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May 09, 2005
LA Times: Feds Reluctant to Prosecute Infringing Downloaders
The LA Times (reg. req.) reports that the Feds, although they are putting more efforts into copyright infringement investigations and prosecutions, aren't pursuing P2P downloaders particularly vigorously, if at all (Crackdown on Piracy Hits Barrier):
Backing up the threat is another matter. While federal prosecutors have made fighting piracy a top priority, to date they have been reluctant to go after the group the entertainment industry most wants targeted: people who illegally download from hugely popular online file-sharing networks.
"No U.S. attorney wants to be the guy who put a UCLA sophomore in jail for downloading Britney Spears," said George Washington University law professor Orin Kerr, a former federal high-tech crimes specialist.
Hmmm, if Hollywood is all fired up about going after downloaders, why haven't they started suing them? Why are they waiting for the Feds to jump on that grenade? Seems like Hollywood is avoiding suing the downloaders even more than the Feds.
Of course, gathering evidence of downloading is difficult. You can go after the simultaneous uploader/downloaders on BitTorrent, but it is harder to get evidence against a smart P2P leech. Still, there are ways to do it, especially for those who think they can't be caught.
Methinks Hollywood just doesn't want to handle that PR disaster.
In any case, the article is quite informative. Read the whole thing.
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