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File sharing and copyright 101. Part 3. Damage

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:44 am
by bobb
This is continuation of my quest in clarifying the law... the beginning is here: viewtopic.php?f=31&t=60124

It seems it is almost impossible to not infringe a copyright if you use internet (from what i've been told).

Now in case of downloading a video (or a file appeared to be a video) and you got to the court, and judge isnt very interesting in the details (because he already made his decision - that you are guilty on the balance of probability).

How would they evaluate the damage?

would they go for bits of file - in case you havent downloaded the file to the end but still P2P network would use your PC to upload unfinished pieces. Is that the case? Counting file chunks?

Surely if your uploading speed is 1Kb you damaged less than if it was for user with 10Kb. If you kept your P2P client on for an hour would do less damage if you did that for few weeks or months or even used a server with high bandwidth...

So every one who downloaded at least one chunk will be automatically awarded roughly the same charges? (even if you clicked on something by mistake or been deceived by some fake add or tricky java script, and then quickly realised it was wrong and killed download almost immediately)?

And these things can be argued for centuries.. When you use internet 11 hours a day - a lot migh happened in just one day. (consider life of a bank robber - you spend years in prison, you sepnd another year or two planning a heist and then you just go to a bank get shot - one single event in almost a life time of individual).

[now I am being sarcastic - I think the legal system suck dicks :wank if it goes down to precision. perhaps it was good enough to haunt witches few hundred years ago].

Re: File sharing and copyright 101. Part 3. Damage

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:43 pm
by DukePPUk
No one really knows as the question of quantum of damages has (to my knowledge) never be argued in an English court over P2P file-sharing (or non-commercial copyright infringement). In theory, damages should be based on the claimant's (copyright owner's) actual loss suffered - but what that is will be argued.

For uploading a few pieces of a torrented file, the copyright owner will be arguing that that amounts to copying of the entire work to each person in the swarm (potentially hundreds) and damages should amount to the cost of a licence to communicate the work to the public in an unrestricted format, or the cost of hundreds of copies of the work. The defendant will be arguing that it will be the fraction of the file uploaded in total x some scaling factor to account for each download/upload not being a lost sale (last I checked the BPI's figure for this was 20%). Given that, the amount of damages could vary from tens of thousands of pounds, to a few pence.

There have been similar cases in other EU countries that have looked at this issue; in 2010 a German court capped damages at €15 per track in a file-sharing case, after deciding that each track had been uploaded about 100 times. I would be quite happy arguing that even that is too high. The UK also has "additional damages" which can be awarded if the copyright infringement is particularly "flagrant."

If you want more details, the amusingly-named "European Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy" produced a report on available damages for copyright infringement across the EU, including the UK. It may be a bit out of date, but can be found here - warning, 139-page pdf.

Re: File sharing and copyright 101. Part 3. Damage

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:57 pm
by MrFredPFL
:lol: @ "observatory"

amusing indeed :)

Re: File sharing and copyright 101. Part 3. Damage

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:15 pm
by bobb
I'd call it -Euphoric Conservatory of Obscene Countermucking