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DALnet For Chatting, Not File Sharing 442

PFAK writes "DALnet IRC Network, formerly the world's largest IRC Network has announced that the IRC network has implemented a new "policy" that will phrohibit "Using a channel for the primary purpose of facilitating the transfer of files", as of March 1st, 2003. This will be another staggering blow for the formerly largest IRC network in the world, this comes after one of the many suprises on DALnet, such as the recent DDoS attacks against the network."
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DALnet For Chatting, Not File Sharing

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Then what's the point?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:45AM (#5221603)
      Gag, now I get to read tons of posts by warez kiddies talking about how stupid this new policy is.

      Actually, it is a great move. Why should their resources be used for channels that title themselves "MP3 trading" or "0-Day Warez", where the only point is to trade files (mostly illegal). IRC (Internet Relay CHAT) is for online chatting. The only 'chatting' that goes on in the warez channels is queue updates.

      Seriously, when was the last time you saw a "Public domain graphics" channel or "0-Day Open Source Trading". If I do a channel list to find interesting channels, I really don't want to have my list filled up with warez crap channels.

      It's not like they are taking away the ability to send a file to someone. You still can DCC someone a file, just channels where the sole purpose is to trade files is prohibited.

      • by LX.onesizebigger ( 323649 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @06:22AM (#5221683) Homepage
        If I do a channel list to find interesting channels, I really don't want to have my list filled up with warez crap channels.

        Exactly. I hate it when I can't find a good cybersex channel.

      • So why DALnet? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @06:59AM (#5221751) Journal
        Seriously, when was the last time you saw a "Public domain graphics" channel or "0-Day Open Source Trading". If I do a channel list to find interesting channels, I really don't want to have my list filled up with warez crap channels.

        So use fun techie people to chew the fat with.

        I suppose there is one reasonable assumption -- most of the DDoSes that go on are likely warez-channel related, so perhaps it'll reduce warfare on DALnet...
      • you really find 'good' channels with channel list?
        SERIOUSLY? other than cyba sexxor for ya homiez channels..

        however this will cut their userbase by a nice amount. AND also make a fine statement of 'we choose what you do here'(no need to troll about that they have the right to do so, irc is becoming fast the only place on net where you can really say what you want and not get modded down, for good and bad). cutting the amount of users also by fine amount because they don't want to be on such network.

        and some of those 'warez' channels also have casual chatter between. heck, now they just need to implement 'casual chatting simulation' to their bots and the channels won't be just file sharing. ..ircing since '95. btw ac is really for c's, what you got to lose? karma?

        and the irc protocol is really getting dated, too bad silc isn't widely spread yet.
      • by gmack ( 197796 )
        Actually I have always found the child porn chans much more annoying.

        You would think those chans would produce a hell of a lot of vigalante DDos attacks so why don't they close those first?
    • by tchueh ( 305012 )
      No Seriously, the anonymous coward has a semi-good point...

      What is the point of IRC without the "l337" file sharing?

      Hasn't its chatting capabilities been made obsolete by Instant Messengers and chat rooms such as Yahoo! chat?
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @06:51AM (#5221736)
        What is the point of IRC without the "l337" file sharing?

        Lets see.

        Real time group collaboration - As often seen there are millions of channels out there which are specialized around some subject. From Web Design to Hardware, Music production to graphics, Linux, General Help, BSD, Magic The Gathering, FPS gaming, Every other kind of gaming.. I can list channel designations all morning here. File sharing is not the final frontier in IRC.

        It's a great place to kill time, learn, troubleshoot stuff, get relevant help, etc. IRC is essentially free tech support.

        For example, couple of years ago I was vacationing in Palm Springs, in the middle of nowhere. I was in the Hotel Room surfing the web at 4am in the morning with my laptop and didn't want to drive all the way to the closest supermarket to buy cigarettes. All I had was a small package of really expensive british tobacco and no rolling paper. I got on IRC, and joined #help on Efnet. Asked them how to deal with the situation. Some guy suggested to tear out the last remaing pages from the Bible (found in every hotel room), because the pages are really thin and burn like zig-zags. Well, that night I smoked half of that tobacco, and at the same time felt closer to God.

        Thank you IRC!
      • by JimmyGulp ( 60100 )
        Hasn't its chatting capabilities been made obsolete by Instant Messengers and chat rooms such as Yahoo! chat?

        I don't think that its "chatting capabilities" have been made obsolete by IMs, because with an IM, you only have your friends on your list, and you wouldn't meet any one new.

        I can sort of agree with things like Yahoo chat, although I don't use it. Its kind of like IRC, or talkers (they still exist), but with pictures. The younger crowd (not the l337 h4ck3r5) who don't know about things like IRC or talkers, will use what they come across first, which is most likely, yahoo, or msn. They'll also use what their friends use.

        So, I don't think IRC has been made obsolete, but uptake of it by newer users might not be brilliant.
      • Well... this may not apply to you, because i'm willing to bet you're older than me, but for the younger generation that doesn't just chat about boyfriends and cyber-sex and Ja Rule, Yahoo! and AIM and all those other chat places really suck. I haven't been on an HTTP chat site since, like, when GeoCities chat was still around, but as i remember it, if i joined a computer-related channel, i would usually be surrounded by 25- to 45-year-olds. Nothing wrong with that, i guess, but the people that i have the most in common with are generally between the ages of 15 and 20 or so (being that i fall in that range myself).

        Sure, AIM and Yahoo! are filled with people in that age range, but... have you ever actually joined an AIM chat? The second you step into one you're flooded with shit like A?S?L??@??#?@#@(#(@*!@!@0// PRESSS 111 FPR CYBARSECHS@?@/2/2//32#L@K#JL@KJl3jl2 LOLOROOFJKLMANOROFLL:K@j32 in yellow-highlighted green 32-point italic Times New Roman.

        Not a place i'd like to hang out in. That's why i got "addicted" to IRC. The good majority of people i've met on IRC are actually intelligent. Most of them know how to spell the words "you" and "are", and some of them even separate ideas with punctuation marks and/or new lines.

    • Evidently, a number of people peeved by all those warez channels pushing their cybersex channels thirty spots down in their channel list are getting upset, and have finally taken action.

      Is DALnet going to form DALnet, Inc, start running ads, and do an IPO next?
  • by EvilJello ( 577315 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:07AM (#5221493)
    I thought it was for idling and sitting in DCC queues? What are these "chat" channels you speak of?
    • What are these "chat" channels you speak of?

      Oh, come on. Warez channels have had a major cultural impact on the world!

      (AFAI can tell, warez speak came from people on AOL channels trying to avoid keyword-based systems for tagging warez channels, though I'd be interested if anyone knows that the source was other than AOL).
      • by kafka93 ( 243640 )
        'warez speak' very much predates the likes of AOL, although its forms have varied over the years. However, it was not uncommon in the bbs days (and particularly in the warez/hpac scene) to see people typing things like 'l8rz', 'm8', etc. I also well remember programs which would cHaNgE yOur tYpInG To LooK LiKE ThiS. Then as now, the more discerning users frowned upon such practices and preferred to type 'normally', though a few of the abbreviations did enter into the common vocabulary.
  • Staggering blow? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Scarblac ( 122480 ) <> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:07AM (#5221494) Homepage
    What do you mean, this will be another staggering blow? They're improving their service. IRC is for chat. I don't see how sending away warez kiddies damages their network, let alone how it deals them a "staggering blow".
    • I don't see how sending away warez kiddies damages their network, let alone how it deals them a "staggering blow".

      Of course, the response of the warez kiddies is the "staggering blow", like before.
      • by Andorion ( 526481 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:23AM (#5221539)
        I think the author meant the term "staggering blow" to be linked with "formerly largest IRC network in the world". Making DALnet warez-free reduces its usage even more, and it won't just be the warez kiddies leaving in droves. Their friends, friends of their friends, and people just looking for the 'popular' IRC network will find themselves somewhere other than DALnet.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:33AM (#5221574)
          What makes you say that? I agree with the new policy. It doesn't say you can't share a file, but it says channels where the primary purpose is to share/exchange files are not prohibited. If we are in a channel and I need to DCC you a file, I still can. When is that last time you saw a channel with a title "Free and Open Source Software trading channel". That's right, you haven't. The usage of DALnet isn't reduced to ordinary users, but if you want to get on and open an MP3 channel, then you are in trouble. It's not like people in the file sharing channels chat anyway. Nothing goes on but queue updates/ads.
          • by Andorion ( 526481 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:39AM (#5221587)
            The people who connect exclusively for file-sharing channels might not chat, but the people who connect to chat might frequent file-sharing channels looking for (obviously pirated) software. I'm not justifying the behavior, just pointing it out. Either way, the network WILL lose membership - whether this is good or bad in the long run, I don't know for certain, but I'd predict it's bad news for DALnet.

            Just speculating.

            • Finally. (Score:5, Interesting)

              by technix4beos ( 471838 ) <> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @08:01AM (#5221871) Homepage Journal
              I see this as a huge breath of fresh air, after having to inhale the fumes of chain-smoking file-sharing 31337 script kiddies who clog the network with absurd questions about how to lock down their channel from other "haxors", so they can share the latest Britney and UT patch file.

              Biased? Just a little peeved?

              You better believe it.

              I spent 6 years as an administrator on Dalnet, in the #1 help channel, often spending as much as 8-10 hours at a stretch JUST TYPING.

              I have helped literally thousands of anonymous (nicknamed) people come and go about Dalnet, from 1994 - 2000, and have watched with sickening disdain how polluted it got over time.

              It was bad enough to have the hordes of AOL users find Dalnet when they first got on the "real" internet, but these days, it's chock full of kids who have NO IDEA how online communities -should- behave.

              Those that used BBS's in the day (anything after 1992 don't even bother posting.) will remember what I mean about netiquette and online communities.

              I stand up, and applaud DalNet for taking this action. It's about time the filth that has clogged a valuable service has been flushed out of the system.

              And I know you're curious as to what nickname I used on DalNet.

              I am Duranos. I was one of the original help crew who volunteered their time in setting up #irchelp on Dalnet, still miss quite a few people to this day. I still check in from time to time, but have moved onto other avenues of internet life.

              Flame away slashbots. ;)
              • As an op and user in a few channels, I appreciate people like you who help newbies and try to help (in programming, my area) as much people as I can.

                Anyway, thanks for that time, I love IRC and feel people like you are important and undervalued - but I do the helping for love of the art and knowledge, not expecting anything in return. Networks come and go, and its good you left for other parts of the net.

                Me, I am afraid that Undernet will meet the same ridiculous destiny - die by such stupid attackers... I love undernet, its an excelent tool for my work. Still chances are there will be a replacement.


                THANKS!! that's all I wanted to say initially, after reading all the stupid replies to your message. And I know what you mean by community, I try to give that feeling to the channels I participate in.
              • Re:Finally. (Score:5, Funny)

                by piser ( 122882 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @01:34PM (#5224040)
                Damn, everything you touch seems to die.

                spent 6 years as an administrator on Dalnet

                Those that used BBS's in the day

                Avid BeOS User.

        • And it won't just be the warez kiddies leaving in droves. Their friends, friends of their friends, and people just looking for the 'popular' IRC network will find themselves somewhere other than DALnet.

          Trying to get fuckers on IRC to switch networks is like pulling teeth. They act like you've asked them to switch blood type. A few people might leave, but people on IRC are so lazy, shiftless, and stupid in their network-loyalty that getting them to move would require tactical nuclear devices, not simply the removal of a few large fserv channels.

          - A.P.
  • phrohibit?? (Score:5, Funny)

    by CommanderTaco ( 85921 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:09AM (#5221497)
    someone's too used to typing "ph33r" on DALnet...
  • Freenet Anyway (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:10AM (#5221500)
    We have freenet now anyway. DALnet will discover
    1. how hard it is to enforce this, and
    2. how quickly people will leave/turn against them if they try.
    • Re:Freenet Anyway (Score:5, Interesting)

      by FeloniousPunk ( 591389 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @08:20AM (#5221921)
      So let's see, you're saying that DALnet won't be able to stop users from using their network for warez, but they'll leave anyway if DALnet tries?
      If your idea holds, sounds like DALnet will be rid of the warez kiddies one way or the other.
    • And DALNet should care about losing warez kiddies because. . ?

      Face it: they're a waste of server bandwidth. DALNet is better off if they leave, not worse. And it may not be all that difficult for the IRCops to program a bot that could collect enough information about a channel to determine whether it was a #warez-kiddie channel, and act accordingly.

  • Like FTP, ICQ, NetMeeting, e-mail and P2P applications aren't enough? ChatZilla doesn't do file transfers anyway!
  • Whew! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:11AM (#5221507)
    As long as they leave #xxxpassworld up thats fine with me!
  • IRC sucks for file sharing anyway, so why would it be a blow to the network if they restricted it?

    I fail to see the problem!
    • Me too. I used IRC for years, and DCC was always the number one shittiest thing on it. It takes ten times as long as it would to transfer the same file over HTTP. Even FTP for crying out loud. Most of my... umm... larger downloads came from usenet (w00t for uuencoding), then the web, and more recently friends' FTP sites. I just don't understand how DCC got so popular amongst the warez/mp3 crowd.

  • don't matter (Score:2, Informative)

    by jkcity ( 577735 )
    It does not matter anyway cause any file server worth going on left dalnet a long time ago and they ain't coming back.
  • by suss ( 158993 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:18AM (#5221525)
    [conspiracy mode on]
    Think the RIAA were DDoSing them all this time and they finally surrendered to their terms?
    [conspiracy mode off]
  • by ATAMAH ( 578546 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:20AM (#5221527)
    ...i think they should concentrate on bringing their network back up after the above mentioned attacks. Unfortunately they are not the only ones to experience these, Undernet has suffered from pretty much the same stuff not so long ago. And for those shouting "yay to efnet" - as sad as it is, but its only a matter of time till some idiot assembles a floodnet and aims at EFnet, destroying another free, non-profit internet resource for no reason.
    • > And for those shouting "yay to efnet" - as sad as
      > it is, but its only a matter of time till some
      > idiot assembles a floodnet and aims at EFnet,
      > destroying another free, non-profit internet
      > resource for no reason.

      Actually EFnet has a good defense aginst this, and has prevented it from happening for the past 4-5 years.

      Their secret?

      They let the idiots be opers so they have better ways to harass users than DoS :P

      (Laugh, it was funny!)
  • Since when does anyone has the "right" on filesharing over IRC??
    • Considering that the DCC file transfer protocol by definition bypasses the IRC server entirely for the actual act of sending the file (Direct Client Connection) I'd say: since it began.

      -- iCEBaLM
  • What's the point? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Munra ( 580414 ) <> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:30AM (#5221565) Homepage
    A lot of people seem to be asking "What's the point of an IRC service that prevents file users sharing warez?".

    Well, if there was no point, why would the (arguably) largest IRC network [] have a very strict anti-warez [] rules? That's Quakenet [], by the way - and yes, it is my choice of IRC network.

    Clearly there is a demand for a warez-free (OK, no specific file transfer channel) network. And yes, I've just continued the trend and said "Don't worry, the IRC network I use rocks, even if Dalnet sucks!" ;)

    • Indeed, Quakenet is the largest IRC network. But people don't so much talk about stuff on there as arrange clan matches. And talk about clans. And that's pretty much it. In fact, unelss you're interested in talking about your clan, in which case you'll be fine as pretty much all of the trillion and one clans in existance have a channel on Quakenet, you'll be pretty much stuck for half-interesting conversation on there. Belive me, I've tried it.

      You could at least have used EFNET as an example, where there is quite a lot of interesting chat. But there are also filesharing channels. The two uses of the network sit side-by-side, with very few problems.
      • I disagree.

        There are a lot of non-specific clan channels that have friendly banter. Banter, anyway :) Also, a lot of clan channels very rarely talk about clan stuff, or even gaming stuff. In fact, we talk about clan specific so rarely in #tjd, we often stray into geeky/technical discussions. My most recent favourite culminated in deciding that Ian Flemming was secretly a coder:

        #tjd sad topic for the day. =/ Today we have been proving that Ian Fleming was a geek:

        Daemons are Forever

        The World is Not Enum

        function Tomorrow()
        return 1;
        die("I'm dead");

        while (!true) say("never again");


        die("another day");

        $ ps aux | grep daylights
        jil01 5980 0.0 0.4 1544 580 pts/2 S 13:40 0:00 daylights

        (!enough)?The World:;

        for (i=1;i=2; i++) YouOnlyLive();

        Select * FROM Russia WITH love;

        You get the idea! :)
        • theres more channels on quakenet than theres users(! it's so cooooool to have your own channel).
          and just about everyone is to some degree online games player. this is either bad or good depending on the person..

          but just about every irc network is 99% full of crap by everyones standards, the one remaining 1% is what matters.
  • by TheFrood ( 163934 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:32AM (#5221570) Homepage Journal
    From the article:
    DALnet IRC Network, formerly the world's largest IRC Network has announced that the IRC network has implemented a new "policy" that will phrohibit...

    Why is the word "policy" in quotation marks here? I assume these are supposed to be "sarcastic quotation marks", as in
    I'm not hungry; I ate a McDonald's "hamburger" for lunch.

    The RIAA is taking strong steps to "protect" artists from peer-to-peer filesharing.

    I installed Microsoft's new "improved" version of Windows, and the additional "features" made my computing experience much more "enjoyable".

    But in this case, I don't see why you would sarcastically call the new rules a "policy". They are a policy.

    (Oh, that's on top of misspelling "prohibit". Nice work, dude.)

  • Bad idea.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by doubleyewdee ( 633486 ) < minus berry> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:32AM (#5221571) Homepage
    As a former DALnet operator / administrator and a rather long time user I can say that DALnet is simply continuing to shoot at an already bloody and bullet-riddled foot.

    Way back in the day there was a lot of talk about banning child pornography (which is something that everyone can actually agree is morally wrong, as well as illegal). It was decided not to, on what I think was good advice, because the second you become a moderator of content you open yourself up to legal trouble if you fail to properly moderate that content.

    Now some might say that DALnet isn't actually moderating any content, because it's worded in such a way that it simply disallows the channels. However, to disallow these channels DALnet must explicitly moderate content. It must find this 'abusive' content and put an end to it, thereby making it a moderator.

    It is, in fact, the official position of DALnet staff (or so I hear) that this is the belief on the network. That the way this clause in their AUP [] is written prevents them from being considered a moderator. I think this is a big mistake on their part, and will ultimately come back to haunt them.

    That said, DALnet has a long history of being utterly incapable of enforcing their own policies, and this is just one more of them that will probably not ever see any real enforcement. For example, DALnet was (when people could get on it) the haven of mass advertising, not to mention a breeding ground for drones and IRC worms. Despite some futile attempts to stop these activities, DALnet has been basically completely incapable of doing any serious work on these fronts.

    To add to this, DALnet and its sponsors have been beleaguered by kiddies with a massive array of DDoS weaponry. They have utterly failed to address the issues which have, in large part, led to their current troubles. The main issue is that DALnet harbors a group of extremely absuive operators who basically take enjoyment out of pissing off the kiddies because they feel "invulnerable." Instead of actually just removing these destructive individuals, DALnet has kept them on and "told them not to do it anymore." Basically tantamount to saying "we don't care, keep DDoSing us."

    I don't think that the few people left on DALnet right now need to worry too much about this policy, it won't likely be enforced much, if at all.
    • Way back in the day there was a lot of talk about banning child pornography (which is something that everyone can actually agree is morally wrong, as well as illegal).

      I think any time you try making blanket statements about morality, you're going to find that you've got a pretty tough task.
    • Dalnet is a legacy irc network. People use it for the same reason they have a parallel port. When dalnet was totally down for several days, the people in the channel I've been on for 7 years finally started showing up on efnet (which until now I've always been klined from because of some dork with the same isp). It was a step we'd all wanted to take for quite a while -- maybe not efnet, but certainly not dalnet anymore. Moving even a medium sized channel to a new network isn't easy though, and until we absolutely had to move on, we didnt. I don't see blocking filesharing as counterproductive to dalnet's goals. Indeed, I think it'll be significantly better for those who stay there if they actually weed out the warez kiddies.
  • Would it help? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by John_Renne ( 176151 ) <(zooi) (at) (> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:45AM (#5221602) Homepage
    I'm a little confused by this step. Do they really think file sharing has anything to do with the DDoS attacks? Just who do they think DDoS-ed them all the time. My guess it's the kiddies that love file-sharing.

    I'm not saying you should facilitate them but by pissing 'm off there's no way the DDoS attacks will stop. Ignoring just might be the way to go. But then again, that's just my 2 cents
  • by gladbach ( 527602 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @06:00AM (#5221645)
    These *illegal file sharing* channels to suddenly start saying they are Trivia channels, that just happen to share files secondary....

    Because god knows every channel on Dalnet seems to have some lamo trivia bot or three....
  • by kfg ( 145172 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @06:09AM (#5221656)
    Well good on them. This is one small step in right direction. Now all they have to do is figure out a way to prevent all that unregulated "chat" sharing and rampant free exchange of "information" and the internet will, once again, be free for democracy and automatic shopping by net "enabled" refrigerators.

  • I thought EFNet was the largest IRC network? Or was it just the most popular? Grr it's been tool long since I've been on IRC...
    • Re:EFNet? (Score:3, Informative)

      by gl4ss ( 559668 ) []

      users channels
      1. EFnet 115877 42693
      2. QuakeNet 112496 134879
      3. IRCnet 110942 54206
      4. Undernet 99825 43173

      you may notice that for example, quakenet is just full of cr**(more channels than users, meaning theres just shitloads of channels with one person)
  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @06:20AM (#5221677) Homepage
    Seriously, since when did DCCs impair or otherwise affect the normal operation of Dalnet? They don't run over the "dalnet", but apart from a few simple negotiation messages it runs completely separate of it. That D in DCC stands for Direct, you know.

    And unlike Napster/KaZaA, IRC does not come with built-in search, a good file server, minimum shared, quotas or "ranking" of contribution. Nothing that should bring them at legal risk unless paper manufacturers gets sued for what you can write on the paper.

    Also, will this mean that OPs will start logging DCCs and crossreference with the channels you're on to determine if a channel is being used to transfer files? Or is this some "Uh, yeah if we see 'em" policy? Because the first would be a rather big invasion of privacy, the second would simply lead to more hidden channels...

    But I suppose everyone that cared about chatting has found a more stable home than Dalnet in the last month or two anyway (we did), why not scare off the file traders (that usually only care about making their sends/gets connected) too...

    • Seriously, since when did DCCs impair or otherwise affect the normal operation of Dalnet?

      Except that filesharing bots do not always remain on their own channels without bothering anyone else. You also get bots and "users" who like to "advertise" their services and channels.
    • My guess is the main reason behind it is an attempt to curtail all the DDos attacks and such. Having many different elements of the Warez crowd constantly sharing files, cracked server lists and the like is bound to lead to some disharmony and puts the IRC server(s) at higher risk for attack by disgruntled warezers. DALnet is simply trying to remove this element from the equation in order to get back some of their stability. We'll see if it actually works...
  • so what, (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gladbach ( 527602 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @06:25AM (#5221689)
    Everyone is starting to use bit torrent anyways. Sure, a lot of it goes on in irc, but also on websites, instant message etc.
  • Hmm (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Amtiskaw ( 591171 )
    Well most of the warez channels have left the network anyway. I guess they decided to take advantage of the opportunity to introduce this policy, without being faced with thousands of existing channels to shut down. Although it does seem a little weird for a network that has lost 100000 users in the past year to start kicking channels off the network.
  • sigh. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by clfrd ( 545421 )

    the servers on dalnet used to have a little message in their motd's about irc being an "unmoderated medium". apparently, this is no longer the case.

    i can only speculate about why this policy is being enacted, but as far as the result, wd had it pegged. they're shooting themselves in the foot. if it's enforced at all, a good chunk of the users that stuck around despite the recent attacks will abandon it without a moments hesitation.

    as well, this will undoubtedly upset someone with the means to launch an attack equivalent to the attacks they suffered recently.

    this is a bad idea, and they know it.

    as a side note, support for this policy on the (moderated) mailing list is overwhelming!

    • Moderation? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CharlieO ( 572028 )
      Sorry - I don't see how this is a 'moderation'

      To me moderation in the technical sense means one of two things.

      1) Messages are reviewed by a moderating team before being publicly posted such as mailing lists

      2) Messages are freely posted but a moderating team montiors them and removes ones that do not abide by the terms of use.

      Since when did restricting what services your users can use become 'moderation'?

      DALnet is still an unmoderated medium for CHAT - you can say what you like, organise a bank heist, tell all your l33t friends about the latest hijacked webserver your using to serve your warez. Nothing in this policy implies any moderation of speech.

      I can speculate why they are enforcing this policy. When you run a community service where time, money, resources and effort are donnated by a large number of people for a certain purpose and a large number of the users use it for an entirely differnet purpose, costing you a lot of resources, and then also attack the service so that user you want to support can't use it, I guess I personally would be a little pissed.

      The users they want are the users that want the services DALnet was originally designed for.

      Do you think losing lots of hangers on is really going to worry them - every user on the system costs some supporter of DALnet money somewhere, its not like a membership site where they get revenue. Explain to me if I run a DALnet server why exactly I should be worried about losing users that use my box to swap warez, p0rn or coordinate a Sub7 attack on another machine?

      When I find my webserver compromised and used as a warez server, are you saying I shouldn't lock it down because this will " undoubtedly upset someone with the means to launch an attack equivalent to the attacks {I} suffered recently"??

      DALNet is a free service, they are not required to provide YOU with what YOU want, they are not a government aganecy or a paid membership site. YOU have a choice of IRC servers, and if you don't like any of them go ahead and set your own up.
  • But the RIAA hasn't exactly taken the moral high ground in the file sharing wars. Did anybody consider that perhaps it was the RIAA or somebody hired by them to conduct the attacks on DALnet? I used to log in to DALnet when I could, and checked out one of the mp3 rooms and I could see where the RIAA would want to put a stop to them.
  • Man! The more I read stuff like this the more I long for a society where information can be free.
    Just think where we would've been today if we were allowed access to all and any information. Well, it would probably be overrun by porn and spam.. Nevermind.
    Anyhoo.. I don't chat on Kazaa and I don't download on Dalnet.
  • Check it [] and see for yourself. At time of this post, there are six channels serving 361 files.

    And that's just DALnet.

    Seems to me that the only real losers from this are the dudes who now have to add this moderation to their job description. DALnet won't miss the leechers, the leechers won't miss DALnet.

  • Give me your lagged, your bored, Your huddled masses yearning to leech free, The wretched refuse of your teeming network.
    BTW: Not a troll, I enjoy DALnet too...
  • IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat. It's for chatting. But in reality, anyone who's used it knows that it's a haven for warez and porn file trading.

    The people running it decide to enforce a policy against channels designed exclusively for file trading -- chat channels not being used for chat.

    Because someone has once again made it a little harder for people to steal software and music and exchange pornography (much of it going to under 18 year old children) these people are threatening to leave an entirely free network?

    DALnet is provided as a free service to thousands using not-free bandwidth and servers and other resources of those that run and support it. "If you don't like it, go somewhere else" seems appropriate to say here.

    Where is the legitimate complaint? They won't shut you down if you do a few exchanges of files (even if those files or that activity might be considered illegal by some). They are only shutting down channels that spew files and are not for the purposes of the network they built and offer. DALnet never claimed to be a file trading network and now they intend to lightly enforce their use policy. How is that unfair to the unpaying, leeching hordes complaining now?

    Sounds to me like Napster whiners. Sounds to me what Kazaa users will be whinning about when it too is shut down.

    Now... imagine; what if the usenet stopped allowing binary posts (ignore the technical aspect for a moment, assume it became a "policy" somehow). Ooohh.. I can hear the kiddies crying out as if a trillion posts were suddenly canceled.

    • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @09:24AM (#5222165) Homepage Journal
      Sure they have a right to do what they want with THEIR network.. They can censor it if they want, even though that does get into a sticky legal issue. Once you start, you are libel for content under your control.

      Personally I think its a moral mistake to enforce their beliefs on others when they offer a free service, but that is their choice.

      But you sir are an ass for your attitude toward people that do things other then simple chat.

      Not all 'transfers' are illegal in all parts of the global network. If they are in your area, then consult your legislature, that's not my problem.

      People that do use IRC for transfers don't leech any bandwidth, the key component to DCC is *DIRECT*, it does NOT load the IRC network at all. In reality they use LESS resources then a 8 hour a day 'chatter'.

      Whiners? Not really, just people that would like to keep what they have now, ( or expand features )if you don't speak out you loose it, regardless of the topic.

      • Sure they have a right to do what they want with THEIR network.. They can censor it if they want, even though that does get into a sticky legal issue. Once you start, you are libel for content under your control.

        It's not censorship if the government doesn't do it, but your point is well made - if they decide they're going to crack down on illegal file traders, they become responsible for all illegal file traders. Thing is, they don't care if it's illegal or not, so I don't think that applies. You could be trading pictures of kittens, homemade kitten.mpg movies you made of your kitten playing with string, they'd still boot you off (sadly so).

        Personally I think its a moral mistake to enforce their beliefs on others when they offer a free service, but that is their choice.

        Your pronoun use is a little ambiguous, but I take this to mean that it's a moral mistake for Dalnet to enforce their beliefs on others when they (Dalnet) provide a free service, which doesn't make any sense, because, to be cliche, 'beggars can't be choosers' - if you want to use the network, use it for what it's provided to you for. Perhaps you meant something else, but who knows.

        People that do use IRC for transfers don't leech any bandwidth, the key component to DCC is *DIRECT*, it does NOT load the IRC network at all. In reality they use LESS resources then a 8 hour a day 'chatter'.

        Except that file sharing channels, if you've ever been to one, are always flooded with text. I find it hard to keep up personally, and I only go to the smaller ones. The larger ones are even worse. Combine that constant advertising of your fserve with the trivia bots, and send that to a dozen or a hundred or two hundred people (depending on the channel), and that's a lot of traffic, a lot of memory for the servers to store userdata for, a lot of bandwidth to share that user data around whenever a netsplit occurs (you can send gigs of traffic a day just syncing, since the new link has to carry data about half the users one way, and half the users another way, and then the two servers have to route it to every other server on the network).

        Whiners? Not really, just people that would like to keep what they have now, ( or expand features )if you don't speak out you loose it, regardless of the topic.

        Whiners? Definately. They don't pay for it. They don't contribute financially. They just use bandwidth and cpu time and memory of people who felt like being nice and linking servers to Dalnet to provide a service to people. You'd have to be a pretty big jerk to throw that in their face because they're not giving you enough for free. Take the service as it is given, or don't take it at all, but no one is 'entitled' to anything on Dalnet any more than they are entitled to anything in my home. It's a private domain, not a public one, and that's all there is to it.


        Disclaimer: I opered on an IRC network once, and got a little bitter about people demanding that I fix what was 'wrong' with the network, or insisting they had 'a right to free speech'. IRC networks are private property, you're not entitled to anything, and you have no rights.
  • DALNet has been heading down the tubes for so long now, the in-fighting amongst the server admins has become the stuff of internet legends, can't say I'm surprised or even worried. DALNet compared to other well run IRC nets, really is the pits, so many spammers and kiddies wasting everyone's time. Perhaps once those kiddies get onto other more strict networks, they will finally get slapped down and kept under control.

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.
  • This isnt suprising. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Mark19960 ( 539856 )
    DALnet has operators and admins that just dont care.
    Lets go back in history some.
    Everyone knows that there are some DALnet admins that were also packet kiddies.
    these admins basically tell the existing kiddies "you are free to do what you want, just dont attack my server"
    meanwhile, dalnet holds the largest kiddie population and they dont do anything about it.
    a network that I have a server on was attacked by these same kiddies. naturally, I find them on DALnet staging attacks.
    I have told the admins, opers and the EB of DALnet about this.
    I just get ignored or in some cases, killed.
    they dont want to hear it.
    a lot of the opers and admins have 'made deals with the devil'
    I am labeled as a threatening user because I hate packet kiddies.

    NOW, as far as the trading if files, that will never stop.
    what are they going to do about it?
    they cant possibly close all of those channels
    or stop all of those people from doing it.
    looks like another DCC restriction.
    if you are looking for a network to put a server, dont even think about DALnet.
    I can get into many, many things but this would turn into a flame war.
    if you want to know more contact me off /.
    I can fill your inbox with logs, and incriminating information.
    such as, admins that ARE packet kiddies.
    and I will leave it at that.
  • Now even more DALNet refugees will be joining my favorite EFNet and Undernet channels. As if it wasn't bad enough before with the once every five minutes (and usually repeating over and over in bold or colored text until answered) "What happened to DALNEt???" questions.

    DALNet has always been the lowest on the IRC evolutionary totem pole, with all kinds of goofy restrictions on people, that's of course "for their own protection." Even before this you couldn't actually receive a file by DCC without first registering your nick, a process that was too long for me to bother with in the first place. Oh, and don't let me forget the asinine regulation added recently where only clients using identd may connect. Come on, please, what purpose does identd actually serve in 2003?

    And if nickserv doesn't annoy you to all hell, the five hundred msgs from users of Turkish IRC scripts probably will. Literally, I've left my IRC client on DALNet idling for a little while and have come back with about 20 spam messages. And if you can somehow manage to bear the spam, you'll probably end up being annoyed by the other 50 morons trying to DCC you viruses, that, of course only affect Windows users.

    Can someone explain to me what banning file-sharing channels over IRC actually does to make its quality any better? I seriously don't see the warez kiddies being the perpetrators of DOS attacks, that is until now. Warez on IRC isn't going to go away because of this regulation, it's only going to change form. Instead of offer bots you'll have individuals advertising their Hotline or Directconnect servers; I've already seen this on a certain unnamed Undernet warez channel.

    People are talking about DALNet sucking now? It's sucked as long as I can remember. It's almost a perfect example of what happens when a government thinks improving life and security only occurs by creating more and more regulations (instead of changing the people themselves). What you end up having is a huge group of disenfranchised people who end up attacking you.

    DALNet admins: can you make a splinter network especially for those people kicked off of DALNet, just so they don't fill up my queues on EFNet. Also, when I'm looking for movies to download I'd prefer to be able to actually read the offer bots, so can you inform your users that not everyone on IRC can view mIRC colors? Thanks, love you baby.

    Oh, and if I offended any DALNet users out there, please try to resist the urge to begin your reply with "m/Turkish/25 ASL!!?!!???"
  • by XO ( 250276 )
    What does this have to do with "YOUR" Rights Online? It's THEIR network. I think this would have to do with DALnet's rights online.

    I'm sure that DCC bots generate quite a bit of useless junk traffic on their network.. that sort of thing didn't exist when I was big time into IRC development.. in fact, DCC was a brand new capability, and didn't include file transfers at that point.
    I was against even having the clients having the ability to script responses to certain things. Unfortunatly, people went through with it.

    Next, they should make an idle time-out (anyone idle more than an hour gets /kill'ed with a 10 minute ban against relogging in), and banish any clients that automatically respond to anything.

  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @09:06AM (#5222087) Homepage Journal
    Who is going to police this and how, its pretty hard to tell if a person is talking, transferring or a bot..

    Transferrs are done via DCC and dont even go thru their servers its direct client to client .. sort of hard to track, and sort of hard to complain..

  • IRC sucks anyway (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Powercntrl ( 458442 )
    I used to love to chat. On my 2 node BBS back in '92 to around '96 I used to frequently get paged by a few of the regular users just to shoot the breese.

    I never liked IRC from the moment I first tried it. Happen to get into an argument with someone who is buddy-buddy with the admins in a channel? Wham, bam... banned. If you can play by the rules and not upset anyone (or you're lucky enough to be in a channel that actually has some mature admins), you'll probably enjoy IRC.
  • I'm seeing a lot of comments from people who seem to believe that the "file sharers" being targetted were people trading warez software. However, I believe that the "problem" as DALnet saw it was people trading mp3s. Some of you may say "so what, who cares," but allow me to make a case for those of us being displaced.

    I like techno/euro/rave/house music. There's not a very big shelf for that kind of thing down at the local CD shop. Much of the best of this kind of music isn't even available on store shelves anywhere. But it *could* be found, lurking on the Internet. Like many others, I tried Kazaa, and was immediately turned off by all the adware and spyware. I uninstalled it, ran AdAware, and did the best I could to clean up my system.

    That's where IRC came in. I really liked getting my underground music through DALnet's IRC network. Sure, it took a little more work than using Kazaa, but I liked knowing that I had complete control over what was being downloaded onto my computer. DALnet's network was always pretty well stocked. However, as the DDOS attacks persisted, it became more and more difficult to get onto DALnet at a convenient time to find the latest tracks from the likes of Mistress Barbara, Carl Cox, et. al.

    I view this as a loss. I've gone ahead and installed KazaaLite on my desktop, but I'm still leery about software that indiscriminately writes to my disk and offers up arbitrary folders for sharing. I don't have the source code for it, so I don't know what it's doing.

    Flame away,


    • Excellent points. I too am an avid fan of underground electronic music as well as a bedroom DJ. Having collected records since 97, I can tell you that its hard enough to find these tracks on press, and once their gone its usually years before someone represses the tune again, if ever. The chance of it coming out on CD is virutally Nil, so that leaves only one other avenue to aquire the music: File Sharing.

      I've got hundreds of tracks in my bin that were regional to the area that I lived at the time (Florida) and outside of the southeast, probably have never been heard. Just for fun, during the height of napster and AG popularity I would plug in various names of groups and producers that I'd like and I'd maybe get a handful of hits , say 5 or so for even big run stuff on vinyl.. Now, with Soulseek I don't get anything..

      IRC was kind of a saving grace in a way once AG disappeared. I could turn to there and get the tracks that I wanted (most of them at least) and even better, I could download the stuff that i REALLY wanted to get, even moreso than individual tracks: Live sets.. THAT was the true benefit, being able to hear your favorite DJ's throw down live ..

      This is a big blow to electronic music..hopefully Efnet won't follow suit . .
  • Freenode, formerly OpenProjects, which is an excellent network, albeit one that focuses on the support and building of free software, has a policy of no "excessive" file sharing and mp3 trading. This policy doesn't seem to affect the network negatively. If anything it improves the quality.
  • by nlh ( 80031 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @11:20AM (#5222844) Homepage
    Could somone explain to me why the warez kiddies are (were) on DALnet in the first place after all this time?

    IIRC, the last time I checked out a DCC channel, it seemed like the most inefficient and slowest possible way to transfer files amongst people ... you had to wait in line for hours to get a DCC "slot", and when you did, the server usually transferred to you at 56k modem speed.

    Hasn't Kazaa/eMule/Overnet/etc. made the whole IRC file-sharing thing completely depreciated? I mean, sure, back when the only way to get warez was to have access to a private FTP site or a BBS, the public warez movement on IRC made sense ... "bring the files to the masses!" ... But now that there are clearly more efficient ways to move the bits around, it seems like a relic.

    Are we talking about kiddie porn, then? And if so, good riddence!

  • And for a variety of reasons. Other posts have mentioned the benefit you get in bandwidth from kicking out the MP3 hogs. But I also think there's another motivation for DALnet, one that will push other networks to follow suit.

    Legal Action.

    Surely, the RIAA knows about the abundance of MP3 and warez sites on IRC. They've gone after everyone else. It stands to reason that they'll come after IRC sooner or later. And like Napster, they have a central authority they can go to in order to take action.

    This policy is a smart pre-emtptive move on DALnet's part.
  • by westfieldscientific ( 240349 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @01:10PM (#5223803) Homepage

    Because of recent difficulties maintaining a connection to Dalnet, and because of the (understandable) wish for discretion on the part of Dalnet management, some of the assertions in this posting are unconfirmed and unsupported. This nonwithstanding, the following speculation is offered in the hope of illuminating to the best of my ability to percieve it, what's been really going on:

    At about the middle of January this year, Dalnet servers were hit with a wave of massive DDoS attacks, quantified as greater than 1G per second per server with sweepingly damaging results.

    There never were that many Dalnet login servers to begin with. The attack wave was successful in disabling all of them, and keeping them out of service entirely for over 7 days.

    To complicate matters further, there have been credible reports on, and elsewhere of a certain degree of dissention within Dalnet, and the senior sysadmins and management of the companies providing server hosting. I mention this with reluctance, because the problem is bad enough anyway, but it is nevertheless true that the operational list of Dalnet servers available at this moment is quite different from the array online before the attack wave began, and that some of the defections are permanent, including some of the largest hubs.

    Dalnet have commented officially on their website newsletter that the volume of DDoS garbage going into their hosts' servers was sufficient to not only knock Dalnet offline, but bad enough to interfere with the hosts' other (revenue earning) internet services.

    At present also, login servers are resolving under slightly different names, making joining problematic for large numbers of users still, but as of last week at least, the expectation of a reasonably reliable login is plausible.

    Dalnet is probably correct in having determined that their attackers method of acquiring zombies is by the use of worms, trojans.......use your favorite term - by sending files like XXXSallyXXX.GIF.vbs, or whatever, and that these OwN3d systems are the ones being enlisted to carry out DDoS waves.

    They note with equal accuracy that a handful of filesharing channels are some of the most crowded on their network, and may be not carefully enough managed, and have hypothecated these as being most likely sources of widespread damage and infection, to several thousand users' systems, to Dalnet, other IRC networks and the internet overall.

    The sociology of a filesharing channel is also a factor in this policy change. Where else in the world wide world would a user be so inclined to accept, click on and tinker with a file they acquired five minutes ago from an anonymous stranger with absolutely no verification? Windoze users are requested to NOT post lengthy replies babbling on and on about their firewalls. They're meaningless in this context. The file transferred and was run. Think about it.

    All Dalnet have done, is announce they intend to shut down these channels. They had to do something.

    Does this mean they're trying to ban filesharing via Dalnet alltogether? No. Even if the IRC protocol permitted this, which it doesn't, their response at server level is thought through and restrained in scope, and respected here accordingly.

    Elsewhere on this thread it has been suggested that this decision is motivated by the desire to take away IRC users' freedom. I refute this with the comment that the freedom to unknowingly download a trojan to allow your billyware to be used in DDoS attacks is an unfortunate and unsuitable choice for a cause to defend in the name of liberty.

"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin