. Look at the 4 prongs of Fair Use and I think you will agree that this passes them very easily. This is potentional evidence of criminal activity that concerns them. Copyright law is not absolute, it defers to certain activities such as this. Fair Use is intended to protect against punishment for infringement in instances when the infringer is acting in good faith and where the copyright holder is not harmed. I know the MPAA are the stereotypical corporate bastards but in this case I don't think that any judge would say they acted unreasonably.

The irony of the situation is that it is the MPAA doing the copying, when they are usually the ones doing the complaining. Honestly, if this were a case of a private citizen being sued because they made a copy as evidence, would anyone complain? Forget about the players. Look objectively at the act. Copyrights should not prevent you from protecting yourself against criminal activity. Under any other context I don't think anyone here would disagree with this. But its the MPAA...

*.mp4 guy: you cannot record somebody without their consent. This tape was made by the alleged stalker himself. It, or a copy, can absolutely be used against him.

Revgen: You can absolutely keep evidence in contemplation of future litigation so long as that is the only reason you are keeping it. That is what you are supposed to do.

Revgen
25th January 2006, 01:38
Revgen: You can absolutely keep evidence in contemplation of future litigation so long as that is the only reason you are keeping it. That is what you are supposed to do.

<satiracal rant. Don't actually do this!>

Oooh goody!!:D

I guess that means that I can go to a P2P server and download "evidence", keep it, and "contemplate" as long as I want. Whether or not the "evidence" actually contains anything I can use to litigate against anyone doesn't matter as long as I'm "contemplating."

<rant over>