July 27th, 2004, 08:44 AM #1
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Copyright infringement: is it now a terrorist act?
USA Patriot Act invoked against sg1archive.com:Federal charges were filed against Adam McGaughey, creator of the popular SG1Archive.com website - a fan website devoted to the MGM-owned television show Stargate SG-1. The charges allege that the website engaged in Criminal Copyright Infringement and Trafficking in Counterfeit Services. The charges were the culmination of a three-year FBI investigation, set in motion by a complaint from the Motion Picture Association (MPAA) regarding the content of the SG1Archive.com website.
SG1Archive.com is one of the most popular fan-run websites among the Stargate community. In addition to providing very active fan discussion forums, broadcast schedules, production news, and episode guides, the site heavily promotes the sale of the show on DVD. As of this writing, direct links from SG1Archive.com to Amazon.com have resulted in the sale of over $100,000 worth of DVDs. Many more DVDs have been sold to international fans of the show through sites like Blackstar.co.uk. Upon hearing this news, Stargate executive producer Brad Wright called the site "cool" - which Adam took as an endorsement of his work.
However, instead of thanking Adam for his promotion of their product, officials at MGM and the MPAA have chosen to pressure the FBI into pursuing criminal charges. Adam was first tipped off about the investigation when the FBI raided his and his fiancee's apartment in May of 2002 and seized thousands of dollars worth of computer equipment. Adam later received a copy of the affidavit filed in support of the search warrant, and was shocked to discover that this document, prepared by the FBI, contained significant amounts of erroneous and misleading information. For example, two social security numbers were listed for Adam, one of which is not his. References were made to a cease and desist letter sent by the MPAA to an email address that did not exist. His online friendship with other Stargate fans across the globe was portrayed as an international conspiracy against the MPAA. And perhaps most disturbing of all, it was later revealed that the FBI invoked a provision of the USA Patriot Act to obtain financial records from his ISP. The FBI's abuse of its powers did not stop there. When they seized Adam's computer equipment, he was given written documentation stating that it would be returned within 60 days. The equipment that they did return did not arrive until more than 8 months later, and only then after much prodding from his lawyer. Much of it was damaged beyond repair - one laptop had a shattered LCD screen, an empty tape backup drive was ripped apart for no apparent reason, his fiancee's iBook was badly damaged when it was pried apart with a screwdriver. The FBI's computer crimes staff is either incompetent (at least when it comes to Macintosh computer equipment) or else they just don't give a damn.
July 27th, 2004, 08:53 AM #2
Ahhh, the future looks bright and sunny. Thankfully, Theophylact is in the US, so this thread is not yet an *international* conspiracy.
July 27th, 2004, 09:30 AM #3
people are so idiotic. why would you want to take a website down that keeps the people comming back to your business! i mean im just about ready to move out of the US. this country is begining to fall apart.RackByte.com - Web Hosting / Reseller Hosting / VPS / Dedicated Servers / Domain Registration
July 27th, 2004, 09:45 AM #4
if i were to chime in that i believe that this type of behaviour by the mpaa and what have become their fbi lapdogs is disgutsing, then would it become an international conspiracy?
legal disclaimer: i'm not stating that as an opinion, just as a question.
July 27th, 2004, 10:06 AM #5
July 27th, 2004, 10:14 AM #6
pretty soon though guys.
ALl those people who still think computers are evil witchcraft will be dead. We're dawning on a new age of people who grew up on computers. Those people are just now entering the workforce enmasse. Just think about the difference in college education there is now from 10 years ago. EVERYONE USES MP3's. And pretty soon, it'll be those of us who understand what computers really are who are in charge. but not now
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