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ARIA Threatens To Sue Internet Service Providers 271

tymbow writes "It seems that ARIA (The Australian Record Industry Association, like the RIAA) is threatening to sue ISPs who allow the illegal download of copyrighted music. Could this lead to a situation where Australian ISPs are forced to actively censor websites and P2P protocols? What happens to legitimate P2P content like Linux distributions? It will be interesting to see where this goes."
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ARIA Threatens To Sue Internet Service Providers

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  • by TheSpoom ( 715771 ) * <> on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @12:31AM (#7565780) Homepage Journal
    I'm currently programming forum software. If this succeeds somehow, it's basically saying that as a provider of a service, even indirectly, I am responsible for all use of that service.

    Users should be responsible for THEIR OWN use of the service. If you're going to punish something (and sorry about agreeing with the RIAA here, if only in theory), punish the act of breaking the law, not the catalyst that allows it.

    My code doesn't tell between good and evil, sorry.
    • Yeah, but this is actually a great example. Who's the user of your software? The person who operates the forum, the people who post the posts, or the people who read the posts?

      It *might* not be your fault, but it's certainly someone's fault if illegal actvity happens on your forums. It's just hard to tell who's fault it is.
      • by tepples ( 727027 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (selppet)> on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @12:44AM (#7565875) Homepage Journal

        It's just hard to tell who's fault it is.

        In the Untied [sic] States, the people who post copyrighted works without authorization and without exemption are direct infringers. The person who operates a server is a contributory infringer if the server has no substantial non-infringing use and a vicarious infringer if he has the authority to police the server and profits from the infringement. I don't know about Australian law, but these sound like the sort of extensions of the scope of dog-standard Berne copyright that any common-law country's judges would create.

        • So basically, since the ISPs do have several non-infringing uses, they don't fit any of the above definitions... as with P2P networks.

          I don't know how it would fit with the ISP actually hosting the files though... One would suppose that that would make that site the "server" and would make the ISP liable. *shrugs* IANAL.
          • Takedown notices (Score:4, Informative)

            by tepples ( 727027 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (selppet)> on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @12:58AM (#7565980) Homepage Journal

            I don't know how it would fit with the ISP actually hosting the files though... One would suppose that that would make that site the "server" and would make the ISP liable.

            In the United States, the ISP is typically considered to have the ability to police the use of its servers after having received a takedown notice detailing the URLs or IP addresses where infringing copies are available. I'm pretty sure that even in the absence of a direct Australian counterpart to the Dumbest Mistake on Copyright in America, which codified the procedure for sending takedown notices, such a takedown letter tradition could be forged from the common law technique of cease-and-desist letters.

            • by nihilogos ( 87025 )
              The court would most likely ask why you didn't send a cease and desist letter to the people resposible for the website.

              Anyways, we had several years with the world's greatest luddite Richard Alston in charge of Australian goverment policy on the internet. His take was that is was a threat to the very fabric of our wonderful society, and needed to be regulated out of existence. It will be interesting to see what his successor does.
      • It *might* not be your fault, but it's certainly someone's fault if illegal actvity happens on your forums. It's just hard to tell who's fault it is.

        No it isn't.

        If somebody is doing something illegal, it is their fault - the only exception to this I'm aware of is duress.

        The difficulty may come in finding this person, but that's a police matter just like it is for other crimes.

        The ISP are providing a service, just like Kelloggs or Uncle Tobys (or whoever) supplied the perp with his breakfast, and Bonds
    • by bad_fx ( 493443 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @12:51AM (#7565937) Journal
      My code doesn't tell between good and evil, sorry.

      Sheesh, why not dude? Haven't you ever heard of the evil bit?
    • From the article "Mr Speck said ARIA did not plan to prosecute individual music downloaders, as the US music industry had done."

      They aren't going to punish the copyright infringers AT ALL.
      This is like punishing the rock, and not the boy who threw it.
    • Wouldn't it be great if the people with power believed as you do?

      They don't, in case you didn't realize... at least not in the US where there is plenty of precedent for organizations being able to hurt those who develop technology that merely has potential for "badness". For example, DirecTV. See also RIAA v. [].

      There is hope, however. DirecTV is facing racketeering charges [] for their efforts.

    • The next step they are planning is to sue the phone companies for allowing people to talk about copying music.

      Both ISPs and phone companies only provide infrastructure.

      If one is guilty, so is the other.
    • This is the "guns don't kill people, people kill people" argument.

      Without guns, however, people would not be shooting each other. They would have to find another, more difficult way, to kill each other. Pulling a trigger is easy, having to use a knife makes a person think twice.

      Without ISPs providing the gateway and the means, copyright violators will have to find other ways to steal.

      Clamping down on ISPs won't make the problem go away, but one only needs to compare the homicide rates in Canada and th

  • Great. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Unknown Poltroon ( 31628 ) * <> on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @12:31AM (#7565783)
    NExt they can sue the phone companies, then the post office, and hell, lets sue the highway department, theyre all used to carry illegal music.
    • Re:Great. (Score:3, Informative)

      by MavEtJu ( 241979 )
      They already did regarding on hold music and the telcos are now paying one dollar per telephonenumber to the ARIA.

      • Re:Great. (Score:4, Informative)

        by AtrN ( 87501 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @03:57AM (#7566688) Homepage
        That was APRA (Australian Performing Rights Assocation, not to be confused with the other APRA - Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority) who sued Telstra, not ARIA but they're in bed together. APRA look after the writing royalties for their members, ARIA enforce the reproduction rights.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @12:31AM (#7565785)
    It will be interesting to see where this goes

    Yeah, about as interesting as a lighted candle inserted rectally.

  • Question (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dswensen ( 252552 ) * on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @12:31AM (#7565788) Homepage
    I have a question. I'm no network engineer, so I don't really know... how would ISPs enforce something like this? Isn't the whole notion of a P2P network that you can't really control it? How would ISPs monitor when users are sharing files and put a stop to it?

    Or are we talking about something that's essentially unenforceable, but ARIA wants it enforced anyway?
    • Re:Question (Score:3, Interesting)

      by petabyte ( 238821 )
      To that I offer two things to look at. The Great Firewall of China and the book "Code" by Lawrence Lessig.

      The latter gives a very very good idea of how they could put a stop to it and things like it. Change the code. Which, incidently, various companies are doing.

    • by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @12:45AM (#7565886)

      Well, ISPs could block a known port or range of ports. IIRC, gnutella uses 6346 as a default. Block all traffic on 6346 and that'd stop gnutella traffic for the most part.

      And users could get past that by changing the default port. I'm not on gnutella but I'm pretty sure that's possible. If it isn't currently, it could be with a quick patch.

      Then, ISPs could sniff traffic and look for mp3-ish content. And block that.

      And the next gen file swapper would simply encrypt packets, making sniffing computationally unfeasable.

      So the short answer is no, ISPs could not enforce this. They could throw up roadblocks, but they would eventually just be speedbumps.


      • The problem, as others in this whole article-thread may have already replied, that what happens when there is legitimate mp3 downloads?

        I 'write' music. I encourage people to download my tracks and distribute them far and wide. I have thrown a few on P2P services for the sake of curiousity.

        Then there are websites about learning languages and so forth. They have legitimate MP3s. Blanket blocking is very short sited.

        • To Riaa/Aria, it will be hitting two birds with one stone. By getting ISP to censor the internet it would take down sharing of their songs and at the same time take down those that aren't enslaved to them.

          It's a win-win situation for them if they get their way.

    • Re:Question (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Waffle Iron ( 339739 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @01:46AM (#7566237)
      How would ISPs monitor when users are sharing files and put a stop to it?

      IMO, what they're going to end up doing is throttling upload bandwidth on broadband connections to a tiny trickle; just enough to type in URLs or transmit your mouse coordinates in an online game. That would basically be the end of P2P networks: without any fast uplinks, P2P traffic would be starved down to dial-up speeds.

      The ISPs would like to do this anyway because they really want you to pay extra for a commercial account to run any kind of server. The small number of high-cost commercial accounts will be easy to police for piracy.

      The Internet will devolve back into a model like broadcast radio and television, with a few large publishers broadcasting unidirectionally to the masses. The general public's contribution to the Internet will largely be limited to text posts on blogs complaining about the situation.

      • A nice idea, but I believe it is one that won't really effect P2P all that much. Gnutella and other P2P apps already support simultaneous download from multiple sources, so if the individual sources are slower then users will just bump up their 'max allowed download connections' or whatever option.

        I can't see too many users being happy about their upstream bandwidth being cut, too. Many won't care, but those that do will make a lot of noise.
      • That would basically be the end of P2P networks: without any fast uplinks, P2P traffic would be starved down to dial-up speeds.

        For once the bloated MS .doc file format serves us well. Joe Sixpack wants to be able to put his 3 megapixel photographs of his kids in a word doc and email them to Mom.

        And, even if home connections get throttled, virtual hosting and dedicated server [] prices are plummetting.

        This particular genie is not going back in the bottle (though they are attacking on many fronts).
      • Re:Question (Score:2, Informative)

        by SJ ( 13711 )
        This is a case where you can thank Microsoft and Apple. What is the one thing that eats bandwidth like nothing else?

        Video conferencing.

        Sure the telcos would love to kill it, but everyone else wants it to be the next big thing. Apple is pushing it with iChat AV and MS is pushing it with Messenger. Yahoo and AOL are doing it as well.

        Video needs lots of outgoing bandwidth. Lots of people want to video conference.

        Problem solved.
  • But the main point is that ISPs have common carrier status and can be no more liable for copyright infringement than the phone company can for the playing of music over the telephone.
    • I'd suggest more people are now using bit torrent to get those big files. Saves server loads and sometimes is faster.
    • Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) s39B says:

      A person (including a carrier or carriage service provider) who provides facilities for making, or facilitating the making of, a communication is not taken to have authorised any infringement of copyright in a work merely because another person uses the facilities so provided to do something the right to do which is included in the copyright.

      In non-lawyer speak, this approximately means that you can't go after an ISP merely because its users mis-use the service to br

  • All you get (Score:3, Informative)

    by dtfinch ( 661405 ) * on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @12:33AM (#7565799) Journal
    Are people pirating by other means and lots of linux users switching ISPs because BitTorrent is getting blocked.
    • Re:All you get (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jred ( 111898 )
      As much as I might like the various P2P apps, I don't think you can honestly lump BitTorrent in with Kazaa & the like. I mean, most users of Kazaa (that's the only one I really use) use it to download music/video/apps that they have no legitimate right to have. I know I never use it for legitimate use (I have a weird obsession with 80's music videos).

      BitTorrent is different. I'm sure it exists, but I've never seen BT used for illicit activities. I use BT to download demos & isos. Legitimate us
    • This must be some fantasy land you're thinking of - Aussies can't download ISO's, they take up a big chunk of the standard 3gb/month download limit ;p

      (yes, I know, some ADSL plans have 6-12gb plans, and there are some speed limited ADSL plans, but it's a far cry from unmetered)
  • How Nice! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tonyr60 ( 32153 ) *
    Right, so insurance companies should sue oil companies who profit because burglars carry stolen goods away in cars which burn gas?

    And does this "Mr Speck urged ISPs to halt the practice by blocking access to illegal music download sites and programs or "by other arrangements"." mean that all illegal music should have the TCP/IP "evil" bit set? How the fsck are the ISPs going to know if the bloody mp3s contain illegal music or not?

    Hopefully the Aus legislators have more sense than those in some other part
    • Re:How Nice! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ultranova ( 717540 )

      Right, so insurance companies should sue oil companies who profit because burglars carry stolen goods away in cars which burn gas?

      Don't be ridicilous. Oil companies have money, power and bought legislation. Of course they aren't going to be sued, even if they choke the entire world in smog.

      And does this "Mr Speck urged ISPs to halt the practice by blocking access to illegal music download sites and programs or "by other arrangements"." mean that all illegal music should have the TCP/IP "evil" bit set?

  • by El Cubano ( 631386 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @12:36AM (#7565820)

    Is ARIA what you get when you rot-13 encrypt RIAA? Wait, did I just violate the DMCA by saying that? Better go get my tinfoil hat.

  • It seems... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheLoneDanger ( 611268 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @12:37AM (#7565828)
    It seems that they're trying to get the ISPs to accept responsiblity for their users' actions. You can sue another large company without nearly as much negative press as suing individual users, but the tricky part is that the ISPs actually have money and the need to fight.

    So, the ARIA is trying to get them to accept it, and if they don't there'll probably be a PR campaign aimed at the politicians and lawmakers to pressure them to hold the ISPs responsible. If it goes over well for the ARIA, you can be damn sure the RIAA will try the same.
  • by Stile 65 ( 722451 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @12:43AM (#7565862) Homepage Journal
    Australia turns off Internet access for entire nation.

    "Filing individual lawsuits against every ISP proved to be too expensive. We were going to file a class-action lawsuit against ISPs as media which make pirating music and movies possible, but Telstra and the other major ISPs just ended up folding," said a government official on condition of anonymity.

    The official would not comment on whether radio stations would be sued for distributing songs over the airwaves without encryption and rights management.

    "It's premature, but all I can say is that we're considering it."
  • Its uninforcable (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MoogMan ( 442253 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @12:44AM (#7565877)
    Im not entirely sure how they will manage to enforce this in the end.

    Sure, you can block ports, but ports can be changed.

    Sure, you can scan for certain protocols in use, but protocols can be masked by ssh and the like.

    I think the main issue being missed here is that P2P is not inherantly illegal. A car could be deemed illegal, because you *can* run over and kill a person. But trying to illegalise all four-wheeled automotive transport is clearly madness. Well, for the moment anyway...
    • Well, they can certainly limit the amount of bandwidth you can use per month or something (which from what I hear, they already do). A friend of mine said that he doesn't run p2p programs anymore, since it just eats up his allowance for the month.
    • Hey, they are trying to illegalize hunting tools the world over, it's much the same thing.
      It really depends on how socialist a state you live in.
  • by TrebleJunkie ( 208060 ) <ezahurak AT atlanticbb DOT net> on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @12:45AM (#7565885) Homepage Journal
    This is fair. After all Kylie Minogue, Men at Work, and the remaining members of INXS (note to self: don't masturbate with a belt around your neck.) all need to eat, after all.
  • Going for the $$$ (Score:2, Insightful)

    by samplehead ( 538012 )
    If you ask me this is just the first step towards some ARIA levy on the ISP's.
  • by mrnick ( 108356 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @12:47AM (#7565894) Homepage
    Most ISPs don't own their own fiber so it's just as much a farse to sue ISPs as it would be to sue the telco that does own the fiber.

    Nick Powers
  • First the RIAA started suing Americans who were downloading music. Now its Australian counterpart is doing something similar, except it's going after the ISPs instead of the end users. I bet RIAA's European counterpart will be next on the bandwagon... I won't comment on whether or not RIAA and ARIA are right to be doing this since I don't want a flame war to get started.
    • by commodoresloat ( 172735 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @03:44AM (#7566648)
      First they came for the Americans
      and I did not speak out
      because I was not an American.
      Then they came for the Australians
      and I did not speak out
      because I was not an Australian.
      Then they came for the Linux users
      and I did not speak out
      because I was running NetBSD.
      Then they came for me
      and there was no one left
      to speak out for me
      except for the slashdot crowd
      but nobody was listening to them anyway.
  • by BeerSlurpy ( 185482 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @12:56AM (#7565969)
    Oh no! The ISPs will block my favorite ports! I might have to change the settings of my P2P programs! Oh the inconvenience!

    Seriously though. They are only doing this because when they go out of business they wont have any money with which to pay for frivolous lawsuits. Better now than never I guess.

    And this lawsuit and ten million more like it, and a thousand clever laws and all the DRM in the world wont change the fact that their business model is fundamentally screwed and nothing is going to bring back the scarcity upon which their profits are based.

    You can outlaw camcorders in video theaters in New York, but what if today's pirate is in Hong Kong? I saved 10 bucks by seeing Matrix Revolutions with chinese subtitles. It was barely worth watching for free (as I suspected), so I will definitely not be catching it in the theatere or on DVD.

    Fuck you and your shitty sequels hollywood. I only pay for high quality product now. I intend to see return of king in the theaters and also get the trilogy DVD when the boxed set is released. I am an informed customer, only one of a growing group.
  • Shame on me (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Thinking this headline refers to Aria Giovanni tells me I need to spend less time online...
  • Aria (Score:2, Funny)

    by Night0wl ( 251522 )
    Am I the only one who thought that Aria Giovanni was suing the internet for piracy of her pictures? I sure hope I wasn't... Or maybe I do hope that I am the only one.
  • I really don't see why some ISPs don't step in a bit and offer a bit of education on this and many other things about the Internet.

    Then at least they may clear themselves a bit from being the target.

    At the very least, a courtesy e-mail to their customers might do something too. I'd much rather be warned that I was doing something wrong (assuming I didn't think it was a big deal, or I didn't know it was wrong at all) instead of suddenly being sued by some gigantic nameless corporation for thousands of dol

  • In other news... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mutewinter ( 688449 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @01:07AM (#7566024)
    In other news the NAAFP (National Association for the Advancement of Fat People) is suing cows for "aiding and abetting" the exploitation of obese Americans.

    In an unrelated case, a New York City woman is suing a concrete manufacturer for providing a pavement in which a Manhattan man had grounded himself whil illegally blowing a puff of cigerette smoke in her face.
  • by EverDense ( 575518 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @01:09AM (#7566033) Homepage
    At a rough guess I'd say 90-95% of mp3s downloaded in Australia, are NOT Australia content.
    (Yes, I am just guessing).

    ARIA are SUPPOSED to work for Australian artists.
    If the mp3s downloaded aren't Australian content, then ARIA are obviously just working as a sub-branch of the RIAA.

    As Australia DOES NOT have a free trade agreement with the United States, could someone please tell ARIA to STFU.
  • Gah (Score:3, Funny)

    by sbszine ( 633428 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @01:12AM (#7566051) Homepage Journal
    First Delta Goodrem, now this.
  • Hard to monitor (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bnet41 ( 591930 ) *
    I did some work recently for a large off campus college housing community. We were using packet sniffers to detect blaster worms and the like. Kazaa, and programs like that have some sneaky ways of hiding themselves, the only way we found them were to look for a lot of broadcasting of packets. I don't know, it just seems like these programs find away around various measures to stop them.
    • Sounds strange since as long as a remote Kazaa client can detect incoming packets as coming from another Kzaa client and being valid, a router with a filter for Kazaa should be able to detect incoming packets as being from Kazaa.
  • Infinite loop? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CelticWhisper ( 601755 ) <`celticwhisper' `at' `'> on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @01:22AM (#7566123)
    What will likely happen is that it'll hang in court forever as arguments over legitimate uses drag out. ISPs will say that there are legitimate uses of P2P protocols, ARIA will argue that intent is still to infringe on copyright, ISPs will counter by demanding proof, ARIA will say there are differences between documented purpose and implied purpose, and it'll just go on and on. And in the end, users will simply use proxies located outside of Australia, or use encrypted transfers. Difficult to stop a ball this size once it's gotten rolling, and it looks like ARIA might be poised to find that one out the hard way.
  • It is ludicrous to suggest that 20% of ISP's revenue comes from people illegally downloading music. Such a figure would not leave customers with nearly enough bandwidth for illegally downloading movies and games, both of which feature far larger file sizes than mp3s.

  • Load of Crap (Score:5, Informative)

    by shplorb ( 24647 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @01:38AM (#7566208) Homepage Journal
    This is crap. Poor journalism too.

    IANAL, but it's my understanding that the Communications and Privacy acts make it illegal for telco's and ISP's to snoop on customer activity (wiretapping). As such, they are not responsible for what their users do. They are also not entitled to reveal the details of users who are up to illegal activity unless compelled to by a court or the police.

    A while ago there was a thread in the Internode forum on Whirlpool [] about this, where one of Internode []'s representatives explained it all (well, what their lawyers told them)
  • Forcing ISPs to be accountable for all traffic going through their routers will only speed up the development of stealthy P2P (and wireless for that matter).

    The best they could do is close off all ports other than FTP, POP3, and HTTP and throttle down the bandwidth (even more than normal) for all "suspicious" encrypted traffic that is most likely "terrorist p2p VPN" activity.


  • by NZheretic ( 23872 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @01:53AM (#7566260) Homepage Journal
    Ok. If the ARIA and the RIAA are going to sue ISP for what their customers use there internet connections for, then lets sue the ARIA and the RIAA for support for all the children conceived by teenagers listening to the record companies artists sexually suggestive music and music vidios.

    Screw hollywood and the recording industry.

  • by Joel Carr ( 693662 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @02:14AM (#7566329)
    I was talking about this very topic with someone yesterday. It appears the ARIA is trying to use wording in Australian copyright law to claim ISPs are responsible for the copyright infingement of people who use their network. It's a stupid and somewhat illogical claim, but not really all that surprising.

    Some high profile lawyers have already had a say on the issue, and have stated that ISPs would likely be in breach of the more recent privacy act if they were to implement the sort of censorship the ARIA is demanding.

    As an aside, it must be said that both copyright and privacy laws have some serious issues in this country. It is illegal to copy music from a CD in any shape or form. You cannot legally burn copyrighted CDs to use them in your car, you cannot legally make MP3s from copyrighted music to use on your PC regardless of whether you purchased the music or not. Also, the new privacy act is so over the top in some places that it is virtually impossible for some organisations to come into compiance with it without breaking it in the process...

  • Ideal solution (Score:3, Interesting)

    by darnok ( 650458 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @02:28AM (#7566389)
    What's needed is something that ISPs can use to block Britney, Aguilera and the remainder of the dross that passes for popular music at present.

    Is there a filter than can detect bimbo?

    More seriously, there seems to be some sort of sensible middle ground here. If the record companies loosened the reins a bit and allowed people to download selected old stuff that's never going to sell zillions of copies again, they could provide their own P2P/download tool, their own encryption and their own tracking system. They could actually build a market around downloading free music, rather than trying to police it.

    I'm quite certain there's musicians around who'd love to have their (old) music available for free download from record company sites, since it might trigger some interest in their new stuff that isn't getting airplay. For example, Duran Duran released music all through the 90s, but nobody bought it because the radio stations weren't playing it and their audience from the mid-80s had grown up. If they had the option of making a few of their old hits available for legitimate free download, they may have picked up a new audience for their newer stuff, and the record companies may have found a nice earner in enhanced sales of their new music.

    At the very least, if they tracked stats on downloads from their own sites, they'd be able to work out which artists are ready for their next greatest hits compilation, how to pair up old artists for comeback tours, and so on.
  • In the hypothetical "worst case" scenario - all currently useful P2P ports blocked, traffic monitored, suspicious packets reported to the music Gestapo - there remains the possibility of routing the traffic of a P2P network solely through encrypted email. I can hardly envision POP not getting on the allowed protocol list. The limitation on bandwidth would be horrific, especially if hard-core censorship of the net leads to steganography becoming a must.

    I suspect that in places such as Australia, where there
  • by eleknader ( 190211 ) <eleknader.phnet@fi> on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @02:50AM (#7566477)
    While there may be some caveats limiting P2P, it is a good thing to do.

    Sharing music and movies is illegal, ethically wrong etc etc. Please, accept the fact.

    Why people on slashdot whine about limiting illegal act, while they certanly want to reveil every valid legal point, which makes SCO case seem unvalid?

    And, don't get me wrong: I use Linux and GNU tools on most of my work, and I really hate what SCO is trying to do.

    Free software should not be destroyed / harmed by P2P illegalities. Music makers and record industry has copyrights on their stuff. Let them share their stuff the way they want, that's their freedom. As we know, not all freedom means free as in money. Music costs, and we should pay if we want it. If we want free music, then we better do it by ourself, not steel from the others.

    Worrying about problems P2P limiting would do to open source is FUD. Linux is not shared by KaZaa and others. Do not spread FUD anymore, accept that music costs and pay if you need it.

    • Sharing music and movies is illegal, ethically wrong etc etc. Please, accept the fact.

      I don't accept that as a fact. Sharing music and movies that the copyright holder allows to be shared, or that's in the public domain, is perfectly legal, ethical and right. It's only unauthorized sharing of copyrighted material that's wrong. This is a distinction the various RIAA-type groups want to blur and confuse as much as possible.

  • Canadian equivalent (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CanadaDave ( 544515 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @04:08AM (#7566725) Homepage
    Is there a Canadian equivalent of the RIAA as well? Should I stop downloading off Kazaa? Actually I think in Canada I am allowed to download, as long as I don't share. Haha, suckers!
  • by DynaSoar ( 714234 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @05:41AM (#7566969) Journal
    "Well, golly, Mr. ARIA, I guess we could do that. But you see, it'd take an awful lot of people watching what happens, and a lot of computers and software for them to do their jobs. That's going to run into a lot of money. So what say we ask the government to help us get this paid for? We'll was them to pass a bill for a new tax. Since it's to protect music, it just makes sense that it's a tax on music. We figure of you charge, say, 40% on top of the cost of a CD, that should cover it. You pass that along to us, and we'll do our best.

    Mr. ARIA? Where you going? Mr. ARIA, don't you want to catch all them bad song stealing people out there?

  • by jyg1234 ( 309917 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @05:57AM (#7567007)
    I would like to point out that although authorisation of illegal copying is general regarded as a breach of Copyright in Australia, there are plenty of exceptions to this rule.

    The exception of most interest here was introduced by the Digital Agenda copyright reforms in 2000 []. They are sections 39B [] (for works) and 112E [] (for subject matter other than works) of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) []. These sections preclude from the infringement by authorisation provisions anyone who provides a communication service.

    The purpose of the introduction of these sections was precisely to prevent the big record labels going after ISPs for something which, as pointed out before, they legally have no control over (due to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)).

    I personally cannot see how such litigation can be successful in the courts in light of sch provisions unless there is some other way of reading the wording "not taken to have authorised any infringement of copyright".
  • I Call Bullshit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ripplet ( 591094 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @07:37AM (#7567218)
    I mean, I know it's obvious, but on so many points:

    Michael Speck said ISPs relied on illegal music downloads for 20 per cent of their revenue
    Oh, and I suppose they've got verifiable statistics from the ISPs they're about to sue to back this up? (more on this later)

    ... and were aware customers were flouting copyright laws but did nothing to stop them.
    Well it's not their job to be police here, they provide a service which is mostly legitimately used.

    "We understand from employees of Internet companies that up to 20 per cent of their revenue in many cases comes from traffic created by downloading illegal sound recordings.
    Oh here it is, the old unnamed source trick. Dubya likes that one too! And how many people really told them this, out of how many ISPs? Somehow, I doubt that's going to be a high ratio.

    "There aren't many business that could survive if 20 per cent of their revenue disappeared
    Reality check time. I should think quite a lot of companies have seen at least this much reduction in revenue in the last couple of years. They may have laid off a heckuvalot of people, but I think they survived! And, ISPs will all go bust if MP3s are no longer downloaded? Come on! Even assuming this wild 20% number, maybe they'll just adjust their business models, adapt to the changing environment, you know, like they do all the time anyway. The internet has such a fast rate of change that this is perfectly normal for any company based around it.

    Mr Speck urged ISPs to halt the practice by blocking access to illegal music download sites and programs or "by other arrangements".
    This brings us back all the usual censorship arguments, like who gets to decide which sites are blocked, on what grounds, with what oversigth, what appeals process etc. etc. Like I said before, ISPs are not police, and are certainly not judge/jury/executioner.

    music piracy was "a growing market"
    And your proof of this is? Your sales have also declined, in the middle of a global depression? Right!

    What a load of bull! I know the writer of the article does present both sides, but she could have tried to find some real figures herself, instead of just presenting a series of quotes and counterquotes. Don't these people know what research is? Why should people get away with spouting whatever wild claims they like with no backup?

"I say we take off; nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure." - Corporal Hicks, in "Aliens"