Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Privacy Media The Internet

Music Industry Drafts Code of Conduct for ISPs 818

An anonymous reader writes "The Register is running a story about how the music industry is trying to get ISPs to sign 'code of conduct' agreements to cut people off for excessive bandwidth usage, to turn over details of users on demand, and to block certain 'illegal' websites." From the article: "According to the draft, the duo want ISPs and network operators to 'enforce terms of service that prohibit a subscriber from operating a server, or from consuming excessive amounts of bandwidth where such consumption is a good indicator of infringing activities.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Music Industry Drafts Code of Conduct for ISPs

Comments Filter:
  • More information (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TripMaster Monkey ( 862126 ) * on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:50AM (#12212467)
    In the interest of promoting more enlightened discussion, the full text of the "Music is Driving Growth in Digital Commerce" speech, presented by John Kennedy, CEO and Chairman of the IFPI to the ETNO (European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association) Conference in Brussles, on March 3rd, 2005, can be found here [].
    • by The Real Andrew ( 321273 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:52AM (#12212501)
      And there I was thinking it was the porn industry that was the driving force on the internet
    • by Pieroxy ( 222434 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:56AM (#12212565) Homepage
      I think they should ask ISPs to stop people that use the Internet altogether. That way: No Internet piracy!

      Wait a minute...
      • Re:Better Option (Score:5, Insightful)

        by glesga_kiss ( 596639 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @01:27PM (#12213881)
        I think they should ask ISPs to stop people that use the Internet altogether. That way: No Internet piracy!

        You meant it as a joke, but I think we all know that they would if they could. Like some other industries that have already been decimated*, and some others that are yet to come (e.g. broadcast TV)...

        These are the same folk that tried to ban the VCR; the problem with the internet was that it was too rooted by the time it started to cause them problems.

        * travel agents, postal services and so on

        • Re:Better Option (Score:5, Interesting)

          by starrsoft ( 745524 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @03:58PM (#12215815) Homepage
          I work for a travel agency []. We haven't been decimated by the internet. We have adjusted. We have gone from mainly domestic (20/80 international/domestic ratio) to mainly international (90/10). International is not offered as well on the internet because it is so complicated. We also have numerous special contracts with the airlines, as well as consolidators and wholesalers. We have found our niche and adapted as a result of changing technology. **AA should too.
    • by Morgaine ( 4316 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:09PM (#12212782)
      "Music is Driving Growth in Digital Commerce"

      That's pretty hilarious just in its title. Music may be popular, but the restrictions on growth have come entirely from the music industry. Digital commerce tried to take off by itself as soon as MP3 appeared and bandwidth allowed, and it was very forcefully blocked.

      The title is disingenuous in that it implies kudos to the wrong party altogether. It should have tacked "Despite Music Industry" on the end.
    • by frikazoyd ( 845667 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:27PM (#12213061)
      Okay, so I only skimmed the article, but it seems like John Kennedy is trying to guilt-trip ISPs into signing an agreement. He's saying "We spend nearly 66% of our income on research and development, so we're the reason that people have high bandwidth now. So, help us police the internet and we'll keep dumping money into R&D."

      Then he goes on to say (and has the audacity to title this argument "Music is Driving the Digital Revolution") "Selling digital music is a good market". Okay, how is the success of the iTunes Music store "Driving the Digital Revolution"? Really? I'm waiting... That's what I thought. It isn't. In fact, he doesn't even have an argument for this. All he can say is "Selling songs online is getting us money again." That's hardly revolutionizing. Revolutional would be "Musicians sell their own music online." No, this is just the old business model with new technology, the same technology they're trying to stagnate and police.
      • by Reziac ( 43301 ) * on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @02:26PM (#12214674) Homepage Journal
        ISPs are like highway departments; they each maintain a stretch of highway (internet), which is used in common by a lot of drivers (users).

        And the fact that you happen to be driving home from robbing a bank (downloading naughtyware) IS NOT THE BUSINESS OF THE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT (ISP), nor of the Society For the Prevention of Road Noise (the **AA and their kin), nor of the bank that got robbed (the infringed artist).

        Crime is the business of the *police* (gee, it's STILL the business of the *police* in cyberspace, imagine that), not of any common carrier, business association, or individual.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:37PM (#12213194)
      RIAA is trying to get a bill passed to prevent companies from selling and shipping modems faster than 300 bauds. Anything faster is an indication that the consumer is engaging in piracy. When told that the consumers suffered long waits when accessing websites, the RIAA spokeperson retorted that Lynx was a very good and capable browser.

      RIAA is als*#$%(@)(@)^(_!_)~&!@^ NO CARRIER
    • by gameboyhippo ( 827141 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:37PM (#12213200) Journal
      Flagging people for high bandwidth use is rediculous. I don't want my ISP to snoop at what I'm doing everytime I do an

      #apt-get update;apt-get dist-upgrade

      It's rediculous. I wouldn't be surprised if they use their snooping to sell my information so they can target ads to me. If only advertisers knew that I have no money and thus am not interested.
      • by Sylver Dragon ( 445237 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @01:10PM (#12213651) Journal
        I'm with you on this. I wanted to try to learn more about Linux, so I decided to migrate my mail, web and FTP functions to a Debian based server. The first thing I did (which was actually stupid, but hey, I'm learning) was to download the entirety of the Debian Sarge disribution, all 4 CD's of it. Turns out I only needed the first one for what I was doing, but I had no clue up front. So, according to this agreement, I should have had my access cut off, twice actually.
        1. I downloaded several GB of data over as short of period as my bandwidth would allow.
        2. I'm running a server, which we all know must be used for some illicit purpose. And not for:
        • SPAM control, I have 50 or so aliases, any one starts getting too much SPAM, just axe the line out in the aliases file.
        • Hosting my own wedding web site
        • Transfering files between work and home as needed
        • Remote Desktop (on a windows XP box), so that I can test router configuration from outside my work network (Yes, I work in the ITS department).
        So, basically, I'm a horrible person, who doesn't deserve internet access because I want to learn a new OS, and have a web presence. The authors of this "code of conduct" need to have their computers taken away, and never be let near any insturment by which the insanity inside their skulls will be allowed to leak out into the rest of the world and bother us.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:50AM (#12212476)
    And so what do the ISP's get in return?

    Customer satisfaction?
    • by Ubergrendle ( 531719 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:55AM (#12212551) Journal
      Deep down, ISPs know that widespread consumer adoption of high speed internet is ONLY fueled by three things: video, music, and games. Yes there's lots of legitimate uses for high speed, but tech-savy folks do not make up the lion's share of the consuming public.
      • by stlhawkeye ( 868951 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:26PM (#12213038) Homepage Journal
        Deep down, ISPs know that widespread consumer adoption of high speed internet is ONLY fueled by three things: video, music, and games.

        I'd says porn and games are interchangeably #1 and #2. And the rest is clearly and unquestionable and overwhelmingly illegal downloading of copyrighted material.

        Remember - just because YOU and YOUR FRIENDS buy what you download, most people do not.

        Regardless, they're not going to win this way.

        Before refridgeration was a household technology, people who needed ice had it delivered. There were lots of companies that provided this service. There were also lots of dairy-delivery companies too. My grandfather used to deliver milk.

        Anyway, enough people had refridgeration in their homes at a certain point that the death of dairy and ice delivery was inevitable. Some companies tried to fight this. Some tried to point out the flaws in home-made ice. Some tried to point out the expense. Some even appealed to consumers on the grounds that good hard-working men were losing jobs because the evil consumer was making his own ice rather than buying it from a good ol' fashioned American company.

        It all fell on deaf ears. Only one ice company survived the collapse of their market. It was the company that opened a new type of store - a combination service station/grocery. You could buy ice there, sure. In blocks or bags. You still can. They became 7-11, and not only did they survive the death of the ice market, they went on to insane profits that were never possible in the ice industry.

        Now, making ice in your home isn't illegal. Downloading copyrighted music that you haven't purchased is. So the analogy falls apart there. However, the RIAA's approach to solving his is akin to the ice delivery services trying to get in-home freezers banned because it's screwing up their business model.

        Well, tough shit. Agile companies that spot trends and capitalize on them survive. Bloated bureaucracies of self-serving directors eventually die. That's capitalism, and that's how it ought to work. It's a shame that their business model is failing because of massive copyright infringement, and not because of a legitimate new business. It's even more of a shame that stuff like iTunes came along as a solution to the piracy problem, when it should have predated it.

        They missed the boat on the Internet. Napster was there before iTunes, and the idea of free music is now forever ingrained into the social consciousness of on-line culture. Sometimes companies can divorce a culture of this link, but usually not. All photocopiers are the "Xerox" machine, all tissue is "Kleenex", all flying discs are "Frisbies" all adhesive bandages are "Band-Aids". Even RollerBlade was only partially successful in protecting their brand from being synonymous with the product. These companies would be foolish to spend money on a campaign to break this association.

        And that's why the RIAA is foolish. It's too late to stop this. It can't be stopped through legislation, legeal threats, copy protection schemes, the DMCA, or anything else. The only thing that can stop it is for them to find a way to make it more convenient for people to get the music they want at a cost so marginal that paying for the added convenience is worthwhile.

        Until and unless you run a very significant risk of getting caught and prosecuted, it won't stop. And people will suffer the eroding of their rights only so much in an effort to protect the revenue streams of millionaires.

        • by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @01:00PM (#12213548)
          Some tried to point out the flaws in home-made ice.

          An ice company executive, 70-ish years ago:

          "Those pitiful cubes are so puny you could fit a bunch of them in a glass!

          ....Oh, crap."

        • And the rest is clearly and unquestionable and overwhelmingly illegal downloading of copyrighted material.

          I guess your right, the MPAA must own the rights to the videos I put up on my website for friends and family. You know, the family video clips I put up, they must own those because they are on the internet.

          Even apart from that, many news sites offer video clips of news that they offer, is any of this illegal downloading of copyrighted material?

          Also while I don't produce music, what about the copyrig
        • BOYCOTT!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Roadkills-R-Us ( 122219 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @01:47PM (#12214156) Homepage
          A great summation of the issues.

          This sort of heavy-handed stupidity is why I am currently refusing to buy music except from indies. If they're at all in bed with these morons, I just won't buy.

          Yeah, it stinks. There are at least 20 CDs I would *love* to have bought since this crap started. And a dozen or so DVDs. Ah, well.

          Boycott. Tell them what you're doing and why. Hit them in their pocketbook again.

          For the record, I don't download music or vidoes illegally. I occasionally download free indie songs or other free music, but that's it.

          I don't traffic with thugs any more than with spammers.
        • by Sylver Dragon ( 445237 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @02:01PM (#12214336) Journal
          Just a random thought, which hit me while reading your post. Piracy is a capitalistic force.
          The main idea behind a capitalistic economy is that, consumers will shop around and get the best product for the lowest price possible. With music this has not really been possible. If I want to buy the AC/DC "Back in Black" CD set I can technically shop around a bit, but in the end, I'm going to pay somewhere between US$10 and US$20 ( has it at US$15). I can also go to iTunes and get just the 10 songs from it for roughly US$10 (Not been to iTunes, so I might be off a bit). the point is, the price is pretty fixed. I also cannot get a similar product at a lower price. Music is like that, it's either the band singing its songs, or it isn't.
          This is where piracy comes in. The cost to duplicate the work, is very low. All I need is a computer with a CD drive, and an Internet connection. Each of those items does have a cost, but when that is broken over the various uses and number of CD's which can be copied, the price per unit drops to a pitance.
          Now, what we have is a monopolized market (the legal kind, we're dealing with a copyright here), and the technology to undercut the monopoly significantly. the problem is, that there is no legal way to undercut the monopoly and make money, so an alternative needs to be found. That alternative, which is what Sharman, et al. are capitalizing on, is to make available the method for accessing this cheap alternative to the monopoly and collecting ad revenue from marketers who want access to their large user base.
          This is really capitalism at its dirtiest. A need was identified (cheaper access to music), filled (via piracy), and capitalized upon (via ad-supported P2P apps). The music industry is now having to compete. Yes, the competition is illegal, but only because of government interference in the market. Copyright laws are not capitalistic in nature.
          I'm not trying to argue that piracy should be legal, moral, etc. Just that it is a capitalistic force. Because of the monopolized nature of music, and the overpricing which follows, a corrective force exists. Becasue there is no legal outlet for that force, it has been expressed as rampant piracy. If the current method is stamped out, that force will show up in a different fashion. Basically, as long as there is a legislated monoploy, which is pricing it products higher than people are willing to accept as reasonable, there will be a drive to circumvent that monopoly. The more unreasonable the price, the more willing people will be to break the law to circumvent it.

          • by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @03:15PM (#12215311)
            This is really capitalism at its dirtiest. A need was identified (cheaper access to music), filled (via piracy), and capitalized upon (via ad-supported P2P apps). The music industry is now having to compete. Yes, the competition is illegal, but only because of government interference in the market.

            This is an interesting point. I wonder why all the Randians here aren't complaining about this government interference, and claiming we should all be able to pirate to our hearts' content, just like they all complain every time someone promotes laws restricting the rights and abilities of monopolies.
    • by rhsanborn ( 773855 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:18PM (#12212926)
      It appears that the ISP's get nothing from this. The music industry might give them amnesty from lawsuits because they facilitate infringement, but so far ISP's have been in the clear. It appears the ISP gain nothing, at all.

      IANAL, but it looks like they might even pick up a ton of liability signing on to something like this. What if they accidently didn't shut down a file sharing server, or do any number of things in their lovely new contract? Does this give the music industry a new avenue for lawsuits?

      The only way I can see any ISP signing this is if there is some threat made by the music industry, be it lawsuits, publicity, something. Otherwise, it seems entirely farfetched.

      Its worth keeping an eye on though. I can't believe they'd put something this blatantly outlandish together unless they thought they could do something with it.
      • by Dhaos ( 697924 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @01:05PM (#12213601)
        Not only are you right, you are -so right- it hurts.

        As has been mentioned before, ISPs currently enjoy the status of "common carrier", the same status afforded to telecommunication companies, and even, i believe, postal services.

        Being a common carrier works as follows: You are not liable for damage done due to communications over your network. If Osama uses Pacific Bell (or whatever phone service) to plan his next attack, Pacific Bell is not liable.

        But the rationale for common carrier status is that you -do not know- what traffic is being carried over your network. The second you begin filtering out sites and noting suspicious people as a business, (the government could probably do these things to your network, but thats another story) you're putting youtr common carrier status in jeopardy.

        So yes, they likely would pick up a ton of liability. Which is why they will likely politely decline to acquiesce to this request.
  • I don't think so (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jaguar777 ( 189036 ) * on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:51AM (#12212485) Journal
    From TFA:
    The idea of blocking access where someone is using a lot of bandwidth just doesn't work. What if they're using a webcam? Or voice over internet? They all use similar ports as some of the file-sharing systems. There's no real way of determining whether just because someone's using a lot of bandwidth that they're contravening copyright.

    They can have my bandwidth when they pry it out of my COLD DEAD HANDS. I only have 768k upstream right now, and there will be hell to pay if they want to remove accounts for actually using the allotted amount.
    • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:52AM (#12212512)
      I only have 768k upstream right now, and there will be hell to pay if they want to remove accounts for actually using the allotted amount.

      It's up to the ISP to enforce this. The thing I didn't understand is what benefit do ISPs get for actually signing this agreement?

      They are going to look bad for handing over customer's information w/o question and they might even lose customers (if there are other options available).

      Is the RIAA/MPAA going to pay them money to do this?
      • by Proney ( 823793 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:06PM (#12212743)
        I honestly don't think that the RIAA/MPAA expect one single ISP to sign something like this. What they're trying to do, in my estimation, is to create a portfolio of 'goodwill attempts' to combat online copyright infringement. Once they have enough of these attempts thrown back in their faces, they'll be able to go to court and say "See? We tried, we really really tried, but they just aren't willing to compromise. Please step in and help us!"

        Scary part: It'll probably work.
        • by Martin Blank ( 154261 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:15PM (#12212881) Homepage Journal
          They might be able to say that to the courts, but the courts are likely to give a raised eyebrow in return, and provide a cautious decision in their favor at best. Congress may give them more time, but even there, certain members with significant pro-technology and pro-consumer leanings are coming into seniority who are questioning the trade groups' representations of things.

          I'd like to see some outside group come in and audit the research done by the MPAA, RIAA, and BSA, among others, to see how well it stands up to scrutiny.
        • You'd need a pretty dumb judge to count that though. If they told CD-R/DVD-R manufacturers to note down or restrict those that bought large volume of media, would it count as goodwill. The internet companies have a business model, and the RIAA is telling them to change it with zero benefit to themselves.

          I'm lucky though, as a Canadian I find we're still doing rather well in the fight again RIAA/MPAA/DMCA abuse... and our court system seems to quite often have some good heads behind it when dealing with th
        • You are forgetting an important detail. AOL/Time Warner. RIAA, MPAA and ISP all in one. Being one of the largest ISPs in the world and a major producer of television/music/movies, why wouldn't they implement their own policies?
          • Re:I don't think so (Score:3, Informative)

            by KlomDark ( 6370 )
            Yes, but they are only one of the largest ISPs in the world if you change the wording to "largest DIAL-UP ISPs". Sure they offer some broadband in some areas, but the lions share of their users are dial-up and they are pretty much getting their ass kicked in the broadband arena, except where they provide Cable TV.
      • by Gribflex ( 177733 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:29PM (#12213092) Homepage
        The benfit as I see it is this:
        ISPs pay for bandwidth. The more their customers use, the more they have to pay.
        They charge customers a blanket fee. Most people use very little bandwidth, and cost very little. Some people use lots, and cost them more money.
        By signing this agreement, they can upcharge the people who are using a lot for legitimate usage (by forcing them into a more expensive business account), and they can get rid of the customers that use it for illegal purposes (by saying that they are 'merely complying with the RIAA agreement' that they signed).

        Thus, they retain the customers that use little bandwidth, and don't cost them money.
        They get more money from the customers that need the bandwidth.
        And they lose the customers that are costing them more money.

        Standard business practice. Get rid of the costly customers, or charge them more.

        • So? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by gr8_phk ( 621180 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @02:08PM (#12214447)
          "Standard business practice. Get rid of the costly customers, or charge them more."

          The ISP can already do as you suggest without signing an agreement with **AA. The question is what benefit do they get from signing with the **AA? I think the ISPs presently benefit by charging more to high bandwidth downloaders. Cutting them off would be a net loss unless **AA have something to offer to the ISP.

    • Er, no. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by brunes69 ( 86786 )
      More like they can have *their* bandwidth whenever they want. Read your TOS more closely, the liklihood of there *not* being a clause that allows them to change or ammend the TOS at will is extremely low.

      ISPs resell bandwidth according to the 80/20 model - that only 20% of their users use 80% ore more of their capacity. As soon as users start skewing those numbers, they begin to lose money, and if they are skewed enough, they can start to be actually selling the bandwidth at a loss.

      An ISP is a business. B
  • What about (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:52AM (#12212506)
    Who is drafting a 'code of conduct' for
    the record companies that sign 15 year olds
    to lifetime exclusive contracts?
  • No way, unless.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Xavier CMU ( 829477 ) * < minus berry> on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:52AM (#12212508)
    It's suicide for broadband suppliers to try weeding out filesharers, unless the contracts become federally mandated I doubt anyone would sign them. I know I sure as hell would find another subscriber who hadn't signed the damn thing immediately, if my provider were to abide by it.
  • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by th1ckasabr1ck ( 752151 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:53AM (#12212514)
    Why in the world would ISPs sign something like this? It seems to me that from their point of view the only thing it could result in is lower subscription numbers. Is the pressure from their 'peers' is enough?
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:01PM (#12212659) Journal
      It's just another idiotic idea. No ISP is going to go for this. Unless there's some laws actually forcing them to do so, any ISP that signed such an agreement would find themselves damaged compared to the ISP who didn't sign.

      Beyond that, ISPs are simply carriers of data. If the music industry has evidence of a user committing a crime, then by all means drop off a court order and ISPs will be happy to comply.

  • by hyperstation ( 185147 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:53AM (#12212516)
    ISP ads will feature "No RIAA CoC Restrictions!"
  • The article in full (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:53AM (#12212523)
    Not content with creating a continent-spanning lawsuit-sharing network using special P2P (person to perpetrator) technology, the record companies' consortium, the International Federation of Phonographic Industries (IFPI) now wants your ISP to sign up to a new "code of conduct" that it has helpfully drafted with the help of the Motion Picture Association (MPA). A warning, though: you probably won't like it.

    Here's a sampler. Under the new code, ISPs would put in place filtering technology to block services and/or sites that "are substantially dedicated to illegal file sharing or download services". They would retain data beyond what law enforcement agencies require, with the aim of helping track down copyright infringement. They'd hand that data, plus your identity, over to the IFPI or MPA if there was even a complaint - not a court order - against you for, you guessed it, copyright infringement. (And you'd have signed or clicked something agreeing to allow that.)

    Want more? According to the draft, the duo want ISPs and network operators to "enforce terms of service that prohibit a subscriber from operating a server, or from consuming excessive amounts of bandwidth where such consumption is a good indicator of infringing activities." A summary of the draft can be found at the Electronic Digital Rights site's latest EDRIgram.

    We wondered if it might be some clever hoax, and called the IFPI. "Oh yes, the draft" they said breezily and knowledgeably. The draft is for real.

    And to back up their modest proposal, the MPA and IFPI aren't afraid to wave their big stick at the ISPs and network operators. Speaking last month at the invitation of the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) , the head of the IFPI, John Kennedy, said: "Quality digital content is a key driver that makes consumers embrace new services. You invest billions in your pipes and cables and satellites but without content you have empty pipes and boxes. At this stage I am not even asking for much if anything by way of a financial commitment. I am asking for your time your energy your commitment and some social responsibility."

    Tony Soprano couldn't have put it better. "Nice content-carrying pipes you've got here. What a shame if anything were to happen to them... now, we've got this little agreement for you to look at..."

    Expect an interesting discussion next Monday, when this issue, and the draft code of conduct, will be discussed at a meeting in Geneva of WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organisation. Which as you know has a stellar record defending the little guys against claims of copyright infringement.

    If all that has you fizzing, then you're in good company, along with the UK's Internet Services Providers Association (ISPA). There will be an ISPA representative at next week's meeting, and if they're anything like as annoyed as the spokesman we talked about this with, they're so close to nuclear they already glow in the dark.

    "This is obviously something they [IFPI and MPA] have worked on together," ISPA's spokesman almost spat. "They have made proposals like this in the past but that doesn't necessarily mean they have gone anywhere. They should really be going through the established takedown procedure. Some of these proposals contravene current laws and go beyond others. If you take the example of requiring subscribers to allow their identities to be given out - that's something that ISPs take very seriously, and only when required to by law enforcement. And they aren't a law enforcement authority."

    But sometimes it seems like the MPA and IFPI feel this latter point is only a minor detail, which could be fixed in time.

    France's ISPs seemed to have rolled over already. A version of this code was signed last July by three French ministers, representatives of the music industry, major ISPs and telecoms operators there. It allows collection societies and the like to create files from telecoms traffic data of supposed copyright infringers to "mutual
  • Censorship (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Richie1984 ( 841487 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:53AM (#12212526)
    I can understand the record companies from their perspective thinking that this is a good idea, but to what I hope to be the majority of outsiders, it seems a lot like asking ISPs to censor what their customers are trying to view.

    Regardless of how you view file sharing, I think it's quite obvious that the record companies seriously need to update their business model before they are totally overtaken. Trying to censor the web, or suing people left, right and centre will just lead to negative publicity
  • by pclminion ( 145572 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:53AM (#12212531)
    It gives me one more criterion to use when filtering out ISPs I don't want to use. Signed this agreement? Then I won't be your customer.

    It really shortens the list.

    • by dr_dank ( 472072 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:20PM (#12212957) Homepage Journal
      It really shortens the list.

      It'll really shorten the list when ISPs decide its better to get with the program than fend off the avalanche of legal papers about every little alleged copyright infringement case rather than the streamlined system for avoiding and handling offenses that the "code of conduct" provides.

      Before third party telecom providers/resellers are cited as a solution, consider that they have to purchase the bandwidth from the same large players that would be a party to this agreement. I'm sure they would hold them to the same standard as not cause competition in this area.
  • I work for an ISP (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jchawk ( 127686 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:54AM (#12212532) Homepage Journal
    Good luck with that one is all I'm going to say. Short of them getting a law passed requiring this no ISP in their right mind would turn over information.

    We *require* a subpoena signed by a *judge* not a clerk, before we turn over any information.

  • by Zaxor ( 603485 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:54AM (#12212533)
    IANAL, but many if not all states have a tort of interference with a contractual obligation. Sounds like this sort of thing might be actionable under that.

    See : " Intentional Interference With Prospective Economic Advantage" for more.

  • by cfalcon ( 779563 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:54AM (#12212540)
    I will instantly move to any ISP that doesn't sign this, assuming my current one does. I suspect that this won't be a very uncommon occurance, or at least, I suspect that a few ISPs in everyplace will always be holdouts.

    But man, this is terrible. I hate how everyone wants to make the net into TV. I don't watch TV because it's passive. I hope we'd all put up a good fight for the net.
  • by Samurai Cat! ( 15315 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:55AM (#12212548) Homepage
    ISPs are banding together to insist the record labels stop putting out shitty music. :)
  • Dear RIAA, (Score:5, Funny)

    by IGnatius T Foobar ( 4328 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:55AM (#12212550) Homepage Journal
    Thank you for your interest in the well-being of our customers. Or perhaps in the well-being of non-customers; specifically, you. Remind us again who pays us? Oh yes ... our subscribers. Thank you for your consideration. Now please go away.

    The ISP industry
  • Drafting (Score:5, Funny)

    by dynoman7 ( 188589 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:55AM (#12212553) Homepage
    What a cowinkedink!!!

    I am currently trying to get the music industry to sign a code of conduct too! In a nutshell, it says that the music industry will supply us with quality music (down with Britney!) at a resonable price ($5 a cd anyone?) and fair use rights (cd mixes for my *cough* girlfriend!). I'm having trouble getting them to sign. Please advise...
    • Fair Use!=mixtapes (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Theaetetus ( 590071 )
      I am currently trying to get the music industry to sign a code of conduct too! In a nutshell, it says that the music industry will supply us with quality music (down with Britney!) at a resonable price ($5 a cd anyone?) and fair use rights (cd mixes for my *cough* girlfriend!). I'm having trouble getting them to sign. Please advise...

      Though I know this was a joke post, your premises behind it are exactly the problem, and you're not helping at all. Do you want Fair Use Rights, as determined under the copyr

  • It does no good .. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by macaulay805 ( 823467 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:55AM (#12212560) Homepage Journal
    It does no good complaining and protesting this stuff on Slashdot. Please find an official government channel to communicate with to have this kind of thing not enforced.

    This is starting to get crazy.
  • And how... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gr8Apes ( 679165 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:55AM (#12212564)
    would they separate those using Video conferencing tools, or sharing their personal pictures, or playing online games, or downloading a BitTorrent of a Linux distribution or seeding it, for that matter, podcasting, or any other number of legal activities that "could appear to be infringing" by bandwidth only metrics?

    Seriously, these folks need to be laughed out of court.

  • by Anita Coney ( 648748 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:57AM (#12212585) Homepage
    I was watching a movie about Metallica's history on VH1. (It was late and I couldn't sleep, that's why!)

    As you probably remember the drummer for Metallica, Lars Ulrich, came out strong against Napster and P2P. He called it stealing, theft, and other bad words.

    But the VH1 show had an early interview with him and he was asked about how the band initially succeeded. He claimed "We made a demo and I gave ten copies to ten friends. They each made ten copies for their friends. As did those friends."

    In other words, sharing is great when it helps you. But it's criminal when it hurts you.
    • by DoctorPepper ( 92269 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:17PM (#12212915)
      "If Microsoft made toilet paper it would be called Butt Wiper." Brian Briggs "

      If IBM made toilet paper, it would be called "BW/2" DoctorPepper
    • by drxenos ( 573895 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:31PM (#12213116)
      "If Microsoft made toilet paper it would be called Butt Wiper." Brian Briggs

      Shouldn't they call it "Anal Explorer"?
    • by c0ldfusi0n ( 736058 ) <> on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:47PM (#12213340) Homepage
      You mean VH1.When.Metallica.Ruled.The.World.DSRip.XviD-aAF?

  • by Simonetta ( 207550 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:59AM (#12212626)
    If the music industry is serious about controlling how people use the internet then they should take over the ISP industry.

    They should buy out all the major ISPs and offer the service for free in order to get millions to sign up for RIAA-ISP. Then they can make these absurd demands on their users.

    The pomposity and ridiculousness of the Music Industry is becoming the most entertaining product that they offer. We're going to miss them when they're gone.
  • by thewiz ( 24994 ) * on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @11:59AM (#12212634)
    consuming excessive amounts of bandwidth where such consumption is a good indicator of infringing activities.

    This is a very bad way to determine if someone is sharing or downloading songs, movies, etc. I pull down patches for my Linux, AIX, OS X, and Windoze boxes on a regular basis. I easily exceed several gigs a month just doing this not to mention web surfing, viewing online videos, animations, NASA TV, etc.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but ISPs are only supposed to provide a way to access the internet. They aren't supposed to provide services for companies that want to snoop on the ISPs users; i.e. they provide bandwidth not Deputy Dawg services. I hope that the ISPs are brave enough to stand up to this and tell RIAA/MPAA where to stick their agreement.
  • by iminplaya ( 723125 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:00PM (#12212640) Journal
    all along!
    According to the draft, the duo want ISPs and network operators to 'enforce terms of service that prohibit a subscriber from operating a server...

    They're trying to stop all uploading! I love that ruse, "Excessive" bandwidth usage is a good sign of infringement. They want the net to be "client-server". They're the server. You're the client. How sweet. They can feed us all the we should need. That they're trying this doesn't bother me at all. It's to be expected. I'm worried that some dummy is out there believing it. It looks like it's back to solitare for me. Heh, screw that! It's back to the beach!
  • by ebrandsberg ( 75344 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:01PM (#12212657)
    They won't be a public carrier which is what has shielded them from litigation. They arn't morons, and nobody will sign it. A website is NOT illegal, the content may be, but if they filter by content, they loose their protections. The RIAA just wants to be able to go after the big fish instead of the little fish with this move.
  • by Gallenod ( 84385 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:02PM (#12212675)
    RIAA: "Your service has huge bandwidth and seems to be transmitting a lot of data. Since the only content in that quantity worth transmitting is our copyrighted music, you must be aiding and abetting copyright theft."

    ISP: "What our customers send through our service is their business, not ours. And it can't be your stuff, because most of your music sucks. Pigs will not only have to fly before we sign up to this, they'll have to break the sound barrier."

    RIAA: "Well, with enough baked beans, anything is possible. Load up the, pigs and let 'em fly!"

  • by Anita Coney ( 648748 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:03PM (#12212683) Homepage
    I recently set up my dad with a computer and a DSL connection. I set up TightVNC so I could take care of any software problems he might have.

    But by the time I got home his IP address had already changed. It appears that his ISP (centurynet) changes his IP address every 2 hours. That would sure make it a lot harder to use P2P for sharing your own stuff, running a game server, a webcam, and all the other cool stuff you get broadband for.

    I can't help but think that broadband companies are going to kill themselves with this type of behavior. They have to remember that their customers are paying their bills, not the RIAA.
    • But by the time I got home his IP address had already changed. It appears that his ISP (centurynet) changes his IP address every 2 hours. That would sure make it a lot harder to use P2P for sharing your own stuff, running a game server, a webcam, and all the other cool stuff you get broadband for.

      It won't kill most apps like BitTorrent (i'm sure) or Kazaa (i think). As for Sharing stuff, use for that and a webcam. For a game server, that I don't know about as I know nothing about setting them
  • by WidescreenFreak ( 830043 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:04PM (#12212699) Homepage Journal
    What the hell is this kind of crap?

    I don't know about anyone else, but I am always downloading lots of stuff that are FREE and LEGAL! Whether that constitutes Linux ISO images, Solaris patches, or whatever, there are a ton of things out there that are completely legal and take up gobs of bandwidth! Streaming media (radio or TV stations), game patches, game mods, on-line gaming, and so forth are completely legal and will consume bandwidth! If you leave a high-bitrate, streaming media download running all month, you bet that's going to look like a lot of bandwidth, but that does not infer illegal activities!

    Even if many downloads are not legal (*cough*newsgroups*cough*), what makes them assume that the downloads are of MUSIC? A massive download of the latest National Geographic bazillion-CD set will completely spike monthly bandwidth; but it has absolutely nothing to do with music, regardless of it being an illegal download!

    Who the f*ck are the RIAA to assume that (excessive_bandwith == piracy || excessive == MUSIC_piracy)?

    The arrogance of even drafting such a "code of conduct" is beyond comprehension!
  • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:04PM (#12212711) Homepage Journal
    So I can get a new ISP.
    Actually I would love it if the music industry would sign a code of conduct as well.
    Lets see.
    Any employee caught providing drugs or sexual partners to performers would be fired and turned over to the police for criminal charges. If not the Board of Directors are help criminally responsible. If football players have to take drug tests why not employees of music companies. I would love to see them declared a "drug free workplace". If you want you can let the artists off the hook. I want the A and R men, execs, and producers tested:)
    The music industry would provide 401k, medical, and health insurance to performers.
    If a record is not publishes and made available for sale for a period of one year all rights are returned to the artist.
    Accounting standards and full disclosure of those standards.
    If they want to write "codes of conduct" they can start at home.
  • by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:05PM (#12212729) Journal
    And very politely started tiptoeing towards bitching me out, asking a bunch of questions about my net usage.

    I'm really not a bandwidth hog, I don't run P2P 24-7, once in a blue moon I'll fire up bittorrent for some reason or another.

    I do use OpenVPN, I get my email from work, my kid brother connects to my LAN via OpenVPN, mostly so we can play games (much easier than forwarding umpteen billion ports for whatever we feel like playing that day).

    Well, the customer service guy calls because they noticed the VPN traffic. Or rather, SSL traffic on port 1194.

    It says in the AUP that I can't run a VPN or servers of any sort (does that mean I can't host a two player game of quake?). He started dancing around the issue, and as soon as I saw where he was going we had this exchange:

    "Is there a problem with my network usage?"

    "Umm, well maybe"

    "Am I abusing the network, hogging bandwidth"

    "Well no, but we noticed a lot of traffic on a port known for VPNs"

    "OK, well go ahead and cancel my account. I've been meaning to go with satellite and DSL for a while now, I just couldn't be arsed to climb up on the roof and install it."

    He apologized and hung up. I couldn't believe that I threatened the cable co and they backed down.

    Anywho, I'm fully prepared to follow through. SpeakEasy and Dish Network are but a phone call away.

    Slashdot, since you're completely in cohoots, will speakeasy be signing this agreement?

    • I doubt it. One of their selling points is you are allowed to host your own servers. I have to say, they've made good on that. I have their 6.0/768 DSL (which for me is more like 4.5/768 :/) and on it I host two web servers. They do a fair bit of traffic, probably a minimum of 20GB/month each and usually much more. When one of them really gets going they can have the upstream nearly slammed for days on end.

      To this day I haven't heard a peep out of them, and I've been doing it for like 2 years now. So long
  • by Fizzlewhiff ( 256410 ) <jeffshannon&hotmail,com> on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:09PM (#12212780) Homepage
    I want them to digitally watermark screener copies and demo CD's and then keep track of who in their organizations have access to these copies so when they hit the internet sites weeks before general release they can go to their own people first for answers/retribution. I think that should be their first step in fighting piracy.
  • by Trick ( 3648 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:12PM (#12212825)
    If I were an ISP considering signing this thing, I think I'd have to take into account the effect of a good-sized chunk of my subscribership running continuous downloads of random crap, just to increase bandwidth usage and screw with the music industry.

    Remember, ISPs: Most of us have never gotten an RIAA subpoena, and are still under the impression that it might be a cool souvenir.
  • by johnny cashed ( 590023 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:14PM (#12212862) Homepage
    Automatically provents you from playing infringing notes. Want to play Voodoo Chile (slight return)? please key in your credit card #.
  • by Gribflex ( 177733 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:15PM (#12212877) Homepage
    Why why why is it so difficult to run a server out of my house. I'm not pirating software, music or movies; I just want to host a personal website, or a website on which to showcase current work done on a project to clients, or to host community projects, etc.

    People have legitimate server needs, and ISPs make it terribly difficult to meet these needs.

    Everytime I call an ISP to ask if they allow server access, I get in a fight with the operator at the other end because she accuses me of software piracy.

    All I want is to be able to play with a server in my spare time, without having to fight with my ISP (or pay for a business line).
  • by coyote-san ( 38515 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:43PM (#12213288)
    Isn't this bordering (illegal) restraint of trade? Nobody has a right to impose on a legal contract between two other parties. If they think a crime has been committed, they should go to court and get an order dealing with that specific case.

    I know, at this point they're only asking for a "voluntary" agreement. That's why I said "bordering" -- larger ISPs will blow them off since they know the real cost of accepting it. (Hint: it's not a few pissed off customers. It's dealing with the 1,002 other groups with their own "code of conduct" on everything from porn to evolution and "liberalism.")

    But smaller ISPs run by chickenshits may worry about the legal costs defending themselves if RIAA plays hardball. Even when, not if, they win they'll still lose because of the expense.
  • I'm confused (Score:3, Insightful)

    by uncadonna ( 85026 ) <mtobis@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:54PM (#12213454) Homepage Journal
    Never mind how stupid, arrogant or evil this. How come it's even possible? If nobody gets to run a server, where will the content come from?

    Surely there is some sort of exception to this rule? What defines an "ISP"? What defines an "ISP customer"?

    I must be missing something. The proposal reads to me to say "companies providing internet service agree to stop providing internet service to anyone providing internet content". I'm sure that isn't the intent, but can someone explain to me how this doesn't amount to shutting the net down completely?

    This isn't intended as humor; I really am missing something here. How do they propose to draw the line between bad running-a-server and okay running-a-server?
  • Red Herring (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Cytlid ( 95255 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:58PM (#12213511)
    This is so funny. I work for an ISP, we already have those things in place, called an AUP. Anyone caught abusing their connection for illegal activity is dealt with. Of course, the RIAA just doesn't like the burden of proof being on them.

    This has always made me want to fill a file with random bytes from /dev/urandom let's say, call it "newest_crappy_song_from_jenifer_lopez.mp3", have it just the right size, and send it from myself to myself on several of my colo boxes on my domain(s). Then for the fun of it, null route all of the RIAAs ips from my personal web/mail servers for when they try and contact me. Then when they snailmail me (or call my isp on the phone, again me because I am my isp), I can show them the bogus file and waste plenty of their time and prove to them just how big of asses they really are.

    Ya know, kinda like honeynet for the *AAs. Well, maybe not.
  • Great idea! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rlp ( 11898 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @01:12PM (#12213675)
    ISP's should sign this agreement, just as soon as the recording industry signs a code of conduct drafted by musicians. :-)
  • by skyshock21 ( 764958 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @01:23PM (#12213836)
    I run my band's website and none, I repeat NONE, of our music is owned in any way, shape, or form by the RIAA. In fact, we make ALL OUR MUSIC freely available to the public via our website. Mainly for publicity, but also out of sheer spite and contempt for the RIAA. What if I decide to switch and host my website locally through my ISP (they allow you to do this). Is the music industry going to see sites like ours as a threat to them since we get HELLACIOUS traffic?

    (Obligatory band links for reference and shameless promotion... slashdot us if you'd like, it'll only help the cause!) [] []

  • by holy_smoke ( 694875 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @01:37PM (#12214010)
    - Implement filtering technology?
    - Limit Bandwidth?
    - Retain Records?

    and yet "quality digital content is a key driver that makes consumers embrace new services"

    The RIAA and MPAA don't seem to want to provide viable alternatives to P2P's infringing uses, but they want a CARRIERS to police it for them? And invade their customer's privacy?

    This is soo crazy stupid that is is scary. What kind of out-of-tune whackos would think that this is a good idea?

    The bottom line is that Broadband access is a tool. Customers rent the pipe. Just like telephones, electricity, gas. How in the world would it possibly make sense that your local telephone, electric, or gas company would have to make sure you weren't using their product in an illegal fashion?


    I am sooo glad that I don't buy CD's or Movies anymore. And no, I don't download either. These industries are just plain selfish and evil. They don't DESERVE my money.

Evolution is a million line computer program falling into place by accident.