The American & Israeli Music Cartel Lawyers Declaring War – 9/05



Big Music's next target: Israel


p2p news / p2pnet:- Israel has become the newest battle ground in the war between the entertainment cartels and p2p communities, Nana Net-Life Magazine’s Nitzan Weidenfeld tells p2pnet.

“ALIS, the Israeli representative of the MPAA and RIAA, has taken a most aggressive approach to fighting piracy,” he says.

“Suing the most prominent P2P sites in Israel for 110k$ each, even those sites who dealt with release reviews only (and held no actual links to pirated material). Furthermore, ALIS has admitted to ‘monitoring the P2P networks for month, gathering information’ in order to ‘sue the sharers themselves’."

Weidenfeld says it seems the RIAA and the MPAA are “using Israel as a test ground for their next acts around the world, it seems that the situation here is of much interest to file sharers everywhere.

“Four of the most popular file-trading websites were shut down yesterday after the court agreed to the request of the record companies and released a restraining order which ordered them to halt all activity,” he told us.

In an interview with Nana Net-Life, ALIS lawyer Eran Presenti who, with Sarah Presenti works for the cartels, “explains his world view and the arguments which convinced the court today to turn him into the official eliminator of some of the most popular file-trading websites in Israel”. And his observations include the hoary "it's like drugs" line.

Meanwhile, eMule is apparently about to be singled out.


Read on >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>




First Lawsuits against Israeli file sharing sites


Lawyers of Israel's Entertainment Industry in a special interview for Nana Net-Life Magazine: “When we finish with the file-trading websites, we'll move on to the users”



îàú: By Uri Berkovitz, Nana Net-Life Magazine14:4421.09.2005




Lawyers Sarah and Eran Presenti

Lawyers Sarah and Eran Presenti



“Whoever will infringe copyright and run infringing websites will be sued to the full
extent of the law, much quicker than what we've had up until now.” Said today lawyers Sarah and Eran Presenti, who represent the record and film industry in a suit against Israel's file-trading websites.

Four of the most popular file-trading websites were shut down yesterday after the court agreed to the request of the record companies and released a restraining order which ordered them to halt all activity. In a special interview for Nana Net-Life Magazine, the conductor of the suit, Lawyer Eran Presenti, explains his world view and the arguments which convinced the court today to turn him into the official eliminator of some of the most popular file-trading websites in Israel.


To what extent was the lawsuit's timing influenced by the US Supreme Court's verdict in the Grokster case?

"We've been working on the current suit since February, four months prior to the verdict delivered by the US Supreme Court, so it's not possible to say that the suit was filed in it's wake. However, we did mention the decision of the US court in this case.

While the Israeli court is not committed to decisions made in the United States, a verdict such as the one which was concluded in the Grokster case, especially when it involves the US Supreme Court, can be an affecting element in the interpretation of the Israeli courts, as in it's analysis. Among others, it was decided in this case that sharing companies would be those held responsible for the illegal actions of their users, in a case in which the main usage of these services would be the illegal sharing of films and music. The judges clarified that companies who build themselves with the active intent of encouraging copyright infringement would be those who would be held responsible for the illegal actions of those who utilize their services.”

What have you now asked the courts?

“As a first step, be have requested a permanent restraining order in order to forbid their activity. The next step is the request of a warrant which will reveal the business conduct of these services, from which we will be able to learn of their profits. In addition, we have requested compensation to the sum of half a million New Israeli Shekels (about 110k$) from each of those being sued.”

What are your expectations of the trial itself, which is due to take place in November?

“We hope that the court will accept our point of view that the websites in question are committing copyright infringement by the use of redirection links. In addition, we hope that they will state that every redirection is, in fact, the creation of a copy or duplicate (The “Performer's rights law” states that the performer holds the rights for his creation not to be duplicated unless he or she specifically grants his or her approval)."


from la-la. Source: Google Cache

from la-la. Source: Google Cache

“It's like having someone tell the entire world where one could purchase drugs.”

You claim that the recommendation itself of a movie would be breaking the law.

“ It's like having someone tell the entire world where one could purchase drugs, and would run a website which would increase its quality. It is, most definitely, “assistance infringement”. Despite all the talk about “community”, this is about a surprisingly well organized business where each and every file goes through the hands of the “community” members, who make sure that the file name and it's content are identical.

In addition, they work in order to encourage the distribution of these files by the use of what they call “creating sources”. These websites call to the surfers to record television series and to upload them to the internet. The operators of these websites are not philanthropists, but people who conduct an entire orchestra and are very much involved in everything being done.

They bring in coders and translators, and they have an interest in these files being distributed under their name. They have an interest in the files being of specific quality and not “fakes” (files of a mistaking name and mismatching content). The interest behind these Robin Hoods is financial. If this business ticks well in regards to the number of hits generated to the website and it sells advertising space, although they may still be small companies, it is still a type of product, or a business. In addition to all these, these website also have “completing infringements”, because it's not just about films and music, but also album covers and movie stills – which unlike the the pirated files, these are actually stored on the websites' servers.”


And what do you have against adding subtitles to movies?

“Technically, there is no right such as this. The right to translate a work belongs to it's owner. In this suit we're not really paying much attention to the issue of adding subtitles because we represent the creators of Israeli film, which usually do not have to be translated.”


eMule is next”

Let's face the truth: The world of file-sharing is going to go on living far after you take down the last of the file-trading websites.

“We've got serious actions in the barrel which will harshly affect the world of illegal file-sharing. Of course, at first there will have to be a court verdict which states that the sharing of files without the granted permission of the rights owner, is illegal, and it's probable that we'll we able to convince the courts of this. It won't be a precedent in comparison to the rest of the world, but it will a precedent in Israel. The legal comparison between Israel and the rest of the world is necessary in order for us to be able to continue swiftly with this matter.”

When you say “swiftly”, are you referring to additional file-sharing websites or the file-traders themselves?

“There is a great deal of information we've gained regarding individual users which is currently not being taken advantage of. The process of filing a suit in the case of a single file-trader is far more simple. In the eyes of the law, these are infringing users. No one has the right to duplicate copyright protected files. When I download a file, I am actually making a copy of it, and I open myself to the entire world so users can download the same file from me. In effect, every user is a distribution and duplication machine, just like a CD burner.”

So what, Are you planning on suing every single file-trader in Israel? Or are you planning on focusing just on the “heavier” traders?

eMule is the plan's “Phase 2”. Technically we're looking only for those who leave the application open all the time and upload/download files non-stop. As far as we're concerned, they are distributors. I'm only referring to the “heavy” surfers, since in their case it's far more practical and simple for me to display the overall damage to the court”.

And how are you planning on tracking these users? Do you already have the names?

“We know exactly who they are. The entire network is monitored and we have their IP addresses.”

But in order to find out who stands behind an IP address, you need warrants.

“Warrants are not a problem to get.”


From what you've managed to find out up until now, what is the revenue of these file-sharing websites? How much are they really making from their activities?

“We're talking about an revenue of $3000 - $6000 per month. "

Where have you managed to acquire this information? You have only just received access to the documents and servers belonging to these sites.

“We've been investigating these websites under cover for a few months. From the investigation of Amir Tesler (operator of the website) we have found that his income reaches $6,600 per month.”

How did you reach that number?

“Very simply: We called him in order to request price quotes for different types of ad banner aplacements, and later on we counted the number of ad banners on the website. Of course we are aware of the fact that there are arrangements which we have no way of knowing about, such as discounts which were specifically given to this or that dvertiser.”


“The state of the record companies is very bad”

So what's the solution? Continue charging 80nis (about 17.5$) for the price of one album? File-traders claim that they no longer believe the record companies and are not willing to continue adding to the wealth of the organizations who strip from the artists.
“That's not the situation at all. Except for Helicon which is an “odd bird” in the world of record companies, the financial state of the rest of the companies is very bad. Sales percentages such as those which we saw during the time of Michael Jackson's “Thriller” are long gone. The result of this is that most of the companies are no longer in a situation in which they sign young artists, invest in them and promote them, but are busy creating compilation albums and recycling materials which they already have the rights for, and the target crowd for these is already the crowd which purchases CDs.

Of the role they use to play in the past, as promoters of creation, all that's left is their operation as distribution companies. In light of the fact that it's much cheaper and simpler today to produce albums, there's no need for them to fulfill this function, but on the other hand the artists cannot manage without this ability of distribution. Even a small artist who releases his music for free via eMule wants to make a living off music, and without the record companies it's going to be very hard for him to reach that. The bigger artists have performances, their own recording studios, their own musical productions, but what does a new artist have? What would he do without the association which stands for his right to receive commission? What will he do, go to every broadcasting entity individually and ask to receive commission? Look what happened to the PIL association, of Middle Eastern music. They started asking for commission, and since there were entities who did not want to pay them, these entities refrained from playing the association's artists entirely.”