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Last summer, a movie named Cell came out. In the plot, users of cell phones were reprogrammed into mad killers. Critics sneered. The movie was not a big hit.

The producer, Cell Film Holdings, sued a John or Jane Doe in federal court for stealing the film 107 times and distributing it countless times worldwide using BitTorrent software.

After 90 days, Cell Film Holdings attorney James S. Davis of Chula Vista asked the court for another 90 days to locate the Doe thief.

On January 23 of this year, court documents indicate that Davis threw in the towel: not having located this Doe, he dismissed the suit.

Such thievery is common. Davis says the film industry loses $150 billion a year to John and Jane Does.

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swell Feb. 14, 2017 @ 7:37 a.m.

I pity the individuals whose real name is John or Jane Doe.

I recall that in its first year the Game of Thrones TV series was massively pirated. When asked, the producers pointed out that they were making lots of money and they weren't concerned about pirates. In fact, the general consensus is that pirating promotes sales, and many who buy a CD or DVD also want a pirate copy that they can actually own (the distinction being that CDs and DVDs are designed to prevent copying or using outside a geographic area).

You might think that if you pay for a movie, you should have the right to play it in your computer or TV or on your iPad or make a backup copy or give it to your sister- but this is not allowed. The indignation goes way beyond entertainment: car manufacturers no longer sell you a car; what you get is a contract and part of it says you will not do repairs/parts replacements or use a mechanic other than those approved by the car maker. Likewise your cellphone is not yours- you can use it only so long as you don't violate various contract terms. Welcome to the 21st century!


AlexClarke Feb. 15, 2017 @ 6:15 a.m.

Yup, all these contracts but no contracts for employees.


Don Bauder Feb. 14, 2017 @ 10:21 a.m.

swell: Will Congress do anything about this? There's about as much of a chance of that as there is of Congress doing an honest investigation of the Flynn/Trump financial relationship with Russia. Best, Don Bauder


swell Feb. 14, 2017 @ 9:09 p.m.

Don: States might do something on a similar issue. Makers of certain products (cars, smartphones, software, protected media, etc) deliberately make it difficult, possibly illegal, for 'owners' to service or modify the product.

from today's news: https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/17/02/14/2349219/apple-will-fight-right-to-repair-legislation

"Apple is planning to fight proposed electronics "Right to Repair" legislation being considered by the Nebraska state legislature…";

"The legislation would require Apple and other electronics manufacturers to sell repair parts to consumers and independent repair shops, and would require manufacturers to make diagnostic and service manuals available to the public. Nebraska is one of eight states that are considering right to repair bills…"

The entertainment industry has a powerful influence not only on our Congress, but on governments around the world. These governments have already extended copyright beyond reason and enforced draconian measures against 'pirates'. Governments are generally a proxy for the wealthy interests who pull the strings.


Don Bauder Feb. 15, 2017 @ 9:18 a.m.

swell: It looks like much will be left to the states. Washington/Minnesota was just a start. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Feb. 15, 2017 @ 9:19 a.m.

AlexClarke: What else is new? Best, Don Bauder


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