The Motion Picture Association of America sued a Wisconsin grandfather on Tuesday for allegedly downloading several movies to his home computer. However, there's one small problem with the case: the man doesn't like to watch movies, nor does he have any intention of downloading them. Fred Lawrence, 67, of Racine says that his 12-year-old grandson apparently downloaded four movies from the P2P file service iMesh in December 2004. The family actually owns three of the four movies, and Lawrence says his grandson had no intention of breaking, nor knowledge of copyright laws.
In April, the MPAA attempted to force Lawrence into paying a $4,000 settlement to avoid copyright infringement charges, which he refused. The group subsequently filed a lawsuit seeking up to $600,000 in damages for the illegal downloads.
Lawrence says that his grandson made an innocent mistake, and he would not personally download movie files. "First of all, like I say, I guess I'd have to plead being naive about the whole thing," he told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
But the MPAA apparently does not care whether or not the public agrees with the organization's tactics in combating piracy, and is not asking for "anyone's sympathy," the paper reported.
If Lawrence is successful in fighting the lawsuit, the MPAA could legally turn around and sue the child. However, doing so opens up other potential issues, as it is much harder to sue a minor than an adult, especially for damages the MPAA is claiming.
Some interest groups suggest that the only way around such a case would be for Lawrence's grandson to declare bankruptcy, as in most cases children have no income.
First of all, they sued the grandfather, which goes against all common sense. Secondly the fine of $600,000 for downloading four movies seems a bit extreme to me. heh
Following up this case, the MPAA lowered the fine to $8,000 and the grandfather said he didn't have that much money, so they said he could pay it over 18 months, to which he still refused. This is still going on.
^^ It wouldn't really mess up his credit if he files for bankruptcy now. After 7 years, he could reinitiate his credit record, at age 19. I think the bankruptcy system is messed up, but in this case, it could help out the kid.
Bottom line is, the kid stole intellectual property and got caught. Their best option would have been to go for thr settlement. Downloading illegal copies of copyrighted material is like speeding: its fun, very likely you can get away with it, but there is a price to pay if you get caught because it is a crime.
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Originally Posted by DEATH2000
dude thats so messed up. DinanM6 u better watch out!! if they got the kid for downloading 2, im pretty sure ull get busted for the 30+ u have lol
heh probably not cause around here they dont care to much and if you think I have a lot of movies you should see my sister and her boyfriend I mean the lived for about 3 years with a blockbuster right across the street so you can imagine how many movies they "bought" in that time.
Member of the "I have no money" club
Founding Member of the "I need a job" club
For starters the Bankruptcy law is for 10 years befor eyou get a clean slate. I wish the article included mroe information as to why the granparent was beign sued. I assume there were no parents present and the computer belogned to the grandparent> And if parents were present and the movies were downloaded to the grandparents computer then the grandparents are responsible for what shows up on their computer and what software they have. Lando is correct, they should be only charged for downloading one movie illegally. I believe the 600,000 lawsuit is just a figure in order to scare others from downloading moies. 600k is nothign to the movie industry other than to scare others frm downlaoding. Good thing I dont have any p2p software or download anythign illegally.
I bet this case will be settled outside of court and nto int he public eye for less than 5k.