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Crackdown on BT Users in Hong Kong 229

Posted by Zonk
from the it's-not-safe-to-breathe-anymore dept.
griffinn writes "100 BitTorrent users in Hong Kong are about to receive legal threats from the MPIA (Hong Kong's equivalent of the MPAA), BusinessWeek reports. The users were randomly selected from more than 6000 IP addresses collected by investigators. Customs officials are also following through on their previous arrest of a 38-year-old man who allegedly uploaded three movies." From the article: "If convicted, the suspect faces up to four years in prison and a fine of 50,000 Hong Kong dollars ($6,400) for every illegal copy."
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Crackdown on BT Users in Hong Kong

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  • by CrosbieFitch (694308) <crosbie@cyberspaceengineers.org> on Thursday April 28, 2005 @01:13PM (#12373759) Homepage
    If you ask me, the other 5900 BitTorrent users should come forward and say "I'M SPARTACUS!"
    • Re:I'm Spartacus! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cpt kangarooski (3773)
      In which case, they end up being jointly and severally liable, and the Romans kill everyone, counting on the rebellious slaves to sort it out amongst themselves later.
  • China (Score:4, Funny)

    by Changa_MC (827317) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @01:14PM (#12373767) Homepage Journal
    I say, it's about time China recieved the same lack of freedoms that we have right here in the good old US of A.
    • Re:China (Score:3, Funny)

      by meringuoid (568297)
      I have to wonder about this.

      You'd expect that if there was one place in the world you could do your thing safe from persecution by corporate cartels, it would be in a communist country.

      I realise that the Party in China is rather lax and generally much too soft on counterrevolutionary and imperialist elements, but this is bloody ridiculous...

      • by Phil Urich (841393)
        China isn't quite so communist anymore (well, of course, they were never really "communist" just non-capitalist and authoritarian, but that's pretty much been what passes for communism in the actual world). They've been moving bits and pieces towards a free-ish market (ie. free but still can be subject to every whim of the government if they felt like it) for quite some time now, and of course Hong Kong, where this occurred, only returned to Chinese hands recently in history (1997), so we have the legacy o
  • by yotto (590067) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @01:14PM (#12373773) Homepage
    ...to something like Manslaughter or Murder 3.
  • Scare tactics (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 28, 2005 @01:14PM (#12373777)
    This is just to scare the sheeps. Very common tactic.
  • Bloody typical (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Thursday April 28, 2005 @01:16PM (#12373791) Homepage Journal
    How can you expect the RIAA to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate uses of BitTorrent when slashdot editors cannot be bothered to do the same? Hong Kong is not cracking down on BT Users, but on wilful copyright violators who happen to use BitTorrent.

    You might as well run a headline "US police crack down on Drivers", leading to a report detailing the arrest of a guy who drove a getaway car in a robbery.

    Sheesh.
    • Re:Bloody typical (Score:5, Insightful)

      by andreMA (643885) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @01:23PM (#12373882)
      You have a valid point, but there's only so much room in a headline. Headlines are intended to be a bit over the top, to entice you into reading the summary... and then hopefully the article.

      The real issue here, I think, is that the (presumed guilty) copyright offenders are looking at 4 years in a Chinese prison. Is that an appropriate punishment for the offense? Is that proportionate to what other offenders get under the Chinese justice system? If not, what political and financial influence was exerted to provide disproportionate protection to copyright holders... and why?

      These are the rich topics for debate here, not BitTorrent per se.

      • Re:Bloody typical (Score:5, Interesting)

        by LordSnooty (853791) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @01:48PM (#12374193)
        The real issue here, I think, is that the (presumed guilty) copyright offenders are looking at 4 years in a Chinese prison. Is that an appropriate punishment for the offense?

        Considering that apparently every street corner in China has guys selling pirated DVDs for thier OWN PROFIT, it does seem a little disproportionate, yes.
      • Re:Bloody typical (Score:5, Interesting)

        by grumpyman (849537) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @02:04PM (#12374405)
        The situation in Hong Kong is quite different from the rest of China. Hong Kong judicial system [flyingchair.net] is based on British common law. The basic law set the guiding prinicple around the system after 1997.

        I think the judges still wear that stupid wig from colonial days, and vast majority of them are actually ethnicity of non-chinese last time I checked [judiciary.gov.hk]. "MORTIMER", "HOFFMANN", "Hon Sir Ivor RICHARDSON" doesn't sound Chinese to me. The official language in court is actually English, unless approved by the judge to use Cantonese.

        Please, please, please, fellow slash-dotters, for once stop making sweeping statement about China, that because they're communist, they must be evil in every aspect. I'm not saying communist is better but check out how well western democratic is working for all of us. We in Canada are ruling by a party of 35% support (liberal), and soon we'll probably be ruled by a party of 30% (conservatives).

        If you want to read more about politics/judicial/business corruption mess, please first check with Halliburton and Enron.

        I urge all of us to read more before making judgements.

        • Most polls these days are putting tory support in front of grit support. Although, as the case with one poll, that was only after people were reminded of the sponsorship scandel. When people aren't reminded of the sponsorship scandel, the numbers are much closer.
      • I think the plus about Chinese prisons is they don't rely on stories of male rape.
    • Re:Bloody typical (Score:5, Informative)

      by quax (19371) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @01:43PM (#12374127)
      The article says:

      Separately, a Hong Kong movie industry trade association said it plans to send letters to 100 BitTorrent users through their Internet service providers threatening legal action unless they stop using the software.

      Apparently the Hong Kong movie industry does not bother to make the distinction either and the headline ins entirely justified.
  • by Veinor (871770) <veinor AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday April 28, 2005 @01:16PM (#12373792)
    BitTorrent is not inherently illegal. You could use a similar argument to prohibit downloading of ANY files, since they just use a different method.

    It appears that their government is throwing out the baby with the bathwater. If they tried that sort of stuff in the United States, then the government would catch so much flak from people claiming this is an invasion of privacy (which it is.)
  • by Anita Coney (648748) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @01:17PM (#12373810) Homepage
    Simply leave your apartment, go to the nearest corner, buy all the DVDs you want for about a buck each, then go home and watch them!
  • smartness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by meester fox (877084) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @01:17PM (#12373811) Homepage Journal
    4 years in prison? I can understand thieves and murderers doing prsion time, but some dude uploading a movie on the internet? Kinda a waste of jail space, I think. That and he (or she) won't really fit in, because there are plenty of decent people who swap movies and music.

    aside from that, is it just BT users in general, or ones who were found to be swapping illegal content?
    • Are you really concerned about how well the presumed guilty file-swappers will fit in... in PRISON? I don't ever recall someone getting let out of a jail sentence because "the other prisoners would think they're pussies."
      • I suppose it depends on whether the legal system realizes that 4 years of being sodomized by rapists and murders is cruel and unusual for uploading files on the internet.
    • Kinda a waste of jail space, I think.

      Meanwhile, in a HK prison...

      (translated from chinese for your convenience)

      "What ya guys here for?" asked a rather strong looking villain.

      "I murdered ten people", said one, chewing a gum.
      "I raped a girl", said another.
      "I tried to steal a bank, and killed a hostage. That was my mistake."
      "And you?"
      (timid looking nerd guy) "I downloaded a movie with bittorrent..."

      (The criminals gasp in shock and fear)
    • Well, they could always impose a sentence to trumpet it to the world about how they're serious about stamping out copyright infringement, even on foreign-owned material, and then reduce the sentence when the reporters stop covering the case. Oh, and warn the victim not to go talking about it to the press, either.

      This fellow may have been selected to serve as an example, but it's not necessarily for the benefit of the domestic audience.
    • I can understand thieves and murderers doing prsion time, but some dude uploading a movie on the internet?

      What is the difference between a thief and a person uploading a copyrighted movie to the internet? That's right there is none!

      There's so much RIAA/MPAA bashing on /. about them not distinguishing between legal uses of P2P and illegal uses, but when I read stupid comments like this one I can't say I blame them. Pirating is stealing. Downloading pirated material is "small fish" stealing (and if you a

      • What is the difference between a thief and a person uploading a copyrighted movie to the internet?

        A very big difference

        Despite what the MPAA has fed you about copyright infringement being theft. It is not.

        If you steal a physical DVD from someone, you now posess the DVD and the rightful owner does not. Hence theft

        If you copy a DVD, you now posess a copy of the DVD which the rightful owner still posesses. Hence copyright infringement

        The MPAA / RIAA / MPIA etc etc should not be allowed to pl

      • No it is not the same. Otherwise there would be no copyright laws or copyright violations. It would just be Theft.

        Copyright violation can be seen as a prevention of generation fo revenue, while theft is a removal of generated revenue.

        Let's give an esample so you can better understand. If I go into a store and take a pack of cigarrettes without paying, I have committed theft. Now lets say instead I tell someone waiting in line to pay for cigs that they cause cancer and they will die if they smoke them
    • That and he (or she) won't really fit in, because there are plenty of decent people who swap movies and music.

      There are also plenty of decent people who: ... have a bit of a pot habit. ... occasionally drive a little too fast. ... didn't pay their taxes on time. ... got into a fight in a bar. ... took advantage of their employer. ... took advantage of their babysitter. ... had a little too much to drink, and decided to drive home afterwards. ... etc.

      Not that I disagree with you that this is excessive, bu
      • So you're saying that people who download movies, or smoke pot, or speed should be given sentences similar to those given to murderers?

        Currently, murderers can get away with less than 10 years of jail time. Rapists can get away with even less.

        I take exception to your argument: Even in Fascist America, you don't get a large jail term for possession of pot, unless it's a lot of it ("intent to distribute"). In fact, I don't think you get any jail time at all, though I may be mistaken. No one goes to jail
    • 4 years in prison? I can understand thieves and murderers doing prsion time, but some dude uploading a movie on the internet? Kinda a waste of jail space, I think.

      Completely agree with you that it is a waste of jail space.

      However, I don't think any government persuing this course of action is looking to put all users in jail. They are simply looking for a way to make an example out of someone to scare the beejeezus out of the rest of the populace. I say, if one is going to try to use this tactic and be
  • Very sane approach (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jarich (733129) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @01:17PM (#12373812) Homepage Journal
    The article said that 600 people would get letters telling them to stop using the torrent software to upload illegal content.

    Sounds a lot better than getting sued for tens of thousands of dollars...

    • I have to say that is the only fair approach. Considering every broadband commercial I see these days mentions the ability to "download music and movies" its only right to give them a warning first time. Mention just how bad the penalties are then the RIAA et all could go forward with suits knowing that they were being fair. Anyone who still downloads movies after being caught and warned about it doesn't have much of an excuse.

      But no of course they won't do that. They'll just toss you away and throw away t
  • no way!! (Score:5, Funny)

    by flyingsquid (813711) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @01:19PM (#12373824)
    People are pirating entertainment in Southeast Asia?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 28, 2005 @01:20PM (#12373845)
    Am I the only one who glanced at the headline and wondered why Hong Kong was cracking down on Blue Tooth users?
  • Is there such a thing as legitimate download of copyrighted material? For instance, if I own a DVD, would I be within my rights to go and download a rip of that dvd? If so, doesn't it become very difficult for authorities to prove who is and is not violating copyright by downloading from services like Bit Torrent?
    • The problem is, while you *may* have the right to download it, you don't have the right to distribute it, and there's no way to *just* download via bittorrent. You are violating the copyright by distributing it to random people out on the internet.

      Now, if you go to a website that has the rip and download it from there, I personally don't see you as a copyright violator (though the website you got it from, if they don't own the copright on the file, is one). My opinions don't mean anything, though, as I do
      • there's no way to *just* download via bittorrent

        Problem is, how does a copyright holder prove that someone has uploaded as well as downloaded? BitTorrent clients can be configured into leech mode (though it's frowned upon).

        The copyright holder can of course establish the proof by downloading from whoever they're targeting. But then since the copyright holder already has rights to the movie (duh), there is nothing wrong in giving a copy of the movie back to him. It's difficult to prove that the user is in
        • Not only that, but if there are other nodes available, you only provided a portion of a copyrighted work - not even the whole thing. I'm not an expert on BitTorrent, but I don't think that the data you send to a peer even has to be contiguous.

        • As "information wants to be free" as I am, I'm uncomfortable, to say the least, finding a legal loophole to let me download copyrighted works that the copyright owner doesn't want me to download (or pload).
        • The copyright holder can of course establish the proof by downloading from whoever they're targeting. But then since the copyright holder already has rights to the movie (duh), there is nothing wrong in giving a copy of the movie back to him. It's difficult to prove that the user is infringing only by virtue of having a copy of the copyrighted material either, as the grandparent post explained.

          I assure you, that line of argument will not work. If the copyright holder, in an effort to root out copyright in
      • Groups of lawyers are collectively known as a firm, not a cache. Horde is not inappropriate, however.

        Cf. to the John Adams line in '1776': I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace, that two are called a law firm, and that three or more are become a congress.

        Incidentally, it sounds to me like you have dangerously few lawyers working for you. You should probably retain more. ;)
        • Incidentally, it sounds to me like you have dangerously few lawyers working for you. You should probably retain more. ;)

          If this isnt a slippery slope, i dont know what is. ;-)

          And you can only call your group of lawyers a firm if they all have a very *firm* set of debts owed to you. Otherwise they are more appropriately referred to as a *swarm* or as cpt kangarooski suggests a *horde*.

          Frankly, if i retained additional lawyers every time a potentially opposed individual did so, I would be broke, karmicall
    • That's a good point. I suppose it could be argued either way. I think if your copy was too beat up to play, that it would be within your right to go and download another copy of it. Though they would probably still get after you for it, it would (I think) be legal, since your just replacing a broken copy. "They" already got money from you for it.
      • The initial question is: "Is there such a thing as legitimate download of copyrighted material?" The answer to that one is, of course, YES, of course there is. If you are reading this response, you've just downloaded the copyrighted material I just wrote.

        The example, however, is a different issue. The answer to that one is "NO, not in the USA." This issue has been in the courts, if I remember correctly, and that is why the service that used to allow people to store and download copies of music CD's they al

    • Depends on the laws in your country. In the United States, the answer is no. When you buy a DVD, you have a liscense to the content on that DVD only. You are allowed to make a personal backup copy of the DVD, but that does not intitle you to make copies of other people's DVD's, or other people's version of the movie (VCD, VHS, Film, etc).
    • Depends where you are, perhaps. In the United States, I'd say -- almost certainly not, for two main reasons:

      (1) The person offering it on BitTorrent is probably not authorized to distribute (or else you wouldn't be asking *shrug*) so you're risking accusations of contributory copyright infringement. The downloads don't happen by themselves, and it takes two to tango.

      (2) I don't think there's a positive right to a replacement by such means. You may have the right to make a backup of your own DVD's conte
    • Is there such a thing as legitimate download of copyrighted material?

      Yes.

      For a copyrighted work, downloading it is legitimate if it is done 1) by the copyright holder, 2) with the authorization, express or implied, of the copyright holder, 3) in a manner that is not infringing pursuant to relevant law.

      For example, most of the content of this web page is copyrighted, but it's pretty certainly not illegal to download it, at least not to read it.

      For instance, if I own a DVD, would I be within my rights t
  • Rent a cop (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 28, 2005 @01:24PM (#12373896)
    Think of the state the world would be in if drug dealers could afford to buy legislation and law enforcement like the media cartels can?
    • The major drug barons probably can.

      However, it's probably not considered a good idea to write a letter to your local congressman saying "The Crack Cocaine Dealers Association of America would like to make a donation of $500,000 to your noble party".
    • Think of the state the world would be in if drug dealers could afford to buy legislation and law enforcement like the media cartels can?

      You must be new here.

      Oh, and remember: legalization is exactly what the drug cartels don't want. Without a black market to skew prices, most illicit drugs would be quite inexpensive. Law enforcement for the drug cartels is like patents for software firms: a market force that is largely anti-competitive and can sometimes hit you with costly surprises (but not too often

  • Poor Chan (Score:5, Funny)

    by digitaldc (879047) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @01:26PM (#12373914)
    So sad, I wonder if there was another reason for arresting this man?
    He should have done what everyone else does in China, just go to the local street market and buy the pirated copy.
    They should also reduce the sentence due to the bad selection of movies he made (Daredevil, Red Planet, Miss Congeniality), he deserves no more than a slap on the wrist and good movie guide.
  • by 9mm Censor (705379) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @01:27PM (#12373925) Homepage
    There is something seriously wrong when your "randomly" select someone to be legally procecuded.

    Do they get a group of murders and randomly select which one is going to have a trail, and let the rest of scott free?
    • It looks like it's an industry group doing the random selection, not the authorities. Well, they may be the same if it's a state-owned or influenced enterprise, but I'm not assuming that. *shrug*

      The industry group is under no obligation to be remotely fair in who it sues, I would think. And, if it can get a similar effect (scaring a certain fraction of the intended audience) while paying its attorneys for fewer hours on fewer defendants, it would make financial sense to do so.
    • While I don't support this particular case...

      In many cases randomized samples are taken for prosecution simple because it is too difficult/expensive/etc to prosecute en-masse. When a cop pulls up behind you with his lights blaring, is it his fault that he doesn't pull over the other 2-3 vehicles near you that were also speeding? Maybe he'll have a partner or a car down the road which can catch another, but he simply can't manage to snag you all.

      OK, so that's speeding tickets. Perhaps murderers are treat
  • by RayDude (798709) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @01:33PM (#12374015)
    Its obvious that stealing music is wrong. Just as software pirating is wrong, stealing TV is wrong, stealing movies is wrong, etc etc etc.

    But the question I always ask myself when I hear about the RIAA and the MPAA suing individuals is, "What good can come from this?"

    And the answer is obviously, "Nothing good can come from this."

    Suing customers isn't going to help. Most people who steal media do so for the fun of it. Many are just collectors who would most likely not purchase the media if they couldn't steal it.

    Are the lawsuits preventing the piracy? I don't think so. I think they are just driving the piracy deeper underground.

    Are the lawsuits pissing off people? Just read slashdot, of course they are.

    I think corporate America's whole tack on DRM is completely out of whack. Instead of attacking perspective customers, they should be trying to win their money by providing product that is more compelling than the free copy by being less expensive and easier to get than the illegal stuff.

    Instead of being control freaks, trying to control all the people in America to prevent loss of money, they should focus on improving content and find ways lower the cost of digital media distrobution to the point that stealing isn't as fun anymore. Everyone has a different "fun" threshold and for many, releasing tunes for 33 cents or 50 cents a piece would remove the fun of trying to get a decent download.

    And that's my main point. Its fun to get something for practically nothing and to collect a massive music collection on the cheap. And that's why people do it, for the fun of it. If Joe P2Per has 2 million mp3s on his music server, how often does he get to hear each and every one of them? Not very often. He sticks to the songs he really likes, and I'll bet he's got those on CD, because he wants to support the bands he likes because he wants them to succeed.

    I think RIAA and MPAA need to step back and re-analyze the situation. I think they're going down the wrong path and they need to stop.

    Raydude
    • by jimicus (737525) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @02:07PM (#12374439)
      Playing devil's advocate here, but...

      Its obvious that stealing music is wrong.

      Firstly, it's not stealing, it's copyright infringement. Unless you refer specifically to "going into a record shop and walking out with a bag full of CDs you didn't pay for".

      Secondly, how is copyright infringment "obviously" wrong? What if you buy the CD and go to a few concerts on the strength of what you pirated? Is it wrong then? What if you use it purely as a "try-before-you-buy" mechanism - deleting what you don't like and buying what you do. Technically it's still piracy, but is it wrong?

      And the answer is obviously, "Nothing good can come from this."

      Again, how is this obvious? Two major groups of people are likely to come out of all this:
      1. People get pissed off at the entire record industry and instead support independent artists and labels such as magnatune.
      2. People get scared to pirate music, knowing full well that it's legally wrong and ethically dubious, and instead decide to buy their music through legitimate channels.

      Slashdot and similar sites tend to be swarming with people who belong to group 1. The record industry is banking on the majority of people belonging to group 2.
    • Good DOES come out of it. What sense is there having a law if it's not going to be enforced? I highly doubt those convicted are going to download illegal files with bittorrent again. Friends and family would get the message as well. It's certainly happening here at RIT, one of the subpoenaed schools. Even though only 25 were given subpoena letters, many many more have stopped downloading.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Its obvious that stealing music is wrong.

      Indeed, if you mean stealing CDs or vinyl albums. It's equally obvious that piracy is not stealing, but copyright infringement. I can't see how copyright infringement is "obviously wrong", since there are smart people who argue [tomgpalmer.com] for abolition of copyrights.

  • Probable cause (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RealProgrammer (723725) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @01:39PM (#12374087) Homepage Journal
    I regularly go to the houses of friends and relatives to help them with their computer problems.

    Typically, during the course of unfouling the mess I find, there are several gigabytes of movies, music, software, and other files in directories made by various malware programs. I uninstall the software and delete the files.

    Just because a movie was uploaded from a particular computer, it doesn't mean the user knew about it. It takes a person of greater expertise than is common among end users to discover the problem (even though the average user notices lower performance, that's not the same as knowing that the machine is hosting a "Spiderman 2" torrent).

    If you don't know that you are doing something, you shouldn't be held accountable for it. There are various levels of "knowing" something in a legal sense: knowing of the problem, knowing the problem *could* occur, knowing with certitude, etc.

    The standard (in the U.S., anyway) is that the user must know that a program is on his computer that will transfer files illegally. He doesn't have to put the software there knowingly, put the unlicensed material there, nor actively initiate the illegal transfer itself. If and only if he knows the facility for the illegal transfer exists and he fails to stop it is he liable when the transfer happens.

    It's like this: suppose you have a dog that never bites anyone and has never left his yard. If someone else comes along to give your dog PCP, you aren't liable when your dog goes nuts. If you know that the dog has gotten the PCP, you are liable whether you are present when the dog goes nuts or not.

    O'course, that's just the theory; you still may be stuck proving your innocence, either with a drugged-up dog or a mal-P2P-infected PC.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    but in some people's eyes, all p2p is priacy... when i worked at a (then) major isp (think #5) our free web hosting brands both cracked down on ANYONE using rar to archive files... they thought it was only used for piracy.

    i found this out when i uploaded my collection of starcraft maps to my starcraft page (rar gave me 25% better compression than zip) and i was promptly closed down.
    • To me, piracy is still the hijjacking of ships and the kidnaping and/or killing of the crew.

      Which is what they are basically prosecuting copyright infringement as, if it's 4 years per count in Chinese prison.
  • I didn't know BT [bt.com] still did service in Hong Kong, I'd have thought it was provided by the Chinese...

    Oh, you mean BitTorrent.

    Fuck.
  • It seems everyday some crap like this comes up, 4 years in a chinese prison, HOT DAMN. Then there is the bill that Dubya signed into law.. up to 3 years on that one..

    IP laws, DMCA, RIAA, MPAA, levies and taxes on recordable media, jail time, huge fines???
    Man we are on the slope right now.. and it seems to be near frictionless I just want to know where did this BS start and who to shoot in the face, if I go to jail who cares, I'll be bunkin with a guy who uploaded Spiderman 2.
    • Is there something wrong with not releasing pre-released material, or any material that you do not own the (C) to? More and more people talk as if it's not only their right, but some kind of unavoidable social responsibility or something.

      It's not like people are going to start dying in masses if they can't get a bootleg copy of the latest spittany bheers album or Hom Tanks movie now are they?

      You want to know where the BS started? It started with you, and every other file sharer out there that decided that
  • Cruel (Score:2, Insightful)

    by akeyes (720106)
    So, last week, we get an article about Hong Kong and gig sized pipes to residents, now they are going after the file sharers.

    I have no comment.
  • These scare tactics seem to be working on some level, but its pretty clear that (copyright) file-sharing will evolve back (de-evolve?) to close-nit networks on IM/IRC but with lesions learnt from P2P - the next generation of file sharing apps will be orientated so that you share with friends and friends of friends, kinda like basic file-transfers on say AIM but more sophisticated, and kinda like Kazaa but less random these networks will be far harder for the RIAA etc to infiltrate but will probably result i
  • I don't get it (Score:2, Interesting)

    by eamonman (567383)
    Is their gov't doing this because the torrenters are infringing upon the hundreds of those hard-working $1-a-dvd companies? I mean, those companies go out of their way to make their DVDs Region Free, show off their creative subtitling skills (for Anime (Jpn->Cat->Eng)), and put them in nice little sleeves instead of those overly inefficient cases we're used to. Because we sure need those companies. ;)
  • by Eyeball97 (816684) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @01:52PM (#12374233)
    Give them all gigabit ethernet [slashdot.org]

    And then take away their torrent access...

    Is this what they call "Chinese Torture"?

  • The article stated that he uploaded 3 movies to a web site. What does this have to do with bit torrent?
  • I thought the lure of BT was that people couldn't track what you were downloading, in the respect that what I download is a .torrent file, not a .mpg/mp3/whatever. So how can they say these people have the files when all they downloaded was a torrent?
    • Re:Tracking BT? (Score:3, Informative)

      by SerialEx13 (605554)
      It's the part where you use the torrent file to connect to a tracker to download the contents from other users. All they have to do is get a listing of users who are uploading/downloading the file from the tracker.

      It should be noted that torrents offer some of the worst privacy amongst p2p applications since there is nothing preventing a person from seeing who is uploading and downloading a particular file. With the exception of registration agreements and sometimes needing to have the torrent first -- m
  • by abulafia (7826) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @02:59PM (#12375140)
    The users were randomly selected from more than 6000 IP addresses collected by investigators.

    Neat.

    Instead of lotteries being a tax on the numerically challenged funnelled through the state to gambling operations, they're now becoming a direct tax for the benefit of copyright holders.

    You, too can become a winner!

  • They design laws to punish offenders who are making money hand over fist though illegal copying and selling of copyrighted goods, and they end up applying to those whove only done it, possibly without realising it after installing bit-torrent and clicking on a link.
  • by bloodstar (866306) <blood_star AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday April 28, 2005 @03:13PM (#12375310) Journal
    Forgive me if I misquote this or attribute it to the wrong country/time. But I remember reading a story about how an emperor was increasingly frustrated by the various crimes that were occuring in his country, so he imposed harsher and harsher penalties in an effort to deter the criminals. One day a group of soldiers were gathering to report for conscription to help fight a rebellion and were running late, so their leader looked to his troops and asked, "What is the penalty for reporting late?"
    "Death," they responded.
    "And what is the penalty for rebellion?"
    "Death," They replied.
    The commander looked at his troops for a moment then shrugged, "Congratulations gentlemen, welcome to the rebellion."

    As punishments become more and more out of line with the crime, and as the laws become more ubiquitous, eventually the population will feel obligated to protect itself from a government that has gone insane. I'm not saying that the criminalization of a civil matter will be the last straw, but each straw tossed on will start to pile up unless some sanity is restored to the system.

  • by gillbates (106458) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @04:34PM (#12376151) Homepage Journal

    Considering that in the U.S., the RIAA wants you to pay $150,000 per song.

    For all of the oppression done by the communist party, the RIAA still has them beat.

Programmers do it bit by bit.

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