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Elite Torrent Raided by Feds

muzikool

Act your wage.
Political User
#1
Better not download Episode III! :eek:

Feds Shut Web Site in Piracy Crackdown

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal raiders. Internet pirates. Intergalactic screen adventures. The government announced a crackdown Wednesday on the theft of movies and other copyright materials that has the elements of a film plot.

Federal agents shut down a Web site that they said allowed people to download the new "Star Wars" 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 software to obtain pirated content online, Justice and Homeland Security Department officials said.

Elite Torrents had more than 133,000 members and offered 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 copyright 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 copyright 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 peer-to-peer software works by using tracker files that are posted online. The tracker files point to users who are sharing a given file, be it a pirated feature film or a home movie. BitTorrent then assembles complete files from multiple chunks of data that it obtains from everyone who is sharing the file.

The Motion Picture Association of America assisted in the investigation that led to Wednesday's action against Elite Torrents, 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 the Internet. The group also sued six sites this month that focus on swapping television programs.
 

SPeedY_B

I may actually be insane.
#4
Unwonted said:
Usenet, on the other hand, still going strong. :)
As is IRC, other torrent sites, HTTP Warez and all the private scene FTP servers.

Piracy will never stop, the point is that the MPAA/FBI/RIAA/Whoever are trying to make a point to the would-be-pirates that piracy is wrong, and you can land yourself in trouble by stealing.
 
#5
Echo Speedy.

Piracy will never ever stop. MPAA/FBI/RIAA has no jurisdiction in Canada, though the Mounties have been cooperating more recently. Thankfully my ISP has already gone to court twice and won.... the right to keep it's client's names confidential.
 

Shamus MacNoob

Moderator
Political User
#6
Mastershakes said:
Echo Speedy.

Piracy will never ever stop. MPAA/FBI/RIAA has no jurisdiction in Canada, though the Mounties have been cooperating more recently. Thankfully my ISP has already gone to court twice and won.... the right to keep it's client's names confidential.

Who is your ISP ?

As for now we are not really affected by any of this but to what extent I am not 100% sure we can get away with anything we want , but as for right now we seem to be imune.
 

Johnny

.. Commodore ..
Political User
#7
The thing about it though is that nothing can happen to the owners. Torrent sites are legal, mostly because they don't host the files. All they do is track them. If anything, the Feds should be thanking the torrent sites. Then when it comes to the MPAA and the RIAA wanting nothing but money I can see why they are like they are ..
 

vern

Dominus
Political User
#9
Kinda ironic when just days ago an ET admin gave me another condescending response to a post I made in the ET forums about ET being compromised. Tsk tsk.

Lets get into the legal side of things. Possession of copyrighted material is what? a felony? misdemeanor? I was under the impression that a new law will soon make it a felony to possess copyrighted material. Is this true? Is it already in effect?
 
#11
Kermit_The_Frog said:
Who is your ISP ?

As for now we are not really affected by any of this but to what extent I am not 100% sure we can get away with anything we want , but as for right now we seem to be imune.
Clue: The fastest residential cable provider in North America.
 

Khayman

I'm sorry Hal...
Political User
#12
vern said:
I was under the impression that a new law will soon make it a felony to possess copyrighted material. Is this true? Is it already in effect?
Wouldn't that make it impossible to have or buy movie or music, or much of anything :)
 

ep0niks

OSNN Junior Addict
#13
Mastershakes said:
Clue: The fastest residential cable provider in North America.
Videotron ? they're a bunch of f**kers ;)

.. So far, Shaw is the only ISP to openly oppose the CRIA's request. The company provides high-speed Internet service to about 900,000 Canadians.

Sympatico, Rogers and Telus want to inform their affected customers first and let those customers battle it out in court with the recording industry.

Videotron has said it will not oppose the request.

Videotron is in a unique position because its parent company, Quebecor, also sells music. Videotron said it is concerned about copyright protection and considers file sharing to be "theft."
From CTV.ca
 

vern

Dominus
Political User
#14
Khayman said:
Wouldn't that make it impossible to have or buy movie or music, or much of anything :)
If the movies or music haven't been released, it's pretty much impossible for you to legally have them and have copies of them. I don't know anything about the new law or if it is in effect so this is all just speculation.
 
#15
There are 2 types of crimes. Criminal and civil. Civil result in fines, criminal in fines and or jail time.

DCMA provides for fines of over $100k per illegally obtained copyrighted item. This is being used solely for harassment of file sharers and P2P networks.

Copyright infringement laws are usually treated as criminal because there is intent to defraud the property owners. This is where the big hits are. Bootlegging syndicates make 100's of thousands of copies of songs and movies and sell them. The middle east, russia, the far east (south america?) all have flourishing bootleg industries. When they take these guys down they go for jail terms.

There is also a new law on the books making it illegal to tape movies in theatres. I think that one is criminal.

The total bull**** in all of this is the amount of loss claimed. There were 10,000 downloads of SW III the first day but millions of tickets were sold. They lost $40k to P2P and made $10's of millions. The whole thing is solely about harassment. They are not suffering any documentable, significant losses.

30 years ago when this came up with VCRs the Industry was beat into submission. Obviously the politicians are easier to buy off today than they were back then.
 

Son Goku

No lover of dogma
#16
Eh, I could care less about downloading movies in theaters and the like myself. It's more TV shows that I either can't see (time is bad and no my life doesn't revolve around the tube) or shows that are foreign shows and simply aren't carried by channels here in the US...

And yes, the VCR wars come to mind... As did the cable companies trying to charge for each additional TV, when no converter was rented (cable ready TV)... In the case of shows that are broadcaste over the air waves, I think there is an object lesson for the recording industry (which they were given back in the days of the VCR wars); TV is meant to be a form of entertainment, not one's life or the object one's life revolves around. One's life should not have to ordered around when they chose to schedule something, if the channels chose to discontinue something (that might air elsewhere), or other such scheduling decisions... There's also discontinued shows, that aren't put in production (that have largely become collectors items as few copies still exist in the world), etc to consider...
 

Son Goku

No lover of dogma
#18
Kermit_The_Frog said:
I work for Videotron I am a support tech for them :laugh:

I also work part time for another multi national as a local admin.
Speaking of foot in mouth...I was not expecting to hear this :eek: I'm gathering ep0niks wasn't either...

Albeit speaking of ISPs, I'm a bit happy that the one I'm with has a rather liberal TOS... They see themself as more suppliers of the pipeline, and don't have the fair use restrictions, restrictions on routers and NAT, sharing an IP with multiple comps, etc that some other ISPs (such as with some cable companies) seem to have.

They even specifically state "servers welcome" and the like in their TOS... As long as one doesn't hack into their network and crash things...they don't mind their customers business too much...
 

jimi_81

Moderator
Political User
#19
i havent downloaded a torrent since the news.. i was a site member. im starting my career now, its too risky to be a pirate.... i think.
 

Son Goku

No lover of dogma
#20
I'm just looking for other sites (tv torrents also went down) to get my TV shows and the like. Speaking of which, another ep of the New Doctor Who is supposed to be out (Sunday again). And speaking of which, I don't think there is a single channel on my cable line up, here in Albuq, NM where it's aired... Packing my bags, and moving to the UK to watch a TV show, is sorta outa the question :D
 

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