German Court: A More Practical Approach in File Sharing Case

We’ve got used to talking huge figures when it comes to reporting about damage compensation fees demanded by or paid to the music industry. This time, however, it goes a little different.

The Regional Court Hamburg has recently ruled in a copyright infringing file-sharing case that a 16 year old file-sharer was only liable to pay damages of € 15 for each track he had illegally made available on the Internet instead of € 300 per title as initially demanded by copyright holders. Since he only shared two songs online, the boy was ordered to pay a total of 30 Euros as damage compensation. (LG Hamburg, decision of 8 October 2010, case reference 308 O 710/09).

Says The IPKat:

When deciding the amount of damages to be awarded – which had to be based on what a respective licence for these songs would have cost (“fiktiver Lizenzvertrag”) – the court took into consideration that titles in question were songs of well-known artists (at least well known in Germany: the song “Engel” by Rammstein and the song “Dreh‘ dich nicht um“ by German singer song writer Westernhagen. However, the court also took into consideration that the songs were already several years old when they were offered online. As such, the court assumed that there was little demand for the songs. Furthermore, the court held that it was important that the songs had only been offered for a short time and the court hence assumed that each song had only been downloaded about one hundred times.

Another interesting aspect is that the Hamburg court did not consider the father of the youngster to be liable for any copyright infringement act committed by his son.

While the decision in this case does not mean damage compensation fees in Germany for copyright infringements from now on will be much lower as a rule, it does point to a more realistic appraisal of all the aspects and factors that must be taken into consideration for each specific file sharing case.

Death in the BitTorrent World: LimeWire Shut Down for Good

Over the last few months LimeWire’s efforts to survive and remain within legal boundaries have been consistent and praisable but now the days of the Gnutella-based p2p client that made history are over.

Following a request from the RIAA, Limewire was ordered to halt the current application’s file sharing abilities so that users can’t trade files illegally anymore.

Copyright holders have been long complaining about the loss they suffer at the hand of once the most popular file sharing program in the world. Yesterday, a federal judge decided to make the record labels happy and turned Limewire into a martyr of the p2p scene saying in his decision that the download client “intentionally encouraged infringement” and the company was aware of the “substantial infringement being committed” by its users.

This victory by the RIAA could mark a sad turning point in the file sharing history. Clients similar to Limewire could easily become the next target as TorrentFreak emphasizes.

“In January, the court will conduct a trial to determine the appropriate level of damages necessary to compensate the record companies for the billions and billions of illegal downloads that occurred through the Limewire system,” the RIAA told TorrentFreak which also speculates about a comeback of the service in a legal form.

‘The Social Network’ Leaks onto P2P Networks

The Social Network is a film dedicated to one of the most revolutionizing technology of our times and to those who made it happen.

But part of this epoch of changes is also BitTorrent and file sharing and the film itself is exposed to these just as revolutionizing factors as well as David Fincher’s new movie has already found its way, as expected, on torrent sites. As reported in the weekly chart of the most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, cam versions of the film about the creation of Facebook have popped on the Internet earlier than some cinema releases, like in Australia, for example (in the US the film opened in theatres at the beginning of the month).

According to Sony Pictures Australia managing director Steven Basil-Jones, the company is aware of the risk assumed when scheduling to release overseas films due to the high level of piracy.

“October 1 for us was right during school vacation, which is obviously different than in the US, so we’re in a different scenario with cinema availabilities,” he explained.

Basil-Jones also pointed to other issues related to delays which are regarded as one of the main causes for people resorting to pirated copies.

“The flipside of the coin is that the longer you wait, the more open you are to piracy and the film being seen either through file-sharing or people going to Asia and picking it up at markets on DVD,” he added.

“It’s just that horrible equation we have to do and the risk that we have to take in delaying anything these days.”

Anti-Piracy Organization Site Goes Down after DDoS Attack

Anonymous targets another industry watchdog

If you’re not exactly a stranger to the Internet world and especially to the industry vs. piracy issue then you might have come across the video we are about to present or something similar to it and you might have even heard about some group called FACT which stands for Federation Against Copyright Theft. Its declared purpose: “to protect the United Kingdom’s film and broadcasting industry against counterfeiting, copyright and trademark infringements”. Doesn’t that just sound noble?

Well, the fact is, FACT is behind the annoying “Piracy – It’s a Crime” slogan clip below but this is at best a redundant effort since the clip can be found on the DVDs you’ve bought and in the theatres where again, you have already paid for a ticket so you are a paying customer.

The clip and the organization altogether seem to have got on the nerves of those engaged in Operation: Payback as well. According to p2pnet, FACT’s site has been recently targeted by and went offline for a short time. Hopefully, the message got through.

Now let’s wash away the taste of the video above with the IT Crowd’s parody of it.

Top 10 Most Downloaded Movies on BitTorrent

TorrentFreak has published the data they collected with the top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent for the week ended October 24. All the films included in this chart are DVDrips (unless mentioned otherwise).

The much anticipated ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’ has entered the chart directly as #1.  ‘Resident Evil: Afterlife’ keeps its second position while ‘Red’ drops two places. Another debut in the list comes from ‘The Social Network’ which was ranked 8.4 on the IMDB and that means something (in entered as a cam version for now).

Ranking (last week) Movie Rating / Trailer
1 (…) Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (R5) 6.7/trailer
2 (2) Resident Evil: Afterlife (R5) 6.4/trailer
3 (1) Red (DVDscr) 7.6/trailer
4 (3) Jonah Hex 4.4/trailer
5 (4) Get Him to the Greek 6.9/trailer
6 (…) The Switch (R5) 5.9/trailer
7 (5) Machete (R5) 7.5/trailer
8 (9) Knight and Day (R5) 6.6/trailer
9 (…) The Social Network 8.4/trailer
10 (10) The Piranha (R5) 6.5/ trailer

(via TorrentFreak)