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NEWS: All But 1 Defendant Dropped From Funimation's One Piece Lawsuit


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Daemonblue



Joined: 05 Jul 2006
Posts: 701
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:25 pm Reply with quote
Cause the jails aren't full enough without having copyright infringers in them right?

Anyway, whoever didn't see this development coming hasn't been following these kinds of cases recently, and as soon as this one was filed I knew what would happen to it, so I'm not surprised.
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Hectotane



Joined: 14 Jan 2011
Posts: 16
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:30 pm Reply with quote
Hey, I have a great idea: Let's go up a couple of levels.

What's the news-worthy news that doesn't sound like FUNi's using ANN as their mouth piece? No "person from Texas" or anybody who comes off as "FUNi's lackey."
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Juhachi



Joined: 08 Apr 2006
Posts: 228
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:36 pm Reply with quote
I don't think anyone seriously thought they were going to have the time or money to properly bring to trial all 1337 "offenders". That's almost $500,000 just for the preliminary fee; I can't even imagine how many millions of dollars it would cost them to go through each and every trial. Not to mention how long it would take for even a single trial to go from beginning to end in this country, which takes years to do anything judicial. Plus, after they discover how much money it costs just for a single trial, I doubt they'll want to go through another one so soon, especially if the offender doesn't have to pay back all of their legal fees. I mean, Funimation isn't exactly swimming in money. Laughing

I simply can't see a sitting judge ordering this guy from New Jersey to pay millions of dollars for torrenting a single anime episode.


Last edited by Juhachi on Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:45 pm; edited 3 times in total
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ABCBTom



Joined: 10 Sep 2009
Posts: 183
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:40 pm Reply with quote
Brent Allison wrote:
agila61 wrote:
This is why this kind of stuff was made a criminal rather than civil offense in Japan ~ thousands of people doing dimes or dollars of damage each, costing hundreds of dollars each to bring to justice ... where sites like Rupert Murdoch's MySpace host thousands of copies of infringing work.


My country had 760 inmates per 100,000 persons in 2007. Our jails are full, and our incarceration rate is a global disgrace. Thanks but no thanks.

I generally don't support the approach of going after individual downloaders, and suing 13 year old kids for $100,000, but there's no reason making it a criminal offense would necessitate jail time. You pirate, the cops come by the house, give you a $200 ticket (or whatever) that you can get down to $100 by taking some kind of "Why Copyright is Your Friend" class.

Not that I necessarily would support such a system, but in some ways it could actually be more fair than what we have now, where the few get punished in such draconian ways.
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RoverTX



Joined: 17 Dec 2008
Posts: 419
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:12 am Reply with quote
ABCBTom wrote:
Brent Allison wrote:
agila61 wrote:
This is why this kind of stuff was made a criminal rather than civil offense in Japan ~ thousands of people doing dimes or dollars of damage each, costing hundreds of dollars each to bring to justice ... where sites like Rupert Murdoch's MySpace host thousands of copies of infringing work.


My country had 760 inmates per 100,000 persons in 2007. Our jails are full, and our incarceration rate is a global disgrace. Thanks but no thanks.

I generally don't support the approach of going after individual downloaders, and suing 13 year old kids for $100,000, but there's no reason making it a criminal offense would necessitate jail time. You pirate, the cops come by the house, give you a $200 ticket (or whatever) that you can get down to $100 by taking some kind of "Why Copyright is Your Friend" class.

Not that I necessarily would support such a system, but in some ways it could actually be more fair than what we have now, where the few get punished in such draconian ways.


If things do go down the route I just hope the money doesn't end up in government coffers, other wise we will all start hearing about cases where people where given such tickets for downloading computer updates.....
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Failachu



Joined: 26 Apr 2010
Posts: 26
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:41 am Reply with quote
I can't help but applaud the Judge's decision in this case. While I am by no means promoting internet piracy (yes, it is illegal, even I know that, and I won't try vainly to refute that), at the same time, I can't find myself supporting the idea of mass litigation. The judge in this case upheld what is already outlined by the the Sixth Amendment. Which guarantees the accused a right to a "fair and speedy trial." Being roped into the same case as over a thousand other defendants, being held in a state you may not even live in (thus making you unable to represent yourself), doesn't classify as 'fair.' And while it can easily be refuted with the notion of 'but this isn't a criminal trial,' with what is at stake here, I.E. the millions in settlement fees (enough to guarantee that your kids will be working off the price of your drunken viewing of 'The Expendables'), it is just as life destroying. So, bravo, Your Honor, you actually care about the rights of your fellow citizens.

In short, while piracy isn't protected by the First Amendment, neither is mass litigation within the protected bounds of the Sixth Amendment.

And Funi, I hope you manage to settle the case with this citizen from New Jersey in his fair and individual court proceeding. I'm sure you will make an outstanding case to protect your IP. In words oft spoken by the animated women who appear in your licensed works: "Gabare! Fighto!"
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agila61
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:17 pm Post subject:
This is why this kind of stuff was made a criminal rather than civil offense in Japan ~ thousands of people doing dimes or dollars of damage each, costing hundreds of dollars each to bring to justice ... where sites like Rupert Murdoch's MySpace host thousands of copies of infringing work.


So, you'd rather add thousands of people to our already burgeoning prison population for downloading computer files? Ever the philanthropist you are.

Also, Rupert Murdoch isn't responsible for what is posted by his ToS violating users, so as long as he, or his staff, takes it down when notified, or when a staff member takes notice of it. Ask Zac why ANN isn't responsible if users on this site post links to illegal files against the owners' knowledge. Remember that 'Terms of Service' you approved of when you signed up for these forums? You might want to read that.
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Brent Allison



Joined: 01 Jan 2011
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Location: Athens-Clarke County, GA, USA
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:45 am Reply with quote
RoverTX wrote:
If things do go down the route I just hope the money doesn't end up in government coffers, other wise we will all start hearing about cases where people where given such tickets for downloading computer updates.....


That's the point of a criminal offense vs. a civil offense. The criminal offense named the government as the wronged party, so the fine will be going to the government. In the civil case, the fine goes towards the suing party, not the party making criminal charges.

@ABCBTom: I appreciate your intentions to make the monetary damages more realistic, but even if the crime is classified as a misdemeanor (unlikely in my view given the power of lobbying by both media industries and the prison-industrial complex), that would still give many an infringer a criminal record. My interest in giving someone who torrented a One Piece episode lower chances at gainful employment, student loans, and military and government service is extremely low. We don't need an expansion of the criminal justice system in the United States of America, period.

Why not advocate that it be made easier for companies to sue individual infringers and have the $200 (or even $20) settlement be paid to the companies? It would have the same effect you're getting at, I think.
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Kruszer
Enjoying the time of EVEEnjoying the time of EVE


Joined: 19 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:50 am Reply with quote
Ouch, I'd hate to be the lone 1337 singled out. They probably did financial checks on them and then picked the richest one of the bunch to go after.
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ajr



Joined: 29 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:58 am Reply with quote
Well, once I noticed the 1337 connection (I feel dumb for missing that), it becomes clear that Funimation never intended to actually carry through on all 1,337 defendants. Lawyer humor, I guess. I assume they've hired a competent group of people aware of the situation. I mean, its definitely in their best interests to do so. According to the article, it sounds like this isn't the first sort of case either the judge or Funimation has seen, so they bother have a pretty good idea of what could or is going to happen.
It appears at first glance that the court/judicials aren't too keen on supporting the defense (although they are, of course, supposed to be neutral); I'd be interested to know on what grounds the texas case was dismissed. Funimation definitely needs to chase this, as ignoring it will sour things on the japanese end of things at the very least, and may create legal problems for them as well. If copyrighted works aren't defended, I think the copyright can be declared void or null. I'm not sure what implications that sort of stuff would have for the license.

Also just want to throw out FYI that although the US prison system is definitely overcrowded and probably not suitable for this case, violent crime has decreased over the past 20 years despite an increasing population.
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Otaku Teahouse



Joined: 30 Oct 2009
Posts: 81
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:11 am Reply with quote
Kruszer wrote:
Ouch, I'd hate to be the lone 1337 singled out. They probably did financial checks on them and then picked the richest one of the bunch to go after.


I would be willing to bet it's the original uploader, though.
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Egan Loo



Joined: 25 Feb 2005
Posts: 946
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:18 am Reply with quote
Otaku Teahouse wrote:
Kruszer wrote:
Ouch, I'd hate to be the lone 1337 singled out. They probably did financial checks on them and then picked the richest one of the bunch to go after.


I would be willing to bet it's the original uploader, though.


The remaining defendant has only one apparent distinction compared to the others — that defendant just happened to be listed first on the list of anonymous "Does."
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noobiesnack



Joined: 29 Sep 2009
Posts: 34
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:48 am Reply with quote
ajr wrote:
I assume they've hired a competent group of people aware of the situation.


The person they hired is a copyright troll company that goes around to companies and mass sues hundreds of people on behalf of companies. He has proven very successful at suing hundreds of people over downloading gay porn. you can find more about him at this link: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/02/meet-evan-stone-p2p-pirate-hunter.ars

Also, he purposely chose 1337 people to sue because he is well aware of the background of people and seems to interchange the word 'pirates' with the word 'hackers'
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DmonHiro



Joined: 06 Jan 2007
Posts: 3278
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:24 am Reply with quote
Nice fail. Not that I expected anything else. And good thing too. These fear tactics will never ever work, nor should they work.
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Richard J.



Joined: 11 Aug 2006
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Location: Sic Semper Tyrannis.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:30 am Reply with quote
Failachu wrote:
Also, Rupert Murdoch isn't responsible for what is posted by his ToS violating users, so as long as he, or his staff, takes it down when notified, or when a staff member takes notice of it. Ask Zac why ANN isn't responsible if users on this site post links to illegal files against the owners' knowledge. Remember that 'Terms of Service' you approved of when you signed up for these forums? You might want to read that.
Actually I'm pretty sure the Murdoch example was used merely as a way to air political bias rather than make an actual point. On the off-chance I'm wrong, you've largely pointed out the flaw in the poster's point anyway.

Legally speaking, it would be fairly difficult to successfully go after the owners of a site for illegal files on the site unless the owners are actively involved in the illegal activity or the site has no legitimate use other than the illegal activity. (Generally speaking, every general rule in law has far too many exceptions to note without making a wall of text that will give you eye strain.)

Most site owners/operators just don't want the hassel though so pre-emptive removal happens on some while others just wait for notice to be given and then take things down. Either way, the users are generally the best and only really plausible target.

The way things are going, I'm sure we'll see a lot of new laws regarding the Internet in the next few years that will make us all look back at this case and laugh. Or cry. People don't understand just how screwed up the entire system really is.
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bayoab



Joined: 06 Oct 2004
Posts: 831
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:04 am Reply with quote
Juhachi wrote:
I don't think anyone seriously thought they were going to have the time or money to properly bring to trial all 1337 "offenders". That's almost $500,000 just for the preliminary fee;

It would actually only be 350000 or so for the preliminary fee. There are ~255 duplicate IPs in the list.

Failachu wrote:
I can't help but applaud the Judge's decision in this case. While I am by no means promoting internet piracy (yes, it is illegal, even I know that, and I won't try vainly to refute that), at the same time, I can't find myself supporting the idea of mass litigation.
But with mass discovery, the idea is basically "Here is a picture of your IP address committing a crime, wearing a name tag, and we want to know who to actually target." It's the same idea as getting caught by a red light camera. (Though I am against those evil things as they are used as revenue generators.) The problem really is mass litigation is abused.

ajr wrote:
Well, once I noticed the 1337 connection (I feel dumb for missing that), it becomes clear that Funimation never intended to actually carry through on all 1,337 defendants.

No, as mentioned, they had already been granted expedited discovery 3 days prior. They were going to at least go through and get info on them. This is more the EFF stepping in and trying to decide that lawyers should be the only ones getting rich over copyright infringement, that the RIAA and MPAA and similar big companies are the only ones who should have copyright protection as it makes it too expensive for the little guys, and that the defendants right to representation is still intact, all at the same time. Though maybe FUNi will actually go after the subbers and the content posters now.


Last edited by bayoab on Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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