Boasting About Movie Downloads Is A Dumb Idea

dumbdumberThere's no doubt you can run up some seriously huge bills if you try using BitTorrent with a 3G broadband modem, but should you really go and complain about it to a newspaper?

The Herald Sun today has a report about a Geelong teenager, Jack Featherston, who downloaded copies of the movies Freddy Got Fingered and Dumb And Dumber via his 3 mobile dongle on a $29 plan. Because he exceeded the 3GB download limit and paid 10 cents per megabyte for the excess, he ended up with a $602 bill.

That's annoying and a useful reminder to be cautious with 3G downloads. However, the story skirts around the topic of where the movies actually got sourced from.

Neither flick appears to be available on iTunes or via BigPond Movies' download option, so it seems likely that they were accessed from (ahem) illegitimate sources. Boasting about your movie downloads in a newspaper would make it quite hard to argue against a copyright violation fine, so we can only hope Jack was using some other more obscure but actually legal source.

Dumb and Dumber movie download racks up $602 internet bill [Herald Sun]


    Well, you only need to see the movie title to sum up the whole story really...

    Thank god somebody said this... if your stupid enough to use your limited, and non capped wireless broadband to download illegal movies while having a perfectly good wired connection (from what ive read) at the ready... then i guess it isnt a giant leap to think its a good idea to boast about to a newspaper and whinge when it costs you money

    The precedent was set in the 1970s with VCRs. Copying movies for personal viewing is completely legal. IMHO.

      Format shifting -- copying from one format to another (e.g. digitising) is legal in Australia -- but downloading a copy of a movie you don't own (which is what happened here) definitely isn't.

        Angus, Recording a TV program to your VCR is completely legal. But how on the other hand can they say you can't download a movie? I don't own the either the TV Program or a movie that is downloaded.

          The big difference is that the TV station is legally broadcasting the program. The person offering a ripped movie for downloading doesn't have the right to do so. (I might add that recording onto a VCR was long a very grey area legally, but in this context that's less important than the fact your parallel isn't sound.)

        Only some format shifting is legal at that, DVD/Blu-rays are still not covered AFAIK.

        Technically you also can't download something you already own as you're not format-shifting it, and of course by p2p you're probably also sharing it at the same time.

          Indeed: You can't circumvent copy protection, which pretty much eliminates DVD and Blu-ray (unless you find a non-protected disc in the former, which isn't common).

    Maybe he owns the dvd, ripped it onto his home (private) server, then downloaded it onto his mobile device.

    I'd like that kid to get a infringement notice and a fine for downloading the movies illegally. His house needs to be raided by the Feds to see what other downloading he's been doing. Can't let him get away from all pirating activity.

    If he gets away with it, then I'm going to start downloading movies also.

    Perhaps like many Australian's they think they will be immune from prosecution due to alleged ignorance on their part?

    Regardless of the piracy implications, I can't believe the kid didn't twig that a 4gb download was going to be an issue on a 3G/mobile plan. I thought this was supposed to be a generation of tech savvy teens?

    Yes, if the article is true, this kid should be punished just for the sheer stupidity.
    Whilst I'm not going to weigh in on what's right and what's wrong, I do know the law and there's a big difference between downloading a movie or bittorrent and recording it off free-to-air TV. Movies shown on free-to-air have been sanctioned by the producers. Sanctioning movies in this way is part of their right as the copyright holder. If you can't understand this you need to go back to school... or if you're this kid, back to kinder.

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