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Piracy The Courts The Internet

German Domain Registrar Liable For Copyright Infringement 164

Posted by timothy
from the with-a-name-like-h33t dept.
jfruh writes "When the German domain registrar Key-Systems registered and maintained the domain h33t.com, should it have been obvious that their customer would use the site for unauthorized distribution of Robin Thicke albums? A regional German court says that they should've known, and once they had been notified they should have taken steps to prevent it from happening. Obviously domain registrars are worried that this will upend their entire business model."
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German Domain Registrar Liable For Copyright Infringement

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  • In before Fuck Beta (Score:5, Informative)

    by kevingolding2001 (590321) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @05:25AM (#46194085)
    Let it go...
    I fully commiserate with you, but it's over. Read the excerpt below from the Dice 2013 full year financial report.

    Slashdot Media was acquired to provide content and services that are important to technology professionals in their everyday work lives and to leverage that reach into the global technology community benefiting user engagement on the Dice.com site. The expected benefits have started to be realized at Dice.com. However, advertising revenue has declined over the past year and there is no improvement expected in the future financial performance of Slashdot Media's underlying advertising business. Therefore, $7.2 million of intangible assets and $6.3 million of goodwill related to Slashdot Media were reduced to zero.

    Zero!!

    They've basically written off slashdot as worthless and are now in desperation mode trying to minimize their losses, and if that means turning slashdot into a Justin Beiber Fan page on Facebook then that is what they will do. The original slashdot "audience" is worthless to them and they don't give a damn if we are unhappy and threaten to go elsewhere.

    The slashdot that we used to know and love is gone, and the only thing left for us is to direct our energies towards either the altslashdot initiative or respectfully ask Mr. Perens to re-ressurect technocrat.net.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      They've basically written off slashdot as worthless

      Should be cheap to buy it off them, then!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      create a non-profit, donate slashdot and let it run by the community. This is the only right choice here dice.

      FUCK BETA

      • by Cito (1725214)

        Moot should buy Slashdot!

        Slashdot part of the 4chan network

        Then we can all become NSA informants and make tons of cash selling leaks to Iran and Russia

    • by fatphil (181876)
      Google finds that easily, but for the lazy:
      http://www.diceholdingsinc.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=211152&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1896508&highlight=

      Thanks for posting that.

      See you on Technocrat, I hope...

      Jeeeesus! I just got a 0.5s view of Beta. It burns the eyes its so ugly. Back button! Back button! Phew!
      • Is this [technocrat.com] the Technocrat site you're referring to? If so, that is just as horribly laid out and offensive to my eyes as the beta site is. There's enough white space on each side for 2 more columns each. Besides that though, what the hell is with everyone going to column layouts anyway? The row layout of slashdot is far superior especially on mobile devices. If that is the supposed new hangout for us, I'll see y'all elsewhere.
        • by Briareos (21163) *

          Try technocrat.net [technocrat.net] - Bruce Perens already closed it down twice due to low interest, but if /. really bites it this time it might stay up...

    • These guys think Beta is 100/100.

      (Script warning!)

      http://www.webutations.net/go/... [webutations.net]

      Apparently, they want people to write reviews for beta.slashdot.org.

    • Therefore, $7.2 million of intangible assets and $6.3 million of goodwill related to Slashdot Media were reduced to zero.

      At a 10% interest rate (to say nothing of our current cheap credit rates) if you can't make make enough money to cover those investments off one of the most recognizable tech sites on the internet, then you are not competent to be running an internet web business.

      This isn't rocket science. If you can't make money running Slashdot.org, then there is no hope for your business.

  • by aaribaud (585182) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @05:33AM (#46194123)
    ... which the Slashdot title does not exactly convey. From TFA, what happened is the domain was registered and used to distribute material without consent of the right owner(s), the infringement was obvious, the registrar was notified, and did not take action beyond passing the notice to the website owner. *This* lack of action is what made them liable; TFA even explicitly states that generally, registrars are not liable if they do act promptly upon serious requests.
    • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @05:37AM (#46194143)

      So,
      - Some troublemaker files a false complaint to my registrar who, afraid of liability, immediately kills my domain and takes down not just web but email too.
      - Some troublemaker files a false complain to whoever sold microsoft.com and their complaint is forwarded to the trashcan.

      It's the DMCA again: Another trick internet bullies can use to silence and annoy anyone they dislike. I hope Anonymous figures this out and starts abusing the process,then we might see some attention given to the issue.

      • by pitchpipe (708843)

        Some troublemaker files a false complaint to my registrar who, afraid of liability, immediately kills my domain and takes down not just web but email too.

        So what you are saying is this will probably work against beta?

      • by jklovanc (1603149) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @05:59AM (#46194223)

        I guess you didn't RTFA.

        the court ruled that the registrar had a duty to investigate after notification of infringing activity and had to take corrective action in case of obvious violations,

        The registrar did not investigate at all. What you are talking about is a knee jerk reaction. What the court is talking about is reasonable action.
        Combining the court scenario with your scenario would come out as follows;
        - Some troublemaker files a false complaint to my registrar. The registrar investigates and finds the complaint to be false and ignores it. The troublemaker goes to court, loses and has to pay the legal fees of the registrar.

        If Key-Systems ignores this ruling it faces a maximum fine of €250,000 (US$339,000).

        The registrar is not being fined if they follow the ruling. Their only cost would be the legal fees. If the troublemaker's claim was obviously bogus the court could award costs to the plantif so the registrar would be out nothing.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          The registrar did not investigate at all.

          Nor should they be required to enforce copyright for parasites like these.

        • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @06:32AM (#46194341)

          Investigations cost money. If the registrar is making $30 a year on a domain, it isn't going to be worth a formal investigation. They might be concerned about getting a reputation as an 'easy takedown.'

          You want to see an example, you only need to look at the DMCA and youtube. DMCA complains are a standard tool of visious youtube fights - people DMCA videos that insult them, pseudoscience organisations use DMCA takedowns to take down videos condemning them*, political factions DMCA videos promoting opposing views. Even worse, it's largely automated. Bots take down anything that matches their filters - witness the rather amusing incident of the Hugo awards, which showed a clip (with permission), and found their ustream blocked mid-broadcast because the copyright holder had neglected to whitelist the show's stream channel on their enforcer bot, or the takedown of NASA's coverage of the Curiosity landing because a news channel automatically submitted everything they broadcast to the enforcer-bot.

          Investigations cost human time. It's also a risk - humans make errors. Unless you're a major customer, you're not worth that much as an individual. This will be especially true when someone realises that you can take the result from googling 'justin beiber intitle:"index of" ' and feed it straight into the mailer. There's no penalty for submitting false positives.

          *The producers of the HIV-denying nonsense 'house of numbers' have been doing a lot of this. Criticise the many, many errors and outright lies in their 'documentary' and you may well find a takedown headed your way.

          • by jklovanc (1603149)

            Investigating in this case would mean hitting a web site with a url that was probably given in the complaint. If a registrars can't fulfil their legal duties at current prices maybe they should raise prices and/or get the laws changed.

            • In the obvious cases, yes. But you can't always tell at a glance with things like free-to-download music collections. Then there are things like my own site, which has a large collection of music that does infringe copyright - in the US. I'm in the UK, as is the server, and it's entirely legal over here. I'm very careful about that. Plus there are potential issues with user-generated or submitted content.

            • by zAPPzAPP (1207370)

              Investigating this would involve a lot of work:
              1) Figuring out who, or what 'Robin Thicke' is.
              2) Matching the music on the site, if there is any, with whatever this person/band produces and see if its the same stuff.
              3) Check wether they have the rights to distribute it.

              I personally would not know how to even manage step 3 and I do not see how it could be economical for the company to go through this procedure for every email/automatic complaint they receive.
              Forwarding the complaint seems like the reasonable

              • by jklovanc (1603149)

                1) Figuring out who, or what 'Robin Thicke' is.

                Google?

                2) Matching the music on the site, if there is any, with whatever this person/band produces and see if its the same stuff.

                Google?

                I personally would not know how to even manage step 3

                Considering that the request states "I am the rights holder and they don't have rights to distribute", step 3 is trivial.

                Most of the information you see difficult to obtain is probably in the request and easily verifiable through Google.

                • Considering that the request states "I am the rights holder and they don't have rights to distribute", step 3 is trivial.

                  That's probably the *least* trivial step. Deciding who is the rights holder is what lawyers are needed for, whenever there is a dispute. The world is full of business partners who, after years of working together, part ways *both* claiming the rights to their work. How is an ISP to know at a glance that this takedown isn't part of some ongoing legal dispute where nobody yet knows wh

                  • by jklovanc (1603149)

                    The solution is simple. The registrar asks under what license is it posting the material in question. They then check that permission. It is not that hard.

                  • It's also not unknown for copyright holders to send takedowns against their own legitimate distributors, or for things they don't own. The process is automated - bots use a combination of pattern-matching and whitelisting, but are prone to mistakes.

          • by mdielmann (514750)

            Investigations cost money. If the registrar is making $30 a year on a domain, it isn't going to be worth a formal investigation. They might be concerned about getting a reputation as an 'easy takedown.'

            Good news! Someone figured out a way to make ignoring complaints cost a lot more than $30! So, the questions for them are: Do I want to pay $300k and not even look at the site; or do I spend the 5 minutes it would take next time as part of processing the complaint and save myself the court fees?

            Yes, they only make $30/year from each person, but I doubt they get complaints equivalent to each of them, either. Having some poor bastard who drew the short straw review complaints for half a day each month wou

        • I used to handled DMCA requests for an ISP. They are awful. There is no real way to verify the person complaining is who they say they are, much less that they own the content. What if the complaint came from Robin Thicke himself? Does he own his own songs? Or does his record company? Micheal Jackson owned the Beatles albums... and how do you know this is really him? All you got was an email...

          Then, on the other side you have the supposed infringer. First you have to verify they are doing what the complaint

          • I used to handled DMCA requests for an ISP. They are awful. There is no real way to verify the person complaining is who they say they are, much less that they own the content. What if the complaint came from Robin Thicke himself? Does he own his own songs? Or does his record company? Micheal Jackson owned the Beatles albums... and how do you know this is really him? All you got was an email...

            You don't have to verify any of these. You verify that all the required information is there (otherwise you throw the request away), remove the content, and pass all the info you've got on to the person whose content was removed. If the information is false, that's perjury. To be precise, if the person making the DMCA request doesn't hold the copyright or acts for the copyright holder of the content that they claim is there, that's perjury. It's up to the person whose content was removed to investigate this

            • Ofc you have to verify this.
              Copyright claims (and a case in a court) can only be made by the copyright owner (or his lawyer), not by some one else.

            • by HiThere (15173)

              What makes you think it's perjury? IIUC the DMCA merely requires that you "have a good faith belief" that you are acting correctly. And a lawyer is entitled to believe his client, however dishonest. Even then, proving that someone didn't believe something is quite a trick. It's comparatively easy to show that they had no reasonable grounds for belief (still quite difficult), but showing that they didn't believe.... I don't think I've ever heard of anyone being prosecuted under that section of the DMCA

              • by jklovanc (1603149)

                And a lawyer is entitled to believe his client, however dishonest.

                Because the lawyer is merely acting as an agent for the dishonest client the client is guilty of perjury and not the lawyer.

                I don't think I've ever heard of anyone being prosecuted under that section of the DMCA.

                How about this [eff.org].

                • by HiThere (15173)

                  OK, that's one.

                  IIUC, the DMCA only applies to the person filing the takedown request. Not to someone who directed him to do it.

                  P.S.: I've also heard of companies stating in court that yes, they knew they didn't have any ownership in the material they were demanding be taken down, and asserting, without penalty, that the court couldn't do anything about it.

                  IANAL, so there may well be some technicalities that I'm not understanding here. But if the punishment of someone for falsely filing a takedown request

                  • by jklovanc (1603149)

                    IIUC, the DMCA only applies to the person filing the takedown request. Not to someone who directed him to do it.

                    One of the precept of purger is known or should have know. A lawyer must check the facts of a document before sending it out or he is not fulfilling his duties.

                    I've also heard of companies stating in court that yes,...

                    I have also heard that the earth was flat. Without references that statement is just rumour.

        • So just by looking at a site, you can tell if it is hosting infringing copies or not? How is it obvious? The bar is set way to low for prosecution. What about a site like GoDaddy who has probably hundreds of thousands of sites? Was the process automated? If so then it would be far too easy for someone to claim infringement when there is not, or even when there is clearly not infringement to try and take down someone's site because that person or organization does "not like" the site. Again just like the DMC
          • by jklovanc (1603149)

            So just by looking at a site, you can tell if it is hosting infringing copies or not?

            You click on the link give, click on the download link on the site, download the file, look at the file. At that point it is obvious if the file is copyrighted.

            • Respectfully sir, I don't have to. The fact that the name of the file given is infringing is not enough and the fact that the site is a torrent site. Even if there was a hash "identifying" the file, that is not 100% accurate, although it may be given a very strong indication of. I said "a site", not "the site", which is what the court will be determining, whether "a" site should be suspended due to a copyright holder's evaluation of "a" site and/or file. Like other commenters have mentioned, the burden plac
      • - Some troublemaker files a false complaint to my registrar who, afraid of liability, immediately kills my domain and takes down not just web but email too.
        - Some troublemaker files a false complain to whoever sold microsoft.com and their complaint is forwarded to the trashcan.

        If you are damaged by a false complaint, you sue the troublemaker for damages. And the judgment we are talking about was about a case where there was "clear and obvious" infringement. I suppose it means that if the registrar had bothered to visit the website, they would have seen clear and obvious infringement with their own eyes.

    • *This* lack of action is what made them liable

      Not enforcing copyright for slimy, parasitic companies? Interesting how the law works in Germany.

      • by aaribaud (585182)

        *This* lack of action is what made them liable

        Not enforcing copyright for slimy, parasitic companies? Interesting how the law works in Germany.

        This is not about "enforcing [or not] copyright for slimy, parasitic companies" (a statement which I find quite one-sided), this is about the registrar being notified of a possible copyright violation and having to decide whether i) to just ignore an invalid (or, at least in France but possible in all Europe, non-obvious) complaint, or ii) to consider the complaint valid and well-founded and remove access to avoid any liability, or iii) to consider the complaint valid and well-founded but maintain access an

        • by Anonymous Coward

          This is not about "enforcing [or not] copyright for slimy, parasitic companies" (a statement which I find quite one-sided), this is about the registrar being notified of a possible copyright violation and having to decide whether i) to just ignore an invalid (or, at least in France but possible in all Europe, non-obvious) complaint, or ii) to consider the complaint valid and well-founded and remove access to avoid any liability, or iii) to consider the complaint valid and well-founded but maintain access and accept potential liability. All three cases have happened (again, in French courts).

          Are ISPs/registrars supposed to be experts on copyright law? Why can't the copyright holder take the owner of the domain/site to court directly? The ISP or registrar can/will take action if the court finds the complaint valid... Nah, that would cost them to much money - instead they pressure a 3rd party to short circuit due process by intimidation.

        • by vux984 (928602)

          ), this is about the registrar being notified of a possible copyright violation

          Since when are registrars ever at all responsible for content? They're registrars. Their function is to record that you own the domain name, and to record the authoritative dns servers for the zone. That's pretty much all a registrar is.

          Most of them these days will also host your dns zone file for you. (And thus provide you with the authoritative dns servers instead of merely point at them.)

          A "full service" registrar may also hos

          • by aaribaud (585182)

            Since when are registrars ever at all responsible for content?

            IIRC, since European Directive 2000/31/CE, more than 13 years ago.

        • I don't understand why the registrar has to do anything without a court order. I could ask a registrar to investigate a website that I'm claiming killed my cat, but why should they? I'm not a customer of them and haven't signed a contract with them - they owe me nothing. If I have a grievance, then that is what the law is for, not some third party that has nothing to do with it.

          What about the electricity provider - do they have to investigate any proposed illegal activity by their customers?
          • by aaribaud (585182)

            I don't understand why the registrar has to do anything without a court order.

            Because there is a *law* (in the form of a European Directive from 2000, which should have been transposed into state laws across all of Europe now, which says that if a communication service provider receives an infringement claim, they can either make pull the infringing content offline, in which case the 'plaintiff' cannot drag them to court, or they can ignore the complaint and leave the conent online, in which case, the plaintiff can try and drag them to court -- which, BTW, does not mean the plaintiff

        • by sconeu (64226)

          So if I report to my local county registrar-recorder that I believe illegal activity is occurring at 123 Any St, Anytown, AnyState, and they don't investigate, they are liable?

          • by aaribaud (585182)

            So if I report to my local county registrar-recorder that I believe illegal activity is occurring at 123 Any St, Anytown, AnyState, and they don't investigate, they are liable?

            I think you should read the European Directive. At no point does it ever consider whether service providers should investigate or not; therefore service providers cannot be held "liable", whatever exact meaning you give this, for "not investigating". Besides, being a European Diective, it applies to european service providers only, and to complaints from european persons only -- in TFA, the complaint was by a German entity of Universal and against a German SP.

            • by sconeu (64226)

              Dude, I wasn't concerned about jurisdiction. I was trying to come up with an analogy.

    • by KiloByte (825081)

      Here's a car analogy: it's akin to making the license number bureau liable because they haven't acted upon some hearsay that the car's owner keeps it dirty.

    • by Zedrick (764028)
      What?

      That might be how it works in some... countries, but in a civilized society (Germany?) it's not enough with random requests or notifications to shut down something even if it's "obvious", without a court order. The registrar (and the webhost) is not a court of law. If they passed it on to the owner of the site, and the owner of that site for whatever reason didn't agree and didn't remove the material, then it should be decided by a court.

      This case might be black and white (no idea, never visited h3
      • by aaribaud (585182)

        That might be how it works in some... countries, but in a civilized society (Germany?) it's not enough with random requests or notifications to shut down something even if it's "obvious", without a court order.

        Not sure what point of TFA you're discussing here, but AFAIU, no one said that a registrar *had* to shut down a domain upon complaint; only that *if* a registrar does not shut it down, then it *might* be held responsible.

        I work for a large European webhost, every time I get some shutdown request or ridicolous DMCA-blaha from someone in a country ruled by copyright holders, I just tell them stop bothering us and report the actual owner of the site to the police (in whatever country the siteowner lives in), if it's really copyright infringement.

        Was the European Directive 2000/31/CE not transcribed into German Law?

  • A quick Google search reveals that "fuck beta" brings up only one result in the first ten pages relating to Slashdot, as follows (YMMV, default search, no scripts allowed, cache cleared)...

    http://slashdot.org/journal/63... [slashdot.org]

    THAT'S IT.

    How is that possible?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It appears that Altslash is already under a spam attack...

      http://www.altslashdot.org/wik... [altslashdot.org]

      Keep loading that and you'll see that someone is loading random shit from the web onto the wiki.

      Seems they want Slashdot dead, no replacements and that Google is helping hide the carnage.

      Sigh...
      "Slow Down Cowboy!

      Slashdot requires you to wait between each successful posting of a comment to allow everyone a fair chance at posting a comment.

      It's been 25 minutes since you last successfully posted a comment"

      • by Anonymous Coward

        It appears that Altslash is already under a spam attack...

        http://www.altslashdot.org/wik... [altslashdot.org]

        Keep loading that and you'll see that someone is loading random shit from the web onto the wiki.

        It's a site using a well known wiki engine (MediaWiki), the admin doesn't seem to know anything about administrating a wiki, and there are no anti-spam measures used in account creation. Of course it's under a spam attack.

    • by Number42 (3443229)
      Writing "slashdot fuck beta" in the search bar (sans quotes) has the first page full of, well, "fuck beta," aside from an odd link about Google Glass beta testing.
  • "It's The End Of Slashdot As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)"

    That's great, it starts with an earthquake
    Birds and snakes, an aeroplane, and Rob Malda is not afraid

    Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn
    Dice serves its own needs, don't misserve your own needs
    Feed it up a knock, speed, grunt, no, strength
    The ladder starts to clatter with a fear of height, down, height
    Wire in a fire, represent the seven games
    And a government for hire and a comment site
    Left her, wasn't coming in a hurry with the Furries breath

  • From the article:

    Since the album was still shared through h33t after several requests sent to the website's operator by Key-Systems to stop the infringing activity, the registrar had to act to stop the infringement, the court found.

    In other words, the registrar did check what the customer does on the domain, did notice that they do something illegal, and did ask them to stop it, without success. Therefore they have done more than just a technical service (providing the domain name). They had evidence, throu

    • by pjt33 (739471)

      I think trying to draw analogies between criminal offences and torts risks coming to unreasonable conclusions. The reasonable process here is for the music label to sue the site operators. Not only are they the ones who are (allegedly) actively infringing the label's rights, but taking down the domain name doesn't stop the site being accessed, so it doesn't fully accomplish the label's goal anyway.

    • Burden of proof (Score:4, Interesting)

      by x0ra (1249540) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @06:05AM (#46194241)

      You cannot be prosecutor, judge and jury. You are still presumed innocent until PROVEN guilty. The domain shall be taken down only if instructed to do so by the competent court of justice whenever its owner is found guilty.

      The fertilizer example is bogus, the tangible property, the fertilizer, has been sold and you have no right to take it back if you discover its purpose. A better example would be a rented car. If A rent B a car, the responsibility of the car's usage is on B, even if A is aware B is speeding. The same way, if C rents a place and tell the landlord he's gonna run a brothel, the responsibility of running the brothel is on C, not on the landlord.

      • by jklovanc (1603149)

        The same way, if C rents a place and tell the landlord he's gonna run a brothel, the responsibility of running the brothel is on C, not on the landlord.

        I do not agree with that opinion. I think that a court would find that the landlord knowingly renting the place for illegal activity would fall under conspiracy or aiding and abetting.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Firstly the fertilizer example is top on, it is not about taking it back, but refusing to further sell more fertilizer. Secondly german law is so that if you see something illegal you MUST report it or be liable yourself. There is also the concept of assistance-of-person-in-danger, if you see an accident on the route you HAVE to help. Naturally you are automatically by law freed from all civil liability for your help. For example if your help made it worst and the person is paralyzed you are not liable.
      • This is Germany, where they love to play hot potato with responsibility. That's why it's essentially illegal to have a non-encrypted wireless connection. They want to be able to easily place the blame on someone. And Germans comply, well, because they're Germans.
    • by jklovanc (1603149)

      Imagine you're selling someone fertilizer. Now if that person is using that fertilizer to build a bomb, you should of course not be responsible. Also it's unreasonable that you should have to check what they do with this fertilizer. But if you check, find out they build bombs with it, and continue to sell them the fertilizer knowing that they use it for building bombs you are of course also responsible for the deaths those bombs cause.

      That is close to the scenario but misses one major point. The registrar did not check on their own initiative but as a response to a report by the copyright holder. A more accurate scenario is as follows;

      Imagine you're selling someone fertilizer. Now if that person is using that fertilizer to build a bomb, you should of course not be responsible. Also it's unreasonable that you should have to check what they do with this fertilizer. If someone reports that they are building bombs and it is obvious that they are building bombs, and you continue to sell them the fertilizer knowing that they use it for building bombs you are of course also responsible for the deaths those bombs cause.

    • by allo (1728082)

      maybe, but it depends. If you know somebody is dealing with drugs, is this a reason to remove his entry in the phone book?

    • Regardless of your product, it should not be your responsibility for doing background checks on all your customers and making judgment calls.

  • Just hop on over to Eternal September and get your free account. The official new replacement for Slashdot is comp.misc - see you all there!

    Other people are trying to get something off the ground, but all the ideas they have had so far involve ad revenue, overlords with administrative powers, and basically all the components that eventually combined into the shit-nano that is currently known as Slashdot.

    See you all on Usenet, the censorship-free, decentralized, JavaScript-free, blind-friendly, non commerci

  • Universal demanded that Key-Systems end the infringements by deactivating the domain, and asked it to sign a contract agreeing not to let the infringement happen again in the future

    The problem with blaming the registrar is that the registrar has no power to stop the infringement. The registrar does not control the server that distributes the infringing material. All the registrar can do is deactivate the domain name, but people who want access to the infringing material can still link directly to the IP a

    • You act like the judge presiding over that would possibly consider logic an important matter.

      There's no sense in laws and judgement concerning sex, drugs and copyright.

    • The problem with blaming the registrar is that the registrar has no power to stop the infringement. The registrar does not control the server that distributes the infringing material. All the registrar can do is deactivate the domain name, but people who want access to the infringing material can still link directly to the IP address of the server.

      That's if there is a fixed IP address. And most people don't know the IP address. And anyway, it would be the domain registrar's job to do their bit. Next you can go to the ISP and ask for the account to be closed down, and the IP address is gone.

  • by allo (1728082)

    They are the german law-trolls. They are well known for sending cease-and-desist ("Abmahnungen", not sure if its really the same) letters. Many people will just pay, but the best defenses are not to react, or to send a modified letter, telling them you will stop but now pay. They will insist a few times and then give up.
    I guess because they normally sue users on dsl-lines, the domain registrar wasn't prepared to react to this.

  • They receive a notice of copyright infringement from some company. How are they supposed to know if that's legit? Some random person can send the same e-mail. What is obvious copyright infringement? What if the artist intends to share his material? Are they supposed to read their minds? Actually, the court should be the one to determine this and be the ones to send out a court order to shut a site down. If this is a precedent, Google should be taken offline because they make it possible to search for pirate
  • I mean, so far as I know, they at least thought about asking for permission, and maybe technically he did say "no", but I think it's pretty obvious he meant "yes", so what's the problem?

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it. -- Perlis's Programming Proverb #58, SIGPLAN Notices, Sept. 1982

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