FC: MPAA tries to shut down illicit movie site -- based in Iran

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Mon Jun 10 2002 - 07:55:59 PDT

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    [Next steps? MPAA files for injunction against dot-com registry Network 
    Solutions, trying to get film88.com deleted. Or MPAA applies pressure, 
    legal or extralegal, to the backbone providers carrying traffic to 
    film88.com, asking them to blackhole that range of IP addresses. Or MPAA 
    seeks help from Congress in requiring domain name registrars to delete 
    names that have piracy as their "primary purpose." --Declan]
    From: "Paul Music" <pmusicat_private>
    To: "DeClan" <declanat_private>
    Subject: Internet site beams U.S. movies, from Iran!
    Date: Fri, 7 Jun 2002 03:33:04 -0500
    Internet site beams U.S. movies from Iran
    Benny Evangelista, Chronicle Staff Writer
    Thursday, June 6, 2002
    URL: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2002/06/06/BU154153.DTL
    An Internet company that lets viewers watch pirated hits like "Harry 
    Potter" and "The Mummy Returns" for $1.50 or less has set up shop in a 
    place that might be out of the film industry's long reach -- Iran.
    Film88.com, the apparent sequel to a similar Web venture called Movie88.com 
    that was quickly shut down by Taiwanese authorities in February, is the 
    latest example of Hollywood's increasing problems with online movie piracy.
    Representatives of the Motion Picture Association said the international 
    trade group is pursuing several legal avenues to pull the plug on Film88.com.
    But legal and technology experts said Hollywood will be hard-pressed to 
    reel in a Web site based in a country that is not a party to international 
    copyright treaties and that has not had diplomatic ties to the United 
    States since 1979. In fact, tensions surged again early this year when 
    President Bush lumped Iran in with Iraq and North Korea as part of an "axis 
    of evil."
    "It will make it pretty near impossible," said Whitney Broussard, a 
    copyright law attorney with Selverne, Mandelbaum & Mintz LLP of New York.
    According to a note posted on the Web site, Film88.com is "operated by 
    Broadband Universal Corp. Ltd. under the laws and jurisdiction of Iran, 
    with our servers in Iran."
    Film88.com streams full-length feature films via the Internet to a viewer's 
    computer. The service requires a high-speed Web connection and RealNetworks 
    Inc.'s RealPlayer multimedia playback program.
    Although it's technically possible to save a streamed video, the process is 
    difficult. And a note on Film88.com's site reads, "No downloading. 
    Downloading will only create piracy. This is not our intention."
    On Wednesday, the site featured "The Mummy Returns" and "Harry Potter and 
    the Sorcerer's Stone" as free samples.
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