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Censorship United Kingdom Your Rights Online

UK ISP Disconnecting Filesharers 106

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-torrent-for-you dept.
bs0d3 writes "A small VPN service, Koppla, has had its service terminated by its host, Santrex Hosting Solutions. Despite actively advertising their services to be oriented toward file-sharing including torrents and XDCC, even going so far as to put 'Seedbox Hosting | An Effective Solution' in the title of their contact page, the UK based Santrex will independently act to terminate users who are thought to be distributing content that they don't own the copyright to. This is regardless of whether the infringement is done by a third party, as is the case with a VPN service such as Koppla."
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UK ISP Disconnecting Filesharers

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  • WRONG! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This is so wrong and such an invasion of privacy. The Internet is meant to be a bunch of dumb-swtiches, sending out packets to all of us, and none of it monitored or regulated. It's time that someone take a stand and show these mother fuckers who is really in charge here.
    • Re:WRONG! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by another_twilight (585366) on Monday November 28, 2011 @12:11AM (#38186644)

      It's time that someone take a stand and show these mother fuckers who is really in charge here.

      They have. They did. It's not you. It's not me.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      It's the goddamned motherfucking corporations and the big banks who are in charge, idiot child, and we all voted for the goddamned motherfucking politicians who were bought and paid for by them for the express purpose of bringing all this about, and all this shit started almost 80 years ago.
      • by fnj (64210)

        Winning an election does not protect filthy politicians who ignore the constitution. They are stil enemies of the Nation.

      • by jonwil (467024)

        Whats worse is that the "sheeple" keep electing the same people time and time again.

        Look at the recent result in the New Zealand poll, they elected exactly the same people who ran the place before, the same people who are in the back pockets of the big media companies (especially the big film and TV production companies), big financial companies and the US government (Google "Bruce Simpson" if you want to find out how much in the pocket of the US government they are)

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      actually, this is against EU law, if I recall correctly.

      • Let's just hope that the file-sharers who have been disconnected have the tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds needed to bring an action against the ISP. Particularly as, these days, it seems you only have to try to intervene in a file-sharing case to get threatened with significant legal costs [torrentfreak.com].

  • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Monday November 28, 2011 @12:12AM (#38186648)

    I am not quite sure what the story is here. Okay, so it is a bit rought that a business was put out of operation because it was being used to VPN up some torrent files - but it certainly didn't look like they were trying to hide it.

    I mean "Hey, we offer great ways to avoid being caught when uploading torrents..." then "Awww.... we got shut down for uploading torrents..." really aren't to far apart in any business plan that starts with the first.

    On the upside, the article points out that new EU rules take any sniffing out of the requirements for an ISP. So maybe this won't happen again.

    I am really unsure which side to take here. I don't support the ludicrous fines and penalties that all of the **AA goons are trying to enforce, but I also don't support a business model that seems to be basically aimed at people breaking copyright of others.

    • by geminidomino (614729) on Monday November 28, 2011 @12:22AM (#38186678) Journal

      Except that the one advertising "Seedbox hosting" wasn't Koppla, it was Santrex, the ones who DID the disconnecting.

      I'm thinking Honeypot, but I'm the paranoid sort.

      • by Fluffeh (1273756)

        Damn summaries and articles - or perhaps damn my comprehension ability today. I read that about five times as well as reading the article to try to work out why it was an issue.

        If it is the parent company that is advertising itself as a pirate friendly ISP, then it's a bit of kettle and black pot, but at the same time, if Koppla is nice and clean, they will no doubt have zero problems switching over to another ISP with next to no problems or downtime for their customers.

        • by CmdrPony (2505686) on Monday November 28, 2011 @12:39AM (#38186760)
          They advertised being seedbox friendly, not pirate friendly. Or are you saying that torrents can only be used for copyright infringement? Because that's what slashdotters have been claiming for years. Now that the claim is used against pirates, it's suddenly not true anymore.
          • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Monday November 28, 2011 @01:14AM (#38186934)

            No, not at all. There are linux torrents, world of warcraft patches and wikileaks insurance policies that are perfectly legal uses for torrents.

            Having said that, if I asked just about anyone I know what torrents they last downloaded - it would be rather unlikely to be one of the three examples above and it would also be unlikely that they were not downloading torrents containing copyrighted material.

            While there are many legal uses for torrent files and peer to peer, I would really love to see a true (read: not produced by **AA or torrent*****.com - both of which I assume would be biased) percentage breakdown of illegal vs legal torrent use. If the numbers are overwhelmingly in favour of pirated material (which I think they likely are) then advertising a business as "seedbox friendly" is by definition somewhat clouded (at least in my mind) by their perceived potential market - no matter what their intentions are.

            To pop my thoughts into a car analogy - You can put a massive super powerful engine into a normal car because you like the sound, but much more likely you want to go faster.

            Again, as I said in the original post here - I don't support piracy, but I am dead against the stupidly over the top litigation that record companies are bringing against people for downloading a few songs. Two polar wrongs don't blend to make a right somewhere in the middle here.

            • Having said that, if I asked just about anyone I know what torrents they last downloaded - it would be rather unlikely to be one of the three examples above and it would also be unlikely that they were not downloading torrents containing copyrighted material.

              Try asking your friends. Maybe you'll get a surprise, especially if you remind them about the WoW updates.

              The last torrents I participated in were Linux distributions (Ubuntu & PCLinuxOS). In each case, I kept seeding until the traffic had essentially died away - that was after about 50GiB uploaded. In the most recent release, I restricted myself to Lubuntu, Kubuntu, and Xubuntu torrents, and left out the poxed Unity/GnomeShell Ubuntu. Mind you, I still run 10.04 on our home systems.

            • by Mathinker (909784) on Monday November 28, 2011 @03:27AM (#38187382) Journal

              > it would also be unlikely that they were not downloading torrents containing copyrighted material

              After world harmonization with Berne, that would be practically all material, so... I think you rather meant "unlicensed, copyrighted material".

      • by stephanruby (542433) on Monday November 28, 2011 @12:33AM (#38186730)

        Except that the one advertising "Seedbox hosting" wasn't Koppla, it was Santrex, the ones who DID the disconnecting.

        You're right.

        This is the worst written blog article I have ever read (hopefully, someone will read this entry and fix it). They need to qualify who's doing what instead of using ambiguous pronouns for everything. It's only once you read the rest of the blog article that you understand what happened.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Koppla was an ISP. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second-level_ISP
      Anyone offering hosting etc. services of somekind is one kind of an ISP. ISP stands for: Internet Service Provider, whether that is access to internet, or service within internet meant for somekind of communication (ie. webhosting, vpn, shell accounts, remote desktop, dedicated) is an ISP.

    • by pla (258480)
      Okay, so it is a bit rought that a business was put out of operation because it was being used to VPN up some torrent files - but it certainly didn't look like they were trying to hide it.

      Although they advertised their intent, the very nature of their service makes me wonder how they got busted... I've long suspected that filesharing would move to entirely various VPN-like networks precisely to hide their traffic.

      So I have to wonder, did Koppla get the boot solely for its PR, or for actual specific all
  • by perpenso (1613749) on Monday November 28, 2011 @12:17AM (#38186664)
    Filesharing is not synonymous with copyright infringement. For example a host could put up torrents of Linux ISOs. So advertising support for file sharing and kicking off folks engaged in copyright violations are not mutually exclusive. I am not saying this ISP is doing so in the best possible manner, just that advertising filesharing does not imply they are going to look the other way regarding copyright violations.
    • by Co0Ps (1539395) on Monday November 28, 2011 @12:48AM (#38186824)

      Once again, this issue is not about legal technicalities or technical workarounds... If you put up a service like the pirate bay it's laughable to claim that more than 1% of the usage is for non copyright infringement purposes. The "but you can use torrent to share Linux ISOs too" argument won't go very far in court (or with business relations like this case). Neither does the "Google can also be used to index torrents" argument. While technically correct the society is rigged to avoid technicalities in rules and take decisions based on intent. The intent of this service was clearly to profit from copyright violating distribution.

      The actual problem is that non-commercial file distribution is not regulated. This is counter intuitive to the Internet as an invention and needs to be changed. The Internet has made such regulation incompatible with fundamental human rights. File sharing is not theft - it's how people will discover new information and consume culture from now and in the future. Business models will have to evolve from utilizing physical scarcity to utilizing distribution-as-a-service. When people finally start to see beyond the "file sharing is theft" and "allowing file sharing means artist shouldn't get paid" arguments/distractions we can have sensible debate and lawmaking. What would change if non-commercial file distribution would be legal/unregulated tomorrow? Think about that. The file sharers are already file sharing. Pandora's box has already been opened.

      • by perpenso (1613749)

        The "but you can use torrent to share Linux ISOs too" argument won't go very far in court.

        However when combined with "we disconnected clients identified as copyright violators" it will likely go much farther.

      • by Co0Ps (1539395)
        The actual problem is that non-commercial file distribution is regulated*
      • by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo@NOspaM.world3.net> on Monday November 28, 2011 @09:17AM (#38189366) Homepage

        Okay, I'll be honest, I like getting free stuff via The Pirate Bay. I have been that way all my life, even before P2P came along. I listen to music on the radio and watch movies/programmes on TV for free, then switch channel when the ads come on. Yeah, I rob the stations blind when it comes to not paying attention to ads. Now I make use of free internet services with disposable email addresses, and always have AdBlock turned on. I "try before you buy" via torrents a lot, which I guess makes me a pirate.

        Thing is I feel pretty good about it. I still spend money on media and services, more than I used to in fact. Part of that is simply down to having more disposable income as I get older, part of it is down to finding new stuff that I like enough to spend said income on. Now I can listen to or watch what I want rather than what someone else decides to broadcast I find more stuff that interests me. Sometimes friends lend me CDs or I go round to watch their DVDs (public performance), which sometimes leads to me spending money on merchandise and the like.

        So yeah, I'm a freeloader, I "steal" in the non-theft-making-a-copy sense. But artists and media companies also need people like me to survive, and if you annoy me with DRM or legal shinnanigans you can be sure I won't give you a penny. And I do in fact practice what I preach: My hardware designs and software are open source, yet I also sell them and do okay out of it. People will pay for quality and convenience even when they can get your warez for free. The publicity and community support I get from being open/free is invaluable, and you only have to look at the fashion industry or Japanese manga/anime/game producers to see how well it works on a massive scale.

        • by tehcyder (746570)

          The publicity and community support I get from being open/free is invaluable, and you only have to look at the fashion industry... to see how well it works on a massive scale.

          If you think the fashion industry works like FOSS you're delusional.

    • by DMUTPeregrine (612791) on Monday November 28, 2011 @01:19AM (#38186944) Journal
      World of Warcraft uses bittorrent to distribute updates.
      Pando Media Booster uses bittorrent to distribute updates, and is used by quite a few other games (League of Legends, Lord of the Rings Online, etc, etc).
      Linux ISOs are hardly the biggest legitimate use of bittorrent.
  • by Yossarian45793 (617611) on Monday November 28, 2011 @12:28AM (#38186706)
    This is funny because Santrex itself sells bittorent hosting services called "seedboxes". What purpose do they think seedboxes serve other than sharing copyrighted material? I know, there are many legitimate uses for bittorrent, but I have a feeling that the kind of people in the market for anonymous bittorrent seedboxes are not the kind of people who are seeding legitimate torrents.
    • by Fnord666 (889225) on Monday November 28, 2011 @12:49AM (#38186830) Journal

      What purpose do they think seedboxes serve other than sharing copyrighted material?

      They allow you to be a respectable participant in the torrent networks, even if your personal machine is on dialup, a slow dsl connection, or is just turned off. Even more so if you have a really unbalanced up/down ratio, or if you have a draconian ISP that blocks torrents of any sort. Not everyone uses bittorrent for copyright infringement. They also improve the bittorrent network overall since seedboxes are usually closer to the backbone than your home machine.

      Personally I get and distribute nightly builds of several projects using bittorrent. With a seedbox I don't have to worry about my personal machine being off the network at any particular time.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        > Not everyone uses bittorrent for copyright infringement.
        > Personally I get and distribute nightly builds of several projects using bittorrent.

        You are the 1%.

        • by tehcyder (746570)

          > Not everyone uses bittorrent for copyright infringement. > Personally I get and distribute nightly builds of several projects using bittorrent.

          You are the 1%.

          I'm not quite sure what you did there. Are you trying to equate downloaders of copyrighted material with the Occupy protesters? Because anonymously sneaking out of paying for someone's work is not exactly civil disobedience.

    • It could be that they were threatened themselves.

      After all, if there is enough evidence to show that they could be accused of doing the same thing, because they're far more public about their intent, they're in a far more vulnerable position themselves and they're far more likely to step all over the rights of their own customers to try to save themselves instead.

    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by c0lo (1497653)

      This is funny because Santrex itself sells bittorent hosting services called "seedboxes". What purpose do they think seedboxes serve other than sharing copyrighted material?

      Making some money from naive people thinking this kind of service won't be subject to regulations?

      BTW, sharing copyrighted content is not illegal - sharing it without permission is. E.g. linux is still copyrighted, but sharing an ISO of the most linux distros is not illegal (not from the point of view of copyright, anyway, GPL grants you the permission).

  • by ibsteve2u (1184603) on Monday November 28, 2011 @12:40AM (#38186766)
    They'll have to open all the mail in Britain to ensure that they aren't "distributing content that they don't own the copyright to". Convenient excuse, anyway; seems almost inevitable.
    • by jd (1658)

      Well, that depends. The EU's court recently ruled that ISPs are forbidden from inspecting for torrents. If packet inspection was used, it's in violation of EU rules which the UK is subordinate to. If the filesharers (or those doing legal fileshares, ideally) take the ISP to court for violating an EU directive and win - which they might well - then ISP disconnections will cease. At least until the corporations persuade there to be a new ruling - something Microsoft found the EU is not always amenable to.

    • Apparently if they feel that a service is, more often than not (never mind the fact that with something as broad as someone merely using bittorrent it would likely be nearly impossible for them to determine this), used to infringe upon copyrights, it should be shut down. Even if, at most, copyright infringement only causes a potential loss of potential profit. Just shut those services down. Who cares if someone was using it legitimately?

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        Even if, at most, copyright infringement only causes a potential loss of potential profit. Yes, because no one ever actually downloaded anything rather than buy it, it's always "try before you buy" or stuff you would never have bought anyway.

        I think the phrase you want instead of "potential" is "hard to quantify"

  • by alienzed (732782) on Monday November 28, 2011 @01:47AM (#38187052) Homepage
    If ever you want to see if an idea or concept is ludicrous or not, imagine yourself trying to explain it to an Alien race. You'd seem so petty and selfish for insinuating that you charge for information and claim complete dominion over things such as melodies, rhymes, sequences of tones and harmonies. Our race would not have achieved what it has if it weren't for every single contributing factor in the grander scheme of things. No one 'invents' anything alone, it's about time we start freely sharing what we have with anyone it can benefit.
    • by Walterk (124748)

      I'm sure if you explained it to the Ferengi, they'd want a piece of that pie.

    • by tehcyder (746570)
      Agreed, and on the same basis, these wise aliens would also laugh at our religions, monarchies and use of "money" as an exchange mechanism, as well as being appalled that we still fought intra-species wars and allowed tens of millions of our own kind to die of preventable causes like hunger or trivial disease every year.
  • Bad idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LocalH (28506) on Monday November 28, 2011 @03:07AM (#38187294) Homepage

    ISPs should not be making the decision to cut a customer off based on the content they are retrieving and distributing, but only if they are attacking the network or otherwise trying to harm the network itself (or if there is a court order to disconnect a specific customer). What next, some ISP gets all "morality police" and starts banning customers for accessing porn, illegal drug information, or even political/social material that someone with authority at the ISP decided they didn't want to pass across their wires?

    It'd be like the phone company disconnecting your service because you like to call phone sex lines, or the postal service refusing to deliver your mail because you subscribe to skin mags.

  • by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Monday November 28, 2011 @10:03AM (#38189892) Journal

    I have been repeated told by other slashdotters that file sharing and P2P is not just for violating copyright and that by far the majority of P2P and file sharing traffic is for legitimate purposes such as distributing Linux. So, if the ISP is only cutting off those who are violating copyright law, where is the problem?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      How are they identifying the alleged infringers? Are they making sure they get a court case before deciding that they're guilty?

      That's my problem.

  • I hate thieves of any sort.

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