MaVen – Crew member brought before the courts – Is this really the l33t?

It is being reported that Geremi Adam of the release group MaVen, has received a custodial sentence in Canada.  The MaVen group were responsible for releasing many “scene” releases of major films.  These releases where often of high quality and refered to as “Telesync” [1] releases.  You can read more about these terms later in the article.

As usual Torrentfreak has this news covered as well and as usual questions are abound on the net as to why Mr Adam was arrested and charged.  Simple people, listen up.  THERE IS MONEY INVOLVED.  It is alleged (and shown in court) that Mr Adam was involved in the selling of the aforementioned releases.  This is NOT a file sharer in the spirit of “merely” sharing unauthorised copyrighted material via a bit torrent tracker, this is an organised operation, where Mr Adam is said to have been making money out of other’s copyrighted work.

Tell me pro-piracy supporters, how is Mr Adam’s (allegedly) profiting from copyrighted material any better than the company which owns the material doing it?  This is not what I understood to be the “spirit of file sharing” that is often promoted so strongly by those who support a pro-piracy argument.

Now a little history, MaVen were a release group whose releases still exist on many trackers to date.  Just how someone who know how to set up a camera in a cinema and record the latest movie, gets seen as a “celebrity” in the file sharing world is beyond me.  That being said, Mr Adam was one of the group and for his efforts finds himself sentenced to 2.5 months custodial.

So these are the L33t?

Ive made my opinion of piracy very clear, many times.  I am totally against taking the freedom of choice away from the owner of IP about how they want to release their product.  If a company wishes to release a closed source product and charge for it then they should be allowed to without their freedom being infringed by file-sharers who will share it without their concent.  Surely freedom is a two way street?  Maybe Ive missed something.

Anyway, putting that aside for a minute, lets look at who todays “electronic generation” hold in high regard.  Axxo? MaVen? These people are merely button pushers and in the world of copyright infringement if all it takes to impress people is to rip and encode a DVD in an AVI container with an XVID codec, then that community is either very technically unsavvy or merely has low expectations.

Remember the “pirates” of yesteryear?  these were the people that reverse engineered code and released trainers.  These were the people who took original material and reduced its size whilst keeping the software complete.  These were the people who started the demoscene with the cracktro.  To me this people had skill.  But Axxo et al?  They just push buttons and do nothing that could not be taught in about 2 minutes to even the most uninterested of computer users.  Now whilst the cracking days of yesteryear cannot be condoned themselves, what the cracktro did do was spawn some of the most talented coders today.

Of course the de-skilling of the hobbyist computer user goes much deeper than this, but I think the easily impressed millions of the file sharing community are a testament to how low the standard has now sunk.  No wonder Microsoft laughs all the way to the bank and why people put up with Vista and Vista 7.

Unauthorised file sharing, its not cool, its not l33t its a rather sad indictment of todays computer user.

[1] Common Terms

CAM – This refers to a movie release which has been filmed with a camcorder in a cinema.  As you can imagine the picture is often akin to trying to focus on your wife and pretend you are not drunk after 20 pints of stella.

TELESYNC – This is for your more fussy downloader.  Usually mounted on a tripod and plugged into the hearing loop, its alleged that the Telesync is of better quality.  Why anyone would want to experience this is beyond me.

SCREENER – This is usually what is sent to reviewers/critics and usually has a watermark of sorts.  The quality of these releases is apparently very good (and since it would be sent out for people to review favorably you would expect that)

R5 – This is/was the release intended for the Soviet Union in an attempt to beat the screeners to the market and taking revenue, R5’s regularly have non-English tracks and require the release group to patch on new audio for release.  You may well see the term LINE in association with this, which simply means that the audio has been taken from the cinema source.

Goblin –


2 thoughts on “MaVen – Crew member brought before the courts – Is this really the l33t?

Add yours

  1. Let’s take a careful look at what was said, and what it really means. From the CBC article:

    It’s not known exactly how many movies Adam recorded inside commercial theatres or how many copies he sold over the internet. Operating under code name “Maven,” Adam earned a reputation for producing cheap, high-quality film copies.

    Now this is the CBC reporting – they have a reputation in Canada for reprinting press releases, and doing very little research. Now let’s look at the Torrentfreak article:

    Following Adam’s arrest came a 14 month wait as the police combed computer systems and equipment looking for evidence to convict him. The FBI had labeled him the ‘World Leader’ in Internet piracy and his case went before court several months later.

    Canadian police and prosecutors tend to move quickly. When they don’t move quickly, it usually means that the evidence isn’t solid. In simple terms, if the prosecutor doesn’t believe there is a reasonable chance of a conviction, they don’t file charges.

    So we have a situation where the prosecution waited until he was arrested a second time before filing charges. We have allegations that Gérémi Adam was making money by selling things that he uploaded to BitTorrent sites. Curiously the Pirate Bay doesn’t charge, and there is no way for you to send money to an uploader, unless the uploader has a website. A good example is the movie Nasty Old People, which the director uploaded to the Pirate Bay with a link to the film’s website (FYI, download and watch it – it’s a great movie. I donated $20.00 to help cover the production costs).

    Getting back to the subject at hand, there is little evidence that Geremi Adam made money off this, in fact uploading it to a BitTorrent site is in effect giving it away for free, so your statement that it’s about the money may not be correct.

    Another point is that the release group MaVen appears to have shut down with his conviction, which tends to indicate that it may have only had one member.

    Tell me pro-piracy supporters, how is Mr Adam’s (allegedly) profiting from copyrighted material any better than the company which owns the material doing it? This is not what I understood to be the “spirit of file sharing” that is often promoted so strongly by those who support a pro-piracy argument.

    But did he actually profit?

    Not that what he did was right. I’m just extremely skeptical about the statements of Brigitte Melançon of film distributor Alliance Vivafilm. Quite frankly she’s lying through her teeth. The reason that I know this, is that the sentence was for only 2 1/2 months. If there was significant money involved, he would have been sentenced to a lot more than that.

    As to the lack of skill shown – I agree 100%. When Microsoft stopped shipping a copy of GWBasic/QBasic with ever operating system, the average skill level of computer users went to hell. I understand why they did this – programmers are dangerous. They understand the operating system better than non-programmers, and programmers often migrate to other, better, operating systems. It’s all part of being a monopolist.


    PS: I’ve just completed a Word Press optimization course, and I’d be happy to fiddle with your settings, I know why it won’t allow for more than three nested comments.

  2. Firstly sorry if the replu is somewhat shorter and incomplete, im am using a mobile to post this and am currently on the train.

    As i understand it, adam was charged and subsequently found guilty of offences related to gain from piracy. To my knowledge there has been no appeal and certainly no cries of a stitch up.

    Piratebay did make money, albeit from advertising, now even if that money only went to paying for the hosting, they made money and rightly or wrongly this was the angle taken by the prosecution in that case.

    Since Adam has been found guitly we can only assume that he did profit, so where are the cries from the filesharing community that adam was out of order trying to make money from it?

    i will make a more comprehensive reply later when i am back home.

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