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misteraven

Re: ALBUM TRADER

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sorry kids, can't afford the drama...

 

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Judge Terminates TorrentSpy Defense, Citing Alleged Evidence Destruction

 

A federal judge in Los Angeles has summarily terminated TorrentSpy's defense against an MPAA copyright infringement lawsuit, as punishment for what she says is the torrent search engine's extensive and deliberate destruction of evidence.

 

"They have engaged in widespread and systematic efforts to destroy evidence and have provided false testimony under oath in an effort to hide evidence of such destruction," U.S. District Court judge Florence-Marie Cooper wrote in a December 13th decision (.pdf). "Although termination of a case is a harsh sanction appropriate only in 'extraordinary circumstances' ... the circumstances in this case are sufficiently extraordinary to merit such a sanction.

 

"Lesser sanctions would not be adequate to publish the defendants for the wrongful conduct and ameliorate the prejudice and harm to the plaintiffs."

 

The ruling holds TorrentSpy liable for copyright infringement without a trial, though Hollywood must still demonstrate its financial losses before a final judgment. In a statement, the MPAA called the decision a "significant victory." TorrentSpy attorney Ira Rothken says he'll appeal.

 

At issue is a flurry of message board editing and user IP address anonymization that took place after the MPAA filed its lawsuit in February 2006.

 

TorrentSpy allegedly deleted "hundreds or thousands" of postings on the TorrentSpy forums referencing copyright infringement. On March 6th, 2006, a manager posted a private message to the site's volunteer moderators warning, "We need to make sure that these forums stay clear of anything related to piracy. … I'd even recommend using the search engine to find past threads that may hurt us."

 

The judge found that forum postings were then redacted, replacing the names of copyrighted works with text like "[some movie 1]" and "[some movie 2]." Some forum threads were deleted entirely, though most were just made private.

 

TorrentSpy's position is that it cleaned the site to avoid future lawsuits, and that the company assumed the MPAA had already archived the public forums. "This contention," the judge wrote, "is simply not believable."

 

"The destruction of evidence clearly relevant on the issue of copyright infringement cannot be justified by the assumption that it's already been viewed by the plaintiffs."

 

The court was also put off by TorrentSpy's anonymization of user IP addresses in its logs. In April, the company turned over user IP addresses in pre-trial discovery that had been shorn of the last octet, making them useless for tracking down users with any certainty. The MPAA produced forum threads indicating that records of full IP addresses had existed.

 

"The Court concludes that Defendants were well aware of their obligation to preserve those addresses in their entirety. The deletion of the fourth octet of these addresses was willful."

 

The company also refused to provide the real names and addresses of TorrentSpy's moderators, claiming that it didn't have that information. But a moderator deposed by the MPAA said she sometimes used her real name in communicating with a TorrentSpy manager, and that the company sometimes sent moderators TorrentSpy tee shirts in the mail as a thank-you gift.

 

The court also accuses TorrentSpy of promising to pay moderators' attorneys fees in exchange for favorable testimony, a charge TorrentSpy strenuously denies.

 

Attorney Rothken says the scuffle over IP addresses came down to who the court believed: the MPAA, or the torrent search site.

 

"There was disagreement over whether or not TorrentSpy ever had full IP addresses, and so the MPAA was making the argument that TorrentSpy essentially destroyed IP addresses for a period of time after the litigation commenced," he told THREAT LEVEL. "TorrentSpy was of the view that it did not, and the court apparently believed the plaintiffs."

 

Given the conflicting arguments, the extreme sanction of summarily ruling for the MPAA was "disproportional," the lawyer says, vowing to appeal to the U.S. 9th circuit Court of Appeals once a final judgment is entered.

 

In its statement, the MPAA claims without explanation that all the alleged record modification was intended to cover-up TorrentSpy's wrongdoing, including the fuzzing of user IP addresses -- which might be viewed as an effort to protect user privacy.

 

In August, TorrentSpy began blocking U.S.-based IP addresses from using the site, after a federal magistrate in the case ordered the company to being logging and turning over users' IP addresses and activities.

 

Rothken says the case illustrates "there's a dichotomy between protecting user privacy and the need for discovery in court."

 

TorrentSpy has sued the MPAA for using an admitted computer intruder to gather evidence for its lawsuit. That case was dismissed, in a decision now under appeal.

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Guest shai_hulud

Shit.

 

Well, if it's for the greater good...did you get any threatening letters, or is this a preemptive move on your end?

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i never bothered to read this thread. i though people were trading photo albums and pictures when i saw the title.

 

that said, we haven't been contacted by anyone, but as i stated, we could do without the drama.

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they cant do shit to you. we are just posting links. As long as no files are stored on your server they cant do shit! Stand up for your rights.

or do whatever...

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i just realized i was still uploading 2 ratatat albums for album trader....

 

 

now i dont know what to do with the links i'll have soon..

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Guest shai_hulud
they cant do shit to you. we are just posting links. As long as no files are stored on your server they cant do shit! Stand up for your rights.

or do whatever...

 

No, they (the MPAA) CAN mess with him. The very nature of this site requires a lot more discretion about certain issues, and he can't allow us to trade links if he knows about it.

 

Raven isn't advocating vandalism, he's providing a forum for people to document and discuss graffiti and other topics. That's what he could say if he were taken to court over any of the content on the board.

 

However, even providing links to copyrighted content, regardless of the locatrion of the content, is enough to get you shut down nowadays. Look at Demonoid, and TV-Links...two of my favorite sites are gone, over this very same issue.

 

Raven did the right thing, even though I think the reasons why he had to do it are shitty.

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Oh, well. It's probably for the best.

 

I got a lot of great music in here over the past year, and I thank those who provided the bulk of it. But I also think that a lot of stupid kids stumbled into Ch. 0 because it came up while they were searching for albums, and it's just not worth it.

 

Besides, there are plenty of other ways to find music. The only people this will drastically affect are the lazy ones who leeched in here, and didn't learn to search for their own shit.

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they cant do shit to you. we are just posting links. As long as no files are stored on your server they cant do shit! Stand up for your rights.

or do whatever...

 

word...but at the same time, i guess 12 ounce doesnt really need any more authority figures than already on here

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That sucks its starting to look like I am gonna have to pay for music again1? ugh...

 

 

THIS JUST MEANS PEOPLE WILL HAVE TO FIND MUSIC FOR THEMSELVES AND NOT HAVE TO DEPEND UPON OTHERS, SORT OF LIKE A CHILD AND A PARENT.

90% OF WHAT PEOPLE WERE LOOKING FOR COULD BE FOUND ON WWW.SHAREMINER.COM BUT 90% OF THE PEOPLE ON THAT BOARD WERE TOO FUCKING LAZY TO TAKE SOME TIME AND FIND IT FOR THEMSELVES.

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