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UK: Very Worrying Proposed File Sharing Laws

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posted on Sep, 12 2009 @ 05:59 PM
Disconnecting File Sharers

The government is considering disconnecting file sharers. So whats the problem you ask? Only those breaking the law are in trouble so why are you complaining? Are you also doing illegal stuff? Well the issue is a lot deeper than that if you know anything about computers.

You see when you send information over the net it is in the form of packets, little bundles on information. There is no way of telling which packet is illegal and which is legal, unless you open it up (well you need to open many thousands of them). This in my view invades privacy. Let us consider for a moment legitimate file sharers.

For example a little while ago someone on youtube created an entire video series on evolution and geology and uploaded it to a bittorrent website, they gave full permission for it to be downloaded, shared and used for non profit purposes. Say i download this (it was nearly 2 GB). There is no way to tell if the packets i am receiving and sending are legal or illegal, unless my privacy is invaded and my internet connection expected.

Some government officials and ISP's talk of automated systems that can recognise suspect traffic, but they basically work by looking for high volumes of traffic, like data from bittorent or automatically inspecting packets with digital fingerprinting technology. Bittorent however isn't illegal, i used it to download the aforementioned perfectly legal documentary. Not only that but several games now use bittorrent like software to upload updates to players.

My issue with this is not stopping illegal file sharing, it is the way that the government is wrapping this in illegal file sharing when actually it is a clever way of being able to invade anyones personal communications and being able to give a good reason. It in my opinion is a backdoor way of reading any information they like.

Whilst i am sure the government does a lot of that already, it seems wrong that it is being legitimized in this way. I am sure many will use the old "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" argument. I would simply say that privacy is important for the democratic process and the government having the legal right to intercept communications and read whatever they want without reasonable suspicion is a very dangerous road to go down.

Another rather large problem is shared internet connections. At my house, 3 people use the internet. If one of us did download something illegal then the government cuts us off, they are basically punishing 2 innocent people. Does that seem right?

[edit on 12-9-2009 by ImaginaryReality1984]

[edit on 12-9-2009 by ImaginaryReality1984]

posted on Sep, 12 2009 @ 06:02 PM
It should be noted this is a UK proposal.

posted on Sep, 12 2009 @ 06:09 PM
Actually, they track things a little easier then that. Basically, they download the illegal torrent or hire an anti Piracy company to. They then becomes one of the seeds for the torrent, it grabs your IP address and records it everytime you hit that seed. Then they have a specific instance where your IP, tried to download data from a specific illegal torrent.

Its rather simple actually

There are people who maintain DBs of IP addresses and software to block your computer from ever hitting them, but that's probably not allowed to say on here

posted on Sep, 12 2009 @ 06:12 PM
I am unclear of any specific US filesharing laws, but I know it infringes upon copyright laws so the RIAA can sue.

Recently I read somewhere that the RIAA has stopped suing individuals for it, but rather attacking the websites (aka The Pirate Bay).

A new system of music sharing needs to be conceived, as the process of attaining cheap music is hard and you don't want to always go straight to itunes and pay a $1.29 for a song.

posted on Sep, 12 2009 @ 06:14 PM
I think that it's about time we did away with governments.

There'a a lot to say for anarchy, and it's about time somewhere in the world adopted such a system for a trial run.

I nominate the UK for this honour, with the Sex Pistol's "Anarchy for the UK" becomng the new national anthem.

Regarding torrenting, I regularly download Korean TV drama shows, which I sometimes buy in boxsets if I like them enough and subbed r2 versions are available. If I get blocked doing this I'm not going to be buying anything blind, so the Koreans lose their sales and I lose my hobby.

If they want to tackle piracy do something about the Chinese. Is it something like 90% of Windows installed on Chinese computers is a pirate copy?

posted on Sep, 12 2009 @ 08:51 PM

Originally posted by akkad
Regarding torrenting, I regularly download Korean TV drama shows, which I sometimes buy in boxsets if I like them enough and subbed r2 versions are available. If I get blocked doing this I'm not going to be buying anything blind, so the Koreans lose their sales and I lose my hobby.

That is another argument to be made, although i don't download illegally i think it could actually be a boon for creativity. Think of it this way. Why should i spend 12 pounds to go to the cinema to watch a film that then sucks? Isn't it more fair to download it at home for free and if i like it, go and pay to see it on the big screen? If i dislike it, i don't go and hollywood gains incentive to make better films. If you consider the quantity of films that are released each year, this could save someone a fortune in money. It's wrong that people have to pay to see films that utterly suck.

It's like an investment the film companies are making. For years they had it sewn up so that people would go, see the film, hate it but the investors very often made their money back (on the big budget stuff). Now they're getting worried because their investments are no longer protected. This however is brilliant! It means that they are forced to be more careful with their money and invest in better written films that the public will enjoy.

I think we're seeing a true evolution in entertainment. The time will come when bands don't really need record labels. They will put their own music on itunes or something else and people will take a sample, decide they enjoy it and then buy it and see concerts. This i believe will lead to a massive increase in the standard of music. No more manufactured rubbish shoved down peoples throats.

However i suppose i have to go back to the original point. This proposed idea is an invasion of privacy.

posted on Sep, 12 2009 @ 09:12 PM

In the past months we’ve seen that the RIAA has won two prominent lawsuits, raking in $1.92 million and $675,000 respectively. At the same time and outside of the spotlights, thousands of file-sharers were contacted in what can only be described as a pirate ‘honey pot.’
Meet Digiprotect, the pirate tracking company that earned its marks tracking down ‘adult’ pirates, but branched out to protecting the works of all sorts of copyright holders. Over the years the company has perfected its pirate tracking tactics to guarantee maximum profits.
Although most companies operating in the same realm try to fly under the radar as much as possible, Digiprotect’s account manager Thomas Hein is more vocal about their business strategies. In an interview he gave a while ago he explains how his company leases copyrights so they can trap potential downloaders.
“We get the legal rights from the companies to distribute these movies to stores, and with these rights we can sue illegal downloaders. Then we take legal action in every country possible, concentrating on the places where such action will be profitable,” Hein says.
So Digiprotect acquires the right to distribute movies, music or games from the rights holders, which they then share on various P2P networks. All they have to do is wait for people to take the bait. If someone tries to download the file they collect the IP-address and initiate legal action through one of their befriended law firms.
That is, if it’s profitable, otherwise Digiprotect can’t afford to protect the copyright holder’s rights, as Hein explains.
“No one working for DigiProtect has a fixed salary. If we make money, everybody makes money. If we don’t, nobody does. This means the lawyers, sales people and customers. It’s all about how much money can be recouped and then sharing it.”
Indeed, it’s all about the money.
“Our success rate is high enough to make good money for everybody,” Hein says, “and it’s also high enough to deter people from stealing content in the future. But we have to be careful about the amount of damages we ask for.”
So how does one go about making ‘good money’? Apparently it’s not only important where you sue people, but also the amount of damages you claim.
“We try to find a figure that covers our costs and pays money to our licensors, which is usually around 500 Euro ($700). Other firms are going for huge amounts of money, and the judges don’t like it. If the judges feel you’re being greedy, they won’t rule in your favor.”
Yes, you’re reading it right. The damage figures are not based on any actual losses, they are carefully calculated to guarantee maximum profits for all parties, except the alleged pirate of course. We can’t help but wonder who the real thieves are here…

posted on Sep, 12 2009 @ 09:18 PM
Are people even using peer-to-peer sharing anymore? I thought uploading to and downloading from file-hosts had overtaken torrents as the popular way to share files.

posted on Sep, 12 2009 @ 09:23 PM

Originally posted by stevegmu
It should be noted this is a UK proposal.

Here’s how it works. Evil Angel, also known as “The Evil Empire” and John Stagliano Inc, are a California based company making porn films, founded by John Allen Stagliano, a porn movie actor.

Evil Angel contracted with German company DigiProtect for DigiProtect to upload 800 of their films onto P2P networks, including eDonkey, Kazaa and BitTorrent. (A list of titles is here; and translated into English here.)

So far, so legal — it’s perfectly legal for a copyright holder to copy and distribute their works. However, if you read the contract (available here) it’s more sinister than that. Here’s the first two paragraphs:

1. Object of the agreement
LICENSOR is a film maker and a proprietor of the rights of use and enjoymrent and exploitation of pornographic movies. Licensor suffers economic damageas as a result of the illegal exploitation of the movies on so-called peer-2-peer networds. The object of the agreement is the appointment of DigiProtect by licensor to implement suitable measurres to prevent the economic disadvantage licensor is suffereing.

2. Granting of rights
To achieve the purpose outlined in clause 1, LICENSOR grants DIGIPROTECT the exclusive right to make the movies listed in Appendix 1 worldwide available to the public via remote computer networks, so-called peer-2-peer and internet file sharing networks such as e-Donkey Kazaa BitTorrent etc. for the duration of this agreement. The parties agree that additional movies can be added to Appendix 1 with a written supplemental agreement.

posted on Sep, 13 2009 @ 10:28 AM

Originally posted by stevegmu
Are people even using peer-to-peer sharing anymore? I thought uploading to and downloading from file-hosts had overtaken torrents as the popular way to share files.

The old networks like DC++ are still out there, they are older than bittorrent, bittorrent is still the king of downloading.

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 01:39 PM
they'd be mad to go down the road of cutting people off. It's just starting a war with the internet and thats one they will never win.

the FAC ( featured artists coalition) agree and think the measures go way too far.

There are more positive ways of dealing with this without totally upsetting your consumers

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 09:14 PM
This law looks like if anything its going to target uploaders.

ISPs in england already take steps to stop file sharing, via speed throttling your connection in accordance to fair use policies. I.e if I download around 1gb of data during "prime time" (Which is 4pm-Midnight) my connection dies on its arse until a few hours after prime time ends.

However there is only so much they can do whilst business' continue to find ways to make us spank high use of bandwith legally (through legal software distrubition, online games and films etc), so for example 1gb a day download before capping your speed is actually reasonable given current "normal" internet useage (in fact its probably quite generous), but even that is enough for me to download 300 or so songs a day if I chose before I got capped (and even after i get "capped" they just heavily mutilate my download speed they dont turn my service off), so really its not very effective in stopping file sharing on a non industrial scale.

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 09:32 PM
Hasn't evil Mandleson got his dirty mits on this one?

It seems they want every breath, every click of everyone's movements as they now want all parents to register if they drive kids to school. All about data acquisition and $$, nothing more.

Let's see if they get rid of ID cards when the budget cuts kick in, as it all ties in with their overall agenda for tagging 'n bagging.

Anyway, it's good to see there's one CEO with some sense, regarding torrents.

p.s. are Google complicit to the 'illegal' act of downloads?

-inurl: (htm|html|php) intitle:”index of” +”last modified” +”parent directory” +description +size +(wma|mp3) “Jackson”

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 09:49 PM
reply to post by ImaginaryReality1984

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.

It's not rocket science. You can never be sure who you are sharing something with. It might be one of thousands of virtual pc's running from server farms, who's sole collective job is to automatically join swarms of peers just to collect data. ISP's usually receive notices in batches of hundreds, into the thousands.

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]

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 10:22 PM
reply to post by ImaginaryReality1984

I just don't get P2P file-sharing. I tried to D/L files from torrent sites before, only to find out a 700MB, or so file would take 4 days, and I have a pretty quick connection.

posted on Sep, 15 2009 @ 12:51 AM
reply to post by quackers

Great post, but they negate any legalities of innocent till proven guilty and just 'fish' for prey.

My brother got an infringement letter for downloading a pinball game many moons ago. He mooched forums for advice and sent a template back to the lawyers. Bang, they've got 'ya. They now have a person on the other end. He was worried because forum advice was saying that you are guilty by silence and they can instigate threats just by the very nature of the IP belonging to an address and more importantly the account holder.

It's dirty tactics and never will they take this to court as there's no way they can prove you physically have the downloaded file, other than confiscating your machine and doing some digital forensics to ascertain guilt.

So they just send thousands of letters hoping for response and then bully the recipient into submission.

So my question quackers, would you just ignore them and face a barrage of increasingly threatening letters or respond by saying you haven't got a clue what they're talking about?

posted on Sep, 15 2009 @ 12:57 AM
reply to post by stevegmu

The more seeds, the quicker the download; that's the great thing about the 'hive'.

Imagine the freedom of torrent TV; instead of receiving the normal crap through tight and archaic distribution models, you'd have a plethora of choices from peoples uploads. Can but wish.

In the UK, they've just announced product placement. I can see Coronation Street where they stand there drinking Coke as the camera zooms in to the logo. The shame and whoring as the execs instigate a new media biz model to compete with the internet

posted on Sep, 15 2009 @ 01:08 AM
reply to post by PrisonerOfSociety

Could be a Mac thing. I'd always pick a torrent with twice as many seeders as leeches, and still get ridiculous estimated times. I think the era of P2P sharing is coming to an end. It is too easy to get caught, plus the Pirate Bay sold out.

posted on Sep, 15 2009 @ 01:20 AM
reply to post by stevegmu

The PirateBay sold the site-name, the torrent index is public domain. They will never take that away and it will exponentially grow as broadband speeds increase.

P2P will never die. You shouldn't believe the MSM crap they spew. Only last week, the PRS finally caved into Google and settled a deal for one-off payments for YouTube, as they know they were vilifying the very people who market their material. They wanted to charge Google for everytime someone clicked a music video, Google told them to shove it and 6 months later they come crawling back, with their tail between their legs. The bubbertards.

btw, do you use uTorrent?

posted on Sep, 15 2009 @ 02:54 AM
I think the truth is quite complex but really has not a lot to do with piracy lets face it piracy has always existed since the tape deck and vcr if you can see it or hear it someone will pirate it.
I believe the music industry as a whole is losing ground to things like video games their product just isn't worth the money they ask for it's a bit like candle makers throwing a fit because the electric light has just been invented and then blaming the company that puts wires in houses.

Piracy is a convenient excuse to give to shareholders and anyone they can bribe in Government but they have another motive and that is the control of distribution for the first time since they have existed anyone can record their own music to the same kind of standard they can and the internet is a way anyone can distribute it. They are simply irrelevant now.

The fact is the internet as a whole is their enemy and when you talk about file sharing in a technical sense everything you view on the internet as a whole is file sharing.
For example you type in a web address you ask a server for a web page it sends you a copy of the html document and all the relevant files such as pictures which are then stored on your pc in a cache for viewing.

So anyone reading this is file sharing and downloading copyrighted content right now.

On the bright side the Pirate Party has recently been formed in the UK now I suggest anyone who can gives them a vote if privacy and the Internet in general means anything at all to them.

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