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Ohio Prison Shows Pirated Movies To Inmates 186

Posted by samzenpus
from the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Richard Humphrey was sentenced to 29 months in prison for selling pirated copies of movies through the subscription-based USAWAREZ.com. He was later sent to the Lorain County prison in February for a parole violation and while he was a prisoner, he says guards showed inmates Ride Along and The Wolf of Wall Street before they were released on DVD. A spokesperson for Lorain County Correctional Institution Warden Kimberly Clipper said prison officials are aware that pirated movies are being shown to prisoners and the issue is being investigated. But she said she couldn't comment further because the investigation is ongoing."
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Ohio Prison Shows Pirated Movies To Inmates

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  • oh yeah... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Connie_Lingus (317691) on Monday May 19, 2014 @01:02PM (#47039355) Homepage

    as some of you know, i've spent time in the florida prison system...this stuff is SOP...prisons are basically just the streets with much higher prices.

    imo, its great that inmates get to watch illegal movies, brought in the guards, while smoking their illegal weed, often brought in by the guards (and of course through other less...sanitary? ways), while talking on their illegal cell phones, often brought in by...well, you already know.

    it's all mostly a big game...now i'm not saying people don't belong in prison, lord knows i've met plenty who do, but a dude running a pirate movie site?

    not really, imho at least.

  • by wisnoskij (1206448) on Monday May 19, 2014 @01:02PM (#47039359) Homepage

    If it is a for profit prison, this actually would be showing pirated movies for profit.

  • Re:Fair Use (Score:5, Informative)

    by Torp (199297) on Monday May 19, 2014 @01:08PM (#47039425)

    I don't think that's considered fair use :) It's pretty much illegal. Even if they bought a legal DVD, they're not licensed for public performances.

  • by deadweight (681827) on Monday May 19, 2014 @01:10PM (#47039441)
    Prison is not suppoed to be torture. Why not let them kick back and watch a movie? If you give them nothing to do, they will think up their own entertainment and it might not be good.
  • by sjames (1099) on Monday May 19, 2014 @01:24PM (#47039553) Homepage

    From TFA:

    In some cases, Humphrey said the movies appeared to have been illegally recorded by theater-goers. "You could see people walking in front of the camera," he said.

    That's a pretty good sign it's not legit.

  • by sjames (1099) on Monday May 19, 2014 @01:32PM (#47039621) Homepage

    They were cammed. According to TFA, you could see members of the audience occasionally blocking the movie.

  • Re:Difference (Score:5, Informative)

    by John.Banister (1291556) * on Monday May 19, 2014 @01:41PM (#47039683) Homepage
    Ask the owner of any bar about people wanting money for "public performance" of copyrighted entertainment.
  • Re:Difference (Score:5, Informative)

    by mi (197448) <slashdot-2012@virtual-estates.net> on Monday May 19, 2014 @01:44PM (#47039717) Homepage

    The code clearly states that distributions by unauthorized person is a crime. charging is irrelevant.

    False. Though all unauthorized distribution is illegal, not all of it constitutes a criminal offense. To make the perpetrator a felon, according to paragraphs; 506 federal Title 17 of the United States Code [copyright.gov], the distribution must be committed:

    1. for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain;
    2. by the reproduction or distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of more than $1,000; or
    3. by the distribution of a work being prepared for commercial distribution, by making it available on a computer network accessible to members of the public, if such person knew or should have known that the work was intended for commercial distribution.

    Our protagonist qualifies for the first item above. And so do his current jailers. Small-time non-profit distributors — such as torrent-users, who keep the stuff they just downloaded available, but not for long enough to qualify for the second case — do not.

  • Re:Difference (Score:4, Informative)

    by mrchaotica (681592) * on Monday May 19, 2014 @02:27PM (#47040053)

    Although there is wording on DVDs to the effect that they are "licensed", this is not true. If you purchase a copy, you own that copy and retain all first-sale rights.

    The actual phrasing in 17 USC concerns "public performance".

    If, indeed, I can do anything I want with the purchased DVD, as you claimed at the beginning, then this part becomes irrelevant, no?

    The fact that the DVDs are sold, not licensed, means that the copyright holder does not have the legal authority to impose extra conditions upon the buyer.

    The "public performance" provision, however, is imposed not by the copyright holder but rather by the law itself. That's where the difference lies.

  • Re:Odd Selection (Score:5, Informative)

    by Idarubicin (579475) <allsquiet@ho[ ]il.com ['tma' in gap]> on Monday May 19, 2014 @03:47PM (#47040655) Journal

    You do realize that 'voluntary Ritalin usage" is another way of say methamphetamine abuse.

    Well no, it's not, actually. The active ingredient in Ritalin, methylphenidate [wikipedia.org] is quite distinct, chemically, from amphetamine, methamphetamine, or any of the related close derivatives [wikipedia.org]. While methylphenidate and methamphetamine both start with the same four letters, their biochemical effects are different. (For example, both compounds are dopamine reuptake inhibitors, but only methamphetamine is a dopamine releasing agent. The two compounds have opposite effects on neuronal firing rates. And so forth.)

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