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Judge Ends Massive Porn Lawsuit 181

Posted by Soulskill
from the an-end-to-silliness dept.
eldavojohn writes "A recent offensive of porn producers using copyright law against many anonymous P2P users has been terminated by a West Virginian judge. Initially, Ken Ford of Adult Copyright Company planned out nine lawsuits against some 22,000 file sharers, starting with 7,000-person and 9,000-person suits in the first wave. Unimpressed, the judge reduced everything down to one lawsuit against one file sharer, telling the Adult Copyright Company that they are to prosecute each individual separately, as the accused neither participated in the same transaction nor collaborated in these offenses. So, if you're looking to hit 22,000 people with such a lawsuit, the $350 court filing fee will require an investment of $7.7 million ($1.8 million for the individuals listed so far). Ars points out the hilarious fact that 'Ford has sued enough people that lawyers are taking out ads on his company name,' providing an image of an advertisement for such a search. This is separate from a similar showdown in US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois."
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Judge Ends Massive Porn Lawsuit

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  • by Moryath (553296) on Friday December 17, 2010 @03:01PM (#34590760)

    Actually, one might argue that there is a real social problem in female body image [webmd.com] (and judging from the proliferation of drugs intended to increase penis size, male as well) in western society.

    It could further be argued that much of this has to do with both the "soft porn" of the fashion industry, and the exaggerated bodies of "hard core" porn as well.

    To have realistic body portrayals - perhaps not the morbidly obese, unless you're someone with a fetish for that, but not "Olive Oyl and Brutus" caricature-bodies either - regain the mainstream spotlight might not be such a bad thing.

  • by zeroshade (1801584) on Friday December 17, 2010 @03:10PM (#34590906)

    It's not a tricky spot at all. For example with music, Artists make more money now than they have in a long while. This is due, partially to piracy, to the downfall of physical CD purchases and the increase in live performances. The point is that the piracy has acted as free advertising for them.

    Have some artists not done as well, perhaps due to piracy, most likely. But it's economics. If people like your music, they will pay you money to continue to make it. Whether they are giving you money for live performances, merchandise, or even donations, you'll get money. The people who want to hear more will support you.

    If your music is crappy, more people will have heard of you and that means more people will have heard the music and less will buy it.

    It's supply and demand. The songs have an infinite supply but merchandise, live performances, and experiences do not. The songs have become the free advertising that lead the consumers to the other things. The situation for movies has become similar.

  • Re:economics (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday December 17, 2010 @03:12PM (#34590940) Journal

    Judging by the success of niche markets like BBWs and amateurs, I'd say that you're only half right. Yes, lots of people, maybe even the majority, like the sort of Barbie-and-Ken porn, but there seems to be a rather substantial fraction of the porn-viewing population that likes less-idealized body types having sexual relations on-camera.

  • by Jason Levine (196982) on Friday December 17, 2010 @03:48PM (#34591440)

    I don't think it's a tricky spot. Don't think of "Piracy" as one big block, but as two distinct chunks.

    On one hand you have your Pirate-Anything-No-Matter-What pirates. If you lowered your prices to a penny per song and included a free gold nugget with each purchase, these pirates would still be uploading and downloading songs from P2P. Don't consider these people your customers or lost sales in any way. If you removed their ability to pirate your works, chances are they wouldn't have pried open their wallets to pay for the merchandise.

    The other group, are people who pirate due to price, availability or convenience. For these people, think of piracy as a competing product. If you offer your product for a reasonable price with appropriate availability and convenience to purchase, piracy will drop. If you overcharge, restrict availability or make your customer jump through hurdles before they can buy, then piracy will climb.

    If 10,000 people are pirating your works, you shouldn't be asking "How can I best sue them into oblivion", you should be asking "What can I do to win back most of those pirates?"

  • by vux984 (928602) on Friday December 17, 2010 @04:44PM (#34592300)

    Lets attack the root of the problem:

    So if you make a little software program and it takes you 30 hours at, say, $60/hour...charge $1800 for it. That way, when someone "steals" it, you can sue that single person and get your money back.

    If an electrician spends 30 hours wiring a building at, say, $60/hour... he charges $1800 and then goes home. He doesn't get another nickle every time someone flicks a switch. What makes your 30 hours of work worth a potentially infinite amount of money, while his caps out at $1800?

    Where the electrician differs from someone writing the program is that he's got a contract in place for $1800 bucks. He doesn't have to wire the building, and then hope someone shows up to pay him something.

    But perhaps the software developer can learn from the electrician... raise the 1800$ first from future users (whether you find 1000 of them to pay $1.80... or 100 of them who want it badly enough to pay $18, then write and release the software, and then it doesn't matter how many copies get made.

    And then offer to support the software, or build additional features for $. And live off that.

    The point is that in a world where anyone and everyone can make copies for free, you can't have a business model where you charge for copies. Its not going to work. Your role in the new economy is producing the original... you have to figure out how to get paid enough for doing that to motivate you to do it.

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