UK: Very Worrying Proposed File Sharing Laws

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posted on Sep, 15 2009 @ 08:14 AM
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reply to post by PrisonerOfSociety
 


Haha, I remember the pinball case, it was massive. The "Dream Pinball" case was a classic case of entrapment. The game was leaked onto the gnutella network (iirc), and the edonkey network, both of which are a lawsuit gold mine due to the fact most people openly broadcast everything they are sharing. They then sat back and let the people do all the work while they sat there collating data. Dream Pinball was a crappy little boutique game, hardly worth the manufacturing costs. It was more cost effective to leak the game and sue the downloaders than rely on the game itself for revenue. It was indeed a dirty tactic.

The advice your brother got might sound odd, but it is correct. The best thing you can do is do nothing. Nether confirm nor deny any knowledge in the first instance, throw the letter in the trash and take steps to minimise getting another (it is just a notice of infringement after all). It is rare for anyone to be sued unless they are repeatedly showing up on the radar, or they have been found to be openly sharing a large quantity of items. I know of people who have received several notices, yet no legal action, and it is these people the disconnection tactic is meant to stop.

The old tactic of sending out masses of notices in the hope that some people will bite is not so prevalent since an increasing number of individuals have decided to challenge them, and have won or have had the cases thrown out. Judges are also becoming increasingly intolerant of the methods used bring people to court. This is why there have been high profile cases, in order to get some precident in law, rather than the "shooting into the sky on the off chance a bird flys by" approach.

This is how it goes.

Companies like WebSherrif/Safenet/MediaDefender, collect thousands of hours of data. They have the ips, the time and date, and the filename of the infringing file. They then separate the ip ranges into the different isps and send each pile of infringing ips to their respective isp. The isp then charge the antip2p company a fee to match those ip addresses with the account holder. Your isp knows exactly which account holder was assigned which ip at the time and date specified.

Then one of two things happens.

1 Either your isp forwards a notice to you on behalf of the copyright holder (they never get your info), or

2 your isp has an agreement where they send all account info to their (antip2p) lawyers, who then send an infrigement onto you.

In order to know where you stand, you must find out if your isp protects your data (1), or if they have an agreement to share your data (2). If it is the latter, then any subsequent infringement may be blamed on you even though someone else now has the ip. If it's the first then the antip2p folk need to keep submitting data for the isp to deal with. You must keep in mind that it is profitable for your isp to charge for handling this data (iirc Virgin Media made over £18k from handling one batch of 155 infringements).

On your first notice, ignore it. Consider using more private methods if your going to commit questionable legal acts (use private sites, blocklists, usenet, seedbox). If after that you get a 2nd, think about whether its worth it, tighten up more, share with smaller groups, don't use direct peer to peer connections (use usenet, seedbox payed for by prepay, ftp). If you receive a 3rd, your unlucky, file sharing ain't your thing, buy stuff like everyone else.

As someone who's spent many years in this scene I can only tell you that a notice of infringement isn't worth the paper its printed on. But I'm no lawyer. If you receive anything demanding you pay money, seek legal advice as nine times out of ten it really is just a fishing exercise designed to get you to pay up on the threat of court action (the court action itself being nothing more than a threat).

As for the innocent until proven guilty thing. Someone has an agreement with the isp, that person has the responsibility of ensuring that the internet provision is not being used for anything illegal (a contractual agreement, check T&C and/or AUP/FUP). But then thats like saying it's your fault some drunk stole your car and killed someone with it, because you left the keys in it.



[edit on 15-9-2009 by quackers]

[edit on 15-9-2009 by quackers]




posted on Sep, 15 2009 @ 09:47 AM
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Originally posted by quackers
You need to understand how p2p works, and where in that process they gather their evidence. You seem to be talking about packet sniffing, which is primarily used for traffic filtering, as in throttling protocols like bittorrent.

There is not yet any reliable real time monitoring equipment in wide use for identifying copyright data. There are such systems, but their cost and reliability are dubious. Evidence is gathered at the end of the line.


The evidence is the data you send to any other peer in a swarm because they connect to you just like any other peer. That is how they know you downloaded x, or at least while that ip was assigned to you, and at a time and date specified, someone was infringing copyright by sending and receiving data on something known to be being shared without the owners consent.

I know how P2P networks work and you're not quite right here i'm afraid. People have been arrested for downloads only. The ISP's see someone downloading a lot and inspect their traffic. How this is legal i am not sure, must be something in the contracts i missed. It isn't all about uploads, being connected to a tracker (in the case of torrents) is enough to get you in trouble. This is why the pirate bay started throwing random IP addresses into the swarm, that way everyone had plausible deniability.


Originally posted by quackers
How they know you're doing it is already well known. The only real argument in this debate is who had that ip, and who in that residence commited copyright infringement. An ip is not a person after all.

[edit on 14-9-2009 by quackers]


I did already state this earlier
My two big problems with this idea are

a) Invasion of privacy
b) If multiple people are in a house they all get punished for one persons law breaking



posted on Sep, 15 2009 @ 09:55 AM
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Forgive me if I'm wrong but wont even a standard form of non commercial data encryption make it impossible for them to tell what you are actually sending ?

File Sharing would have to get smarter (it has already most people I know who do it abandoned the big P2P torrents a few years ago) than it is currently (i.e. typing Fringe Torrents into Google shouldnt be enough to provide you with the complete first season of Fringe for free as long as you have a torrent software system installed), but its hardly a challenge to see which direction file sharing will go in and I really don't see how they can stop it.

Whilst we are on the subject Downloader's do get caught, but I assumed it was because of the spy machines being the seeders that then log your IP, additionally (in the UK at least) the laws don't work properly, ignoring the letter and removing the evidence (if you kept such on your hard pc's) tends to be enough to totally shred any hope of a successful prosecution against you.



posted on Sep, 15 2009 @ 05:36 PM
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Originally posted by ImaginaryReality1984
I know how P2P networks work and you're not quite right here i'm afraid. People have been arrested for downloads only. The ISP's see someone downloading a lot and inspect their traffic.


No, I know what I'm talking about. I know exactly how evidence is gathered, and I have presented that here. I don't think you understand the costs involved in monitoring and inspecting every single packet sent and recieved just to find out if someone is infringing copyright, it just doesn't happen. As I have pointed out, there are far cheaper, more accurate ways to catch copyright infringers. ISP's dont care what their customers get up to, unless a 3rd party complains. ISPs only inspect packets to manage traffic, not to snoop on customers (they have no interest in the data content).





I did already state this earlier
My two big problems with this idea are

a) Invasion of privacy
b) If multiple people are in a house they all get punished for one persons law breaking



No one is invading your privacy, they do not need to invade your privacy when you are openly broadcasting what you are doing to hundreds or thousands of other peers on a public network. Any one of those peers could be watching you. Why use expensive techniques to sniff your data when you're openly sending it to anyone who's interested? This is why protocol encryption is absolutely useless, as the data is decrypted by the end user, the end user who's logging your data.

Yes, under this proposal they would all get punished, but then the buck has to stop somewhere, and that would be the account holder, who will have a contractual agreement with the ISP to not allow their internet to be used for illegal purposes. ISPs already have the power to disconnect people, for breach of contract, but they don't. Because they don't the industry lobbies government for action as ISP's are reluctant to punish customers proactively.

I do not know of a single person ever who has been arrested for downloading. I know of several cases where prolific uploaders were arrested. A random downloader is committing no criminal offence, so there is zero legal grounds for arrest. It is civil, which is why you get sued instead. A prolific uploader would be borderline commercial piracy, which is why they get arrested for suspected fraud. There is a significant difference between the two, and the two are handled differently.



posted on Sep, 15 2009 @ 06:26 PM
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Originally posted by quackers
No, I know what I'm talking about. I know exactly how evidence is gathered, and I have presented that here. I don't think you understand the costs involved in monitoring and inspecting every single packet sent and recieved just to find out if someone is infringing copyright, it just doesn't happen. As I have pointed out, there are far cheaper, more accurate ways to catch copyright infringers. ISP's dont care what their customers get up to, unless a 3rd party complains. ISPs only inspect packets to manage traffic, not to snoop on customers (they have no interest in the data content).


Again i also know what i'm talking about. I have worked for ISP's! I know of all the methods you mentioned and i will say it again, ISP's have been monitoring traffic for users who use a lot. This usually simply leads to throttling however hey have also inspected individuals traffic if they are using a lot of bandwidth. I know a couple of people that work in a large UK broadband provider and they have told me that this practice is still ongiong.

I doubt they can use this in court or for a civil suit because they have examined traffic without any legal permission but maybe i'm wrong on that one.


Originally posted by quackers
No one is invading your privacy, they do not need to invade your privacy when you are openly broadcasting what you are doing to hundreds or thousands of other peers on a public network. Any one of those peers could be watching you. Why use expensive techniques to sniff your data when you're openly sending it to anyone who's interested? This is why protocol encryption is absolutely useless, as the data is decrypted by the end user, the end user who's logging your data.


The encryption used in torrents is just to protect you from the ISP's (in theory). I don't share anything illegal, i only download copyright free material (yes it exists). However i still use encyption and various other methods to keep myself as anonymous as possible. Why? Well i worked in IT for a quite a while, i guess old habits die hard



Originally posted by quackers

Yes, under this proposal they would all get punished, but then the buck has to stop somewhere, and that would be the account holder, who will have a contractual agreement with the ISP to not allow their internet to be used for illegal purposes. ISPs already have the power to disconnect people, for breach of contract, but they don't. Because they don't the industry lobbies government for action as ISP's are reluctant to punish customers proactively.


Yes the buck stops with the bill payer when it may not be the bill payers fault, this is punishment for soemone that may not have commited the crime and therefore the ISP should not have grounds to disconnect unless they can prove it was the contract holder.



posted on Sep, 15 2009 @ 09:04 PM
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If you work for an ISP, especially in the UK, then you would know full well there is no real time monitoring software in use. The only real options being touted are for music files anyway, and that relies on a massive database of fingerprinted music. A database that doesn't exist. The audio watermarking/fingerprinting/identifying technique is fraught with issues that prevent it being implemented on a wider scale. There is no such detection software for other file types, there simply is no need for it due to the current methods, not to mention the sheer impracticalness of such a system. Protocol encryption like that used by bittorrent only helps hide your data type from your isp, to make it harder for them to throttle, it is not there to stop people from snooping at the actual data as anyone with a bittorrent client can decrypt that.

As I stated, you are referring to packet filtering, where the packets are sniffed to determine whether the data is of higher or lower priority. This is a completely separate issue from filesharing, as no evidence of filesharing is gathered in the isp's packet filtering process. They have no need or desire to know if you are doing something illegal, they are legally protected from your actions thanks to common carrier status. They will only infringe on your privacy if forced to do so by a court.

Lastly, it doesn't matter if the bill payer didn't commit the crime (so to speak), It is the bill payers legal responsibility, and under the law it is just that should they be found to have shirked that responsibility, they face the consequence, as anyone would in any similar situation. Simple fact is, if you don't want to lose your internet, don't let people infringe copyright using your internet. It's not hard to stop unauthorised filesharing.



posted on Sep, 15 2009 @ 09:06 PM
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reply to post by PrisonerOfSociety
 


I tried tomato-torrent, to no success.



posted on Sep, 15 2009 @ 09:09 PM
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This war on data will be as effective as the war on drugs.



posted on Sep, 15 2009 @ 09:21 PM
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Originally posted by quackers
As I stated, you are referring to packet filtering, where the packets are sniffed to determine whether the data is of higher or lower priority. This is a completely separate issue from filesharing, as no evidence of filesharing is gathered in the isp's packet filtering process. They have no need or desire to know if you are doing something illegal, they are legally protected from your actions thanks to common carrier status. They will only infringe on your privacy if forced to do so by a court.


Filtering the packets wouldn't work if they couldn't tell what was in the packet the simple fact is to do this they do have to snoop on data to tell what it is.


Lastly, it doesn't matter if the bill payer didn't commit the crime (so to speak), It is the bill payers legal responsibility, and under the law it is just that should they be found to have shirked that responsibility, they face the consequence, as anyone would in any similar situation. Simple fact is, if you don't want to lose your internet, don't let people infringe copyright using your internet. It's not hard to stop unauthorised filesharing.


It's completely impossible to stop unauthorised file sharing short of shutting down the internet and banning all hard drives, flash drive, memory sticks, computers, tape decks etc. In fact you better just ban the numbers one and zero.

All this will lead to is Dark-Nets which are already out there and other methods of remaining anonymous. All ISPS gain from these new laws is a loss of customers and all the Government gains is looking like clueless fools.



posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 12:50 AM
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Originally posted by Teknikal

Filtering the packets wouldn't work if they couldn't tell what was in the packet the simple fact is to do this they do have to snoop on data to tell what it is.


But this argument is pointless, it is not the isp who is snooping (at least not yet). When the data is collected on a users activities, it is already decrypted, by the client application. What method of encryption is used en route is irrelevant because the evidence is not gathered by using middle man methods.


It's completely impossible to stop unauthorised file sharing short of shutting down the internet and banning all hard drives, flash drive, memory sticks, computers, tape decks etc. In fact you better just ban the numbers one and zero.


It is completely impossible to stop filesharing, yes. I am not saying that it can be stopped, or even that it should be stopped. I said it was not difficult to stop unauthorised use of your internet, and it is not.

This myth that isps spy on people then shop them to the media industry is just rubbish, It isn't at all how the process works. On the other hand, the whole pleading ignorance thing doesn't cut it either. I doubt there is any middle ground in this issue that will ever please both sides of the argument.





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