Tuesday, August 01, 2006

'Recording Industry vs. The People" initiates coverage of MPAA case against Shawn Hogan : Universal v. Hogan

We have decided to initiate coverage of an MPAA case, Universal City Studios Productions v. Shawn Hogan.

It is like the RIAA cases in that the sole basis for the case is the allegation that Mr. Hogan, by having a copyrighted file on his computer in a shared files folder, was 'distributing' it by 'making it available for distribution'.

The reasons we are covering this non-RIAA case are:
-it involves many of the same issues that arise in the RIAA cases,
-the MPAA has been engaged in cartel-like behavior in coordination with the RIAA,
-Mr. Hogan (unliked most defendants in these cases) is a litigant who is in a position to fight back, thereby increasing the likelihood of a full and fair airing of the copyright law issues

Mr. Hogan's legal team at Coast Law Group, is headed up by Seyamack Kouretchian.

Another possibly good reason for our covering it is that it appears that many other media are misreporting it as a case that involves illegal downloading of a copy of a movie: in fact the complaint says no such thing, but accuses Mr. Hogan of "making" his copy "available". Our type of coverage -- which reproduces the actual litigation documents -- may help rein in some of the speculation about this case and concentrate on the facts and genuine legal issues that are raised.

Slashdot article about Hogan case:
http://backslash.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/07/26/1952201&from=rss

Selected litigation documents:

Cover Sheet, Summons, and Complaint*
Answer*
Case Management Order*
Case Management Joint Report*

Additional litigation documents will be added from time to time in the "Index of Litigation Documents".


Keywords: digital copyright online download upload peer to peer p2p file sharing filesharing music movies indie label freeculture creative commons pop/rock artists riaa independent mp3 cd favorite songs

4 comments:

BasicTek said...

I've been very curious as to how the MPAA builds cases compared to the RIAA. Fasttrack and bittorrent operate quite differently and I was wondering if anyone had the details on what the MPAA is doing?

Some have speculated they have a modified bittorrent client that downloads from one user until file completion and use that as the evidence. Others have stated they only need to download a few fragments and can use a few minutes of a movie as evidence for the case. The latter seems ridiculous to me. It's simply not enough proof of anything. There is no shared folder like in kazaa cases.

They never release these details unlike the RIAA.Is it possible they will be known thanks to this case?

Ray Beckerman said...

I would expect this case to be hotly litigated, and for all that stuff to come out in the wash.

I agree with you that there seems to be a big difference between the MPAA and the RIAA cases in the initial 'investigation', but I don't know enough about the MPAA cases to hazard a guess as to what the MPAA is doing differently.

This is just one of many reasons I have decided to open coverage of the Shawn Hogan case.

Kari said...

I'd suspect their investigation process is probably as simplistic as RIAA's. Looking in the peers list on most current bittorrent clients will show what ip addresses (that you're connected to) have 100% of the file in question.

BasicTek said...

Simply looking at a list of peers cannot be evidence enough. Even the RIAA who's legal tactics are questionable enough at least download 10-30 songs as evidence that the list contains copyrighted works. It is that list that they base their insane $750 per song damages on.

Looking at a peer list simply relays info reported to a tracker which unless the MPAA controls the tracker could be anything. Even if they did control the tracker there are so many hacked clients that lie to trackers, superseeding, and many other ways to hide your true IP making that evidence useless.

The reason I'm interested is that downloading an entire movie from 1 peer in bittorrent would take a incredibly long time (weeks-months) because they have to share that bandwidth with all the rest of the swarm. Hardly anyone seeds a torrent that long.

I really hope the details come out. Thanks for your response Mr B. I guess we'll have to wait to find out the truth.