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Censorship Your Rights Online

Censoring The Net With A Hotmail Account 286

Posted by timothy
from the itchy-trigger-fingers dept.
Alex Bradbury writes "Members of the Bits of Freedom group conducted a test to see how much it would take for a service provider to take down a website hosting public domain material, and have published their results. They signed up with 10 providers and put online a work by Dutch author Multatuli, who died over 100 years ago. They stated that the work was in the public domain, and that it was written in 1871. They then set up a fake society to claim to be the copyright holders of the work. From a Hotmail address, they sent out complaints to all 10 of the providers. 7 out of 10 complied and removed the site, one within just 3 hours. Only one ISP actually pointed out that the copyright on the work expired many years ago. The conclusion of the investigation is definitely worth reading. The three providers who didn't take down the material are XS4ALL, UPC and Freeler. The company that came out the worst was iFast, who forwarded all the personal details of the site owner to the sender of the fake takedown notice without even being asked to do so."
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Censoring The Net With A Hotmail Account

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  • by erick99 (743982) <homerun@gmail.com> on Saturday October 09, 2004 @04:41PM (#10481114)
    I am amazed that an ISP wouldn't have some process in place to at least check the validity of a party making that request and check the validity of the copyright as well. It wouldn't take much to put such a process in place.
    • I am amazed that an ISP wouldn't have some process in place to at least check the validity of a party making that request and check the validity of the copyright as well. It wouldn't take much to put such a process in place.,/p>

      Why? It isn't as if they lave any liability.

    • by Rikus (765448) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @04:44PM (#10481132)
      When you're too busy trying to avoid getting sued, you don't have time to check up on the minor details, like whether a claim is actually valid.
      • by anthony_dipierro (543308) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @04:51PM (#10481175) Journal
        Which is why if you don't want your content being taken down, you shouldn't use a free hosting provider. Then, if they take your content down without doing some basic fact checking, they have to worry about a lawsuit from you.
        • by Nacon74 (809996) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @06:31PM (#10481762)
          Most of the providers mentioned in the survey, aren't free, but paid hosting providers. Also the survey was trying to prove a flaw in the current system. Currently an ISP risk paying a huge fine under the European Guideline for Electronic Trade if they don`t remove copyrighted materials (if they can reasonably know it's copyrighted). Providers don`t risk a fine for pulling the plug on a website, so in most cases they will do just that. Seems like right now the burden of prove doesn`t rests with the copyrightholder, but with the person publishing the materials.
          • Currently an ISP risk paying a huge fine under the European Guideline for Electronic Trade if they don`t remove copyrighted materials (if they can reasonably know it's copyrighted).

            I see. You guys just need to pass a DMCA like we have here in the US.

        • Which is why if you don't want your content being taken down, you shouldn't use a free hosting provider.

          I don't think that being free really has much to do with it, although there could perhaps be a correlation. Probably what matters is the terms of service that you agree to. Even if you pay for the service, virtually all terms of service will contain a clause that states the provider can yank your access or hosting or whatever they provide on a whim at their own discretion.

          Clearly it might no

          • I don't think that being free really has much to do with it, although there could perhaps be a correlation. Probably what matters is the terms of service that you agree to. Even if you pay for the service, virtually all terms of service will contain a clause that states the provider can yank your access or hosting or whatever they provide on a whim at their own discretion.

            Being free has to do a lot with it. While the ToS is there to indemnify against damages in case a site is taken down, the fact whether
        • A couple years ago, Tripod nuked a lot of sites for no visible reason (mine and several friends' sites included). I finally figured out that their TOS-compliance-bot (aimed at getting rid of warez dumps) was taking down any site that included ANY file that was not directly linked from an HTML document. So if you had so much as an orphaned menu graphic, your site got removed for "TOS violations".

          Goes to show how silly automated takedowns can be, even when entirely internal to the host in question.

          [Stuff li
    • by spottedkangaroo (451692) * on Saturday October 09, 2004 @05:03PM (#10481253) Homepage
      It is really not up to the ISP to check the validity of anything. That is what court is for.

      What they should do is simply leave the site up and refuse to give out any personal details until they receive a court order compelling them to take an action.

    • by StateOfTheUnion (762194) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @05:11PM (#10481298) Homepage
      They do . . .

      They wait for a complaint and then yank whatever was complained about off the server.

      This is the cheapest way to handle alledged copyright violations. The people paying to have their material hosted are not going to pay extra to have a group of lawyers check their own material for copyright violations. If the ISP can't get the customer to pay for a team of lawyers to handle complaints of copyright violations then what is an ISP to do?

      The problem isn't that the ISP knee-jerk responds to alledged copyright violations; the problem is that the legal system holds ISP's responsible for violations. the party held responsible should be the individual that placed copyrighted material on the internet.

      • The problem isn't that the ISP knee-jerk responds to alledged copyright violations; the problem is that the legal system holds ISP's responsible for violations. the party held responsible should be the individual that placed copyrighted material on the internet.

        It can't be so. What if somebody posts child pornography on a free hosting site, anonymously? Should we free the ISP from all responsibility?
        • The diffrence is that child pornography is a legal matter, copyright violations are a civil matter.
    • I don't think this is so much a story about censorship as a comment on people willingness to follow instructions without questioning them.

      In a related story, did you know that you can get into any room of a hotel just by going to the front desk and telling them that you locked your key inside and giving them room number you want. No one's EVER asked me for ID for doing that.

      Most people just accept the information presented to them as being factual.
      • In a related story, did you know that you can get into any room of a hotel just by going to the front desk and telling them that you locked your key inside and giving them room number you want. No one's EVER asked me for ID for doing that.

        You need to be in a big enough hotel, so that the receptionist doesn't recognize he/she's dealing with a different person.

        Anyway, don't do it too often. It's a crime (identity theft).
    • There is no way for an ISP to evaulate the claims. Fortunately, the copyright laws have a built-in safeguard. The site owner can get the website back up by simply sending an email stating that they have the right to post the content.
  • by Osrin (599427) * on Saturday October 09, 2004 @04:42PM (#10481115) Homepage
    I can either invest in lawyers to investigate every claim, or drop a few customers with an "ask no questions" policy.

    Which is easier for the smaller ISP to administer and live by?

    I'm not saying it's right, we're just in an odd climate around digital rights at the moment.
    • by erick99 (743982) <homerun@gmail.com> on Saturday October 09, 2004 @04:45PM (#10481141)
      Put a simple process in place. When someone makes a copyright claim send them an email asking for written proof of who they are and evidence that they do have a legitimate copyright ownership. The party making the request should do all of the work, the burden is on them. They would then have to mail all of this, by certified mail, to the ISP. If the party making the request does all of this properly than a takedown decision can be made. A legitimate party with a legitimate claim should have no problem complying with such a request/process.
      • by LetterJ (3524) <j@wynia.org> on Saturday October 09, 2004 @05:15PM (#10481325) Homepage
        Exactly. I run www.mncriminals.com [mncriminals.com], which publishes the MN criminal conviction data. We get the data directly from the state. We frequently get letters from people demanding that we "expunge" their record because "the state cleared their name". We pretty much just ask that they fax a copy of the state's paperwork removing the conviction from their record. We've only ever heard further from one person. Even then, she hadn't really had it expunged. Rather, she'd had the remainder of her sentence, including parole, etc. commuted. A lot of people make demands and I'm perfectly willing to follow through, but you're going to at least provide a piece of paper proving it needs to happen. The BSA can come into my offices only if there's a warrant in their hand, etc.
    • I can either invest in lawyers to investigate every claim, or drop a few customers with an "ask no questions" policy.

      Which is easier for the smaller ISP to administer and live by?

      By far the easiest method would be to autoreply with the address where DMCA takedown notices are accepted, mentioning that they must include a statement of accuracy made under penalty of perjury.

    • by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Saturday October 09, 2004 @04:50PM (#10481166) Homepage
      And this is exactly why law which holds service carriers such as ISP responsible for the actions of their owners is both invalid and dangerous. ISPs can't and shouldn't be expected to police their customers, and laws or copyright treaties such as the DMCA which place them into the position of having to do so must be changed...
      • ISPs can't and shouldn't be expected to police their customers,

        I agreed with you until this point... Although holding ISP's legally responsible for their customer's actions is taking things way too far, there still needs to be some way to actually deal with abusive customers. I'm not talking specifically about copyright violators (that varies from person to person), but if the customer is in violation of the ISP's AUP, they should be taken care of by the provider. It's quite likely that illegally distribu
        • by Anonymous Coward
          Putting aside circular or specific contractual language involving enforcement...

          If the customer is in violation of the ISP's AUP, that is a contract between the customer and ISP only. It should not be used as leverage by the government to go after the ISP. Ever.

          It is up to the ISP to decide if they want to enforce their agreement/contract. Not yours, mine, or the government.

          If the customer is doing something wrong, there is absolutely nothing stopping the copyright holder from going after the customer
      • I don't think we'll see action on this area until people start sending annonymous copyright takedown notices to the ISP's of members of congress, as well as the heads of major corporations, showing them the folly of giving others full control over your life and business without due process. Of course such a thing would be illegal [andrebacard.com] and dangerous [hushmail.com], and a person would have to be crazy [doityourself.com] to [diynet.com] do [doitnow.org] such a thing. After all, laws are a social contract [guerrillanews.com], which we must obey [grandtimes.com] in order for society to function [indymedia.org]. In a society r [nationmaster.com]
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I can either invest in lawyers to investigate every claim, or drop a few customers with an "ask no questions" policy. Which is easier for the smaller ISP to administer and live by? I'm not saying it's right, we're just in an odd climate around digital rights at the moment.

      Damn straight. I hope people understand enought to only place part of the blame on the ISPs here. The primary people to blame are those who are behind the insane copyright laws that have caused ISPs to legitimately fear massive fines,

  • by sgant (178166) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @04:45PM (#10481138) Homepage Journal
    Dear Slashdot,

    My great great grandfather had a newspaper in Lizard Lick, NC back at the turn of the century. I was called "The Lizard Lick Slash/Dot".

    Please remove your site from the internet as it's in violation of copyright.

    As you may know, the Slash/Dot moved it's headquarters from Lizard Lick to Bugfart, Iowa back in the 40's, just after the war. It's publisher, Mavis Leetdudzki also was the town buggerer and notary public.

    Thanks.
  • Maybe this group should forward their findings onto the relevant data protection agency in the Netherlands ... it would be interesting to see what happened.

    (answer: nothing, these agencies exist to suck money and do nothing)
  • by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Saturday October 09, 2004 @04:46PM (#10481146) Homepage
    The company that came out the worst was iFast, who forwarded all the personal details of the site owner to the sender of the fake takedown notice without even being asked to do so."

    I can't help but wonder, is this consistent with iFast's user privacy policy? I can't tell, I don't speak Dutch...
    • by Anonymous Chicken (700655) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @05:19PM (#10481350)
      I can't help but wonder, is this consistent with iFast's user privacy policy? I can't tell, I don't speak Dutch...
      I am, unfortunately they have more items explaining when they can stop providing services due to some 'legal' issue than due to not paying. Below is a summary of what I found to be relevant. Mind you, it's a loose translation of their general conditions. Saying they'll cut you off if:
      • you distribute information that's in conflict with (inter)national laws
      • you distribute information that's in conflict with general accepted values
      • you distribute information that's discriminating (in any way), including (?) adultpages/MP3/warez/video
      Disallowed:
      • no chatrooms, no irc or irc bots
      • their servers may not be the source/mediator for spam, flames or mailbombs
      • no form of destabilizing their servers is allowed, including any other type of abuse
      "IFast is allowed to decide which kind of actions are in violations of these condition."

      As is said somewhere else, they don't have a privacy statement, at least not on their frontpage. In my opinion the last remark says it all, it is their decision wether something might be illegal or in violation.
      Anyway, they seem to be a small and possibly quite new company, probably not able to handle a big case of copyright problems. Not that it's a valid defense but probably the truth anyway.

      Disclaimer: I'm an XS4ALL customer, and happy with them: expensive but quality :)
  • by Celt (125318) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @04:49PM (#10481161) Homepage Journal
    I think everybody missed the real test here,
    the test is which company is the most helpfull to people sending notices to sites and its obvious that iFast is the most helpful,

    Now all I have to do is tell ALL my friends to go with them, iFast will like all the extra business its the least I can do for such a helpful company...
    • There's a difference between being helpful/responsive and downright irresponsible.
      When I communicate with an ISP or other service provider regarding one of their customers, I expect them to fully investigate the matter, take whatever action is necessary, and send me a reply within a week or two. I'm sure they're quite busy handling all sorts of emails, and the fastest responder isn't necessarily the one who's doing the best job.
  • Cowards (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Space_Soldier (628825) <not4_u@hotmail.com> on Saturday October 09, 2004 @04:49PM (#10481162)
    This is very bad news. This means that ISPs are so afraid of litigation that they are willing to remove material at the first threat of copyright violations without cheking whether or not the material is copyrighted. Basically, they are willing to be bullied by any entity that claims copyright.
    • if you knew what a shoestring budget some of us isps run off of, you'd do it too. you're basically a litigation focal point, what with half of your customers always trying some illegal way to make an extra buck, or save a buck. if me and my boss run an isp and break even and never have enough time, we're going to fail when we have to go to court, even if we win.
      • By bending over whenever someone sends a C&D letter to you, you set a bad precedent which will not only hurt you in the long run, but all ISPs. I sympathize with your never having enough time and money, but you should realize that it's self-destructive behavior to do anything you're told. I understand doing anything the government tells you, it's hard to run a business otherwise, but if Asshole & Asshole, Attorneys at Law send you a letter like that, you owe it to your customers to at least find out
  • by StateOfTheUnion (762194) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @04:57PM (#10481214) Homepage
    I'm not surprised . . .ISP's have to protect themselves because they are being subject to subpoenas, injunctions, lawsuits for what they host . . . I think this is the root cause of the problem.

    For example, if the public library was responsible and liable for all material that was copied on it's self service photocopy machine, then most libraries would probably ban use of the copier or manage and log its use very closely and be willing to share this information with anyone that threatens to sue the library. This would be done to protect the legally liable library. The library would be attempting to shield itself from liability by cooperating with those that were alledgedly infringed and by pointing the finger at the person that actually made the copies. Of course libraries are not liable, the person that uses the copier is liable. This is why photocopy machines are normally self service. This prevents the library from being legally liable.

    Unfortunately the same doesn't seem to be true for ISP's. ISP's can be legally liable if they don't provide information about an alleged copyright violator or if they don't remove the allegedly copyrighted material from their servers in a timely fashion. It is unfortunate that even though the ISP may not knowingly endorse infringement or actively participate in the infringement, they could still be held liable (or at least named as an infringing party in an expensive lawsuit).

    Unfortunately ISP's have not been afforded legal protection similar to that granted to libraries with respect to photocopiers. It is the system that attempts to hold ISP's liable that is the problem. ISP's are merely reacting to this and trying to protect themselves.

      • For example, if the public library was responsible and liable for all material that was copied on it's self service photocopy machine, then most libraries would probably ban use of the copier or manage and log its use very closely and be willing to share this information with anyone that threatens to sue the library. This would be done to protect the legally liable library. The library would be attempting to shield itself from liability by cooperating with those that were alledgedly infringed and by point
      • Bad example, and most copiers are self service because libraries can't afford to hire staff to do a job most people are capable of doing themselves. . . . . Incidentally the library would be liable for the copyright violations if the failed to even investigate a reported abuse, just making the copiers self-service doesn't exempt them from that responsibility.

        Actually I think its a good example, libraries and Kinkos went to self service photocopiers because it does afford them significant protection und

  • by Maestro4k (707634) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @04:59PM (#10481228) Journal
    This is just sad, ISPs are probably overwhelmed with takedown notices but failing to even check the page in question before disconnecting a customer is a bad move. Why? No matter how restrictive the TOS for an ISP may be, shutting down a customer's site without checking the validity of the complaint, or even the validity of rhe complainer (i.e. is this a real company/person/rights holder) is likely to leave them wide open to a breach of contract lawsuit. While the courts have their problems, I doubt a court would look kindly to this type of action in light of a contract for service. If this happened to a business it could really be bad for the ISP.

    Tie this in with the RIAA/MPAA's apparent automatic search and send bots (that are programmed moronically to boot, a 30kb file's supposedly a movie?) and you also get the potential to take down large chunks of the web illegally. Just wait till the lowlifes out there start doing DoS's using bogus takedown letters instead of packets. Things will probably get mighty ugly.

    • Just wait till the lowlifes out there start doing DoS's using bogus takedown letters instead of packets.

      Lowlifes? How about, "s/the lowlifes out there/we/"?

      Seriously, the law is broken. It is part of living in a free society that we make the authorities aware of broken laws. What better way to do that than (well, telling them should be the best way but they only respond to mobs, it seems) DoSing a ton of content which isn't really violating copyright?

      In fact, make it even better: claim to own t

  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Saturday October 09, 2004 @04:59PM (#10481229)
    The current setup of copyright laws establishes that there's a steep penalty for not taking down a copyrighted work, but no penalty at all for wrongly taking down public domain work... No wonder the businesses involved reach for the trigger instead of stopping to think. Delaying when it's valid exposes them to risk, tripping over a false positive does not.
    • But the penalty should be to the person/company sending the takedown letter, not the ISP.

      Supposedly, they have to attest, under oath, that the letter they send is factual...I think if it becomes too big a problem that ISP's will get the courts involved FOR their customers when the time is right.

      Right now, they all know too many people are trying to get away with posting stuff they shouldn't ...they consider themselves "lucky" to "only" get noticed for takedown and not told to "police" their servers f

  • by MaineCoon (12585) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @04:59PM (#10481231) Homepage
    I had some source code to a game I was working on, and had licensed the code to a friend (it was for a MUD, and I had years of work invested). After an altercation, he violated the agreement we had and decided to release his copy to the world to spite me. Fortunately the code was several years old from my current work, but UNfortunately what he released contained player files with plain text passwords, and some of the players had played on both of the games with the same password.

    Within 20 minutes of his posting it, I politely asked the ISP to take it down (was about midnight), and they had it taken down by morning. Someone obviously got hold of it and hacked a few of our players' accounts, but the source+assets itself never resurfaced.
  • by killthebunny (755776) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @05:00PM (#10481238) Homepage
    An almost identical study was published by Christian Ahlert of the Oxford Internet Institute, and featured on /. http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/06/10/17 50232&mode=thread&tid=153&tid=99 See his website for more details http://www.ahlert.org It's good to see that the authors of this article at least provide a reference to his work, but I think this slashdot thread should have mentioned the study that started it all!
  • ...is that the guys who run several web hosting places are overworked, besieged by takedown notices, or dumb (or most likely, a combination of all three). Hell, I could've told you that, and I didn't try to do a study.

    The hosting sweet spot is selling power/pipe/ping, not managed services. Managed services always cost more than expected when paired with a reasonable SLA. As such, most hosters just take in whoever seems capable of paying, content be damned. When they get a takedown notice, they shut the por
  • Texan-style! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dougmc (70836) <dougmc+slashdot@frenzied.us> on Saturday October 09, 2004 @05:10PM (#10481287) Homepage
    It only takes a Hotmail account to bring a website down, and freedom of speech stands no chance in front of the Texan-style private ISP justice.
    Living in Texas, I'm not sure what constitutes `Texan-style private ISP justice'. Perhaps Sjoera Nas could explain?

    Certainly, ISPs here have been known to overreact to complaints before (and the DMCA gives them specific guidelines that they *must* follow, no matte how unfounded the complaint is) but last I checked, this wasn't specific to Texas. But perhaps these Europeans know something about Texas that I do not ...

  • To do something like this at random intervals to see just what ISPs will do when faced with someone claiming to have a patent, copyright, or other legal contract on a piece of art, publication, etc. All ISPs should check into the claim (like one did) to see if it's valid or not.

    If ISPs are so eager to remove potentially offending material, someone could use this as a DOS attack on a commercial website by claiming to own "copyrighted" material on a company's website to the ISP. Those with knee jerk reacti
  • by mOoZik (698544) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @05:11PM (#10481302) Homepage
    But when I was new to PayPal, I and some friends of mine receive spoof emails. I thought to make it known that such a thing was going around (again, I was a newb.) I removed the offending part from the email (the form submit), added a giant notice indicating it was an example or a phish scam, and put on my site. I forwarded the site to my friends.

    The next day, my site was taken offline. PayPal didn't even look at the content: they chose to contact my ISP, which didn't even put up a fight, and to put a hold on my account, without any sort of consent on my part.

  • About XS4ALL (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 09, 2004 @05:12PM (#10481303)
    I'm not surprised at all at XS4ALL's behavior. This is the same ISP that went to court [xs4all.nl] to defend one of their customer's rights to host the Fishman Affidavit (a collection of high-level Scientologist documents).

    I'm glad that there are companies out there who are willing to stand up for their users when they are right, going so far as to take the heat in court. XS4ALL won the case, too, and the Fishman Affidavit is still hosted there for all to see.
  • by 88NoSoup4U88 (721233) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @05:21PM (#10481360) Homepage
    XS4ALL was the first ISP in the Netherlands ; founded in 1993; and setup by hackers.

    2 of the 4 founders of XS4ALL were editors at HackTic ; a paperprinted Slashdot at the time;) http://www.hacktic.nl/

    They were succesfull from the first day that they started selling internet access to the consumer ; and kinda set first foot in that area, dragging alot of new ISP's into the market over the years.

    Currently they are one of the more expensive ISP's around ; but the whole company radiates the Google-vision : 'do no evil'.

    Their customer service was one of the best i -ever- had ; I only found out later that most of their helpdesk are actually screened for -really- knowing about computers ; instead of reading from an autocue all day long.

  • My experience (Score:3, Interesting)

    by acidrain69 (632468) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @05:38PM (#10481443) Journal
    activewebhosting.com decided to pull my site just because there were MP3's on it. MP3's that I had permission to store.
  • DIY (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tverbeek (457094) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @05:41PM (#10481459) Homepage
    This is one of the many reasons I host my own sites, and how I got into the business of hosting sites for friends who want a person they can trust doing it. I didn't like the one-sided contract terms and the poor service I was getting from hosting providers, so I set up my own shop. A little Apache, some Postfix, and a dash of BIND in a Linux stew, and I was cooking for myself. So now if someone sends a take-down notice to the company hosting my web site... it'll come to me.

    Granted, I'm still dependent on someone else for connectivity itself, but I found a pretty good DSL provider with terms I can live with, so as long as I keep my systems are zombie free and I don't do anything stupid enough to get an actual court order sent to my DSL provider, I'm pretty safe from this kind of crap (at least more than I was before). And I got broadband service to my house in the process.

    I realise it's not an option for a lot of people, but if you want something done right...

  • As a curiosity: MultaTuli sounds funny for the finns because it means a couple of things in Finnish (really does):

    1) DirtFire
    2) ICame (sexually)
    3) FireFromMe
    4) DirtArrived

    Pick your favourite. I prefer the number 2.

    • by bbc (126005) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @06:03PM (#10481583)
      It's Latin, it means "I have suffered much". His most famous work is Max Havelaar, a fictionalized autobiography that had to serve as an indictment of the mistreatment of natives in the Dutch colony of Indonesia, where Multatuli (pseud. of E.D. Dekker) was a minor official.

    • by dajak (662256)
      In Latin Multatuli means something like 'I have suffered a lot'. It is the pseudonym of a former colonial administrator, famous in the Netherlands for exposing the cruelty of Dutch rule in Indonesia for the first time. I don't think this author knew Finnish.

      Multatuli is standard fare in Dutch schools, and every Dutchman ought to know that it is a century old. It is clear that the people who took down the website do not have the faintest clue about copyright, or are not Dutch.
  • by Indy1 (99447) <spamtrap@fuckedregime.com> on Saturday October 09, 2004 @06:01PM (#10481567) Homepage
    UPC (aka chello) ignore all complaints, valid or not, including spam complaints.

    see for yourself

    Chello.nl [spamhaus.org]

    Chello.at [spamhaus.org]
  • Until you vote (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Saturday October 09, 2004 @06:32PM (#10481769) Journal
    the people responsible for these kind of things out of office, this is the future you can expect.
  • by Mustang Matt (133426) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @06:48PM (#10481915)
    A potential legal battle is never profitable for an ISP. Why even take the risk?
  • Can You Blame Them? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by superultra (670002) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @07:44PM (#10482340) Homepage
    Say you're the ISP in this situation. It makes more sense to take it down than it does to leave it up. What do you gain for just leaving it up after receiving a dispute? Nothing, really. What do you have to lose if you continue host something that is truly under copyright? A lot more. The potential for more work is there by leaving it up than there is for merely taking it down.

    Now, I'm not saying this is right. But there has to be a better incentive than "the good of all humanity" to protect fair use.
    • by mikefe (98074)
      If it cut into my business, I would immediately switch to another ISP and sue the origional ISP for damages if I could.

      Why leave it up? Because if you don't you customer can sue you if it weren't for the TOS.

      Why take it down? Because the "copyright holder" can sue you and you TOS can't help you there.
  • by fluor2 (242824) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @08:12PM (#10482510)
    There was an anti-spam attempt made by a group from Europe. They created a service called anti-spam, which constantly loaded gifs/jpgs from the spam-sites, making traffic go high. these were published on normal http sites in europe.

    Suddenly mails were sent to owners about that the http spread warez and similar. My guess is that the spam-sites created fake mails about this, and after 3 hours the site was closed.

    I guess we need a better way of dealing with this.
  • by cybrangl (621520) on Saturday October 09, 2004 @10:07PM (#10483133)
    I'm not sure this is a fair test. Under the DMCA, the ISP must take down the material within (I think) 72 hours to maintain immunity. The site owner can respond in 10 days to deny the charges and the ISP can put it back up with immunity. Now I'm not saying that the DMCA is the correct way to do things, and I really don't condone the idea of handing out personal information without a court order, but this "test" doesn't tell us anything except that ISPs don't want to get into legal trouble. Surprise, surprise.
  • Multatuli (Score:3, Funny)

    by ortcutt (711694) on Sunday October 10, 2004 @12:21AM (#10483693)
    This is probably the most exposure that Multatuli has had in 100 years. I believe that in parts of Europe they refer to Fair Trade coffee as Max Havelaar coffee though.

"Just the facts, Ma'am" -- Joe Friday

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