Sometimes it is piracy

The story here is that there’s a first charge under a new law, one that was part of the same little bundle that legalized user-selected bowdlerization of DVDs.

This portion of that bundle made camcording within a movie theater a specific copyright-related crime. And now someone’s been charged with it. A 19-year-old: Old enough to fight, old enough to vote, old enough to know better.

I’m all in favor of efforts to fight true piracy. Recording a movie within a theater for distribution over the internet falls in that category, as far as I’m concerned: I know of no conceivable fair-use or other justification, and it’s well beyond casual “sharing”-style infringement.

So, in this case, I say: Good for the justice department.

3 Responses to “Sometimes it is piracy”

  1. Seth Finkelstein Says:

    I think the most relevant part of the article is this:

    “Law enforcement officials say most participants in warez networks are generally not motivated by profit. In this instance, Salisbury sought payment for the movies he uploaded, the Justice Department said.”

    ASSUMING THIST IS TRUE – always a caveat to be kept in mind – then this was clearly a commercial infringement.

  2. walt Says:

    Agreed. On the other hand, my “balance point” says that camcording a current-release picture and uploading it to a P2P network is unethical as well as illegal whether done for $profit or other reasons.

    Without the commercial motive–which makes it pure piracy in my book–maybe there needs to be a third term (somewhere between casual infringement and commercial piracy), but even without the commercial motive, I have no problem with the MPAA and law enforcement going after this class of behavior.

  3. Daniel Cornwall Says:

    I’m on DOJ’s side too. Can anyone here think of ANY non-infringing reason to camcorder an entire movie and upload it to a P2P network? Not me.

    I could see doing a camcorder to a DVD at home of a small portion of a movie to include as a clip in an Internet-based review or podcast. But no reason to copy the entire movie.


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