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MPAA Goes After More Bittorrent Site Operators 698

Posted by michael
from the money-for-nothing dept.
Just another Coward writes "DSL Reports grabbed a copy of the lawsuit threat letters sent by the MPAA to the bittorrent website owners. This latest document was sent to a Torrent site called 'demonoid.com', which is now offline."
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MPAA Goes After More Bittorrent Site Operators

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  • by SoTuA (683507) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @09:58AM (#11167331)
    ...it took this long to start.

    Remember the napster trial? Saying "I just post links" doesn't cut much cheese against deep-pocket *AA's lawyers.

    • Deep pockets doesn't have anything to do with it. "I just post links" simply isn't a valid defense for copyright infringement. And although IANAL, IMHO posting links constitutes distribution. The courts would probably see it that way as well.
      • Posting links = Ok
        Or else google is in deep shit...
        Running tracker = Bad
      • The DMCA cases against 2600 for distributing decss.c say linking counts as distribution. Of course the work around was linking to sites that link.
        As I said in another post though, I hate bittorrent, and I'll be happy when it goes away. Piracy should not be for the masses, that hurts the companys that make our software, music, and movies. When it becomes just as easy for your mom to download windows as it is to buy it, shes not going to buy it. We'll never have bought it anyways, but some people would have--
        • You make an interesting point.

          Makes me think about this: How is having a page with a bunch of .torrent files on it copywright infringment?

          The site is linking to a file, that has the location of a server. That server distrubutes copywrighted material illegally, but not the website. It is not giving the user anything that belongs to the MPAA/RIAA.

          Now I know in this case that the site was also running a tracker, and that was violating the MPAA's copywright. But what about sites that down run their own track
        • Piracy appears mainstream only on Slashdot.

          Your average soccer mom buys her Dell with Windows installed and is good to go for the next three to five years, at a cost of about $45, or roughly the price of a single pair of ink jet cartridges.

          It is not worth her time to spend hours or days retrieving a blocky, artifact-ridden, low-res DiVX rip of a movie she'll be able to buy for $20 or rent for $5 in all it's wide-screen, surround-sound DVD glory next spring.

    • It didn't take that long.

      My guess is that the MPAA waited around to see how RIAA was going to handle Napster, Kazaa and the myriads of other clones out there. The process that seems to be working is send C&D letters, sue the IP address and force the ISP to reveal the true identity. The MPAA didn't have to jump in so fast because movie piracy just wasn't as big as music was at the time. You had to download huge files that took most people days to complete. Now... with BitTorrent and the rising use

    • The fact that they ran trackers and posted links doesn't help them.
  • by djeddiej (825677) * on Thursday December 23, 2004 @09:59AM (#11167338) Homepage

    They should at least post funny responses, like like pirate Bay

    http://www.piratebay.org/frame.html [piratebay.org]

    Here was a sample response PirateBay sent to Dreamworks

    As you may or may not be aware, Sweden is not a state in the United States of America. Sweden is a country in northern Europe. Unless you figured it out by now, US law does not apply here. For your information, no Swedish law is being violated. Please be assured that any further contact with us, regardless of medium, will result in a) a suit being filed for harassment b) a formal complaint lodged with the bar of your legal counsel, for sending frivolous legal threats. It is the opinion of us and our lawyers that you are (expletive) morons, and that you should please go sodomize yourself with retractable batons.
    lol. oh and first post?
    • by skyshock21 (764958) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @10:46AM (#11167719)
      My favorite is where the UK company tells them they are going to sue Pirate Bay in the UK (Pirate Bay is based in Sweden). Their response?
      Please sue me in Japan instead. I've always wanted to visit Tokyo. Also, I'm running out of toilet paper, so please send lots of legal documents to our ISP - preferably printed on soft paper. No, but seriously. That's simply not how international law enforcement works. Using the same logic, a country where web sites are forbidden could press charges against you for having one.


      Classic.

  • by nutznboltz (473437) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @10:00AM (#11167346) Homepage Journal
    Where can I get an IP address like that? :)
    • by mordors9 (665662) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @10:05AM (#11167378)
      That could be the out for everyone. Flush the real log records and keep the ones for this (nonexistent) IP address. "Well your honor, we preserved the information they requested" :-)
      • Would that still be contempt of court? It's clear they want to go from a civil to criminal case by saying "please hold onto your evidence" to a bunch of kids who will delete it causing contempt of court. But if they claim they obeyed the letter of the request does that weaking the chance it will be effective?
    • by mausmalone (594185) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @10:31AM (#11167581) Homepage Journal
      You know,... I'm surely an idiot. When I heard it couldn't exist, I just assumed that that must mean that it's a private address or something. I never actually looked to see what was wrong with it.

      BTW, if this lawyer has figured out a way to encode 450 in 8 bits, please tell me so I can make a fortune with compression software :)
    • As noted by the users on the message board, the IP address for the website cited by the letter (66.250.450.10) doesn't/can't exist, a mistake repeated throughout the letters.

      What does this mean for the owners of the domain? they can comply with the request, exactly as written.

      "Your Honor - we had not destroyed or tampered with any evidence associated in anyway with the IP address 66.250.450.10. - No. Really."

      If they are gutsy, they'll wipe anything associated with all other IP addresses, and encrypt the

  • And? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis@gmaiCHEETAHl.com minus cat> on Thursday December 23, 2004 @10:01AM (#11167352) Homepage
    Last I checked piracy was still piracy. What gives you the right to faciliate piracy?

    It's wrong to draw from this that "MPAA is making BitTorrent illegal". That's just stupid /. pandering.

    What the MPAA is doing is cracking down on people who pirate and help people pirate movies. Big whoop.

    Though I have my own ideas on how the movie studios could save money. STOP PAYING THEM SO MUCH. I mean how many studios are there? A dozen at most? If they all colluded and salary capped the stars to say 50,000$ per movie [give or take] we wouldn't have "multi-million dollar movies" where most of the money goes to the actors and not the actual crew behind the scenes WHO ACTUALLY MAKE IT HAPPEN.

    You think Keano made the matrix? No it was 100s if not 1000s of "much lower paid" crew that did the CG, the sets, costumes, makeup, lighting, cameras, editing, etc...

    I'll never understand how they can get off and say things like "oh the Olsen twins are worth 20 million dollars"... um to who? They're a pair of uneducated no-talent actors who ride their "being twins and decently good looks". Let's see what they're upto in 20 years shall we?

    Same goes for all the other little "artistes". They poperzize their music, everything is staged, etc, then think they're worth a couple million per performance...

    Well hate to break the news to ya little gal and guys. Most people work their entire lives and don't see a couple million. They "earn" a million dollars for a day long shoot then blow it on a rave and some diamonds... Then they have the audacity to wonder why people [other than brainwashed puppet teenagers] despise them... Hmmm... .../rant
    • Re:And? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lordfener (842728)
      And there are plenty of reasonable uses for systems like bittorrent--for example downloading RPM isos. If they go after the pirates, I couldn't care less--they deserve it. But going after the technology would be like suing car manufacturers because their products are used as getaways in robberies. Pure genius...
      • No, stop being a /. yuppy.

        They're suing SPECIFIC website owners who host torrents of movies. I have yet to see them send a suit to gentoo.org or knoppix.net.

        Grow the fuck up moron. Sure the MPAA is "evil" but not everything they do is wrong.

        First off, piracy is still stealing. Maybe not the physical sense but surely from their pockets just the same. The whole point of making a movie/music compilation is that you want people to pay to see it. If you're not paying to see it [or at least pay for the me
        • Re:And? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rhsanborn (773855)
          I agree with you. They are simply taking care of the people who are trading things illegally. But, learn how to argue and make your point without being such a prick. Address the issue, not the person.
        • Re:And? (Score:2, Funny)

          by lordfener (842728)
          Oh right, because they never went after technologies designed for file sharing. I'm sorry, your dickness. I'll go back being a moron and living in the real world then. Let me know when you're back from la la land.
        • Re:And? (Score:5, Informative)

          by Tom (822) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @10:34AM (#11167604) Homepage Journal
          First off, piracy is still stealing.

          No, it is not and never has been(*).

          Theft, according to the criminal code in my country is defined as:
          "The taking away of a moveable thing owned by someone else."

          Note: "taking away"

          Unauthorized copying is not stealing. It is illegal, but it is not theft.

          If you have any education in logic - and as a geek I simply assume you do - then you know that if your assumption is false, your entire train of argument derails, since it is impossible to get a correct result from a false assumption.

          (*) actually, unless you talk about actual piracy, that thing with the boats and the parrots on the captain's shoulder. That, of course, is stealing.
          • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @12:13PM (#11168564) Journal
            Theft, according to the criminal code in my country is defined as:
            "The taking away of a moveable thing owned by someone else."

            Note: "taking away"


            The theft claim comes from the idea that part of the value (in the form of potential profits) is removed.

            It's similar to the doctorine of "partial taking". Courts use that to force payments to landowners out of zoning/land-use planning agencies when they drastically reduce an owner's property values by changing the rules to reduce the things that can be done with the property. "Partial taking" applies the fifth amendment prohibition on "private property be[ing] taken without just compensation". Even though the property is still there, some of the value has "been taken".

            If the Supreme Court applies this interpretation of "taking" to GOVERNMENTS, you can bet it will apply it to individuals as well. And other people than judges can grasp the concept easily, as well.

            So splitting hairs with dictionary entriesmight make you feel good. But it isn't going to convince any judges, anyone leaning toward the other side, or bring any significant numbers of fence-sitters around to your position. Instead it makes you look like you're disconnected from economic reality, making it counter-productive.

            IMHO the thing to do is avoid this argument and concentrate on the Founders' original one: That copyright is a TEMPORARY PRIVILEGE intended to INCREASE the amount of creative material FREELY available in the middle-distant future by letting authors and their publishers make money on it without competition from copiers for a SHORT TIME after its creation.
            • The theft claim comes from the idea that part of the value (in the form of potential profits) is removed.


              Under that logic, I am a pirate simply because I don't like an authors work and made the choice to not purchase it or have it in my posession under any circumstances.

              After all, my god given right to not want something clearly is out ranked by an IP owners government given right to make a profit on it at all costs.. right?
            • The theft claim comes from the idea that part of the value (in the form of potential profits) is removed

              In your fifth amendment example there is no potential profit. Real estate and physical property have real value.

              In the prosecution of copyright violation (or theft, or piracy) the most flawed assumption is that the intellectual property has unlimited worth. This is a laughable assumption but one that no one has been able to bury in the legal field.

              Of course, you did address all of this in your final
            • The theft claim comes from the idea that part of the value (in the form of potential profits) is removed.
              ...
              So splitting hairs with dictionary entriesmight make you feel good. But it isn't going to convince any judges, anyone leaning toward the other side, or bring any significant numbers of fence-sitters around to your position. Instead it makes you look like you're disconnected from economic reality, making it counter-productive.

              That's all very well, but the media industries are not just claiming t

          • humaneness (Score:3, Informative)

            by kardar (636122)
            I happened to take an "Entertainment Law" course, taught by a Harvard-educated laywer.

            The entire concept of "intellectual property" is based on the idea of taking something that is immaterial and treating it as if it were material.

            So you cannot argue that it "isn't theft" or that it's "not stealing" without undermining hundreds of years of legal precedent that constitutes the very core of copyright law. You just simply can't do it. Those arguments don't hold. By saying that it's "not stealing" because not
        • Re:And? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Long-EZ (755920) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @11:08AM (#11167914)
          First off, piracy is still stealing.

          No. The truth is, in this context, "piracy" is an emotionally charged word used to make copyright infringement sound a lot worse than it is.

          Piracy involves stealing, raping and murdering innocent people when caught in remote locations where society can offer no protection. Copyright infringement is illegal, and should be punished appropriately. But calling it piracy is ridiculous. So are the ridiculous "you're punishing the gaffers and set builders" propaganda commercials.

          At the heart of this is money, like everything else. this is about the MPAA and RIAA executives making a LOT of money for making the stupid executive decicisions that Michael Eisner apparently makes every day.

          When something is stolen, something is missing. When a copyright is enfringed, the original work remains. Does that help clarify the difference?

          If you call it piracy and stealing, you are a tool of the MPAA and RIAA viral marketing campaign.

          We should all insist on the correct term "copyright enfringement" as society deals with these intellectual property issues. The illegal behavior is being made a lot worse by the RIAA and MPAA who cling to outdated distribution methods to try to maintain a profit margin that is normally only seen in organized crime and illegal narcotics. There are laws against what the RIAA does, and the major companies in the recording industry have all been found guilty of collusion and price fixing. The settlement? After consumers fill out forms and other high-hassle jumping through hoops, they get a discount on their next CD purchase. So, who are the REAL criminals here?

          There is plenty of behavior among RIAA executives and those enfringing copyrights that is both illegal and immoral. I say we start calling the record company executives "rapists".

          • Re:And? (Score:3, Insightful)

            by shark72 (702619)

            "We should all insist on the correct term "copyright enfringement" as society deals with these intellectual property issues."

            "Piracy" is also a correct term. If you're using Firefox or Mozilla, type "dict pirate" or "dict piracy" into the address bar.

            The word "pirate" is a homonym, one of many, many words that have multiple meanings. Slashdotters manage to not get dogs and trees confused when they use the word "bark," so it's interesting to see folks selectively forget their elementary school educa

            • Re:And? (Score:3, Informative)

              by Long-EZ (755920)

              I think you are toally missing the point, in at least two key areas.

              The word "pirate" is a homonym, one of many, many words that have multiple meanings. Slashdotters manage to not get dogs and trees confused when they use the word "bark," so it's interesting to see folks selectively forget their elementary school education.

              The difference is, the two forms of the word "bark" were not selected to be deliberately misleading. They arose because of some weird coincidences of etimology. They were not the i

    • Maybe when the studios pay these actors and actresses millions of dollars, it creates an aura about the movie with the public so they'll make the money back on opening weekend.

      This is just a guess, but look at Ocean's Twelve and their very expensive cast and the popularity of the movie. I haven't seen the movie, but I've heard it was mildly funny.
      • The less money I have the more I hate those who get money effortlessly.

        So no, paying 200 million for a cast of "super stars" won't entice me to see "yet another sequel". I'll rent it likely but that's paying a fraction of movie costs [family of 5 at theater == 50$, rental = 5$].

        Tom
    • Re:And? (Score:5, Funny)

      by rxmd (205533) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @10:06AM (#11167389) Homepage
      Last I checked piracy was still piracy.
      Damn straight! And last I checked, piracy still required a boat of some sorts, rather than a computer.
    • You know, the sites hosted things that weren't copyrighted too. Stuff that's hard to find and dying out, such as early films and books. Ignoring scale, knocking out these sites is like shutting down microsoft for it's sound programm piracy, as discussed a feew weeks ago.
    • I was with you, right up until you said "being twins and decently good looks"
    • Re:And? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tx (96709)
      I agree with you that in any objective sense, most "stars" aren't worth anything like what they get paid. Unfortunately consumer bahaviour makes these people worth those sums in economic reality. The fact is the vast majority of people will put a CD or DVD down right away if they don't recognize the names on it. Whereas if they recognize the names, even if fairly neutrally, they're likely to give it a shot. Hence the studios can guarantee large sales of a movie purely by putting a "big name" on the credits,
    • by dema (103780)
      Last I checked piracy was still piracy. What gives you the right to faciliate piracy?

      So, they should shut down automakers for facilitating speeding? And knife makers for facilitating murder?

      This is a bunch of FUD. I've used torrents before across suprnova and others for perfectly legal downloads. Because the site can be used for pirating of movies, music, and the like does mean that they are at fault.

      Should the internet be shut down because it facilitates piracy?
    • Re:And? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Salgak1 (20136)
      Piracy ? Funny, until the tracker went down, Demonoid was where I generally downloaded the latest .ISOs of Mandrake. I wasn't aware Free Software was piracy. .
    • Re:And? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Tom (822) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @10:28AM (#11167562) Homepage Journal
      Last I checked piracy was still piracy.

      Last I checked, pirates used cannons and cutlasses, had beards and a bad accent.

      "unauthorized distribution" is the proper term, and I'm not nitpicking for the heck of it. A chinese proverb says "Calling things by their proper name is the first step of wisdom." I think they got that right. As long as you don't see it for what it is, but instead mix it up with images of bloodshed and destruction, your judgement is clouded.

    • Re:And? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ann Elk (668880) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @10:28AM (#11167564)
      Last I checked piracy was still piracy. What gives you the right to faciliate piracy?

      Yes, and murder is still murder, but AT&T is not responsible when someone uses a telephone to conspire to commit murder. IANAL (nor do I want to be), but I would think the "common carrier" laws that protect the phone companies should also protect these sites. But then again, the MPAA has More Money than I, so they are obviously More Right (in the US, at least).

      • Re:And? (Score:3, Informative)

        by OverlordQ (264228)
        I thought you can't qualify for common carrier status when you moderate and fail to remove illegal content. 99.9% of these trackers are moderated, thus loosing their Common Carrier status, IANAL.
      • Re:And? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Comatose51 (687974)
        I think BitTorrent, not the websites, would be closer to telephones. Those sites are made explicitly to facilitate privacy using BitTorrent. Both BitTorrent and the telephone have uses other than crime.
  • by Agent Green (231202) * on Thursday December 23, 2004 @10:02AM (#11167360)
    ...because I'm a stickler for quality and don't feel like monopolizing my connection for so long to get it.

    The more I read about this, though, the more it pisses me off...so there's little seed in the back of my head that tells me not to waste my time with movies...and I don't. Gouging for a ticket is bad enough, but the additional gouging for food and beverage just adds insult to injury anyway.
    • Gouging for a ticket is bad enough, but the additional gouging for food and beverage just adds insult to injury anyway.

      Actually, the "gouging" for food and drinks is what keeps the theaters there. The studios take almost all of the profits from ticket sales. The theaters get their profit from concession sales. A theater could sell out every seat in the house for every showing for every movie. But if no one buys anything to eat or drink, that theater will close in short order.

      Support your local the
    • Yeah, I hate the way cinemas wont let me in to watch the film unless I've bought both food AND drink from them beforehand.
  • by fshalor (133678) <fshalor&comcast,net> on Thursday December 23, 2004 @10:02AM (#11167364) Homepage Journal
    to use google to search for torrents directly.
  • by CodeWanker (534624) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @10:04AM (#11167370) Journal
    people mistake "free exchange of ideas" and "I don't have to pay for it."
  • Coal (Score:2, Funny)

    by officepotato (723274)
    Well the article is somewhat interesting, like where they point out that the cited address has a '.450' in it.

    But the real gem so far (in my oddball opinion) has been the discussion of anthracite vs. bituminous coal that followed. That thread was nine messages and two pictures of coal long last time I checked. AND, I felt like I actually learned something on slashdot. Not something I'm likely to use, but interesting trivia for Christmas parties at least.
  • by TrollBridge (550878) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @10:06AM (#11167386) Homepage Journal
    It should read something like "Bittorent Site Operators Invite Lawsuits". Seriously, who could have predicted that posting so many links to copyrighted works would draw the ire of the MPAA?
  • by saterdaies (842986) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @10:06AM (#11167387)
    I think it's a bit of a pitty because BitTorrent has/had such potential to revolutionize how the internet worked, but in the end it just became a place for illegal file sharing. Everyone talks about filesharing and the terrible things that the RIAA and MPAA want to do to stop it, but they act like illegal filesharing is a good thing - like it is a pious act. The EFF has kept defending it as if they have a righteous cause. Filesharing technologies do have legitimate uses. At the beginning, the EFF was telling the RIAA/etc. to go after indivivuals who were using it for illegal purposes. Now, the EFF has decided that those illegal actions need to be defended too. I think that someone needs to create a movement around real fair use. Nothing more, nothing less. Not stealing and not totalitarian MPAA/RIAA crap. Something that would allow me to use my music in the ways that I should be able to and for a fair price without resorting to stealing. Something that the majority of people in America (and the world) could agree with.
  • by F7F7NoYes (740722) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @10:07AM (#11167402)
    Well, when mp3's became hip, I downloaded them off sources on IRC. Then napster came out and every moron with an aol account was downloading mp3's. Then napster was shut down. Then connection speeds improved and I started downloading movies and apps from IRC. Then Kazaa/Fastrack came out. Then every moron with an aol accound was on Kazaa. Then they started suing said morons that put their email address in. THEN I started using bittorrent to download Linux ISO's, the pirating started with Bittorrent, and before I knew it, more morons with aol accounts were talking about suprnova. Then it died. Meanwhile I'm still on IRC and still no problems.
  • 1337 ip! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Maljin Jolt (746064) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @10:09AM (#11167410) Journal
    TFA says: 66.250.450.10

    Maybe mirror is located at 666.666.666.666...
  • Why hasn't freenet taken off yet? Is enough of this going to happen where freenet becomes the show-stopper?
    • Re:Freenet? (Score:3, Informative)

      Quite a few reasons, not all of which are freenet's fault.

      Fault of the users:
      1) It assumes that the average warez dude actually be aware of all the copyright nazidom going on, at a "current events" level of awareness.
      2) It assumes they are smart enough to recognize that freenet would be a solution to the legal problems that they *will* eventually face.
      3) It assumes that they are smart enough to use it (this will cease to be a problem when the freenet guys figure out how to dumb down the interface enough).
      4
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It was a good site, reasonably well run--content was well categorised, reasonable commenting system, but they went down often too--too much load caused the site software to meltdown.

    They had the usual forum too, where it was always pointed out that Demonoid did not host illegal software--all they hosted was .torrent files, which are meta files for any software or data.

    It was paid through donations, and donators (more than $5) had their Up/Down ratio reset to 1 for a month. If you went below 0.25 Up/Down

  • They were vulnerable (Score:4, Informative)

    by KarmaOverDogma (681451) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @10:18AM (#11167479) Homepage Journal
    Demonoid went down only because the site owner(s)/operator(s) and/or their site host reside in a country that has and actually cares to enforce DMCA-like/Copyright laws. A site similar to this will probably pop up in Russia or elsewhere in due time.

    Notice that bi-torrent.com, supernova.org and their kin are still alive and well, and likely remain so for a quite a while.

    The only way **AA will make any real headway here is to sue the .torrent users themselves.
  • The List (Score:5, Funny)

    by theraccoon (592935) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @10:21AM (#11167501) Journal
    Did you happen to see the list of movies they're accused of pirating? Dodgeball, 50 First Dates, and Catwoman, to name a few. How sad.

    I'd hate to be his mom. "You went to jail for WHAT?? Couldn't you have been doing something I wouldn't be embarrassed to tell my book club about, like drugs or attempted murder!?"

  • Where does it end? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by skyshock21 (764958) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @10:21AM (#11167504)
    Something tells me the MPAA won't stop until FTP and Bit Torrent protocols themselves are rendered useless.

    Does the MPAA have jurisdiction over sites hosted overseas as well???? Many of these web sites will eventually just off-shore to places where the MPAA can't touch them. This is rediculous, it's like the war on drugs. You can't fight this wholly on the supply side - you shut one down, and three more pop up. Why are they being so naive?
    • by ArbitraryConstant (763964) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @10:38AM (#11167635) Homepage
      They're trying for a decapitation attack. It's not going to work long term (any more than shutting Napster down did), but I can see how they'd feel they had to do something.

      Of course, the problem with doing this is a lot like the problem with antibiotics. If you use them too much, the target adapts.
      • Raising the bar... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Kjella (173770) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @11:16AM (#11167977) Homepage
        They're trying for a decapitation attack

        ...not really. They're trying to remove the single-most userfriendly and simply way to get pirated content. They have no illusions that this will stop most filesharing. Remember, that to a common user, it went like this.

        1. Install BitTorrent
        2. Click on link

        They don't really care how it works. There's no ratios, no shares, no slots, no configuration, nothing. And it was fast, at least with popular content (which is, by definiton, what the common user wants). Many of these will find other P2P apps too complex.

        Kjella
  • The vulnerability of centralized networks in high threat environments is well known. The gray area of sharing of copyrighted materials between users is such environment. Networks built for that purpose should surely not rely on any central piece of infrastructure, there is nothing new about that. Publicly exposed marginal activity is only survivable until someone with some form of power takes aim at it, so current event should not be surprising.
  • All the BitTorrent sites need to move to developing nations, and parts of Asia where there are few or no copyright laws. In places where people are struggling just to find food, the idea that vapor has value is too absurd to even consider. Move your sites there.
  • by akepa (213342) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @10:39AM (#11167652)
    First they came for Napster
    and I did not speak out
    because I switched to Kazaa.
    Then they came for Kazaa
    and I did not speak out
    because I switched to bit torrents.
    Then they came for bit torrents
    and I did not speak out
    because I switched to ED2K.
    Then they came for ED2K
    and there was no one left
    for the entertainment industry
    to blame for their troubles.
    So they went out of business,
    and now there is only me.
  • by johnhennessy (94737) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @11:03AM (#11167874)

    I think its becoming very clear that centralised torrent distribution isn't going to work.

    If you are going to host a popular torrent site then you are going to need bandwidth (for the site alone, no mention of trackers yet). Most bandwidth providers (a.k.a ISPs) are getting very paranoid about letters like these arriving. In fact I'm guessing that most ISPs have terms and conditions stating that they can switch you off faster than a light-bulb if they get such a letter.

    The problem with these ISPs is that they need things like credit card details for payment, etc. etc. etc. This trail will eventually lead to a physical person who paid for the hosting - and thus someone the MPAA can put the rap on.

    Lets just rewind here a sec. First there was FTP/HTTP for downloading "stuff". This worked while demand was average, and no one was paying much attention. The head came on, people (read: lawyers) took notice. Letters were sent, people abandoned FTP/HTTP for P2P networks.

    Everything was good so far until it came to delivering large content (read: Movies, Apps, whatever). The P2P networks simply scale well to delivering this content well. But they still provided a reasonable amount of privacy.

    Next (roughly speaking) came BitTorrent - it fixed the P2P bottle necks of gnutella & co. But it now depended on a centralised infrastructure for informing people on where to find the Trackers.

    More experienced hands at BitTorrent and Gnutella might be able to help out here:

    What if the .torrents were put on a P2P network ? The files are no longer very big so the scaling issues are not that important. If people are worried that the MPAA are going to go after people who store .torrents, why not encrypt them, or spread them between two/three "buddy" hosts, for example: host (A) stores the first 1/3 of the file, host (B) the next 1/3 and so on. It could even be stored redundantly in case one or more are offline.

    This could be taken to the next level then - if the content is coming from multipe sources, and if individually the "copyright" material does not arrive from a single source - what can you prosecute the individual sources for - serving up a fragment ? If the data is interleaved between 10 hosts and every 10th byte is stored on one host, it would be very difficult to prove that the host contains the material.

    Just my $0.02
    • by kryptkpr (180196) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @11:45AM (#11168284) Homepage
      What if the .torrents were put on a P2P network? The files are no longer very big so the scaling issues are not that important. If people are worried that the MPAA are going to go after people who store .torrents, why not encrypt them, or spread them between two/three "buddy" hosts...

      The MPAA is not just going after big .torrent hosts, that's either shitty reporting or a diversion. They're going after big trackers.

      Storing and distributing .torrents anonymously isn't the problem.. they're such little files, you can usually cram them just about anywhere (DNS maybe even?). Storing and distributing peer lists is the real problem.

      BT isn't a p2p network in the conventional sense, it's a network of p2p networks. Each "torrent" is a p2p network on it's own, self contained and independent of any other torrent.

      This p2p network needs a way to keep track of it's members, and hereing comes the tracker. The tracker's primary duty is to deliver random subset of the peerlist to peers when they request it.

      So, an effective tracker must

      1) Know of -all- the peer's IPs in the swarm
      2) Be easy to contact
      3) Give away peer's IPs to anyone who asks

      Thus, BT as it currently sits (a quick, efficient way to offload some server bandwidth onto users) is not suited for illegal content: That same thing which makes it good/strong/fast (the trackers) is what makes it easy to litigate.

      PS: In BT, pieces very, very rarely arrive from a single source.. I don't think this has stopped anyone from litigating.
    • The problem isn't where to host the .torrent files, its how to host the trackers.

      Now if every client was a tracker, that might be different.
    • by sgtrock (191182) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @01:31PM (#11169361)
      No, centralized torrent distribution works just fine for what it was designed for! At no time was the capability of providing anonymous services for warez a consideration.

      Don't like it? Solve the problem yourself. Bram Cohen has stated time and again that he has no interest in solving it for you. The BitTorrent code is readily available in several languages, now. You are free to use that as a starting point if you really care that much about it.
  • Sick to death (Score:3, Insightful)

    by g0bshiTe (596213) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @11:22AM (#11168042)
    Personally I'm sick to death of hearing about the MPAA sueing everybody and their brother over illegally trading music. Why do people trade in the first place?
    If they would address that issue and rethink their production and distribution of media then maybe people would be more likely to goto the record store and purchase it.

    Until they rethink their business model and do a radical change of their whole system, I for one won't buy shit. If everyone stopped buying music and didn't download it, artists would start to beg us to download and trade their music. How long is a record label going to back an artist that can't sell one ticket to a concert?
  • by huge colin (528073) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @11:33AM (#11168144) Journal
    Haha -- at some points, the letter from the MPAA is just wrong. They list Columbia, Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros., etc., as the copyright owner for files such as 50_First_Dates.torrent. Take a look at page 5, linked from here [dslreports.com].

    Do they even know what a .torrent is? Someone should inform these lawyers that their clients don't, actually, own what they're claiming to own. There's probably some felony charge associated with that sort of behavior.
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @11:48AM (#11168306) Homepage Journal
    You can't win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful [slashdot.org] than you could possibly imagine.
  • **AA Parrots (Score:3, Insightful)

    by iamwahoo2 (594922) on Thursday December 23, 2004 @04:29PM (#11171192)
    It seems that the majority of people seem to agree with the current state of our copyright laws, and they think that the actions of the **AA is just, yet damn near everyone has commited copyright infringement at some point, and those that haven't surely have freinds or family that have. So why aren't more people turning themselves and others in and paying their $10,000 fines so that copyright holders can recoup their losses? Personally, I have always felt that those in glass houses should not throw stones, but the 'Holier than thou' group seems to think that breaking the law is okay so long as you do not get caught.

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