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NinjaVideo: Member contributions for legal costs

July 27, 2021 | Peter Chubb

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Earlier this month a number of BitTorrent websites were closed down as the U.S. government closed in on these illegal movie downloads websites. One of those was NinjaVideo, who is now asking for members to donate towards their legal costs.

Ninja Video has never asked for any payments from users so is on no position to defend itself. It is no secret that this free service was popular with the users, but would they be prepared to put their money where their mouth is and stump up some cash?

I do have some reservations about this; we know that NinjaVideo along with the other BitTorrent websites were acting illegally, so you had best think about whom you give your money too. I am no law expert, but surly it would be like sponsoring your local bank robber?

Michael Barkoviak from Daily Tech points out that he has never donated to any such cause, but he would love to know how NinjaVideo would collect those donations?

Would you donate money to this cause?

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Comments (11)

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  1. NVU says:

    I have two comments to make. First, I am excessively certain that there were no BitTorrent sites shut down, nor do BitTorrent sites act illegally. BitTorrent sites allow users access to user uploaded torrents; they have no control over what is uploaded, but they do, at legal request, remove any content that is uploaded illegally. Contrarily, NinjaVideo, and the others like it, uploads their own content, and yes, it is illegal.
    Second, it is not at all like sponsoring your local bank robber. Aside from the uploading of movies, which can be just as easily acquired from any of the aforementioned BitTorrent sites, NinjaVideo provided access to something many people can get freely; television (provided they use bunny ears on their tv). What they do may be illegal, but to compare an act that benefits a wide demographic of society at the expense of a few individuals to an act that benefits only one person (I assume one because bank robber is singular) at the expense of a large portion of the local society is a travesty.

    And that's all I will say on the matter.

  2. NVU2 says:

    @NVU
    "Contrarily, NinjaVideo, and the others like it, uploads their own content, and yes, it is illegal. "

    Ninjavideo linked to streaming video. That has nothing to do with uploading anything. You shouldn't assume.

  3. mr.ovious says:

    of course ninjavideo staff are uploading videos
    i assume you've never been on their website

  4. Pooptaco says:

    The core of their legal defense, however, is obviously going to be that it is NOT illegal to link to pirated material in-and-of-itself.

    If the govt were actually trying to enforce real and existing laws, they would be taking down the big sites like Megavideo and Veoh.

    Of course, THOSE sites make a lot of money and can afford better lawyers than Ninjavideo. So… there’s no sense in going after THEM, apparently.

    To further complicate matters, Ninja staff do not make money. Ergo, it becomes a huge grey area to say that anyone is “under orders from” or “employed by” Ninjavideo to upload to the big sites.

    People are still uploading full-quality DIVX files to the SAME sites today. Ninjavideo being gone has not effected the amount of programs being pirated on said servers (though, perhaps less people are viewing them.)

    Whoever wrote this tripe article knows nothing about Ninjavideo or the “big 10 crack-down” (that’s right, I’m coining it) if he/she is tying it to torrents at all. Ninjavideo was a streaming video site. Not a torrent site.

    I’m no law expert, but taking this article at face value is surely tantamount to funding terrorism.

  5. Robby says:

    This article is ridiculous and poorly researched. The comparison of these sites to "your local bank robber?" shows the ignorance of the author and raises the question, WTF are you doing writing about something which you clearly know nothing about?

    I would suggest you go back to web design & marketing Peter.

    And yes I/we will be supporting their legal costs. The service provided by them for so long (for free!) was 10 fold the quality of service of any TV subscription I have ever had.

    Long live NinjaVideo! Come back soon!!!

  6. scoop says:

    How do we know whether Ninjavideo was acting illegally if the laws on this are being written as they go, what we do know is that the government acted illegally in its conduct during the take down of these sites and donating to the legal defence of ninja videos administrators is perfectly legal and should be of no concern to anyone

  7. Freddy Anonymous says:

    Ok, this is moronic. Of course it was/is illegal. While they did link to some 3rd party sites/resources we all know they also had areas where this was not the case.

    I'll give you that it was a great site. I miss it as well, but to try to believe this was in any way "legal" just illustrates the ignorance of the general population. I do agree that the bank robber scenario may be misleading. If you view media as art then this would be akin to photocopying works of art and giving them away for free. This would, of course, piss off the original artist. While some artists may wish to freely give their creations away most need to eat and would like to make money off of it (if only a little).

    Supporting them is at the behest of the individual. I am not sure the legal ramifications of doing so. However, as a 20+ year veteran in IT I can guarantee you they will be hurting come court time. Right or wrong and any amount of donated money isn't going to change that soon!

  8. Incubus says:

    Going after sites like Ninjavideo and the other one, watch-tv-net or whatever it was, and others, well-it’s stupid.

    There’ll always be more sites to pick up where they left off. They might as well take down the entire internet because it doesn’t exactly fit to old-world business standards.

    You can try to line your pockets all you want, and that’s the ethos of this entire capitalistic/fascist system, but you’re not going to stop the flow of media and information, not without taking down all of it and putting up a “great firewall.”

    It’ll be a terrible day then for the proles, but it’s not our position to be privileged to anything-we’re for fleecing-perks are reserved for the bourgeoisie.

  9. Disillusioned says:

    Personally this whole ordeal, not to mention the acompanying ignorant articles, have completely destroyed my faith in the legal system. There was a time when I personally believed in big business, they are succesful becasue they provide a better service. There may well have been a time when this was true, sadly this is no longer the case. I challenge anyone to tell me as to what exactly the difference is between NinjaVideo and second hand shops such as CEX, except that CEX makes a lot of money (none of which goes to the original crew/business) and it would take longer for everyone to see the video/DVD. But practicalities asside, second hand (eBay included) seems to me no different from piracy. Not to mention that after watching various videos on NV I subsequently bought brand new copies of the DVD, ergo giving money to the ligitamate owners than if I had bought it from a 2nd hand store and never watched NV.

  10. Mike H says:

    I am a lawyer, and should so you choose, please feel free to sponsor your local bankrobber's defence. It's crazy to suggest that there could be liability for doing so; the presumption of innocence neatly handles any argument in that respect. I don't care if you support ninja video or bankrobbers, but I can assure you that you could never get in any legal trouble for doing either.

  11. anynoise says:

    NinjaVideo Forum is still open and as amazing as ever! And now, our new store is open!! We have some amazing, fun, and straight up stylish designs in shop, so be sure to check it out! This is one way that you can contribute to the defense fund, and support Ninjavideo’s fight. So promote us in style and snatch up some primo threads.

    To Visit the Store: http://www.cafepress.com/NinjaVideoStore

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