January 26, 2005 1:43 PM PST

MPAA files new film-swapping suits

Related Stories

File swapping vs. Hollywood

January 25, 2005

State bill could cripple P2P

January 18, 2005

LokiTorrent fights MPAA legal attack

December 30, 2004

BitTorrent file-swapping networks face crisis

December 20, 2004
Hollywood studios filed a second round of lawsuits against online movie-swappers on Wednesday, stepping up legal pressure on the file-trading community.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) also made available a new free software tool so parents can scan their computers for file-swapping programs and for movie or music files which may be copyrighted.

The group said its lawsuits were targeting people across the United States, but did not say how many people were being sued.

"We cannot allow people to steal our motion pictures and other products online, and we will use all the options we have available to encourage people to obey the law," MPAA Chief Executive Officer Dan Glickman said in a statement. "We had to resort to lawsuits as one option to help make that happen."

After initially letting record labels take the lead, movie studios have launched their own aggressive legal campaigns against online film-trading in recent months, targeting individual computer users as well as Web site and server operators that serve as hubs of file-trading networks.

The group filed its first set of lawsuits against individual computer users in November, and followed up with a worldwide campaign against the operators of BitTorrent, eDonkey and DirectConnect networks.

As a result, some of the most popular Web sites that served as file-trading hubs, such as Suprnova.org and Yourceff.com have gone offline. At least one, LokiTorrent.com, has remained online and is soliciting donations from its visitors to pay for legal fees.

The MPAA's new software, "Parent File Scan," is aimed at identifying file-swapping software applications and multimedia files on a computer, so that--in theory--parents can evaluate whether the files on their computer have been legally acquired and talk with children about the legalities of peer-to-peer activity. Unlike the network-monitoring software often installed in businesses or corporate networks, the MPAA-backed software does not monitor or block downloads.

In practice, the software, developed by the DtecNet Software company in Denmark, casts an extremely wide net.

It searches for and identifies virtually any audio or video file, including popular formats like MP3, Microsoft's Windows Media, the AAC files that Apple Computer's iTunes software often uses, or MPEG video. The software makes no distinction between legally acquired or illegally downloaded files, however--which can total in the thousands.

Parent File Scan also uses a very liberal definition of file-swapping software. In a test on a CNET News.com computer, the software identified Mirc--a client for the Internet Relay Chat network, where files can be swapped, but where tens of thousands of wholly legal conversations happen every day--and Mercora, a streaming Web radio service that uses peer-to-peer technology but does not allow file swapping.

The software is primarily aimed at use by parents, and does not report any information back to the MPAA or any other group, the trade association said.

12 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
This MPAA software is a joke...MPAA should be sued
The MPAA should be sued for confusing parents into believing all mp3's and video files are copyrighted.
Posted by bobby_brady (765 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This MPAA software is a joke...MPAA should be sued
The MPAA should be sued for confusing parents into believing all mp3's and video files are copyrighted.
Posted by bobby_brady (765 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This is getting absurd....
Why would a responsible parent need such non-sense software? It is the responsability of the parent to know what is and what is not installed in their childrens computers. The parents that would use such silliness need to stop and take inventory of what their children are doing. This is crazy. The idea of installing software to check to see if certain other programs are installed....lol. Come on! If you can run this software, then you should be able to know if the pc has p2p software already. Some common sense here....PLEASE.
Posted by Prndll (382 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This is getting absurd....
Why would a responsible parent need such non-sense software? It is the responsability of the parent to know what is and what is not installed in their childrens computers. The parents that would use such silliness need to stop and take inventory of what their children are doing. This is crazy. The idea of installing software to check to see if certain other programs are installed....lol. Come on! If you can run this software, then you should be able to know if the pc has p2p software already. Some common sense here....PLEASE.
Posted by Prndll (382 comments )
Reply Link Flag
MPAA's Strategies
The MPAA is an organization that looks after its members, that's understood. Although one has to wonder how much 'spyware' is in that 'free' software that they released (web-bots, etc).

How free is the software for the consumer, when their every action can be traced? If the MPAA was really 'on the ball', why not give distribution rights to 'iTunes',for example, to make money for the MPAA and the company distributing their products on the internet?
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
MPAA's Strategies
The MPAA is an organization that looks after its members, that's understood. Although one has to wonder how much 'spyware' is in that 'free' software that they released (web-bots, etc).

How free is the software for the consumer, when their every action can be traced? If the MPAA was really 'on the ball', why not give distribution rights to 'iTunes',for example, to make money for the MPAA and the company distributing their products on the internet?
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
DOES ANY OF THIS REALLY MATTER?
DOES ANY OF THIS REALLY MATTER?
Posted by: Steve Meyer
Posted on: January 27, 2005, 2:31 AM PST
Story: Solicitor General, conservatives back Hollywood
Does any of this really matter?

No matter what the courts say, the fact is that anything that can be done digitally can be undone. Hence, all efforts on the part of the RIAA, the MPAA, and any related organizations will all prove fruitless because the Pandora's box (the Internet) has been open far too long and there's no eradicating the technology that exists that allows people to download.

If there is ANY tech person out there that is reading this that can state that there will someday be a technology to prevent downloading, by all means please tell me. But every single tech person I've interviewed for the last five years has told me that no matter what will be created to stop these practices, all efforts will be temporal and undone by other tech people who know how to get around whatever "speedbumps" are placed out here in cyberspace.

Even if it were possible to shutdown every website around the world that offered film and music content, that would onlty create a host of Intranets and User groups that would continue to download anyway.

Whether it's Grokster, or any of the dozens (hundreds?) of other file-sharing websites out there that have music and film content on them, the issue should now be for the film and music industries to create new online revenue models ASAP because whether they like it or not the Internet is not going away, and neither is file-sharing/downloading. It's going to continue...and instead of wasting precious time on lawsuits and trying to find a "magic bullet" to solve the problem, the film and music industries need to realize they will have to co-exist in this new world.

If the industry thinks that thought unthinkable...then I suggest they look at iTunes and the revenue and sales Mr. Jobs and company expect to gross this year.

Online digital music sales are way up. According to the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry), the number of legitimate online music sites rose to 230 last year, compared to 50 the year before. The catalog of music available online also doubled, to 1 million songs. The international trade organization also says that individuals in the U.S. and Europe legally downloaded over 200 million tracks last year, up from approximately 20 million in 2003. That amounts to online sales of about $330 million, or about six times 2003's take. (<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.ifpi.org/site-content/library/digital-music-report-2005.pdf" target="_newWindow">http://www.ifpi.org/site-content/library/digital-music-report-2005.pdf</a>)

It's time for the film industry to realize they can reap the same rewards if they stop wasting time. Who knows...maybe Steve Jobs already has iFilms in the works.

Steve Meyer
President - Smart Marketing
Publisher - DISC&#38;DAT - A New Media Newsletter
Las Vegas, NV 89141
E-mail: stephennmeyer@earthlink.net
Posted by stephenmeyer (33 comments )
Reply Link Flag
DOES ANY OF THIS REALLY MATTER?
DOES ANY OF THIS REALLY MATTER?
Posted by: Steve Meyer
Posted on: January 27, 2005, 2:31 AM PST
Story: Solicitor General, conservatives back Hollywood
Does any of this really matter?

No matter what the courts say, the fact is that anything that can be done digitally can be undone. Hence, all efforts on the part of the RIAA, the MPAA, and any related organizations will all prove fruitless because the Pandora's box (the Internet) has been open far too long and there's no eradicating the technology that exists that allows people to download.

If there is ANY tech person out there that is reading this that can state that there will someday be a technology to prevent downloading, by all means please tell me. But every single tech person I've interviewed for the last five years has told me that no matter what will be created to stop these practices, all efforts will be temporal and undone by other tech people who know how to get around whatever "speedbumps" are placed out here in cyberspace.

Even if it were possible to shutdown every website around the world that offered film and music content, that would onlty create a host of Intranets and User groups that would continue to download anyway.

Whether it's Grokster, or any of the dozens (hundreds?) of other file-sharing websites out there that have music and film content on them, the issue should now be for the film and music industries to create new online revenue models ASAP because whether they like it or not the Internet is not going away, and neither is file-sharing/downloading. It's going to continue...and instead of wasting precious time on lawsuits and trying to find a "magic bullet" to solve the problem, the film and music industries need to realize they will have to co-exist in this new world.

If the industry thinks that thought unthinkable...then I suggest they look at iTunes and the revenue and sales Mr. Jobs and company expect to gross this year.

Online digital music sales are way up. According to the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry), the number of legitimate online music sites rose to 230 last year, compared to 50 the year before. The catalog of music available online also doubled, to 1 million songs. The international trade organization also says that individuals in the U.S. and Europe legally downloaded over 200 million tracks last year, up from approximately 20 million in 2003. That amounts to online sales of about $330 million, or about six times 2003's take. (<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.ifpi.org/site-content/library/digital-music-report-2005.pdf" target="_newWindow">http://www.ifpi.org/site-content/library/digital-music-report-2005.pdf</a>)

It's time for the film industry to realize they can reap the same rewards if they stop wasting time. Who knows...maybe Steve Jobs already has iFilms in the works.

Steve Meyer
President - Smart Marketing
Publisher - DISC&#38;DAT - A New Media Newsletter
Las Vegas, NV 89141
E-mail: stephennmeyer@earthlink.net
Posted by stephenmeyer (33 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Just insane
Alright MPAA, distributing that program was totaling useless, most p2p programs are found on the desktop in Program files, and it searched for every single music and video file on the damned computer, so what? How will it help parents? Sheesh.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Just insane
Alright MPAA, distributing that program was totaling useless, most p2p programs are found on the desktop in Program files, and it searched for every single music and video file on the damned computer, so what? How will it help parents? Sheesh.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
lokitorrent.com now down
Hi,

I've read your article about the MPAA vs sites like lokitorrent.com. As of today lokitorrent.com is down and the site has been replaced by a warning from the MPAA. Can you guys dig up more info about the trial? I am very curious if the guys behind the site were convicted or not.

Best regards,

Baltazar
Boelshit.nl
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
lokitorrent.com now down
Hi,

I've read your article about the MPAA vs sites like lokitorrent.com. As of today lokitorrent.com is down and the site has been replaced by a warning from the MPAA. Can you guys dig up more info about the trial? I am very curious if the guys behind the site were convicted or not.

Best regards,

Baltazar
Boelshit.nl
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.