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Belgian ISP Scores Victory In Landmark P2P Case 76

Posted by timothy
from the you-can't-make-us-do-that dept.
secmartin writes "Belgian ISP Scarlet scored an important victory in the first major European test of copyright law. The interim decision forcing them to block transfers of copyrighted materials via P2P has been reversed, because the judge agreed with Scarlet that the measures the Belgian RIAA proposed to implement proved to be ineffective. A final decision is expected next year."
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Belgian ISP Scores Victory In Landmark P2P Case

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  • Not a victory (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 26, 2008 @12:14AM (#25514697)

    Thats not a landmark victory, thats a "your honor their idiots their idea doesn't work" "your right don't waste your time."

    All they got there was a "That doesn't work" not a "you can't do that"

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by cpicon92 (1157705)
      you're honore, i ca'nt spelle
    • Re:Not a victory (Score:4, Informative)

      by Kingrames (858416) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @12:55AM (#25514877)
      In this day and age, that is an epic victory to be sung by bards for all of eternity.
      • You mean, until someone designs something that does work ? What are we talking ? 3 months ? 6 months ?

        Okay, this is a very diffucult problem, a very very difficult problem. So let's be optimistic and say 2 years.

        • by mpe (36238)
          You mean, until someone designs something that does work ? What are we talking ? 3 months ? 6 months ?

          Much longer than that, decades would be a more reasonable estimate.

          Okay, this is a very diffucult problem, a very very difficult problem. So let's be optimistic and say 2 years.

          The kind of thing needed simply does not exist outside of Sci Fi novels. It would need an actual AI which is more intelligent than the average human. Even if you create something to do the job it's likely to object to being you
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by MrNaz (730548)

      1. Find a mirror.
      2. Repeat while looking at yourself: "You're an idiot and your spelling and grammar is atrocious."
      3. Do this exercise [better-english.com] and then read these instructions [wikihow.com].

      You are now closer to being able to contribute to your country's literacy rate.

    • Re:Not a victory (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kjella (173770) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @07:09AM (#25516355) Homepage

      Thats not a landmark victory, thats a "your honor their idiots their idea doesn't work" "your right don't waste your time."

      All they got there was a "That doesn't work" not a "you can't do that"

      Don't abuse the troll mod, this isn't trolling. After reading the TFA I tend to agree as it says "The court has now ruled in favor of Scarlet, staying the fine until the final ruling in this case which is expected about a year from now." Basicly, they haven't been able to make the filtering work and since they've been at it for years I doubt they will a year from now either, but this ruling doesn't say they need not implement a filtering system, only that they won't be fined until there's a filtering system that works. I don't think one can be made to work, but who knows what a judge might decide next year - "This is a POS but it's better than nothing"? A good ruling yes, but the last word has not been said.

    • WTF? Tried to mod this Insightful and got 'Redundant'? Posting to undo...

      In any event, parent may not be able to spell worth diddley, but is NOT a troll. IMO, poster is dead on.

  • Wow (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 26, 2008 @12:15AM (#25514705)

    I hope "ISP" means waffles and "P2P" means syrup!

  • Belgian RIAA? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Since when does the Recording Industry Association of America have anything at all to do with Belgium?
    • Re:Belgian RIAA? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 26, 2008 @01:08AM (#25514947)

      Think I can solve this with a Twitter analogy:

      Slashdot has an insane user called Twitter, he comes out with a lot of weird shit, just like the RIAA. Then a user called freenix [slashdot.org] appears and spouts the same weirdness, as do a bunch of other users. They all have different names and UIDs than Twitter but, if it talks like Twitter, if it doesn't post anything other than support for Twitter, it's safe to assume that it is Twitter.

      The same is true of the Belgian RIAA: if it talks like the RIAA and litigates like the RIAA, it's safe to assume that it is the RIAA.

      Think about it, the RIAA is made up of the world's most powerful record labels. They may have registered different names, but they're the same beast underneath. :)

      • by Godji (957148)
        A Twitter analogy? This guy is totally getting popular.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mce (509)

        Think about it, the RIAA is made up of the world's most powerful record labels. They may have registered different names, but they're the same beast underneath. :)

        Yes and no. Of course the RIAA and its Belgian "counterpart" SABAM are strongly linked through their members, but they're not just "the RIAA registering under a different name". SABAM was founded in 1922, and represents not only the recording industry (let alone only the US one), but also independent authors, composers, etc. In fact, one of my

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by josiebgoode (754961)
      RTFA, this is not RIAA, this is SABAM (Belgian Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers).
      • SABAM (Belgian Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers).

        Eh? That would spell BSACP, not SABAM.

        • The name is an acronym in two languages: "Société des Auteurs Belge - Belgische Auteurs Maatschappy", basically meaning belgian society of authors. I presume composers and publishers were tacked on later so now they stick with the old name for brand recognition (ha!) but add others in a subtitle.

    • by Dan541 (1032000)

      This is slashdot, accuracy is irrelevant.

  • Belgian RIAA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @01:03AM (#25514907) Journal

    We're going to need a better term than
    "[name of country that is not America] RIAA"
    Since the last "A" stands for America

    I propose RIA* and MPA*
    [/Serious]

    Collectively, they can be referred to as **A*

  • So.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aerynvala (1109505) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @01:06AM (#25514933) Homepage
    If people use public transportation to move 'stolen' goods, does that mean stores should have the right to sue the transit authorities running the bus systems? Because that's pretty much what that case amounts to.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sortius_nod (1080919)

      Well, if you knowingly allowed someone to transport stolen goods on public transport you'd be liable as the operator (depending on how high up it went). Unfortunately audio/video files aren't really that tangible, and the network operators "should" be able to know what's going on.

      It's more of an ethical victory rather than a victory of common sense - to monitor and block users traffic really sits on the edge of being ethically "good".

      I do see this as a nice stab in the eye of the MaFIA, but it really is onl

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by catxk (1086945)
      Add to the argument that the amount of illegal goods in the public transportation system is substantial, lets say more than 20 percent of everything transported, and also that there is tech available that allowed the transport company to identify commuters carrying the illegal goods.

      Now you have an interesting argument, albeit still worthless as you will now try to come to a conclusion for a real case (piracy) based on "facts" derived from a fictional case (transport company).
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jonaskoelker (922170)

        Add to the argument that [...] there is tech available that allowed the transport company to identify commuters carrying the illegal goods.

        There isn't. Suppose I wear a hood plus striped shirt and carry a bag of money that says "loot". When the police officer on board starts questioning me, I show him the contract that documents my employment as a courier for Sillybank.

        In the case we're talking about: the problem isn't detecting peer-to-peer. The problem is detecting copyright infringement.

        You can have two identical bit streams where one infringes copyright and the other doesn't. It all depends on the humans at the ends of the bit streams,

        • by catxk (1086945)
          I see your point, but then the entire case is stupid (well, I guess that's no surprise). According to the summary, the case is about "block transfers of copyrighted materials via P2P". If what you say is true, and I guess it is, then the case itself is flawed and I don't even know what we're talking about. Or why.
        • by Skye16 (685048)

          I suddenly have the irresistible urge to write "loot" on a bag full of stacks of paper in vaguely bill-shaped form.

        • by mpe (36238)
          You can have two identical bit streams where one infringes copyright and the other doesn't. It all depends on the humans at the ends of the bit streams, and the senders' agreements (or lack thereof) with the copyright holder.

          As well as there being situations where such permission isn't actually required or where the ownership of the copyright is in contention.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nahdude812 (88157) *

        Except that in your corollary, the goods aren't stolen: they're indistinguishably perfect counterfeits which you are giving away for free.

    • Re:So.. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by secmartin (1336705) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @03:15AM (#25515449)
      Well, if you rob a bank the driver of your getaway car is likely to land in jail. The main argument in this case is that there are ways for the ISP to know the content transferred is illegal. The ISP says all solutions they tried were ineffective, thus countering this argument.

      Incidentally, I think this is one of the main reasons many ISPs are no longer offering Usenet access; if they are offering their customers newsgroups with the name "alt.binaries.warez" it's hard to argue they don't realize it contains copyrighted material. With P2P transfers that argument is easier to make, especially if the software uses encryption.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        the grandparent assumes that someone has already determined what goods are stolen and what ones aren't when they are being transported. the concept of fair-use in most sane copyright legislation makes the determination of a violation nontrivial.

        just like in real life, no one can stop you from transporting stolen goods without first determining whether those goods were indeed stolen or are merely borrowed, purchased, bartered, found, inherited, etc.

        i suspect that this is the crux of the legal case here. ISP
      • by Dan541 (1032000)

        But if the robber uses public transport the transport company should also be held accountable because there are way for them to know what people are carrying.

  • Hi, Belgian here... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Paaskonijn (1220996) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @06:10AM (#25516137)

    I'm afraid you've been misinformed.

    There's no real victory here. At least, not what we on Slashdot would call a victory. The judgement still stands. The only thing that's been revoked is the penalty of 2500 euro per day the ISP does not actively block illegal downloads on its network.

    The judge explicitly asked Scarlet to keep looking for "a technical solution to suit the decision of the court".

    The final decision (and our last chance at a real victory) is scheduled for October 2009.

    • I believe that's said near the end of the article:

      "The court has now ruled in favor of Scarlet, staying the fine until the final ruling in this case which is expected about a year from now.

      Let's all hope the final decision throws out Sabam's arguments; if ISP's are ruled to be responsible for the content passing through their network, that might signal the end of the internet as we know it...

  • I live in Belgium and Scarlet is my ISP but I honestly had absolutely no idea this was going on.

    Damn, damn, damn, I thought I was safe from this American bullshit here.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Paaskonijn (1220996)
      You're not very familiar with Sabam, are you? They've been acting "all American" for as long as I can remember.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by NaughtyNimitz (763264)
      Oh man, don't get me starting about SABAM. I compose my own music for websites (using garagaband!) and EVERY TIME i get a letter from them asking me what source/author i used so they can bill me. I really really really hate them.
  • If the only reason that it is stopped is that the proposed method is not effective, well, that's not good.

    What if they do as instructed by the courts and decide to use an effective method? Will the courts allow them to do it then?

    As we all know, the only effective measure for site filtering is a white list. Perhaps in this case, only trackers that host non-copyrighted content, a method to get your site white listed (and certify you won't distribute copyrighted material) etc. Of course it's draconian. Pe

    • Yes, engineers are good at solving problems, but on wich ones are you going to bet?
      1) a couple of ones who are ordered to block all illegal trafic and may lack motivation due to ethical concerns.
      2) hundreds of thousands higly motivated to get their pr0n.

  • by Noctris (591045) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @01:04PM (#25518375) Homepage
    I actually work in the media area and have negotiated contracts with these guys.. A couple of nice examples: They actually sued an artist over using his OWN song on his OWN website, cause the artist had a contract with them, so sabam should do all his copyright related stuff and he never asked them for permission to put his own intellectual property on his own website... Their contracts still speak of "Phonograph" (yes.. like Thomas Edison did) when they mean "songs" or "tracks".. And they think they can tell isp's how to do their stuff ? Damn.. they still prefer a fax over an e-mail..
    • by QJimbo (779370)

      They actually sued an artist over using his OWN song on his OWN website, cause the artist had a contract with them
      Not that unreasonable, if they gave him an advance and told him to write music for them, it usually means they own everything he writes to be used in a possible album. If he put a song on his site he actually recorded for the label, such action is even more expected, e.g. Who paid for the recording studio time? Who paid for the session musicians? Who paid to have it produced?

      • by Skye16 (685048)

        Which is why it is best to triple the time it would normally take to put your music out, get a real job, save your money up, and own your own god damned property after YOU pay for everything.

        Of course, this is coming from the dude who refused to have a professional photographer take pictures at his wedding because he is adamantly opposed to the concept of the "work" being *theirs*, so take that bit of hypocrisy with you and chew on it a bit.

        • by Ciggy (692030)

          Of course, this is coming from the dude who refused to have a professional photographer take pictures at his wedding because he is adamantly opposed to the concept of the "work" being *theirs*,...

          No Problem...point them towards this [wikipedia.org] as obviously your wedding is your copyright?...but then again, it would probably only be such if your wedding took place in Belgium.

      • by Noctris (591045)
        Err.. i think you need to read up.. that is not important ( and in this case, it was actually an artist who did not reside under a big record company but did it himself).. SO.. with that extra information.. how can it be "OK" for a rights organisation, with whom HE is a customer, sues him over using his own music...
  • P2P will never die

I cannot conceive that anybody will require multiplications at the rate of 40,000 or even 4,000 per hour ... -- F. H. Wales (1936)

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