"For Dummies" Publisher Dragging BitTorrent Users to Federal Court
Do you have a pirated copy of Drive, or the newest Bibi Jones (NSFW) scene ripped from the hardworking folks over at Digital Playground? Is your download manager packed with movies and music that you didn't pay for, stuff that hasn't even been released?
Then you might want to pay attention.
John Wiley and Sons, the publishers of those For Dummies books, is suing 27 BitTorrent users for illegal downloading and peer-to-peer file sharing. This may already seem like familiar territory to you, since more than 200,000 people have been taken to court over this kind of thing since early 2010, but up until now, it's only been the porn studios and independent film makers that have taken action. John Wiley and Sons marks the first time a publisher has thrown down the legal gauntlet, claiming that their profitability is being threatened and authors could potentially lose their jobs.
For instance: Photoshop CS 5 All-In-One for Dummies has clocked in over 74,000 illegal downloads since June of last year, and that's just one title out of many.
As you've probably already surmised, the ratio is a bit off. 27 BitTorrent users out of many thousands is a drop in the ocean, and this lawsuit is all predicated upon whether or not they can actually get these people into court. Currently, all they have to go off of is the IP addresses, and an IP address is pretty damn easy to change. Also, if these BitTorrent users actually wind up in court, exactly how much monetary compensation does the publisher realistically expect? If they were too cheap to fork over $20, logic indicates these aren't the kind of people who have stockpiles of cash just hanging out in the bank account.
The porn thing I kind of get. You cross a certain line when you start paying for it, and begin to question yourself as a human being. Films, books, and movies--we might disagree here, but being in a creative field makes you appreciate how much work goes into something. Just fork over the damn dollar if you want to hear that new Deadmau5 song so bad.
I agree with John Wiley and Sons on this. There eventually comes a point when you have to put your foot down on an issue, and even though it's only 27 people, this lawsuit appears to be more about making a statement than making a profit back. You can check out the legal filing in PDF by clicking HERE.
Let's get some dialogue going in the comments. Is the publisher in the right? What's your take on BitTorrents?
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