“HBO busted me for using bittorrent”

Very interesting to see HBO going after bittorrent users via their ISP/cable companies.
Pretty scary to think about how much of your communication is/can be monitored. I guess it’s best to assume that everthing that isn’t encrypted can be monitored by your ISP.
Of course, it’s worse when you’re on a cable ISP, because they’re also providing the pipe for HBO to their customers, so it’s only natural that they monitor their networks for customers who are torrenting pay-tv shows.
That said, it’s clear that HBO has a global audience for their content and that they should have a global distribution (which they don’t; sure they have DVDs of their TV shows that appear 1+ years afterwards in other nations) service to allow people to pay for this content.

Below is a copy of the email sent to me from my ISP after HBO caught me downloading the latest episode of Entourage. When I first starting reading this it gave me a bit of a scare, I just started thinking of all the people that have been sued by the RIAA and I was sure I was going to be prosecuted. However, by the end of the message I felt a little better because it seems I’m in the clear, but you can be sure I’m not going to be downloading anymore episodes of Entourage.

WZachJordan.com: HBO busted me for using bittorrent

Posted in Internet
64 comments on ““HBO busted me for using bittorrent”
  1. Max says:

    As with any of the other groups that have busted illegal downloaders, I believe HBO detects your IP address while you are downloading, determines that you are a user of the ISP *******, and demands that ******* give them your name and contact info. I don’t believe ISPs really care what you’re downloading; they’ll only want to stop you if you’re starting to use too much of their bandwidth.

  2. HMM says:

    All you have to do is go to the usenet and you can get both dvd from season 1 of Rome.
    The usenet is not peer to peer and chances are you can get it from that same ISP that sent you the letter, and it is much harder for them to ask each ISP or Usenet company to provid what there usesrs download. Something about unreasonable search and seziure.
    The bottom line is if you like the movie/tv show buy it, or subscribe. It will make sure that great shows like Rome will continue, and if the pay network cancles the show. Turn it off I did that with Dead Like Me, and yes I own both of the series.

  3. Snowlock says:

    Take heart. You are not alone in receiving the letters. Keep in mind that the only organization that sues their customers so far is the RIAA. MPAA and TV show studios send out threatening letters to individuals but they do not go after (sue) individual users. They do sue and go after people who make Cam copies in theaters and they try to go after the distro sites.
    But sorry to break your ego… you are too small for them to really worry about. I know, it breaks you all up inside. Me too. So next time you are downloading your favorite TV show, recognize that they don’t like that you do it, but they will not try and extort money from you for doing it.
    Also go get yourself a copy of Protowall. Damn man, protect yourself.

  4. Snowlock says:

    Usenet is a bit… annoying. To actually download anything of any length you need an account on a REAL usenet server. Which means paying for another service.
    Better idea would be go straight to the source.
    It is where they are initially released.

  5. Sue HBO says:

    One thing people are not taking into account regarding HBO (Media Sentry) sending bad data. Even if you only connect to a tracker to keep stats of peers and seeders (not to actually download), the bad seeders still have bots designed to capture your IP address, send it to the bad seeders and start sending you the bad data packets, unrequested!. This turns into a flood with 40-50+ packets per second or more. I monitored this with peer gaurdian and an IP packet analyzer. Even if you disconnect from the tracker it does not stop. I watched these packets continue for 10+ hours after the fact until I finally changed my IP. This is also known as a DISTRIBUTED DENIAL OF SERVICE attack and is unquestionably illegal. Remember, you do not have to be actively downloading to be attacked by this method. The flood of packets did prevent me from using my browser to surf the net during the experiment so I was being denied the service I had paid for. I hope somebody with more legal means than I can look at this aspect of HBO / Media Sentry and start a class action lawsuit for DDOS’ing. :-)

  6. Scott says:

    404 not found
    That page was so popular it exploded eh?

  7. Jids says:

    “This is also known as a DISTRIBUTED DENIAL OF SERVICE attack and is unquestionably illegal.”
    So then let’s all go sue HBO!

  8. PingPONG?!? says:

    Actually, it’s probably /.’s fault.
    (The 404 that is)

  9. Ohm's Lawyer says:

    I got “busted” too. Here’s the email I got from Cox:
    From: Cox Abuse Tracking System
    Date: 2005/10/11 Tue AM 04:31:32 EDT
    To: anon7@cox.net
    Subject:[10.11.2005 1234567] Notice of Copyright Infringement
    Dear Customer,
    We are writing on behalf of Cox Communications to advise you that we have
    received a notification that you are using your Cox High Speed Internet service
    to post or transmit material that infringes the copyrights of a complainant’s
    members. We have included a copy of the complaint letter. Pursuant to the
    provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), which is codified
    at 17 U.S.C. § 512, upon receiving such notification, Cox is required to “act
    expeditiously to remove, or disable access to” the infringing material in order
    to avoid liability for any alleged copyright infringement. Accordingly, Cox
    will suspend your account and disable your connection to the Internet within 24
    hours of your receipt of this email if the offending material is not removed.
    Please be aware that the DMCA also provides procedures by which a subscriber
    accused of copyright violation can respond to the allegations of infringement
    and, under certain circumstances, cause his or her account to be reinstated.
    To do so, however, the response must meet certain criteria. Pursuant to
    section (g) of the DMCA (17 U.S.C. § 512(g)), you have the right to submit to
    Cox a counter-notification which, to be effective, must include the following
    (a) a physical or electronic signature of the subscriber;
    (b) identification of the material that has been removed or to which access has
    been disabled and the location at which the material appeared before it was
    removed or disabled;
    (c) a statement under penalty of perjury that the subscriber has a good faith
    belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or
    misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled;
    (d) the subscriber’s name, address, and telephone number and a statement that
    the subscriber consents to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court for
    the judicial district in which the address is located.
    In the event that you submit to Cox a counter-notification that includes these
    elements, Cox will forward your counter notification to the complainant and
    advise them that Cox will cease disabling access to the allegedly infringing
    material in ten (10) business days. Unless the complainant notifies us that it
    has filed an action seeking a court order to restrain you from engaging in the
    allegedly infringing activity prior to the expiration of those ten (10)
    business days, Cox will reactivate your account.
    For answers to frequently asked questions, please follow the link below:
    Cox Customer Security
    — Original Message —
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”utf-8″
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
    =EF=BB=BFTuesday, October 11, 2005
    Cox Communications, Inc.
    1400 Lake Hearn Drive, NE
    Atlanta, GA 30319 US
    RE: Unauthorized Distribution of the Copyrighted Television Program Entitl=
    Dear DMCA Agent:
    We are writing this letter on behalf of Home Box Office, Inc. (“HBO”).
    We have received information that an individual has utilized the above-refe=
    renced IP address at the noted date and time to offer downloads of copyrigh=
    ted television program(s) through a “peer-to-peer” service, including such =
    title(s) as:
    The distribution of unauthorized copies of copyrighted television programs =
    constitutes copyright infringement under the Copyright Act, Title 17 United=
    States Code Section 106(3). =20
    Since you own this IP address, we request that you immediately do the follo=
    1) Disable access to the individual who has engaged in the conduct describe=
    d above; and
    2) Take appropriate action against the account holder (if other than the in=
    dividual whose access has been disabled) under your Abuse Policy/Terms of S=
    ervice Agreement.
    On behalf of HBO, owner of the exclusive rights to the copyrighted material=
    at issue in this notice, we hereby state, that we have a good faith belief=
    that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by =
    HBO, its respective agents, or the law.
    Also, we hereby state, under penalty of perjury, under the laws of the Stat=
    e of New York and under the laws of the United States, that the information=
    in this notification is accurate and that we are authorized to act on beha=
    lf of the owner of the exclusive rights being infringed as set forth in thi=
    s notification.
    Please direct any end user queries to the following address:
    Steve Rosenthal
    Legal Department
    Home Box Office, Inc.
    1100 Avenue of the Americas
    New York, NY 10036
    212.512.1780 =E2=80=93 phone
    212.512.5854 =E2=80=93 fax
    infringements@hbo.com =E2=80=93 email
    Kindly include the Case ID 12345678, also noted above, in the subject line =
    of all future correspondence regarding this matter.
    We appreciate your assistance and thank you for your cooperation in this ma=
    tter. Your prompt response is requested.
    Mark Weaver,
    Director of Enforcement
    MediaSentry, Inc.
    Infringement Detail:
    Infringing Work: Rome
    Filepath: Rome.S01E07.HR.HDTV.AC3.5.1.XviD-NBS.avi.torrent
    Filename: Rome.S01E07.HR.HDTV.AC3.5.1.XviD-NBS.avi
    First Found: 10 Oct 2005 21:29:55 EDT (GMT -0400)
    Last Found: 10 Oct 2005 21:29:55 EDT (GMT -0400)
    Filesize: 715,004k
    IP Address:
    IP Port: 16955
    Network: BTPeers
    Protocol: BitTorrent

  10. SleeSTack says:

    Count me busted. Similar letter.
    Interesting, I also got hit on Episode 7.
    Stay away from that one!

  11. UK lad says:

    sorry to see you guys all busted, but I just want to ask because I’m from the UK what’s the likelyhood of HBO prosecuting outside of the US?

  12. bob says:

    yea i’m not messing with anything hbo anymore…..screw that i had to close my ports down
    are you safe if you are using peerguardian i mean i was blocking everything they were sending at me….

  13. DAmnit says:

    I got one on behalf of Symantec today. What becomes of this? I removed the offending item and turned off all sharing.

  14. tony says:

    wow i’ve been getting hit by cox as well…so far i’ve gotten 2 threatening letters such as the above…how could i ghost my address from getting caught? would steganos internet anonym pro work?

  15. Joel says:

    I just got the same letter today. Scared the crap out of me…. But mostly because I could get banned from my ISP with no real “evidence”. The Rome file they accuse me of having is long since deleted. Too bad because it would have been my best defense. It was a 700MB file that was entirely a “test pattern”. In fact there were alot of those “test pattern” files out there at the time. I think it is entrapment. Just because I have or traded a large file with a name on it that implies that it is something copywrited file does not mean that I actually had the material in question. If I were to make a 500 MB file of a blue screen and lable it “top secret military child pron” and I traded it would that make me guilty of anything?
    I suppose it might fall into that “sting” kind of area where you can get busted for buying drugs that are fake…. or soliciting a minor that is really 45 years old (and just how does that work anyway? They think that you think you are breaking the law so therefore you ARE? If someone puts up a fake speed limit sign and I come driving by (I may or may not know the sign is fake) if they think that I THINK I am driving 35 in a 15…. but I am REALLY driving 35 in a 45. Do I get a ticket? I guess the answer is YES….. )

  16. Use freenet. It’s pretty slow at first, but gets up to speed after a day or two. The more people use it, the better it gets.
    It is the encrypted internet we’ve all been waiting for.
    And I’d just like to say “hello” to HBO and say thanks for the “Sporanos”. I loved it.
    I’d also like to say that if you made all your CDs/DVDs £5 each then I’d actually buy them instead of borrowing them. :-)

  17. BigSlim says:

    I too got “busted” for Rome. Interesting enough, I downloaded for months with no protection, and the day I installed PeerGuardian2, I get this letter. I do not think that PG2 is the answer here folks. I’ve heard from others that a steady diet of ‘Tor’ and ‘Privoxy’ with a bittorrent client that allows you to proxy serve… thats the best bet. Also, Protowall is another way to tighten the grips.
    I quit uploading to my community over this, as if you receive multiple infringement complaints with Cox, you can lose your ISP. Better safe than sorry. My advice to all those who got a warning from their ISP is to take it serious. No they are not going to sue you, but losing your ISP is bad enough in and of itself.

  18. holyhellonwheels says:

    I got one too, just last night. So does getting this notice mean that my account will be disabled? Or is it just a warning? How is anyone going to know if the ‘offending material’ has been removed or not if I don’t tell someone about it? I’m confused as to how this all works.

  19. v10vipe says:

    Yes I too got “busted” for downloading Curb your Enthusiasm.
    The thing is I got busted for episode 6 like a month ago and since then I’ve downloaded 3 more so now I bet I’ll get busted for those and my ISP will be disabled, which is fucking bullshit cause I’ve stopped downloading everything after this notice…
    Another thing that pisses me off is that I own seasons 1-4 on DVD and I don’t have HBO so I watch the episodes this way. Why the hell doesn’t the person who uploads the show get busted and not the downloaders??

  20. E-MAN says:

    When your downloading your actually uploading the bits and pieces you get as you go (in my experience). I got that letter today for My_NAME_IS_EARL_blah,blah,torrent,S1E12 and another episode. I guesse I’ll just see what happens and not worry about it too much. I’ll be a little more few and far between with my DL’s and empty my Library. Funny ’cause I haven’t watched them yet. Like the post a few behind me “We” don’t even know what “IS” in that file. Now do we. I hope it’s just some fansite wallpapers ‘Cause that’s what I was looking for. Should I open it know that I’ve been told whats inside. And have I truly broken a copywright law if the copy was never shown in a public forum for money? Haven’t the Supreem Court decided that One could record VHS tapes of things they saw on TV and not break any copywright laws?
    Anyway I don’t often ramble on internet postings but, I’ll not be buying the show I’m accused of stealing. In fact I’ll not watch it on TV anymore. To tell the truth I’ve downloaded alot of M&M songs, I also own every album because of it. So I guess I’m just sayin’ “I gotta ride it before I buy it” test drive, you know what I’m talkin’ ’bout.
    Thanks for the space :)

  21. Sweden says:

    Have any of the letters been followed through with actual lawsuits yet? Do you have any friends who have gotten these in the past?
    I recieved one from my college ISP and I’m worried that I would have to leave school to pay for an HBO show.

  22. guest25 says:

    Does anyone have comments about using bittorrent to download broadcast content, such as Nova and other stuff on PBS?

  23. carl says:

    no one, thats right folks, not one person has yet to be sued for downloading by DMCA or HBO. plus DMCA only goes after CAM- pirates. now with your ISP i bet they could cancel you, but the would be the extend of it. i got a letter too, but i say fuck em…, im not afraid of you, worst cast my ISP drops me, big fuckin deal

  24. guest25 says:

    Yesterday, I got a voice mail message from tech support at my ISP, in Minneapolis Minnesota, notifying me that a third party hired by HBO has determined that I have been using bittorrent to download ‘Big Love’, and if I don’t stop it, I’ll lose my account. So I called back and said OK, I’ll stop. That night I used bittorrent to continue downloading a PBS Nova show. This afternoon my DSL connection went dead. I called my ISP and said I wasn’t downloading any HBO content, but a PBS show instead. After saying that I wouldn’t download PBS shows, I finally got my connection back. Now I wonder if the ISP could tell what I was downloading, or if they were just monitoring the protocol and port. Maybe it was by my own admission.
    I feel like I got caught going 62 in a 55 mph zone. Not being able to download what I could get for nothihg if I bought an HDTV? And who pays for those PBS shows? The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Endowment for the Arts, and where do they get their money?

  25. jj_mf says:

    I got an email from COX yesterday with the same bs… for downloading the HBO show the Sopranos. Have they actually taken action on this?

  26. guest25 says:

    Who’s COX?
    My ISP is local, but major for this metro area. I have no idea what action HBO has threatened against the ISP. All I can say is the ISP’s terms of use policy talks about copyright infringement. Which introduces this point, almost every commercial or well composed web site has a copyright, you just have to read it in order to discover that they permit you to download it on to your computer. Movies also have a copyright, but you don’t know for sure what they say until you download the entire file and read the copyright. Common sense easily straightens this out, but in legal matters, it isn’t always common sense, but the letter of the law, precident, and what a court of law determines the law to be. Common sense would also say that if you pay US income taxes, some of your money is in those grants to the NEA and CPB, which fund programming like Nova. So, us US citizens are underwriting the material, how do they get to not allow their financial backers to view the product?
    I’m not going to complain about HBO seeking ways to prevent people from viewing their shows without paying for it. Do people really expect the writers, actors, production personnel, etc, to work for nothing? If so, then no one is going to be producing programming. But for PBS, that is something I’ll complain about.

  27. Dan says:

    I got one of those letters sent by e mail from my isp warning me anout downloading tv content, then later that day I got another one from them, this time calaborating with hbo. It mentioned the sopranos eposide I downlaoded,Infringement details mentions of purgery ; even a case and phone number to “respectfully” contact them.
    by the end of the letter it sounds like that they are serious. anyone with recommendations?

  28. rjy116 says:

    I go to Penn State and I got busted for downloading Episode 2 of the new sopranos season. I had to go to judicial affairs and go over the bs policy and get a warning and what not. But now that ive seen the first two episodes i need to download the rest. Is pg2 really gonna protect me? or are there other ways i could get it without getting in trouble again? If i get caught again ill be in a decent amount of trouble….

  29. guest25 says:

    I had gotten Rome through bittorrent several weeks ago, late Feb, early March ’06, and didn’t get any warning. Because of all the fuss by conservation columnists, I got, (notice I’m avoiding the words ‘down loaded’), Big Love the weekend of the premier. I suspect that HBO is going after people who are getting the latest shows, ones that are current, not the shows that have been around for a while.
    That said, do you readers really expect a production company to spend millions to produce a show or a movie, but then only one million viewers pay for it, and another million that would have paid for it get it for free by downloading. I’m more interested in getting around the delivery model of cable TV and DirectTV, which appear to be the same. You pay a fixed price for a lot of crap, and if you have the time, you get to surf through a lot of stuff, but if you’re busy for a week, you’re still paying for it. And then there is the inconsistancy of the law, in the US at least, where it is OK to make a copy of a broadcast show for you own use, even a perfect HDTV broadcast, but if you don’t want to spend hundreds of $$ to buy a HDTV and antenae, it is illegal to get someone else’s copy. Not buying the new TV is not a lose of revenue for the content producer’s, is it?

  30. rizzle says:

    I just got busted today for downloading something a week ago, an episode of Big Love. I wrote back that I have removed the media and am no longer distributing the content, etc, etc. Has anyone had anything else happen to them after?
    Anyone know if COX puts you on a watched “shit list” of sorts once they send you a warning?
    What’s interesting is that I switched from using BitTornado to µTorrent *the day* i got caught. I also noticed that µTorrent uses the same default port 32459. Not sure if this is related, but ima go back to BitTornado once I feel its safe to.

  31. Chris says:

    First I just want to say to all who have asked, if you are on a college network BEWARE. Peeguardian is NOT going to protect you! I use pg2 and update several times a day, yet I’ve gotten caught dl’ing torrents twice (a cam movie once and sopranos another time….damn HBO)
    I don’t really think there is a safe way to download, especially if you are on a college campus. Frankly, this trend is just going to get worse because of itunes aka the devil and the recent trends of shows being available on there. First of all, itunes downloads are the bottom of the line in quality and sampling rate, and secondly apple sucks and so does the stupid quicktime player you have to view it on. I’ll pay 2 bucks per download, but why not just make the the high-quality stuff we can already get on bittorrent? Why this dumbed down interface and horrible picture/sound quality?
    Anyway, don’t download on a college campus unless it’s literally directly from someone you know over
    ftp, irc, etc.

  32. Dave says:

    The above letters strike me as odd. It isn’t Cox or the cable provider that is detecting the downloads. It is outside of the company. Somehow HBO or their third party provider “MediaSentry” is detecting the download as well as the IP of the downloader. The only way this is possible is if MediaSentry or HBO itself is SEEDING the file. Then they wait to see who downloads it and then send this scary e-mail to get you to stop sending the file. At no point in Cox’s letter above do they state that they detected you transferring the file. This is called a “HONEYPOT”. See this link: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?arnumber=1013842
    It is also referred to as ENTRAPMENT. It is being fought in courts all over the States and Worldwide. These companies (such as HBO and MediaSentry) say that it is being done to simply “protect” the content. However, what they basically are doing, is providing a source to illegally download their protected content, and if you do they prosecute you for doing so. In fact, it is only illegal to download the copyrighted material WITHOUT the copyright holder’s permission. However, in my opinion, if the copyright holder is listing the file for download on BitTorrent or any other website, which is widely known for downloading material (and for no other purpose), to me that is a clear statement of permission to download the file.

  33. Hbo can go to hell says:

    Hbo can go to hell..
    i canceled thier stupid service and they can lick my sack… just try and sue all of us, you pricks!

  34. got busted!!! says:

    got a letter from hbo today for downloading sopranos. should i be nervous?

  35. dubb says:

    I got busted for downloading Entourage. I have COX internet in Phoenix. oh well I’ll have to wait till it comes out on DVD to watch season 3 I guess since there doesn’t seem to be a way around this. Anybody try Azureus with the Safepeer plugin?


    just wondering if someone downloads like 1 torrent
    thats illegal would any company bother to go after them? or do they only go after big dlers?


    just wondering if someone downloads like 1 torrent
    thats illegal would any company bother to go after them? or do they only go after big dlers?

  38. jj says:

    just got busted for downloading Deadwood… ISP ‘warned’ me, will stop downloading HBO shows and probably everything else… too bad, I was really getting into some shows I missed and didn’t hear about until the show ended…

  39. misc says:

    Got a call from Cox today for downloading Deadwood…funny thing is, I actually subscribe to HBO…I was just trying to get an episode I missed.

  40. smirnof says:

    Generally, in my experience, they may or may not get your ip when you are downloading programs, but what they want to prevent and go after is uploaders. in bittorrent this equates to seeds. at least thats what ive read… i also read they prioritize (mostly on other filesharing networks) uploaders who make more than a thousand files available (the article i read was related to music files).
    the fact that bittorrent uploads as well as downloads is why they are going after everyone, and they are most likely just trying to scare you into stopping.
    also they can get ur ip really easily, they just have to connect to the swarm as a leecher and take an azureus screenshot. it has all your ips right there. they just have to kick and ban those ips and reconnect to the swarm for a new batch and they have a new screenshot of people who are responsible for uploading. if they really wanna lay down evidence against you they will wait until you are transmitting to them, but they probably just get the ips and send out letters knowing that 80 percent of people who get the letters will stop using bittorrent.
    Everything i get off of bittorent comes from japan, and i haven’t gotten any letters from overseas yet.
    in my best experience anything you want to download in the us, i would recommend a direct sharing program (bearshare or the like) with sharing turned off. Ive gotten all my earl episodes from it and no letters and i am using cox in phoenix.

  41. jbweld says:

    i too got a letter from my isp Adelphia and it seems that the complaint came from safenet or something, which is working for hbo. the letter doesn’t really tell me much, such as who or if i’m supposed to contact my isp and tell them everything has been stopped. so i dunno…even thought no one has gotten sued this sure is scarying the shit out of me.

  42. The Cable Guy says:

    There are safer ways of sharing your material over the internet, especially if you are on InsightBB or Adelphia HSI. These are by causing the DHCP server to change your IP address, this often times can be done by simply unplugging your CM for a few hours then plugging back in, other times the security is pretty lax and you can release and renew your “lease” which will almost certainly give you a new IP. Although, you can still be tracked, it’ll take quite a bit longer and may turn out to be too much trouble for them. You may also try using an anonymous proxy, sure this will increase your DL an UL times but you are a ghost. I am a cable provider and our CMTS (the box between the cable and the internet) could give 2 shits about how often you change your IP address and we don’t even bother keeping all of “those” logs. I’m sure that other providers have taken the same “we don’t have any record of that activity” approach. It’s less headache and I wish good luck to whoever decides to send me a letter about it.

  43. advildew says:

    hey jbweld, you are the only guy who has mentioned adelphia that i’ve noticed… Has anything new happened about your letter? and if anyone else has any dealings with adelphia/hbo, could you elaborate? thanks

  44. diesel says:

    so has anyone been sued by HBO?

  45. guest666 says:

    i have a question?has anyone got a letter or a warning about downloading music?

  46. Guest091106 says:

    You won’t get a notice of copyright infringment from RIAA. They prefer to shoot first and as questions later approach so to speak. They will first sue your IP address and once the lawsuit is approved by the courts they are then able to obtain a subpoena for your personal information. So in other words, if you’re caught sharing music, you’ll likely be taking about it with RIAA’s attorneys rather than your ISP.

  47. Concerned Dude says:

    Folks, let’s think clearly. Entrapment is only for government authorities such as police, FBI, etc. What the media companies are doing is equal to putting a DVD box (with a brick in it rather than a DVD player if the file is no good) in the back of an open truck and you’re taking it and complaining they caught you.
    You stole, grow up. They own the materials, they paid for the development, they can make more money off it, and if bittorrent was not around they’d make more, not less (the ‘try before you buy’ ardument to the contrary). As to the idea that capturing it during broadcast makes it available and the legality of recording that…sure it’s legal, but sharing it is not, and that’s true for both the sharer and the sharee(!).
    They make a lot of money off the DVD sales, which is their right in this country. We have IP and copyright laws which support this, which is one of the key underpinnings of the success of the US economy.
    Of course, you all will bitch about this right up until you make your own movie, and then poof!, you’re one of the enlightened, who see file sharing for the theft it is.
    As to peer guardian, in theory at least, it should be as good as it’s lists. If they’re comprehensive, you should be good. I can’t speak to the quality of the app or it’s lists.
    What I can say (IMO only) is that if the 3rd parties which HBO etc. hire to catch torrent-ers cannot connect to you, even if you’re in a swarm, they likely can’t complain as they can’t speak authoritatively to what you’re uploading/downloading (with a screencapture of a swarm report in all liklihood insufficient). If you connect to one of their (the 3rd parties) own torrents however, that’s a whole different ballgame.
    Personally, I like smirnof’s idea of downloading everything from overseas. Not perfect, but certainly improving the odds. And yeah, usenet and IRC are, well, irksome (really sorry).
    Bottom line, accept the risk, and don’t kid or fool yourself, or read a book/do something useful rather than risking loss of ISP and maybe worse, all for some entertainment.
    I’m not trying to be on a high horse, I just don’t like lying to myself that what I’m doing is ok (not that I do it or anything…just hypothetical!), and try to measure the risk with the reward.
    BTW, I’ve been in the scene for 16 years and never had a problem. I do buy when I like (media and warez) appreciate the efforts all people put into these things, and hope that prices do come down some (or some better subscription/sharing model comes along soon) so we can all pay a reasonable amount to access this stuff legally.
    Ciao, dudes!

  48. secret person says:

    I just got a letter for downloading battlestar galactica .. letter is from my ISP, on behalf of NBC … so basically, i got a threatening letter for downloading a TV show that I can get for FREE over the air !!! how’s THAT for ridiculous.

  49. Cunter The Shunter says:

    get hide my ip platinum. Problem solved.

  50. ryski says:

    Has anyone gotten a second letter? What are the best programs to get to keep you from getting caught?

  51. jbweld says:

    Nothing has happened with Adelphia. They just sent me a letter so i’d shat myself. I haven’t really downloaded anything lately anyway to warrant another letter or worse. I don’t know how it’ll work now since Adelphia switched to Time Warner.

  52. a nonny mouse says:

    I got a letter from Adelphia/TW this month as well. Was your packet hand delivered, and did it say anything about a federal subpoena?
    just curious,

  53. ryski says:

    Does anyone know what happens if you get a second letter?

  54. sam.r.i says:

    Yeah…just got that letter from HBO today through my school. Gotta love when you dl a show that I’m never gonna watch.

  55. lena says:

    Does anyone know if downloading from isohunt.com through Azureus illegal? I’ve downloaded quite a few movies and don’t know if i can actually do it. I’m pretty scared. Can a person actually get sued for something like that? Also, I wanted to know what is the best protection software because i have hecka viruses in my PC and don’t know how to delete them or prevent them. thanks.

  56. Correction says:

    To the poster who said, “What the media companies are doing is equal to putting a DVD box (with a brick in it rather than a DVD player if the file is no good) in the back of an open truck and you’re taking it and complaining they caught you.”
    This is false. They are not putting the DVD box in an open truck (which is private property), they are putting the DVD box on a table that says “FREE”. If I put something on a table that says free, and I’m the person who created/made that something, then it can be interpreted that I’m giving away my ownership of that something.
    If they’re seeding the file, there giving it away.

  57. Chris says:

    i got 2 letters from cox because of downloading games on my mac—-splinter cell and doom

  58. nick says:

    I just got an email from my isp saying i was downloading copyrighted stuff. in the email is an attachment from Mediasentry. It says i downloaded 300 CAM file from bit torrent (i might have, thinking it was the 300 chrysler roadtest from Topgear or fifth gear) Should I be worried? i called my isp and told them i would take care of it. I have a wireless network, so it may have been done by someone else.(it says it is in my pc. id by my user name on it) Has anyone been sued ? should I contact the people listed on the Complaint letter? i think that it may open another pandora’s box if i do, but i am very worried that it will come back tpo haunt me.
    I have Kazza and limewire on my computer too, can they “scan” it? I leave it off during the day, can they do it then? I have all my p2p set not to share, but i like the library and player functions. I do not download on these, rather just use their functions mostly (i did use them, but stopped, most of my files range back to Napster.If i use them now, it is mainly for porn (hey, that is why Al Gore invented the internet right?)
    I am honestly scared….

  59. Ghostguido says:

    I have received a phone call from my ISP, or a company that said that are partnered with my ISP. They notified me that HBO had notified the ISP about my downloading of a Sopranos episode. In addition to telling me I have to delete the file they also are telling me that I have two days to call back and confirm that this was done. If it happens again I will lose service and my computer may be seized; they also mentioned the fines. I was careful not to admit to anything on the phone but now I am worried that my calling back to confirm that the file was deleted will actually be tantamount to an admission. My bittorrent days are over. Any thoughts?

  60. la says:

    I got busted for downloading ENTOURAGE which funny enough i had no idea what it was. i later learned it was a show from HBO, but i was not downloading it… the thing scared the crap out of me. I’m like… ENTOURAGE what the hell, so i don’t know, my interview with my school is this tuesday

  61. VegasDude420 says:

    I have recieved many of these letters from my provider (COX). Like someone said above, it’s better to stop downloading files that come from these large studios if you want to avoid getting these letters. The files, mostly TV shows and new release movies, are distributed on “public” trackers. Avoid them and you probably won’t be noticed by the employees hired to do the dirty work. And just so you know, after I deleted what they asked me to delete, I never heard from them again. I hope this helps.
    | /. peace

  62. Barry B says:

    I two just got the same letter from my cable company on behalf of HBO. I bought that program Hide my IP. So far so good. I have it set up for oversea’s IP and to change it every 3 hours. Not sure if I should leave it like that or just have it keep using the same IP address.

  63. 71KR117 says:

    good thing i only use bittorent for linux which is free. :)

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