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Censorship Your Rights Online

Courts Force Danish ISP to Block Torrent Tracker 145

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the forest-meet-trees dept.
Pirate writes "A Danish court ruled in favor of the IFPI, and ordered the Danish ISP Tele2 to block all access to the popular BitTorrent tracker. The Pirate Bay, currently ranked 28th in the list of most visited sites in Denmark, is working on countermeasures."
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Courts Force Danish ISP to Block Torrent Tracker

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  • Well... (Score:4, Funny)

    by snl2587 (1177409) on Monday February 04, 2008 @11:46AM (#22293078)

    Goodbye, direct access. Hello, proxy!

    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Penguinisto (415985) on Monday February 04, 2008 @12:36PM (#22293696) Journal
      The really funny part is that it likely took a ton of money and a lot of time, yet the decision will become completely invalid and worthless in the space of 20 minutes, and for very little cost (basically - however long it takes for the average Joe Dane to find and learn how to use TOR).

      Usually a given business will do its level best to avoid solutions that are expensive and practically worthless... unless they're desperate, at which point a dying business will begin to clutch at anything and everything to save itself - no expenses spared.

      Doesn't anyone stop and think before they act anymore? Forget the fact that rights are being trampled for a minute: This is just wasteful and insane on the IFPI's part, a "solution" akin to transporting water around with a giant colander.

      One has to wonder at the sheer stupidity of certain industries these days...

      /P

      • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday February 04, 2008 @02:14PM (#22295418) Homepage Journal

        One has to wonder at the sheer stupidity of certain industries these days...
        Although it looks like stupidity to us, it really is all about greed. There's a notion that no matter how successful a company is, it has to grow at a faster pace year after year after year. Unfortunately, there are border conditions and limitations to growth. We've seen this unchecked insistence on growth bring down businesses before. In fact, it's about to bring down an institution vital to our financial markets, the companies that insure bonds. For decades, they've been hugely successful, insuring the investors who buy bonds that the municipal entity that is selling those bonds will pay its commitments. For this, they charge a few percent and make a shitload of money. A few years ago, they decided that they had to grow grow grow, so they started insuring the shakiest investments since the tulip - subprime mortgages. So now, they are losing money hand over fist. Remember, these are the outfits that are supposed to protect investors from this sort of behavior.

        So, what does this boring explanation have to do with the record industry and why they are doomed? Because at one time, they were making lots of money making a product. But it just wasn't enough for them. They had to show continual growth and they did so by cannibalizing their best modes of marketing their products. Internet Radio, for instance. For decades, radio has existed to promote record sales. Internet radio was doing that very thing when the the record industry, realizing that someone was making money that wasn't them, decided they had to either get any money that Internet Radio was making or at least destroy Internet Radio while trying.

        Back in the 80s, cool young MBAs used to say "Greed is Good". There was even a popular movie that said that very thing. They were completely wrong, and now that those 1980 vintage MBAs are turning 50 and realizing that all those BMWs and condos and blow-job rings they bought their girlfriends on credit now have to be paid for, and that congress, acting at the behest of the credit industry passed a bankruptcy bill that takes away their only out, things are looking kind of shitty.

        Greed is not good. Teach your kids.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Nullav (1053766)

          Greed is not good. Teach your kids.

          You think we have air conditioners, cars, computers, etc. because of a few blind altruists? We have all of these conveniences because at some time, there were people who wanted money, recognition, or the convenience their inventions provided. Same goes for manufacturers. Do you think they're constantly trying to lower production costs for the sake of the consumers?
          If anything, teaching people that it's damaging to seek more material wealth will hurt the economy more. Greed

          • by Drishmung (458368)
            What you call hyper-consumption, I think of as greed. And the Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] definition seems to back that up.

            The nature of greed lies in its excess. To feel hunger is not to be greedy. To enjoy a good meal, even a feast, is not greed. To constantly eat beyond the body's needs is greed.

            To invent or improve things on order to cool oneself, travel more conveniently or crack the enemy's crytpo is not greed, nor is the desire for recognition or reward wrong.

          • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

            If anything, teaching people that it's damaging to seek more material wealth will hurt the economy more.
            Screw the economy. It's not my job to fix the US economy by running up my credit cards. It's my job to bring up a young daughter and teach her something like decent human values, and greed ain't one of 'em.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Haeleth (414428)

        the decision will become completely invalid and worthless in the space of 20 minutes, and for very little cost (basically - however long it takes for the average Joe Dane to find and learn how to use TOR).

        Hardly. The average Joe Dane is going to switch to a different tracker site, or a different P2P system. Even if they manage somehow get TOR working (e.g. by finding one of the simple-to-use repackaged versions) they're unlikely to find it particularly usable -- it crawls. Seriously, I just tried using i

        • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Danse (1026) on Monday February 04, 2008 @05:13PM (#22298724)

          The Pirate Bay is openly and unashamedly dedicated to supporting and promoting illegal activity.
          I'd rather see them act illegally than immorally, as the corporations who have bribed and cajoled the government into passing our existing set of ridiculous IP laws have unashamedly done. Both in the states and around the world. Copyright law, as it stands today, is completely out of whack. It does damn little to promote the public good, and a lot to increase costs to everyone.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Heddahenrik (902008)
          A few errors there:

          1) The Pirate Bay is widely used for distribution by the content makers themselves.

          2) It's not illegal to share files with your friends. It's considered fair use. Internet makes it possible for us to have millions of friends, and no evil information monopoly mafia is allowed to put a limit of how many friends one can have.

          3) Authors and musicians have no rights what so ever to filter communications between people. People have the right to share information and files with each other, so ye
          • 1) What 'content makers'? 2) Actually I think it is illegal to share music files with your friends. I doubt you will ever have 'millions' of friends either. I'm talking about real friends, not the ones who are leeching off of your files.

            3) Authors do in fact have a right to stop you from copying their work.. it's called.. wait for it.. copyright! Sure they're not allowed to stop communications, but you're not talking about communicating, you're talking about making copies of something which originally c
        • Oh, wait, did you mean the pirates' rights? Do please elaborate; I don't recall seeing a "right to download other people's IP for free" in any laws recently.

          What about fair use? Imagine you're going to download a Scientology secret document exposing the cult's evil activity. You can't do it LEGALLY. This is just an example of legality != morality.

          Another example. Let's suppose you're going to analyze the written works of a meditation guru that you suspect is a scammer. If you bought them from him, you'd be contributing to HIS cause. However, if you just download them you can get your work done.

          Third example. Try before you buy. There's a new Anime that your friends recommended, and you wonder whether to buy it or not. But unless you watch a significant portion of it, you won't know if it's worth buying it... so you get a fansubbed version from the internet. Or what about a piece of music?

          Reality isn't always black and white like media companies want us to believe. First of all, virtual works fall outside the bound of supply and demand, because it's extremely cheap to copy, since you can create additional copies out of thin air (or thin CD's for that matter). With the internet, you don't even need CD's. Therefore, infringing copyright cannot be assured to be stealing - specially if the downloader couldn't buy the item anyway.

          And if the content that someone wants to LEGALLY PURCHASE isn't available on his third-world country and he'd have to spend twice the money on overseas shipping and handling, it's much easier to download from the pirate bay. And it wouldn't be stealing. Pirate works also help authors increase the exposure of their works.

          And take into account the corporations' monopolic practices like price fixing, exclusivity contracts, selling by bundles to raise the prise, etc. All these things stiffle creativity and tend to produce extremely bad quality "artworks".

          Imagine if there were no pirate copies of movies. We'd be forced to purchase tickets for Battlefield Earth or some other blockbuster failures, but guess what, there's no refund for non-enjoyment. Even if the movie sucked, you couldn't get your money back.

          In your innocence you seem to think that all money paid goes to the artists. In your dreams. Most money really goes to a bunch of middlemen who exploit the artists. (Hint: Why do you think the writers' guild is on strike?). And let's not forget about Trent Reznor of NIN, who is very vocal about his support for people pirating ("stealing") his works. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mm6rc7hcFE [youtube.com] ). This makes you ask yourself, who is REALLY trampling on people's rights? Is it really the pirates, or the corporate giants? And for every LEGAL purchase of RIAA-produced music, you give money to the same bastards who sue random people JUST BECAUSE THEY CAN [blogspot.com].

          Blocking BitTorrent per se would be trampling on people's rights, because BitTorrent is a neutral technology that is used for many legitimate purposes. But The Pirate Bay is not like that. There's a hint in the name, see? The Pirate Bay is openly and unashamedly dedicated to supporting and promoting illegal activity.

          Just because the MAJORITY of the works there are copyrighted doesn't mean that all are. The Pirate Bay - and all bittorrent trackers, for that matter - is also used to distribute authorized works like Linux distributions, free (and legal) copies of Paulo Coelho's works, open documentation (like Open Source Software manuals), homemade videos, hacker guides (whether using them is legal or not, is outside this scope), fair use works like AMV Hell, doujinshi, webcomics (which are available online for free, anyway).

          Here are just some examples of AUTHORIZED content found in the Pirate Bay:

          h [thepiratebay.org]

        • Even if they manage somehow get TOR working (e.g. by finding one of the simple-to-use repackaged versions) they're unlikely to find it particularly usable -- it crawls.

          So replace "TOR" with "results of googling for an open proxy" - meh.

          Oh, wait, did you mean the pirates' rights? Do please elaborate; I don't recall seeing a "right to download other people's IP for free" in any laws recently.

          Please show me where TPB is doing anything illegal. I'll save you the time in a futile search: According to their own laws, they aren't.

          The Danish government is morally not a whole lot different than China's, as of today. I supposed if Microsoft weaseled their way into the same government claiming that their competition violates their IP (doesn't matter if they do or not), and the Danish government shut off access to ubuntu.com, fr

        • by eiapoce (1049910)

          Oh, wait, did you mean the pirates' rights? Do please elaborate; I don't recall seeing a "right to download other people's IP for free" in any laws recently.

          Since you sound like a smartass I'll gladly do that: Freedom is at a stake. It's obvious you're not interested in defending your rights but there is people who actually cares.

          If you were a citizen of Denmark you can be exposed to any kind of information from the internet that's not blocked: From Jhadis telling their "brothers" how to make bombs, boycott dutch economy and kill your infidel connationals to the occasional phaedophile promoting his acts on the internet. All of this reside on the freedom of

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

        by ultranova (717540) on Monday February 04, 2008 @05:22PM (#22298868)

        The really funny part is that it likely took a ton of money and a lot of time, yet the decision will become completely invalid and worthless in the space of 20 minutes, and for very little cost (basically - however long it takes for the average Joe Dane to find and learn how to use TOR).

        Actually, with pretty much every client supporting trackerless torrents nowadays, Joe Dane won't have to do anything; it will simply take a bit longer for the torrent to find peers and pick up speed.

        No, the real issue here is that the courts even tried. Nordic countries a nice place to live, but lately they have suffered from creeping copyrightism: Lex Karpela in Finland, the illegal raids and harrasment against the perfectly legal Pirate Bay in Sweden, and now a Danish court trying to make an ISP into a censorship enforcement agency. I hate seeing my home turning into yet another corporate state.

        I guess this goes to show, once again, that copyright is fundamentally incompatible with any other rights and should be abolished completely. As long as it exists in any form, it will always seek to grow and increase its reach by one outrageous abuse of the legal system after another.

        • it will simply take a bit longer for the torrent to find peers and pick up speed.

          It won't even do that. Look how they've done it. Link [theregister.co.uk]

          The Tele2 block will be applied only at DNS level, so will be very easy to circumvent for technically-aware subscribers,

          Solution; either use another DNS service or add thepiratebay.org into your hosts file.

    • free proxy can be found here! http://www.torproject.org/ [torproject.org]
    • All they do is to block thepiratebay.org in their DNS servers.
      Nothing prevents everyone from using OpenDNS instead. So it is very easy to work around the block.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Carthag (643047)
        or hosts file editing, or a million other ways. DNS blocks are notoriously useless and though I don't know the internal decision process of Tele2, it almost looks like an empty gesture to satisfy the courts while not changing anything for real.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by snl2587 (1177409)

          it almost looks like an empty gesture to satisfy the courts while not changing anything for real

          That's not such a bad thing, and it beats the alternative.

          For example: where I work we recently implemented a basic web filter (using Barracuda). Because we didn't feel like blocking all traffic (and for us it's impossible) we simply mandated that all traffic using IE go through a proxy into the Barracuda filter. This satisfied the requirements, but all a smart user, or even an average user, has to do is use another browser without the proxy settings. Net result: we did next to nothing, and the higher-up

          • The problem is not that you wish to implement a solution with no real effect.
            The problem is that you are asked to enforce such a solution in the first place.

            In other news, a number of other Danish ISPs openly refuse to block that url, which is more The Right Thing than agreeing to do something which happens to be useless.
  • Google? Because google cache will have all the pertinent information anyway.
    • by blueg3 (192743)
      You mean Google runs a tracker as well as just caching the contents of a .torrent file? Last time I checked, TPB ran both a .torrent hosting and indexing service and a BitTorrent tracker.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by techpawn (969834)

        You mean Google runs a tracker...
        No, but I believe the GP is getting at the fact that Google can be USED like a tracker and because of the cached links they provide those are somewhere on their servers. If that's the case shouldn't they be held to the same standards as the pirate bay?

        Just because a gun maker makes a gun for general "sport" doesn't mean it shouldn't be held to gun laws. Even if the laws are for a gun that you know is just for killing someone.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by david.given (6740)

          No, but I believe the GP is getting at the fact that Google can be USED like a tracker...

          How? Does Google's cache software support the Bittorrent tracker protocol? If so, how do I use a .torrent that's been configured to use a different tracker server to use Google's instead?

        • Re:what's next? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Microlith (54737) on Monday February 04, 2008 @12:35PM (#22293676)
          The question would be that of intent and purpose, I imagine.

          First purpose:

          Google is a very general search engine, it hosts nothing. The question of its cache is still up for debate, but things can and have been removed from it. Google can not arguably be considered responsible for what is linked to on its site, since it controls nothing outside of the google domain (unless explicitly noted.)

          TPB is very specific, they host torrents and make no bones about it. They host trackers, which coordinate the transfers. They are in every way responsible for the torrents being uploaded, though it's the users that are actively violating the copyrights.

          And intent:

          Google is essentially a query driven directory where (the majority of) results point externally to the site. Google directs anyone to anything that matches the search term with no mind paid to the content, the author of the content or the poster of the content. Were you to remove the Google cache (the only part that arguably violates copyright,) Google would continue to function.

          TPB is dedicated around the hosting and location of torrents. Were you to remove the tracker and delist torrents of material whose distribution via bittorrent was not permitted, TPB's usefulness would plummet massively. The same goes for pretty much any site like TPB.

          The purpose and intent of search engines and sites like TPB are very, very different.
          • Re:what's next? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by ACMENEWSLLC (940904) on Monday February 04, 2008 @03:08PM (#22296458) Homepage
            I always wondered why folks didn't use other Internet technologies such as DNS to get around the "blocking" issue?

            What's to prevent all the tracker information from being put into a master DNS server with a low TTL, and building up torrent search software which queries DNS?

            You could store this into TXT records and query DNS to find the results;

            "Thomas-Edison-The-Lost-Chord-1888" IN TXT a9cd93da939d9c9

            The TXT being a unique code which again is looked up in DNS

            a9cd93da939d9c9.subdomain.domain.toplevel

            And the result is a list of IP's that are currently seeding the torrent,
            and thus BT can subscribe to. I can do a dynamic DNS update to
            add my client to the list of machines seeding the torrent.

            So there is no HTTP traffic involved in this exchange. The DNS is
            typically provided by the ISP, so caching would be in effect. So
            you want TTLs to be low. The clients will be querying against the ISP's
            DNS server. Dynamic DNS would be to the parent DNS server. The ISP could
            blackhole the zone by putting in a dummy record, but that can be overcome
            by using the root DNS servers or using any of the many open DNS servers.

            Anyway, my thoughts on the subject. ICMP would be another protocol one could
            potentially use to get around this too.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by paul248 (536459)
              An ISP would just have to filter any DNS packet which contains a banned hostname. It doesn't really matter which DNS server you're using. As far as I know, encrypting a DNS request isn't very feasible.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Hatta (162192)
            Google is a very general search engine, it hosts nothing.

            Um sure they do, they host dynamically generated html files filled with links.

            TPB is very specific, they host torrents and make no bones about it.

            So the pirate bay hosts files that contain links? Gee, where have I seen that before?

            Google is essentially a query driven directory where (the majority of) results point externally to the site.

            And TPB is essentially a query driven directory where 100% of the results point externally. (remember, the hosted
        • Re:what's next? (Score:5, Informative)

          by blueg3 (192743) on Monday February 04, 2008 @01:25PM (#22294534)
          No, it can't. Both your post and the one I originally replied to show a lack of understanding of how BitTorrent works. There are 2 layers of indirection, the tracker and the .torrent file, and they are separate.

          The actual file (or rather, chunk) copies are held by peers, and transferred only between peers. In order to be able to get chunks, though, you need to know who the peers are, so that you can communicate with them.

          The identities of those peers are provided by a tracker. Trackers are the equivalent of BitTorrent servers -- a client contacts them and, using the BitTorrent protocol, they inform the client of how to contact other peers.

          A .torrent file is a file containing all the necessary metadata about a torrent. Names of files, hashes, and how to contact the trackers for that torrent.

          An indexing site, or Google, can readily provide you the .torrent file. All this tells you is how to contact the trackers. It does not contain sufficient information to actually contact peers and download the torrent.

          A tracker, given a .torrent file, can actually be used by clients to contact peers for download. As such, its level of facilitation in the download and sharing process is much higher.

          Both a .torrent and a tracker are necessary for BitTorrent to function. Sites providing searching or caching, like Google, can provide the .torrent -- they cannot provide the tracker. Simply having a cached .torrent file provided by Google, if the trackers it references are shut down, would do you no good.

          (PEX and such complicate matters.)
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by superwiz (655733)
            Yes, but the order appears to block PirateBay. It's not a tracker (unless they do that as well), but rather a site that offers content-keywords-based search for torrents (more precisely trackers) that are stored at other locations. Since they don't host the trackers themselves but only provide links to them (unless they do both, in which case, I am wrong), their content (being purely web content) can be gotten from the Google cache.
            • Re:what's next? (Score:5, Informative)

              by JesseMcDonald (536341) on Monday February 04, 2008 @02:49PM (#22296046) Homepage

              Hosting trackers is the primary function of TPB; they're one of the most common and reliable tracker hosts. I'm also fairly certain their search feature only includes torrents for which TPB is the tracker. They don't host any of the actual contents, though; you won't see a TPB server acting as a seed. They merely act as coordinators, collecting and redistributing lists of the IP addresses and stats of the various clients participating in the torrent.

              • by superwiz (655733)
                Interesting. I didn't know that. Well, certainly, if that's true, Google cache would not help.
            • by blueg3 (192743)
              Yeah, TPB is a tracker. Listing torrents is their more-obvious feature, but providing the tracker is the more-useful one. Additionally, TorrentFreak article and Slashdot article both refer to it as a "tracker". I haven't read deep enough to see if the original order referred to it as a tracker, but, for reasons discussed already, the tracking component is what someone clever would target, as the "Google argument" doesn't work for it.
          • Re:what's next? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by kwark (512736) on Monday February 04, 2008 @03:24PM (#22296758)
            Most (all!) torrents I download from TPB don't set the private flag, so they can be "tracked" using the trackerless feature in the more intelligent clients. So a cached .torrent file will just do fine, it may take a bit longer to get the bits flowing but they will get there eventually.
  • they don't get it. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by B00yah (213676) on Monday February 04, 2008 @11:47AM (#22293094) Homepage
    Sure, they're blocking traffic to that specific tracker, but that doesn't really fix the "issue". Torrent trackers are like hydras, cut off one, and two will grow back in its place. Focusing on TPB will not end piracy via torrents, just as shutting down the original nova didn't over a year ago, and all the other trackers that have been closed down in between.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by owlnation (858981)
      Quite correct. Likely the only outcome of this is that the ISP in question starts bleeding 1,000s of customers per day.

      Proxies, alternative sites, usenet, etc. etc. Plenty of alternatives. They will never win with this approach. All they are doing in criminalizing the majority of their population. Which is foolish since politicians are supposed to represent their citizens and not the interests of overseas companies.

      Not that any of them do truly represent the majority of citizens of course.
      • by orclevegam (940336) on Monday February 04, 2008 @12:15PM (#22293442) Journal

        Quite correct. Likely the only outcome of this is that the ISP in question starts bleeding 1,000s of customers per day.

        Proxies, alternative sites, usenet, etc. etc. Plenty of alternatives.
        If past cases in Denmark are in indication Tele2 is just the first ISP to block access, all other ISPs in Denmark will soon follow. In short, if you live in Denmark, there really will be no alternatives. That being said however, there are other ways of establishing access other then switching ISPs (such as proxies as mentioned above). I'll be watching this closely as I can't wait to see the creative solutions that are going to be devised to prevent his sort of blocking in the future. Maybe we should take some notes from the botnets and see if there's a way to rework some of the tech like fast-flux DNS in a positive way to circumvent censorship.
        • Maybe we should take some notes from the botnets and see if there's a way to rework some of the tech like fast-flux DNS in a positive way to circumvent censorship.

          On the down side, it would be handing the *AA/IFPI a huge propaganda cudgel... "Look! those filthy pirates use the same techniques that h4x0rz use! Therefore if you use P2P, YOU are a h4x0r!"

          /P

        • by bjourne (1034822)

          If past cases in Denmark are in indication Tele2 is just the first ISP to block access, all other ISPs in Denmark will soon follow. In short, if you live in Denmark, there really will be no alternatives.

          If just one tenth of every Danish Tele2 customer that reads this phoned up their customer service and asked them why all out of a sudden, they can't access The Piratebay, they would soon have to reverse their decision. Angry customers on phone is expensive. Or better yet, tell them that you will switch to another ISP that doesn't block torrent sites.

          • by orclevegam (940336) on Monday February 04, 2008 @01:18PM (#22294406) Journal

            If just one tenth of every Danish Tele2 customer that reads this phoned up their customer service and asked them why all out of a sudden, they can't access The Piratebay, they would soon have to reverse their decision. Angry customers on phone is expensive. Or better yet, tell them that you will switch to another ISP that doesn't block torrent sites.
            It isn't a question of wanting to do anything, they were ordered by the court to block access. Not living in Denmark I can't say for sure, but I'd be very surprised if after being ordered by a court to do something, Tele2 can just say "nah, we're not going to do that, too many people complained", and not immediately be closed down by the police.
          • by BSAtHome (455370) on Monday February 04, 2008 @02:00PM (#22295138)
            Tele2 doesn't give a rats ass for its customers. They recently "upgraded" many customers to higher bandwidth because they are under pressure for competition, but they made a mistake that cause a large userbase to be downgraded instead. Tele2's support admitted the mistake and admitted that they _did_not_ actively went out to fix this. Each and every customer has to detect their degraded line themselves and then call support (and then wait 5 days until it is fixed). Tele2 has recently been bought and I do not give them very long anymore with their absolutely sub-standard service.
        • by Splab (574204)
          As I wrote elsewhere, TDC and Telia have both stated to comon.dk that they will not be implementing this blocking unless they lose a court case. Also this is only a DNS level blocking, so its easily circumvented.

          What I would like to know, how does this play with the Nordic trade agreements? Norway, Denmark Sweden (and others?) have a common agreement much like the EU with free trade (I think). Since TPB is legal in Sweden and this block will hinder them doing buisness (they make money on their ads) won't th
          • As I wrote elsewhere, TDC and Telia have both stated to comon.dk that they will not be implementing this blocking unless they lose a court case.

            It's good to hear the other ISPs aren't going to fold as easy this time as they did in the past, but putting something like that out on the table is likely to be seen as an invitation to take them to court.

            What I would like to know, how does this play with the Nordic trade agreements? Norway, Denmark Sweden (and others?) have a common agreement much like the EU with free trade (I think). Since TPB is legal in Sweden and this block will hinder them doing buisness (they make money on their ads) won't this be a bit of a problem?

            Now that is an interesting question. Unfortunately I don't know much about EU law, and even less so about Nordic law, so I can't really offer any insight on this one. Though as these sorts of cases become more and more common I think this will be a story repeated often enough, and it's going to be inter

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by empaler (130732)
          Actually, the current case isn't against Tele2, but DMT2 (who I've never heard of). I think that the reason that IFPI have gone for DMT2 (and in the previous case about AllOfMP3.com) is that they're a very small ISP that are more likely to give up rather than try to throw money at a fight that's a waste from their cost-benefit view. If they went for some of the bigger ISPs like TDC or Telenor, they'd probably actually have a fight on their hands, because if Telenor started bleeding customers on this, it'd p
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2008 @12:07PM (#22293354)
      They're not even doing that, this is a DNS level block. A few sub domains pointing to 83.140.176.146 should enlighten the Danish judiciary.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Yes, how very true. The MAFIAA should realise that waging war against trackers is futile. Perhaps they should look at this graph to see their lack of success [alexa.com].
    • by shark72 (702619)

      "Sure, they're blocking traffic to that specific tracker, but that doesn't really fix the "issue". Torrent trackers are like hydras, cut off one, and two will grow back in its place. Focusing on TPB will not end piracy via torrents, just as shutting down the original nova didn't over a year ago, and all the other trackers that have been closed down in between."

      This sounds pretty close to a straw man argument -- deliberately misrepresenting your opponent's position so you can tear it down.

      Which is more

  • IFPI (Score:5, Interesting)

    by snowraver1 (1052510) on Monday February 04, 2008 @11:47AM (#22293100)
    "It's very frightening that IFPI can get through the courts with something like this. In Turkey and China its the state that decides what information the people can access and what should be censored. In Denmark its apparently the record industry,"

    I think that sums it up quite nicely.
    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by camperslo (704715)
      "It's very frightening that IFPI can get through the courts with something like this. In Turkey and China its the state that decides what information the people can access and what should be censored. In Denmark its apparently the record industry,"

      That kind of censorship is certainly disturbing, this is truely frightening [independent.co.uk]
    • Re:IFPI (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kjella (173770) on Monday February 04, 2008 @12:52PM (#22293948) Homepage
      Let me just pull up these assumptions:
      1. TPB is illegal under Danish law
      2. TPB is legal under Swedish law

      Now, at this point they can react in one of three ways:
      1. Give up any sort of jurisdiction because everyone "is" in Sweden from their livingroom chair. This is different than going to the Netherlands to smoke pot, it's more like routing money over your offshore account. This would make the whole world subject to the least common denominator forbidden on the Internet, which they're powerless to change. Countries like USA would have to permit international gambling and artistic nudes too strong for the US public, Germany would have to give up its hate speech and nazi memorabilia ban and don't get me started on what the oppressive regimes would have to give up. In short, not happening.

      2. Try to strike at the foreign site and exercise some kind of world law via cheap shots like threatening local subsidiaries. This has generally been frowned upon by slashdot, the companies themselves that don't want to deal with every other country's law and the local courts, which feel they're being overrun by foreign law and are losing their soverignity. In the most extreme consequence, the world would be subject to the least common denominator allowed on the Internet, which would obviously be a terrible thing for the whole free world.

      3. Block it at the border, keep our law in our country and lat you have your law in your country. Yes, you're building border infrastructure that could potentially be used to censor other traffic. Then again, the real-world border infrastructure we're building could potentially be used to prevent the population from escaping like in the old East Bloc, I'd say a lot of other things would have to go very wrong first before we're there. I don't want the most presmissive or the most oppressive community standard and there's no such thing as one unified global community standard. Hell, you'll find it very difficult to find one within the US or EU or even smaller areas. And a forced global standard would be the ultimate lack of local governance...
      • I'd say a lot of other things would have to go very wrong first before we're there

        The fact that this wall is going up is proof that things are already horribly wrong and only going to get worse.

        As part of the Real ID act [wikipedia.org] which itself was a hitchhiker attached to a budget bill:

        Waiving laws that interfere with construction of physical barriers at the borders

        It's not just that they're trying to build 1 wall. In that bill they received authorization to build walls anywhere they want without regard to any laws to the contrary.

        At this point I don't know whether we should push or pull. Should we try to prevent and slow down the loss of the American Dream or should we at

      • Block it at the border, keep our law in our country and lat you have your law in your country.
        Not going to happen as long as private cryptography is legal. Even in the unlikely case it becomes illegal, there is still steganography. Heck, they would have to make transmitting any "unexplainable" string of bits illegal.

        Hey, you - the least significant transparency bits in the image you just downloaded look suspiciously random!
    • by WK2 (1072560)
      In Soviet Russia, the government controls the press. In the free world, the press controls the government.
  • by techpawn (969834) on Monday February 04, 2008 @11:49AM (#22293118) Journal
    If you're going to block one tracker, you have to block them all yes? What rank is Google? I can type in "insert torrent here" tor and get back a pretty solid list of torrents that way too...
    • by Kenoli (934612)
      It's more of a ridiculous stunt than a serious attempt to stop piracy. (Or, if it is serious, it's pretty fucking poor attempt)
      There's no need to do anything except what grabs the most attention.
    • I would like to see any country block Google for any reasonable length of time. Interesting to watch...
  • "Working on countermeasures" - Hmm.... can't they just tell the users to use Tor?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by MSZ (26307)
      Solution: DHT. Works nicely - a bit slower, but you still can join the swarm.

      So they just need to meet one peer that know TPB torrents. Say, on a tracker distributing Linux... Then peer exchange and DHT will take care of the problem. Mission downloaded :-)
  • "In Turkey and China its the state that decides what information the people can access and what should be censored. In Denmark its apparently the record industry." I think it's funny that in almost every case the people are not allowed to censor for themselves... apparently Record Industries and Governments know what the public should and should not see. Censored troll is ********.
  • Power (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Mushdot (943219)

    It amazes me how much power the music and film industry can wield. If I recall, Sweden has a law against being pressured by outside interests? Maybe other countries should follow suit and pass their own similar laws before Hollywood becomes the law.

    • Sweden has a law against being pressured by outside interests? Maybe other countries should follow suit and pass their own similar laws before Hollywood becomes the law.

      Laws mean nothing until you're willing to enforce them. If just passing a law was all that was necessary, illegal immigration into the United States would have ended in 1986.

  • by snehoej (1162671) on Monday February 04, 2008 @11:53AM (#22293200)
    Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
  • p2p tracker (Score:2, Interesting)

    by v_1_r_u_5 (462399)
    why not use a p2p approach for the tracker itself, with multiple entry nodes into the network? it's simple, elegant, resilient, robust, and powerful.
  • arrr! batten down the hatches me hearties, and prepare to receive boarders! arrr!

    of course this suddenly renews a lot of interest in technological counter measures. its interesting that this is the second time the same ISP has been hit in a similar fashion after the AllOfMP3 debacle. I wonder how specific the ruling is? for example if they allowed a domain named "ElPirateBay" on another IP address that was not mentioned in the ruling would they be in the clear? This is, after all, a touch more specific t
  • Just a DNS block. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2008 @12:06PM (#22293342)
    Changing your DNS lookup to fx. opendns.org will solve the technical side of the censorship for now.

    So the issue is really the on the censorship itself and where it ends.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      If an ISP really wanted to crack down, and install the kind of filtering software a lot of us have at work, one of the first things they will block is DNS rerouting and all known proxy server services. About the only thing you can do in that case is to either find a proxy that they haven't heard of (which they would be onto the second they noticed you using it a lot) or set up your own proxy server on an unfiltered box somewhere (difficult if your all the other ISP's are blocking a given site too).
  • If torrents are successfully outlawed, a new legal protocol will be widespread within 90 days.
  • by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Monday February 04, 2008 @12:12PM (#22293414) Homepage
    One kid was charged with DKK 200,000 (US$ 40,000) for putting links on his home page pointing to sites where you could download music unauthorized. He was never sentenced though, as he died before the case was closed, and the Danish RIAA at least had the decency not to charge his parents.

    For another example, Google News is available in all Scandinavian languages, except Danish. During the bubble a similar Danish news aggregating service was shut down by the courts by a decision that could be taken as out ruling deep linking altogether.

    The scary thing for me is that there see to be a strong degree of acceptance of this situation in the nerd community. There seem to be a huge gab between us and Sweden in this regard.

    Denmark is also where Microsoft domination is most firm, and before that, the one market where OS/2 really penetrated. We love out corporate masters. Every action taken against corporate abuse seems to come through EU, never the Danish government (no matter their political composition).

  • This isn't the end.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Splab (574204) on Monday February 04, 2008 @12:25PM (#22293564)
    First of all the court in question is "Fogedretten" which is I guess somewhat similar to a small claims court. A company can get an injunction against another if they believe the other part is doing something wrong, if the other company decides to roll over and play dead it ends there, else it can go all the way to supreme court.

    IFPI decided to attack Tele2 again because they have a reputation of not fighting back, which is most likely the case here (court documents haven't been released yet) - TDC and Telia the main operators here in Denmark have stated they will not implement this unless they lose in court.

    Also, the block will be a DNS level block, so it has zero effect since it will only be on Tele2 DNS servers and it wont take long for kids to figure that out.
    • by cstdenis (1118589)
      Instead of spending time and money fighting it, they accepted it and put in a token level compliance.

      Certainly better than if they really tried to fight tpb and started blocking IPs or something. At least this way it's easy to work around without using slow proxies.
  • If something in my contry in censored, will I not have the right and duty to know what exactly it is, so I can avoid unintended affiliation with the content?

    If so, where should I search for information about ongoing internet censorship? I live in Denmark, and one (positive) example of censorship is country-wide block of access to certain child-pornography sites. Statistics are collected about failed attempts to access those sites, and probably IP-adresses as well. The same would probably be the case for ter
  • by MichaelCrawford (610140) on Monday February 04, 2008 @01:06PM (#22294168) Homepage Journal
    BitTorrent is critical for the success of Open Source and Free Software projects, in that it is used to distribute installation CD images. Distribution by HTTP alone is often prohibitively costly.

    It's also important for musicians like myself [geometricvisions.com], as well as to the musicians that are members of Jamendo [jamendo.com], which distributes Creative Commons-licensed music via BitTorrent and eMule.

    A struggling musian who distributes his work via HTTP can easily be bankrupted if one of his songs suddenly becomes a hit. P2P filesharing, via BitTorrent and other protocols, provides an affordable alternative.

    In discussing P2P with other people, and especially with your legislators as well as your ISPs, it's important to stress the legal uses of it. Otherwise they will only see it as a source of lawbreaking and copyright infringment.

    • BitTorrent isn't crucial for the success of open source projects - open source was around long before BitTorrent and the larger files that are suited to the protocol are always heavily mirrored by HTTP mirroring services anyway. If BitTorrent were to disappear tomorrow it wouldn't affect the open source world at all.

      Struggling musicians being bankrupted by bandwidth costs? I'd be interested to see examples of that. Bandwidth is pretty cheap these days if you shop around. There are plenty of services out t

    • by Haeleth (414428)

      BitTorrent is critical for the success of Open Source and Free Software projects, in that it is used to distribute installation CD images. Distribution by HTTP alone is often prohibitively costly.

      It's also important for musicians like myself, as well as to the musicians that are members of Jamendo, which distributes Creative Commons-licensed music via BitTorrent and eMule.

      In that case you should be among the most vociferous opponents of The Pirate Bay, a website which is dedicated to promoting the use of Bi

    • by Sloppy (14984)
      I may have misinterpreted TFA, but they're talking about blocking access to a tracker, not bittorrent itself. This won't interfere with your ability to distribute your music, other than removing one pointer to it. The page on your website that serves the torrent files, won't be blocked by this decision, nor will using the .torrent files be interfered with. No?
      • While The Pirate Bay primarily serves up infringing files, a friend of mine uploaded my legal .torrents to a bunch of pirate sites. So if those pirate sites are taken down, I suffer too.

        Also most calls to block p2p don't suggest just blocking the warez sites, but the protocols as a whole, for example what the RIAA/MPAA keep trying to get Universities to do.

  • will be the ones "dragging the anchor", so to speak...
  • Good thing trackers are small. This makes all kinds of counter-measures against blocking feasible.

"No job too big; no fee too big!" -- Dr. Peter Venkman, "Ghost-busters"

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