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Interview: Evan Stone


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rainbowrabbit



Joined: 31 Oct 2009
Posts: 91
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 2:37 pm Reply with quote
So that's what happened to SunDevilDVD. Interesting.

I'm quite familiar with Evan Stone because last year, he represented the pornographer Michael Lucas in a case against file sharers on a private torrent site. Me personally, I had issues with the way it was handled because some innocent people got in trouble, including a woman who was in the hospital during the time the file was supposedly downloaded. Not only that, I've read the letters he sent out which implied he was going to out the alleged pirate unless they agreed to a settlement. I can understand wanting to protect your content. But this sounds like extortion. Some gays have been ostracized by their family (or even worse) because of their sexuality. Is it fair to put someone through that when there isn't concrete evidence of their guilt?

I'm not sure how FUNimation and Evan are obtaining information on piracy. But with the porn company, they infiltrated the torrent site, downloaded the movie, shared it, and collected the IP addresses of others who were also downloading it. In other words, the IP's are their only evidence of guilt. Couldn't it be argued that the pirates downloaded the file legally since the copyright holders shared it to them? And from what I read, Evan was very sloppy in handling the case and even pissed off the judge because of a mistake he made. He seems very incompetent to me. So I don't have much confidence in his ability as a lawyer.
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omoikane



Joined: 03 Oct 2005
Posts: 446
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 3:54 pm Reply with quote
teh*darkness wrote:
First off, no, you couldn't watch these shows for free. Aside from a very few super popular and more kid-friendly shows, most anime are on cable/subscription channels, so it's not just normal cable fees to watch, on top of taxes for cable.

Just want to drop by and say this is not true.

I think roughly 2/3 of anime any given season is available on terrestrial (digital broadcast OTA). But that is only counting new shows and ongoing shows, not reruns and the like (which you can get a lot of on cable/sat).

The bigger problem is unless it's on some big channel or some satellite/cable network, you don't get the show on the air at the same time across the country. Some show don't even air in some regions, or air months after its first run was over.

As for Mr. Stone, I respect him for the job he's doing, but my view on copyright law (as well as his questionable strategy) are probably a bit off from his.
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Shiroi Hane
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 25 Oct 2003
Posts: 7475
Location: Wales
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 5:23 pm Reply with quote
Just to add something regarding AMVs and fair use:

Quote:
Can I make an AMV/FMV of my favorite anime and upload it to YouTube?
We cannot expressly authorize you to upload video or use FUNimation’s content. However, we do not plan to take legal action against creators/distributors of anime-based media that qualifies as a fair use of the underlying animation. Nor do we tend to remove such media intentionally, provided that the video is clearly marked in a way that would identify it as a fair use [in the title] such as a satire, parody, review or critique. For more on fair use, please see this Wikipedia entry

Also, please bear in mind that video streaming services such as YouTube occasionally employ "video fingerprinting" technology to identify and remove videos containing ANY unauthorized footage, whether it's arguably a fair use or not.

http://www.funimation.com/f_index.cfm?page=faq
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Kakugo



Joined: 29 Nov 2007
Posts: 163
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 7:56 pm Reply with quote
maxxjulie wrote:
suing downloaders isn't going to make you popular with the younger crowd. metallica's rep among young people took a nosedive since napster...


Yeah, Metallica really lost favor with the kids... they fell from grace so hard that their last two album following the Napster controversy STILL debuted at number one. Sure, it's a travesty to think that St. Anger was on the charts to begin with... but that's neither here nor there. Razz
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Cutiebunny



Joined: 18 Apr 2010
Posts: 1558
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 9:47 pm Reply with quote
I've never agreed with those that see the law as strictly black and white. And that's the type of person Mr. Stone is.

What could any animation company possibly gain from preventing fans from distributing files? $1500?! They would probably spend at least that much trying to prosecute, as I doubt Mr. Stone is working pro bono.

Companies like Sun Devil that are making (and selling...in stores and cons) pirated copies of Viz's DVDs, yes, that makes sense. These companies are making an income by pirating goods. But most fans aren't selling *anything* and are not making any income from sharing files.
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Tempest
I Run this place.
ANN Publisher & CEO


Joined: 29 Dec 2001
Posts: 9962
Location: Do not message me for support.
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 11:33 pm Reply with quote
Shiroi Hane wrote:
Just to add something regarding AMVs and fair use:


To add a bit more, it's worth noting that AMVs usually infringe on 2 (or more) copyrights.

They infringe on the anime, but that's generally fair use (fair use is still infringement, if you don't understand it, look it up, it's well documented elsewhere).

However they also infringe on the music copyright. The argument for fair use there exists, but most people (including myself) would say that it doesn't even come close to being convincing. The exception would be when the AMV parodies the music. Parody is one of the most defined and accepted forms of fair use (it still isn't safe harbor), but the fair use argument only applies to the work you are parodying.

As I was telling someone earlier today (in regards to fair use in news reporting), fair use is extremely complicated.
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teh*darkness



Joined: 16 Feb 2007
Posts: 901
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 2:00 am Reply with quote
omoikane wrote:
teh*darkness wrote:
First off, no, you couldn't watch these shows for free. Aside from a very few super popular and more kid-friendly shows, most anime are on cable/subscription channels, so it's not just normal cable fees to watch, on top of taxes for cable.

Just want to drop by and say this is not true.

I think roughly 2/3 of anime any given season is available on terrestrial (digital broadcast OTA). But that is only counting new shows and ongoing shows, not reruns and the like (which you can get a lot of on cable/sat).


Okay, this is true. I was thinking more specifically along the lines of most fansubs that will specifically wait for AT-X to air before releasing, so they can get the "uncensored" version. And I know for a fact that AT-X is a sub channel. But yeah, those shows also air on other non-sub networks. So, I was half right. You could watch the shows for free, but not always the same version you get from a fansub.
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Maximus44



Joined: 20 Jun 2010
Posts: 21
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 6:13 pm Reply with quote
This interview was very informative!

Thanks for posting this interview, Gia!
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mdo7



Joined: 23 May 2007
Posts: 5977
Location: Cypress, Texas, USA
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 10:25 pm Reply with quote
This is quite a interesting interview regarding the illegal download and other issue. Funimation seems to be doing their job enforcing that rule.
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crosswithyou



Joined: 15 Dec 2007
Posts: 2825
Location: California
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 12:13 am Reply with quote
Speaking as someone living in Japan, you have to keep in mind that many series air very very late at night, like 3AM sometimes. Um, yeah, I can't stay up that late since I've got work the next day, nor do I have any recording device.

This isn't to say I'm all download and no buy. I buy the series I really like and will watch again, though usually the North American release if there is one. DVD/BD prices here in Japan are crazy. I did preorder the Natsume Yuujinchou BD box though since I doubt the series will be released in the States, even though the manga is licensed.
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Metanomaly



Joined: 23 Jul 2010
Posts: 107
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 2:08 pm Reply with quote
Takeyo wrote:
Shenl742 wrote:
Kyaa the Catlord wrote:
As someone who supports gays and lesbians, I'm troubled that Anime news network has provided this lawyer a soapbox.

What the hell does that have to do with anything?

Quite a bit if you're familiar with Stone's history. IIRC, his old business strategy was to coerce settlements out of downloaders of gay pornography by effectively threatening to out them via legal proceedings. Swell guy.


Kyaa's support has nothing to do with "supporting gays and lesbians". "Downloading copyrighted works via bittorrent" is not an intrinsic characteristic of being homosexual.
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Takeyo



Joined: 25 Mar 2008
Posts: 736
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 3:03 pm Reply with quote
Metanomaly wrote:
Kyaa's support has nothing to do with "supporting gays and lesbians". "Downloading copyrighted works via bittorrent" is not an intrinsic characteristic of being homosexual.

Who's saying that it is? The issue was that Stone was threatening to publicly expose downloaders' sexual preferences unless they gave him money to shut up. It arguably amounted to blackmail and provided good insight to the character of the man to whom FUNimation has hitched its legal wagon.
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Metanomaly



Joined: 23 Jul 2010
Posts: 107
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 3:10 pm Reply with quote
Takeyo wrote:
Metanomaly wrote:
Kyaa's support has nothing to do with "supporting gays and lesbians". "Downloading copyrighted works via bittorrent" is not an intrinsic characteristic of being homosexual.

Who's saying that it is? The issue was that Stone was threatening to publicly expose downloaders' sexual preferences unless they gave him money to shut up. It arguably amounted to blackmail and provided good insight to the character of the man to whom FUNimation has hitched its legal wagon.


There's two options when you do something illegal and get sued for it. You can settle and maybe you'll be able to keep the whole thing secret, or you will be taken to court, and the whole thing will be public.

That being said, I am sympathetic to folks who want their gay porn on the down-low. However, going to a private tracker forum to get your porn shows that you know that you're doing something that is illegal, because you don't *accidentally* happen upon a private tracker. This is not a "casual piracy" situation.

If you wanted to keep your particular porn preference a secret, it'd be way easier to go to a streaming site (most of which stream legally licensed content) in private browsing mode. That's the venue most folks would end up using if they simply googled for their preferred movie genre.
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Navak



Joined: 30 Mar 2006
Posts: 88
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 4:31 pm Reply with quote
If someone opposes the tactics Stone has allegedly used in the past, and wishes to prevent future occurrences, the most effective method to combat it is through pressuring those with whom he does business.

It's similar to how if one opposes someone/something that is published, putting pressure on sponsors is generally more effective than writing an angry letter to the source of the material.

Funimation is a business and with whom they do business reflects on them, even if it may seem unreasonable.

In this instance, it doesn't seem unreasonable that the past actions of this person would reflect on Funimation given that the company chose to be represented in a public fashion by this person.
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purplepolecat



Joined: 15 Feb 2008
Posts: 127
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 1:08 pm Reply with quote
Phoenix: (Something's bugging me about this testimony. Better cross-examine.)
Phoenix: "Mr Stone, do you have evidence that the defendant was the one downloading the anime?"
Stone: "Why yes, I have the IP address right here."
Phoenix: (Now's my chance!)

OBJECTION!

(dramatic music)
Phoenix: "But Mr Stone, isn't it true that IP addresses are... DYNAMICALLY CONFIGURABLE?"
Stone (sweating), "Er, umm..."
Phoenix: "Unless the user requires a static IP address, the address is temporary "leased" to the user by the ISP, and is often reassigned to another user at a later date!"
Judge: "So, this IP address is not where the defendant lives?"
Phoenix: (facepalm)
Stone: "What do I care! I get paid damned well to shake down these pesky teenagers! SOME of them must be guilty!"
Phoenix: (taps document) "Sorry Stone, but without the IP evidence, your cases collapses!"

NOT GUILTY!
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