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Wi-Fi Network Shuttered By MPAA Re-Opens
After week of bad press, Sony suddenly feels cooperative
by Karl Bode 05:21PM Friday Nov 13 2009 Tipped by CaptainRR See Profile
Earlier this week we reported how a free, tiny (1,000 feet total) municipal Wi-Fi network in Ohio was forced to shut down after an MPAA legal warning. A network user had apparently transferred a file copyrighted by Sony Pictures, and instead of risking a costly legal fight, the network decided to simply shut down. The news quickly spread across the Internet, something that apparently didn't make Sony all that comfortable. One local user sends us this local NBC affiliate report that says the network has been turned back on after a request by Sony:
quote:
Levine says the news of the shut down spread very quickly from D.C. to California in less than a week, and people from across the country bombarded Sony Pictures Entertainment with complaints about big companies picking on small towns. Finally, Levine explains that Jim Kennedy, SVP of Corporate Communications for Sony Pictures Entertainment, e-mailed the county and asked them to turn the wi-fi service back on because of the complaints.
Sony says they'll kindly "help the county identify ways to prevent similar offenses from happening in the future." Of course if the MPAA and Sony had approached the network owners like human beings in the first place -- instead of engaging in the kind of scorched earth tactics they've employed for several years now -- they probably wouldn't have gotten the bad press to begin with.

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El Quintron
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Bad PR by Design?

As much as I really don't mind seeing Sony (or any of those MAFIAA jackasses) with egg on their face, you have to wonder if this wasn't the Wi-Fi network owner's intentions from the time they closed.
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gorehound

join:2009-06-19
Portland, ME

Re: Bad PR by Design?

Well all I say is this is one of the many reasons I am pissed off at MPAA,Holywood,RIAA, and their bigwig greedbag stooges.

I no longer buy nay new movies and will only buy a used one.They will not get a dime of my money just like I have been doing with any RIAA & bigwig label music.Except with bigwig music I do not buy new or used as I support Indie and local music.

Gbcue
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Santa Rosa, CA
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Sony Ashamed?

Probably not.

I thought they were stopping with this crap and going after the big time pirates...

Cheese
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Naples, FL
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Re: Sony Ashamed?

said by Gbcue:

Probably not.

I thought they were stopping with this crap and going after the big time pirates...
Probably not? I would say there is no doubt they are not ashamed.

Gbcue
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Re: Sony Ashamed?

said by Cheese:

said by Gbcue:

Probably not.

I thought they were stopping with this crap and going after the big time pirates...
Probably not? I would say there is no doubt they are not ashamed.
You think they cared about the town? Heck no.

The just wanted to shut the news press up about the situation.
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Cheese
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Naples, FL
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Re: Sony Ashamed?

said by Gbcue:

said by Cheese:

said by Gbcue:

Probably not.

I thought they were stopping with this crap and going after the big time pirates...
Probably not? I would say there is no doubt they are not ashamed.
You think they cared about the town? Heck no.

The just wanted to shut the news press up about the situation.
Of course they don't, that was my point. It was bad press against them, so they did what they did.

I personally will never buy anything Sony branded again, not after seeing how they treat customers who spend a lot of money on their POS computers.

BBBanditRuR
Dingbits

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said by Gbcue:

Probably not.

I thought they were stopping with this crap and going after the big time pirates...
I don't think they will ever stop trying to nail targets they deem easy. This had to be a calculated risk that (obviously) didn't pay off to target such a small muni-wifi. Well, then again, maybe they are that stupid.

Matt3
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MPAA vs RIAA? (Devil's Advocate)

I don't think the MPAA has used the scorched earth tactics the RIAA employs. Personal responsibility has to come into play here. The MPAA sent a DMCA takedown notice or similar request to the county's upstream provider (who owns the address space), who then communicated it to the county, who then decided to shut the network down.

It's not the MPAA's responsibility to track everything back to the original source. All they have is an IP address and they went to that owner. The county could have contacted the MPAA but instead decided to just shut the network down.
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chimera

join:2009-06-09
Washington, DC

Re: MPAA vs RIAA? (Devil's Advocate)

I tend to agree that the MPAA didn't do anything wrong in this case. They are within their rights to send a DMCA takedown request to the ISP who then just needs to remove the offending content, no lawsuit required. I also do appreciate that Sony asked them to turn it back on and volunteered their expertise to help prevent this in the future, since doing so costs both time and money and this can be cost prohibitive to implement which is why the cost must be shared by ISPs and the content providers that this protects.
Mr Matt

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Not so much: In reality the MPAA stuck it to Sony after the Supreme Court found in Sony's favor regarding the legality of selling the Betamax VCR and the establishment of the principal of Fair Use. The MPAA screwed Sony after the Japan Victor Corporation developed their own proprietary Video Cassette Format. I learned from a local video rental store owner of how the MPAA members retaliated against Sony.

When a sufficient number of VHS VCR's were in the hands of consumers the MPAA members delayed release of Movies for Rental purposes in the Betamax format and released them in the VHS format first. Obviously consumers that wanted to rent newly released movies replaced their Betamax VCR's with VHS VCR's.

Once the harassment by the MPAA began, it was almost impossible to rent a newly released movie in the Betamax format. I had to purchase a VHS VCR in order to rent movies because the Video Store owner stopped carrying movies in the Betamax format. The video store owner sold out his entire inventory of movies to a video store in the Central United States. You might notice that Sony discontinued selling Betamax VCR's in the United States several years ago. On the other hand VHS VCR's are still available.

Matt3
All noise, no signal.
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Re: MPAA vs RIAA? (Devil's Advocate)

While fascinating, what does that have to do with Karl Bode See Profile's comment that the MPAA was taking a scorched earth approach to enforcement, specifically in this case?
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Mr Matt

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Forcing ISP's to police customers an invasion of privacy!

The only way an ISP can determine if illegal material is being downloaded or uploaded is deep packet inspection. That is a invasion of privacy and interferes with a timely transfer of data.

It is unreasonable for government to require ISP's to be a defacto police force to protect private corporate interests. It is also unreasonable to hold ISP's responsible for the action of their customers.
chimera

join:2009-06-09
Washington, DC

Re: Forcing ISP's to police customers an invasion of privacy!

Even that doesn't work since encryption can be used to mask this. The only solid method is to have law enforcement agencies create honeypots in these network to gather IP information, but even this is a legal gray area since it requires the companies to give consent for illegal downloads to be distributed.

RARPSL

join:1999-12-08
Suffern, NY

Re: Forcing ISP's to police customers an invasion of privacy!

said by chimera:

Even that doesn't work since encryption can be used to mask this. The only solid method is to have law enforcement agencies create honeypots in these network to gather IP information, but even this is a legal gray area since it requires the companies to give consent for illegal downloads to be distributed.
This gray area can be likened to a Sting Operation. The question is how much participation there is by the LEOs. If they are running a Torrent Server, then there is Entrapment. If, on the other hand, they are only downloading and using Torrent Files from a Torrent Site AND they were not the one who created and uploaded the Torrent File (an action that is just as much Entrapment as running the site) that is a different issue. Due to the nature of P2P, they need to get the file from other Peers and to send the pieces to other Peers to get the needed audit trail. Just seeing who the Peers are without actually getting and sending the pieces is not adequate since there is no proof of what is being exchanged. There is a fine line between permissible and non-permissible actions.
mhouse1712

join:2007-11-27
Georgia

Re: Forcing ISP's to police customers an invasion of privacy!

That is not entrapment. If the police entice someone to commit a crime that they would not have committed if the police were not involved, then that is entrapment. In order for there to be entrapment, the police would have to get you to engage in a activity that you would not engage in without their involvement.

How do you think law enforcement catch people trying to pick up hookers, catch hookers, or catch drug dealers, drug buyers, and other types of criminals? I know exactly what is required for entrapment to exist, as I was well trained in my law enforcement days.

Know the law before you comment on it. As a law enforcement officer, I could run a torrent server and there is nothing that anyone could do to stop me. As a matter of fact, I am sure there are law enforcement agencies that are running torrent servers, but they are likely looking for far bigger fish than many of you would ever hope to be.

If I went up to you and invited you to download something from my server, then entrapment would exist if you never had the intention to engage in such an activity. If, on the other hand, you are downloading movies and you get a link from my law enforcement server, then you have just been legally caught committing a crime.

ReformCRTC
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Re: Forcing ISP's to police customers an invasion of privacy!

Know the law before you comment on it? Ha you funny! You know how many keyboard lawyers comment on sites like this, don't you?

Montezuma

@myvzw.com
That is not entrapment. If the police entice someone to commit a crime that they would not have committed if the police were not involved, then that is entrapment. In order for there to be entrapment, the police would have to get you to engage in a activity that you would not engage in without their involvement.

How do you think law enforcement catch people trying to pick up hookers, catch hookers, or catch drug dealers, drug buyers, and other types of criminals? I know exactly what is required for entrapment to exist, as I was well trained in my law enforcement days.

Know the law before you comment on it.
hottboiinnc
ME

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Cleveland, OH
who says that DPI is an invasion of privacy? I don't remember seeing the Courts rule on this. After all Google ATT does it already--- NSA

NormanS
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Re: Forcing ISP's to police customers an invasion of privacy!

said by hottboiinnc:

After all Google ATT does it already--- NSA
What is this "Google ATT"?
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ReformCRTC
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Re: Forcing ISP's to police customers an invasion of privacy!

It's what somebody gets when they display awkward writing skills.
Luslugger
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Louisville, KY
I have one of these notices that gives me link to click and pay money to stop further legal action. At the least this is a start of a big scam. How does an ordinary user know who the "party of interest" is. I am not clicking a link. If they bring a court action I will first know who to pay if I lose. We have the right to see the evidence against us. I don't see that they have anything but an IP address. I could not find the offending file or hash on my computer. What is the evidence that makes a legal firm send out these notices? IF evidence does not exist, the isp is involved in harassment.
WhatNow
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Do they live by the same standard

I do not agree with a everybody else is doing it defense but these royalty collectors need to be reined in.
Does MPAA and RIAA have to live by the standard they expect everyone else to live by. If the do not pass on a royalty payment do they pay any kind of penalty for the oversight?
their collection accounts and payment account should be audited in detail to see if every client is being paid their due or are they pocketing the small time artist royalty payments.
fortissimo

join:2003-10-17
Richmond, BC

Sony with the root-kit history

The same Sony w/ the root-kit history, right? Hard to blame people over-reacting to this after that one!

May be that network user was sending out that root-kit file that Sony put into the CD without telling anyone .

S_engineer
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Chicago, IL

Re: Sony with the root-kit history

you beat me to it. The whole rootkit fiasco made me look at Sony in a different light, and I haven't bought a Sony product since. As far as I'm concerned, Sony deserves all of the bad PR they get!
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Re: Sony with the root-kit history

right! I was looking for a new camera recently and while the Sony cameras were quite good, the concern about a rootkit in the software led me to choose a different brand. It was a shame since the Sony camera would have fit my needs well and the price was right.
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said by S_engineer:

you beat me to it. The whole rootkit fiasco made me look at Sony in a different light, and I haven't bought a Sony product since. As far as I'm concerned, Sony deserves all of the bad PR they get!
2nd

BBBanditRuR
Dingbits

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OMG that pissed me off so badly when my wife bought one of those and stuck it in the then Win32 based media center when I wasn't there. Had to reformat and reinstall, since I didn't want to take the time to clean up Sony's mess. That was years ago, but it made me NEVER buy Sony's crap again.

DownTheShore
Honoring The Captain
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Good For The Grassroots People

Like this site and others, which picked up on the story and made people aware of what had happened. I'm proud of the people who contacted Sony and put public relations pressure on them, forcing them to "correct" the situation. Whether you agree with what the MPAA/Sony did or not, it's nice to know that they have been made aware that just because a locality is small or out-of-the way, their actions are still being watched and reported.
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I applaud Sony..

Alright so maybe they didn't handle it the best way initially, but I applaud them. Yea they asked it to be turned back because of complaints and bad PR, but still - I applaud Sony for reaching out.

Other companies would have stuck to their guns, posted a press release that talked about how a user broke the law, yada yada yada and so forth.
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DaMaGeINC
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F Sony

cant wait to pirate more stuff from them!!!!!!!!!!

furlonium
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Re: F Sony

said by DaMaGeINC:

cant wait to pirate more stuff from them!!!!!!!!!!
I run a torrent server with a ton of movies and games. You should come check it out.

www.officer-furlongs-torrentserver.com/loginandgodirectlytojail.php


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Bill Neilson
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Good to hear the end results was it being turned on

but sad that it takes public outrage to get them to do the right thing to start with