October 25, 2005 9:09 AM PDT

BitTorrent user convicted over movie sharing

A Hong Kong man has been convicted of copyright infringement using the BitTorrent service, in what is believed to be the first case of its kind.

Chan Nai-Ming was found guilty of distributing three Hollywood films using BitTorrent's peer-to-peer file-sharing technology, according to Taiwanese English-language newspaper The China Post.

The unemployed 38-year-old used the software to distribute the copyrighted films "Miss Congeniality", "Daredevil" and "Red Planet." He was arrested by customs officers in January 2005.

Nai-Ming pleaded not guilty to copyright infringement but was convicted after a four-day trial. He will be sentenced on Nov. 7.

BitTorrent is one of the most popular software programs used to acquire large files over the Internet using peer-to-peer file-sharing technology. The application, initially written by programmer Bram Cohen, is open source.

BitTorrent enables its users to download fragments of a large file from many other users, rather than just one. Although the program had relied on centralized tracker files to manage this process, Cohen in May announced that the files were no longer needed. BitTorrent has increasingly become a distribution channel for spyware and adware, and has grown into one of the most widely used means of providing large files for download.

File-sharing networks are coming under increasing pressure from the law, while increasing traffic has sparked a clampdown by recording companies and movie studios, which have sued thousands of peer-to-peer users for copyright infringement over the past few years. The Supreme Court ruled in June that peer-to-peer makers could be sued if they encourage users to copy material without permission.

Karen Gomm of ZDNet UK reported from London.

5 comments

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Here we go again...
Hollywood should be thrilled someone was sharing out Daredevil... At least he had the balls to share out that god awful mistake of a movie. It's one of those movies that should be in the $5 bin and if anyone did download it, I don't think they would admit it ;) Miss Congeniality I can maybe understand but not Daredevil... who gives a crap! And Red Planet? Wow, I had forgot that I even seen that movie until I looked it up on IMDB. So his only real crime is sharing out sh!^^y movies.

If the movie industry was smart, they would be looking for digital distrobution much like iTunes / Napster and this would be much less of a problem.
Posted by SeizeCTRL (1333 comments )
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Your point was what exactly?
So your stance is that these movies are so bad the studio should be happy people are stealing them rather than buying them? How exactly does that make any sense at all?
I'm as opposed to the entertainment industries as the rest of you pirates, but we as users have got to stop making these dumbs**t arguments to justify our actions if we want to have any respect and credibility at all.
If I were a senator and presented with two sides on this issue:
Industry: "we made the content and people are stealing it online."
VS
Consumers: "the content is crap and we can't download it legally so we are entirely justified in stealing this content which is so crappy it should be free anyway (but we still want it)"
I think I'd have to spend all of about 2 seconds deciding the industry is right and filesharers should be penalized.
We're hurting ourselves with stupid comments like these.
Posted by skeptik (590 comments )
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BitTorrent user convicted over movie sharing
Piracy is a powerful thing, even if they keep closing things down, or accusing people, I think there will alwasy be new ways for stealing content.
__________________________________
R.K.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.Remove-All-Spyware.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.Remove-All-Spyware.com/</a>
Posted by Roman12 (214 comments )
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Spyware/Adware?
*** is the author talking about? BitTorrent does not distribute these things. Maybe some clients come bundled with the stuff but that's not distributing. BitTorrent is probably the best P2P system in regards to spyware/adware in that you won't get hit with it.

Sounds like the author wants to spread FUD about BitTorrent.
Posted by ballssalty (219 comments )
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Tracker Owner? Seeder? Leecher?
I'm more interested to learn if this guy actually ran a tracker server, was the original seeder (or at least one of them) or was just an unlucky leecher.

By BT's nature, while you are "receiving" you are also "distributing" (unless you are truly leeching and not sending packets back to the swarm).
Posted by Davage (1 comment )
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