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Piracy The Internet

Dutch Usenet Provider Ordered To Remove Infringing Content 109

dutchwhizzman writes "Amsterdam-based Usenet wholesale provider News Service Europe has been mandated by a court to remove all copyright-infringing content on their servers, or face severe financial penalties. Dutch copyright organization BREIN has won a court case making the Usenet provider responsible for the content posted on platforms other than their own. Could this be the end of Usenet as we know it, or will an appeal be won by NSE? Why didn't the judge make the provider that allowed the posts responsible? Why didn't the judge honor the 'cancel message' procedure that technically exists in the NNTP protocol?"
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Dutch Usenet Provider Ordered To Remove Infringing Content

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  • by CohibaVancouver ( 864662 ) on Friday September 30, 2011 @04:57PM (#37572016)

    Could this be the end of Usenet as we know it

    Usenet as I knew it was a bulletin board system for worldwide discussion of all kinds of subjects under the sun, from politics to auto mechanics to cigars to, of course, Star Trek - For me it was never a place to download gigabytes of binaries of Fringe episodes. To me, SPAM killed usenet, not a binaries ban.

  • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Friday September 30, 2011 @05:03PM (#37572066) Homepage
    The internet never "used to be" like that, and USENET was never full of porn and spam, either. Believe it or not, there were people online before you ever got your first AOL floppy disk delivered to your house by junk mail.
  • Re:Judges!=Techies (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuasiSteve ( 2042606 ) on Friday September 30, 2011 @05:07PM (#37572102)

    You're right, judges aren't techies.

    That means that they look at the technical arguments the defendants put forth, examine them, say "nice try", and then agree with the rebuttal that these news server admins who take membership fees for their services which exists largely as the hosting and distribution of material for which they have no implicit or explicit permission to do so, know damn well that this is how their service is used and thus that their service operates on the boundaries of the law at best.
    The boundaries were just shifted, again.

    I'm guessing they'll appeal, though.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 30, 2011 @05:08PM (#37572116)

    Usenet has issues (I don't use it anymore either), but Usenet was the best-moderated discussion forum in the history of civilization. It was moderated by your NNTP client. When will web-based forums achieve that level of perfection?

  • Near-car analogy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by airfoobar ( 1853132 ) on Friday September 30, 2011 @05:13PM (#37572162)

    Dear government. You provide the streets, therefore you are responsible for all crimes taking place on said streets. If you cannot stop all crimes on the streets you will face severe penalties.

    Therefore, I conclude that this is fucking stupid.

  • by Obfuscant ( 592200 ) on Friday September 30, 2011 @05:45PM (#37572440)
    The "cancel" doesn't exist in the NNTP protocol. NNTP is a protocol for transporting news articles, one of which may be a cancel control message as defined in USEFOR and USEPRO.

    The answer to why server admins don't honor cancel control messages is simple: they are routinely and regularly abused and honoring them would make USENET unusable.

    This decision will be the death knell for USENET. Making server admins responsible for monitoring content will get them to turn it off.

  • Re:usenet warez (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anthony Mouse ( 1927662 ) on Friday September 30, 2011 @05:50PM (#37572494)

    I am curious as to how they will determine what is and is not copyright-infringing content.

    By shutting down access to everything, obviously. There is no other possible way to do it because there is no automated way to determine who the copyright owner for a piece of text is or whether it was properly licensed.

If you want to put yourself on the map, publish your own map.