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Piracy The Courts The Internet United States

US Pirate Movie Site DNS Seizure Fail 343

An anonymous reader writes "Last week, the US government in a highly publicized copyright protection frenzy took the extraordinary step of seizing domain names from foreign movie sites like NinjaVideo.net and TVshack.net. While the seizure raises confusing Internet legal / jurisdiction questions (the US and perhaps the state of Kentucky can seize domain names for foreign companies?), this study shows the legal issues may be moot — the raids mostly failed. Within hours of domain name seizure, tvshack.cc was back up and running (but this time using a Chinese registrar and a Cocos Islands ccTLD)."
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US Pirate Movie Site DNS Seizure Fail

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  • Striesand Effect (Score:5, Interesting)

    by snarfies ( 115214 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @01:53PM (#32814038) Homepage

    NinjaVideo.net and TVshack.net? Never heard of either one - UNTIL NOW. I hope one of them has Blake's 7, haven't seen that since I was a kid.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @01:54PM (#32814070)

    Actually, instead of filtering maybe China should start just taking down the sites they don't like.

    It's difficult for countries outside of the US to affect the DNS resolution since, iirc, nearly all of the core DNS/TLD resolving servers are in the US and the US can just change the target of the domain.

  • Somewhat reasonable (Score:5, Interesting)

    by iYk6 ( 1425255 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @01:57PM (#32814128)

    What gives US the right to seize domains of companies based in other countries and force their laws, views and things like ACTA and banning of internet casinos to citizens of other countries?

    It's simple really. .net is a TLD owned by the USA. I don't agree with their views, but their methods are somewhat reasonable. If you get a .net domain, you play by USA rules, if you get a .cn domain, you play by China's rules, and if you get a .ru domain, you play by Russia's rules. TVShack didn't play well with the USA, the USA kicked them out, and now TVShack has shacked up with Cocos Island.

    Personally, I wouldn't mind if all domain names had less strict rules, but that just isn't how it is.

  • by Haffner ( 1349071 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @02:02PM (#32814214)
    The execution of the majority of government policy is left to unelected bureacrats.
  • by mcrbids ( 148650 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @02:03PM (#32814220) Journal

    "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."
    - Princess Leia to Grand Moff Tarkin

    The United States would do well to understand what this means. We can benefit immensely by being the "central hub" of the Internet but we are pissing this historical advantage away at a frightening pace by not living up to our ideals with respect to "freedom of speech". The Patriot Act did wonders to ensure that we couldn't host data for other countries; and now this retarded "kill switch" idea will do the same for our ability to broker connections.

    There really should be an actual litmus test so that people in charge of sectors of our economy have some clue how that sector works. Unfortunately for us, the world doesn't work that way.

  • Strange (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kupfernigk ( 1190345 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @02:41PM (#32814820)
    For me, it opened up a Chrome process which, according to top, was using 19Mbytes. System Monitor shows no unusual activity and no unexpected network traffic. Nothing interesting happened at all. Am I missing something?
  • the internet is also the invention of the usa, but the usa has wisely sought to internationalize the governing body for sake of fairness. one would think this internationalization should also apply to the iconic domains: .com, net, org, etc

    of course, such internationalization doesn't apply legally, just as you say, just as i know

    but it SHOULD

    examine the pluses and minuses, see for yourself

  • by Uniquitous ( 1037394 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:34PM (#32815790)
    In case you missed it, the US is not 'other countries.' Just as every other country has its own weird fucked-upedness, so too do we.
  • by efalk ( 935211 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:43PM (#32815962)

    Don't register or host your domain in the U.S. if it's the least bit controversial. It's just too easy for a plaintiff or government agency to seize it. One of the worst examples was a Spanish travel agency that handled trips to Cuba and which was foolish enough to register their domain name in the U.S. See NYTimes article A Wave of the Watch List, and Speech Disappears [nytimes.com]

    See http://thespamdiaries.blogspot.com/2010/02/dont-register-or-host-your-domain-in-us.html [blogspot.com] for more on this topic.

  • by BenEnglishAtHome ( 449670 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:47PM (#32816036)

    Don' you in the US have some laws that prevent your authorities from randomly seizing property?

    Theoretically, yes.

    Practically, no.

    Actually, in a previous career I seized quite a bit of property. The bar to get over, depending on the particular laws in play and the agency you work for, is usually pretty darn low.

  • It's for this reason I think everyone should get two votes. One positive, and one negative. Since all the Republicans would vote *against* the Democrats, and vice versa, you'd get a real chance at having a third party in power.

    Of course, that would never fly past the current congress to get to a point of Amendment...
  • by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @07:57PM (#32819570)

    In this case, they registered and hosted their domain outside the US, but the seizure took place at the global internet registry.

    In other words, the US government pushed the big red button they've always had.

    However, pushing the big red button will have long term consequences. It means that the internet community outside the US can no longer trust the US government to not attempt to impose US laws on citizens of other countries, and use US laws to take down foreign sites..

    And thus that trust has been significantly misplaced.

    Within a year or so, there will probably be some serious demands to remove the root zone and DNS infrastructure from the US, and place it in the hands of (God knows who).

  • by jackbird ( 721605 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @08:03PM (#32819630)
    Other countries have parliamentary systems where minor parties are able to win a handful of seats in a national election, then hold a majority party hostage to form a coalition government.

    In the US, the executive is not answerable to "votes of no confidence" by congress, being (more or less) directly elected for a clearly-defined term of office, so coalitions aren't necessary. We also vote for individual seats instead of parties, and every seat is tied to a geographical region, so unless there's a 3rd-party majority enclave (that has escaped being redistricted out of existence), it is more or less impossible for a third party candidate to hold office at the national level.

    So, to review: In parliamentary systems, third parties play a pivotal, undemocratic role in forming governments and determining government policy; while in the US system, lobbyists and assorted strange constituencies in early primary states play a pivotal, undemocratic role in forming governments and determining government policy.
  • by NewtonsLaw ( 409638 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @09:29PM (#32820516)

    What's needed is a change of political system. Simply swapping "The Fire Party" for "The Frying-pan Party" at regular intervals does nothing for the quality of government.

    Now that we're in the 21st century, we have the technology we need to implement a far more finely graduated democracy than the one we currently have.

    In my country (New Zealand) we run a version of the Westminster system but it's still basically a representative democracy (so they say).

    What I've proposed is an alteration to that system called Recoverable Proxy [aardvark.co.nz].

    It still operates on a representative basis where you have an elected member to do your bidding in the halls of government. However, makes it very clear that those representatives are effectively exercising your proxy when they vote on bills before the parliament/Senate/whatever. Recoverable Proxy operates by allowing *you*, the voter, to recover your proxy if and when you choose to, so that the public may effectively veto the excesses of their government when/if it becomes necessary.

    99% of the time, the existing government structure and operation will continue as normal (this isn't a government by referendum like the Swiss system). The only time you'll see any significant percentage of the population recovering their proxy and exercising it themselves is when an issue of great public debate is before the house.

    What do you think?

    Is it time to reinvent the system rather than simply have a couple of dullards play musical chairs every 4 years?

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