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Censorship Your Rights Online

Following up on Torrent Shutdowns 1166

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the whats-going-down dept.
dantheman82 and others have submitted a number of links about the recent closure of torrent mega sites like suprnova and torrentbits. The Unofficial Suprnova Closure FAQ comments that some torrent site maintainers have been arrested and that Suprnova was closed over fear of similiar fate. DeHavilland notes that the finnish police raided an unnamed torrent site. There's a lot of scary things here, but to me what is most scary is that American copyright owners can mobilize foreign police to do their bidding.
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Following up on Torrent Shutdowns

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  • by enoraM (749327) * on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @12:54PM (#11148553)
    > There's a lot of scary things here, but to me what is most scary is
    > that American copyright owners can mobilize foreign police to do their bidding.
    This would be scary, if you think that taking sites down was not just and legitimate. I don't know the facts about finish rights, but under german right suprnova could have been shut down.
    It's not always the US pushing and picking on people and maybe it is not in this case. At least I believe, that the finnish police made it's own independent decision.
    With Indymedia It actually seemed to be some tougher mobilizing:
    http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/04/10/07/204217.shtml? tid=153&tid=219 [slashdot.org] This may or may not be the case with suprnova.
    • by ultrabot (200914) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:01PM (#11148665)
      At least I believe, that the finnish police made it's own independent decision.

      That's what the Finnish police themselves say. What's interesting is that MPAA has been attempting to take the "credit" for the raid. Sure, everyone knows they are lying bastards, but one would expect them to pick lies that are not so easy to check...
      • by gilesjuk (604902) <giles,jones&zen,co,uk> on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:33PM (#11149230)
        What? people involved in the Hollywood taking a factual story and twisting it around to make it more exciting but factually incorrect? Wow, that's heavy :)
        • OWNED!!!!!! (Score:5, Funny)

          by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @05:58PM (#11152913) Homepage Journal
          http://www.silentdragz.net/suprfaq/ [silentdragz.net] is OWNED!

          The site now reads:

          OWNED BY YOGI! MOUAHAHAHAHAH

          You fucker steal artists !

          REAL FAQs ARE HERE AND HERE

          Greetz to : b, th*m*r[ChezLeCoiffeur], Croc-La-Pute

          FREE TORRENTS HERE

          I haven't included linkage... I think we've all seen gotse.cx.

          • Re:OWNED!!!!!! (Score:5, Informative)

            by CowboyMeal (614487) <nhauser@alu[ ]it.edu ['m.r' in gap]> on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @06:14PM (#11153129)
            Interesting. If you view the source, the FAQ is still there, they just commented it out.
          • Re:OWNED!!!!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by adeyadey (678765) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @08:03PM (#11154188) Journal
            Already? Could that be proof that the RIAA are hiring hackers? :-)

            First I will say that I am not interested in downloading the vast bulk of stuff out there - Its way less hassle just to hire the DVD or tape it off TV or whatever.

            However I have always found the whole idea that just providing *links* (going right back to Napster) is some sort of criminal or civil offence.

            Look at it this way. If you sell ripped off CDs or DVD at a market & get caught, thats a copyright offence - ok.

            But if I just say to someone "I know of a guy in such-and-such a place that sells ripped off CDs or DVD " - should just providing that info (or link) an offence? So why just limit the principle to Copyright? Why not *ANY* sort of offence? If you provide a link (for whatever reason, and by this logic maybe even inadvertently) to a place that is engaged in some "illegal" activity, that becomes an offence, right?

            Essentially we just end up with a situation of "legislation creep" where the bounds of law expand to such an extent that it is impossible to avoid breaking the law in some trivial way - and you can be arrested on the whim of the authorities.

            And have you noticed the ever swelling prison populations (increasingly harvested as cheap/slave labour) around the world - UK, USA, maybe China..

            Orwell anyone?
      • It's probably somewhere in between. The MPAA tries to get everyone to take action when possible. If anyone does take action, regardless of whether they even read what the MPAA sends them, the MPAA takes credit and feels good about itself.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:10PM (#11148843)

      This would be scary, if you think that taking sites down was not just and legitimate.

      No, it's scary full-stop. The problem isn't that the sites were shut down, it's that police have been arrseting people. This should be a civil matter, not a criminal one. I was under the impression that copyright infringement was only a criminal matter in the USA - what are local police doing getting involved? It should be lawyer letters to their ISP, not people with guns coming to take you away.


      • I don't know anything about Finnish law, but it's a criminal matter if Finnish law says it is.

        In the US, you are exposing yourself to civil *and* criminal penalties depending on the infringement.

        Look, mommy, I can Google! Here's a page at the US DOJ about it [usdoj.gov].
        • by Valiss (463641) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @03:09PM (#11150463) Homepage
          In the US, you are exposing yourself to civil *and* criminal penalties depending on the infringement.

          That's right, and you dont want us exposing ourselves.

    • by SlayerofGods (682938) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:16PM (#11148947)
      I don't know the facts about finish rights, but under german right suprnova could have been shut down.
      That's kind of funny, because under American law (yes the dreaded DMCA) suprnova was safe from lawsuits because it just acted like google as a clearing house for information and didn't actually run the trackers with infringing material.
      • A&M v. Napster (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tepples (727027)

        under American law (yes the dreaded DMCA) suprnova was safe from lawsuits because it just acted like google as a clearing house for information and didn't actually run the trackers with infringing material.

        Are you sure a judge wouldn't call it contributory infringement, relying on A&M v. Napster?

      • Wrong (Score:5, Informative)

        by DarkMan (32280) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @02:02PM (#11149589) Journal
        This particular fallacy needs to die.

        Under the DMCA, specifically the section 512(d), sets out the criteria under which the 'search engine ' examption applies. The following key points are worthy of note:

        Section 512, paragraph (d),

        A service provider shall not be liable ... if the service provider :

        part (1)(A) does not have actual knowledge that the material or activity is infringing;

        (B) in the absence of such actual knowledge, is not aware of facts or circumstances from which infringing activity is apparent; or

        (C) upon obtaining such knowledge or awareness, acts expeditiously to remove, or disable access to, the material;


        Thus, this can only apply if the site owners are never aware that the material they are indexing is infringing.

        A simple look at the front page of Suprnova.org is enough to belie that.

        If a site wished to claim 512(d) as a defense, they would have to demonstrate to the court that they did not know any of the material they indexed was infringing.

        Now, there might be a defense, under the multiple layers of abstraction, in that Suprnova indexed .torrents, which were merely pointers to the infringing data. That's nothing like a 'I'm just a search engine like Google' defense, however.

        Simple rule of thumb: If it's common knowledge that a site is were to look to find infringing materials, and is of little other use, 512(d) won't apply (on the grounds that it beggers belief that a site owner would have no grasp on _why_ so many people were using thier site).

        Disclaimer: You're not paying for this, this is not legal advice. If you want legal advice, contact a lawyer in your juristriction.
  • Irony? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @12:55PM (#11148570)
    please note that if you are viewing this faq at any other location than http://www.silentdragz.net/suprfaq then it is not authorised. please report it to this address, thank you.

    Isn't it slightly ironic [slashdot.org] a site, outlining the demise of a site to enable IP violations, is worried about someone stealing [slashdot.org] their IP?
    • Re:Irony? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by tomjen (839882) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:05PM (#11148758)
      How many times must it be said?
      It is not stealing it is copyrigth infrigment.
    • Re:Irony? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lothar97 (768215) * <owen.smigelski@org> on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:06PM (#11148782) Homepage Journal
      Isn't it slightly ironic a site, outlining the demise of a site to enable IP violations, is worried about someone stealing their IP?

      No it's not. Getting the word out that the 'official' FAQ is located at one address, then it's made known that other versions located elsewhere could be modified, changed, etc. I imagine there's a lot of disinformation flying around about this topic right now, and they want to make sure everyone knows where the proper resource is located.

    • Re:Irony? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SlayerofGods (682938)
      That's more of hypocrisy than irony.
      I sware, no one really knows what irony means.
  • numbers?? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by usernotfound (831691) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @12:55PM (#11148572)
    Someone should put up some stats about the change in internet traffic due to these sites being down. I'm sure somebody is in charge of a university network or something?

    If BT was accounting for 35% of traffic, what's it at now? Still declining?
    • Re:numbers?? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by casuist99 (263701) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:17PM (#11148950) Homepage Journal
      Unfortunately, the timing of Suprnova and other torrent sites shutting down corresponds to the end of the fall term for most universities - so there is bound to be a decrease in internet and p2p traffic ANYWAY. I'm sure **AA will take credit for it anyway.
    • Re:numbers?? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by adrew (468320)
      I work at a university and our traffic [uta.edu] seems to have remained about the same. The students tell me that most everything is blocked in the dorms, tho, so I'm not sure if we had much of a problem here anyway. But, yeah, here are some numbers. :)
  • by mOoZik (698544) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @12:56PM (#11148582) Homepage
    I mean, c'mon. They were ostentatiously peddling links to illegal stuff. It was only a matter of time until the MPAA got its act together to scare these sites into shutting down, with little more than a threat. The submission of these sites (pun unintended) is what's scary.

    • by Donoho (788900) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:05PM (#11148760) Homepage
      Yup, only a matter of time.

      But this has little to do with right and wrong and much more to do with balance of power. Those with money and infrastructure (MPAA is only an example) will do everything in their power to maintain control over profitable media. Are content producers being hurt by torrents? Marginally. I think a balance will be struck in the distant future where content providers and consumers interact directly, with publishers taking diminished (not eliminated) role. Half-Life 2 is an early example.

      Abuses will diminish when the proper channels are available.
      • No, it's only about right and wrong. Balance of power is an excuse people give when they're too scared to do what they think is right. Whether or not the act is justified is what matters. Do you think the black civil rights leaders expected to be arrested? Of course they did. But they went ahead and protested anyway, because they knew they were right, and the rest of the country was wrong.

        I'm not calling Sloncek a coward. He did a great service for the community for two years, and he should be commended fo

  • unofficial? (Score:5, Funny)

    by ack154 (591432) * on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @12:56PM (#11148594)
    So this is the "unofficial" one... but it's authorized? Or rather, they want you to report any other ones as not being authorized? Authorized by who? The same people who say it's unofficial?

    I'm confused...
  • Donvitorrent (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tribbin (565963) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @12:57PM (#11148600) Homepage
    I find this one a good substitute:

    http://www.donvitorrent.com/ [donvitorrent.com]
  • Not that scary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @12:57PM (#11148601)
    "There's a lot of scary things here, but to me what is most scary is that American copyright owners can mobilize foreign police to do their bidding."

    Well, I'm not sure how it's scary. If I'm the owner of some digital item that has a copyright on it and some other country where copyrights are valid has people breaking it I hope the police would do something about it.
    • Re:Not that scary (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MSTCrow5429 (642744) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:22PM (#11149042)
      If I made a product that I put effort and thought into, and I could charge $100 for each, is it lawful if someone in another nation can steal my work and produce straight copies for $10 each, thereby bypassing the entire R&D costs, of which I'm stuck paying for myself as well as freeloaders? Other nations should not be havens for those who engage in the theft of other people's property. Would you argue against all extradition treaties as well?
      • Re:Not that scary (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Elwood P Dowd (16933)
        If I made a product that I put effort and thought into, and I could charge $100 for each, is it lawful if someone in another nation can steal my work and produce straight copies for $10 each, thereby bypassing the entire R&D costs, of which I'm stuck paying for myself as well as freeloaders?

        If that's the best option for the people of that foreign nation... then fuck yes. Laws have to stop somewhere. You can lobby your government to put pressure on that foreign government to sign trade agreements prohi
      • by lysium (644252) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @02:37PM (#11150051)
        That's exactly the rationale the drug companies use to deny AIDS treatment to poor people. Would you argue against helping humanity as well?
      • Re:Not that scary (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bill_kress (99356)
        >is it lawful if someone in another nation can steal my work and produce straight copies for $10 each?

        Actually, yes. According to the Constitution you have no right to exclusively market your product except what we give you because we think that allowing you this TEMPORARY monopoly may help us in the long run.

        Due do bribes by Disney and a couple other evil corporations, these exclusive rights are being abused to the point where they are no longer good for the average Citizen at all, and therefore they
  • by nwbvt (768631) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @12:57PM (#11148605)
    Thats what law enforcement agents exist for. To enforce the law. If in these cases the law was indeed broken (I don't personally know the details), then they were doing their job.

    What did you think they were paid to do, pull over and beat minorities?

    • by Ziviyr (95582) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:02PM (#11148683) Homepage
      What did you think they were paid to do, pull over and beat minorities?

      The moment someone makes unbeaten minorites illegal, yes.
    • by Martin Blank (154261) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:06PM (#11148778) Journal
      There is the issue of civil vs. criminal law. Police should not, IMHO, be involved in enforcing civil law to any greater extent than ensuring compliance with court orders (sheriffs or marshals accompanying people seeking to get property returned, for example, if violence is a reasonable possibility).

      Until recently, copyright law in the US was a purely civil matter (I cannot speak for other nations). While I shed no tears for the sites that have shut down whether under actual or possible threat of litigation, I do object to using the police to enforce these kinds of things. They should be working on other things related to public safety, and even in the safe cities of Europe, I'm sure there are open cases, and even cold cases, that could be worked rather than sending them to do what the lawyers should be doing.
      • by Kaseijin (766041) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:38PM (#11149299)
        Until recently, copyright law in the US was a purely civil matter....
        The bar has been repeatedly and drastically lowered in recent years, but copyright infringement for commercial gain has been criminal since the 1800s.
    • by Spad (470073) <<slashdot> <at> <spad.co.uk>> on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:07PM (#11148805) Homepage
      But the point is that in some of these cases, at least, no laws were being broken - not in the country of operation no, most likely in the US (although it's getting pretty tough not to break any laws there these days).

      The MPAA et al are getting foreign law enforcement agencies to arrest people will little or no evidence that they've actually committed a crime in the coutry that they're being arrested.

      That's like me ringing up the French police and demanding that they raid someone in France that I think might have some involvement in the unauthorised distribution of my "IP". I'd be laughed off the phone.
  • unnamed finish site (Score:5, Informative)

    by f4k3r (642406) <jan@[ ]ed.org ['fak' in gap]> on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @12:57PM (#11148613) Homepage
    the "unnamed site" that was raided was FinReactor, there was a video (of something) about it on thepiratebay a few days ago
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @12:58PM (#11148626)
    >>but to me what is most scary is that American copyright owners can mobilize foreign police to do their bidding.

    all of your police are belonged to U.S.!!!!
  • Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ThousandStars (556222) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:00PM (#11148653) Homepage
    but to me what is most scary is that American copyright owners can mobilize foreign police to do their bidding.

    To me, what is most scary is that people think they flaunt copyright laws on such a massive scale and get away with it.

    Furthermore, this is exactly what should be happening: the government attacks those who break the law, rather than those who create the tools. Bit torrent and p2p applications have legal, useful purposes; by seeking those who use them in illegal ways rather than banning them altogther is appropriate, rather than trying to ban them.

    • Re:Good. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by harrkev (623093) <kfmsd@harrelsonf ... g minus language> on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:07PM (#11148804) Homepage
      I agree. If this sort of thing curbs piracy, then maybe the four-letter organizations will calm down about DRM.

      Shutting down a torrent sites which feature copyrighted movies and music annoys those who just want something for nothing. DRM hurts everybody, and especially every geek.

      It is a given that the MPAA, RIAA, etc. are going to do SOMETHING. I would rather have them do this than add copy protection to every A/D converter made.
  • by edgrale (216858) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:00PM (#11148660)

    Actually it has been reported that MPAA had NOTHING to do with the finnish raids.
    The KRP (Keskusrikospoliisi = FBI?) has publicly said that the MPAA has not been in contact with the finnish authorities. Here is a site [itviikko.fi] (in finnish) that says it all.
  • by ahbi (796025) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:01PM (#11148672) Journal
    As much fun as American bashing is ... let us not forget that these companies are international and hold copyrights in Finland and most of the rest of the world.

    I doubt anyone was arrested in Finland for breaking solely US law. I am sure the Finnish police had a Finnish law to justify the arrests.

    With their constant outsourcing (to AU & CN, to name two popular movie studio outsource winners), these "American copyright holders" don't seem too interested in actually doing the US any favours.

    • The situation is murky at best under Finnish law.

      Basically, copying without intent towards financial gain is a misdemeanor, punishable (as a maximum) with fines. This on top of any civil liabilities.

      Problem is, you can't get search warrants in such cases. The crime is too minor.

      Police thinks in this case that they can prove a bigger crime (with intent towards financial gain). That remains to be seen.. as does the fact that can they nail the finreactor admins for actual distribution, or just for linking t
  • oh well. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Quasar1999 (520073) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:02PM (#11148675) Journal
    It sucks that they shutdown the web sites... but IRC will forever remain the unstoppable force when it comes to obtaining illegal files... whether it's FTP, or torrents... IRC will always have the info available... Perhaps it's a good thing that the websites are being shutdown... Napster became too popular, killed the free MP3 system... The same thing happend to DirecTV and DISHNET... too easy for joe q. public to obtain pirated signals, again too popular... If we keep the methods of obtaining illegal things difficult, it keeps the popularity down, and more or less off the radar screen... Now I personally stopped pirating a while back... but my reasoning for it in the first place was the challenge... Now a days it's just a click here and a click there, and presto... what's the fun in that? I enjoyed the challenge more than the results... besides... 99% of the illegal stuff out there is GARBAGE anyways... and the stuff that isn't you need to purchase to actually use it...
  • by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:02PM (#11148691) Homepage
    There's a lot of scary things here, but to me what is most scary is that American copyright owners can mobilize foreign police to do their bidding

    Generally, those "American copyright owners" are also the German copyright owners, and the French copyright owners, and the Japanese copyright owners, and the Russian copyright owners. About the only place they aren't the copyright owners is Gilligan's Island.

  • Freenet? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by caffeine_monkey (576033) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:02PM (#11148705)

    Freenet is probably too slow to recreate a site like Suprnova, but how about this. Instead of using Freenet to distribute each individual torrent, could you publish on Freenet a torrent that contains other torrents? For instance, a torrent for each category of files, like what was on Suprnova - a "Movies-Drama" torrent that contained a zipped file of all torrents in that category? This way, you wouldn't be relying on Freenet to distribute every torrent file, just a much smaller index of torrents.

    If somebody wanted to take ownership of this, they could create a Freenet page with an anonymous feedback form. When somebody has a torrent to publish, they could submit the info to the anonymous form, and then the publisher would compile all the new torrents into the next version of the index.

    Sound feasible?

    • Re:Freenet? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Troed (102527)
      There's no problem at all using Freenet to distribute torrent-files - either on Freesites or on (the already existing) torrent board on Frost.

  • Slippery Slope (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BalorTFL (766196) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:03PM (#11148714)
    I've seen a lot of comments on this around "the internets" (yep, all of them ;), and most of them seem to be of the "noooooo... not my warez! Come back!" variety. To me, though, the better question is where the line is drawn. When the sites that -link- to trackers that -allow- people to download -possibly illegal- files from -each other- get shut down, I get worried. How long will it be until any technology that is used for illegal deeds is at risk?
  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:03PM (#11148727) Homepage Journal
    Everyone remember when anon.funet.fi [venona.com] was raided at the request of scientology?

    With enough money to fund attorneys you can apparently get other countries, especially the Finnish, to comply.
  • by aengblom (123492) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:08PM (#11148817) Homepage
    There's a lot of scary things here, but to me what is most scary is that American copyright owners can mobilize foreign police to do their bidding.

    No, that's not the most scary thing. Many here will critisize the current incarnation of near perpetual copyright and many will critisize how the Big Media have treated that right--as well as their customers.

    But to say that I -- as an American -- should not be able to protect a work of art/media across a foreign boundry is a pretty extremest view. And in my view, it would be quite harmful.

    Remember the ability to create your own terms of an open source project is made possible only because the creator is GRANTING those rights to add, change and distribute source code. It's copyright that protects that code from just being taken by Microsoft without the company agreeing to contribute back to the project.

    Copyright is also what protects some huge media corp from stealing a young artist's song without even "signing" him. They just take it and give it to Pop Artist #122b.

    What scares ME is that this is an attack on the freedom of speech and information. SuprNova was linking to illegal media, but it wasn't hosting it. It should not be illegal to say where the red light district is and it shouldn't be illegal to point someone to one of the prostitutes.

    It should only be illegal when one actually gets into the act.
  • by StormReaver (59959) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:09PM (#11148837)
    "There's a lot of scary things here, but to me what is most scary is that American copyright owners can mobilize foreign police to do their bidding."

    Perhaps dantheman82 needs to understand the concept of international copyright law. Many countries, including those in the story, have agreements to enforce each other's copyrights.

    The sites being shut down were rampantly violating the copyrights of an organization big enough to fight back.

    What's scary is that the submitter thinks shutting these sites down is somehow wrong and unjust. There are a lot of things wrong with the big music companies, but this is not one of them.

    If there's something to be angry about, be angry that these governments wouldn't take the time and effort to protect your small time products in the same manner they protect the big big time products.
    • Perhaps dantheman82 needs to understand the concept of international copyright law.

      Nitpick: these were Taco's words, not the submitter's. If you're gonna flog someone for their ignorance, then please at least try to smack the right person :7

    • by hyphz (179185) * on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @02:15PM (#11149771)
      > "There's a lot of scary things here, but to me
      > what is most scary is that American copyright
      > owners can mobilize foreign police to do their
      > bidding."
      > Perhaps dantheman82 needs to understand the
      > concept of international copyright law. Many
      > countries, including those in the story, have
      > agreements to enforce each other's copyrights.

      I think it's more the fact that they can get the police in another country to shut down a copyright violator, whereas Joe Average can't get the police in their own country to catch the person who burgled him..
  • by Newer Guy (520108) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:11PM (#11148859)
    You gotta wonder why with all the crime, terrorism and other nasties all over he world, why SO MANY RESOURCES that could be used for more worthwhile things are used to increase the profits of the fat cats (in other words, make the fat cats even fatter). If I recall, the motion picture industry had a record year in 2003, and is on track to have 2004 be even better.

    Yet, more people then ever before have no health insurance, more children then ever are starving, AIDS is running rampant all over Africa, American kids are dying every day in Iraq because the govt. can't provide the proper armored vehicles, more Americans are homeless then ever before, people are having heart attacks from Aleve, gas and heating oil is almost twice what it was a year ago, and on and on.

    What is America's response to this? To ignore all of the above and concentrate on such "important" things as busting movie and song 'pirates', drugs, and Janet Jackson's nipple.

    Something is wrong and really, really fucked up in America

    • by RatBastard (949) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @02:54PM (#11150267) Homepage
      You gotta wonder with all of the people dieing of cancer, why are peopel wasting time and money curing the common cold or alergies to cats? Don't they know that people are falling over dead?

      Law enforcement is not about just concentrating on the worst offenders any more than medical research is restricted to just curing the most horrible of illnesses. ALL laws need to be enforced just as all illnesses need to be cured.

      None of your other arguments have anything to do with enforcement of any laws and are irrelevant in this discussion.

      Please try and pull your head out of your ass and take a realistic look at the world around you.
  • Easily impressed? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Angst Badger (8636) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:14PM (#11148905)
    There's a lot of scary things here, but to me what is most scary is that American copyright owners can mobilize foreign police to do their bidding.

    Did you miss out on the CIA campaigns of assassination in the 1960's and 1970's? If the US government can mobilize foreign coups d'etat to snuff the democratically-elected leftist leaders of nascent democracies, then taking down a bunch of pimply-faced warez monkeys is neither surprising nor newsworthy.
  • by Omicron32 (646469) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:19PM (#11148983)
    They weren't digitally signed.
  • This is hilarious... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:49PM (#11149440) Homepage
    I don't know where Linus wrote his code, but let's say most of it was in Finland. Now, if somebody was breaking his copyright (by e.g. not complying with the holy GPL) in the US, would US police react? Would it be "scary that [Finnish] copyright owners can mobilize foreign police to do their bidding."?

    The day companies manage to prosecute people for violating foreign laws, I'm worried. But this is local law enforcement acting according to local law, and is exactly how the judicial process is supposed to work (that those laws might be bad, is a problem with the legislators, not the police).

    As for suprnova not violating copyright law, feel free to go there and take over. I'm sure they'll let you run it on your liability. Test your faith in slashdot pseudo-lawyering and take a stand.

    Kjella
  • by JonKatzIsAnIdiot (303978) <a4261_2000.yahoo@com> on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:54PM (#11149493)
    When confronted by mindless Slashbot tripe such as:
    There's a lot of scary things here, but to me what is most scary is that American copyright owners can mobilize foreign police to do their bidding.
    I find it refreshing to look at the pertinent facts:
    • the Berne Convention, which first established the recognition of copyrights between sovereign nations, was the brainchild of Victor Hugo, a French author.
    • The aforementioned agreement was first adopted in Berne, Switzerland. - Berne Convention [wikipedia.org]
    • The European Union extended copyrights to life of the author plus seventy years in 1993, a full five years before the US did with the Sonny Bono act - European Copyright Harmonization [wikipedia.org]
    • As mentioned elsewhere, the Finnish police acted independantly, with no input from any of those 'evil American copyright owners'

    The anti-American whining is making you look stupid. Stop it.
  • by adturner (6453) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @02:23PM (#11149879) Homepage
    I'm sure this will get mod'd a troll or flamebait, but let's face it. These torrent sites may of not of been hosting copyrighted information, but they were definately providing people the means to download copyrighted content without paying for it; often against their local laws.

    I have hard time pittying them trying to make money by selling ads while trying to help others to break the law. Note that "helping someone break the law" is generally considered an "accomplice" which is illegal in many countries. Not to mention trying to profit from such assitance often incurs additional penalties.

    The reality is that they knew they were helping people break the law and they tried to rub the noses of the RIAA/MPAA/etc in it and their bluff was called.

    Honestly, if these sites contained a significant percentage of torrents for works which could be freely shared (freeware, BSD, GPL'd, software, etc) then I'd be upset at their closure. But at least 95% of the torrents were for porn, games, movies, music, etc for which the creater wishes to be paid for.

    I agree with most people's opinion though, all this means is that someone will come up with some new P2P technology that either decentralizes the indexes or allows them to hide (freenet or tor anyone?)
  • by Yonder Way (603108) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @02:46PM (#11150175)
    So how come we don't see torrent search engines popping up in safer locations, like Havenco [havenco.com]? The MPAA would literally have to hire mercenaries to take down the server, and there's a pretty good chance that Havenco has spent a little money on defending Sealand from attacks like this.
    • Because havenco specializes in hosting secret (aka not public) sites that store potentially controversial things. I believe they buy their bandwidth from countries in europe. All it takes is enough complaints to havenco's provider to get their net connection pulled, they aren't immune to that.

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