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Movie Studios Want Automated BitTorrent Warnings 140

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-could-possibly-go-wrong dept.
daria42 writes "The lawsuit filed by movie and TV studios against Australian Internet service provider iiNet appears to have taken a new twist, with the studios using early judgments in the case to attempt to push other ISPs towards what it has described as a 'standardized automated processing system' for BitTorrent copyright infringement notices that would integrate with the ISPs' networks and automatically forward messages to customers when they were sent by the studios."
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Movie Studios Want Automated BitTorrent Warnings

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  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Saturday July 30, 2011 @10:35AM (#36932620)

    "...but it's too much trouble to do it ourselves. You do it for us."

    • by causality (777677) on Saturday July 30, 2011 @11:48AM (#36933006)

      "...but it's too much trouble to do it ourselves. You do it for us."

      If they keep pushing this, the result will be predictable enough.

      It will eventually result in a new distributed peer-to-peer protocol. This new protocol will have mandatory strong encryption, will be obfuscated, will likely not have central trackers of any kind (perhaps it will rely on something like DHT), and will generally make it much more difficult to identify individual users. In turn, the pirates, who already feel quite bold, will likely share even more copyrighted material as a result of the reduced risk.

      If they really want to drive it even more underground, they can, but they will regret the results. Meanwhile, the more unreasonable they become the more likely it is that Joe Sixpack will start to see them as little more than greedy thugs. Right now a lot of people who don't keep up with these developments have at least some sympathy for them. There are still many who will entertain arguments claiming that infringement of copyright is exactly the same thing as theft of tangible goods (which it is not) and the like, but the copyright cartels are on a certain path towards changing that.

      Unreasonable asshats with control complexes who have politicians in their back pockets are a recipe for lawlessness, both of the unprincipled type that just wants a new movie/game/mp3 and of the civil-disobedience type who promote and support what the cartels are trying to stop as an act of protest. Exactly how many thousands of examples are needed for this to become something obvious that "everybody knows" and no longer wants to try?

      • " will likely not have central trackers of any kind (perhaps it will rely on something like DHT), and will generally make it much more difficult to identify individual users. "

        IIRC DHT uses a bootstrap node too. If MPAA can't find the users, then the users can't find each other either.

        • by causality (777677)

          " will likely not have central trackers of any kind (perhaps it will rely on something like DHT), and will generally make it much more difficult to identify individual users. "

          IIRC DHT uses a bootstrap node too. If MPAA can't find the users, then the users can't find each other either.

          "Something like" != "exactly alike in every way".

      • by mlts (1038732) *

        Exactly. If people start getting caught left and right, it wouldn't take much for people to go to a lower tech solution -- proxy servers and secure VPNs.

        If ISPs want to play a cat and mouse game, they can block proxies. However, a bit on a wire is a bit on a wire and there will be always a way to get encrypted data to another site.

      • by nurb432 (527695)

        Sounds like you are describing freenet :)

        however, with bandwidth caps it will become academic here soon anyway.

        • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Saturday July 30, 2011 @01:21PM (#36933746)

          welcome back to the rise of sneakernet.

          I have not been in college for decades and decades; but I *assume* that that many kids together will have drive sharing parties. no intertubes THERE to get in the way.

          • Brothers friends used to do this in the past few years. Ireland does have relatively poor broadband and crap caps already so this never went away.

            Students organise to each download different things then meet up to watch a movie with some beers and share their wares around for free.

            I thought the funniest part was they used PS3's to distribute the content since it was in the main room and was going to be used to watch the movie anyway.

          • Many campuses already have LAN based file-sharing systems set in place. They share the address (and password, if any) via word-of-mouth and share their media folders/servers. I've heard of some servers on a local campus sharing upwards of 300 gigs of what appeared to be all copyright material at speeds faster than both torrents or direct download. Almost makes me wish I lived on campus...
            • In my years at RIT, I heard a lot about something called "the Hub", which sounds like this kind of thing.
              [Since I lived off-campus (and thus was away from the on-campus network most of the time), I didn't feel the need to find out more.]

              * RIT also has a innocuous "Hub" that's a printing/copying shop

              • by Soluzar (1957050)

                I used to be good friends with an RIT student. I've heard that they had an incredible DC++ hub. I was given to understand that it pretty much has everything.

                Not being a student myself I never had access, but sometimes I'd tell her about some show or piece of music or whatever, and she'd say "Let me just check the hub", and within practically no time she'd be enjoying the exact item I was referring to.

                I expect a lot of university dorms have a similar setup. Once it has been established it will be effectively

          • Why do that when you can have adhoc wifi at the least.. or just carry a mini switch and some extra cat5.

      • by aaaaaaargh! (1150173) on Saturday July 30, 2011 @01:14PM (#36933688)

        What about this: What counts is trust. You need to make a network where everybody connects directly with trustworthy friends ONLY---talking real friends, not "Facebook friends." These are connected with other trustworthy friends, but friendship is not transitive, and so you cannot connect with the friends of your friends unless they are already your friends. On top of this, add an onion-routing based mechanism to request things from friends, and their friends if they don't have it, and so on, until the requested entity is found and onion-routed back.

        Assuming it's technically implemented in the right way, a node in such a network can only be compromised when a friend betrays you. As long as you add only real friends, the network is pretty safe and very hard to subvert. I wanted to implement this myself but the NAT traversal without central servers needed for this to work turned out to be a tough nut to crack. Of course, using a broadcast/flooding search the network is also not very efficient. But perhaps someone finds the idea interesting...?

        • by maugle (1369813) on Saturday July 30, 2011 @02:33PM (#36934194)
          You just described Freenet.
          • by Urza9814 (883915)

            If only I had mod points. Parent, and GP both...couldn't help but thinking, as I was reading, 'these systems already exist, and have for many years.' We don't need something strong enough to push people to BUILD things like these, we just need something strong enough to push people to USE them. But there are plenty who do already -- last time I was on Freenet, there was a better selection of movies than Netflix streaming!

          • Except with freenet, you don't have to trust the nodes. Unless an attacker can control a great many nodes, more than is practical, they can't determine what you are doing even if you are connected to a node they control. They can tell you are using Freenet, but that's about it.
        • OK: so I connect to my friends, one of whom happens to live in LA. They connect to their friends, one of whom happens to be an actor. They connect to their friends, one of whom happens to be a producer. They connect to their friends, 5 of whom work for the MPAA.

          Now, this could actually work, as for the MPAA guys to find anything whatsoever out, they'd need to be sharing stuff they shouldn't be... but the final connection would be between them and you, unless you're proxying. If you're doing an onion pro

        • by discord5 (798235) on Saturday July 30, 2011 @02:56PM (#36934340)

          What you are describing is typically called a darknet. In small groups darknets work great, but as the group grows the risk grows.

          Assuming it's technically implemented in the right way, a node in such a network can only be compromised when a friend betrays you.

          Let's assume 3 friends are in the relationship A -> B -> C. If A is somehow caught (due to coincidence, stupidity or simply trusting the wrong person) then that exposes B. When B is caught inevitably due to A, that exposes C. Each node that is compromised on the network reveals more and more, and basically an attacker only needs one node to get started.

          Given the nature of the average user, this network will not survive many iterations of "friends of friends". It's inevitable that someone who misunderstands the concept of a darknet breaks trust. What you're describing is already implemented several times and is used by W.A.S.T.E. and if I'm not mistaken Freenet 0.7 has an implementation of a darknet.

          I wanted to implement this myself but the NAT traversal without central servers needed for this to work turned out to be a tough nut to crack. Of course, using a broadcast/flooding search the network is also not very efficient. But perhaps someone finds the idea interesting...?

          Kademlia does a good job of maintaining a "routing table" for your network, but doesn't solve the NAT traversal problem for you. You're stuck with STUN and NAT-PMP or UPnP for solving the NAT problem. These techniques are already in use in current bittorrent clients that use DHT. The biggest problem with Kademlia is that it builds a list of all nodes on the network for efficiency reasons, allowing it to survive network churn. A kademlia like DHT would be needed for building an index of what is on the network.

          You would most likely be more interested in having each node in the network act as a relay for other nodes, so Kademlia is perhaps a bit overkill for tracking nodes. Suppose that you're interested in downloading "cop_dog.mpg". You go look in your lookup table for "cop_dog.mpg" and find that you got keys from your neighbour node B. So you know who to contact. Node B knows that Node C and D on the network have this movie, but they are only connected to node B, and you're node A. This would mean that node B can download the movie from C and D, and has to relay all that data towards your node A (if you want to make sure that you only allow direct peers to connect to eachother).

          There are several problems with this setup as well:

          • Node B in this scenario is pulling twice the bandwidth (one for download from C&D, and one for upload to A). Given how many ISPs are implementing data caps this becomes a bit of a problem.
          • Node B is also the point where you can start doing traffic analysis. Since node B is using so much bandwidth, an ISP or totalitarian regime X could start checking the IPs node B sends traffic to/receives traffic from. It becomes apparent quickly that 1.4GB of data is being uploaded to Node A, and 700MB is downloaded from C & D.

          I'm not an expert on the subject, and I'm sure the developers of Tor, I2P and Freenet have much more interesting things (and most likely more accurate) to say on the subject. There's also a lot of interesting research papers written on P2P networks, although mostly about churn. I got interested in P2P a long time ago when I was looking for a solution to a particular problem, but opted for a centralized system in the end due to not finding a decent way to "trust" nodes in the network.

      • you just described what we know as an 'arms race'.

        you'd think those in power would understand this. then again, I take that last sentence back.

        since when have humans ever really retreated from a known arms race?

      • There's Tahoe [wikimedia.org], which is pretty much what you described.
      • by ubrgeek (679399)
        > Joe Sixpack will start to see them as little more than greedy thugs.

        You need to end your sentence with "but nothing will change." Joe Sixpack will read about all of this "Neat Piraty Stuff" and Google "Where to Download Harry Potter and the Prisoner of the Six Hour Movie." He'll click to download it, get an email from his ISP that will scare the crap out of him and he'll pray to the Lord of Hycones that if they don't come to get him in the middle of the night he'll never do it again. So then he'll g
        • by causality (777677)

          > Joe Sixpack will start to see them as little more than greedy thugs. You need to end your sentence with "but nothing will change." Joe Sixpack will read about all of this "Neat Piraty Stuff" and Google "Where to Download Harry Potter and the Prisoner of the Six Hour Movie." He'll click to download it, get an email from his ISP that will scare the crap out of him and he'll pray to the Lord of Hycones that if they don't come to get him in the middle of the night he'll never do it again. So then he'll go back to his regularly scheduled, over-priced cable bill and maybe, if he wants to be brave, he'll try this "Hulues" thing the kids at work talk about. At least until he starts getting emails threats about that, too.

          It is hard to find someone with less faith in the capabilities of the average person than I. It's not that I don't want to have such faith, it's that trying to maintain it is a certain path to disappointment and heartache. It is better dealt with by letting go and learning to accept, which fits in quite well with my general attitude of "live and let live". Having said that...

          At its most extreme, a "War on Piracy" is going to stop people from obtaining copyrighted material about as well as the War on (

    • by Meski (774546)
      Who uses their ISP given email address? I haven't read mine for years.
  • by Pieroxy (222434) on Saturday July 30, 2011 @10:36AM (#36932626) Homepage

    Can we also have a warning for *AA affiliates exec? It should be triggered everytime they approach a public statement, it should say "If you're about to talk about piracy, please consider the fact that you're about to make a fool of yourself. Again."

  • by yossie (93792) on Saturday July 30, 2011 @10:46AM (#36932682)

    Man, this is starting to sound more and more like the local parking enforcement and red-light camera issued tickets! Guilty without need to present evidence and little to no contesting rights. Next thing you know, the studios will have enforcement troops.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They already do have enforcement troops, police, the FBI, ICE, and other Federal law enforcement agencies. Also included in the package is a court system that will do anything and everything on behalf of the studios, and the administration that supports it all....

    • They do already, that's where the warrantless wiretaps come in.
    • by sincewhen (640526)

      Next thing you know, the studios will have enforcement troops.

      Why would they go to that much trouble and expense? They will simply have minor acts of copyright infringement made into criminal acts and have the police and government agencies do the dirty work for them.

  • Rent it and Rip it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by realityimpaired (1668397) on Saturday July 30, 2011 @10:50AM (#36932700)

    Seriously.... between tools like MakeMKV and Handbrake, it is trivial to rip a DVD these days. And on the crappy connections that they want to sell us (I'm on a 5mbit DSL with torrent traffic shaping turned on so I'm lucky to pull more than 100kbit), it's faster to simply rip the DVD to your local hard drive. Since I've already paid for the privilege, where's the incentive to actually go out and buy a DVD, now?

    These people do realize that pirates are actually their best customers, right? The whole try before you buy thing? Yes, some folks will do it simply because they can, but I simply won't buy a DVD unless I've seen the movie, because I want to make sure I'm not paying for a crappy movie. That either means I download the movie, or I've seen it in theatre. If they don't want my business, that's their call; I'll just give the money to the local rental store, instead.

    • by Mr Thinly Sliced (73041) on Saturday July 30, 2011 @11:01AM (#36932764) Homepage Journal

      So you are saying you're willing to pay some scratch for it (rental).

      This is it's worth to you, crappy movie or not.

      The fact you indulge in pirate downloading actually validates some of their arguments (you acknowledge it has _some_ worth, but take the convenience route).

      The best thing that can happen to the open source / free software movement is that enforceable / unbreakable DRM exists - so idiots like you who think convenience justifies pirating content can't play your pirated games or movies any more. (This also goes for Office, Windows etc)

      If you had to pay the real price for the things you pirate - you wouldn't - so it clearly isn't worth that much to you, right?

      O wait, I forgot, we have a few generations now who believe they should get stuff for free. Sure you should, but only the things people have decided they want to give you for free.

      • NO we have a few generations who now KNOW that the entertainment industry artificially inflates pricing to the point to where cost has no real bearing on profit. We are fine with people making money, we are not fine with artificial scarcity inflating prices. DO you not see that?
        • O I see it, I just don't see the current approach (piracy) as changing the status quo in any way.

          All you are doing is encouraging the **IA to enforce harsher penalties and stricter control.

          Not funding or pirating the content at all would be the way to change it. But people _need_ their pirated games and movies, right?

          • I see it as the media equivalent of a demo disk. Remember how you used to be able to get the first episode of Commander Keen or Wolfenstein 3D on a floppy, and you could mail away for the full version? Same deal with pirating movies.... if it's worth owning, I'll buy it outright. If it's crap, I'll do the digital equivalent of walking out of the theatre: I'll stop it halfway through and delete the file.

            I realize that some people download movies they have no intention of ever watching, just because they can,

            • by Rennt (582550)

              I realize that some people download movies they have no intention of ever watching, just because they can, but I'm not in that category.

              And - I'd like to add - this category does not represent lost revenue either.

          • by Grygus (1143095)

            I think they're encouraging them to adopt a new business model; the industry just refuses to adapt because they know it's all a big show.

            There have always been people who stole movies (sneaking into theaters, etc.) but if you really believe your customer base is widely engaged in such behavior then you really should realize that you are doing something right in the making of the movies and something terribly wrong in the distribution. I believe the industry has realized this; these are smart people. Howev

          • Can you please explain why the **IA should be enforcing penalties at all? Why a profit driven organisation should have ANY place in determining penalties? Or does your logic fall down on why a for profit organisation should determine legal policy?
      • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Saturday July 30, 2011 @12:21PM (#36933262)

        The best thing that can happen to the open source / free software movement is that enforceable / unbreakable DRM exists - so idiots like you who think convenience justifies pirating content can't play your pirated games or movies any more. (This also goes for Office, Windows etc)

        Of course, there are still idiots like you that continue to use incorrect terminology. That dilutes whatever message you may think you have (especially here on Slashdot) and, if anything, makes you appear like a media company shill. That's the facts, jack. If you're an American (and I accept that you may not be) you should read up on what our law considers the definition of "piracy" to be. Hint: it's not the GP grabbing a couple of torrents. Using the attempted re-definition of legal language that the media companies are using to promote their twisted definition of copyright does not help matters at all, no matter what side of the fence you're sitting upon. Outright lies, fabrications and untruths (something that big media is absolutely famous for spewing forth at regular intervals) rarely improve any situation, and make any form of reasonable compromise impossible. More fact: these little pricks put themselves into the situation they're in today, by demonstrating a depth of vision flatter than a sheet of Reynold's Wrap. Luddites and modern technology rarely get along well, especially when you toss in a sprinkling of sociopathy.

        What I think you fail to understand are a couple of important things. One: this is not directly about money. I think it's pretty clear at this point that copyright infringement, even on the scale afforded by the Internet, is not lowering industry profits overall, in fact, it's probably the opposite. Two: what these conglomerates want is to regain control of content distribution, like they had prior to the rise of peer-to-peer. Three: that gives them control not only of consumers (who then have little choice but to "enjoy" whatever pablum those bastards decide to dole out at any given time) but, just as importantly, control of the artists, who then have no place to go to sell their works except through "approved" channels. Why do you think the record labels hate iTunes so much? Because they effectively ceded control of their entire music distribution network to Steve Jobs, who is just as big a control freak as they are. Well, I told you they aren't particularly intelligent.

        Sorry buddy, that is simply not the social contract that the Constitution granted Congress the power to make between business and the public domain. It just isn't, and when you add into the mix the insanely extended copyrights (also not exactly Constitutional) any sympathy I might have for the big copyright holders just evaporated. Time to get a reality check: you are not supporting artists with your attitude, you are not supporting the public domain, you are not supporting what is best for your own society. You are, instead, taking the side of several criminal gangs who have successfully corrupted our legal system and spent quite a bit of money conscripting the Federal government to enforce copyright. That's not how it is supposed to work: having a copyright simply means that you have the right to seek redress: it was not supposed to mean that the United States Federal Government will seek to destroy people and companies on your behalf.

        I ask you: is that a good thing?

        • That's not how it is supposed to work: having a copyright simply means that you have the right to seek redress: it was not supposed to mean that the United States Federal Government will seek to destroy people and companies on your behalf.

          Well put, sir!

          • That's not how it is supposed to work: having a copyright simply means that you have the right to seek redress: it was not supposed to mean that the United States Federal Government will seek to destroy people and companies on your behalf.

            Well put, sir!

            Thank you. I vote that every prevarication issuing from the throat of an RIAA/MPAA mouthpiece be henceforth known as a "Valenti", in honor of the man [wikipedia.org] himself.

            Here's a perfect example: "The entertainment industry is losing thousands of billions of dollars to piracy" (ejaculated by the media company representative at the recent EG8 conference.) Matter of fact, that's what I call a "big Valenti" since it's damn near Biblical in scope.

    • Don't forget that you don't even need to rip it - many libraries now carry popular DVDs. I live near a county branch, and the DVD selection is excellent (about 5,000 titles). They also have popular CDs, periodicals, and ebooks ('checkout' from their website). They are all free and legal. Check out your local resources.

    • by Hadlock (143607)

      A lot of people I know will torrent a movie rather than wait for it to arrive by mail from netflix, if it isn't available via streaming, or there is a higher quality version on bittorrent that you can't get from hulu or netflix.

    • I know people who do it one better - they check it out of the library for free and then rip it.
  • I admit, I don't use bittorrent, but I am curious since I hear so much about it and piracy and tv/movie studios whining about bittorrent. Which brings up my question, just how much of bittorrent (and large ISP's) traffic is pirated tv/movie studio content? 0.1 percent? 5 percent? Is this such a big deal?
    • by Haedrian (1676506)

      Most important question is

      "How much money can we get from that percentage?"

    • I'd expect the figure to go the other way, i.e. 5 percent or less is legitimately copied content. Ignoring trackers for very specific uses - such as Blizzard's tracker for distributing WoW patches, the bulk of the torrents would almost certainly be infringing content.
      • by green1 (322787)

        Ignoring trackers for very specific uses - such as Blizzard's tracker for distributing WoW patches, the bulk of the torrents would almost certainly be infringing content.

        Should we also ignore the linux distro ISO files? the creative commons media? the public domain content? all legitimate uses? If you are looking to see what percentage of the traffic is legitimate, I recommend you don't start by ignoring trackers for legitimate uses. Unless of course you want to make *IAA style statistics...

        I don't know what the actual numbers look like, but you won't find the truth by ignoring the parts that don't fit your preconceived notions.

    • Using bittorrent is similar to using a pickup truck with a gun rack (yeah, I know, an almost-car analogy) -- it doesn't really matter what percentage of the traffic is pirated media. Just like we don't want people poaching wildlife in their pickup truck, the media companies don't want people stealing their product (which isn't the content, it's the viewers) by torrenting the media.

      Actually, now that I think of it, "poaching" is a much more accurate term than "pirating" for what people do with corporate med

      • by green1 (322787)

        But we don't go after poachers by mandating lower speed limits for pickup trucks, or outlawing them completely. We go after poachers by catching people in the act of hunting without a permit.
        Similarly we shouldn't go after copyright infringement by throttling or blocking bittorrent traffic.

        • But we don't go after poachers by mandating lower speed limits for pickup trucks, or outlawing them completely. We go after poachers by catching people in the act of hunting without a permit.
          Similarly we shouldn't go after copyright infringement by throttling or blocking bittorrent traffic.

          I knew this was a good analogy... that's exactly the point. Socially, torrenting copyrighted works is similar to poaching. Following the analogy, blocking/throttling torrent traffic is similar to putting up a fence. It doesn't stop the problem, but it increases the barrier to entry... both for those breaking the law and for legit users of the space.

  • ...studios all seem to think that it's the ISPs' duty and responsibility to do their job for them, for free. Ask them where to send the bill, I say.
  • "We don't even want to bother figuring out their email address."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 30, 2011 @10:55AM (#36932722)

    The ideal ISP response to this would be to agree and then send the studios a bill at, say, $10000 per notification to cover "costs". Hollywood accounting works both ways...

  • If they want to reduce piracy, they need to provide more incentive for purchasing a £10, £15 DVD or bluray. At the moment, the price/entertainment ratio is appalling. I buy some stuff, I prefer to buy than pirate, I like a physical collection, but when movies come out more often than not at £15 there's no chance in hell I'd go out and buy them.

  • Really, It's YOU who gives them the money to screw you....

  • If the movie studios want it, and it is not directly related to the making of movies, oppose it. This will save lots of time in the end.

  • by lennier1 (264730) on Saturday July 30, 2011 @11:43AM (#36932980)

    I'm surprised the IRS hasn't already caught on to this.

    If media companies they pick your IP they demand over $20,000 for every shared track which can be bought for a single dollar on iTunes, no matter if it was you who downloaded the song or someone else.

    So, in return make Hollywood execs personally responsible for 20,000 times the amount of money companies are hiding from taxes through Hollywood accounting.

  • A "Piracy" warning while downloading Free software.
  • Another sign ..... that bribery works to get what you want out of the legal and political system. No surprise.

    What would be interesting is every American gave $1 to fight this lobby group. $300 mil would hire a nice team that could rid the MPAA and RIAA in short order methinks.

  • The thing is that a BT tracker does not announce or even admit what files it tracks. The only way to get it to talk to you at all is to give it the crypto-hash of the file you want. This means any kind of detection what is offered by a tracker has to look into the data streams of the clients and recognize patterns of known files there.

    A possible countermeasure would be that the tracker also gives an encryption key to each swarm participant and all data gets encrypted individually per swarm participant. Then

  • I'm sorry RIAA, MPAA ,whateverAA no one can afford your shit anymore, if you haven't looked out front your door lately a lot of people are barely able to afford their food let alone some shiney discs you sell. I mean the USA is in big trouble right now so is half of europe, if we have a choice we're going with dinner > DVD thank you very much, please just go and fade away you're no longer relevant anymore.
  • This is what these have become now. leeches. nothing more. at an age where their middlemanship is not needed, they are not only forcing middlemanship on entire society, but also requesting control of very important lifelines of the society for ensuring their profit.

    from this point on, it is insolence. not even self interest. because society, the people, does no retribution to these people in person, and they can buy out laws to defend themselves from law, their insolence has reached such a level.
  • TO BIG ISP's. First tracking. Now bit torrent warnings. It will never end. Why are you creating tools of your own enslavement? Put down those twitch games, read a history book and learn to play chess.

    The Control Freaks will never stop. This will eat into your bottom lines. Stop them at the bun. Hire a bunch of lawyers and lobbyists. Do it now. It will be cheaper in the long run

    TO NERDS: Invent a card that sells for about 29.95 that hooks to an antenna on my roof. True peer to peer over RF. True Decentraili

    • by Lanteran (1883836)

      That's called packet radio. It's regulated into idiocy- no encryption allowed even. Highly possible though, look it up.

  • This whole thing is our own fault. Why? Because decades ago we stopped electing statesmen who understand that the marking of a good leader is a servant mentality, and instead we vote elitist career politicians into office.

    Until we start voting sensibly and kick out every last bought-and-paid-for politician, we will continue to have no one to blame but ourselves.

    • by mgiuca (1040724)

      I am really not a fan of this line of reasoning. It is flawed for one reason: it assumes that democracy works.

      I'm not American but let's suppose I am: who was I supposed to vote for? I vote for Obama and he sells us down the river in the interests of big business and three-letter-acronym organisations. But it's "my fault" for electing the wrong guy. Was I supposed to vote for McCain? Would he have been any better?

      There is no way to kick out every last bought-and-paid-for politician when they are all bought-

      • by kimvette (919543)

        The problem was the choice was between two politicians, not statesmen (public servants). Ron Paul would have been a better choice but unfortunately few are willing to chance a vote on a third option so we feed back into the system.

  • Another spam window to click away.

  • ... the Copy protection companies should be paying the American taxpayer about $70 Trillion dollars -- because our FBI has been busy going after kids downloading MP3 files rather than the Crooks on Wall Street.

    >> Until the Copyrighters want to PAY for our entire FBI cost -- I don't think these agencies should be in the business of procuring profits for corporations -- they should be going after fraud and abuse of power.

  • The CT part stands for "Copyright Theft" but that's grossly misleading... You're not stealing the rights, you're infringing on them. You're not stealing the content either, you're copying it.

    They apparently refuse to learn! - Pure stupidity! :(

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