1996-10-11 - SPA sues C2, other ISPs and users

Header Data

From: Greg Broiles <gbroiles@netbox.com>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 8df1d2f9798984351f6978ec8b0b7593e57c51bb84da42a9c2caf16fd7efba79
Message ID: <3.0b28.32.19961011141214.006e8aec@ricochet.net>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1996-10-11 21:02:01 UTC
Raw Date: Fri, 11 Oct 1996 14:02:01 -0700 (PDT)

Raw message

From: Greg Broiles <gbroiles@netbox.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Oct 1996 14:02:01 -0700 (PDT)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: SPA sues C2, other ISPs and users
Message-ID: <3.0b28.32.19961011141214.006e8aec@ricochet.net>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

According to a 10/10/96 press release, the Software Publishers Association
has files copyright infringement suits against three ISP's and two
individual users. The three ISP's were Community Connexion of Oakland,
GeoCities of Beverly Hills, and Tripod of Williamstown, Mass. The two users
sued were apparently customers of other ISP's who turned over their names &
contact information to the SPA.

The press release, located at
<http://www.spa.org/piracy/releases/netpir.htm>, indicates:

"Piracy has taken many forms on the Internet. These include making
unauthorized copies of software available for download, the posting of
serial numbers, cracker and hacker utilities and links to pirate FTP sites.
Although many believe piracy is limited to "warez" or illegal copies of
software, it extends beyond that narrow definition. Under the law, anyone
who knows -- or should have known -- of the infringement and who
assists, encourages or induces the infringement is liable for indirect
infringement. In each of the actions SPA filed, at least two of the above
infringements were present. "

The SPA has apparently adopted two relatively aggressive litigation
strategies - putting ISP's in the position of disclosing otherwise
confidential customer information or being sued themselves, and treating
peripheral data about copyrighted works like copyrighted works themselves
(e.g., serial numbers). Particularly interesting is that they seem to be
claiming that a *link* to a pirate FTP site is itself infringing
(potentially contributory infringement).

(My comments above are made solely from reading the press release.)

It's inappropriate to expect Sameer or any other C2
employee/agent/representative to discuss the suit before they've had a
chance to find and meet with an attorney; in some circumstances it might
never be prudent for them to make a public statement about the suit. But it
certainly couldn't hurt for people who've thought about signing up with C2
to do so now as a show of support, nor for existing users to renew their
service early.

Greg Broiles                |  "We pretend to be their friends,
gbroiles@netbox.com         |   but they fuck with our heads."
http://www.io.com/~gbroiles |