Medienkritik zum Corona-Journalismus – Teil 3
Marx ist Murks – Teil 3c: Replik auf die Einwürfe der Foristen
Not mounting a defense in a BitTorrent piracy lawsuit can be a recipe for disaster, with large damages handed down in a default judgment. However, a judge in the United States has treated one such absent defendant lightly, rejecting a $10,000 damages demand in favor of one considerably smaller, just $750. How the judge arrived at this decision is of particular interest.
From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.
Despite its aggressive actions elsewhere, most Hollywood studios have largely shied away from targeting individual pirates with lawsuits. The same cannot be said about a relatively small subset of companies, who are very happy to target thousands of them worldwide, demanding cash settlements in lieu of a drawn-out court battle.
LHF Productions, one of the companies behind the blockbuster movie ‘London Has Fallen’ is one such company and over the years has filed lawsuits against alleged pirates in both the United States and Europe. In the former, the company has enjoyed some success but a case that has just gone all the way in the US, without the defendant mounting even a basic defense, hasn’t gone exactly to plan.
Multiple Defendants Targeted in a Utah Court
Early 2017, LHF Productions filed a lawsuit against 30 alleged pirates in a Utah court, claiming they downloaded and shared London Has Fallen using BitTorrent. The case has rolled on for more than three years, with various defendants removed from the action after appearing to reach settlement agreements with LHF.
The details of these settlements are private but one defendant, named as Amanda Steel, hasn’t played ball from the start. Mounting no defense, the alleged pirate could have faced a huge damages award but this week, in an order handed down by District Judge David Nuffer, Steel got off quite lightly.
Plaintiffs Demanded $10,000 in Damages, Judge Says No
After failing to respond to the lawsuit, Steel could’ve been on the hook for $150,000 in statutory damages, in theory at least. In the event, LHF put in a demand for a default judgment of $10,000 as well as a permanent injunction but the Judge wasn’t happy with that lowered figure either.
The judgment reveals that the Judge was satisfied that a default was warranted in this case and accepted the plaintiff’s allegations that the infringement was willful. This meant that Steel was facing a potential damages award of between $750 and $150,000, at the Judge’s discretion.
LHF argued that its $10,000 demand was reasonable and at a level that would deter future infringement. The company also cited five cases from other jurisdictions where that amount was deemed acceptable to the courts.
For example, one case dating back to 2012 saw the defendant hit with $1.5m in damages for pirating 10 movies. However, Judge Nuffer said that in that matter, no findings or conclusions were officially entered on file, other than the allegations and default. Another case two years later, where a default judgment of $10,000 was awarded for infringement of a single movie, was deficient in the same regard.
The Judge went to state that in the cited cases, the courts were willing to grant the requested amount in statutory damages, provided they did not reach the statutory maximum. He concluded that was likely due to the plaintiffs being unchallenged by the defaulted defendants. Describing the cases as lacking in “meaningful analysis”, the Judge concluded that along with several other similar cases between 2012 and 2017, they were “not persuasive.”
Other Courts have Awarded Substantially Less Than $10,000
Outside of the cases cited by LHF, the Judge noted that some courts had developed and applied factors that led to greater consistency in statutory damages awards against defaulted defendants. A Malibu Media case in 2014, for example, awarded $750 on the basis that the plaintiff provided very little factual detail regarding the defendant’s actions. Other cases shared similar traits.
In his decision, Judge Nuffer decided to apply six factors previously outlined in a 2016 case involving Malibu Media; whether the defendant was the original seeder, whether the defendant profited or saved money from the infringement, the plaintiff’s actual losses, whether the damages amount would result in a “windfall” for the plaintiff, the deterrent effect of the damages, and the defendant’s willfulness and intent.
The Judge in this case weighed those same factors and determined that in the absence of evidence to the contrary, the request for $10,000 in statutory damages was over the top.
Judge Nuffer found that there was no evidence that Steel was an original seeder, no evidence relating to the number of users in the BitTorrent swarm, and no evidence showing how many people downloaded the file from the defendant’s computer. On top, the Judge said it was reasonable to conclude that the only monetary gain made by the defendant was the money saved on renting or buying a copy of the movie and the losses for the plaintiff would’ve been the same amount.
Given the above, $10,000 in damages would result in a windfall for the plaintiffs and at around 25 times the amount it would cost to rent or buy the movie, $750 would act as a deterrent. In respect of the defendant’s intent, LHF provided inadequate evidence.
“Ultimately, considering the relevant factors collectively, along with all the circumstances of this case, an award of the $750 statutory damages against Defendant is just,” the Judge wrote in his order.
“This award adequately serves the compensatory and punitive purposes of statutory damages to sanction Defendant and vindicates the statutory policy of discouraging future infringement. This award is also consistent with the nationwide trend in awarding minimum statutory damages against defaulted defendants.”
While the damages award is indeed relatively low, it is worth pointing out that the defendant is liable to pay LHF’s costs and reasonable attorney’s fees, which are yet to be decided.
The memorandum decision and default judgment can be found here (pdf)
From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.
Bitcoin hit a low of $3,200 in late 2018.
The price of one bitcoin rose above $14,000 on Saturday morning. It was the first time the virtual currency reached that level since January 2018. As I write this, the currency is trading for around $13,800.
Bitcoin, a currency whose name has become synonymous with price volatility, has seen three major bull runs in the past. Bitcoin's price peaked around $30 in June 2011, around $1,100 in January 2014, and just below $20,000 in December 2017. Each peak was followed by a wrenching crash where the currency lost more than 80 percent of its value.
After the last bubble peaked in December 2017, the price steadily deflated until it reached a low around $3,200 in late 2018. It reached a peak around $13,800 in mid-2019, fell to $4,000 in early 2020, and has now soared back to $14,000. Bitcoin fans are hoping for another boom that pushes the currency past the highs of 2017, but that's far from a sure thing.
Bei Spielen vor der Konkurrenz, bei AI sowie Encoding weit überlegen: Intel verspricht viel für die dedizierte Iris Xe Max alias DG1. Ein Bericht von Marc Sauter (Intel, Grafikhardware)
Das RKI meldet über 19.000 Neu-Infizierte. Der Fraktionssprecher der Union bestärkt Zweifel am Ende der verschärften Maßnahmen im November. Virologe Streeck ist für eine Langzeitstrategie
After a change in reporting procedure, daily updates vanished.
Earlier this year, the federal government made a major change to how data on the pandemic is reported, taking the aggregation of hospital data away from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and shifting it into the CDC's parent organization, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
At the time, there were worries that this represented an attempt to limit the public's ability to see how bad the pandemic was—worries that were reinforced when the data was no longer made public as it came in. But some recent reporting indicated that the change was primarily the work of White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Deborah Birx, who wanted greater control over the data gathering and processing. Still, regardless of the motivation, the data flowing in to HHS only made its way out to the public via weekly summaries.
Until now. Someone has leaked the daily reports to NPR, which found that the reports weren't all that they could be, but they could still be useful for public health experts.
The Aya Neo is a handheld computer that looks more like a game console than a PC. But with an AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor, Radeon Vega 6 graphics, 16GB of DDR4-4266 memory, and a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD under the hood, it’s a full-fledged computer d…
The Aya Neo is a handheld computer that looks more like a game console than a PC. But with an AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor, Radeon Vega 6 graphics, 16GB of DDR4-4266 memory, and a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD under the hood, it’s a full-fledged computer designed to be held in your hands. First announced earlier […]
The post Aya Neo handheld gaming PC pre-orders begin in Nov (after slight delay) appeared first on Liliputing.
Lufthansa und Easyjet waren die ersten Fluggesellschaften, deren Flugzeuge auf dem BER landeten – aber nicht ganz so wie geplant. (Luftfahrt, Flugzeug)
Electrodes threaded through blood vessels let people control gadgets with their minds.
The hard part of connecting a gooey, thinking brain to a cold, one-ing and zero-ing computer is getting information through your thick skull—or mine, or anyone’s. The whole point of a skull, after all, is keeping a brain safely separate from [waves hands at everything].
So if that brain isn’t yours, the only way to tell what’s going on inside it is inference. People make very educated guesses based on what that brain tells a body to do—like, if the body makes some noises that you can understand (that’s speech) or moves around in a recognizable way. That’s a problem for people trying to understand how the brain works, and an even bigger problem for people who because of injury or illness can’t move or speak. Sophisticated imaging technologies like functional magnetic resonance can give you some clues. But it’d be great to have something more direct. For decades, technologists have been trying to get brains to interface with computer keyboards or robot arms, to get meat to commune with silicon.