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Piracy The Courts The Internet United States

US Pirate Movie Site DNS Seizure Fail 343

Posted by timothy
from the routing-around-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Last week, the US government in a highly publicized copyright protection frenzy took the extraordinary step of seizing domain names from foreign movie sites like NinjaVideo.net and TVshack.net. While the seizure raises confusing Internet legal / jurisdiction questions (the US and perhaps the state of Kentucky can seize domain names for foreign companies?), this study shows the legal issues may be moot — the raids mostly failed. Within hours of domain name seizure, tvshack.cc was back up and running (but this time using a Chinese registrar and a Cocos Islands ccTLD)."
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US Pirate Movie Site DNS Seizure Fail

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  • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @12:41PM (#32813818) Journal

    More recently in 2008, Kentucky courts seized the domain names for 141 online gambling sites (all for companies based in other countries including Malta and Costa Rica). The Kentucky court action threatened to disrupt global traffic to PokerStars, Full Tilt, Absolute Poker and many others. As of March of this year the case is still winding its way through Kentucky appellate and supreme court (the case has been reversed then upheld and is currently resolving issues of standing).

    What gives US the right to seize domains of companies based in other countries and force their laws, views and things like ACTA and banning of internet casinos to citizens of other countries?

    You wouldn't want China to take down international sites that violate their laws, would you? Or radical countries like North Korea? It's not even just about Internet, but in general too. What makes it OK for USA to do so. Actually, instead of filtering maybe China should start just taking down the sites they don't like.

    Since US tries to put laws on the citizens of other countries, I say it's only fair other countries do the same. Like execute the death sentence of Facebook CEO [softpedia.com]. The best thing about this is that if Zuckerberg gets put into Interpol wanted list, he gets extradited to Pakistan as soon as he visits some other country. It's only fair, right?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by logjon (1411219)
      Please don't confuse us with our government. We're as fucking dumbstruck and horrified with this as you are. Just...wtf?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by OzPeter (195038)

        Please don't confuse us with our government. We're as fucking dumbstruck and horrified with this as you are. Just...wtf?

        You voted them in, so the're your responsibility. Unless you want to go the tin-foil hat route and say that the US populace has no influence or control over their government - in which case I would be looking for another country of residence.

        • by logjon (1411219) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @12:52PM (#32814030)
          I don't know if you realize this, but we have a 2 party system. Every four years, we're faced with a decision between a giant douche and a turd sandwich. The government is not accountable to us, so long as they're getting the terrorists.
          • by countertrolling (1585477) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @01:15PM (#32814396) Journal

            I don't know where you vote, but my ballots frequently have more than two candidates on them, in addition to a write in option. You are perfectly free to choose as you please. The government is as accountable as we make it, and not one iota more. All this whining is just an attempt to shed personal responsibility.

            • I tried that here in California (Libertarian)...
              Seeing their power base eroded the TwoParties pulled the wool over the voters eyes and got a ballot measure passed to consolidate their power. Now the top two vote getters in the primaries will be the only two that can be voted for in the election, thus you will no longer be able to vote for a third party.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by mldi (1598123)

              I don't know where you vote, but my ballots frequently have more than two candidates on them, in addition to a write in option. You are perfectly free to choose as you please. The government is as accountable as we make it, and not one iota more. All this whining is just an attempt to shed personal responsibility.

              Or it's just realistic. You can vote, technically, for whoever you want. But when the media and 99% of everyone else is touting a choice between a giant douche and a turd sandwich, the dumb masses of the public:
              a) won't vote for someone else in an organized effort
              b) think voting with "their" party is still the best option (even though their views might be wildly different), or
              c) have no idea what the other options are

              Realistically, you'd have to have more than a 2-party system in order to pull anything

          • by kimvette (919543)

            I vote for the giant douche -- I'm not into scat.

        • by ArhcAngel (247594) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @01:01PM (#32814192)

          Unfortunately there are a lot more like this lady [youtube.com] than there are of me.

          • Thanks.
            I only had a little tiny shred of hope for my country left. Now that too is gone to oblivion.

          • by kimvette (919543)

            **sigh** It's frightening that she is actually allowed to function in society. She's so typical of Obama supporters. I can't help but wonder if she is the reason we have "texting" laws now, despite that if officers enforced actual safety related laws (improper lane changes, improper turns, driving left of center, failure to maintain control of the vehicle, reckless driving, hindering the flow of traffic, failure to yield, and so on and so forth). "Why there oughtta be a law" then when reminded there are al

            • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @02:34PM (#32815778) Journal

              You're against anti-texting laws? Why? The AAA performed studies showing that texting-while-driving causes 2-3 times slower reaction time than drinking-and-driving. If DUI should be banned because it's dangerous, then so too should DWT (driving while texting) because it's much much worse.

              I almost got hit by a woman who was talking-while-driving. She blasted right through the red light as if it wasn't there, almost clipping my front end (fortunately I was only going 5 mph and could slow down quickly). These people are stupid. They CAN'T multitask because they're brains aren't smart enough. They should not be allowed to anything else while driving. It should be banned.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by natophonic (103088)

            Fortunately for you, people like that lady rarely can be bothered to actually go vote, whereas people like this lady [youtube.com] take it as their Holy Mission to get to the polls for every single general, primary, or school board election.

            Perhaps if we all didn't get so wrapped up in the moral panics and anger points politicians use to manipulate us, you and I could elect people who'd actually do something sane about things like IP laws and their enforcement... you know, "stuff that matters."

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              She reminds me of some of the preachers I see on TV. They spout all kinds of nonsense that doesn't even exist in the Bible. False prophets.

          • That's the most horrifying thing I've ever heard. Silent majority, right there, everybody!
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Haffner (1349071)
          The execution of the majority of government policy is left to unelected bureacrats.
          • by thomst (1640045)
            I saw:

            The execution of the majority of government policy is left to unelected bureacrats.

            and, just for a moment, saw it as:

            "The execution of the majority of government,"

            and thought, "Damn! What a good idea!"

        • OK, so you must like censorship, since you live in Australia and you voted in the fucks who are filtering your internet. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
          • by OzPeter (195038)

            OK, so you must like censorship, since you live in Australia and you voted in the fucks who are filtering your internet. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

            LOL .. way to try for the win with a logical fallacy (as well as an assumption or two for good measure).

            The correct statement of affairs is that by continually partaking in the electoral process I am taking responsibility for the state of my government. However the democratic process doesn't guarantee an outcome that is favourable to a single voter.

            • by JWW (79176)

              You voted them in, so they're your responsibility. Unless you want to go the tin-foil hat route and say that the Australian populace has no influence or control over their government - in which case I would be looking for another country of residence.

              I really love how your criticism of the US was phrased as an absolute, and then you excuse yourself from your country's governmental choices because a least you voted, and a single voter can't change much.

            • You have of course given in to the obvious, government only represents the majority consensus, therefore the minority of 'individual voters' is blameless so long as they have participated. Though I doubt you'll retract your attack on all voters. In which case you admit that you take responsibility for the censorship of the internet in Australia, good on ya... at least you're not a hypocrite.
              • by OzPeter (195038)

                You have of course given in to the obvious, government only represents the majority consensus, therefore the minority of 'individual voters' is blameless so long as they have participated.

                For fucks sake. I was basically paraphrasing Lincoln from the Gettysburg address:

                But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

                You = people = government

                How hard can it be?

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  Just because Lincoln and his speeches are esteemed does not make them inherently right. Not to mention that he was responsible for overseeing the effective termination of the sovereignty of the individual states, so he would definitely see government as responsible only to the majority, and the minority should suffer any imposition the majority sees fit.

                  Your concept is not hard, but you see simple does not automatically mean correct.

                  A democracy is accountable only to the majority of its electorate withi
          • OK, so you must like censorship, since you live in Australia and you voted in the fucks who are filtering your internet. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

            They're all fucks. We had no choice.

        • I didn't vote them in.
          /ronpaul
        • It is an interesting paradox: No one likes congress but the majority of people like their congressman.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          >>>You voted them in, so the're your responsibility.

          No I didn't. I have never voted for Bush, never voted for Obama, and never voted for my current Democrat asshole in Congress (Arlen Spewtrum) Actually I may have voted for him back when I was in college and stupid, but not anytime during the 2000s. Also as I'm sure you're aware, whether I vote D or R makes no difference. They are both Progressives, both pushing for bigger government, both inching us toward neo-feudalism (you're a serf and con

    • by BigJClark (1226554) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @12:49PM (#32813964)

      I think its a sign of desperation. They know they are losing the war, and instead of changing with the times, they are adopting basically undefensable, unwinnable strategies.

      I'm not forming an opinion on who's right or who's wrong, but I can tell you who is winning.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by paeanblack (191171)

        I think its a sign of desperation. They know they are losing the war, and instead of changing with the times, they are adopting basically undefensable, unwinnable strategies.

        Given that I'd never heard of these sites until they got some federally subsidized free publicity, I'd have to agree with you.

        That said, I'd love to see the MPAA turn around and sue the Feds for contributory copyright infringement.

    • by wmbetts (1306001) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @12:51PM (#32814008)

      Nothing gives the US that right. I'd say a fair amount of people here feel the same way I do about that (at least I hope so).

      • by Mitsoid (837831) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @02:03PM (#32815152)
        I posted elsewhere but feel it's worth mentioning again:

        Illegal property located in the USA was seized by US officials for violating US law. They used a US registrar to point to their content that was illegal in the US. (i.e. don't host your anti-china website in china, don't host your anti-uk site in the UK. If your website violates a countries laws, don't host any part of it IN THAT COUNTRY)

        IN THIS CASE, No foreign countries were involved, No over reaching of US bounds. I agree sometimes the government (while spurred by big business) do this... It is NOT the case here.

        The short: When in a foreign country, do not violate their laws. They 'purchased' something in a country where it was illegal. That illegal property was seized. Their fault for violating local laws.
    • by klingens (147173) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @12:52PM (#32814022)

      What gives the US the right is simply this: the registry for said TLD is located in the US.

      Just like China can apply their local laws to the TLD registry they control ,.cn, and North Korea can apply its laws to .nk, so can the US do the same for the registries which are based there: .com, .net, .org, .us.

      The same applies to webservers: no matter under what TLD a webserver serves, if it's physically located inside the US, US laws apply to this server. In that case the US can't control the DNS name of the sites which are served but the pages/sites themselves.

      If you don't like that, you can only try to convince your preferred registry to relocate to a country which has laws and procedures which are better suited to your goals. Or you could simply register a domain under that country's TLD.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bjourne (1034822)
        Don' you in the US have some laws that prevent your authorities from randomly seizing property? The operators of the sites have not been called to any trial, have had no verdict against them and from what has been reported, no investigation has even been opened. It is understandable if they would have seized the servers, as those can be used as evidence in a trial. Domain names on the other hand can not, which makes it plainly obvious that the only reason for their seizure was to disrupt the websites operat
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Don' you in the US have some laws that prevent your authorities from randomly seizing property?

          Theoretically, yes.

          Practically, no.

          Actually, in a previous career I seized quite a bit of property. The bar to get over, depending on the particular laws in play and the agency you work for, is usually pretty darn low.

    • by tophermeyer (1573841) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @12:54PM (#32814074)
      But we invented it! Al Gore laid the tubes himself! Shouldn't we get to make the rules and get to say who can use it and who can't?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by digitig (1056110)
        That's why you get the three letter TLDs like .com and everybody else has to be satisfied with things like .co.uk and .co.cn. Same reason the UK is the only country that doesn't have the country name on its postage stamps, the USA is the only country that doesn't (have to) have its country identifier as its TLD.
    • It isn't just us.. I seem to remember Ebay being sued, because they allowed the sale of Nazi things on their website, which broke German (I think it was german, might be france) law. Not the country specific ebay.co.de or whatever.. but ebay.com. Because Ebay did not prevent someone from accessing a foreign site..

    • Somewhat reasonable (Score:5, Interesting)

      by iYk6 (1425255) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @12:57PM (#32814128)

      What gives US the right to seize domains of companies based in other countries and force their laws, views and things like ACTA and banning of internet casinos to citizens of other countries?

      It's simple really. .net is a TLD owned by the USA. I don't agree with their views, but their methods are somewhat reasonable. If you get a .net domain, you play by USA rules, if you get a .cn domain, you play by China's rules, and if you get a .ru domain, you play by Russia's rules. TVShack didn't play well with the USA, the USA kicked them out, and now TVShack has shacked up with Cocos Island.

      Personally, I wouldn't mind if all domain names had less strict rules, but that just isn't how it is.

      • Problem is the root domain name is effectively under the control of the US. Same goes for a lot of the servers that handle that. Stop thinking about domain names as anything but a resource location. In the real word if you say your store is at 111 main st, somewhere china nobody but china can do much about that. If you servers are at 111 main st in china they should be the only ones policing it. Do not want your citizens going there police your citizens.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by WiglyWorm (1139035)
        Absolutely. I wanted to get a .gr domain, but I would have to be greek. Did I complain? No. I found another TLD.
        • Absolutely. I wanted to get a .gr domain, but I would have to be greek. Did I complain? No. I found another TLD.

          grrr!

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        This should be the first and last post of the discussion, but of course this will turn into a why-I-hate-the-evil-US-imperialists topic, nevermind the fact that most other countries in the first world are more strict with their internets than we are, and the developing world regulate it into tiny pieces if it could. So, yeah, let's internationalize the internet and suffer the same sort of bullshit filtering and bullshit libel laws that exist in most of the rest of the world. That will be awesome.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by WiglyWorm (1139035)
          Remember, mods there is no "-1 disagree" and troll is not a substitute. Personally, I find this a worthy point of discussion.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jgagnon (1663075)

          It is not that other countries are saying their laws are worse than the US laws, it is the US saying theirs are better than everyone else. The sooner the US realizes it isn't alone in the world the better the world will be. The sooner the US realizes it isn't at the top of the totem pole for every issue the better the world will be. This blind arrogance needs to stop.

          • There are, objectively, better and worse laws. For chrissake in Belgium you need a license to play golf. The 'arrogance' you speak of is the idea that until somebody demonstrates otherwise, the average American is inclined to believe that American law is superior because it is based on a) the presumption of innocence b) the right to a speedy and fair trial (which, while not *always* delivered upon, has created a far faster justice system than most) c) English common law and concept that anything not express
            • by jgagnon (1663075)

              The arrogance of which I speak is the assumption that the US laws are better before any attempt at understanding laws from other countries. Ignorance is acceptable (and often encouraged) in the US today so long as one is displaying national pride, or so it seems.

              I realize that sentiment is nearly universal, but it is the manner in which Americans (and our leadership) tend to flaunt it that makes me so upset. I strongly believe the founding fathers of the US would hang their heads in shame because of what

      • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @01:19PM (#32814458) Journal

        Those rules are quite reasonable when talking about country TLDs (such as .us). The problem is that .com/.net/.org are semantically global, not US-specific. If you're a global company, you're supposed to have a .com. And that shouldn't automatically mean that US laws apply to you all of a sudden.

      • if you limited it to the .us domain

        "if you get a .cn domain, you play by China's rules, and if you get a .ru domain, you play by Russia's rules"

        absolutely. and that applies also to .us domains. no argument whatsover

        but .net, .com, etc., are concepts that are not native to the usa, not used native to the usa, and should not be governed solely by the usa. of course, legally you are still 100% correct, but law has a funny way of not reflecting common sense or morality, and this is one of those cases

    • by rumith (983060)

      What gives US the right

      Its might. "Because we can" is a very unethical but a pretty much incontrovertible argument.

    • by Mitsoid (837831) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @01:43PM (#32814854)

      What gives US the right to seize domains of companies based in other countries and force their laws, views and things like ACTA and banning of internet casinos to citizens of other countries?

      If you are in another country YOU OBEY THEIR LAWS.

      The US did NOT overstep their boundries. The mentioned websites Hosted part of their website (the pointer to it) In the US. That 'pointer' was seized as it was illegal in our country.

      Again:
      1. Internet website did business with US Company. (They used a US registrar)
      2. US based Registrar now violated US Law
      3. US based Registrar was required to give the US Government the illegal 'property'

      Don't host any part of your 'business' or 'website' in a country that violates their laws. If you want to intentionally violate the laws of a country, don't do it IN that country. It's just common sense!

      If you think the USA is wrong here, GO TO China, or the UK, and break their laws. See what happens.

      Side Note: I agree with most net-neutrality ideas. I agree with free speech (as it exists in the US law) on the internet -- (e.g. illegal to yell FIRE or call in bomb threats, but mostly free). Unfortunately the US General Public has almost no control here. Sorry. Big Business buy votes and forces our government to enforce laws they created.

      I'm glad the sites are running again. As they are not illegal in other countries I respect your rights to view the content in accordance with your laws... And I'll leave that at that as I'm in the USA... ;-)

    • by selven (1556643) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @02:00PM (#32815112)

      The US is always right. That's why the US can have 2400 active warheads while Iran having even one is geopolitical heresy, why the US pushing copyright on the rest of the world is acceptable while China pushing internet censorship on just their own citizens is not, and why the US can invade Afghanistan and Iraq while Russia can't invade Georgia.

      At least that's what the US media says. I imagine Pravda et al. are equally biased in their own directions.

  • by Pojut (1027544)

    Hydras (hydra?) can be vicious bastards.

  • PWn3d (Score:4, Funny)

    by xmorg (718633) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @12:52PM (#32814026) Homepage
    Owned! Now get ice back to work fighting the drug cartels.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mcgrew (92797) *

      I hope that was sarcasm, because most of the drug problems are caused by the drug laws themselves. We're having the same problems with drugs we had with alcohol during prohibition.

      Don't people ever learn from history?

  • Striesand Effect (Score:5, Interesting)

    by snarfies (115214) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @12:53PM (#32814038) Homepage

    NinjaVideo.net and TVshack.net? Never heard of either one - UNTIL NOW. I hope one of them has Blake's 7, haven't seen that since I was a kid.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by v1 (525388)

      Streisand Effect [wikipedia.org] in motion perhaps? You'd think they would've learned this lesson by now? Or maybe they think it's working in their favor, "hey look at all the FREE PRESS we (RIAA) are getting!"

    • NinjaVideo.net and TVshack.net? Never heard of either one - UNTIL NOW. I hope one of them has Blake's 7, haven't seen that since I was a kid.

      I got every single episode of Blake's 7 a couple of years ago via bittorrent. I used mininova to find the torrents. They included the DVD special features, with the making-of interviews with the cast and crew which are just fascinating.

      The only thing I couldn't find there is the Blake's Junction spoof, which you can watch on Youtube.

  • by Lord Dreamshaper (696630) <.ac.oohay. .ta. .repahsmaerd_drol.> on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @12:54PM (#32814076)
    rule of law is dead
  • by mcrbids (148650) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @01:03PM (#32814220) Journal

    "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."
    - Princess Leia to Grand Moff Tarkin

    The United States would do well to understand what this means. We can benefit immensely by being the "central hub" of the Internet but we are pissing this historical advantage away at a frightening pace by not living up to our ideals with respect to "freedom of speech". The Patriot Act did wonders to ensure that we couldn't host data for other countries; and now this retarded "kill switch" idea will do the same for our ability to broker connections.

    There really should be an actual litmus test so that people in charge of sectors of our economy have some clue how that sector works. Unfortunately for us, the world doesn't work that way.

  • virus? (Score:5, Informative)

    by MagicM (85041) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @01:23PM (#32814504)

    I just went to tvshack.cc and my virusscanner (NOD32) went nuts and Java things started executing. I killed everything before it had a chance to do anything, but I'd say watch your step if you're going to visit that site.

    • Re:virus? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Thing I am (761900) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @01:35PM (#32814696) Journal
      Stop using anti-virus software and you won't get those annoying alerts.
    • Strange (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kupfernigk (1190345)
      For me, it opened up a Chrome process which, according to top, was using 19Mbytes. System Monitor shows no unusual activity and no unexpected network traffic. Nothing interesting happened at all. Am I missing something?
      • Re:Strange (Score:5, Funny)

        by Achra (846023) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @02:50PM (#32816110) Journal

        For me, it opened up a Chrome process which, according to top, was using 19Mbytes. System Monitor shows no unusual activity and no unexpected network traffic. Nothing interesting happened at all. Am I missing something?

        Probably the rootkit that was installed and now is silently monitoring IRC.

    • by markdavis (642305)
      I just went to tvshack.cc and just got a normal looking website. No Java, no runaways, no issues. Perhaps it is because you are not using Linux+FireFox?
  • Regardless of the origin of the internet, it should remain inviolate. The issue is unlawful activity. Each country should monitor activities that violate the trustworthiness of the net within jurisdictional boundaries. When activities cross international boundaries, a multinational consortium of IT security personnel should address the issues.
    Failing that, the US cyber-security department (or the country with the most capabilities) should act . This should be enough incentive for the US to be the best, if
  • by efalk (935211) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @02:43PM (#32815962)

    Don't register or host your domain in the U.S. if it's the least bit controversial. It's just too easy for a plaintiff or government agency to seize it. One of the worst examples was a Spanish travel agency that handled trips to Cuba and which was foolish enough to register their domain name in the U.S. See NYTimes article A Wave of the Watch List, and Speech Disappears [nytimes.com]

    See http://thespamdiaries.blogspot.com/2010/02/dont-register-or-host-your-domain-in-us.html [blogspot.com] for more on this topic.

  • $10 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lehk228 (705449) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @07:43PM (#32820146) Journal
    so they seized an asset that costs a whole $10 to replace.

    i bet they don't even realize how pointless and stupid it was

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