Why ISPs Becoming Hollywood Enforcers Won't Actually Solve Hollywood's Problem

from the and-then-what? dept

It really was all the way back in 2008 that the RIAA claimed it was dropping its brilliant strategy of suing the music industry’s biggest fans, claiming that everything would be fine now because ISPs had agreed to a three strikes policy to kick people off the internet based on accusations (never convictions) of copyright infringement. Of course, “three strikes” sounded way too draconian, so the entertainment industry rebranded it “graduated response.” And yet, for years, it was tough to find ISPs that had agreed to do so and any time rumors came out that a big ISP was testing such a plan, those ISPs would quickly back down.

All this time, the industry has been putting tremendous pressure on the ISPs, often using the administrative branch to apply even more pressure. In other countries, they were able to pass three strikes legislation (such as in France, South Korea, the UK, etc.), but, when they put out feelers in the US, they quickly realized they couldn’t get the support needed to pass a law that would involve kicking people off the internet. Greg Sandoval, over at News.com, is now reporting that the big 3 ISPs: Verizon, AT&T and Comcast are very close to agreeing to a modified three strikes plan. The crux of the plan is to send notices and warnings to people accused (not convicted) of copyright infringement. If you get a few of those, then the response “graduates” (huh?) and the ISP has a variety of options, from slowing down your speeds to limiting you to only visiting a list of 200 popular websites. And, of course, they can kick you off the network.

Comcast and AT&T have been flirting with such programs for years anyway, so it’s no surprise to see their names on the list. And now that Comcast owns a majority stake in NBC Universal, it’s no shock that they’d align with Hollywood on this. Verizon, historically, has been much more willing to actually stand up for their users, but with less and less competition out there, perhaps they feel they don’t need to care about users any more.

However, as we’ve asked each time such efforts are undertaken in various countries, does the industry have any evidence whatsoever that such efforts make people buy any more? The answer, of course, is no. This is the key problem. The folks in the industry (and the politicians who support them) keep thinking that the problem is “piracy.” And if they just got rid of these “freeloaders,” the business model solves itself. That is, they look at infringement as the problem, and business model problems as the symptoms. They’ve got it backwards. The problem is the business model. The infringement is the symptom — showing that they haven’t yet adapted. If you look at the history of infringement, it’s the same thing every time: it’s always been a leading indicator of industry not adapting fast enough.

So, assuming this is in place already, people are reasonably skeptical that it will actually help the industry do anything. How will it make people buy? Now suddenly one of the most popular routes for learning about new content is blocked out, so you have less marketing ability. The unintended consequences of such policies will be pretty intense as well. It will be costly for ISPs to set up such a system. And dealing with responses from false or misapplied accusations will only serve to increase the cost. The entertainment industry doesn’t care about that, because that cost is borne by the consumers. In the meantime, people, who still want to access infringing material, will adopt encryption or other policies to get around ISPs snooping on their activity. It’s why Homeland Security has already warned others in the US government that such policies actually make law enforcement more difficult.

In the end, nothing here makes anyone any more interested in buying. If anything, it limits a source for learning about new works, so it decreases the value and decreases the willingness to buy. This seems like a lose-lose-lose proposition for nearly everyone. ISPs have higher costs (passed on to consumers) and are seen as being anti-consumer. Users have less freedom and face punishment based solely on accusation. And the industry that is so in love with this idea, doesn’t actually improve their business standing. It’s a trifecta of bad results. But watch as the industry declares “victory” and pretends that this will actually help their flailing bottom lines.

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Companies: at&t, comcast, verizon

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Comments on “Why ISPs Becoming Hollywood Enforcers Won't Actually Solve Hollywood's Problem”

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205 Comments
fogbugzdsays:

There are more “loses” that you didn’t count, and they may be the most important ones.

The music industry loses. The type of restrictions that are proposed stifle the flow of new music from outside the labels. Any mp3 or bittorrent tragic will become suspect. We have already seen a dozen industry black lists that sweep legitimate music sites into the “pirate”caterory.

Democracy loses. On so many levels.

John Doesays:

This is already being done

In the meantime, people, who still want to access infringing material, will adopt encryption or other policies to get around ISPs snooping on their activity.

This is already being done by the hard core pirates, at least a few I know of. Just like with all the spying the government is doing on citizens without warrants, encryption will soon become the norm and then neither the content industry or the government will know what is going on. And that folks is a good thing.

A.R.M.says:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This is already being done

You make it sound like this is a protection. Perhaps you’re new to TD, which articles issues where copyrights, patents, and trademarks are abused daily.

In other words: once Hollywood figures this out (they’re always a decade late to the party), they’re next fight will be to use the DMCA (inappropriately, again) to block the encryption sites because (again, with no proof) they’re circumventing DRM.

Then, Leahy will introduce another bill…

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This is already being done

Why would it violate the first amendment? No one is saying you can’t have it, but it seems reasonable to have some sort of license scheme with random inspection protocols to assure that such encryption isn’t being used for drug dealing, money laundering, espionage, terrorism, child porn, etc. Just the mere act of acquiring a license would probably limit bad actors considerably.

The right to privacy is a reasonable right, not an absolute right. I guarantee the first time evidence shows that a terror attack was orchestrated using encrypted messaging, an encryption licensing bill will hit the floor the following week. Again, there are legitimate commercial uses for encryption but they are vastly outnumbered by the illegitimate uses for encryption.

Marcus Carabsays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: This is already being done

“Licensing” protected speech is as much a violation as censoring it. If you want to argue that encrypted communication isn’t protected by the first amendment, go for it – but don’t pretend a licensing structure has anything to do with it.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This is already being done

The discussion is not about the right to free speech. It’s about the right to encrypt. The second amendment gives us the right to keep and bear arms, yet there are standards enforced on that right like special applications for concealed weapons (or prohibiting concealed weapons).

Re: Re: Re:7 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This is already being done

The most lucid thing you’ve said in a long while.

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Re: Re: Re:10 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This is already being done

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Josh in CharlotteNCsays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: This is already being done

Again, there are legitimate commercial uses for encryption but they are vastly outnumbered by the illegitimate uses for encryption.

I thought your first comment was sarcasm, but apparently not. That statement shows how completely clueless you are in regards to current technology and security issues.

I’ll take you through an average day of mine and how often I use encryption for legitimate (if not absolutely necessary) reasons.

-Wake up. Blah.
-Check email/social media. Each login is a secure, encrypted authentication.(1)
-Shower. Listen to Pandora on my phone using my encrypted(2) wifi.
-Drive to work.
-Boot up my work laptop. Log in to the hard drive full disk encryption before even the operating system loads.(3)
-Start up Outlook for email. I have a digital signature – a form of public key/private key encryption.(4)
-Do work. Just FYI, I work in the Cryptographic Services group at a major bank. I’m on a project that involves deploying hard drive encryption to unencrypted machines – something which the federal regulators have insisted on as a result of BigBank1 buying BigBank2 (who went under during the financial mess 2 years ago).
-Transfer files using secure FTP(5) to vendor to assist in diagnosing issue.
-Leave work. Stop somewhere for food on the way home. Use their free wifi. Login to my work VPN(6) and finish up work stuff.
-Get home.
-Login to a game or two.(7)
-Perform some unauthorized copyright infringement using BitTorrent just for kicks.

So, encryption has:
-Kept my logins secure (1)(7)
-Prevented unauthorized access to my internet connection to stop evil dirty pirates from using it (2)
-Kept the contents of my hard drive secure, which can include sensitive corporate information (3)
-Verified my identity to coworkers and vendors (4)
-Safely allowed transfer for sensitive data over the internet.(5)
-Prevented wifi eavesdropping on a public network (6)

So if you bank with BigBank1 or BigBank2(now a part of BigBank1), you can thank me by keeping your information secure with encryption. if you’re not a customer of one of these banks, you better hope your bank is using encryption.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This is already being done

Thanks for addressing the question. A couple of follow up issues. First, by not using encryption, are you saying that someone’s identity is revealed? If so, how? Second, by obtaining a license the government would know that I use encryption but necessarily who I am or what I saying, correct? Finally, how does the government police encrypted transmissions now? How do they know I’m not transmitting targeting info to terrorists or arranging drug shipments? Thanks, I’m not trying to be a dick (this time) just hoping to understand the issue better.

btr1701says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This is already being done

First, by not using encryption, are you saying that someone’s
identity is revealed?

Not immediately. It’s like a phone number. It’s anonymous until the government does a simple search and finds out who the number belongs to. Same with unencrypted internet traffic.

Second, by obtaining a license the government would know that
I use encryption but necessarily who I am or what I saying, correct?

One assumes that part of the licensing process would be the requirement to provide the government a backdoor key to your encryption, should they ever need to find out what you’re saying. Failure to do so would result in denial of license; changing your key after the fact would void your license and subject you to penalties. Otherwise, what’s the point in the government going through the time and expense of setting up the whole licensing system in the first place?

Finally, how does the government police encrypted transmissions
now?

They can’t.

How do they know I’m not transmitting targeting info to terrorists
or arranging drug shipments?

They don’t.

Re: Re: Re: Re: This is already being done

It won’t be long before you’ll have to have a license to use encryption tools and first demonstrate a need for so using. Given the terrorism concerns, I’m a bit surprised it hasn’t happened already

Are you unaware of what happened with the PGP battle years back? Do you really think that the response to trying to license encryption wouldn’t be 10x worse for whatever elected official were clueless enough to introduce such legislation?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This is already being done

I heard similar ominous predictions over the political future of supporters of the Patriot Act. I don’t see enormous political consequences to licensing encryption. Can you explain a practical need for private citizens to send one another encrypted data? I understand passwords, financial data, etc. but I have a harder time figuring why I would need it otherwise.

Nicedoggysays:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This is already being done

Sure, make everybody get a license and everybody will stop using services on the internet on a grand scale because it will have a cost and that affects a lot of powerful people though.

Want to send your tax return via encrypted channels you need a license, need to use encrypted mail services to have conversations you need to get a license, need to teleconference and talk shop with some people in the world get a license, want to talk to your doctor online get a license if you want some privacy, want to send the latest report to your company from the road get a license.

Yep I see how that would work great.

AJsays:

The Boat

I understand the “It’s ours, we should be able to charge/do with our media what we want, and you should hang if you “pirate” it” people. They spent the money to create the product, now it’s time to sell it … and this mentality works for cars, computers, x boxes and other tangible objects quite well. But it will never work for something that can be copied at close to zero cost to the person doing the copying. Even if you apply an artificial cost to the copying, such as the fear of lawsuits, it does not change the fact that it can be reproduced an infinite amount of times. Once this truth/technology has been realized, the value of the media as a product in and of itself is now zero. Wrong or not, that is a fact.

No amount of lawsuits, arguing, seizing domains, etc etc… will change the fact that once it is created, it can be copied an infinite amount of times. You can make it hard, you can slow it down, but you can’t stop it. There is no way to un evolve technology.

Someone “AC” “chuck” whoever, made a comment that the industry is a virtual “Queen Mary” and doesn’t turn on a dime, i get that. To some degree, perhaps slowing down file sharing in the short term may buy time for the ship to start it’s turn. The problem I’m see’ing is this; The people driving the boat are not turning, in fact they think they shouldn’t have to turn, they think they should get to keep going straight if they want to. But regardless of what they want, the ship will turn, the question is; Are they going to be driving it?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: The Boat

I think it is apt, but more like the Queen Mary is actually on a river (the market) and for the longest time the river looked like the ocean, only water around for miles, and they could go anyway they want. But now there’s an actual bend in the river (the change in the market) only they’re so used to seeing only water, that its all they see. They don’t see the bend in the river and will therefore not change course. They’ll just try and build a canal out in front of them, but they can’t build a canal as fast as they’re going so eventually they’ll run aground.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Boat

The problem with the analogy is that pirates have been saying for years now that all the major labels are going to disappear. It didn’t happen, and it isn’t going to happen.

So you add that to all the other invalid, inane analogies, and all the other hilariously stupid stuff they say, and you have a group whose voice is ignored. And to be honest, rightfully so.

Jaysays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: The Boat

“The problem with the analogy is that pirates have been saying for years now that all the major labels are going to disappear. It didn’t happen, and it isn’t going to happen.”

And look how weak the Big Four have become due to fighting the ghost that is piracy. They have some very strong competitors such as Jamendo.com, Dmusic.com, and even magnatune.

Artists are forgoing the traditional label route and making their own headway. Of course, it’s a slow process, but still, it’s happening.

No matter which industry you turn to, it’s the same idea of the former gatekeepers having a weaker position than before the power of the internet was discovered. The ones that adapt do so.
JK Rowling finally learned to adapt.
JA Konrath, same detail.
Trent Reznor.
Valve with Steam.
DnD Online.
The growth of F2P games.
Newgrounds.
Armor Games.

The list goes on and on. Of course, since you don’t know about them, I guess the very fact that they’re making money without passing inane laws escapes your notice, eh?

John Doesays:

Re: Re: Price

I agree completely, well except the price could be even cheaper than a quarter. If you had one or a hand full of places to go to get high quality, virus free music for cheap I believe most people would do it. People like myself, who don’t buy content at all would then become consumers.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Price

This is not far from Bandcamp’s model where musician’s can set their own price or offer a pay-how-you-feel-today model. It’s a very nice site, but it hasn’t changed the industry in any significant way. Still, I highly recommend the site to independent artists.

But, less than a quarter per song creates transactional problems. Paypal fees, for instance, would end up costing me money per transaction if I charged a dime per song.

Hothmonstersays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Price

or charge a dime a song but you have to buy 50 songs at a time or something. ike using your debit card at a convienence store you have to make a certain $ amount purchase to cover transactional costs but you could keep the per song cost low. I wouldn’t mind spending 5 dollars at a time to get ~4 albums

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Price

I used to work in credit card processing for a Visa Level 1 merchant.

Every debit card transaction: 45 cents.
Every credit card transaction: 5 cents + 1.75% of the nominal transaction. I think that the percentage varies depending on how you negotiate with Paymentech or Heartland or CCBILL. Riskier merchants pay a higher percentage, as do those that get a lot of charge backs.

I’ve seen a few gas stations that only do debit cards, and charge an extra 45 cents a purchase, completely passing the debit card cost on to the consumer.

Prisoner 201says:

Re: Re: Price

I agree.

Imagine if when napster and mp3 was new, the industry had been savvy enough to see the potential, and created web stores that users can buy quality mp3 for a dollar per album and individual songs for corresponding fractions of that.

Now imagine you go there to get your favourite bands latest album, and you see a list with “other members who like this band recommend…”. On each band page you can stream a few songs to get the feel for the band, and if you like it, buy their records for a dollar each with a few mouse clicks. There’s a band forum, and a mashup/remix page, youtube links etc.

And of course, that band also has a “other members who like this band recommend…” list as well.

Man, I would be blowing cash… Probably a lot more than I do today, just because its so cheap, I get so much for my money.

And maybe the most important point: the entire world would have had the group-think that music on the internet is really really cheap, instead of todays music on the internet is free, and Big Media are all bastards.

Sure there would have been piracy, but mostly people for whom a dollar is an impossibly large figure to pay for anything.

It is my belief that the media industry would be insanely rich had they adapted early. Insanely rich. Even with albums at half a dollar each.

Too bad that that ship has gone. There is no putting the genie back in the bottle now.

But thats ok too – elimination is the natural result of failure to adapt.

Marcus Carabsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Price

Now imagine you go there to get your favourite bands latest album, and you see a list with “other members who like this band recommend…”. On each band page you can stream a few songs to get the feel for the band, and if you like it, buy their records for a dollar each with a few mouse clicks. There’s a band forum, and a mashup/remix page, youtube links etc.

And more! How about “This band is playing in your city on Saturday – click to buy tickets with a special 10% fan discount!” or “This band is releasing a limited vinyl run of this album – reserve your copy today!” or “Did you know the singer also has a solo project? Check it out…”

So many missed opportunities… it really could have been awesome if the record labels had reacted well.

Lord Binkysays:

A big reason this is just plain stupid. From the perspective of the pirates, this makes it easier to build a better system than ever! If you get a notice, you know your method is not good enough. They give you feedback on whether they are detecting you or not. If you get your account on a limited connection you still are able to work on defeating their detection. The end result is you go to a different ISP, or you started on an ISP you don’t prefer, and refine/develop you circumvention techniques.

Do they not realize (especially with computers/internet), if they present a obsticle, some will defeat it for the challenge? All it takes is time, the computer, and internet to work on defeating whatever they come up with. So there isn’t even and high entry cost to dissuade people from trying.

BeeAitchsays:

Re: Re:

Qwest (DSL) and Mediacom (cable) (the only two providers in my area) both already do this. You get one letter wherein they warn you and offer to send a technician out (at your expense) to help you secure your system. Next accusation, you are cut off.

They also both throttle bittorrent to 0 if you use the default port. They aren’t terribly sophisticated about it, though: if you just change ports, they don’t notice (azureus picks a random port by default, AFAIK).

This has been happening for two years that I know of.

Anonymoussays:

Okay, So why again should I have to pay?

I get the fact that businesses want to be paid. They want to be paid even if the thing I am “buying” isn’t actually something that costs them any money (like fees on transfers from my savings account to cover a payment from my checking account… What did that fee buy? A Transfer that would have been free for me had I done this in person with a teller? Or how about a 10 cent text message).

But where I draw the line is when their mechanism to be paid costs ME money. Like when I have to set up a “license server” for a software product where the “server’s” purpose in a system is just to make sure IBM or Oracle is getting paid for every instance of their product. The time and effort to setup and maintain and trouble shoot these “license servers” drives me right to open source.

The same problem occurs here. Policing copyright is COSTING me money, as a consumer. I don’t CARE if company X wants to make money off their content. I don’t CARE if company X wants to take action to make sure they make money off their content. But their desire to make money IS NOT MY PROBLEM. Right or wrong, I see no reason I should be forced to pay in real money the costs of policing their business and their customers.

There is piracy going on here, but the pirates are the businesses that are stealing MY resources and MY money and wasting MY time to serve THEIR interests. If they can’t figure out a way to pay for their own enforcement, then they need to give it up. There are better purposes for my tax dollars and my communication dollars than to spend them policing the use of their products.

JMTsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Okay, So why again should I have to pay?

It’s amazing how often AC’s like to compare copyright infringement to acts that result in physical and mental harm, violence, death, etc. It smacks of an incredibly arrogant state of mind that grossly overvalues the output of content creators.

Jenisays:

Re: Re: Okay, So why again should I have to pay?

Bravo. That’s what infuriates me as well – that our tax dollars are going toward this nonsense. They can use their own private funds all they want – that’s their right, but I sure as shootin’ don’t want my money going toward this BS game wreaking havoc nationwide, either.

Lord Binkysays:

The companies do not have staff or contractors that are better than all the coders/developers they are trying to defeat. Even then, it is not in the best interest of the people they are hiring to “fix” the problem to actually come up with a permanent solution, just baby steps so the struggle goes back and forth endlessly. These industries are throwing their money away to anyone else that thinks they can put them back in power. All the while the lawyers/politicians/lobbyists and tech industries are laughing their way to the bank.

Anonymoussays:

you said: “How will it make people buy?”

Me: I think that this is the common mistake of pro-piracy supporters, who don’t see a clear and direct connection between blocking out and shutting down of piracy delivery channels and sales on the other side. I think it is hard to see because you are looking at the wrong people.

People who will sneakernet stuff, people who will pay good money for a VPN, people who will meet up IRL to trade discs are not going to buy movies / music / whatever, because they have no desire to, no need. Those people will not change.

However, there is a significant number of file traders who are just online people, going along for the free ride. They are more than happy to trade files on the torrents, let their PC be a peer on the network, and so on. They have vast collections of movies and music they never watch or listen to, and they are just downloading it.

There are also casual users who go online only to find certain movies and things. They don’t actively torrent, they don’t leave their PC on as a peer, and never seed.

The first group isn’t going to buy ever. The second group might, and the third group is way more likely.

When I say buy, that means “obtain through legit channels”. That could include movie rentals, netflix, PPV, Hotel net, and all of those other ways that the content is made available legally. They don’t have to buy a movie ticket or buy a DVD to be buyers. They just have to end up having their desires for the product satisfied by paying channels.

If the ISPs are actively working to slow down piracy, they will quite likely discourage the casual users, make it tough for the occassional users, and drive the hardcore users to take expensive steps to retain their abilities to trade files. All that peered with a smaller group of people, as fewer will leave their torrent software running.

It is important to remember that many stories published over the last few years show that most pirated movies online actually come from a small group of people who are dedicated to ripping and publishing the torrents. They are the initial seeds, and that is a very small group. The amount of pirated content (number of movies, example) won’t change much, they are the hardcore users who are not going away. But the number of peers and potential sharing points will shrink, and that hurts torrent style sharing overall.

File lockers? They are likely to get squashed legally soon enough, more and more of them are blatant in charging for access to pirated material, it won’t be long before the law catches up with them as well.

One More Time...says:

Re: Re:

I have no idea what you’re arguing here since you’re jumping around so much. So how will not sharing over bit torrent result in more buying exactly?

It seems like you’re assuming ‘pirates’ will get annoyed and give up and start buying, but history has shown that not to be what actually happens… remember Napster? Gnutella? LimeWire? They’re all dead, and something else just came along in it’s place…

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You said: ” how will not sharing over bit torrent result in more buying exactly? “

Me: Sharing over bittorrent shows that there is demand. If demand isn’t satisfied in one manner (piracy) at least some of it will be satisfied in other manners (legit channels of delivery / distribution).

You said: “remember Napster? Gnutella? LimeWire? They’re all dead, and something else just came along in it’s place”

Me: You need to remember that many of these operated in a legal vacuum, which is slowly but surely getting filled by regulation, judgements, and new laws aimed at plugging the holes used by these sorts of sites. The risk / reward equation is slowly shifting toward the risk being higher than the reward.

If the ISPs make it harder for users to share (and most importantly take away all the bandwidth being leeched to keep the torrents moving), you will see another tilt, as the effort / reward and cost / reward calculations move in people’s minds and they choose to move away.

It isn’t a sudden stop, it isn’t a brick wall. It’s just a shift from a smooth road to a bumpy road, a bumpy road to a cart path, a cart path to a sand pit, and a sand pit on to a deep ocean. Sometime before they drown, most people will give up.

Marcus Carabsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

How is sharing torrents “leeching” bandwidth? I pay for bandwidth, I can do what I want with it. If I do something illegal, like share copyrighted material, let those laws take care of it – it has nothing to do with my bandwidth. If I were to steal a terabyte of nuclear weapons plans and ftp them to China, I’d be guilty of espionage but I wouldn’t be “leeching bandwidth”. If I start mailing out burned CDs to people, I might be infringing but I’m not “leeching the postal service”

MrWilsonsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Sharing over bittorrent only shows that there is demand when the media is free. It doesn’t show that people will start paying for the same media they previously found for free if bittorrent goes away, especially in a bad economy and job market. The entertainment companies have bled customers when the economy was decent and they keep pretending that those customers will be able and willing to continue getting gouged for their media purchases. These former customers will find cheaper media somewhere else.

Jenisays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re:

Did you ever see an item you REALLY liked, but it belonged to someone else so you went out and bought one just like it because you liked it that much?

Same thing happens with DVDs, CDs etc. My brother is a HUGE movie fan and would never settle for anything less than a sealed, packaged DVD. A copy would be cheap and tawdry by his estimation. He wouldn’t even consider it. I asked him.

Say I let my friend use my drill. Then he lets his friend use it and so on through a dozen or so people. Did all those people “Steal” a drill? Of course not.

I wish some people would learn to think before they speak.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re:

No, you have it entirely wrong. The price is set, and you can either pay it and enjoy the product, or don’t pay it and live without. Want it cheaper, better, faster, freer? Spend your own money to make it and give it away to your friends.

Just because you don’t like the price doesn’t give you the right to just take it. That sort of justification is weak but not surprising.

Jaysays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Who are you to dictate the value eejit or someone gained out of a cheaper price? And if anything, there’s a lot more growing evidence that games/movies/music are overpriced anyway.

Look at how people complained about CD prices. What was the music industry response? Not a cheaper product, but continued bundling until Napster came along.

The problems with movies? Supposedly all movies cost $20 out the gate and don’t come down for six to eight months! Netflix streams for $9.99, as many as you want.

Problems with games? $60 price tag. Bar none, some games cost that much but unless you are looking at the markets, there’s now a LOT of games that are cheaper and add value to the game.

Jaysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Sharing over bittorrent shows that there is demand.”

Yeah, and since Blizzard has 11 million people playing Warcraft, that’s a significant chunk of bandwidth with a more efficient system. Then you have DnD Online, DotA, Spotify, and all those other ways to use bandwidth.

“Me: You need to remember that many of these operated in a legal vacuum, which is slowly but surely getting filled by regulation, judgements, and new laws aimed at plugging the holes used by these sorts of sites. The risk / reward equation is slowly shifting toward the risk being higher than the reward.”

No, you don’t get it. Napster wanted to work with the labels. It fell, others were less inclined to work with the labels. As the labels went to sue more and more, alternatives came up that peeked out of newer holes.

“If the ISPs make it harder for users to share (and most importantly take away all the bandwidth being leeched to keep the torrents moving), you will see another tilt, as the effort / reward and cost / reward calculations move in people’s minds and they choose to move away.”

Higher fees from ISPs, less revenue coming in as people are kicked off the internet, and less compensation from the record labels that make the accusations. Yeah, this sounds like a GREAT system already…

anothermikesays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

You’re wrong about the “risk/reward equation”. The mistake is a simple one and frequently made. Basically, legacy media supporters like yourself see “risk” and “reward” on opposite sides of an “=”. They believe that increasing the “risk” side automatically increases the “reward” side. However, these statistics are not correlated. The only way to increase the “reward” side is to add reward, whatever that is, because risk and reward are two separate equations not two sides of the same equation.

AJsays:

Re: Re:

“If the ISPs are actively working to slow down piracy, they will quite likely discourage the casual users, make it tough for the occassional users, and drive the hardcore users to take expensive steps to retain their abilities to trade files. All that peered with a smaller group of people, as fewer will leave their torrent software running.”

This whole argument has been tried before, and it may “once apon a time” been true, now… not so much. The casual user of today, is not the casual user of yesterday… now that the threat of legal action has been out there a while, the knowledge level of the casual user is significantly higher than it used to be… Sure, you have your idiots that will never learn, darwin will sort them out over time, but most are figuring out how to avoid the crosshairs…. you think that even the casual user is suddenly going to give up free because they are scared? Not likely….More likely they educate themselves to a point where they are comfortable again in getting what they want for free….now what? YOu’ve got a well educated “freetard” that you can see anymore….

Marcus Carabsays:

Re: Re:

I think you’re putting the cart before the horse. The important point you made is here:

When I say buy, that means “obtain through legit channels”. That could include movie rentals, netflix, PPV, Hotel net, and all of those other ways that the content is made available legally. They don’t have to buy a movie ticket or buy a DVD to be buyers. They just have to end up having their desires for the product satisfied by paying channels.

Note that pretty much none of the channels you mention were built by the content creators. They were built by others who recognized a market need and moved to fill it, not worrying about piracy. The key here is not to fight piracy then provide alternatives – it’s just to provide alternatives. That “third group” you mention will switch to the legit channels either way, if those legit channels are easier and more convenient than illegetimate ones (which they absolutely can be) – you really don’t need to worry about stopping piracy.

A Guysays:

Re: Re:

“File lockers? They are likely to get squashed legally soon enough, more and more of them are blatant in charging for access to pirated material, it won’t be long before the law catches up with them as well.”

There are many, many, flaws in your line of reasoning, but I’ll just focus on this one.

File lockers have been around, in one form or another, since the inception of the net. You cannot have an interactive internet without a way to transfer information between computers. You think Google docs is just going to away? Granted it is not ideal for transferring media files between users but if all other choices are gone (hint:all other choices will never be gone) I could easily trade a media file via Google docs tomorrow if I were so inclined. I could then share my document with any other Google user and maybe anyone on the internet (in either encrypted or unencrypted form).

I just used Google docs as an example. You can say the same for any other service that allows saving information from the user to a server. The same could be done on usenet, facebook, or an ordinary message board.

I could tweet an entire movie, 140 characters at a time, on twitter, and most would have no idea what the hell it was until after it was being downloaded.

Personally, I don’t really do any file-sharing anymore. I only point this out because the content industries continued search for a “magic bullet” to kill file-sharing impacts technology I like and their continued attempts to outlaw it will only serve to break legitimate sites I enjoy and do little to affect piracy.

Your magic bullet is a completely non-interactive internet. Given how popular these services are how likely do you think that is to happen?

Re: Re:

I think that this is the common mistake of pro-piracy supporters, who don’t see a clear and direct connection between blocking out and shutting down of piracy delivery channels and sales on the other side. I think it is hard to see because you are looking at the wrong people.

I’m not a pro-piracy supporter, so… not quite sure who that comment is aimed at.

But, no, you’re wrong. I’m looking at the actual evidence. You, it appears, are not.

The first group isn’t going to buy ever. The second group might, and the third group is way more likely.

If you think that, you haven’t looked at the actual research.

When I say buy, that means “obtain through legit channels”. That could include movie rentals, netflix, PPV, Hotel net, and all of those other ways that the content is made available legally. They don’t have to buy a movie ticket or buy a DVD to be buyers. They just have to end up having their desires for the product satisfied by paying channels.

You have it backwards (again). People are already going those routes, even though infringing routes are available. Why? Because they’re offering added value. Add more value and people will do that no matter what. Take away value and you just have unintended consequences.

If the ISPs are actively working to slow down piracy, they will quite likely discourage the casual users, make it tough for the occassional users, and drive the hardcore users to take expensive steps to retain their abilities to trade files. All that peered with a smaller group of people, as fewer will leave their torrent software running.

You underestimate the reality of the situation.

It is important to remember that many stories published over the last few years show that most pirated movies online actually come from a small group of people who are dedicated to ripping and publishing the torrents. They are the initial seeds, and that is a very small group. The amount of pirated content (number of movies, example) won’t change much, they are the hardcore users who are not going away. But the number of peers and potential sharing points will shrink, and that hurts torrent style sharing overall.

File lockers? They are likely to get squashed legally soon enough, more and more of them are blatant in charging for access to pirated material, it won’t be long before the law catches up with them as wel

Again, you underestimate the reality of the situation.

We’ve been hearing this same thing every time a new law passes. You don’t seem to recognize how technology works.

ClarkeyBalboasays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“When I say buy, that means “obtain through legit channels”. That could include movie rentals, netflix, PPV, Hotel net, and all of those other ways that the content is made available legally. They don’t have to buy a movie ticket or buy a DVD to be buyers. They just have to end up having their desires for the product satisfied by paying channels.

You have it backwards (again). People are already going those routes, even though infringing routes are available. Why? Because they’re offering added value. Add more value and people will do that no matter what. Take away value and you just have unintended consequences.”

I agree with this statement 100%. Netflix has only been in Canada for a year, and i am very happy to provide them my $8/month. I get lots of content that i want, in a very convenient way. And the best part for the studios? At the end of it all, if i cancel my membership, they have provided me no physical product, nothing that has cost them money directly by me. It’s practically pure gravy for them.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

PLEASE EXPLAIN YOUR LATEST LIE MASNICK

“And, of course, they can kick you off the network.”

That’s not in the memorandum, it’s not contemplated and the fact that kicking someone off of the network wasn’t a remedy has been widely reported.

From Ars Technica:

“Terminating Internet access is not being considered, the report says.”

So once again you deliberately deceive your readers to advance your personal agenda.

And then you have the balls in a later post to accuse someone of not having evidence, claiming that you yourself do have the actual evidence.

“But, no, you’re wrong. I’m looking at the actual evidence. You, it appears, are not.”

So explain yourself Masnick. Where is the evidence that anyone can be kicked off of the network as a result of this agreement? Or is this too just semantics?

Marcus Carabsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

You may be right here – and I really don’t want to go down this whole bullshit road with you again anyway – but I will point out one thing (not to “brown nose” but because I think it’s worth noting): the Ars Technica report is based on the news.com report linked in this post, and they did make an interesting change to the language. News.com reported that disconnection is “not required” – Ars Technica changed that to “not considered

A small difference, but a potentially meaningful one. I’m not sure who’s right, and since this is all coming from nebulous “sources” right now it will probably be difficult to pin down.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re:

@AC

“So, what happens if you keep pirating after all the hoopla?”

The ISP picks from a menu. For example, maybe your bandwidth is choked down to the point where it takes a week to download a film, or you are restricted to the 200 most popular (legitimate) websites.

BeeAitchsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

YOU ARE A COMPLETE AND UTTER MORON.

I don’t usually start with and ad hominem attack, but I’ll go along with your format.

This happens in my area NOW, it has for at least two years. ONE written (snail mail) warning, then disconnection for 90 days.

If you think it won’t happen, see my initial statement (the all caps one).

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

PLEASE EXPLAIN YOUR LATEST LIE MASNICK

Hi Buck, so nice to see you here again, misrepresenting what I said.

That’s not in the memorandum, it’s not contemplated and the fact that kicking someone off of the network wasn’t a remedy has been widely reported.

Are you denying that ISPs have the right to cut off service to their customers? That’s interesting…

So explain yourself Masnick. Where is the evidence that anyone can be kicked off of the network as a result of this

Easy, ISPs have the right to deny service to anyone should they choose to. As it stands, of course it’s not directly listed in the (still in process) agreement, because everyone knows damn well that if it were explicit in the document that it would lead to all sorts of complaints. So they leave that out, but leave it as possible, but unstated.

And then watch what happens.

You know how this works, because you like to think you are pulling some of the strings. But everyone can see right through you.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re:

Don’t make me laugh Masnick. You constructed your entire lie to suggest that termination of service was part of the agreement:

“Greg Sandoval, over at News.com, is now reporting that the big 3 ISPs: Verizon, AT&T and Comcast are very close to agreeing to a modified three strikes plan. The crux of the plan is to send notices and warnings to people accused (not convicted) of copyright infringement. If you get a few of those, then the response “graduates” (huh?) and the ISP has a variety of options, from slowing down your speeds to limiting you to only visiting a list of 200 popular websites. And, of course, they can kick you off the network.”

You begin with the crux of the plan starting with notification, run through the graduated responses and you end with your assertion that they can kick you off of the network. There’s no mention that this is part of the normal TOS, you position it to absolutely suggest that it is the final step in the graduated response, which is an enormous lie. You even have your dupes parroting your conclusion in other posts. The agreement makes it no more likely that anyone can be kicked off the network than before this agreement existed because TERMINATION IS NOT A REMEDY UNDER THIS AGREEMENT.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re:

I will say, you are a master of distortion and parsing words:

Me: “That’s not in the memorandum, it’s not contemplated and the fact that kicking someone off of the network wasn’t a remedy has been widely reported.

MM: “Are you denying that ISPs have the right to cut off service to their customers? That’s interesting…”

My statement was that termination wasn’t in the memorandum. Your response avoided mention of the memorandum entirely and veered into whether an ISP can cut off service to a customer. Way to move the goalpost.

Me: “So explain yourself Masnick. Where is the evidence that anyone can be kicked off of the network as a result of this”

MM: “Easy, ISPs have the right to deny service to anyone should they choose to. As it stands, of course it’s not directly listed in the (still in process) agreement, because everyone knows damn well that if it were explicit in the document that it would lead to all sorts of complaints. So they leave that out, but leave it as possible, but unstated.”

Again, I challenge you for evidence that anyone can be kicked off the network as a result of this agreement. And your response is that they left it as possible but unstated? Are you kidding? The document is an agreement between parties that specifies incremental remedies. None of those remedies include termination. So you invent it instead.

The eejitsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

PLEASE EXPLAIN YOUR BACKERS, BUCK.

See, it is not corruption that is the problem, it is the expected responses from ISPs that are leaned on by grandstanding Senators and grandstanding trade unions.

So it will be all “nudgenudgewinkwink” implied.

Until the first disconnections due to ‘TOS violations’. Think this won’t happen? I’ll find your IP and report it multiple times to your ISP.

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Hmm, Techdirt seems to be using md5-hashed /something/ for their AC’s gravatars, and that isn’t their email.

I wonder if they bother to salt it..

We do, in fact, salt the hash. But, since this particular AC in this very thread seems to think that the only purpose for encryption is to protect passwords and financial data, I’m assuming that’s explicit permission for us to reveal his info, since he doesn’t think it should be encrypted…

Re: Re: Re:5 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

There’s hypocritical, spying Masnick again, threatening someone who chose to remain anonymous…

No, not at all. That particular commenter clearly stated that he doesn’t think we should be able to use encryption for things like keeping your identity secret. That seems like he has given me permission to reveal his IP address.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

@Masnick

“No, not at all. That particular commenter clearly stated that he doesn’t think we should be able to use encryption for things like keeping your identity secret. That seems like he has given me permission to reveal his IP address.”

I never said any such thing. You think I clearly stated that…. where? I was talking about licensing encryption and the implications of free speech. I was actually trying to gain an understanding of the legitimate uses of encryption. I was thinking more along the lines of why would one want to hide the kind of data was being transmitted, beyond the obvious stuff like passwords, account info and such. I understand and respect people’s right to both privacy and anonymity but it seems like encrypting streams of data could be used for a wide variety of nefarious purposes. That’s why I asked the question “Can you explain a practical need for private citizens to send one another encrypted data? I understand passwords, financial data, etc. but I have a harder time figuring why I would need it otherwise.” I believe that when I do my online banking, ordering stuff and paying bills the encryption is being done by the commercial enterprise that I am contacting, not initiated by my computer. So what I was walking through was why I would need to initiate the encryption on my end? See below.

“Why would it violate the first amendment? No one is saying you can’t have it, but it seems reasonable to have some sort of license scheme with random inspection protocols to assure that such encryption isn’t being used for drug dealing, money laundering, espionage, terrorism, child porn, etc. Just the mere act of acquiring a license would probably limit bad actors considerably.”

“I heard similar ominous predictions over the political future of supporters of the Patriot Act. I don’t see enormous political consequences to licensing encryption. Can you explain a practical need for private citizens to send one another encrypted data? I understand passwords, financial data, etc. but I have a harder time figuring why I would need it otherwise.”

“The discussion is not about the right to free speech. It’s about the right to encrypt. The second amendment gives us the right to keep and bear arms, yet there are standards enforced on that right like special applications for concealed weapons (or prohibiting concealed weapons).”

Re: Re: Re:7 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

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Rikuosays:

Re: Re:

“However, there is a significant number of file traders who are just online people, going along for the free ride. They are more than happy to trade files on the torrents, let their PC be a peer on the network, and so on. They have vast collections of movies and music they never watch or listen to, and they are just downloading it.”

That describes me pretty well, I have terabytes of files I’ve yet to watch/play/listen to. Except…I must admit to being a bit messy in my room. What’s this mess I hear you ask? Why, its piles upon piles of legit DVDs and games. Some items I’ve even bought multiple copies of Mass Effect 2, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky, Assassin’s Creed 1 + 2, to name a few. I even bought Dragon Age Origins, AFTER I torrented it when it first came out…except the legit copy locked me out of my legally purchased DLC for two weeks.
So, just to let you know, it’s not that simple to call us pirate and to punish us. We still contribute. We still pay for things we like. We still pay to go to the cinema.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Rikuo, here’s the thing (and what is often missed here): Without the torrents, you likely would have bought stuff, or other stuff. You might have downloaded a demo version from the company and tried it out, and then purchased.

What is important is that you have tons of stuff you have downloaded and will never pay for. It’s just the way it works out. In the past, you might have demo version of the games, a video trailer, perhaps a “first 5 minutes” of a movie. Instead, you now have the whole thing, and little motivation to buy even a small percentage of what you consume.

Rikuosays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Re-read the post. I torrented Dragon Age Origins, and AFTERWARDS, I bought it. I torrented S.T.A.L.K.E.R., afterwards I ended up buying two copies of the game.
I bought Mass Effect 1 & 2, both for Xbox and PC, so that’s four games I bought. I still torrented it.
One movie I liked, I had downloaded first, then I went out and bought it on DVD and then Blu-ray once they were released. Without the download, I never would have bought it, because it was never stocked on the shelves, being a niche movie.
As for video trailers and the first 5 minutes, those are terrible ways of seeing what’s good and what’s not. 99% of video trailers of video games I see are pre-rendered cutscenes, and rarely show any actual gameplay.

What I’m getting at is, yes I do have a large collection. Only a small fraction I pay for, and that’s if I deem I get my money’s worth. But tell me, would the copyright holders see the money if I was somehow forced into paying for the rest? No! They wouldn’t, because I don’t have the money to pay for the rest.

Jaysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

” Without the torrents, you likely would have bought stuff, or other stuff. “

… Please don’t talk about things you don’t understand…

” You might have downloaded a demo version from the company and tried it out, and then purchased.”

And if he played it and found it was lacking, the gamer and the company are back at square one.

“What is important is that you have tons of stuff you have downloaded and will never pay for. It’s just the way it works out. In the past, you might have demo version of the games, a video trailer, perhaps a “first 5 minutes” of a movie. Instead, you now have the whole thing, and little motivation to buy even a small percentage of what you consume.”

And again, Minecraft and Cave Story, two very good games that started out as indie projects, disagree with you.

Then you have Free to Play games that are becoming VERY popular by adding value to them all the time. As a matter of fact, Valve has just gone F2P today with 5 other games free to play. For. Frickin. Evar!

So you never have to pay for what you consume, and you can have a blast connecting with the community in whatever you want to do.

Want to make mods?
Want to just play the game?
Want to make your own weapons?
Want to play in a competitive league?
Want to just make videos?

The sky is the limit on how Valve adds value.

Maybe the movie and music industry should take lessons.

Anonymoussays:

Let's see how this scenario plays out:

  1. Some ISPs implement (no doubt, poorly) 3 strikes measures.
  2. An enterprising individual goes to any of the black market sites and requests the services of a botnet whose constituent systems must all be connected via those particular ISPs.
  3. Given that the number of systems available for rent in such a fashion now exceeds 200 million and increases every day, a botnet of reasonable size may now be acquired for a relatively modest sum for a limited time.
  4. Install P2P software on all botnet systems.
  5. Seed this P2P network with copies of…hmmmm, what’s
    something not worth seeing, let alone pirating? Ah.
    “The Hurt Locker”. It’s utter crap, but it does have
    the usual feature of attracting the necessary attention.

  6. Pick out a few more items: some gangsta rap, a video
    game, etc. The more prominent the better.

  7. Turn the P2P network on.
  8. Wait.
  9. The ISPs will now find themselves faced with the prospect
    of disconnecting several million bewildered, angry — and paying — customers, nearly all of whom will have absolutely
    no idea what just happened. Support calls will flood in.
    Someone in accounting will project the monthly revenue drop.
    Some of those paying customers will be important or famous
    or litigious or otherwise able to make life difficult for
    the ISPs. Some of them will be on corporate or university networks, who will not accept this quietly. Some of them will be employees of these ISPs or their families; this probably won’t go over well either.

  10. Repeat as many times as necessary and/or desirable.
Marcus Carabsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Let's see how this scenario plays out:

he infection of computers would be noted and removed.

Er, massive botnets have been around for a long time now, and so have the huge ongoing efforts to shut them down and fix infected computers. So far nobody has ever made a dent that lasted longer than a couple of days. So I’m not sure it will be as simple as you make it sound.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Let's see how this scenario plays out:

The infection will NOT be removed. Zombies and botnets built from them have been a well-known problem for a decade now, and all that has happened in the interim is that it’s gotten worse. The number, worldwide, continuous to increase on a daily basis — as everyone with a rudimentary background in security is painfully well aware. (Anyone saying otherwise is either stupid, ignorant, delusional, lying or paid by Microsoft. There are no exceptions.)

As to whether or not this has any long term meaning: it’s responsible for the overwhelming majority spam. It’s responsible for most DDoS attacks. It’s responsible for most illicit hosting. It’s responsible for…a very long and persistent list of things.

It’s the largest security problem on the Internet, it has been for a long time, and nobody wants to fix it; few even want to admit that it exists. Most, like yourself, are in denial because they either can’t or don’t want to comprehend it.

So if someone decides to use it to game the 3-strikes rule, they WILL succeed. Perhaps not quite in the way I’ve outlined; that might need some refinement — but they will succeed.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Let's see how this scenario plays out:

That defense is already valid, although the pigs prosecuting and persecuting Julie Amero ignored it, and her incompetent legal counsel didn’t make the argument properly.

There is now, and has been for a decade, a profound disconnect between “A’s computer did X” and “A did X”. Unless someone has a videotape of A sitting there doing X (yes, yes I know about digital editing, let’s omit that for brevity, shall we?) then exhaustive proof of the former provides no evidence whatsoever of the latter.

Anyone who possesses baseline competence in security can observe this in action all day, every day, merely by taking tcpdumps of traffic hitting their perimeter devices, or by consulting their HTTP or FTP or SMTP logs, among myriad possibilities. There is a non-stop background of constant probes and attacks and queries from systems all over the world, and even cursory investigation quickly reveals that it is unlikely in the extreme that the people whose desks those systems sit on have any clue about any of it.

Aside: how do you THINK that people dealing in the online equivalent of illicit substances stash it and move it? It’s not through servers sitting at Rackspace or via Amazon’s cloud. No, it’s through random systems scattered all over the planet, relying on mules who don’t know their mules and thus can’t expose them.

This initiative will be badly undercut as soon as someone feels like doing so.

Prisoner 201says:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Let's see how this scenario plays out:

“An amusing long post, but unlikely to achieve anything. The infection of computers would be noted and removed. “

YES!!! Finally someone has invented magic!

Give me one Fireball, one Polymorpth Self and a Lightning Bolt in the forty megathaum range.

John Doesays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Let's see how this scenario plays out:

I feel this relies a bit too much on “ends justify the means” thinking, but whether the victims’ computers are ultimately cleaned of malware or not would not be the problem. The problem would be the fact that the ISP took action against a victim of malware at all, because they’re clearly not infringing, and there’s caselaw to back it up. The public outcry from even a modest attack like this (say 10,000 subscribers) would be massive. The mainstream press and government would have to get involved.

Adding to the thought train, I can think of a couple refinements that would make this strategy even more vicious:

First is target the worst ISP’s. It would be unfair in the extreme to have good ISP’s get caught in this shindig because any ISP that throttles or messes with malware-infected customers might get sued.

Second is don’t have a big obvious start and stop. The attacker should build up their network of P2P bots to a large size, say 100,000 bots; but program the bot so that it turns on and off randomly. The attacker should make sure that once it’s turned on for the first time it becomes public knowledge that the bot does that. Then ISP’s would know that there’s bots out there that randomly turn computers into P2P bots specifically for the purpose of making throttling and disconnections risky for the ISP and copyright holders. They’d be much more cautious, and some company lawyers might say they’re taking on too much risk. (I doubt it would slow down copyright holders from complaining because they seem to be incapable of rational thought. But the ISP’s aren’t as wacko as the MAFIAA.)

Legally, this “graduated response” crap would have to be written into the User Agreement. So after the attack happens maybe some creative lawyer could sue the ISP for breach of contract–not providing advertised and agreed-to level of service. They could argue that the “graduated response” parts of the User Agreement are unconscionable and void because if the court enforces them it would have the effect of letting far-off copyright holders with tenuous claims become gatekeepers to online speech and commerce. Even though the contract itself is private, enforcing it is a governmental action and there are serious First Amendment issues in letting ISP’s do this kind of thing. Especially the plan to limit people to only visiting certain websites.

If I were an ISP, I’d be real reluctant to start this crap. It’s not going to stop file-sharing. If anything it will make it worse: switching to random ports, source and destination IP-hiding (ala Freenet), and always-on encryption only takes a software update of your favorite P2P client. And if they’re not careful, they could end up with de facto net neutrality by court order. Of course, that would benefit all of us, so maybe we should encourage it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Joshysays:

It used to be that a person would know exactly when a new album came out. It was promoted by the radio station it was the cool thing to have when it finally came out. You got a physical object to hold and display….photos of the singer and band mates. The words to the music to follow along with and you hadn’t heard it a billion times even while shopping at your local grocery store…..”So it was special”. Furthermore you didn’t have 500 Hi-Def TV channels to watch. Five different gaming consoles to chose from with thousands of games. Facebook or Twitter demanding your attention. A Megaplex with hundred million dollar movies playing in 3D. Or easy access to a car with a mega-mall blocks away. Or a Cell phone that can hold more songs than the record industry releases in a year in your hands…….And they wonder why no one wants to Pay for an album containing one good song. Heck they even took all the good things of buying the album like the photos, words or the shiny disk out of the equation.

anonymoussays:

maybe, once the other companies involved in this realize they are losing customers and therefore money, as well as having to foot the bill to put these entertainment industry rules into place, they will change their minds. maybe also, once the politicians, law makers and judges realize how they have been scammed, they will change their minds. once the government realize that there are now a hell of a lot more people homeless and/or in prison because of this issue, they will change their mind. once someone of authority is put into the same position as countless ordinary citizens could be, trying to prove they are innocent rather than the accusers trying to prove guilt, they will change their mind! sooner or later, it will happen and there is always someone that gets the needed information and passes it on, so i doubt it will be able to be kept quiet.

Anonymoussays:

What about people like me that purchase lots and lots and lots of content but still occasionally torrent a missing/lost disc, or a new/untested band, or the epub for a book I already own the hardcover for.

Am I a “pirate” that needs to be shut off from the internet or am I one of the best customers of the content industry?

Do they realize that I am likely to respond to such draconian measures by entirely stopping all content purchases? Did they consider that, in retribution, I might cut off cable TV and just stop buying content altogether?

EMMMsays:

Re: Re:

Exactly. I fall into the same class of “pirate”, and the only thing these actions by the industry do is make me realize I have enough stuff already. I’ve cut off cable (still use netflix), and I’m working my way through all the unread books in my library. When they bother to offer a product at a reasonable price, I buy it (amazon video, a few years ago, was like this… not anymore). If they don’t, I go without, or on rare occasions, find other means. Their loss. Media is about the opposite of an inelastic good, after all, and thanks to the growing plutocracy, we all have less to spread around these days. My non-sympathies to the RIAA.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

I do the same. I own thousands of records (as in “vinyl”), CDs, books, heck I still have a lot of cassettes. Then there are the videotapes and the DVDs.

But I’ve already cut back moviegoing to once or twice a year. I only buy CDs direct from artists at shows or otherwise in a way that I know puts the $$ in their pocket. I don’t buy DVDs at all, although sometimes people buy them for me as gifts.

All of this is my response to the content industry’s foolishness. The more assinine they get, the less I buy. And I have plenty to listen to, plenty to watch, plenty to read for the rest of my life, should I so choose. (There’s a complete set of Britannica that I think would make fascinating reading.)

So it’s not like I’m exactly anxious to pony up for the latest piece of blockbuster trash hitting the theaters or the recycled dreck on someone’s next CD. I wouldn’t bother with that stuff if someone GAVE it to me, let alone take the time to download it, let alone actually pay for it, let alone actually leave the house to do so.

Cue Princess Leia’s words to Grand Moff Tarkin.

Jenisays:

Re: Re:

“Do they realize that I am likely to respond to such draconian measures by entirely stopping all content purchases? Did they consider that, in retribution, I might cut off cable TV and just stop buying content altogether?”

That’s what I’ve done – stopped buying. Next will be my cable (would do it now but I stupidly signed a 2-year agreement so as not to keep raising the price. I was SUCKERED, I know…).

Anonymoussays:

A way to solve the music industry’s problems? No. But it’s a great way to force ISPs to monitor their users a bit more. And of course, government agents searching for “terrorists” won’t need a warrant to secretly access the recorded information.
After this passes, and “surprisingly” fails to curtail piracy, the next step will be to increase surveillance even more (for even more piracy-curtailing, of course).

Robsays:

Three Strikes

What I’ve never understood with the 3 strikes policy is: you get ‘kicked off the internet’ by your ISP.
Fine.
So you sign up with another provider and your old ISP loses a customer. You’ve still got net access and Comcast et al is down $50 a month. The loser is the ISP at this point.

Or is there a Global Database on Interwebs Pirates that the ISPs share around now?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Three Strikes

Rob. The “kicked off the internet” assertion was another one of Masnick’s lies. There is nothing in the agreement that ends up with someone being kicked off of the internet. Go read the story at Ars Technica. It appears they have a copy of the document and are reporting the implications accurately. According to the Ars story, “Terminating Internet access is not being considered, the report says.”

So don’t lose any sleep over it. It’s simply another fanciful lie created by Masnick when the facts fell short of fulfilling his agenda.

Marcus Carabsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Three Strikes

Ars Technica does not have a copy of any special document. The “report” they are reffering to IS the news.com story. News.com doesnt say disconnection is not ‘considered’ it simply says it’s not ‘required’. Ars changed the language. They are not using a different source from news.com

I do not actually know what role disconnection is playing in this agreement, and you and Ars may well be right – but don’t misrepresent them as having additional information. The line about disconnection comes entirely from the news.com report. They do talk to their own sources after, but they don’t mention if those sources said anything specific about the disconnection action. In fact, it seems like they avoided denying it outright as well, nothing that the milder measures will come “long before there is any thought anything close to the kind of things reported today”

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Three Strikes

@marcus

“They do talk to their own sources after, but they don’t mention if those sources said anything specific about the disconnection action”

Don’t you think the guys from Ars may have thought to bring that up? They’re pretty much on your side of the issue. And don’t you think that if their inside source said “no comment” or refused to answer a question regarding disconnection they might report that?

In the meanwhile, where is Masnick’s evidence that, “… they can kick you off the network.”? That was a straight up assertion. No equivocating. So where’s the evidence? Save your response, there is none. Just another lie.

Marcus Carabsays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: Three Strikes

Like I said, I’m not making any strong assertion either way, and I’m not saying you’re wrong. I’m just pointing it out, because I think it’s worth considering. I’m not quite as convinced as you that their source confirmed it, but it is indeed possible.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Three Strikes

@marcus

masnick is now madly spinning away claiming that the right to terminate someone under the agreement is “unstated” but that an ISP can terminate someone if they so choose. That’s quite different than the deliberately misleading bullshit in his article.

The White House, EFF, CDT and Public Knowledge were all part of this document. Any one of them would set the building on fire before allowing termination. No one from the studio side supports termination, hell even I am opposed to termination of an individual’s service as the last step in a graduated response. This is simply lies and fear mongering calculated to advance Masnick’s personal agenda.

Marcus Carabsays:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Three Strikes

No one from the studio side supports termination

Lol. Mike may have made an error here, but you are a straight-up fool. Your naivety is astonishing for someone who presents themselves as the slick policy expert who knows how things “really work”

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Three Strikes

Just curious, how do they plan to do the site limiting? Mess with DNS traffic or actually not deliver traffic to anything but the IP addresses of the top 200 websites?

The first would be trivial to circumvent by changing your DNS. Hell, any serious Internet user should have already switched to a non-ISP DNS provider anyway.

The second would last until the first time a copyright allegation interferes with someone’s access to their stock-trading system. At that point the ISP and the copyright holder are going to get dragged into court and summarily executed. Hollywood may be big, but they will get beaten bloody if they pick a fight with Wall Street.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Three Strikes

@marcus

RIAA was more into termination because throttling has a lesser impact on music. Site limiting works for them. While I can only surmise, I’d guess that since the remedies are a “pick’em” for the ISP’s. I’d think that incorrigible music downloaders will get site limited. Movie downloaders will probably get throttled. Who knows, real virtuosos may get both.

Pattysays:

Misguided Hollywood

I started pirating back in Napster days. I thought it was so cool that all these people could just SHARE stuff! Then I was told I was retiring and pirating became a substitute for the bipolar spending sprees I could no longer afford on my vastly reduced income.

In the subsequent years I have amassed humongous amounts of music and movies. I watch and listen to very little of it.

As a matter of fact, I basically stopped listening to music at all. Part of pleasure of it, when I was young, was browsing in record stores (yes, I am old) and finding some obscure blues record; trying to decide, later, what cd to buy with when I only had $10 to spend. This sort of activity added to the preciousness of the music. Now I have so much of it, it is no more precious than generic toilet paper. Talk about Unintended Consequences!

The same thing is now happening with films. I have a huge collection but the only ones I actually watch are foreign ones that would never play here in the burbs anyway (The Trollhuner, for instance). I download all of my TV shows and pretty much watch a handful faithfully, most of them from the BBC, not American networks.

I am sure Hollywood and the RIAA would count all of this as lost income but, in truth, I would not have bothered with 98% of this stuff if I had to pay for it. I do pay for the software I use except for Photoshop which I can?t afford although I would gladly shell out $150, maybe even $200 for it as I use it daily but, geez, not $500!

One of the wisdoms I have garnered in my advanced years is that I am not a hell of a lot different than most people so if this has happened to me, what I would call the Glut Syndrome (i.e. a cessation of consuming due to overabundance of consumables) then I think this is happening in a widespread manner and this is what the content providers have to adjust to in addition to fixing their pricing. They have to contend with people losing interest and being far, far fussier about what they consume, maybe losing interest altogether.

I belong to two private sites although I do use EZTV a lot. I don?t know how Verizon will contend with that (Ironically, they have never stopped trying to sell me their TV service even though I threw out my TV long ago). I think all this hampering of downloading will just impel people to lose interest in films and music even more rapidly and move to internet content. I could watch cute cat videos for hours and I don?t even like cats. Once those customers are gone, they will never, ever get them back.

Rikuosays:

Re: Re: Good

Fail.

You already have X Gigabytes of bandwidth from your ISP. Just because Johnny next door pirates on his own internet connection, it doesn’t mean that your monthly bandwidth is reduced.
Second, you’re not subsidizing anybody. You pay for your bandwidth, the pirates pay for theirs.

Rikuosays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Good

Fail yourself again. I never said anything about slowing down speeds. I do know about contention ratios, thank you very much. What I said was in response to Kyle, who thinks that the amount of traffic he has on his internet connection is affected by pirates. The AMOUNT of traffic, not the speed. What Kyle said was incorrect. He gets X gigabytes of traffic per month from his ISP, and that amount of traffic is unaffected by pirates. Plus he doesn’t subsidize pirates: he has his bandwidth, the pirates have theirs.

Anonymoussays:

I got a warning from my ISP a while ago. My response? Get a seedbox and stop using public trackers. End result? No more letters, no more worries. And since I reduced my connection speed, no extra money out of my pocket, but less in the ISP’s.

My speeds are faster than I could have ever hoped for, my ratios are through the roof and I’ve severely reduced my chances of any “strikes.” Couldn’t be happier.

tl;dr – get a seedbox, worry no more.

PrometheeFeusays:

I find it difficult to believe that the ISPs will actually go through with this. As soon as your speed gets throttled, your dump your ISP and go to another one. Sure the competition is small, but hey, a low speed ISP is cheaper than a higher speed one with slowed speed. This would be great actually. The more a monopoly screws with its customers, the more the monopoly is going to generate challengers. The best way to stop this dead in its tracks is as follows: Go online and figure out what internet alternatives you have. Yes, there are alternatives for just about anyone. It may be slower or more expensive but there is an alternative. (At the very least there is satellite) Then, send a letter to your current provider saying something along the lines of: “I hear you are close to an agreement with the MPAA on degrading my Internet connection if the MPAA tells you that I have committed copyright infringement. If you sign that agreement, I will immediately cancel my subscription and switch over to [insert competitor you researched]. Have a nice day.”

Gwizsays:

There is one thing I never see when these 3 Strike initiatives are brought up:

What recourse does a falsely accused person have when they are disconnected?

It seems to me if these disconnections are going to be done on mere accusations (which I think is completely wrong in the first place – what ever happened to INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY?) then they must set up some way to defend against false accusations. Perhaps something like the DMCA counter-notice procedure, if you file an objection then you get your service back until a court of law finds you to be infringing. It would give the falsely accused some recourse and most likely the hard core infringers wouldn’t bother objecting.

Anonymoussays:

Pirates clog my bandwidth. If there is a price associated with their activities, they will be less likely to do it. It’s all about ease of access. Stop making it “easy” and they will stop doing it.

Seems like a reasonable and overdue step. Those of us who subsidize these thieves (and suffer slower speeds as a result) should celebrate. :-))

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