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MPAA Boss Makes Case for ISP Content Filtering 282

Posted by Zonk
from the same-old-routine dept.
creaton writes "At the annual UBS Global & Media Communications Conference yesterday, MPAA boss Dan Glickman banged on the copyright filtering drum during a 45-minute speech. Glickman called piracy the MPAA's #1 issue and told the audience that it cost the studios $6 billion annually. His solution: technology, especially in the form of ISP filtering. 'The ISP community is going to be at the forefront of this in the future because they have everything to lose and nothing to gain by not seeing that the content is being properly protected ... and I think that's a great opportunity.' AT&T has already said it plans to filter content, but others may be more reluctant to go along, notes Ars Technica: 'ISPs that are concerned with being, well, ISPs aren't likely to see many benefits from installing some sort of industrial-strength packet-sniffing and filtering solution at the core of their network. It costs money, customers won't like the idea, and the potential for backlash remains high.'"
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MPAA Boss Makes Case for ISP Content Filtering

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  • Neat (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:03PM (#21600967)
    No one has told this guy about encryption yet?
    • Re:Neat (Score:5, Funny)

      by junglee_iitk (651040) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:05PM (#21600993)
      Encryption is only for criminals.

      Captain Copyright told me last night.
    • Re:Neat (Score:5, Informative)

      by caffeinemessiah (918089) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:27PM (#21601445) Journal

      No one has told this guy about encryption yet?

      This is why the recent BitTorrent lawsuit against Comcast is so important...once they realize that they can't look inside encrypted packets, they're just going to block all p2p traffic. But even that is going to be hard, because at the encrypted UDP packet level, what really distinguishes a BT packet from, say, a Skype packet which is also encrypted by default? Screw encryption, what differentiates a DRM-free MP3 flying in from iTunes or Amazon from one coming through a modified BT protocol which uses port 80 and fake http headers?

      In short, this is the dumbest idea and any implementation will be necessarily half-assed and is going to affect people.

      • Re:Neat (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Cajun Hell (725246) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @05:52PM (#21604053) Homepage Journal

        Screw encryption, what differentiates a DRM-free MP3 flying in from iTunes or Amazon from one coming through a modified BT protocol which uses port 80 and fake http headers?
        iTMS and Amazon are on the whitelist. Comcast "consumers" don't need to talk to anyone other than Time Warner, Disney, and News Corp anyway. When they let you connect to Apple or Amazon, you should be grateful for the favor.
    • Re:Neat (Score:5, Funny)

      by wamerocity (1106155) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:39PM (#21601655) Journal
      I think we should take a note from modern day politics. I think they should stop referring to music that people downloaded without paying as "stolen" or "illegal" but we should refer it "undocumented music" or is on a "guest-listenership plan"

      After all, people are just taking the music that no one wants to buy, right? :D
  • Wrong. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spy der Mann (805235) <<spydermann.slashdot> <at> <gmail.com>> on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:05PM (#21600983) Homepage Journal
    Glickman called piracy the MPAA's #1 issue

    No, the MPAA's #1 issue is their high prices and crappy movies.
    • by Qzukk (229616)
      No, the MPAA's #1 issue is their high prices and crappy movies.

      I think he meant the #1 issue they could do something about.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        like they can really do anything against piracy? well, I suppose they could make shit no one would want to bother seeing at all.
        • Re:Wrong. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Spy der Mann (805235) <<spydermann.slashdot> <at> <gmail.com>> on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:17PM (#21601257) Homepage Journal
          like they can really do anything against piracy?

          Nice point. People will still get sent to jail, but that won't stop piracy. Eventually, they'll have to admit that the only way to minimize (not stop) piracy is to step on the citizens' legal rights like privacy and free speech.

          But even with that, they can't control the world and enforce the same laws without stepping on the other nations' rights.

          And not even that will stop piracy.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by DannyO152 (544940)
            Well, if the 6 billion dollar figure is correct, give 1-1/2 billion to ISPs to filter and police. Use 1-1/2 billion to pay off the pirates and ... PROFIT!
          • Re:Wrong. (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Shakrai (717556) * on Thursday December 06, 2007 @04:47PM (#21602861) Journal

            And not even that will stop piracy.

            If they had half a clue they'd take a page from the credit card companies.

            Visa and Mastercard don't try to stop all credit card fraud. They look to reduce it to manageable levels. If a solution is going to cost more to implment then it's going to save then they probably aren't going to run with it. If it's going to cost them more in customer goodwill then it gains them in fraud prevention they probably aren't going to run with it.

            The same with piracy. They will never be able to stop all piracy. Steps should probably be taken to go after the worst offenders (I have little sympathy for people trying to engage in piracy for profit) but going after Grandma for downloading an episode of Law & Order is going to cost them more in goodwill then will gain them in prevention. And it still won't stop piracy.

            Visa and Mastercard could stop a ton of credit card fraud by allowing (requiring?) merchants to ID customers, replacing signature verification with some sort of shared secret (PIN code?), etc, etc. Most of this isn't likely to happen, because it would cost them more in customer goodwill (do you want to show your license every time you swipe your card?) and sales then the amount of fraud it would prevent.

            • Re:Wrong. (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Stanislav_J (947290) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @05:01PM (#21603129)

              f they had half a clue they'd take a page from the credit card companies.

              Visa and Mastercard don't try to stop all credit card fraud. They look to reduce it to manageable levels. If a solution is going to cost more to implment then it's going to save then they probably aren't going to run with it. If it's going to cost them more in customer goodwill then it gains them in fraud prevention they probably aren't going to run with it.

              Exactly. Another example: stores could reduce shoplifting to zero by physically searching every person who leaves the store, but the store owner knows that (a)the payroll for all those security folks probably would exceed the value of the goods lost to theft, and (b)patting down customers and searching their personal handbags and pockets is not a very good way to insure return business to your store. So, you put a few cameras in electronics, designer goods, etc., electronically tag your high dollar items, train personnel to watch for suspicious activity, and that's about it. Some stuff will still go out the door free. You can minimize it, control it to some extent, but you can never eliminate it. In the case of online piracy, really the only way to completely eliminate digital piracy is to shut down the Internet. (I shouldn't post that -- might give some congresscritters ideas...)

        • by jandrese (485)
          Well, they can't send the Hollywood (or Bollywood, or wherever) producers to jail for making crappy movies, those are the guys that pay their salary!
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I believe that the MPAA should be more concerned about people like the creep on my street corner selling pirated DVDs than they should be with people downloading from the internet.
    • Re:Wrong. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AndersOSU (873247) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:14PM (#21601205)
      I disagree. I think movies have in general been pretty good (contrast with the music industry) and the prices are for the most part fair (although theater tickets could stand to be $2-3 cheeper).

      The MPAA doesn't have a problem. It's making money hand over fist. I'm sure Dan Glickman wants more money, but don't we all. The MPAA's core business is selling seats in theaters, and they're doing fairly well, not as well as in the mid-90's but that's a measure of the overall health of the economy. The MPAA could sit back, not make any technological changes, and they'd still do well for probably about a decade (again, contrast with the music industry).

      If I were pressed to name the MPAA's #1 issue, I'd probably say consumer ambivalence over HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. I wouldn't say piracy.
      • Re:Wrong. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by TallMatt (818744) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:28PM (#21601447)
        I think subscriptions like Netflix are part of the reason why people are not going to the theaters as much as they used to, not the economy. Instead of paying $10 to drive in traffic and sit in a crappy theater, I can watch as many movies as I want at home in comfort, for the whole month! Now with HD-DVD and a nice surround system, there is almost no reason to go to the theater as far as I am concerned.
        • Re:Wrong. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by AndersOSU (873247) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:35PM (#21601575)
          I have a netflix subscription, and it hasn't stopped me from going to the theater. What it has done is stop me from going to blockbuster (or jumping on thepiratebay). While this is certainly an anecdote, I wouldn't be surprised if it were the general trend.

          If I were to guess why theater attendance is a bit down from a decade ago, I'd point to gas prices, and less spending money, but also to the fact that with videogames and the internet there is more competing for our entertainment dollar (or hour) than there was 10 years ago.
          • by Danse (1026)

            I have a netflix subscription, and it hasn't stopped me from going to the theater. What it has done is stop me from going to blockbuster (or jumping on thepiratebay).
            Seconded.
        • Re:Wrong. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:46PM (#21601775) Homepage Journal
          Actually, Netflix doesn't hurt theater sales too much, but it's murder on DVD sales. DVDs have been taking it in the rear for the past year or so and the MPAA is using it as an excuse to get lawmakers to pass legislation to stop them thar pirates who be stealing arr sales.

          I have to admit, after getting Netflix my urge to actually buy DVDs dried up pretty quick. I'll still get stuff here and there (especially if I plan to show it to friends/lend it out), but for the most part my collection has been stagnant for a couple of years now.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by SL Baur (19540)

          I think subscriptions like Netflix are part of the reason why people are not going to the theaters as much as they used to,

          I don't know or care about Netflix, but whatever.

          My own reasons for preferring to watch movies any place[1] other than a theater:

          1. avoiding subtitles and dubbing (the jury is in after several years of thought and I hate this)
          2. can smoke, drink beer, etc.
          3. no lines, etc.
          4. no annoying cellphones around you
          5. more comfortable (and cleaner)
          6. can have the movie paused while vital actions like natural functions or a trip to the fridge is performed
          7. if you get bored and fall asleep, big deal, just stay asleep and wake up the ne
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by CFTM (513264)

        The MPAA's core business is selling seats in theaters, and they're doing fairly well, not as well as in the mid-90's but that's a measure of the overall health of the economy

        I would make the argument that that was the MPAA's core business 20-25 years ago but if they have any business sense they know that this is no longer the case. The landscape has changed and the truth of the matter is for the MPAA to survive they need to understand that this is no longer their core business although they try to protect it as if it were its core business.

        Music industry already got railroaded by something like this; they failed to see that their business had fundamentally changed and now the

    • Re:Wrong. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by techpawn (969834) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:18PM (#21601267) Journal

      Glickman called piracy the MPAA's #1 issue

      No, the MPAA's #1 issue is their high prices and crappy movies.
      I wonder where the ongoing WGA strike fell on this list of issues
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by sakdoctor (1087155)
        Windows genuine advantage is on strike?
      • Re:Wrong. (Score:4, Funny)

        by Shakrai (717556) * on Thursday December 06, 2007 @04:23PM (#21602425) Journal

        I wonder where the ongoing WGA strike fell on this list of issues

        Well, you have to understand... the studios didn't want the strike. The WGA are a greedy bunch of bastards that expect royalties off internet sales and other so-called "new media". Yeah, right! The studios have no way of knowing how much that new media is worth, so how are they going to pay royalties to the writers?

        Don't the writers know that it's clearly impossible for the studios to calculate how much something is worth.... unless it's being pirated of course, then it's clearly worth billions of dollars and costs thousands of jobs ;)

        In all seriousness though (and so my whole post isn't sarcasm), J. Michael Straczynski (creator of Babylon 5) has some interesting things to say [worldsofjms.com] about the writers strike. It's a good perspective into what motivates the rank and file of the WGA.

    • But they can't get someone else to fix the crappy movies. Getting someone else to stop piracy for free is a good thing for them. I wonder if I can get someone else to pay my rent?
    • by omeomi (675045)
      No, the MPAA's #1 issue is their high prices and crappy movies.

      Agreed. My first thought was that the Motion Picture Association of America's #1 issue should be creating quality motion pictures...
  • by ByOhTek (1181381) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:05PM (#21600999) Journal

    The ISP community is going to be at the forefront of this in the future because they have everything to lose and nothing to gain by not seeing that the content is being properly protected


    I'm fairly sure it is either incorrect on "nothing" and "everything", or "lose" and "gain"...
    • The article mentions that ISPs could benefit from content filtering because it could lower overall bandwidth usage. I have a hard time seeing any other benefits to the ISPs though.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:27PM (#21601435)
        The ISPs will have to get equipment that can tell the difference between encrypted BitTorrent traffic & all other encrypted and non-encrypted traffic. Eventually, the equipment requirements to do that will cost as much as any bandwidth savings.

        That still wont address other issues like legal BitTorrent use, the large amount of false positives they'll get, customer complaints about Service X being slow for some reason.

        Theres no way this will be s good thing for ISPs in the long term.

        also...

        if ISPs join together and reject this, theres a chance they can use a common carrier type of defence but once they try to actively filter BitTorrent, wont they be blamed every time they fail.

        Interesting response if you get a letter from the MAFIAA... My ISP filters piracy so I shouldn't be able to download anything illegal and if I can its their fault.
        • Tell the difference between encrypted traffic? I'm sure the NSA would love to have a talk with the company that is selling that.

          If they discover our 128bit key, we'll use a 256, 512, 1024... If set up right there is absolutely no way to tell the difference between encrypted BT and encrypted anything else. That's the point IT'S ENCRYPTED.
          • by Shakrai (717556) *

            If set up right there is absolutely no way to tell the difference between encrypted BT and encrypted anything else. That's the point IT'S ENCRYPTED.

            Well, the problem is that often times the initial handshakes aren't encrypted, or they ARE encrypted but the handshake itself is still easy to identify as BT. If you can identify one connection as belonging to BT then there is nothing stopping you from slowing it down or even blocking it entirely.

            Also, the current BT clients aren't exactly subtle. Even when using encryption the massive burst of traffic to random IPs all over the world isn't exactly low-key. Fire up Wireshark and/or tcpdump at your ne

    • by Elemenope (905108) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:14PM (#21601199)

      Yeah, I had the same reaction. If ISP customers buy internet service for (among other reasons) clandestinely downloading movies, then that customer is one more customer you might not have had before. The only thing ISPs have to lose by limiting downloads is more customers.

      ...Unless you take his quote as a veiled threat, i.e. "You'll have everything to lose and nothing to gain by not seeing things our way, since we will bend legislators over our knee to provide us with the tools to bitchslap you into line if you don't come around." I'd say that's a logical reading of the quote that seems to conform well with the **IA modus operandi and way of thinking.

      • by cliffski (65094)
        You are missing the point. The point is not to remove internet service from pirates. It's to ensure people know that if they pirate stuff, they will lose service. Thats another reason for the mostly-honest consumer who is a borderline pirate not to download copyrighted stuff. That same consumer is unlikely to pick an isp thats more expensive and inconvenient to escape the mainstream ISPs content policy. Plus if mom and dad pick the ISP, they will probably pick the one that will prevent their kid from causin
  • by Paul Bristow (118584) <paul&paulbristow,net> on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:06PM (#21601017) Homepage
    Easy answer. If it REALLY costs the MPAA companies $6bn a year, they should be willing to pay quite a lot to have it done. Say, somewhere around 50% of the "pirated" revenue. So ask them to pay the ISPs $3bn a year and see if they are so keen. How many other investments do you know with a guaranteed 100% return?
    • by KeatonMill (566621) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:19PM (#21601293)

      See the problem here is that the MPAA is calculating this $6 billion/year number by saying multiplying the number of pirated copies (a number they can only estimate and they probably highball it) times the retail cost of a legitimate copy.

      The problem with this is that it completely bypasses all microeconomic theory.

      In simple terms, there are a huge number of people that will consume your good if it doesn't cost them anything (or next to nothing), but as soon as you raise the price a little bit, the number of people willing to buy the good drops substantially. This is called the price elasticity of demand.

      While there is some limited evidence that the market for piracy has shrank the overall market, it's difficult to tell how much of an effect piracy really has. There are so many other factors (dilution of purchase points, ease of access to new/unsigned bands, etc) that there's some evidence that the total market for media has actually increased substantially, but the record labels are being left out of the equation.

      Piracy isn't good, but it is a result of a free society and the deadweight loss (basically: if you tax someone or restrict prices via regulation, the decrease in income from the economy is greater than the income from the tax, so there's 'lost' production that never occurs) incurred by preventing it is astronomical.

      IANAE, BIAAEM (I am not an economist, but I am an economist major and I hope to get a PhD in economics down the road)

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:36PM (#21601585)
        WTPOYSAIYHTWIANTITEIA? (What's the point of your stupid acronym if you have to write it all next to it to explain it anyways?)
      • by CatPieMan (460995) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @04:30PM (#21602523)
        I prefer to think of this as a Tiered system of movie quality. From highest to lowest quality

        1) Willing to see more than once in theater -and/or- willing to run out within 48 hours of its release and purchase
        2) Buy DVD first week it is out
        3) Buy DVD at full price within 2 months of release
        4) Buy DVD, maybe, eventually, at no more than 75% normal cost, or a 2-for-1 deal
        5) I'll buy it if I see it in the $5 bin at Best Buy
        6) Would watch it on TV/Airplane if nothing else on and I can't sleep.

        If most of the $6B is from people pirating movies like Gigli, or the animated Spirit Stallion of the Simeron [sp?] just to see how bad it was, you can hardly count them as Tier 1-3. But the $6B probably DOES count them in the higher tiers. Very rarely does a movie found in tier 5 or 6 turn out to be good, although I did see Wild Hogs on an airplane and found The Magnificent 7 in the $5 pile, both of which were much better than anticipated.

        Those who will go for tier 1-3 will buy the movie no matter what. Tier 4 people might buy the movie, but they might forget it existed with the latest over-hyped Harry Potter flick or w/ever. Tier 4 movies might end up just getting rented or Netflicked. Tier 5-6 movies are very likely to never be purchased, if simply because they are not worth seeing more than once.

        That is Hollywood's problem. Too few of the films are worth seeing more than once, unless you are really drunk or nostalgic for a bad movie from your childhood. So it doesn't make sense for someone to spend $20-$25 for something that will take up space and never be watched again.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by lucky130 (267588)
      They'll have to pay them in "theoretical" dollars, not real ones.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DoofusOfDeath (636671)

      Easy answer. If it REALLY costs the MPAA companies $6bn a year, they should be willing to pay quite a lot to have it done. Say, somewhere around 50% of the "pirated" revenue. So ask them to pay the ISPs $3bn a year and see if they are so keen. How many other investments do you know with a guaranteed 100% return?

      I, for one, don't want anyone offering my ISP a few hundred million $ to start filtering content. They just might accept the offer.

      • You know, I think I might just start an ISP if the MPAA is throwing a few hundred million to all who ask. Do I need to have any customers to qualify?

        Coming soon: SquiggleNET. 768Kbps down/64Kbps up for just $99 a week. Guaranteed no more than 1,000,000:1 contention. Five nines reliability (0.0099999% has five nines in it right?)

    • by samkass (174571)
      I would be amazed that any ISP would touch this with a 10 foot pole. They fought hard to try to get a sort of "common carrier" status, where they are not legally responsible for illegal material going over their network (child pornography, libel, etc). If they turn around and start monitoring their streams for copyright violations, why shouldn't they be on the hook for everything else as well.

      And your argument about MPAA paying 1/2 the "damages" is obviously a straw-man, but it does raise an interesting p
  • by bagboy (630125) <neo AT arctic DOT net> on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:06PM (#21601023)
    on a method of locally delivering stored digital content (Video-On-Demand) for fees, such as subsidizing the cost of VOD servers, more content would make it to the end users legally. I would see that as a win-win-win (MPI,ISP,User) for everyone. They get their cut, the ISP doesn't have to pay for the excess bandwidth in/out of their network and the end users get quick access to VoD.
  • So... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Creepy Crawler (680178) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:06PM (#21601029)
    Everything except public domain and governmental reports will be filtered?

    By definition, all text, pictures, and video have copyright applied to them at the moment of creation.
  • by R2.0 (532027) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:06PM (#21601033)
    1) the DMCA allows for safe harbor IF ISP's don't otherwise filter content. So if they start filtering copyright, they can be held liable for other illegalities - 419 scams, stock fraud, child porn.

    2) The **AA's will therefore lobby for an exception to the DMCA for their stuff.

    3) Congress will grant it.

    Any questions?
  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:08PM (#21601051) Journal
    Let's get you ISP's to voluntarily revoke what little common carrier legal protections you have, all in the name of protecting our revenue from a dying business model! Wouldn't that be great!?

    I hope AT&T doesn't mind getting dragged into pretty much every lawsuit involving one of their customers that comes down the pike now... "what do you mean you're not responsible for the child porn coming out of one of your client's computers!? You filter content now, don't you...?"

    (I know, loopholes and such, but at least (IMHO only) the precedent and mechanisms to claim AT&T responsible for all their users' content is now in place. If they filter inbound, they can filter outbound. If they filter movies, they can filter pr0n. If they filter by discrete packet, they should (at least according to a plaintiff in such a lawsuit) be now collaterally responsible for the flow of data through their network.

    /P

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by AndersOSU (873247)
      Good God, how many more years will the myth that ISPs are common carriers persist?

      They're not, and they don't want to be.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Penguinisto (415985)

        They're not, and they don't want to be.

        I don't know of a single ISP who ever wants to be held legally (and financially) liable for what their users do.

        More or less, they do act in that role (the DMCA guarantees most of it), and will happily hide behind the title the nanosecond they get hit with a lawsuit for something one of their users had done.

        While you are correct in that they cannot carry the full weight and title (there are differing classes of it, IIRC) - they do have a little that they can hide behind as immunity in any legal proce

  • by pat mcguire (1134935) <pjm2119&columbia,edu> on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:08PM (#21601057)
    ISPs try to do the same thing with spam, and spam still arrives in my inbox. It seems logical then that the best way to get around ANY filter is to change the name to one with genitalia spelled in leetspeak. On an unrelated note, my download of TransP3N1Sformers[2006]DvDrip[Eng] - aXXo is almost done.
  • Freedom? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Seumas (6865) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:09PM (#21601071)
    People in this country always tout their freedom as the single greatest thing that differentiates them from many other countries. What we filter isn't so much important as the fact that we might filter at all. And if we filter the internet on a corporate or government level, how are we any different from countries like China?

    And if ISPs should filter our content, then why shouldn't other service and content providers outside of the internet be responsible for censoring what we consume, say, do as well? Parents can filter what their children consume. I can filter what I can consume. It should stop there.
  • by Assmasher (456699) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:09PM (#21601087) Journal
    ...measuring the drop in growth/profitibility from the first years these jerks started claiming stupendous losses due to piracy? They've always seemed to claim billions in losses, and yet they're industry doesn't seem to feel the effects. The past few years they've been losing money due to iTunes, so that's why I ask about the early years they were crying foul...
  • FTA, Glickman says, "The ISP community is going to be at the forefront of this in the future because they have everything to lose and nothing to gain by not seeing that the content is being properly protected," he said, "and I think that's a great opportunity."

    This claim makes a lot of baseless assumptions. Besides the fact that P2P can be used for legal purposes, how does he know that P2P is ultimately a bad thing for ISPs. Sure, more people will have access to files, but more people will also be sharin
  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:10PM (#21601097) Journal
    ...but they have to understand the flip side. If they are filtering the Internet then they must be legally accountable for everything that flows over their pipes. If I click on a link and get a virus then it's their responsibility for not filtering it. If I download something from someone who doesn't have distribution rights, same deal. If I come across classified documents, then they are guilty of trafficking in state secrets.

    If they are willing to accept all of this liability, then I have no problems at all with them filtering network content. I'll still pick one of their competitors that doesn't, however.

    • You see, because of these legalities now, all ISP business will be taken over and run by the local or federal government. That's exactly what the MPAA and RIAA want! They want the service to be controlled and laws enforced by the same orginization.

      Oh, and paid for by your tax dollars for sub-par reliablility and performance...naturally.
  • TELLING YOUR PARTNERS TO MAKE DECENT FUCKING MOVIES. Maybe then people might want to pay 30 bucks to see your movie in a theater...
  • hello mpaa (Score:2, Insightful)

    you can't own information

    you can own atoms: a ham sandwich, your car in the driveway, but bits and bytes, sorry, not yours, never will be

    you'll figure it out in 200 years at the rate you are going
    • by Kjella (173770)
      If by "own" you mean "hold copyright", well then yes they can according to the law and the constiution (or is that just a piece of paper these days? I forget). A lot of things only exist as created by law, this is hardly different. Do you think they were ignorant in the 1700s that a simple printing press or even an ink pen could be used for copying? And quite frankly, do you really want to live in a world where *all* information flows freely? I mean it's fun to grab all the latest vids and pics and whatnot
      • don't release it in public

        but when you release it in public, it is in fact free

        so you are misdirecting the argument to one about privacy. no, wrong subject

        the subject is about commerce: those who attempt to install tollbooths on the flow of information in public: the riaa, mpaa, etc.

        unfortunately, they can make all the ip laws that they want. they just happen to be unenforceable laws

        in my world, i would like to make valid laws, laws that someone can actually enforce

        but if you want to pass laws that the sky
    • Well, under law, they can own information. They also can own bits and bytes. In fact, I happen to be the proud owner of some bits and bytes myself. They happen to go well in my computers, for storing my data. Oh wait, you mean abstract artistic concepts that completely transcend mere bits, electromagnetic waves, compression waves, or whatever else they happen to be put in? Well, why didn't you say so in the first place?

      I also don't see why physical property is so "real", and intellectual property is compara
      • if you own a bike, you can lock it in your garage, guard it with a shotgun, etc.: you own it

        but if you put that bike on your front lawn, someone may take it. doesn't make it right, but everyone understands the common sense about defending your property

        so yes, the concept of owning property in real life is just as coontrived as owning bits and bytes, EXCEPT that you can actually defend your property in real life, so it has some value as a concept

        if you own say a "movie", when you give it to someone, you've g
  • "Now this move will end that pesky arms race once and for all!"

    Richard Dawkins chuckles, then turns back to his computer and downloads a screener of Bender's Big Score.

  • It's not in the best interest of ISP to filter content. They they lost what common carrier status they have. This will open them up for lawsuits and make them responsible for content carried over their "wires."

    The MPAA and RIAA want this so they will have bigger fish to sue.

  • but the problem is crappy movies. People I know are fine with renting and/or buying movies they liked in the theater, or think they'll like to watch and/or own -- especially once the price drops after being out for a while.

    The problem is there aren't that many movies worth the purchase price and, perhaps it's just me, not that many worth renting or watching again after seeing it in the theater. The last few times I've browsed the video store I thought, no, no, maybe, no, ...

  • by erroneus (253617) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:21PM (#21601331) Homepage
    And it's a point that is rarely if ever brought up.

    These filtering systems, and by this I mean systems from Macrovision on VCRs on up to DVDs and internet video, serve not just to protect 'the content' but also serves to lock out any growing or potential competition. Just as the RIAA presumes that all MP3s are illegal, the MPAA presumes that all content online must also be illegal. How can any filter system like that ensure that legal content is permitted unhindered? And when 'legalized' video content is allowed through, what's there to prevent DRM or Watermarking from being stripped from the original data?

    What these systems serve best, just as in the case of DVD CCS, not to protect the copyright...or really even the ability to copy, but the right of playback and content formatting and presentation control. How many times have you bought a DVD only to find that there are stupid commercials or previews that you are prevented from skipping? That's the REAL intent as far as I'm concerned.
  • Piracy (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:30PM (#21601481)
    > Glickman called piracy the MPAA's #1 issue

    Can't the Navy or Coast Guard help them with this?
  • pfft (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dgr73 (1055610) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:36PM (#21601593)
    Filter away.. but wait, aren't they then blocking all traffic of a certain type (bittorrent for example), I mean, they can't really easily and reliably distinguish what is legal and what is illegal content, though i'm sure that certain companies will offer products/services that claim to do just that (hello MediaPretender). If you can only filter by traffic type and not based on content, then all one needs to do to make all the money in the world is:

    -start a company that delivers content via bittorrent
    -have a few friends "buy" products and then be unable to complete the download
    -have them then proceed to mock this company
    -file lawsuit against ISP, claim loss of business damages for $100k and $20M in punitive damages
    -repeat

    Then again, if bittorrent and all other dedicated P2P protocols are somehow filtered, there's still many protocols that can be "hijacked" to carry payloads but cannot really be filtered (IRC, NEWS.. heck, if you encrypt the content, even email).

    Try as they might, illegal filesharing will never end.. it may only diminish if they start offering a reasonably priced and featured legal alternative.
  • KGB boss makes case for samizdat filtering

    Southern farmers say that emancipation costs them $6 billion annually

    Dear MPAA prick, we do not owe you or your corporate buddies a living. Our freedoms are not contingent on your business model. Stop being evil, and get a proper job instead of living off corporate welfare.

  • And here [starwreck.com] is the #1 group of pirates they should fear!

    These MPAA clowns are the same bozos who said the VCR was the movie industry's biggest threat a couple of decades ago.
  • I'm sure the "ISP Community" would be happy to accept $6B of the MPAA's money to implement content filtering.
  • 'The ISP community is going to be at the forefront of this in the future because they have everything to lose and nothing to gain by not seeing that the content is being properly protected ...'

    That sounds like a pretty serious threat if you ask me. I wonder if ISP's will wake up with severed horse heads in their beds...

  • Calling "protection of content from theft" the MPAA's number one issue, Glickman reiterated claims that piracy costs the studios $6 billion worldwide every year.

    Half the MPAA budget goes toward reducing this number, and the trade group believes that the single best way to do so is through technology. How big is the MPAA budget? Anything close to 12Billion?
    6 billion dollars - MPAA budge == ??? profit?

    "Technology will be the key to determine how successful we will become," Glickman said.

    Successful at what? I would have thought shareholder value would be that key? Has anyone else ever wondered how independent films, and their more recent popularity has hurt the MPAA and its members?
    It's a wonder he did not mention free indy films distributed by BT.

    But "technology" in isolation won't do much to help the movie business. The MPAA needs the support of those companies best in a position to implement filtering technology: ISPs. Acknowledging that the studios have often been "in tension with" the ISP community, Glickman claimed that the two groups have a much better relationship these days.

    Does this mean they are admitting defeat? If only sniffing packets as they enter and leave your NIC can squelch the flow of illegal downloads, haven't they lost? Why not send an MPAA rep to your house to live in your spare bedroom so they can truly monitor what you are doing online? I'm absolutely certain that no one else would ever get that monitoring data or use it for nefarious purposes, now would they? Is the **AA funded by the NSA? WTF

    Seriously, if it were not for the preconditioning that Bush and co. did with the NSA and DHS, I think wallstreet boys would be dumping **AA stock like it was anthrax about now. This article is tantamount to saying "we have a dead business plan, and we NEED help to stay in business. We probably won't be able to stay in business over the next 10 years unless the government forces ISP's to bail our sorry asses out of this sling called The Internet because we can't produce anything that people like, and all our competitors are killing us with good content"

    Repeat after me, "innovate or die... innovate or die... innovate or die"

    Can we all pitch in and buy a buggy whip to send to this guy?

  • by PPH (736903) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:47PM (#21601805)
    Could somebody repost Glickman's comments? My ISP had its "whiney bullshit" filter set on high and the original didn't come through.
  • Dan Glickman is the proverbial Pointy Haired Boss (PHB). He sits behind a desk at work, probably surfing the web through a websense filter and assumes that similar filtering can be applied to peer to peer traffic.

    PHBs like Glickman seldom realize the technical limitations of any given technology. All filtering technologies work by inspecting the data as it crosses the wire. If you can not inspect the data - GAME OVER.

    ISPs know that if every peer to peer application switches to SSL encrypted traffic, ther
  • I'll worry when they start using some of that $6 billion to offer ISP's useful hardware that happens to contain robust filter features. But aside from offering cost without an incentive I think "what's in it for me" would be a appropriate response from most ISPs (moral and privacy issues not withstanding).
  • ISP's (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:52PM (#21601909) Homepage Journal
    Hollywood cartel boss says:

    "The ISP community is going to be at the forefront of this in the future because they have everything to lose and nothing to gain by not seeing that the content is being properly protected..."
    I beg to differ. ISP's benefit from piracy because they sell more bandwidth to carry those pirated movies. It's bad enough to try to drag the ISP's in, but it's even worse to claim that it's for their own benefit.
  • They make such a big deal of this because it is digital. Well, let's take their metaphor to analog medium. Why are they not demanding the post office to scan every package, letter or post card that comes through for illegal material?
  • by devjj (956776) * on Thursday December 06, 2007 @03:59PM (#21602045)

    The RIAA and MPAA claim billions of dollars in damages due to piracy each year, yet when asked how much an individual download costs, they have no clue.

    Get a clue: Clamping down on casual trading is not going to bring increased revenues. People aren't paying because they either see no value, or they feel the process is flawed. Making it harder to find these works won't make anyone suddenly feel as though there is value. People will just start to look elsewhere, or - as usual - get smarter, and find means around this. Virtually all deep packet inspection can be thwarted by encryption, so what exactly is there to be gained except more headaches for those running ISPs and higher prices for their customers?

  • This sadly is a threat from the MPAA (that I guarantee you will be followed by the RIAA) that is a double-edged sword for any ISP....

    Glickman called piracy the MPAA's #1 issue and told the audience that it cost the studios $6 billion annually. His solution: technology, especially in the form of ISP filtering. 'The ISP community is going to be at the forefront of this in the future because they have everything to lose and nothing to gain by not seeing that the content is being properly protected ... and I think that's a great opportunity.'

    This to me is a threat. The only "everything to lose" that an ISP (who is currently protected by the Safe Harbor provisions of the DMCA) is the **AA getting laws changed to hold an ISP liable (or winning a precedent setting case that ignores those laws - which they keep trying).

    ...but others may be more reluctant to go along, notes Ars Technica: 'ISPs that are concerned with being, well, ISPs aren't likely to see many benefits from installing some sort of industrial-strength packet-sniffing and filtering solution at the core of their network. It costs money, customers won't like the idea, and the potential for backlash remains high.'"

    Which brings us to the above part, which I think Ars is on target with. If an ISP/OSP (beco

  • ...who couldn't be bothered to acknowledge that they were violating the GPL with their "University Toolkit" till their ISP got a DMCA takedown notice [slashdot.org]?

    Seriously, remind me why we should take their "intellectual property rights" seriously if they're not willing to reciprocate.

  • hey AT&T (Score:3, Interesting)

    by scharkalvin (72228) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @05:33PM (#21603743) Homepage
    If I EVER catch you filtering *ANYTHING* to my internet connection
    you will lose my internet business, my phone business and wireless business
    to the local cable company.
  • Studios' problem (Score:3, Informative)

    by adrianbaugh (696007) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @05:56PM (#21604145) Homepage Journal
    Notwithstanding all the technical problems (which themselves are probably insuperable), Dan Glickman misses the point. He says copyright infringement costs the studios $6bn per year. But he wants the ISPs to fix the problem. I can't think of a suitably wacky analogy for the moment, but this is fundamentally not the ISPs' problem (and installing filtering would likely annoy much of their customer base). So what possible motivation do they have to spend money to fix it? (I don't see the studios offering to buy any of the necessary kit for the ISPs even though it's indubitably more in their interest to implement filtering than it is the ISPs' interest.

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