Its been a good while since I got out of all of this, and due to statutes of limitations and a number of other things, I feel I can speak safely on this subject for once.

A little background;

From 2003ish to 2009, I was a member and supplier of a group responsible for over 500+ pre-dvd movie releases online, in all flavors (cam/ts/dvd/scr/tc/etc), spanning over 5 years, 3 release formats, and to much mother fucking time.

During my time I was a cammer, a sound guy, an encoder, and more specifically, became quite efficient at butchering the MPAA's watermarking techniques.

I saw 6 close associates get arrested, 2 serve prison time, 2 become informants, and one who killed himself.

Ask Away......

Edit - I want to say im really impressed by the responses and certainly never expected the amount of questions I recieved. I certainly will make a point to try to answer all of them - It takes some fair time but why not, its a trip down memory lane and its nice to be able to find some genuinely interested conversation on the subject. I choose not to be to detailed on certain subjects because I feel it would be unwise. Ill try to answer the best I can guys :) Good questions!

Comments: 1655 • Responses: 61  • Date: 

lvl_up280 karma

First of, thank you. second I always wondered how you guys make money.

anononline297 karma

Money wasnt the object. It never was. It was about pride.

the only person set to profit on the regular is generally the suppliers. He has the physical print, and can hold it for say, 48 hours, while he sells it to some guy in malaysia who is frantically printing off some disks.

Hurrfdurf171 karma

Why even risk all of this for Cams? They are always shit quality. I know I won't download them.

anononline162 karma

Are you sure? Centropy was producing better-then-VHS quality prints back in 2001. HD has come a long way. Most cams are crap. because they are generally reencoded 3 times over from source (and that source being a mpeg1 vcd from canal st.)

There are telesyncs that have gone out labeled dvd/tc/etc. I bet you've seen one and didnt even know it was actually a telesync ;)

Hurrfdurf81 karma

I have no idea about 2001, but now it is. I mean look a this.

I just reuploaded the screens from the top seeded cam on TPB right now (The Social Network). That is absolute unwatchable garbage. Like I'm not that picky, I can watch the ones (not really into the scene, don't know the name) that turn black and white every 45 minutes or have a subtitle at the bottom occasionally. But they are DVD quality.

anononline174 karma

That is pretty terrible.

a few reasons;

they've done some wack ass shit to those colors. And raised brightness to compensate for their shitty low lux camera. They've also encoded it a few times based on the artifacts, and wherever cinema they filmed it at needs to replace its bulb (notice the darkened corners). There are a NUMBER of factors that input a release...

Hurrfdurf69 karma

Point being; literally every single cam is like that. Find me a current, high quality one.

anononline98 karma

ANY of the relabeled russian telesyncs? :D

fakeguy163 karma

  1. How did you know about the informants?
  2. Why did the guy kill himself (if you know)?

anononline199 karma

How did we know?

The first time the guys story didnt jive, we knew enough about him to make some correct phone calls and found out he had been escorted out of his workplace by the FBI.

The second time the guy came clean on IRC and kindly said the FBI had picked him up, he was seeking counsel, good luck to us all, and change our fucking nicknames.

The guy who killed himself was probably the most famous movie pirate around ;) Sad story about that little frenchman. Google Geremi Adams, he was a frenchman who really set the standard.

trentwork154 karma

You ever make a badass .nfo file with an ASCII art logo?

anononline166 karma

Fuck yeah! We had a few over the years. Thanks to SAC <3<3

Lysergide25106 karma

Did you guys have ever have connections to a guy in the booth at the theater? If not, you really should have. It's incredibly easy to become a booth manager and they all hate their job anyway...

anononline154 karma

You massively risk the employee. all cinema prints are marked and can be traced VERY easily. Think of like a serial number on the print essentially. if you want some more detailed infromation; google Kodak Cap Codes and go dig around on VCDQ for an old thread, they outline it pretty well.

Theater employee -> Massive risk. But also a great supplier for the right flicks ;)

Lysergide2578 karma

I ask this because I was ex-booth and I always figured it would be incredibly easy to at least get high-quality cams with source-audio (i think I'm using the correct terms here). On weeknights, up in the booth, nobody would be there except for me. I'd sit there and smoke weed on the roof, thread a few movies, smoke some more weed, thread more movies. It would have been so easy to set up recording system I feel. Camera through our viewport + mic rigged to record from in the booth. It's been a long time since I've been up there, so I forgot the terminology for a lot of the parts.

anononline137 karma

your right. but even camera audio is marked in ranges you cant hear it. the movie prints themselves contain anywhere from 3-25 watermarks that appear for 3 frames out of 24. Alot of booths have glass too, leading to a wicked glare.

If you can control the variables (i.e private recording) you can get the best picture. middle of the empty cinema on a tripod :)

FRABAR35 karma

What about digital prints? I'm currently a booth manager, and the digital copies we get just come on a hard drive, and plug in to the projector via USB. It can't be too hard to figure out how to transfer it onto a computer.

sauvignonblanc95 karma

The security on those bad boys is insane. The files on those harddrives are basically useless without the security keys which are time based and tied to specific hardware. The video stream is also encoded/encrypted until it's inside the projector.

anononline70 karma

correct again.

on original dlp releases the dts2 track was actually unencrypted :) doubt it still is however.

andrebo105 karma

what was the closest you ever came to being arrested?

what security did you have?

i guess its unlikely that you tell, but: what group was it?

thanks for the AMA!

anononline234 karma

I know a guy who got spotted his first run by a lil old lady. I guess she really didnt clue in or something, but she smiled and kept watching the film. It was odd, but ive heard of a few other 'customer' interactions, as long as they were under 40 and no kids nobody is usually that motivated to fuck you.


I do know of a cammer who was apprehended while running from the theater, dashing through the parking lot trying to destroy the footage, got sandwiched between some cruisers and broke his leg. Classy.

Another good one is when a differant guy had to stand up in a theater and run when theater staff approached him, he just yelled IVE GOT A BOMB and booked it for the emerg exit.

As for the group name........................

[deleted]159 karma


anononline290 karma

man this was the same guy who went back to the cinema on a friday night, after a packed screening, because he missed the last 4 minutes. Balls of Steel. And stupid. Very Stupid.

andrebo44 karma

hah cool story and thanks for the answer, but what about security? magnets lying around your room and such things? :D

edit: was there any kind of hierarchy? what position in the foodchain did you have?

anononline111 karma

Truecrypt and a hidden safe.

anononline82 karma

I wont elaborate where I stood. There was a hierarchy. really it was based on seniority and who had their balls in the hot seat during the course of various releases. In this case most members contributed in more then one way, making their opinions ever so valuable on differant topics

Sleezy_T94 karma

I am sure a lot of us on here are curious about the more technical side of things like how did the recording process work what was the setup like? What kinda gear did you use? When you uploaded what kind of security did you have, were you using proxies?

anononline168 karma

Alright. Lets break down a release.

First off, what release are we getting? There is 3 openers this weekend, 1 major, a comedy and some teen crap. We do have competition. We may be one of the best, but there are others :)

Your first decision is choosing the flick. If somebody is risking a felony, you wanna make sure its worth it, right? You dont want to get beat by another crew, or anything. Alot of times rivals would hammer out a vague plan in advance as to not cross paths on the same movies.

Cammer goes to the cinema. comes home. in the day of HD, your looking at probably a ~35-45gb file dump for a movie.

Ideally we have him upload it directly to a remote rip box, where the encoders get to work. Angles, colors, distortion, so on so forth, all corrected here. Also watermarks are removed to avoid detection.

Direct line (such as FM from a cinema) is then synched to the video, and combined into the final xvid product. Pack it and ship it, shes ready to pre! :D

anononline114 karma

Ps the real trick is get that bitch in the full frame.

SeriousWorm36 karma

Xvid :|

I suppose that's just because you are used to the term.

Personally? I hate xvid nowadays when x264 is superior in absolutely every aspect, short of watching movies on cheap old xvid players.

anononline92 karma

Me too but at the time we couldnt really justify x264 for anything beyond in house projects because the scene was not so accepting at the time. Sceners have a hard time with change.

commodore8432 karma

Where were the watermarks and how were they released? Also, where was the first place the guy that finally generated the xvid sent it? FTP to somewhere? Rapidshare? To a 0day tracker from which it eventually trickled down to the others? I'm a member of several 0day sites, and I've always been curious where the uploader to that site gets the files (in all those cursed split RAR archives).

anononline21 karma

home base baby. the group dump. then spread to the rest of the sites and released to the world.

[deleted]29 karma


anononline28 karma

spot em and cut em.

narpas21 karma

You just click through frame-by-frame? I assume they get crafty, and hide watermarks in fancy symbols and flashy special effects and what have you.

What is the most devious watermark that you've caught? How often do you think you missed one? Obviously you got them at a very high rate, or people wouldn't trust you to do that work, but has there been a time where you finalized a release and then that cammer got busted and you just thought... oooooh, that mighta been my bad....

anononline35 karma

It wouldn't be unusual for several people who have done that for a long time to be working on removing the dots. As for ones missed...I have seen cases of cammers driving hundreds and hundreds of miles in all directions to throw heat off of them hahah.

wakx78 karma

  1. How do people (such as yourself) get recruited into such operations?
  2. Why did you leave?
  3. What changes have you seen in the "business" since you were deep in it?
  4. What is your analysis of the future of piracy?

anononline123 karma

How did I get recruited? a friend actually. he was doing some other work with an Apps group...introduced me to some people..I realized I had some things I could bring to the table..... Networking basically.

I left because to be honest, at some point your time will run out and as I said a bunch of times, TOOOOO many people I talked to DAILY for years and years are gone..

Changes? Yeah. P2P changed everything. Accessibility changed everything

Future of piracy....

People bootlegged liquor, they bootlegged smokes and theyll bootleg movies. Its the notion of a 'victimless' crime that makes people 'ok' with it.

PlankToTheFace63 karma

how long does it take for a movie to get from the top of the scene down to where the average joe has access to it?

anononline111 karma

It used to be a long time. come 2010, your looking at a few hours at most

Elseone54 karma

Thanks for all the movies man!

Why did you quit?

anononline104 karma

because everybody I really liked talking to went to jail, and every other asshole newbie on the block seemed to be headed on the same path

[deleted]51 karma

Can you elaborate on video and audio watermarks and the methods to remove them?

Obviously they're hidden or concealed to the naked eye, are they similar to the yellow dots that laser printers add surreptitiously to printed pages?

How does knowledge of this leak into the scene? I'd imagine that that info is valuable.

Does digital project protect against camming at all?

anononline85 karma

Digital Camming wont stop cammers, but it will DEFINITLEY. 100%. Deter them.

Digital watermarking is done already on the theater sound - the DTS1 disks originally came unencrypted, and back a good few years ago we had a nice streak of perfect dd 2.0/5.1 tracks on alot of flicks, heh. They got wise though, DTS2 came out, and shut that shit right down.

Cough can get the 5.1 track off a DLP harddrive, however. whistles

If you dig deep enough you can find scattered info about it online. They tend to keep it under wraps; its essentially small dots flashing on the screen briefly to make up a sequence which is in essence a serial number, which the print is identified as, so its just a matter of looking up where you sent the print. If magically 3-4 pirated movies/month are coming out of the same theater....

The MPAA has been known to come in and lean on theater staff really hard. I know of a cinema we used that had their whole staff threatened to be fired if it didnt stop! they were so fucking convinced it was a staff member.

The audio..Im no audio wizard, I was always a crap syncher. Essentially in the ranges above human hearing they create distinct waves (which are just like the dots) and correspond to a audio disk. (You can tell this by comparing multiple audio tracks from the same movie)

Digital Watermarking cannot be removed

But what good is knowing where it came from if its already online.

commodore8454 karma

I remember reading about a small French movie theater where an unusually large number of cams came from, and they were able to track it because of the digital watermarks. The MPAA even sent agents to the theater to observe, and cams still came out of the theater. The guy was legendary. Obviously they leaned hard on the staff, so they had personnel in each screening, and they just couldn't pin the guy down. I wonder from your description of the guy who killed himself if this wasn't MaVen.

anononline71 karma

Trust me when I say this...

while he may have been the FIRST...and SKILLED cammer...

he's certainly not alone. Montreal accounted for some 60-70% of all pirated works some few years back.

ThrustVectoring44 karma

Digital Watermarking cannot be removed

Are you sure? I mean, is it impossible or merely time and labor intensive?

For the audio, you could just low-pass filter the whole thing and/or add extra noise out of the human hearing range.

The video is a tad trickier, but essentially what I'd try is destroying video information whenever the watermark comes up. Dunno if its possible to make a compromise between being unable to tell where the watermark is and making a watchable release, though.

Really though, never camming the same place twice within a certain period of time is a flat-out superior option.

ProfessorPoopyPants30 karma

Agreed, put some compression above the 20khz and below the 15hz ranges and you could wipe the audio watermarking from it, easy peasy. Of course, the really low frequencies will be lost for the people who spent a fortune on crazy subwoofer systems, but generally they'll have money to burn anyway so they probably bought the film.

Also, an FYI, music tech student here, I'm talking about compression as in cutting out sound ranges and general EQing, not compression as in making data more space-efficient.

[deleted]30 karma

It's still easy to hide a signal in noise. They may bury mid frequency chirps in high scenes and have a mask that they can apply to that given movie that reveals the coded signal.

It's also possible that serial codes can be embedded as a lack of information. a frequency hopping bandstop would not be noticeable by the audience if done right and could be used to encode data.

There are many ways I could imagine hiding serial codes in audio that would be impossible to detect without prior knowledge.

anononline12 karma

sorry i didnt clarify - I meant the video mark cant be seen. you are correct @ audio still visible on the DLP prints

anononline17 karma

they are simply unseen....or at least with any tech ive seen so far. Now granted, I have been out for a lil bit now..

Sleezy_T50 karma

  • How did you avoid getting caught while the people around you were arrested or serving jail time?
  • What is your favorite movie?
  • What did you get out of this and why did you get into it? Was it just for fun did you get a sense of satisfaction etc I see this was already asked above
  • What precautions did you all take to avoid getting caught in each aspect like filming/uploading etc?

anononline82 karma

How? Luck. Wit. I dont know. My location had alot to do with it. The fact I was smart enough to not release TOOOOO much personal information.

You realize, when the person is caught, all existence of us is erased as far as they are concerned. New BNCs, New IRC servers, New ripbox, the works. Only way to survive.

I saw ALOT of guys go down for very foolish reasons.

As for precautions, it was in a time in my life I moved alot, so my location kept changing. I would have been hard to find regardless. This + BNCs, VPN's, Proxies, and open wifi hotspots.

pinkwaffles59 karma

I saw ALOT of guys go down for very foolish reasons.

Can you give some examples?

One of my friends used to work at a movie theater and someone caught a cammer because he didn't tape off all the LEDs on his camera, so from the projection booth you could see these glowing dots. But I'd like to hear any other "herp derp" reasons people were caught.

anononline124 karma

Using Tripods. Running from the theater when they were leaving. fighting with your girlfriend in the theater until the police come. (yes, while your commiting a felony!)

ezekielziggy21 karma

What proxies did you guys use? Free/Paid??? what would proxies free/paid would you recommend for your average joe?

anononline90 karma

honestly I never paid for a proxy. Why would I? seems like one way to link to me directly, you know. Alot of times its just bouncing off a box in a country that your pretty f ucking sure has shitty US relations and weak copyright laws. Hellllooooooo lots of europe and asia.

DCL8845 karma

Can you explain all the diferent flavors? Was there any movie you are proud of pirating? How about the riskiest? What is your favorite movie?

I always wondered what they were.

anononline81 karma

Lets see...Cams are straight theater rips with crappy sound/video usually.

Telesync generally denotes a higher quality video, attached to direct line audio..

Pre-DVD is just an early retail disk

Telecine is ...difficult to explain. its essentially a high quality transfer done from the original movie reel.

DVDSCRS...promotional material sent early to critics, reviewers, marketing firms, so on, so forth..

[deleted]41 karma

Really interesting AMA, thanks.

  • What are some of the major differences between movie piracy and music piracy? In your opinion, is one easier or more difficult than the other? More prestigious?

  • Would you say that the warez scene today is better off or worse off than it was in 2003? Aside from the most obvious differences, like the time it takes for a release to get put on TBP or another public tracker, does the scene still 'feel' the same?

  • What are your political views? Do you think uploading/downloading should be a crime? (sorry if that's a stupid question, just curious).

anononline81 karma

Music piracy is about access. theater rips are about having the balls, the knowledge and the audacity to do it.

Warez scene....WORSE. Worse on the stance its public. Years ago you would have had to pry this info out of me. Now...the world has changed. P2P is accessible for all - thats just the way it is. I think if netflix online didnt suck so much I probably would use it. you know what im saying? most people at this point will pay for media. at a fair price.

I dont think downloading should be a crime, I think you cant hold people accountable en-mass for something thats truely just a flaw in their distro system.

iBleeedorange37 karma

Can you give us the start to finish from planning out how to get a movie, to releasing it on a torrent site?

anononline74 karma

fo sho.


Group meeting! What movie? Alrighty, Movie X.

Cammer for movie X is decided. Audio is sourced out from in house guys or from another group.

Cammer retrieves flick. Audio is retrieved. The flick is then processed in raw form to find the watermarks. They are found and removed on the final render. the audio is matched up to the cam audio track, and the release is packaged. its then moved to various 'sites' where its 'pre-d'. From travels to the world :)

thats a basic explanation. that process, however...can take from 3 hours to 3 fucking days of work. and each flick has its own little problems that need to be ironed out. Some require more work then others.....

Evoxa36 karma

What are your thoughts on private torrent trackers?

anononline55 karma

mmmmmmmmmmm jurys out on that one. I applaud the privacy, yet discourage the medium

bogaut33 karma

whats the deal with .RAR archives? why do they still do that bs.

anononline80 karma

because when transfering a large file you have the option for it to break in transit, therefore losing all of the transfer. Rar it up, SFV it, you've got your checksums for verification and lovely little packages to transfer so you dont lose any BW.

Reeonimus29 karma

Do you have a good copy of "Red" you can send me?

Nah but how did you obtain the screeners? Or were they just given to you to encode?

anononline68 karma


Obtained through a variety of methods. Ive seen them come from pilfered mail, from marketing firms, movie critics, from family, from all over the place. Screeners are rare, they are also a massive risk and you want to stay arms length from that supply :)

LordPoonis29 karma

What were your motivations? Were they purely financial or was it idealism that drove you?

anononline89 karma

Idealism. Fuck yeah. Stupid ideas for the sake of stupid Ideas.

jaeccles13 karma

Loving this AMA, so thanks!

Not as an attack but out of curiosity, did you ever have issues with the morality of what you were doing? Not so much in regards to rich actors/studios but rather from indirectly taking money from normal crew folks...

anononline20 karma

Yes. There was an occasion where it hit a little to close to home. No details necessary, but I became acutely aware one Christmas dinner about the effects of what I was doing. Then I downloaded some tv seasons. (kidding!)

TREYisRAD28 karma

How is the process different for TV shows? I assume it's not nearly as dangerous, since you can easily use a store-bought PVR to record to disk.

How do they remove commercials? By hand, or using break markers?

What method of downloading do your prefer? usenet, torrents, paid hosting?

anononline44 karma

TV is about location, access and bandwidth. and hardware. high, high end hardware. Did I mention a fast link?

even years back you needed a minimum 10mbit line and to be in the proper timezone to be considered. I honestly dont know all that much about the TV scene - each scene has its own cliques and niches.

itzhero25 karma

Which groups would you say are still respectable?

How did you avoid getting caught inside the cinema? Wouldn't the person next to you notice, especially if it's packed like on premiere nights?

anononline60 karma

Still respectable. Fuck.

Most are gone my friend. A poster a few spots down points out 'show me any good current telesyncs' - and its a challenge.

2-3 years ago, you literally were getting higher quality prints on the internet. the rise of p2p and the fragmentation between the groups grows, they lose touch and therefore the ability to share knowledge, resources and experience.....

Some of the greatest things I learned were from the guys who were trying to crush me :D

camera? literally each cammer seems to have his own unique design. I've seen tripods, ive seen jackets, ive seen clip on mounts, ive seen chopped up purses, fake fuckin name it, people have tried it.

Sir_D_Chicken-Caesar16 karma

Some of the greatest things I learned were from the guys who were trying to crush me :D

Can you elaborate?

anononline66 karma


Trust your friends. they will save your ass. repeatedly.

Help where you can. I taught as much as I could to the groups that deserved it.

Respect those who are doing the risk. I dont care if the cammer screwed up - he did a bang up job, a mighty fine job.

Respect your morals and stand by your word. When you are online, It's all you've fuckin got.

rbbdrooger24 karma

Would you happen to know why there's still no decent screener out for Inception? Or do you at least have a theory? It's taking much longer than most new movies.

Edit: typo

anononline42 karma

I cant tell you a definitive reason, but screeners have slowly dried up since the actors guild cracked down after the OBUS leak in 2004. They usually pop up around oscar time (hence a nice flood of DVDSCRs every year!) and a few months later whoever supplied them goes to jail. Its a pretty steady cycle year after year to be honest.

shader23 karma

How old were you when you did this? If you weren't 14-21, what did you study and do prior to doing this?

How much time per week did you spend on this?

Do many of your friends know about what you did?

What do you do now?

anononline79 karma

I was ....young. I was a student, yes.

how much time? FUCK. MY. LIFE.

Staggering. unbelievably staggering amounts of my time. I dont want to think about that one. hah. It was a second job, for sure. Ask some of my ex's.

What do I do now?

Reveal all the secrets on reddit, perhaps play some l4d2 or fallout vegas. Maybe eat some apple pie.

allergic23 karma

Why do you have a negative opinion of bt/p2p?

anononline56 karma

I am not saying its good or bad. It is in fact, a wonderful system for legitimate means also (for example; large game mods and whatnot)

Piracy went from 'can you ask your technologically advanced brother/cousin/boss/sister/etc if they can....' to 'hey look what I've got!!!'

otaking23 karma

What's your opinion on the current large number of p2p groups that are getting more sources first than the scene? I mean, we all know some of them are pure shit and have no idea what they're doing, but, any thoughts on this shift?

anononline48 karma


Groups were always hard to contact. In all my years, we never had an email. Say you were sitting at home, you have the latest movie on dvd, right now, and you want to give it to us, but you cant. your going to start emailing people who DO have a more public facade.

And thats how people go to jail.


I agree however. Interesting shift. Its purely to due with the subversive nature of the scene and the fact it really is difficult to track a group down. Theyre not exactly waving a flag, you know?

Thats why they run the group. The group is public. The secret ;)

[deleted]21 karma

Since the FBI is on reddit now do you think will glean anything from this thread - not about you specifically but tips/tricks of the trade, etc? If so, any thoughts on that, do you care now that you're out of the game?

anononline48 karma

hmmm...Perhaps. If they really need me to tell this stuff to them, then they are way farther behind then I possible imagined :D

Do I care? I see very few 'respectable' scene groups left, and most are actually releasing directly to p2p no, not really.

chrismsnz20 karma

I never understood why they never used infra-red lights to stop camming...

Invisible to the naked eye, but would render any recording unwatchable. Project on to the screen or from behind it...

Did you ever come up against anything like that?

anononline20 karma

its an interesting concept, Ive also heard of bouncing lasers/various light sources subtly in the crowd, but you must realize at some point your patrons dont want their bags searched. or to be patted down. or watched with night vision goggles. This isnt a prison - people are paying to go here, right? the more uncomfortable you make it, the less likely the return. Seems like an easy way to damage your own customer base?

Sir_D_Chicken-Caesar20 karma

What is your opinion on why the scene (etc) are so reluctant to accept x264 for SD video??

anononline27 karma

Because it requires knowledge, time, and usually the top groups of the day getting together and banging out a ruleset for it. Its the learning curve that makes the uptake so slow on new formats

evilnight18 karma

Have you seen yet? How (badly) does it compare to the real thing?

anononline16 karma

haha wow. I've never seen this before. This made me laugh pretty hard :D

Its...ridiculous. but to be perfectly honest; the things he SAYS....are not that far off. They......comically sensationalize it, but yeah. Wierd.

blahblah1516 karma

What cameras do you guys use? How do you conceal them while recording?

anononline34 karma

anything small, with a very low lux rating and a large CCD and a long battery life. in this day and age, ideally a small Hi Def HDD cam and a fatty extended battery.

[deleted]14 karma

I hear that some members of scene groups sometimes make deals with Asian pirates who mass produce cams/screeners for sale. I also understand that the practice is generally frowned upon in the scene. What do you know about the subject and have you ever been involved with making money from your releases or known anyone that has?

anononline49 karma

I touched on this a little earlier.

Yes. You are correct. Historically (primarily asian) movie sellers contact groups in hopes of exchanging 'gifts' (new camcorders, hard drives, various things of use) for a guarenteed hold on a film.

Cammers 10 years ago could demand 1500+$ for their prints - this is not the case anymore.

Torrents/p2p have killed off a massive portion of disk-based piracy worldwide.

How do I feel about it? I got into this from the get go as none-profit. My reasoning was, If I ever get caught and ACTUALLLYYY have to face the music, I want to be able to legitimately say I didnt profit from it.

[deleted]14 karma

How well did you get to know the other members? Did you meet some in real life? Or were you just careful to not get to know some people too good and give up info about yourself?

anononline40 karma

these are people you talked to daily. they know about your girlfriend. they know when shes mad at you. they know when your hungry. they know when you come in all smashed and type shit on irc. These people are your friends - you are trusting each other. I think the structural insulation of making everybody as guilty as everyone else helps with that, it brings out a strong bond. I know former members who have gone on to do some pretty incredible things with their lives, good for them!

commodore8410 karma

What are some things they've gone on to do?

anononline33 karma

I know a member who was severely addicted to narcotics when he was involved. some other nasty fucking shit happened to him, but he got his shit together, and now lives a happy life somewhere. Another went on to work in politics in his state. Another works in the film industry.

[deleted]13 karma

What's your stance on bittorrent? I think it's further noobified the leechers. They are further disconnected from the "process" and manipulation of the original release is so rampant (re-encodes, etc) that it's a crapshoot unless you are familiar with quality groups.

anononline22 karma

exactly. and to top it off; your grandma can do it now! It has hit a really EPICLY widespread scale. The music industry is at least getting their shit together, the movie industry still has their heads up their asses.

PlankToTheFace13 karma

how hard was it to get into the scene?

anononline72 karma

No comment. There is no straightforward 'in' here. You are talking about people colluding online to commit massive, organized copyright infringement on a multinational level.

[deleted]10 karma

Would you do it again?

anononline28 karma

Fucking right. ;)

GrinningPariah9 karma

What's the mentality of inside these groups actually like? On different sites and different releases, I've seen people who claimed to be in those groups act like:

  • Robin Hood Hippies: "We're liberating software that should have been free!" "This is what copyright laws should be like!"
  • Technology enthusiasts who are just in it for the challenge "this is a tech demo, if you like the movie, buy it!"
  • Hard core criminals who are like "haha yeah we steal shit, try to stop us!"

So... which of those are what people are actually like and which are just a face they put on for the metaphorical cameras? Or are there some people in each camp?

anononline20 karma

at some point you become very Mute about it. Are you kidding me? when you sit in some announce channel and just see release after release pouring out, from mp3's you dont care about, to strange japanese porn you would be afraid to see. There is so much shit out there its unbelievable. It becomes about beating the others around you (i.e your competition) and less about the actual thought process behind the legalities of it.

looroo9 karma


anononline30 karma

to be honest its the restitution that fucks you. I dont really know the outcome on alot of the guys after sentancing. You are pretty much persona-non-grata once you've been touched by the police. In some cases it involved having a local scener show up at the courthouse and listen from the public gallery..

The US Cammer laws pretty much state 3 years and 250k fine max......

so not good really. not good.

Theseus_8 karma

As someone somewhat involved in p2p, I was wondering: Do you feel that the increased ease with which people can access pirated material is the problem, or the devaluing of the work that's pirated? Or indeed, is the latter the result of the former?

anononline7 karma

Probably one of the most insightful thing's I've read on here today. Kudos brother, you hit the nail in my eyes. I don't know if problem is the right word - I think the problem equally lies with the oldschool distribution methods.

ding_dongled7 karma

I work in the film industry and we have to have the MPAA guys come and lecture us on piracy once a year. I zoned out a few times but the jist of what I got wasn't much. The legal ramifications and punishments weren't even close to the crime, they were like slaps on the wrist. This was back in 2000 but instead of deterring people from movie piracy, the guy inadvertently made it sound good.

anononline10 karma

im not suprised.

I dont know how Jack Valenti and all the other fucking copyright cronies could possible comprehend tackling a newschool, technologically educated breed of counter fitters who really wanted to see nothing more then them get fucked. Oldschool ways dont work on newschool issues.

drummerman3456 karma

So you may or may not know...but I understand pirating movies and how that works for the most part - people want to download movies and most releases (AFAIK) come out after the movie comes - starting with cam ending in Blu Ray.


How do music pirating groups do it? How do they get their hands on CDs a week or more before it comes out?

And, why do they rip in V2? Why not FLAC?

anononline14 karma

the mp3 scene has been following a really outdated ruleset for a while.

Where do they get the stuff? from all over. I once saw a promotion for coke that leaked full albums on their website. OOPS.

Record company execs, marketing managers, promoters, club owners...there is a lot of different ways to get music. Its smaller and easier to transport too, and its also has a massive massive audience to consume it.

lhnz5 karma

How much of the encoding process can be automated... Is there anything that you can use to automate multiple encodes? Do you have to check for synching/encoding issues completely manually?

anononline17 karma

mmm the final encode is generally an avisynth script being run to scene specs. inside of that however, all the filters are custom done per-release. you can however, over time, create a bit of a filter set to aid in speed, for sure. Some filtering work cannot be run on the final encode either, so you end up having to actually run a few of them. and yes, synching is done manually.

There is alot to it. Projectors run at 23.976 fps. But they dont really run at that speed. It could be 23.974. it could be 23.854. your audio will be running at a differant speed also, so its alot of chopping/condensing parts into the proper sync.