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Illegal File Trading Draws Two P2P Raids In Europe 816

Posted by timothy
from the but-it's-our-perfect-right-except-wait-hold-on dept.
had3l writes "Police in Finland raided the operation of a popular Bit Torrent site and arrested 34 people, 30 of which were volunteers who helped moderate the site. This comes right after the MPAA reported that it would start suing tracker servers." An anonymous reader points to a story (currently at the top of RespectP2P.org's homepage) about the raid yesterday morning of Dutch eDonkey sites Releases4u and Shareconnector.
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Illegal File Trading Draws Two P2P Raids In Europe

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  • Tin Foil (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JustinRLynn (831164)
    Hmmm, no wish to upset but if it starts in other countries no doubt the MPAA and RIAA will try it here (with the help of their favorite police depts, of course)
    • Why do I have visions of SWAT teams busting down doors with automatic weapons at the ready into rooms of nervous nerds sitting at computer screens sort of akin to the Elian Gonzalez photos?
    • by sgant (178166) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:37AM (#11091987) Homepage Journal
      I do it every week. Yes, I know it's illegal. Yes I know I probably won't be able to in the future with the draconian laws coming down.

      I have a special circumstance though. I live out in the middle of no where. I don't get broadcast TV except on one station...I do on the other hand get high-speed DSL.

      Now I COULD get Comcast cable, but since I only watch 4 tv shows a week, I'm not going to be paying 50 bucks a month (yes, 50 bucks here even for just plain basic). Not to mention Comcast likes to raise their rates at the drop of a hat.

      Dish services are also out because the number of trees they can't get a good signal, I've tried. SO that leaves me with downloading these TV shows.

      But what the TV networks are missing out on is that THEY should offer torrents of their shows right from their web pages. If they throw in the regular commercials how is this different than just watching it over the airwaves? I would download them in a heartbeat and gladly watch their commercials if they did this. Why are so uptight about this? They should be like "hell, download all you wish and trade them with your friends...as long as the commercials are still there we're still making our money...and we could also target advertising better for people that download and that could generate even more money blah blah blah..."

      Movies though, I don't download at all. Never have, never will.
  • by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:24AM (#11091860) Homepage Journal
    ... by having moderators. If you've got moderators, and they're making absolutely no attempt to curtail copyright infringement, you're pretty much asking to be considered an accessory. No "common carrier" defense if you're actively deleting and moderating your sites content.

    Idiots.
    • At least here in Holland, website owners are responsible for the content of their website, even if the content originated from users. That this process is fully automated and unchecked does not relief them from that responsibility.

      The 'common carrier defense' does not hold, as it is publishing, not carrying, what is going on. For the same reason, a newspaper cannot publish all ads regardless of content, defending themselves by saying they have a policy of not checking them.
  • by Anita Coney (648748) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:24AM (#11091861) Homepage
    When you can sign up for Netflix and get them delivered to your home for about 66 cents each!

    Maybe I'm just lucky, but where I live I can get 14 movies delivered a week with Netflix's 8 movies at a time plan.

    • When you can sign up for Netflix and get them delivered to your home for about 66 cents each!

      I have a couple reasons why:

      1. I don't want to be on a monthly payment plan ($17.99 or something) where I have to get 7 movies in that month in order to be paying less than renting the movies at the video store.

      2. Netflix's commercials annoy me. Standing in line at a store? Who the fuck does that? I have never waited to rent a movie and honestly, putting them into the mail takes longer for me than does goin
      • by Anita Coney (648748) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:34AM (#11091959) Homepage
        "I don't want to be on a monthly payment plan"

        I have no problem paying a monthly payment plan as long as I'm getting movies that I want. 66 cents per movie is cheap whether it is paid monthly or not.

        "Netflix's commercials annoy me."

        All commercials annoy me. But I still buy products regardless.

        "Downloading movies is free. 66 cents each still costs more than downloading them."

        But you're downloading crap. I'm getting the actual movie and can rip it myself, with all the menus, audio tracks, and bonus material intact. You never know what you're getting when you've wasted the time to download.

        "They come in a format that is all ready to be played on your computer (if you so desire) instead of having to wait to convert the 4GB to that format yourself."

        You don't consider the time spent downloading it waiting?! It' takes me about ten minutes to rip the DVD to my hard drive. Can you really download an entire movie in ten minutes?!

        • According to my cost accounting, a downloaded movie costs about $1. It's $.20 for depreciation and electricity for your computer (I live in a place with $.18/kwh electricity), $.40 for your bandwidth, and $.40 for a CDR.
        • I have no problem paying a monthly payment plan as long as I'm getting movies that I want. 66 cents per movie is cheap whether it is paid monthly or not.

          For an avid movie watcher (and I consider 6 movies a month avid) I can't see the need to pay a monthly fee EVERY MONTH when I might not be receiving enough movies for it to be worth it.

          All commercials annoy me. But I still buy products regardless.

          That's your problem. I refuse to support a company that I find annoying.

          But you're downloading crap. I'
      • by Anonymous Custard (587661) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:49AM (#11092104) Homepage Journal
        1. I don't want to be on a monthly payment plan ($17.99 or something) where I have to get 7 movies in that month in order to be paying less than renting the movies at the video store.

        That's fine, use the video store like you said you do.

        2. Netflix's commercials annoy me. Standing in line at a store? Who the fuck does that? I have never waited to rent a movie and honestly, putting them into the mail takes longer for me than does going to the video store that's less than two miles away.

        Most people live closer to a mailbox (usually their own mailbox) than a video store.

        3. Downloading movies is free. 66 cents each still costs more than downloading them.

        You missed the key point... Netflix is legitimate and legal, but downloading (for free) almost never is. Plus depending on your internet connection speed and the server's download speed, it could take a lot of time or effort to download the movie. You could work an hour fixing someone's computer and charge $20 and rent 4x $5 movies, but I doubt you could find and download good quality versions of 4 movies in an hour. Plus if you're looking for unpopular movies, it would be very difficult to find them.

        4. They come in a format that is all ready to be played on your computer (if you so desire) instead of having to wait to convert the 4GB to that format yourself.

        Your computer can't play DVD's? Why not? If you have a DVD drive to rip them, then you have a DVD drive to play them. (and yes Linux machines can too [digital-digest.com]).
    • Ah, but if you have a DVD burner you can make a list of the movies you want copied, and go crazy copying. Then you just keep the account until your done with your list, and then maybe once a year you can go buy that one movie thats actually worth paying $16 for.
    • Because here:

      1. Netflix is not available
      2. Downloading is legal, copying rented movies isn't
      3. Bandwidth is cheaper than renting movies

      FWIW, I rent my movies.
    • Try hours. I can pull down a DVDR on this shitty DSL connection of mine in 12-16 hours via BitTorrent.
    • First of all, I love Netflix myself - but no matter how much you mess with the queue you are not going to get a movie before it is released. Sometiems I like to fetch movies on DVD before they are released (even after I've watched them in theaters!) to replay a few scenes. As you say it can takea while, so I usually only do with with movies I plan to buy anyway - if I'm interested enough to download it, I'm intersted enough to buy it. They just don't make movies avaailiable as soon as they should (i.e.
  • Ars3 Hum0r (Score:5, Funny)

    by webword (82711) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:25AM (#11091864) Homepage
    "The Motion Picture Ass. of America (MPAA) today announced (PDF) that it is pursuing civil actions against hundreds of server operators of BitTorrent, eDonkey and DirectConnect P2P file-swapping networks, in its war on internet movie piracy."

    Emphasis mine but "Ass." is theirs.
  • WinMX warnings (Score:5, Informative)

    by kahei (466208) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:26AM (#11091874) Homepage

    On WinMX (which isn't as good as it used to be, which is why I dare mention it on /.), recently I have started to get automatic messages sent to me (in Japanese) saying something like:

    "The Recording Industry Association of Japan has noticed that you are sharing files whose names match artists or recordings owned by our members. You are reminded that such..." and so on and so on.

    I got a couple of these in one day -- haven't run WinMX recently though so I don't know if they are still happening. It would be interesting to try sharing only files with ASCII names and see if that makes a difference.

  • by lcsjk (143581) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:27AM (#11091883)
    This problem will continue, and we do not want to have any P2P curtailed because large companies and organizations have political clout. I do not think it will ever be stopped by lawsuits, and even though the MPAA and others may be over-reacting, there is still a perception that digital media sharing circumvents the legal selling of products. Is there a way to slow or stop the sharing of music and video that would appease the those companies and yet not bring down the P2P system?
    • The Movie Mafia is addicted to high profits.
      They pitch it as "Own it today" like you would a book but don't want you to copy it.
      So that means they are Licensing it but they will not recognize that you have already
      paid for your license when the media fails or gets lost.

      Either way they will loose:
      -If they loose control: They will get less $ for their movies.
      -If they get absolute control: People will start making their own movies and will get NO $.
  • The Motion Picture Ass. of America (MPAA) today announced

    "Ass. of America"? Hmmm. I doubt that was unintentional...

  • by BJZQ8 (644168) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:28AM (#11091899) Homepage Journal
    Insert Comment about star systems slipping through your fingers...
  • TV Torrents (Score:5, Insightful)

    by superid (46543) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:29AM (#11091901) Homepage
    The gathering storm against bittorrent users has already started to worry me. I have been using suprnova to find torrents of TV shows only, no movies. I'm essentially time shifting content that I could almost as easily have "tivo"-ed myself.

    A recent example is that a friend of mine missed last week's episode of her favorite show, ER. I got a torrent the next day and burned her a DVD.

    I wish that type of usage was considered "fair use" but it's not.
    • A recent example is that a friend of mine missed last week's episode of her favorite show, ER. I got a torrent the next day and burned her a DVD.

      I haven't been downloading much lately just because I have DirecTV and Tivo now but I downloaded this week's Simpsons' and Arrested Development episodes because they were both preempted by Survivor's off-night finale bullshit.

      Fox should be fucking thrilled that I am watching their shows and would go so far as to download the episodes to keep current.

      I really do
    • by bongoras (632709) * on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:51AM (#11092119) Homepage
      A recent example is that a friend of mine missed last week's episode of her favorite show, ER. I got a torrent the next day and burned her a DVD.

      I bet she still won't sleep with you, though.. :-)
  • BREIN (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thrill12 (711899) * on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:29AM (#11091906) Journal
    BREIN (Dutch for BRAIN) is the little sister of the MPAA. They kinda follow their actions and immitate them as closely as possible, I guess. They even have a commercial in the Dutch cinema's, bothering people that pay for good movies with blah blah about piracy.

    Next time I bring my camera with me, I will film the commercial :)
  • The Wild West (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:31AM (#11091915)
    A lot of people have said that the ongoing copyright crackdown represents the end of the sort of "Wild West" nature that the internet had at first.

    I disagree.

    This represents the wild west nature finally becoming complete.

    Previously the internet was a place of lawlessness.

    Now it's still a place of lawlessness, but on top of this we have little tyrannies, where those rare people with lawyers can make anything they want happen just by issuing threats and governments can take things out at will without having to worry about pesky things like jurisdiction, right or courts. Like the wild west, where on top of the chaos it was overlaid that if whatever self-appointed lawman felt like it you would get hanged or shot for no reason at all.

    Perhaps this comes down to how you define the word "laws"; after all, there have been many times throughout justice where "law" meant nothing but the imposed will on a subjugated populace of a bunch of armed thugs. But I think laws imply justice. I see none of this coming to the internet, only the raw exercise of naked power.
    • Re:The Wild West (Score:5, Insightful)

      by duffbeer703 (177751) * on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:41AM (#11092030)
      The "Wild West" was untimately transformed into dysfunctional sprawl development & government subsidized desert farming operations.

      Sounds like a great future for the internet.
    • Re:The Wild West (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 3terrabyte (693824) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @10:06AM (#11092252) Journal
      Anyone with any age on them will remember what it was like typing away on a green text screen, chatting with someone from Hong Kong for the first time.

      The "Last frontier" is just about over. This Wild West as you put it is now becoming the new medium for corporations. Again.

      The last nail will be when censorship laws (to protect the children) and Palladium authenication becomes law. Or even the bit-tax. It won't take long until doing anythign worthwhile online will cost through the nose, and the content bullies finally push away their 'competition'. Maybe it'll take a $1000 license to own a web site, much like trying to do anything with radio waves.

  • Waste of time (Score:5, Interesting)

    by new-black-hand (197043) <nik AT techcrunch DOT com> on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:32AM (#11091929) Homepage
    MPAA did not win a single court case in 2004. Groskter was found to be legal, and there are a number of previous rulings that show that providing technology that enables people to share files does not constitute breach of copyright! The RIAA and ARIA (Australian equiv.) are seeing this now in their Kazaa case currently underway in Australia - and if a case can not be proven against Kazaa (which still has some elements of centralisation that could provide Kazaa with a way to 'filter' or 'block' copyright material) then the chances of being able to find that a simple website with links to trackers (which themselves are not a copyright infringement either - just a 'pointer') are guilty of copyright violation are almost zero.

    Time for the record labels and movie studios to wake up to themselves - they are alienating a large part of their support base. All the expenses of lobbying various governments around the world, and the associated legal fees around every case is being paid for, and funded by consumers who purchase their records!

    They should listen to the overpaid Robbie Williams, who said something along the lines of "I dont care, I am rich, if yo uwant my music, just download it!" (He said this in 2002 - I can't find an online source).

    • Re:Waste of time (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Macka (9388)

      Time for the record labels and movie studios to wake up to themselves - they are alienating a large part of their support base.

      Are they really? I mean, you'd expect it right ... but is this a truism, or just modern legend and wishful thinking on your part? Does anyone have any stats to back up this claim?

      I've seen a lot of people state when asked, that if they download tracks and like them then they go and buy the Album. That the justification for free downloads is try-and-buy. Do the actions of the

    • by upside (574799) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @10:55AM (#11092773) Journal
      The crime investigation unit together with local units is investigating the extensive distribution of films, music and other material on the Internet as a suspected intellectual property crime. Numerous home searches have been conducted around Finland as part of the investigation.

      The case involves the distribution of copyrighted material using the BitTorrent-p2p application, which is used to share files between users. Registration is required to access the network [Sic, they are mixing up finreactor with bt]. When a user downloads material on offer, he also becomes a distributor for other users who are downloading the file. The maximum penalty for an intellectual property crime is two years' imprisonment, and these kinds of crimes often involve payment for damages.

      Distributed materials included among other things films, music, software and games for a total of about 6000 titles. One title may have contained for example a single CD, the entire back catalog of an artist or several films. The network has been used to distribute material worth many millions of euros.

      Four administrators and 30 moderators are from around Finland are suspected of maintaining the network. The network has had an estimated 10 000 users, presumably all Finnish.

      The early investigative part of the case will take many months.

      Apologies for the awkward translation. Don't know the equivalent legal terms in English that well so some meanings are probably lost. Don't turn me in for pilfering their text.
  • by zalle (637380)
    What's completely, utterly amazing that there hasn't been a single mention of the incident in the news of any of the tv channels, nor anything in the major papers either. For a while there was a short item on the site of Helsingin Sanomat (the largest paper in Finland) but that was taken away after an hour or so. Makes you suspect that the police might actually be controlling any reporting on the subject? Guess that's it for truly independent mass media in Finland.
    • "What's completely, utterly amazing that there hasn't been a single mention of the incident in the news of any of the tv channels, nor anything in the major papers either."

      Yes, there was.

      "Makes you suspect that the police might actually be controlling any reporting on the subject?"

      No, it doesn't.

      "Guess that's it for truly independent mass media in Finland."

      Troll.

  • PR Blitz! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by NoSuchGuy (308510)
    The *AAs see this as a success in their "crusade" against "pirates".

    Remember: Moderating on websites may impact your criminal record.

  • A Vaild Argument? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by s7uar7 (746699) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:34AM (#11091964) Homepage
    Has anyone actually fought the RIAA cases, or have they all been settled out of court? If I understand it correctly, they are suing people who are sharing files, not those downloading, and they are asking for $x per file shared. Wouldn't it be valid to ask them to prove how long you spent connected to the p2p network and then multiply this by your available bandwidth. That way you may be able to argue that you could only possibly have uploaded a certain number of songs, regardless of how many you were sharing. Sure, you may still end up paying a couple of hundred bucks, but that's far better than the few thousand I've read about.
  • Maybe the law in Finland is quite different, by why would the police carry out such a raid? There are no criminal offences involved. There are no laws being broken, no crimes being committed right?

    If the industry wants to sue someone that's civil action as I understand it.

    Are the police becoming the henchmen for the corporations? Man, that would scare the shit out of me.

    Maybe the cops should be, oh I dunno... stopping dangerous people, who carry out assault, rape, murder, abductions... nah, that's too ea
    • See my other post.

      They took money ('donations') for access to the site. That makes it a crime. With max 2 years in the can, plus any damages to the studios/software companies.

      But you are right, the case does have lots of question marks. Basically it'a test case for Finland. If it ultimately goes nowhere, expect tighter laws as an answer.
  • by museumpeace (735109) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:36AM (#11091981) Journal
    that /. kicked around last week about "how could you prosecute BitTorrent since no one person is holding or moving whole copies of the copied works?"
    I have to ask, since the article points out that police are also striking at eDonkey servers, when the cops are going to be knocking on my door. My son and half the kids in his dorm are swapping/swiping movies like crazy with eDonkey. All of a sudden it looks like I have to get knowledgable about my liability when he brings his computer home for the Christmas break.
    • The MPAA are, and the police in this case were going after the sites that host .torrent files, and whatever edonkey/emule uses to initiate transfers. So as long as your son wasn't running an actual eDonkey server (he was just simply a peer) out of his dorm room you should be fine.

      You'll want to ask him if he is or not, it's not that hard - I set up a BT tracker on my campus LAN, and restricted IP access to only those from campus. Result: Very fast, semi-trusted file sharing network.

      --J
    • I doubt they have resources to take on the Joe Random Leecher.

      And in this case there is a small critical detail - cops have proof that the admins took money ('donations') for access to the tracker.

      Basically, indirectly, they were selling warez.

      Selling warez is bad.
    • I have to ask, since the article points out that police are also striking at eDonkey servers, when the cops are going to be knocking on my door. My son and half the kids in his dorm are swapping/swiping movies like crazy with eDonkey.

      File swapping on eDonkey is not the same thing as running an eDonkey server. The network uses an architecture similar to napster, where there are numerous central servers that hold a cache of the list of files their clients are sharing and send back IPs that match any reques
  • Advertisments for very well known companies are appearing on the biggest torrent sites. The money from these companies is the reason why downloading movies is easy enough to become mainstream. Without this money casual users may well be put off, as the process of finding torrents would become more obviously illegal and more difficult.
  • Few major details (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jarnis (266190) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:39AM (#11092004)
    - Finreactor (the finnish siten in question) admins solicted for 'donations' - in other words, took money for access to torrent trackers. Also the tracker required registration, and kept 'ratios' for each user. Heck, the *bank account number* of the site was in plain view asking for donations directly to the bank account of the admins. In other words, the activity was very very stupid.

    - By Finnish law, the crime becomes 'tekijänoikeusrikos' instead of 'rikkomus' when money is involved. The difference is that for the lesser crime, maximum penalty is just fines - and I doubt police could even get search warrants for the lesser offense.

    But in this case since money is involved, and prosecution will claim that there was a goal for financial gain, and it becomes a bigger crime (max 2 years in the can). And suddenly it's easy for the police to get all the details they need from ISPs & search warrants for the busts.

    So in other words: Taking money (even if it's just 'donations' to cover tracker bandwidth) is a nice way to get your ass in jail.

    The case does have few murky details - they cannot prosecute everyone (over 10000 users supposedly), and distributing the .torrents themselves is a gray area thing. Admins definitely facilitated copyright violations, but... how illegal that is? Can they be strung up for what their users did? It's a test case for P2P in Finland. I think the fact that the admins took money for access to the site will nail their asses for *something*, but the rest is still up in the air.
    • by upside (574799) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @10:40AM (#11092585) Journal
      "rikos" == crime
      "rikkomus" == misdemeanour

      The police must think they have grounds for proving this is a crime, a misdemeanour wouldn't be sufficient to warrant seizing equipment.

      It isn't actually illegal (yet) for a natural person to copy material for personal use in Finland, but making it available is. This affects the users.

      Secondly, the administrators were aware of and facilitating illegal activity. If you know about illegal activity and don't report it, you're alredy over the line.

      The money aspect is probably the biggest issue here.

      I've read suggestions that some users' machines were trojaned by a security company employed by the entertainment industry to help gather evidence. If this is true it could add an interesting spin. If this was illegal it won't nullify the evidence (as in the US) but could be very bad publicity for the entertainment industry at the very least.
  • by goneutt (694223) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:39AM (#11092009) Journal
    I know that the boards of the media companies get group chubbies when ever someone suggest systems where they don't have to produce products, hence the cooperation with iTunes.
    They dream of the day when no one owns physical media, but instead pays a per use fee to listen or view media.

    Also, as long as I can't rent Troma movies at BlockBuster I'm gonna find them on P2P networks. Oh, and if it's not utter garbage I wind up buying them.
  • Mistranslation (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    "Police in Finland raided the operation of a popular Bit Torrent site and arrested 34 people, 30 of which were volunteers who helped moderate the site.
    Register or someone else mistranslated original text. They are suspecting 4 admins plus 30 "powerusers", nobody has been arrested yet. Yesterday police raided admins' houses and seized their computers.

    Apparently putting "donations" button to tracker-page got them badly screwed, since now they're were getting direct or indirect monetary benefit for running
  • by hacker (14635) <hacker@gnu-designs.com> on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:41AM (#11092024)

    One argument I see again and again with this, is that "they never possessed the original copyrighted materials, only the torrent file", but that isn't entirely true.

    In order to create the .torrent file, you have to have the full original source material. Someone had the original source material (movie, dvd, software, game, etc.) and created the .torrent file from that source material. This person then must have given that .torrent file to the tracker server itself (or the person who created the .torrent is running the tracker themselves).

    In fact, since the .torrent file has to directly contain the URL of the tracker itself, you can't simply "upload" the .torrent to a tracker and have it function, unless you know the exact tracker URL that server uses to host its torrent files. If you want to put a .torrent on 10 trackers, you have to create 10 separate .torrent files. You can't reuse the same .torrent file for all 10 trackers.

    This means the tracker operator and the people providing torrents are collaborating in some way, or the tracker is publishing its tracker URL to facilitate people creating torrent files for it, from copyrighted source materials.

    Its a little greyer than originally thought.

    • In fact, since the .torrent file has to directly contain the URL of the tracker itself, you can't simply "upload" the .torrent to a tracker and have it function, unless you know the exact tracker URL that server uses to host its torrent files. If you want to put a .torrent on 10 trackers, you have to create 10 separate .torrent files. You can't reuse the same .torrent file for all 10 trackers.

      You are wrong.

      I take it you've never heard of multi-tracker torrent files.

      Using "announce-list" is an extensio

  • by Corellon Larethian (833606) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:41AM (#11092031)
    It provides the proper de-centralizing stimulus.

    What if George Washington had been captured and executed by the British? Was the Revolution de-centralized enough to survive his loss? Is America's democracy de-centralized enough to survive the poor quality of Diebolds voting machines?

    Stuff like this will benefit change, not only in America, but in China and Iran, as well. In those countries, the kids in the universities might be apprehended and clubbed to death by the Moral Police, at any given minute. But with sufficient security and de-centralization, they can still communicate with the outside world. Enough to possibly, one day, bring decent living conditions to the culture of power which uses and discards people as you would a tool.

    This is a good thing. Good changes have never come easy, or with a consensus.

    I'm still waiting for Palladium. I think that will be one of the best changes, for the good of all Humanity.
  • Raid in france (Score:2, Informative)

    by treuf (99331)
    Source : http://fr.news.yahoo.com/041215/1/46m9q.html

    ALPA (french RIAA) - with the RIAA help, and police today closed a bittorrent hosting site (http://torrent.youceff.com) holding many copyrighted movies.
    That site was hosted in France and a court order was sent to catch peoples using the service at the same time - it seems they logged 160000 unique IPs.

    Under local lows, the site admin can get up to 3 years of jail + an up to 300000 fine.
  • In 100 years... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:46AM (#11092069)
    In 100 years, when people read about these events in history books rather than newspapers, it's going to seem totally insane... our police forces chasing after and persecuting people for what essentially amounts to the distribution of ideas. If only the rest of the world could see it from a historical perspective. When we look back on the witch hunts of a few hundred years ago, we wonder how the masses ever got themselves set on such a self-destructive course, and why they allowed it to continue for so long. But when you're caught up in the drama of it all, it's sometimes hard to imagine life in any other way. So how long will we allow these witch hunts over intellectual property to continue?
    • Re:In 100 years... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Eric_Cartman_South_P (594330) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @10:32AM (#11092499)
      In 100 years, when people read about these events in history books

      In 100 years, who says you will be allowed access those history books?

    • Re:In 100 years... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by stubear (130454)
      "...for what essentially amounts to the distribution of ideas."

      Wrong, wrong, wrong. Ideas CANNOT be copyrighted, only the expression of an idea can. This is a VERY important distinction to understand and clearly you do not. Once I've fixed my expression of an idea in a tangible form it's mine. You can still express this very same idea in a different way and not violate my copyright. A great example of this is the way Pixar and Dreamworks both did films about ants. A Bug's Life and Antz both told the
    • Re:In 100 years... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MrMickS (568778) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @10:37AM (#11092558) Homepage Journal
      our police forces chasing after and persecuting people for what essentially amounts to the distribution of ideas.
      In the case of movies a great many people earn a living from making these. I'm not talking about the stars, the actors, the directors etc. I am talking about the set builders, the costume makers, the musicians etc. To me that's more than just ideas.

      All of these ideas have a cost generated with producing them and real people, rather than faceless entities, that earn a living from their production. Anyone can have an idea, to dismiss all things as mere ideas once work is done to convert them into something more tangible, de-values the work of the people that carried it out.

      The logic conclusion of your hypothesis is that the distribution of idea and derived works should be free regardless of the wish of the creator. I am assuming because of some right of the individual to those ideas and derived works. What of the rights of the creator?

  • by TrollBridge (550878) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @09:46AM (#11092074) Homepage Journal
    What are YOU doing to protect P2P?

    Let's face it, there are a lot of people out there who are using P2P to illegally acquire and distribute copywrited materials.

    P2P is being threatened, not only by corporate executives and ignorant congresscritters, but by people who abuse the technology. P2P will be outlawed outright unless the legitimate users of P2P networks start policing their own.

    How? Well that's a good question. A willingness to admit that there is a problem would be a good place to start.
    • What are YOU doing to protect FTP?

      Let's face it, there are a lot of people out there who are using FTP to illegally acquire and distribute copywrited [sic] materials.

      FTP is being threatened, not only by corporate executives and ignorant congresscritters, but by people who abuse the technology. FTP could be outlawed outright unless the legitimate users of the FTP protocol start policing their own. Couldn't it?

      (In case it's not obvious, the above is sarcasm. Neither FTP nor P2P is in any danger of being
  • by muffen (321442) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @10:16AM (#11092366)
    ... this [thepiratebay.org] is how likely it is that they will be able to shut down the largest bittorrent tracker in the world (and the answer to the question you are thinking about is no, that site is not a tracker) :)
  • by kiddcreole (840558) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @10:27AM (#11092459)
    OK, someone in here has to play Devil's advocate and take the side of the RIAA/MPAA/etc (at least for a little bit!) Regardless of whether or not we like it, think it's fair, or intend on abiding by it, the rules say it's illegal. Same goes for speed limits. I think there are places where the speed limit that is posted is absolutely ridiculous, and (most times) I knowingly choose to ignore it and go the speed I think to be appropriate. Most times, I don't get caught, but when I do, I have no grounds to argue or complain about it. There is a law, I broke it, I need to be an adult about it and accept my punishment. That fine will determine my willingness to speed again. (It hasn't stopped me thus far! heh heh) Same goes for file sharing. If you get caught, you can bitch and complain about unfair, or technicalities but fact of the matter is there is a copyright law and if you are sharing copyrighted files you are breaking this law. As for the banter about copying rented or Netflix movies versus downloading, they are both still violation of copyright law, regardless of which is cheaper, easier, quicker, etc. Everyone just needs to admit to themselves that what they are doing is illegal and quit trying to justify it or explain it away. Now, this all being said, I agree that the laws are crazy. I also will say that they can sue people, arrest people, confiscate as many servers as they want, and the fact of the matter is, file sharing will never go away as long as we have an internet. Yesterday it was Napster. Today it's BitTorrent. Tomorrow it's ??? As long as FTP is a valid protocol, we will always be able to "share" files. And as long as I am participating in any of it, I am taking the risk of being caught...same as speeding. The post I agree with most is that rather than try to fight the beast, the powers that be should instead embrace the digital era and offer cheaper downloads, or some such. I think iTunes did a wonderful thing, and I think the MPAA should take note and follow suit. Will it stop file sharing and copyright infringement? No, but at least it's a way for them to get back some of their "losses". I would be more inclined to purchase a movie download for $5-$10 LEGALLY than to run the risk of getting caught trying to get it for free. The industries have brought this on themselves for overpricing the media we purchase (which is why they are huge money making conglomerates). If they intend on stemming the flow of copyright violation from the gaping wound of P2P file sharing, they need to make an effort to slow the flow, rather than apply a tournaquet and in doing so, have to sever the limb of interest in their material. If they can get away with successfully prosecuting the torrent site, then they also need to bring litigation against the torrent site's ISP (for allowing copyrighted material to be sent across their service), the user's ISP (for allowing the user access to the torrent site), the user (for possessing copyrighted material...this same logic applies to getting busted with a stolen VCR, even if you didn't know it was stolen), the maker of the user's network card (provides the PC access to the network, in much the same way the torrent site provides access to the shared files), the cable modem/DSL router makers (same as for the network card makers), the Bell's (for providing the backbone for the data to pass across), and the list goes on and on! There are lots of pieces involved in the transferring these files. To think that taking out the torrent hosting sites will even put a dent in stopping this from happening is naive on their part. I sincerely hope that nothing comes of the raids in Finland. I don't see how it could, but throw the right amount of power and money at anything, and you will be amazed at the results. However, at the end of the day, we are all still criminals. Shame on us.
  • Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by brsmith4 (567390) <brsmith4@gmMENCKENail.com minus author> on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @12:20PM (#11093771)
    There is a lot of flaming going on here about the ethics of downloading these movies, etc, and not a lot of discussion about the implications of stated events. You might think that I'm one of those tin foil hat guys, but lets be serious.

    The problem as the RIAA/MPAA sees it, with regards to file sharing, is not that you are depriving them of profits or that you have broken copyright law. They take issue with the fact that long-term use of file sharing to distribute their media will curtail their plans for purely subscription based services.

    The RIAA, MPAA, cable companies, and other media companies are looking towards subscription based services where you are locked into a particular service. Right now, we have to pay a subscription fee to watch cable television. Its a steady, consistent form of income for the companies providing the service. The RIAA and MPAA would LOVE to migrate to subscription based services. Netflix and others are the beginning of this. Eventually, instead of getting DVDs in the mail, you will simply be able to punch it up on your TV for a monthly fee without the ability to copy it. Without an actual physical medium to distribute the content, copying becomes more difficult.

    The real problem lies with the fact that a company (MPAA) can make a threat, and half way around the world a police force raids some place and arrests 30 people for an offence that is actually a civil matter, not a criminal one. The fact that the police and government forces are butting into civil matters is extremely frightening. It is one more nail in the coffin for civil rights and for freedom.

    Call me crazy, but to me, this is the same thing as being arrested for slander. Sure, the person that I have slandered has every right to take me to court and work to receive compensation for my lies. But what right does the government have to come in and arrest you for it? There is a big difference between a civil offence and a criminal offence. It is a line that must be well defined in order to preserve individual liberties.
  • by ultranova (717540) on Wednesday December 15, 2004 @01:46PM (#11094904)

    As a citizen of the Republic of Finland, I have to say that I would feel a lot safer if the police would concentrate on catching real criminals (murderers, rapists, thiefs, muggers) and public nuisances (drunk drivers) who harm real people instead of going after a bunch of nerds whose only crime is that they may have lowered the potential profits of some media corporations by an undefinied amount.

    The police is hopelessly underfunded and understaffed as it is. They should be thankfull that someone is sitting in the front of their computer playing a warezed game, as opposed to driving over little children while drunk.

    Yes, I'm annoyed; it's my tax money that's being wasted here.

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