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Paramount writes letter to ISP to warn BitTorrent downloader

Posted at 15 February 2004 18:04 CEST by Crabbyappleton
Thanks go to [H]ardOCP for alerting us to this tidbit of information via their news page. This story is an exclusive over at Wooba so there is not yet any collaberating evidence to the validity of this claim. Also, we can not be sure that we are getting the full story, there may be more to it. If true however, it is mind boggling that a user downloading a single movie, was tracked down in three days and given a warning by his ISP! Paramount Pictures Threatens to Sue BitTorrent User for Downloading "The Perfect Score" February 13, 2004 WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures sent a letter to Robert (* not his real name) today, threatening to sue him for downloading and sharing "The Perfect Score" movie via the BitTorrent Network (a peer-to-peer file sharing network) just three days ago. Robert received a copy of this letter from his cable modem provider. His cable provider stated that if they continued to see this "kind of activity" from his account, that they would shut down his account. Paramount Pictures wrote that they "reserve the right to take any legal action" whenever they want. They said they have a record of his IP address downloading it from BitTorrent. Robert does not want his identity revealed, for obvious reasons. This is the first reported account of a film studio threatening action on a BitTorrent user. Considering that this person did not upload or share this complete movie by himself, I do wonder what liability he does have, since partial files in any P2P application are pretty much worthless on their own. Also, Paramount itself MAY have been sharing this movie, otherwise, how would they know that Robert was downloading the movie from BT? This story troubles me in that I think there has to be missing information, maybe there are more letters and we just don't know yet. Maybe Robert is a wee bit more active than this story gives credit. But I thought we would be interested in knowing about this situation as it unfolds. Let's assume for a moment that this is pretty much what happened. It would then be worthy of note the extremely low tolerance that Paramount has for file trading, zero. Perhaps, since so many can be involved in the uploading, it is more convenient to harass the downloader in this type of network. Obviously, we will keep an eye peeled for further developments. The strategies and policies of these copyright holders are critical information. Share your thoughts on this story here or in the Music Downloads, P2P and Legal Issues Forum.   Source: Wooba

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There are 16 comments

jef195
Banned
Posted on: 15 Feb 04 18:24
    His downloading/uploading concerns Paramount because thats pretty much all the 'action' this film is gonna see BTW-I got a letter about 2 and half months ago from Unversal using BT :B
    GezusK
    CD Freaks Senior Member
    Posted on: 15 Feb 04 20:35
      Since everyone on a bittorrent network is an uploader (unless you've got a hacked client), I can see this happening more often. And Paramount would have only needed to connect for a second to get an IP list from the tracker.
      Crabbyappleton
      MyCE Resident
      Posted on: 15 Feb 04 20:48
        Well that's two studios that don't want to share.
        radfaraf
        New on Forum
        Posted on: 15 Feb 04 21:52
          "Also, Paramount itself MAY have been sharing this movie, otherwise, how would they know that Robert was downloading the movie from BT?" Wtf no. Its just that any person can get the ips of the downloaders from the file trackers. The tracker keeps track of all the users and that is how users find each other to download from.
          StarGhost
          CD Freaks Member
          Posted on: 16 Feb 04 13:58
            Hmmm so it's very easy for someone to know your IP address when using BT to download stuff. I'm now going to have to research IP masking software.
            tranceaddict
            CD Freaks Member
            Posted on: 16 Feb 04 14:20
              I also got a letter from my ISP about 6 months ago from. I was downloading Bruce Almighty and apparently paramount wasnt too pleased. my ISP just told me to knock it off basically, and turned my account back on.
              GristyMcFisty
              CD News Freak
              Posted on: 16 Feb 04 15:20
                Best place to download is at work, not so easy to track down to a specific person. You're probably sitting behind a physical firewall, going through one or more routers, before you reach the outside world. Thereby not as easy to suss out who is downloadingsharing. Or at least not without the help of the ISP and the IT staff in the company. Cause if you are the IT staff, then I rest my case... Bit Torrent and other Files Sharing software is ok, but personally I never bother now...it's too boring waiting for stuff to come down, even with a 2MB BB service.
                radfaraf
                New on Forum
                Posted on: 16 Feb 04 16:56
                  Are you ****ing stupid? Sounds like a good way to lose your job. Plus maybe get in even more serious trouble. [swearword removed]
                  [edited by Crabbyappleton on 16.02.2004 18:07]
                  fistoffury1
                  CD Freaks Rookie
                  Posted on: 16 Feb 04 22:22
                    Moves like this will accelerate ISP number masking software will become imbedded in all popular P2P programmes. Then it will be literally impossible to identify a user. The fact is only the police should be allowed to contact you're ISP to get details.Paramount or whoever has no LEGAL right to get this information. ASll these moves do is ensure that it's only a matter of a very small period of time before anyone can become anomomous on the internet.This will affect police trying to catch real criminals like child molesters who will also use the software. I would in fact hope that goverments world wide ban the likes of paramount from obtaining any information from your isp or relaying messages. The fact downloading will be driven to anominimty will have far reaching consequences for tracking real criminals on the net. I personally think people will have complete masking within 2 months and it will be thanks to the likes of paramount. Then (too late) the governments will realise what the studios,RIAA etc have done and come down hard on them,masking software is available now(for a monthly fee) it's based where the riaa etc has nopowers at all. The company has said they do not want it used excessively for downloading but say no details will be passed to any organisation as they have nopowers in the country this masking is based in. This is a good idea in that you are prtected,if you download,from the real pondscum riaa ,paramount whoever but the international police could still be able to get details of real criminals. I fear total masking where by ISP numbers are mixed to give a false and totally untraceable mask will been released soon,they will more than likely be freeware programmes by people who want to show they have the power to render you invisible on the net.So thank paramount because soon the internet will be downloaders heaven and you have their legal(and illegal) activities to thank fo this being made possible. I also think those programmes used for BT,other p2p should change the programmes used to have a user agreement stating if you are a studio,RPAA,RIAA,or any body who maywill taken legal action against a fellow user you must not use this software to do will breach our user terms and conditions this way we can sue them if anyone gets a warning. This could even be a message before a download etc stating the same thing...only if you are not member ofxxx,or will not take any legal action against a fellow user may you continue this download,click to confirm. Kazza has such a lawsuit lets see some action from the p2p software makers.Not everything downloadable is illegal we can use p2p user programmes to effective stop them spying if they breach the user agreement of your p2p software your ISP would be legally required to ignore any requests for information as they themselves would have obtained this information illegally rendering it useless.
                    Crabbyappleton
                    MyCE Resident
                    Posted on: 16 Feb 04 23:38
                      Actually, what they (Paramount) did was pretty slick and I hope the brain dead RIAA doesn't catch on. If I read this story right, they didn't ask for details, they just said here is the IP of your customer. Tell them to halt, now. No personal info was given to Paramount nor was it requested..at this time. What "Robert" got was a copy of the letter Paramount actually sent to the ISP telling them to get off their asses and right their boy a letter or else. The ISP was used as an arm twisting servant for the studio. Of course Paramount acted as though legal action would be taken if they saw more activity from that IP address. This tactic will not get Paramount any money, but it still gets the message to the offender and doesn't involve too much effort or money from the studio. Not a bad idea actually. Especially in light of recent court decisions against the RIAAs Jihad against the public. Making personal information more expensive and convoluted process. Pull this stunt enough times and your ISP will pull the plug on your account as they have better things to do with their staff.
                      transnote
                      New on Forum
                      Posted on: 17 Feb 04 05:15
                        I'm not quite sure how this is news, it's nothing new. My best friend got the same e-mail from his ISP relaying information from the movie studio for downloading a movie via bit torrent about 3 months ago.
                        GristyMcFisty
                        CD News Freak
                        Posted on: 17 Feb 04 17:33
                          Nope not stupid at all...I'm in IT and run the whole show...therefore...no monitoring here... :d I download everything and anything I want at work. My DSL doesn't get much of a lookin these days!
                          No longer with us
                          Posted on: 25 Dec 08 05:28
                            About five to seven days after I downloaded the new Indiana film my ISP was contacted by Paramont and asked for my information. foutunately they did not give it and told paramont that they would contact me about it and slowed my connection down until I conntacted them. When I called I was asked to not use bit torrent any more for downloading movies. ( my service was retored fully).
                            I fnd it interesting. i was told by my ISP that Paramont had my ip. so i had to download it from them. all i can say is trap site. I'm sorry that i didn't wait another two months and purchase it from Wal Mart for $13.....
                            No longer with us
                            Posted on: 17 Mar 09 07:37
                              try tor it relays through different servers to mask your ip and its free
                              No longer with us
                              Posted on: 12 May 09 03:21
                                Oh it is true!! They contacted Broadstripe after I had download Curious Bejamin Button ( lame flick to get caught on for sure ). Broadstripe called the name of movie I had downloaded not the the bandwidth. So they are tracking and where I did not get fined I could get suppended from use or charged $50 for reconnection. SO be careful when downloading bittorrents!
                                No longer with us
                                Posted on: 12 May 09 03:21
                                  Oh it is true!! They contacted Broadstripe after I had download Curious Bejamin Button ( lame flick to get caught on for sure ). Broadstripe called the name of movie I had downloaded not the the bandwidth. So they are tracking and where I did not get fined I could get suppended from use or charged $50 for reconnection. SO be careful when downloading bittorrents!

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