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RIAA Wants Limits On Net Neutrality So ISPs Can Police File Sharing 173

Presto Vivace writes "Reporting for Computer World, Grant Gross writes that the RIAA is asking the FCC not to make the net neutrality rules so strict that they 'would limit broadband providers' [flexibility] to "address" illegal online file sharing.' It seems the RIAA is unclear on the concept of the Fourth Amendment. 'The FCC should not only avoid rules prohibiting ISPs from blocking illegal file trading, but it should actively encourage ISPs to do so, the RIAA said. ... Other groups called on the FCC to stay out of the copyright enforcement business. If ISPs are required to check for copyright infringement, they could interfere with legal online activities, said six digital rights and business groups, including Public Knowledge, the Consumer Electronics Association and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.'"
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RIAA Wants Limits On Net Neutrality So ISPs Can Police File Sharing

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  • Meteor (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tsa ( 15680 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @01:20PM (#30791344) Homepage

    The only thing that can made the RIAA dinosaurs die out is a meteor on their headquarters.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 16, 2010 @01:20PM (#30791346)

    I'm not a lawyer, but I did study constitutional law. I don't mean to be critical, but people should drop the concept that the Bill of Rights applies to private and/or corporate entities. They are applicable to the FEDERAL government. There is still debate on which amendments should apply to the states - e.g. the recent 2nd amendment lawsuits against state governments and D.C.

  • Huhhnn? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @01:21PM (#30791354)

    So what they're saying is their business model is so flawed that it can only be supported by making other businesses pay for their complete failure in the marketplace? Yeah, that makes sense... in bizarro world. The FCC is being maligned for being a "liberal" establishment, but this is about as conservative a viewpoint as it gets: They're asking for their business to get special treatment because it makes horseshoes in a automobile era. Or, put another way -- they want a bailout.

    Yes, how very liberal of them. /snark

  • by jarocho ( 1617799 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @01:25PM (#30791386)
    Quoting: "Internet service providers should have authority to block subscribers from sharing music and other files without permission of the copyright owner, the RIAA said."

    I don't think highway operators in this country have ever been compelled or encouraged to stop grand theft auto, or interstate smuggling of stolen goods... Or that phone companies have been expected to prevent con artists from swindling people out of their money to buy "beach-side" Florida swamp land. Et cetera. This would appear to be unprecedented.
  • analogy with mail (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wizardforce ( 1005805 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @01:27PM (#30791406) Journal

    It is a federal offense to riffle through someone else's mail. This nonsense by the RIAA and friends is like saying "yeah we agree that FEDEX etc. shouldn't be going through other peoples' mail... except to make sure that people aren't pirating things..." Everyone understands that position to be completely ridiculous so why is it that the concept is so difficult to apply to internet packets etc? Just as your mail is legally protected from being ripped open by others, so should your internet packets. It isn't the job of ISPs to do the RIAA's work nor is it their right to riffle through your online activities at their whim.

  • by Adrian Lopez ( 2615 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @01:33PM (#30791448) Homepage

    I serously doubt that ISPs would want to take on the role of online copyright police, though some might welcome it as an excuse to block or throttle bandwidth-heavy, potentially infringing traffic (anything P2P, for instance, or perhaps -- even more nefariously -- anything not explicitly added to an ISPs whitelist of official content). Otherwise, it seems to me the added burden of filtering illegal downloads specifically is something ISPs would rather avoid (but which the RIAA would love to impose).

  • by Skarecrow77 ( 1714214 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @01:44PM (#30791548)

    So you're ok with letting a private organization tell your ISP...

    No, I don't believe he said that at all. What he said was that the 4th amendment doesn't apply in this circumstance, not that he's happy with or supportive of the actions of the RIAA. I doubt that there's any RIAA fans among the /. crowd at all, not counting the random loony here or there.

  • by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @01:48PM (#30791586) Homepage

    I support filtering copyrighted material... as soon as copyright law is so clearly defined that no copyrights need never be decided in a courthouse again and even computerized systems could determine what is and is not copyright infringement with absolute 100% certainty.
    Anything else will undeniably limit freedom of speech.

  • Why is it... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lattyware ( 934246 ) <gareth@lattyware.co.uk> on Saturday January 16, 2010 @01:50PM (#30791610) Homepage Journal
    That vigilanteism is fine online?
  • by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @01:50PM (#30791616) Journal

    There's nothing in the law to make ISPs filter copyrighted content.
    What the RIAA wants is to cleverly sneak in the back door and use the
    FCC's regulatory powers to force ISP level filtering.
    That's what separates this from a car analogy.

  • And who controls the system? How would you 'filter' everything anyway? It's a lovely idea from an idealistic standpoint, in reality, it'd just be abused and easy to work around.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 16, 2010 @01:52PM (#30791632)

    I think that was written before people envisioned companies outright owning entire governments.

  • by maxume ( 22995 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @01:53PM (#30791642)

    You misunderstand. I don't think that the ISP should be legally required to act on the information. That's where the problem is, not with the information sharing (and then there are lots of situations where I would be unhappy an organization was sharing information about me, but I can't complain too much if they simply documented some information I sent out onto the internets).

  • by mrsteveman1 ( 1010381 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @01:56PM (#30791654)

    The FCC is a part of the federal government, if they're actively encouraging private companies to rifle through private communications, or worse, forcing them to do so or penalizing them for NOT doing so, the situation is not so black and white that we can declare it to be outside the scope of bill of rights.

  • Re:Why is it... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @02:02PM (#30791716)

    It is?

    Why didn't anyone tell me? Frank, fire up the DDoS, we're gonna toast a few spammers tonight!

    Seriously now. It isn't. It's just the usual RIAA stunt, trying to shift the burden of their work onto someone else's shoulders.

  • by Adrian Lopez ( 2615 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @02:07PM (#30791758) Homepage

    ISPs have far easier tools to cut down P2P traffic if they so choose, without that damocletian sword called liability dangling over their heads.

    They can do that now, but if net neutrality law prevented them from throttling P2P traffic then a "copyright infringement" loophole might enable them to block all instances of suspected copyright infringement (e.g. anything sent over P2P) rather than actual copyright infringement.

  • Me think (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hymer ( 856453 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @02:10PM (#30791788)
    That RIAA, MPAA BSA etc. are dangerous terrorist organizations conspiring against the constitution of the United States of America and several other western countries.
    They are more dangerous than armed terrorist because they are trying to minimize the rights/freedom of people. If we need laws like they want we also need a non-transferable copyright which is held only by the artist/writer/inventor and expires when the holder dies.
    Don't get me wrong, I do not like or support piracy but the ideas of those people reminds me of Stasi, KGB or NKVD.
  • Re:Huhhnn? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @02:22PM (#30791886)

    Actually.. maybe it's even worse than that... the RIAA is using pointy sticks and honed rocks as weapons in the atomic age.

    They discovered fire, which was a great source of revenue for a long time, charging admission for folks to come feel its warmth, cook food, and have some protection against the wolves... but then, unfortunately, someone invented the torch.

    And ever since then, it's been a non-stop battle fighting illegal fire-traders, who offer their torch as a source to light others'.

    Mostly by sending cease and extinguish letters, but those kept getting returned as a ball of charcoal, so the next step was to send lawyers...

  • It's not their job (Score:4, Insightful)

    by davidwr ( 791652 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @02:25PM (#30791910) Homepage Journal

    It's not Blockbuster's job to make sure I don't make copies of the movies I rent either.

    It's not my power company's job to make sure I'm not using electricity to run my DVD-duplicator.

  • Re:So basically (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Gerzel ( 240421 ) * <(moc.liamg) (ta) (terrefyllorb)> on Saturday January 16, 2010 @02:30PM (#30791972) Journal

    Lets see more reasons for YOU to donate, join, contribute to the EFF and other organizations working for your rights online.

  • by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) * on Saturday January 16, 2010 @02:54PM (#30792138) Homepage Journal

    Have you paid any attention to the net neutrality debate at all? Because your rant is so completely ignorant, so completely the opposite of what's actually happening, that I find it hard to believe you have any idea what you're talking about.

  • by noidentity ( 188756 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @03:11PM (#30792250)

    Your highway analogy is flawed in that it involves actual stolen goods, as in things removed from some location and transferred elsewhere, unlike the RIAA's case. This only makes your example even stronger; even where actual stolen goods are being transferred, there isn't precedent for this.

    The RIAA guys need to get a real business model, because their artificial scarcity one requires way too many things to prop it up, and apparently quite expensive as well.

  • What a stretch (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 16, 2010 @03:19PM (#30792312)

    Being forced to pay for content consumed is a far cry from involuntary servitude.

    Being forced to expend resources policing your network so you can report crimes might qualify as involuntary servitude, though I think that is a stretch too.

    There are much better arguments against what the RIAA is proposing than this 'its slavery' nonsense. Proposing something this far from rational just makes you, and everyone on your side of the fence, look irrational, and weakens your position overall.

    You aren't helping. Please, stop.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 16, 2010 @03:49PM (#30792554)

    The problem with your reasoning has been noted, but it deserves repeating, because this is a common problem. When somebody points out a fact, that does not ipso facto indicate support for that fact. I've seen versions of the following exchange on many occasions:

    Person A: Stalin ate babies.
    Person B: Actually, there's no evidence that Stalin was a cannibal.
    Person A: So you're a fan of Stalin?

    I can never tell if Person A is being intentionally obtuse or simply can't understand that he is being so.

  • by Draek ( 916851 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @03:57PM (#30792602)

    The FCC wasn't created to do TCPIP.


    Err, yeah. And the British Army was created to deal with swords and pikes, not assault rifles.

    I agree that these kinds of legislations should be kept out of the internet at large, not just the web, but your argument just plain sucks.

  • by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @03:59PM (#30792622)

    It shares some data with some people.

    It doesn't share all data with all people. Only people who have joined the tracker can see it.

    Just like only the people who have joined an IRC channel or private mailing list can see posts to the list.

    It makes sense that a participant is capable of recording everything (if they want); however, a random person off the street cannot simply record, without joining or asking for permission to join the list.

    It would be inappropriate for an ISP to record or specifically seek to intercept that traffic, unless someone from that ISP is actually a member.

    Many peer to peer networks are closed, require a password, or invitation to gain access, and are used for legal file transfers, anyways.

    Each peer can't really see what bytes are being exchanged between two other peers.

    They can only assume since they are nodes in the same swarm, they are transferring similar blocks that correspond to the files they know about.

  • Re:Huhhnn? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @04:21PM (#30792788)

    You really do need to learn what 'liberal' and 'conservatives' think before you start making such retarded statements about such a generic political label. The only statement you've made is that you are just some douche bag who listens to the news and parrots 'liberal' and 'conservative' when referring to your team or the other team. Every time I hear someone use these words my mind instantly knows you're version of politics is about the same as my version of NFL Football.

    Please get a fucking clue and stop being such a uneducated, ignorant moron that you use those words like they actually have any sort of meaning beyond which team your rooting for.

  • by Nadaka ( 224565 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @04:34PM (#30792896)

    That depends on the particular terrorist in question.

    Some terrorists "hate us for our freedom"
    Some terrorists hate us because we are assholes who invade their country, sometimes we had a very good reason, sometimes not so good of a reason.
    Some terrorists hate us because their country invited us to be there to save their ass from a madman and they think the land is holy and we are infidels, Bin Laden is of this type.
    Some terrorists want to install a global totalitarian theocracy where everyone submits to the absolute will of the state lead by a select group of clerics and convert or exterminate all non believers and reverse the last thousand years of social and technological advancement. Not all of these guys are in the Taliban, some of them are jingoistic American Christians.

    There is no one solution.

  • Re:So basically (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) * on Saturday January 16, 2010 @06:32PM (#30793792)

    We're all for net neutrality, except that we hate the concept and it should be changed to reflect this.

    No kidding. They want limits on net neutrality, I want limits on their access to the Federal Government. These are the kind of people that drive the need for election reform.

  • by mR.bRiGhTsId3 ( 1196765 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @06:41PM (#30793902)
    Not entirely true. I think it depends on the terrain and the training of the militia in general. I know little about military strategy but in urban combat wouldn't both forces be reduced to mostly guys with guns running around in body armor?
  • Re:So basically (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @08:02PM (#30794612) Homepage Journal

    "We're all for net neutrality, except that we hate the concept and it should be changed to reflect this."

    How about a little fix?

    "We're all for net neutrality, so long as it can be modified to fit into the perfect police state."

"It takes all sorts of in & out-door schooling to get adapted to my kind of fooling" - R. Frost