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This is How We Catch You Downloading 308

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the line-and-worm dept.
marto writes "All over Europe thousands of people are being threatened with court action for allegedly sharing games like Dream Pinball 3D on P2P networks. Now, documents obtained by TorrentFreak show details of the anti-piracy company's techniques for identifying alleged file-sharers on the internet and the gathering of claimed 'forensic quality' evidence for use in court cases."
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This is How We Catch You Downloading

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  • by beavis88 (25983) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @08:41AM (#18740827)
    Or these guys would be SOL.

    Oh, wait...
  • Automated lawsuits (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ConfusedSelfHating (1000521) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @08:43AM (#18740841)

    They seem to be very sure that an ISP keeps accurate IP address records. Why do I feel that this will result in a semi-technical employee of the ISP pulling up who the IP Address is currently leased to? I feel sorry for all of the people with a wireless network using a SSID of "Linksys". Expect a letter tommorrow.

    Does anyone else feel that it doesn't matter to the RIAA/MPAA if their lawsuits are accurate or not? If you send intimidating letters to people, some of them will settle even if they are innocent. You can then claim X number of settlements and declare victory.

    This is a great scam for someone who wants to commit fraud on a national scale. Send people letters claiming that they breached copyright law and demand a settlement. Offer an opportunity for settlement for $2000. If they get a lawyer, drop any claim. If they ignore it, write it off. If it costs you a dollar per letter and 0.1% of people accept your "offer", a million letters will net you a million dollars. Maybe this is the new business model for big media.

    • by mgv (198488) <Nospam.01.slash2 ... g ['tma' in gap]> on Sunday April 15, 2007 @08:49AM (#18740879) Homepage Journal
      This is a great scam for someone who wants to commit fraud on a national scale. Send people letters claiming that they breached copyright law and demand a settlement. Offer an opportunity for settlement for $2000. If they get a lawyer, drop any claim. If they ignore it, write it off. If it costs you a dollar per letter and 0.1% of people accept your "offer", a million letters will net you a million dollars. Maybe this is the new business model for big media.

      I'm not sure what the law says in Australia, although vexatious claim comes to mind. In the USA, people seem to use the term racketeering, although I don't know enough about US law to know if this is correct.

      Michael
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ScrewMaster (602015)
        I think we use the term "barratry" here, although I only think that from having read it on Slashdot, so, you know, grain of salt and all that.
    • by Kjella (173770) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @09:09AM (#18740985) Homepage
      This is a great scam for someone who wants to commit fraud on a national scale. Send people letters claiming that they breached copyright law and demand a settlement. Offer an opportunity for settlement for $2000. If they get a lawyer, drop any claim. If they ignore it, write it off. If it costs you a dollar per letter and 0.1% of people accept your "offer", a million letters will net you a million dollars.

      That would be an illegal business model. However, if you do follow through on the rest and take them to court and win most, then it's perfectly legal. It is illegal to threaten lawsuits without cause. It's not illegal to offer a settlement if you do have cause.

      The statistics aren't really in since the legal system is a slow turning one, but I'd be surprised if most people managed to show a preponderance of evidence against. Sure, you can point to hackers, open wifi, lack of computers/equipment/skill, but they're more doubt than making it *probable*. Is that his excuse? Has he sent in a different, clean hard disk? All of these defenses rely on evidence you bring yourself, there's no official log anywhere to back you up.
      • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @09:46AM (#18741189)
        It's not illegal to offer a settlement if you do have cause.

        True, but on the other hand if you're going to be suing people on the scale that the RIAA has been suing people, your evidence had better be pretty solid or you're treading on thin ice. Judges are starting to wake up to what the RIAA is doing, and I hope that trend continues.

        All of these defenses rely on evidence you bring yourself, there's no official log anywhere to back you up.

        Also true, but there's no "official" evidence to back up their claims either, which is the crux of the matter. And no, the information ISPs record hardly qualifies as an official log. Those are typically for provisioning, diagnostic and statistical use, and are not intended to serve as evidence against their own customers. Nor does a screenshot from Kazaa showing a list of IP addresses count as strong evidence.

        The chain of evidence is pretty weak, given that they're depending upon data that was not recorded with the intent of being used in court, isn't particularly reliable anyway, and is subject to human mishandling outside any forensic chain established by the courts, and isn't guaranteed to point to the actual "criminal" in any event! The problem here is the (unfortunate) human tendency to accept information generated by a machine that you don't understand as being valid, when there's a substantial chance that it isn't.

        That effect is very real ... in my years as a software contractor I saw it all the time. I would imagine that judges are just as subject to it as anyone else. I had to tell my customers repeatedly that they can't trust the software until they've done end-to-end on it and know that the results are valid. Mistakes get made, people (even me!) screw up on occasion. As far as I'm concerned, log files spit out by a router or DSLAM shouldn't be admissible in court, certainly not as the primary evidence against someone. I wouldn't want my future dependent upon a few magnetic domains on a hard disk somewhere. Let the RIAA collect some actual evidence (say, a picture of me at my computer doing something illegal) and take me to court. ISP logs are a joke at best, or would be a joke if their use weren't unfairly injuring lot of people.

        It's not as if there's some official Federal standard in place for ISP data monitoring that would be guaranteed to hold up in court so long as the ISP could be shown to be upholding the standard. I can guarantee that ISPs wouldn't want such a standard because it would cost them a fortune.
        • by westlake (615356)
          on the other hand if you're going to be suing people on the scale that the RIAA has been suing people, your evidence had better be pretty solid or you're treading on thin ice.
          but there's no "official" evidence to back up their claims either, which is the crux of the matter.

          In the U.S. there are profound differences between civil and criminal law - differences which the geek seems determined to ignore.

          The burden of proof is lower. Much, much lower. Decisions are based on the "weight of the evidence," or,

          • Yes, I know ... "a preponderance of evidence", and it's true that the ratio of something to nothing is significant ... even when the "something" is little more than nothing. However, the fact that the RIAA has invariably had major problems when they've actually been forced into court (and "forced" is the correct word: they really don't want to be there) indicates to me that their so-called evidence isn't up to even civil suit standards and they know it.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by cpt kangarooski (3773)
              It seems to have more to do with wanting to avoid juries. Juries are likely to be sympathetic to defendants in these cases, meaning that while RIAA's evidence could support their case, if a jury disagrees, then it didn't matter that it could have worked. RIAA probably prefers bench trials to jury trials, and settlements to any trial at all.
          • And worse, even when they have gone to court, the only way they have of proving guilt has been to demand that the defendant turn over his or her computer for "forensic analysis", by (apparently) clueless "experts", and if there's no usable evidence we'll demand the computers of anyone associated with you. In other words, we'll sue you over evidence that we know is insufficient to win in an actual trial, and then demand that you provide us with whatever evidence we need to have you convicted and if that does
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by cpt kangarooski (3773)
              and then demand that you provide us with whatever evidence we need

              Yes, that's how discovery works in the US. It's not a bad system, actually. You might want to read up on it.
    • by mithras the prophet (579978) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @09:44AM (#18741167) Homepage Journal

      They seem to be very sure that an ISP keeps accurate IP address records. Why do I feel that this will result in a semi-technical employee of the ISP pulling up who the IP Address is currently leased to?

      I served on a grand jury that saw several fraud cases that involved the use of ISP IP lease records, and the employees that testified were very knowledgeable and diligent. That's not to say that they would be in every case, of course, but what direct experience I do have suggests that your concerns are misplaced.

    • by rikkards (98006)
      With Rogers in Canada (notoriously the least favourable for Bittorrent usage), if you look at the TOS that they provide, they can shut you off at any point if they find that:
      A. You are downloading intellectual Property that you are not supposed to have.
      B. You are running any server based application (i.e. FTP)
      C. You are letting anyone in your local area to get free access to your link other than people in your actual residence. At one point they would even threaten if you had a router. Nowadays you would be
      • by E8086 (698978)
        Now that's an idea, I only borrowed it from the internets because your service I'm paying you more than enought for didn't work, if your ISP is also your cable tv provider. Which seems to happen often with the Sci-Fi channel. The neither of the new Stargates recorded properly and I set their great [I]Explorer[.exe] box to record both showings, got less than 2 for 4 that day. I noticed the Sci-Fi channel signal dropping to the quality of a heavily scratched DVD during every showing of BSG. You could see most
        • by rikkards (98006)
          Course that doesn't explain why I downloaded the first 5 seasons of Smallville but that's another story....
    • This is a great scam for someone who wants to commit fraud on a national scale. Send people letters claiming that they breached copyright law and demand a settlement. Offer an opportunity for settlement for $2000. If they get a lawyer, drop any claim. If they ignore it, write it off. If it costs you a dollar per letter and 0.1% of people accept your "offer", a million letters will net you a million dollars. Maybe this is the new business model for big media.

      Um...hello? [riaa.com]

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Shabbs (11692)

      If it costs you a dollar per letter and 0.1% of people accept your "offer", a million letters will net you a million dollars. Maybe this is the new business model for big media.
      And no profit!
    • by Deorus (811828) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @10:24AM (#18741467)
      > I feel sorry for all of the people with a wireless network using a SSID of "Linksys".

      Aren't Linksys and Default free wireless broadband ISPs?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sancho (17056)
      I work for an ISP.

      They seem to be very sure that an ISP keeps accurate IP address records. Why do I feel that this will result in a semi-technical employee of the ISP pulling up who the IP Address is currently leased to?

      We keep meticulous logs for a variety of reasons, both legal and for the security of the network. It's a blessing and a curse--when we need to track down someone for abusing the network, it's easy. But when we need to find someone who is about to be harassed by the MPAA/RIAA, it's also easy.

      The people who search the logs are quite competent. The log audit software we have takes a timestamp in any format accepted by strftime, which means that we can give it a timestamp with a timezone w

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Durandal64 (658649)
        It's fool-proof for identifying which IP address an infringing file was sent to, but that's like saying, "I saw your car at the crime scene". You have to actually show that the person you're suing is the person who was using the computer at that time, in criminal court, at least. And that's where these cases should be if the RIAA wants criminal penalties such as jail time for violating their copyrights. (Which, if memory serves, is what they've lobbied for.)
  • by Sod75 (558841) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @08:43AM (#18740845) Homepage Journal
    put the entire internet behind a NAT router ? :)
  • To quote... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by galenoftheshadows (828940) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @08:44AM (#18740849) Homepage
    In an age of Wintel-virus created bot-farms, spoofs, and easily cracked WEP encrypted wireless home networks (among other easy hacks), the only tech-savvy response to such . . . an accusation . . . is, "You've got to be kidding."

    'Nuff said. And thanks to Merl Ledford III. (Pardon my edit, by the way.)

    I find it so hard to believe that these companies continue in the thought that they can make these cases work.
  • Not that foolproof (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mgv (198488) <Nospam.01.slash2 ... g ['tma' in gap]> on Sunday April 15, 2007 @08:46AM (#18740855) Homepage Journal
    Couple of problems with their system:

    1. It doesn't download the whole file from your system. Which means that they can't really show that you have the file, just that you say that you have it. Some anti-piracy systems are known for responding to any search request with a positive result but full of junk or ads.

    2. It doesn't really prove it was you, it just logs it to an IP address (even if it was your IP, you are running a wireless network, right?)

    3. It currently doesn't do bit torrent, just other P2P systems.

    And probably alot of other problems - just did a quick scan of TFA to produce this post.

    Michael
    • by EsbenMoseHansen (731150) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @08:55AM (#18740913) Homepage

      Couple of problems with their system:
      2. It doesn't really prove it was you, it just logs it to an IP address (even if it was your IP, you are running a wireless network, right?)

      Exactly. I never illegally downloaded file in my adult life (and likely not before, given that 2400 baud was fast back then), yet I have a wireless (FON) router open to everyone who are near. It's pretty open, you could even print if my printer happens to be turned on. Security doesn't worry me as there is only linux machines on that network, and the internet connection is decently firewalled. But conceivable, someone could drive by, and download the latest Beatles-modern-equivalent file, and I could receive such a letter --- my IP is fixed, so no discussion there. But still, if any ISP is innocent, so am I.

      In other words, they have to prove not only what IP did it, but what person. How do you do that? This sounds very much like the naughty-phone-bills case. They had to prove that it was a resident above 18(or 16?) that had called, and if they were unable to (as they were in most cases) they were kicked from court.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by rucs_hack (784150)
        very Utopian of you. I'm sure you'd be just fine if someone used your open connection to download child porn.
        • by EsbenMoseHansen (731150) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @09:19AM (#18741021) Homepage

          very Utopian of you. I'm sure you'd be just fine if someone used your open connection to download child porn.

          It will bother me no more and no less than if they'd used any other connection. What's next? Not borrowing a screwdriver out because it might be used for a break-in? I will not let a few deviants destroy all that is good and beautiful about this world, and neither should you. I share my connection freely within reasonable limits.

          • by rucs_hack (784150) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @09:48AM (#18741205)
            Oh I wish we did live in such a world, really, I'm not kidding, it would be great.

            However you could find yourself arrested, your equipment seized, and stories in the newspaper before anyone had time to believe that is wasn't you who did it, if they ever did.

            Sharing is a good thing, but unconditional sharing a net connection without checks of any kind is asking for your generosity to be abused.
            • by EsbenMoseHansen (731150) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @10:50AM (#18741671) Homepage

              Oh I wish we did live in such a world, really, I'm not kidding, it would be great.

              However you could find yourself arrested, your equipment seized, and stories in the newspaper before anyone had time to believe that is wasn't you who did it, if they ever did.

              Those things could happen no matter what I do. It happens to the people dealing with children occasionally, unfortunately, but fortunately the police are usually adamant about being very sure before they go around arresting people for such crimes until they are reasonable sure. For a mathematician such as I, I find it unlikely. If my IP did show up in a log, the local police might visit me for a chat, I'd show him what I could show (which would be a likely timestamp, maybe) and he would be on his way.

              Sharing is a good thing, but unconditional sharing a net connection without checks of any kind is asking for your generosity to be abused.

              Really? I think you fear your fate too much. In fact, my very open network has only ever been used by one person, and that person is me. What I do is legal, makes the world a bit nicer, harms noone, and the chance of mishaps are small. I'd be a coward for not doing it.

              Let me put the risk in perspective for you. The police claims that they monitor several child porn sites. And that lots of lots of people tune in and stays there for more than 1 minute. Yet, charges are rare. Doesn't that tell you something?

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Paradise Pete (33184)
              Oh I wish we did live in such a world, really, I'm not kidding, it would be great.

              The only way to get there is to start behaving like he is. And since you don't seem even close to ready to do that, it's going to take a while. You can't have a great society if nobody trusts anybody.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by stsp (979375)

              Sharing is a good thing, but unconditional sharing a net connection without checks of any kind is asking for your generosity to be abused.

              Sure.

              But consider this: in Berlin, there's a free as in speech wireless mesh network with more than 200 nodes. They are all more or less connected to each other and happily pass data around. A lot of them offer internet access. There's a map [layereight.de] of the network you can look at. Now, even though this network is publicly known, freely accessible and run in a very large city wi

      • by grimwell (141031) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @09:26AM (#18741053)
        But still, if any ISP is innocent, so am I.

        I don't think the safe harbor provisions of the dmca would apply to you. The majority of ISPs' AUPs forbid "re-sharing" or re-selling of a subscriber's internet connection. You are a customer, not an ISP.

        If you have an account with an ISP that permits you to re-sell the internet access, then you could claim safe harbor. Indeed, the riaa would be left sending you letters for ip-to-user translations.

        Try finding a small local ISP and work with them to get re-sellable internet access. Maybe try the neighborhood wireless angle or free hotspot connectivity.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          An ISP's TOS is a contract between you and the ISP stating the terms of continued service, not a legal qualifier that determines whether you are letting others use your network or not.
        • by countach (534280) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @09:39AM (#18741133)
          I don't see why the private contractual arrangments between you and your ISP would affect whether you are an ISP according to the DMCA. A few problems with your persoanl contractual arrangments wouldn't usually affect something like that. (Someone who's read the DMCA prove me wrong).

          As for forbidding "resharing", how on earth can they ask for that? Can I share with my wife? Kids? Friends? Boarders? Relatives? Guests? That's a ridiculous clause if such things exist.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by grimwell (141031)

            I don't see why the private contractual arrangments between you and your ISP would affect whether you are an ISP according to the DMCA. A few problems with your persoanl contractual arrangments wouldn't usually affect something like that.

            While I am not a lawyer, I believe it would hinge on the legal definition of an ISP. If your upstream provider doesn't allow you to re-sell your internet access, it makes it pretty difficult to argue that you are an ISP.

            As for forbidding "resharing", how on earth can they

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Paradise Pete (33184)
              you agree not to use the Service for operation as an Internet service provider

              The very fact that you have to agree not to do so implies that it is technically possible to act as an ISP, so I'd think that would help support a defense that you were acting as an ISP. The violation of your contract with the ISP is a separate issue.

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by grimwell (141031)

                The very fact that you have to agree not to do so implies that it is technically possible to act as an ISP, so I'd think that would help support a defense that you were acting as an ISP. The violation of your contract with the ISP is a separate issue.

                Wishful thinking at best. Acting as an ISP and being recognized as an ISP under the law are two different beasts. One will grant you safe harbor protections and the other not so much.

                I can act like a cop, does that mean I can be afford all of the protections

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by sjames (1099)

              "Outside the Premises" is the operative phrase. Premises referrs to the whole property. If you live in an apartment, the whole complex is the premises. If you are a home owner, your property lines define the premises.

              A common principle in law is that you are not liable for mis-appropriations of your property for criminal purposes so long as you used ordinary care. Given that the vast majority of all people never change the default allow everything configs on their AP (and don't even know how to change it)

        • But still, if any ISP is innocent, so am I.

          I don't think the safe harbor provisions of the dmca would apply to you. The majority of ISPs' AUPs forbid "re-sharing" or re-selling of a subscriber's internet connection. You are a customer, not an ISP.

          If you have an account with an ISP that permits you to re-sell the internet access, then you could claim safe harbor. Indeed, the riaa would be left sending you letters for ip-to-user translations.

          Try finding a small local ISP and work with them to get re-sellable internet access. Maybe try the neighborhood wireless angle or free hotspot connectivity.

          What are you going on about? This is about the civilized world, not US :p

          My ISP lets me do anything that is legal and non-commercial, and I sincerely doubt that the non-commercial will really hold up in court. Not that it matters, since I have no intentions to. Providing free wireless is well within those parameters.

      • Well, if you get such a letter, you better have a log file to show them it wasn't you. Of course, such log files can also be faked, but I guess you are in a much worse position if you can't show at least some evidence that it wasn't you.
        • Well, if you get such a letter, you better have a log file to show them it wasn't you. Of course, such log files can also be faked, but I guess you are in a much worse position if you can't show at least some evidence that it wasn't you.

          No. It is not my job to show I am innocent. Heck, some guy in this country was let off intensive sharing of child-pornography on the defense that his computer was riddled with virus.. Or some such. I'll just say "I didn't do it. Since I have an open wireless, it could be anyone in the neighbourhood". Then it would be my word against theirs, and the case would drop. Of course, they might bother me, even ransack my harddisks (which are clean). If they actually took my computer, I would be awarded damages if

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        In other words, they have to prove not only what IP did it, but what person.

        This is always the crux of the argument I haven't seen fleshed out. If a bank robbery is committed and my license plate is seen on the get away car, I can be quite sure I'm going to be bothered by the police until I tell them who I had let use my car at that particular time (assuming of course *I* wasn't driving a the time!).

        I suppose if I could prove I routinely left my car on the street, unlocked, with the keys in it then
        • According to part 14 FCC code, it is unlicensed band.

          As long as you abide by uW/m^2 required for that band and keep your harmonics down below a certain threshold, operating is perfectly legal.

          Radio is not comparable to your physical analogies, as they just dont work.

          As far as anybody knows, access to your system is forbidden and considered trespass.
          • As far as anybody knows, access to your system is forbidden and considered trespass.

            Hence the big banner that says "Welcome! You are welcome to use this connection, the password is user and the password is password :D (Well, that is the 2nd part. The first part is the same, but in Danish.

            I'm not actually sure if it would be counted as tresspass here. In general, you have to show a clear border... I just don't know. I suppose the courts will have to decide that, should anyone actually press charges. If that happens, I think the accusers would be hard pressed to tell why they didn't at l

      • by buswolley (591500)
        I have yet to hear a modern band that is equivalent to the Beatles.
        • I have yet to hear a modern band that is equivalent to the Beatles.

          Hehe. Point taken, but I meant equivalent in popularity.

    • by nurb432 (527695)
      1 - That shows intent , so dont use that in court..
      2 - That is true, though your ISP might cut you off for violating the AUP in the process. ( but better that then fined/jailed ) ...
      4 - Dont forget the plethora of viruses/trojans out there.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by number11 (129686)
      1. It doesn't download the whole file from your system. Which means that they can't really show that you have the file

      I haven't seen the OA, because part of it is slashdotted. But, presuming they have the SHA1 (and perhaps TTH) hashes from the victim, and a bit-identical sample (compared to the whole file they downloaded from somewhere else), that may be close enough. (I don't know if they restrict themselves to victims who have files with matching hashes, or even make any check for file bogosity, though.
    • by roman_mir (125474)
      The claim is that the "File Sharing Monitor" is totally foolproof and that it can provide forensic-quality information to a court in order that file-sharers be punished. The question remains whether an IP-address is sufficient evidence to sue a person for downloading copyrighted material. Recent cases suggest that the RIAA and the MPAA will need more evidence than that. - of-course this is not foolproof. However I am of an opinion that almost all of the evidence they find is actually correct evidence of th
  • Industrial fascism (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aurispector (530273) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @08:47AM (#18740861)
    When are these guys going to adopt a really cool logo, like a cross with bent arms or a bundle of sticks wrapped around an axe?

    Once these tactics are accepted and legalized, eventually governments should begin experimenting with the use of webcams and computer microphones to monitor people for other illegal behaviors.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      governments should begin experimenting with the use of webcams and computer microphones to monitor people for other illegal behaviors.

      We already do that...why do you think there's a free microphone in every laptop?

      Sincerely,
      NSA

    • by lawpoop (604919) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @11:06AM (#18741791) Homepage Journal
      "When are these guys going to adopt a really cool logo, like a cross with bent arms or a bundle of sticks wrapped around an axe?"

      How about an impersonal, all-seeing eye on top of a pyramid of money and lawyers, watching everything you do on the computer?
  • "foolproof"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mqj (949877) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @08:48AM (#18740873)

    The claim is that the "File Sharing Monitor" is totally foolproof


    Wow. That sounds like a challenge. Seems like somebody ignored the saying "It's hard to make a program foolproof because fools are so ingenious."
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ticklemonster (736987)
      Sounds to me like quite a few people need to create some word documents of the exact same size as the files searched for, name them accordingly, then orchestrate a file sharing orgy amongst themselves to create a rather large target for this fool proof system. Flood'em with bullshit, then see how credible they are...
    • What if I take some (mathematical) matrix, make a recording of me reading it aloud, and put the result on p2p under the name "The_Matrix.mpeg"? Will that system detect that it's not the movie?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by avelldiroll (813074)
      i like that one too: "If you make something idiot-proof, the universe creates a better idiot."
  • by hjf (703092) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @09:03AM (#18740953) Homepage
    www.freenetproject.org
  • by stratjakt (596332) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @09:08AM (#18740979) Journal
    I thought they were sharing stuff like Final Fantasy XII, Quake 4, and other top tier titles.

    Why minimize the initial act? Thousands of people are not being threatened over "dream pinball 3d".
  • Just a thought (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pytheron (443963) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @09:14AM (#18740999) Homepage
    how would it stand in court if you had a wireless access point that was open. Just claim that someone else used your network without authorisation to download the offending files (assume that the authorities did not find evidence on your storage mediums).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Planesdragon (210349)

      how would it stand in court if you had a wireless access point that was open. Just claim that someone else used your network without authorisation to download the offending files (assume that the authorities did not find evidence on your storage mediums).

      1: IANAL. This is semi-layman's conjecture. If you want a real answer, spend the $100 and ask a real lawyer.

      2; Since these are civil suits, most likely with a "preponderance of the evidence" standard, your claim won't hold enough water. So what if there was a possibility of an open connection: is there any proof that someone else actually used it? If the sum total of the evidence better supports their story than yours, you lose.

      IMHO, if you want to genuinely protect yourself, you'll start logging your

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Hello:

      The plural of medium is media.

      Grrrr.
  • Just a minute, but (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Is this Europe we're talking about?

    IANAL, but I don't think they'd get far in a Belgian court, with evidence that is not collected by police services or by a judicial expert appointed to collect that evidence.

    I think legislation in other European countries doesn't differ much from ours. You just don't step up to a judge saying "here's the IP address of the guy that did this or that last week, please have the cops find out who it is and sentence him, will ya?"

    So either the lawsuits are fake (which makes it
  • -Link to PDF temporarily removed, will return later-

    What, no .torrent file?!
  • Too bad my PC has been hacked into in the past ( ok, actually it was my PC based router and all i had to do was reboot, but still you get the idea, trojaned PC's are quite common these days ).. And i use WEP for my laptop...

  • Techniques (Score:4, Funny)

    by noz (253073) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @09:48AM (#18741203)

    details of the anti-piracy company's techniques for identifying alleged file-sharers on the internet
    People who visit the linked article?
  • This week: Download Feisty Fawn from a torrent
    Next week: Jail

    Yay
  • Shareza should sue them for hacking their program without permission.
    • by pacalis (970205) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @10:24AM (#18741461)
      Section 1201 makes it illegal to (1) "circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work" Seriously, couldn't a modification of Shareza effectively be construded as a DMCA violation? In this case, they are associating additional information with the work, which is an effective change in access to the work.
  • If you get a letter, if you dont have a copy of the item in question then go out and buy a "license" for it. When it comes to court, wave your "license" and what can they sue you for? End of court case. Everybody should do this.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by walt-sjc (145127)
      p2p means sharing, not just downloading. If anything, you will get yourself in MORE hot water - "I bought this item and shared it with the world!!!"
  • Just occurred to me.. Are the RIAA/MPIAA proper litigants? It's not their copyright material and although they are contracted to carry out the investigation surely it should be the copyright owner who instigates the legal case.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dbIII (701233)
      I seem to recall an article where they sent a guy a take down notice for his own work. They are obnoxious incompetants.
  • by dave420 (699308) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @10:29AM (#18741513)
    ... then there could be no claim to the owner of the IP actually being the one downloading, regardless of whether the P2P app was actually proxying at the time or not. If all client->proxy communication was encrypted, then even the ISP couldn't sniff it and know what's going on, should they be subpoenaed for such information. Then the only thing the user would be guilty of is running an open proxy on the ISP's network, as opposed to being sued for millions. And if the ISP doesn't give a rat's ass, then there is no problem. Just a formal "tut tut" letter from the ISP. Or am I being naive?
    • by walt-sjc (145127)
      That is basically the premise behind freenet, where each node is a cache / proxy, and all the content is encrypted so that not even YOU can see what's in your node's cache.
  • Pirates be damned !! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HW_Hack (1031622) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @12:48PM (#18742605)
    While I don't approve of these methods (nor do I support current DRM methods/programs) pirating of software or music/videos is WRONG. In the end you are not ripping off the wealthy CEO or rich mega-band - you're ripping off all the average Joe's who work at company xyz and whose comensation and jobs are impacted by loss of sales of products. But go ahead and keep telling yourself you're sticking it to the "big man".

    I used to pirate as well - I then got a real engineering job and became aware of the true number of people it takes to crank out a product - from middle managers - engineers - techs - secretaries - all the way down to the guys / gals in shipping. Every product that you subvert by pirating is money that does not go to the company coffers to cover wages / healthcare of these average folks. That was the end of my pirate days (but I still like to talk like a pirate).

    Technology and market pressures will force the RIAA to change eventually as well as software companies forced to price their products more realistically.

    Some could argue that pirating adds pressure to make companies change - but thats just another arguement to mask the fact that you are sticking it to average folks. Besides there's enough pirating going on in Asia / China to perform that function - I don't need to get my hands dirty.

    Go ahead and flame on - I've got a firewall

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