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ISPs Will Now Be Copyright Cops 338

Posted by timothy
from the best-of-europe-and-australia-coming-soon dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Wendy Seltzer, Fellow at Princeton University's Center for Information Technology Policy, talks about the new plan by ISPs and content providers to 'crack down on what users can do with their internet connections' using a 6-step warning system to curb online copyright infringement."
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ISPs Will Now Be Copyright Cops

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  • 6 Warnings (Score:5, Funny)

    by ArchieBunker (132337) on Saturday August 06, 2011 @07:11PM (#37010798) Homepage

    Alright 6 warnings! Now I know to cut it out after the 5th.

  • by scottbomb (1290580) on Saturday August 06, 2011 @07:19PM (#37010842) Journal

    Haven't we been arguing this since the invention of the copy machine? As long as people want something bad enough, they will get it. The cat and mouse game will never end and the cat will never win. For every torrent site that gets shut down, 3 new ones appear. The genie technology has been let out of the bottle. People will find new ways to transport and hide/encrypt their files.

    • by ae1294 (1547521) on Saturday August 06, 2011 @07:30PM (#37010938) Journal

      Haven't we been arguing this since the invention of the copy machine? As long as people want something bad enough, they will get it. The cat and mouse game will never end and the cat will never win. For every torrent site that gets shut down, 3 new ones appear. The genie technology has been let out of the bottle. People will find new ways to transport and hide/encrypt their files.

      If you're of noble birth and choose to make most everything illegal, than you've made most everyone else your slave. Make knowledge illegal and their children and children's children become slaves. Make chiropractic schools illegal and you've made Dr. Bob your new court jester.

      • DAMN YOU....what kind of choice is that? Slavery...Dr Bob wearing the little hat and bells on his shoes and made to do tricks....slavery...bells and stupid tricks...ARGH I can't choose and its YOUR FAULT asshole!

        As for TFA, sorry babe, but after 30+ years of a policy of " Give teh rich more MONIES nom nom nom" the wealth is too concentrated for them to give a fuck what YOU think. They own the MSM, so try protesting, nobody will see it, nor will they see the cops crack your head later. Vote? For whom? Thanks to Citizens United they don't even have to hide the bribes anymore!

        Until we have our own Arab Spring, which I figure is coming, 5 or 6 years of depression should do the trick, you might as well give it up as you simply can't compete with the 1%ers. You have your little signs, they have congressmen on speed dial. You have your little forums, the have Fox, CBS, ABC, NBC, and a couple of dozen more. Not much of a fight really.

        • by ae1294 (1547521)

          Bread and circus my friend... There is a third option however... DEATH by Lawyer... I don't think you want that option, as it involves listening to readings of out of date law books for weeks on end while being cut 1000's of times by legal briefs filled in patent and trademark cases... among other things... works wonders at gitmo... woopps... I didn't say that....

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If the cat kills every mouse, the cat will die. The cat only needs to catch enough mice to sustain it's lifestyle. I think it is a very accurate analogy.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, but the age-old approach to social ills has not been to actually find a cure. Instead, people are satisfied with the sense that there is a cosmic balance between crime and punishment. So as long as there are victims to crucify, the war on drugs, piracy, terrorism, abortion, homosexuality etc can be considered a great success.

      Those with a conservative mindset are even opposed to real solutions if they break the cosmic balance. Giving condoms to teens (no baby as a punishment). Removing poverty from func

    • by countertrolling (1585477) on Saturday August 06, 2011 @08:05PM (#37011174) Journal

      People will find new ways to transport and hide/encrypt their files.

      Nobody cares about that. The whole idea here is to give new pretense to to spy on people and knock their doors down. Make everybody subject to arrest and their equipment subject to seizure. Yeah, just like the war on drugs, which is still proving to be very profitable, so don't expect much change there.

    • Yes, but it seems that as long as lawyers can make more money with something, we're stuck with the game.

    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Sunday August 07, 2011 @07:32AM (#37013314) Homepage Journal

      What's troubling to me is, if I think I'm downloading The Station's "Fingertips" [archive.org], I'm far more likely to download Stevie Wonder's completely different song with the same name, even if I may loathe Wonder's music.

      Yet another of the RIAA's tools against lost revenue; revenue lost to their competition. TFA (either disingenuously, ignorantly, or stupidly) claims this is a loss to the economy, which is an unmitigated lie. The economy loses NOTHING when you download. When you download that copy of Photoshop that you could no way in hell afford, how has Adobe lost anything?

      AND, Piracy generates revenue. As Doctorow says in the forward to one of his books (which I read for free), nobody ever lost money from piracy, but many artists have starved from obscurity. He credits his standing as a New York Times best seller to the fact that he gives his books away for free on boingboing.

      I was at the library yesterday. I checked out Charles Portis' "True Grit" and Fred Pohl's "All The Lives He Led" (I thought Pohl was dead, but he's still writing, this is a new book), two DVDs and two CDs, and it cost me the price of gas to drive two miles. Did Portis and Pohl lose any money because I'm not paying to read their books?

      I have dozens of books by Isaac Asimov. Without libraries, I'd never have bought a single one of them. I see no difference whatever between the internet and the library, especially since my library doesn't have to even own a book for me to check it out; there are interlibrary loans.

      The RIAA and MPAA are the real pirates.

  • Beg to differ... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    ISPs are taking a path that will promote end to end encryption and obfuscation to prevent guessing at the content of encrypted baby videos being distributed to relatives.

    Perhaps if the creators and providers of "content" were able to devise a workable business model, there'd be no need for ISPs to be coerced into inspecting customers private data?

    Just a thought.

    • by Dunbal (464142) *

      ISPs are taking a path that will promote end to end encryption and obfuscation to prevent guessing at the content of encrypted baby videos being distributed to relatives.

      Oh god - yes. Please! That's the way it should have been in the first place.

    • You are aware that a lot of ISPs are also either subcompanies or at least somehow affiliated with copyright holders, yes?

    • by frdmfghtr (603968)

      ISPs are taking a path that will promote end to end encryption and obfuscation to prevent guessing at the content of encrypted baby videos being distributed to relatives.

      Just to run through a mind experiment...perhaps that is the goal of the ISPs? "Hey, we can't police the traffic, it's encrypted, so we're not going to bother even trying anymore unless you, $big_name_copyright_holder, provide the dough to do so."

      It just popped into my head? Dumb? I don't know, but it's a thought.

  • Anyone interested in resurrecting packet radio?

    • Resurrecting? Who declared it dead?

      Packet radio is still in use. Plus with the advances in WiFi (802.11n looks pretty decent, speed-wise) and antennas becoming cheaper while we're talking, I guess we needn't even return to PR. WiFi will work just fine.

      • by Lanteran (1883836)

        It's not dead, but hardly in common use anymore. Mesh networking would work great over short distances, but in anything larger than a subdivision, you're going to need a longer range link.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "Anyone interested in resurrecting packet radio?"

      That's gonna make for some slow torrents!

    • by Ironchew (1069966)

      For non-commercial, unencrypted torrents, packet-radio is a (slow) solution. Encrypting and/or distributing commercial information is specifically banned by the FCC on the amateur spectrum.

      • by Lanteran (1883836)

        True- though it makes me wonder why. With encryption hardwired into so many things now, why does the regulation still stand?

        • Because encrypted connections are private, and the public spectrum is... public. It's also a shared resource. Using encryption in public spectrum is like deciding to have a party in the town square and employing people at all of the entrances to only let in people that you like. You're taking a public space and restricting access to it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 06, 2011 @07:23PM (#37010874)

    She explicitly said that "study after study has shown that those who pirate the most frequently are also the ones who are willing to pay the most for legal access to that copyrighted material." And then she also pointed out that it's disturbing to see the conglomeration of media companies and service providers like NBC-Comcast.

    I like this lady, and I hope she manages to make those points to others!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by unr3a1 (1264666)

      I decided to look for more info about her on Princeton's website, and she definitely deserves massive respect. You can read a bio about her here: http://wendy.seltzer.org/shortbio.html [seltzer.org]

      She works in support of the internet users, even heading up a website that helps internet users understand their rights when they receive cease and desist threats. I like her too.

    • by Idbar (1034346)

      The problem doesn't stop there. This will be helpful for governments to track whistle-blowers, so I don't think the "tracking" feature will go away. And since the media industry is also feeding lawyers and the penitentiary system, everybody is happy.

  • 16billion in loses? (Score:5, Informative)

    by arbiter1 (1204146) on Saturday August 06, 2011 @07:25PM (#37010890)
    That is numbers from movie and music companies, Sure we all remember story's in the past of these companies inflating their loses to make it look worse then it was.
    • by Lanteran (1883836) on Saturday August 06, 2011 @07:44PM (#37011038) Homepage Journal

      That's an understatement. They've made claims that are greater than the GDP of the entire world.

    • by kawabago (551139) on Saturday August 06, 2011 @07:57PM (#37011134)
      The media industry commissioned a 'real' study of file traders and their effect on sales. They found the file traders were also the best customers. They found that file trading is like radio was in previous decades. File traders download music and films to see if they like them, if they do, they buy them. I don't see anything wrong with that at all. The industry buried the report. Stopping file trading will lead to a complete collapse of the music industry, that is exactly what we need!
      • FULL DISCLOSURE:

        Just to be clear, *NOBODY* claims this behaviour is true of *ALL* P2P filesharers.

        However all the studies (other thn marketing propaganda by The **AA) clearly show that *OVERWHELMINGLY* most filesharers end up actually *BUYING* significantly more music.

        And by MORE I do mean
        • more than before they were filesharing
        • more than they "pirate"
        • collectively MORE is being purchased than pirated, ie there is SALES GROWTH AS A DIRECT RESULT OF FILESHARING
  • (Insert random ./ death threats and anal rapings here, quoted from previous comments..)

    So, I guess NO one reads/watches TFA.

    Google. Try it, folks!

    ..."She sits on the board of the TOR PROJECT. (Enabling folks to 'anonymously' browse pr0n for some time.)

    Really, though, six mailings/warnings followed by throttled bandwidth doesn't do much, that I can see, apart from the 'we're watching you' vibe. It'll just be a shot in the arm for the VPN market.
  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday August 06, 2011 @07:26PM (#37010900)
    This could really only be a problem in the United States because there is such little competition in the market. In any market where true competition exists, a company that attempted to restrict access in a way that did not have a clear economic benefit or cost would slowly lose customers. Restricting access to certain websites or data could never work in a competitive marketplace. The only reason the United States has bandwidth caps is because of a lack of competition as well... But at least there is an underlying economic reason for the ISPs to do so.
  • by Chewbacon (797801) on Saturday August 06, 2011 @07:40PM (#37011008)
    My ISP (Cox) is already suspending accounts for privacy. A friend of mine called Cox to find his account had been suspended for pirating Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. He doesn't play video games, but also doesn't know jack about Wifi security. After a little looking around for him, I saw someone had been squatting on his connection and then locked it up for him. Despite he explained someone apparently used his network without his permission and broke the law, Cox didn't give a rat's ass about it. It's much easier and cheaper for them to shoot now and ask questions later.
    • by SeaFox (739806)

      After a little looking around for him, I saw someone had been squatting on his connection and then locked it up for him. Despite he explained someone apparently used his network without his permission and broke the law, Cox didn't give a rat's ass about it. It's much easier and cheaper for them to shoot now and ask questions later.

      He was in violation of Cox's Acceptable Use Policy:
      http://ww2.cox.com/aboutus/lasvegas/policies.cox [cox.com]
      (these policies are the same for all Cox service areas generally)

      First, from the intro:
      "Violation of any term of this AUP may result in the immediate suspension or termination of either your access to the Service and/or your Cox account."

      See section 6 (Misuse of service),
      "You may be held responsible for any misuse of the Service that occurs through your account or IP address, even if the misuse was inadvert

      • by Ltap (1572175)
        I don't want to seem to defend ignorance, but it can generally be said that everyone has violated some AUP or EULA at some point. Cox's looks mild and laissez-faire compared to many. All I am saying is that it doesn't entirely justify Cox's actions and this highlights the very real issue of setups (like the "download child porn onto someone else's computer" scenario that has been reported several times now) and impersonation. What constitutes a reasonable level of security? Assuming that the connection from
  • So set your torrent client to require SSL connections to peers, and they can't prove you weren't downloading the latest Ubuntu.

    Problem solved.

    • Re:Uh, SSL? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Freddybear (1805256) on Saturday August 06, 2011 @07:56PM (#37011126)

      Encryption won't work. The MAFIAA gets your IP address from the tracker, or by joining the torrent swarms for files they considering to be infringing. Then they make the ISP correlate the IP address to your account.

      You'd need a VPN proxy network to obscure your IP address from the tracker and the other members of the torrent swarm.

      • Re:Uh, SSL? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by DaMattster (977781) on Saturday August 06, 2011 @08:05PM (#37011170)

        Encryption won't work. The MAFIAA gets your IP address from the tracker, or by joining the torrent swarms for files they considering to be infringing. Then they make the ISP correlate the IP address to your account.

        You'd need a VPN proxy network to obscure your IP address from the tracker and the other members of the torrent swarm.

        Simple enough. Find a provider that will give you some server space with shell access and install OpenVPN. Then use OpenVPN to obscure your IP address.

        • by Baloroth (2370816)
          Out of curiosity, do you happen to know of any such providers that are fairly inexpensive? I know of a couple of VPN services, but most (I believe) shut you down if they are informed of infringement.
        • Make sure that provider is beyond the reach of a MAFIAA subpoena.

    • by vlueboy (1799360)

      So set your torrent client to require SSL connections to peers, and they can't prove you weren't downloading the latest Ubuntu.

      Problem solved.

      I know you know this, but let me restate an important fact for everyone else who is new to your suggestion. For torrents of enough value, "unlawful infiltration" by you, the downloader / (lawsuit target) is just as simple as "lawful infiltration" by they, the copyright owners... since everyone can pose as a sharer in this SSL encrypted "anonymous" environment.

      The internet is a little weird with this respect: we have the illusion that you don't know the sharers, and they don't know you... unless "they" happ

  • just plain absurd (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Blymie (231220) on Saturday August 06, 2011 @07:50PM (#37011084)

    Private industry has absolutely NO place as judge, jury and executioner. NONE. Zero. Zilch.

    If one is to be found guilty of anything, a court should be involved. Perhaps there should be changes to the law, to make small claim's court responsible for minor copyright infractions by users.

    Regardless, in no way should one private company provide proof to another private company, which results in any sort of detrimental action being taken against a citizen of a free country! In fact, if that information is wrong, the copyright holder could be sued for slander/libel, along with the ISP being sued for various other things.

  • It does indeed appear that, finally, in 2011, after only a decade plus of sheer stupidity, the entertainment "industry" has figured out that they can't win this battle.

    I just wish all the various tentacles involved could get with the program.
  • Basically, it's too late to stop downloading and streaming. Consumers are not passively accepting networks scheduling any more.
    They must understand they are now selling content, not a continous shedule. People will pick what they want to watch and everything else is nicely filtered out by their PVR's or simply not downloaded.
    Give users a proper option with easy subscriptions and a system that works for distribution and they will pay. That means no insane prices where a simple episode cost the same as a mo
  • The moment AT&T and the "major" ISP's do this, don't they loose any chance at ever claiming common carrier status? I'm not a lawyer, nor do I understand any of the telecom laws... but it seems to be as soon as they filter for copyright they can be held libel for anything they didn't filter for...

    • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday August 06, 2011 @08:25PM (#37011252) Homepage

      That never has existed for ISPs and lately, the biggest ISPs have dreams and intent on being content providers as well. If they hope to get you to pay for streaming content, they need to limit your access to free materials in whatever forms. So they are not interested in common carrier status. This is precisely why we need network neutrality laws firmly in place... of course, if someone were to try to get it passed, there would be so many little tweaks in there it wouldn't even resemble the original intent. (Look what happened to Obama's healthcare reform... it might have been nice.)

    • by robot256 (1635039)
      So then they will start filtering for anything and everything, like kiddie porn. But if it makes them cut off botnet-infested users, then there could be a pellet of silver inside the cloud of shit.
  • by Roskolnikov (68772) on Saturday August 06, 2011 @08:11PM (#37011196)

    I pay my ISP for a connection to the internet; essentially I will be paying for this 'service' to the RIAA and the MPAA, this is not what I consider customer service, I predict this will increase the use of encryption, which will in turn spawn legislation that deems secure encryption illegal. Pretty soon they will want 'virus and copyright compliance software' installed on all systems non-supported operating systems will not be allowed on public networks, etc... tin-foil hat folks don't have to be wrong, they just have to wait long enough to see their 'crazy' views realized.

  • by RapmasterT (787426) on Saturday August 06, 2011 @08:15PM (#37011204)
    I admit I didnt' watch the video, because...well, I don't watch videos that I could have read a transcript from in 1/10th the time.

    Regardless though, I just don't see any way for the ISP to filter/detect copyrighted content without actually intercepting and analyzing the traffic on the wire.

    Something seems to be wrong here. We would all be shitting our respective pants if the phone company stated they would be listening to our phone calls, or if the post office said they would be reading our mail...but we're not worried that our ISP is analyzing our private data packets, we're only worried what they do with the info?
    • by MrShaggy (683273)

      Since I live in Canada I am not certain.

      However it is because it has to do with the fact that your phone company is a Common carrier. Which means that they can not listen in on your phones with out a warrent. You can sue if you relise they do.

      However the company can not be Sued because you used its phone lines to order drugs, or to assassinate someone.

      Same with the mail.

      Since the isp said'no fucking way' to common carrier. I am not sure why they would.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday August 06, 2011 @08:19PM (#37011220) Homepage

    Without net neutrality firmly in place, we are going to see lots of things we can and cannot do with our internet connections. They should be a common carrier and indemnified for the content carried across them just like phone companies. Instead, we have content providers owning the internet links... we have an ugly future ahead if things doing get changed radically.

  • by wrencherd (865833) on Saturday August 06, 2011 @08:26PM (#37011260)
    It doesn't seem like any of the "strikes" plans has any hope of working out.

    ISP's have no police power and locking someone out from access to any given service--particularly if they've paid the statutory damages for whatever infringing they've been shown to have committed--requires police power. And it does not seem like even if they did have that power that it could be used to accomplish any of the "strikes" that are described in TFV.
  • Could you not sue you isp if they threw you off the connection?

    Since it seems they would in fact be violating the DMCA? Since in a sense they are breaking the safe harbor rules?

    As well as breaking the contract to provide service to you the customer.

    Since the isp's were desperate not too have the 'common carrier' status that in a sense would protect you the user as well as the provider from any of these sorts of things.

    Would this also not smack of the Riaa that is merely a disgruntled 3rd party. So why wou

  • Yes, it's slow but it gets better every year.

  • Does this mean we can hold ISP responsible for everything and sue them for spam or phishing and other things?

  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @02:43AM (#37012562) Journal
    This will only drive people to offline file trading. Back in the sneakernet days, the joke was "never underestimate the bandwidth of a stationwagon filled with floppy disks". Now, it's "never underestimate the bandwidth of a stationwagon filled with multi-terabyte hard drives.

    In your face, BITCHES.

    Where there's a will, there's a won't.

    Download what you can, NOW. Form networks with friends and start LAN parties. Ethernet LAN parties were cool back in the day of 14.4 modems. Now with ISPs acting like a bunch of dickwads for the fascist entertainment overlords, we need to organise around and without the net. It is no longer the resilient rhizomatic object of freedom - it is now the arboretic albatross of commerce.

"It is better to have tried and failed than to have failed to try, but the result's the same." - Mike Dennison

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