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US ISPs, Big Content Reaching Antipiracy Agreement 342

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-would-download-a-car dept.
Chaonici writes "The word from CNet is that an antipiracy agreement between a number of ISPs (including Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast) and the RIAA & MPAA is nearing completion. Under the agreement, ISPs will step up their responses to copyright infringement complaints against subscribers. If a subscriber accumulates enough complaints, the ISP can throttle their bandwidth, limit their Web access to only the top 200 websites, and/or require participation in a 'copyright awareness' program that explains the rights of content creators. ISPs and rights holders will share the costs of the system. Ars Technica confirms the story with notes from an industry source, who mentions that the Obama administration is 'generally supportive' of the agreement."
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US ISPs, Big Content Reaching Antipiracy Agreement

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  • What is this? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GameboyRMH (1153867) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {hmryobemag}> on Friday June 24, 2011 @09:01AM (#36553984) Journal

    What is this, fascism week?

    • by JMJimmy (2036122)

      I smell a lawsuit.

      Great for businesses not in the top 200!

  • by Combatso (1793216) on Friday June 24, 2011 @09:02AM (#36553994)
    "complaints" and "suspected pirate". From what I can tell, to the MPAA and RIAA everyone is a "suspected" pirate..... I wonder if ThePirateBay is in the top 200 website list?
    • by jaymz666 (34050)

      The wording is very scary, it certainly seems to imply that the powers that be only have to accuse you of piracy, with little or no means of proof and no appeal process.

      • Sounds great. Get a list of all of your elected representatives and all of their staff. Every day, report one of them for suspected copyright infringement.
      • Not totally true. A written communication accusing you of a criminal act leading to monetary damages is slander. Take each letter you can defend to small claims court.
  • by jd2112 (1535857) on Friday June 24, 2011 @09:02AM (#36553996)
    Good, I'll still be able to get to ThePirateBay
    • by soodoo (2004582)

      What's the reasoning behind only allowing the top 200 web sites anyway?
      Why are websites with less traffic bad?

      This is wrong on so many levels.

  • by Jawnn (445279)
    It's about time that other corporate "citizens" (the telco's and ISP's) step up and do their part to help our government enforce the rights of corporate "citizens", like the RIAA and the MPAA, in their fight against the terrorist hordes who threaten their their very existence.
    [/sarcasm]
  • um, Pirate bay is probably in those "top 200 websites"
  • For unfair disconnection in 3... 2... 1...

    • by sincewhen (640526)

      And yet not, as the terms of service will be revised and you will agree to them in order to have internet service at all.

  • subject (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Legion303 (97901) on Friday June 24, 2011 @09:08AM (#36554084) Homepage

    "ISPs and rights holders will share the costs of the system."

    Ha ha! But seriously, customers will share the costs with other customers. RIAA might jack up member fees, but they were probably going to do that anyway.

  • by jDeepbeep (913892) on Friday June 24, 2011 @09:08AM (#36554086)

    ISPs and rights holders will share the costs of the system

    Naturally, the ISP will pass on the costs to the consumer, and the rights holders will find a way to pad the product price with their piece of the cost, but we all knew that.

    • by mounthood (993037)
      My guess would be that the ISPs assign "expense" to the system and the MAFIAA pays the bill. There isn't any reason for the ISPs to do this if they aren't getting paid.
  • Bullshit. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, 2011 @09:10AM (#36554114)

    If anything, this is going to push me into "pirating" more. Limit my freedom just because some asshole corporate fuck thinks it's "fair"? Fuck these mother fuckers. I'll advise EVERYONE I know to NEVER do business with Comcast, AT&T, or Verizon from here on out.

    Just because of this, I refuse to buy a movie or song ever again. 100% piracy from now on.

    It's seriously time for a pro-freedom ISP that encrypts everything, logs nothing, and is crazy fast. Anybody have access to some VC capital to make this happen?

    • by Duradin (1261418)

      Why not power it with cold fusion while you're at it?

    • by Elbereth (58257)

      Your freedom to have an entitlement complex is being infringed? My God, call the waaaaaaambulance immediately! This is truly an emergency of epic proportions. What will you do if you can't gorge yourself on pop culture? That truly must be a life not worth living.

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

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, 2011 @12:33PM (#36557686)

      One more has finally seen the light.

      I don't consider myself pro-piracy. I believe that receiving the benefit from something without the owner's permission is unethical (even if the owner still gets to benefit from it). I am an artist myself, and thus have a vested interest in copyright law. I believe that a reasonable copyright system is worthwhile, and those who try to avoid recompensing artists and authors under such a system should be punished.

      We do not have such a system. We have a system where a person can be punished on the mere accusation of wrongdoing (DMCA takedown notice); where the online equivalent of jaywalking is punishable by fines in the hundreds of thousands of dollars (Jammie Thomas); where so-called "limited-time" copyright keeps getting extended so that nothing will ever go public domain again; where companies can lock up their works so that even when they do go public domain they still can't be accessed (DRM); where the force of law backs this up so you're not allowed to bypass such locks even for legitimate use (DMCA); where copyright infringement is equated to terrorism by assigning it to the organization created specifically to go after terrorists (DHS); where anti-piracy international agreements are made in secret and all we get is a name that equates piracy with one of the most severe crimes of a civilized society (Anti-COUNTERFEITING Trade Agreement); where companies can get away with spamming letters threatening lawsuits without even a hint of accuracy checking so that even people who don't have a computer get threatened without any legal recourse; where giant companies can convince the government to do practically anything just by complaining about how much they're being harmed by piracy even when they're making record-breaking profits; where the whole idea of copyright, which was originally meant "to promote the progress of science and useful arts" now keeps every possible idea locked up so tightly that the law hinders the progress of science and the useful arts, all so that a handful of executives of big companies can each buy a third yacht.

      I'm not pro-piracy. I'm anti-broken-copyright-system. It's gotten to the point where I consider it more unethical to give money to those who support such a system than to copy or share something that does not belong to me.

      Don't blame me. I'm just a product of the system. The system has declared war on me, as it has on everyone who has ever read a book, watched a movie, or listened to a song and wanted a copy of it for ourselves, but not at the price nor in the format that is on the market. And when you declare war on that many people, don't be surprised if some of them fight back.

  • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Friday June 24, 2011 @09:12AM (#36554140)
    I don't recall the fine print of my TOS, but I would really wonder whether or not the contracts signed allowed for this bullshit, and whether or not such things would hold up in court.
    • I don't recall the fine print of my TOS, but I would really wonder whether or not the contracts signed allowed for this bullshit, and whether or not such things would hold up in court.

      You'll probably find a "we can alter the terms if we notify you" clause in the fine print. You're option would be to cancel the contract rather than accept the change.As a side note, that can be a way to get out of a contract with a termination fee without paying the fee.

    • by The Moof (859402)
      I'm sure it's there along the lines of "we can change these terms at any time without notification" or something similar. I'm 50/50 on testing this in court. If it goes their way, it opens a door no consumer wants to ever see.

      I think a better attack against this is any non top-200 site to sue the ever loving hell out of them. It'd be easiest for small local ISPs since it's blatantly anti-competitive practice to block traffic to your competition. Other companies would have to show damages of being bloc
    • There's always the "Verizon reserves the right to change this agreement at any time provided customers are notified in advance." I know it is with mine, and I'm able to terminate the agreement with no penalty if I do not agree to the terms. Then again, where the hell am I going to get Internet if not from Comcast, AT&T, or Verizon?
  • by ALeavitt (636946) <aleavitt.gmail@com> on Friday June 24, 2011 @09:14AM (#36554170)
    The UN recently declared [ohchr.org] internet access to be a basic human right. I wonder what they would have to say about the government colluding with corporations to curtail the basic human rights of citizens of the United States.
    Oh, who am I kidding. They probably won't have anything to say about it at all.
    • by Shadow99_1 (86250)

      If they did, they may soon find themselves without internet access....

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      The UN recently declared internet access to be a basic human right.

      Who is "The UN"? The only nations you need to give a shit about are on the UNSC. Do you think China believes in basic human rights at all? Do you think that the USA believes internet access is a human right? The UN just announced that it's wrong to discriminate against people on the basis of their sexual orientation, and the delegate from the USA called it a historic event, but you must remember that sexual orientation is NOT protected in the USA, except by some states (like California.) Until every nation

  • by MCSEBear (907831) on Friday June 24, 2011 @09:16AM (#36554196)
    This is the same administration that declared the details of the draconian ACTA treaty to be freaking State Secrets: [techdirt.com]

    Plenty of folks are quite concerned about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations are being negotiated in secret. This is a treaty that (from the documents that have leaked so far) is quite troubling. It likely will effectively require various countries, including the US, to update copyright laws in a draconian manner. Furthermore, the negotiators have met with entertainment industry representatives multiple times, and there are indications that those representatives have contributed language and ideas to the treaty. But, the public? The folks actually impacted by all of this? We've been kept in the dark, despite repeated requests for more information.

    When the Obama administration took over, there was a public stance that this administration was going to be more transparent -- especially with regards to things like Freedom of Information Act requests. The nonprofit group Knowledge Ecology International took that to heart and filed an FOIA request to get more info on ACTA. The US Trade Representative's Office responded denying the request, saying that the information was "classified in the interest of national security pursuant to Executive Order 12958." This is a treaty about changing copyright law, not sending missiles somewhere. To claim that it's a national security matter is just downright scary. As KEI points out, the text of the documents requested have been available to tons of people, including more than 30 governments around the world and lobbyists from the entertainment industry, pharma industry and publishing industry.

    But when the public asks for them, we're told they're state secrets?

  • So someone will just rent a big pipe from a company that's not signed up to this, split it and sell it on (full encrypted) to downline customers. Sounds like a business model to me...

    Another thought - do corporations realise that their 'net feeds will be deep packet sniffed to look for copyright infringing material? I wonder how much they will like the ISPs no longer being just a bunch of tubes...

    • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gma i l . com> on Friday June 24, 2011 @09:36AM (#36554524) Journal

      Won't work sadly, as ALL of the backbone is owned by....dum dum dum...assholes like AT&T! I know because a friend had a business just outside the area where cable and DSL end (and good luck EVER getting them bastards to expand, in my area they haven't moved an inch in 20 years) so he paid a crazy amount of money to have a T-1 run out there and started his own ISP. All well and good, American capitalism right?

      Nope, because AT&T got wind and cut off his backbone access, some bullshit excuse about "number of connections" or some shit, made a few phone calls and made sure nobody else would sell to him either. Their answer was a bald faced "try to sue us, we're fucking AT&T!" and his lawyer said "Sure you'll win, but it'll take anywhere from 10 to 15 YEARS and cost...ohhh...about 3 MILLION dollars in lawyers fees". So he closed up his business and moved away, and those people that had a decent Internet were forced back onto AT&Ts $75 a month dialup.

      You see the problem isn't fascism, its corporatism. The corps OWN the courts, they OWN the congress, they OWN the lines, they OWN the media. So download all you can while you can friends, because until we have our own Arab Spring this country is gonna have its very own little dark age, with more and more draconian laws designed to royally fuck you in the ass, and there is nothing you can do about it. Vote? you tried that, how's that "Hope & Change" working out? Vote with your dollars? More than 70% last I checked of the population is under monopolies when it comes to the net and ALL are under the same backbone providers, which guess what? Are listed above.

      So snatch every damned thing that ain't nailed down, slam the shit out of the ISPs. pretty much all the Internet will be in less than 3 years is the Home Shopping Network and that's the way big business/government wants it because it is easier to control the population if they can't organize, and easier to shut down any "troublemakers" if you make sure they can't be heard. That way they can control the "spin" and make anyone who doesn't go "America Fuck yeah!" into an evil socialist pedo/terrorist. Think I'm crazy? They already got Valenti's dream of "forever minus a single day" copyrights, and with the above they'll kill the net. The party is over folks, the dream is dying. Enjoy as much as you can while you can, because our kids are gonna look back from their dreary media controlled lives and consider this a mythical "golden age" where people could actually converse freely and share ideas. Those days are sadly about to end. Don't forget to hit the lights on your way out.

      • by DavidTC (10147) < ... > <neverbox.com>> on Friday June 24, 2011 @11:30AM (#36556596) Homepage

        You are entirely right, except:

        You see the problem isn't fascism, its corporatism.

        That's what 'fascism' is, dude. The corporations and the government, working together. The corporations do what the 'government isn't allow to' (Like find people guilty of crimes without due process), and the government makes sure the corporations stay well feed, and invulnerable to any sort of lawsuits or prosecutions.

        Don't go around inventing another word. It already exists, it's 'fascism'.

        I pointed this out back when the government asserted the right to immunize the telecoms for the telecoms' illegal spying at the government's request. In short, the government hired corporations to commit felonies, and then forgave those felonies, and classified their end of it so they couldn't be prosecuted either.

        We're not in some hypothetical hysteria people making up stuff...we're in actual, literal, dictionary-definition fascism. Sadly, people seem to think fascism requires concentration camps or something....it doesn't, ask the Italians.

        We are also, I feel I should point out, in a dictionary-definition police state. Because of Gitmo. The executive claiming the power to imprison and hold people without charging them with crimes is the definition of a police state.

  • As long as their members are held to the same standards... If they abuse fair use, for example, they're required to pull their products, participate in "copyright awareness" programs, and they can only visit the top 200 websites.
  • I've got the 'choice' between Frontier DSL and Time Warner. I will drop my $60/mo 30 Mbps down service if Time Warner starts doing this and Frontier doesn't. I've gone legit with Netflix, which I've had for a few years now, but that doesn't mean I'm going to let some corporate lobby like the RIAA decide whether I'm allowed on the net this week. I have absolutely no faith in their investigators, nor do I believe that they'll have any reason to tell the truth.

    In fact, they'll probably have notices or even loc
  • by mabhatter654 (561290) on Friday June 24, 2011 @09:24AM (#36554298)

    Personally, I think we're on the downward side of piracy anyway. Of course the President would be on-board with this because the frivolous complaints against 10k people at a time are a misuse of the courts and a waste of time.

    I think piracy is on the way out anyway. Things like iTunes, Netflix,& Hulu make it really easy to get almost anything legally. I don't think regular folk will like getting the first warning letter one bit... Having a warning system in place will get people warned their actions have consequences sooner... Just knowing somebody takes notice is enough to get many people to stop. I think most people have "grown up" and are sick of all the spyware, viruses, and hacks from torrent sites anyway.

    • by Combatso (1793216)
      Netflix and Hulu? The same ISPs wanna tap that revenue stream with transfer caps... I dont know what makes you think piracy is on the decline, personal experience maybe... My personal experience (as a Canadian staring down ridiculously low Xfer caps), Piracy has moved from the internet back to SneakerNet. People passing around USB Harddrives with movies to copy, DVD's of the latest downloads, Ripped DVDs, Ripped CD's. I dont see piracy declining, I see it growing... as many of the people who are gett
    • by glwtta (532858)
      I think most people have "grown up" and are sick of all the spyware, viruses, and hacks from torrent sites anyway.

      What are you talking about?

      How exactly are videos and music going to carry spyware or viruses? Or "hacks" for that matter - are there a lot of people who have been hacked by, what, I guess tracker operators?

      The most you'll see on BT are those ridiculously lame "go to www.lulz.sk/~kodeks to download the proper codec for this movie" videos (where I assume you're invited to download 'rapem
    • I think most people have "grown up" and are sick of all the spyware, viruses, and hacks from torrent sites anyway.

      As opposed to the spyware, viruses, and hacks from Sony, Microsoft, and many hardware vendors? (note that Sony has hacks and spyware, Micorsoft has spyware like WGA, and many companies have released viruses in the driver disks)

  • Fighting back? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CelticWhisper (601755) <[celticwhisper] [at] [gmail.com]> on Friday June 24, 2011 @09:24AM (#36554306)
    Okay, I'll ask the obvious question: How do we fight this? We know that there's little choice between ISPs in many rural (and even some sub/urban) areas, so threatening to switch isn't always practical. It's not a bill being proposed so we can't direct elected officials to vote against it - do we demand our legislators draft a bill to stop it? Is this FCC territory? FTC? Who do we talk to, who do we demand answers from, who do we petition, and how do we get the message across?
    • by Combatso (1793216)
      You could petition Chuck Norris himself, sadly, aside from the government making the practice illegal, aint much gonna help... and why will the government step in? Telco/Cable and Showbiz are a powerhouse, especially together.. By the people for the people is a lost value... its now "Buy the Government, own the people"
  • Is there anyone who thinks these ISP warnings can't be kept from triggering by judicious proxy use and encrypted traffic? Or is deep-packed inspection good enough to identify P2P traffic? Even if it could, it surely couldn't determine the copyright status of the stream.

    I was going to remark that we would surely see services like Tor and FreeNet grow exponentially in response, but what's wrong with a good old simple non-US proxy service plus traffic encryption? At least when we're talking about cyber-lock

    • by Combatso (1793216)
      up here (Canada) they (the Blue monopoly) throttle all encrypted traffic... cuz afterall, it might be a pirate... So when I connect to my company VPN, my speeds drop.
      • In other words your ISP has simply decided to take the stance of harming their own legitimate customers while not doing anything truly effective to the hardcore infringers. Somebody who really wants to share copyrighted material will simply rent a seedbox in a country like China or India, use that for all their torrents, then copy the completed torrents to their home machine. And they simply won't care if it takes a full day or so to download an entire DVD over an encrypted connection.

    • by Arlet (29997)

      The next step is to block encrypted data, unless the server is on an approved white list (banks, big e-mail providers, etc)

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      There is a problem with FreeNet, in that their "plausible deniability" has never been tested in court and could cost you 30 plus years of your life.

      you see the way I had it explained to me was this: With FreeNet you have that "encrypted store" which you HAVE NO CONTROL ON as far as content goes. Now lets say a cop gets on FreeNet and downloads CP and traces the line and part of the CP came from your IP address. Now there is nothing in the law that states you have to SEE the child porn to be busted for distr

  • Between actions like this and things such as bandwidth caps it appears that the major ISP's are looking to alienate their customer base. In the mean time, figure it will be possible to DOS someone by placing some complaints against them? How about businesses placing complaints against their competitors? Maybe I should go apply for a business process patent on doing this....
  • Is it possible that the private sector has realized it needs to stop leaning on the judicial branch of the government as a crutch? This proposal at least seems better than their response to extort settlements from people in courts, so that's a step in the right direction.

    The "copyright awareness" program seems like a worthy response. If they assume that their customers are innocent when they decide to take action, a course about securing your wireless connection and teaching their kids about not downloa

    • Is it possible that the private sector has realized it needs to stop leaning on the judicial branch of the government as a crutch? This proposal at least seems better than their response to extort settlements from people in courts, so that's a step in the right direction.

      Both ISPs and big content are still relying on the government, and the settlement letter thing seems to be dying out due to judges with a sense of due process. Suing individuals wasn't going to be a profit stream or a deterrent.

      In the en

  • Cats out of the bag (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Friday June 24, 2011 @09:33AM (#36554462) Journal

    Really, it is out. Look, it is there, sitting on the windowsill licking its... well, that is just rude... but it is out of the bag in any case. No you can't put it back in the back. Or the case.

    Whenever now some new story breaks about the latest means of illegal filesharing and the industry moving against it, I am near instantly asked by non-techies how to do it themselves.

    Educate them? What, that artists like Britney Spear would starve to death without your hard earned money? Yeah, I am sure most of the people I know, some of who have trouble making end meet month to month give a shit.

    Content production has always relied on the artificial limitation of availability (we only print X amount) to keep the price up. With digital reproduction, this limit has gone. Worse, the cost of distribution is approaching trivial. I can share a movie for a couple of cents. How in the world are you going to persuade me to pay MORE for a SINGLE movie then I pay for my internet connection that can give me hundreds of them?

    And yet, movie ticket sales are on the increase. Gaga earns millions. Clearly all this piracy isn't actually affecting anyone. Where are the starving artists, where are the movies that should have been made that are not made (no, the ones that should not have been made but were made do NOT count instead).

    It reminds me of the anti-piracy messages in shows like Futurama. Yeah, you sold me, I felt very bad for downloading the entire series... oh wait, I didn't. The cost of purchasing series is just to high, i am not going to pay that much for a piece of plastic. As for watching it on TV, the commercials are just to long, not just the ones that make money, WHY one EARTH do TV stations struggling to keep viewers watching commercial breaks ADD to the length of the breaks by advertising their own station I am WATCHING?

    Talk about oversell.

    The content industry either re-invents itself or has to just accept the year after year profit increases they been suffering at the hands of pirates (oh, you thought they were making a loss? Nope, in fact investing in music back catalogs is now considered a risk free investment for pension funds).

    Educating me? I am educated thank you very much, I know the costs of printing a plastic disc and the cost me of funding the superstar lifestyle of an artist versus the cost of me not funding it.

    No more music? I could care less. If all the artists of the world want things to change, let them strike. Every single one of them against me not paying for their work. STRIKE. See if anyone gives a shit. Do you?

  • http://www.seomanagement.com/index.php/Information/Top-200-Websites-by-Visitor-Count.html [seomanagement.com] Top 200 websites still means you can get to adultfriendfinder, victoriassecret and Limewire.com
  • by Iphtashu Fitz (263795) on Friday June 24, 2011 @09:56AM (#36554814)

    Answer: It won't.

    Most people who are hardcore infringers are already using things like seedboxes for uploading & downloading torrents. How do these idiot lawyers expect these agreements to impact VPS's hosted in countries like India? Rent 100gig of disk space & bandwidth from another country for $20/month or so, run all your torrents there, then use rsync via ssh, scp, etc. to do an encrypted transfer to/from your home. Even with deep packet inspection the ISP couldn't possibly know that you're copying copyrighted material to/from your seedbox.

  • by mmcuh (1088773) on Friday June 24, 2011 @10:01AM (#36554890)
    Punishment without trial. Lovely.
  • Have an opposing view? Let us dig through our proxy logs to see if you've downloaded any MP3s from Rapidshare or the like.

  • by mschaffer (97223) on Friday June 24, 2011 @10:41AM (#36555532)

    I should have been a lawyer. They have so much power. Apparently they can just write letters to companies to do their bidding regardless of anyone else's rights.
    So, now we have a situation where, if there are enough copyright complaints, let alone valid ones, the ISPs must comply. No due process at all---it's all about the all-powerful squeaky hinge.

    Trooper: This usage is covered under fair use.
    Ben: The copyrights are for sale if you want them
    Trooper: Let me see your writ.
    Luke fumbles around looking for a signed writ.
    Ben (in a controlled voice): There is no fair use
    Trooper: There is no fair use
    Ben: These aren't the rights you are looking for
    Trooper: These aren't the rights you are looking for
    Ben: We can stop his business
    Trooper You can stop his business
    Ben (to Luke): Move along.
    Trooper: Move along. Move along.

    -----
    Welcome to the USA. Former jurisdiction of the US Constitution.

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