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Censorship Government The Internet

Copyright Demands Push Largest European Usenet Provider Permanently Offline 199

First time accepted submitter jonathan1979 writes "Dutch anti-piracy authority BREIN has caused the largest European usenet provider, News-Service.com, to immediately terminate its services as they felt they could not live up to the court order served earlier."
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Copyright Demands Push Largest European Usenet Provider Permanently Offline

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  • power (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nembi ( 1362389 ) on Sunday November 06, 2011 @09:32AM (#37964732)
    It always surprises me how much power Brein has. Brein isn't mandated by anyone. It's not "the" authority, it's a self proclaimed authority. They don't work for the government, it's a foundation.
  • Re:power (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Stellian ( 673475 ) on Sunday November 06, 2011 @09:40AM (#37964754)

    They are founded by right-holders and have an arsenal of favorable laws. No surprise they can get results.

  • Re:Well done (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rudy_wayne ( 414635 ) on Sunday November 06, 2011 @09:51AM (#37964798)

    Let's admit it, nowadays Usenet is just another warez distribution network.

    Except for a few diehard nerds everyone switched to online forums long ago.

    Usenet has always been a Warez distribution network. Now however, it's 99% viruses disguised as warez.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 06, 2011 @09:55AM (#37964816)

    If USENET were what it used to be, I would be sad about this. But it's just a scheme for companies like this to charge access to pirated goods while claiming that the responsibility lies elsewhere. If people still had useful discussions, I would feel differently but all that's left is the pirated materials.

  • Re:power (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rtfa-troll ( 1340807 ) on Sunday November 06, 2011 @09:59AM (#37964842)

    This power is not coming from Brein themselves. This is based on a court decision. Simply put they have managed to persuade the court that the law is on their side and the law and copyright legislation is providing the power needed.

    This is obviously an extreme restraint on freedom of speech. The Usenet data is widely and simply available. There is no way to provide an open communication service whilst guaranteeing that nobody using it puts up copyrighted material. On the other hand there are simple technical measures that BREIN could take, such as providing cancels for all of the posts that they claim copyright over and there are simple legal measures they could take to make using those measures reasonable such as guaranteeing to take over the legal liability of the Usenet providers for any mistakes BREIN make (including libel compensation for anyone who's post they incorrectly cancel). The only reason BREIN doesn't want to do this is that they do not want to take on the costs which their demands would cause. The law should tell the court to tell them to stuff off.

    The only solution to this is political. Even if the appeal succeeds the very fact that this judgement could happen at all is going to chill free speech. I hope nobody from the Netherlands will be posting here complaining if they haven't already at least sent a message to their Members of Parliament.

  • Re:power (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nepka ( 2501324 ) on Sunday November 06, 2011 @10:06AM (#37964876)
    It's not a free speech matter. Just take a look at Binverse [binverse.com] and Usenext [usenext.com] sites. All they do is advertise download speeds, binaries, "user uploaded content" and blazing fast downloads. It's clear to everyone what files those are and what users will be looking for. Sadly, that is the state of Usenet now. It's just warez. You would had have a good point in the 90's, but now it's just a scheme from Usenet companies to profit from such material. They know that without warez they would not have subscribers.
  • Re:power (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hentes ( 2461350 ) on Sunday November 06, 2011 @10:12AM (#37964908)

    If they prosecuted the ones uploading the content, thus committing the crime, you would be right. But holding storage/service providers liable is an attack against free communication.

  • Re:power (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Sunday November 06, 2011 @10:48AM (#37965050)
    There is no difference between text and binaries to usenet - binaries are just yencoded as text. It's only a convention that binaries be posted in the alt.binaries groups. If those groups were closed down, you'd see binaries appear in the discussion groups.
  • by tgd ( 2822 ) on Sunday November 06, 2011 @10:49AM (#37965054)

    In the US, the BSA is the same way ... its a pseudo-legal extortion outfit.

    Of course, that's the norm in the US for a lot of organizations. The "Better Business Bureau" is another classic example. Commercial extortion was an area Yelp was trying to get into for a long time, too.

  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Sunday November 06, 2011 @10:53AM (#37965078)
    They work only if you can get enough customers to join in to have a serious impact. Despite the constant claims of hollywood that internet piracy is killing their industry, they are still churning out a series of blockbusters every year that rake in the cash with ease.
  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Sunday November 06, 2011 @10:59AM (#37965100) Journal

    No they don't and here is why: You manage to get enough people to boycott (not easy since their goals are now the complete control of the channels so you can't hear or see anything but pre-packaged crap) to seriously hurt their bottom line and what will happen?

    They will blame their losses on piracy, walk into the halls of power with a nice PPT that shows conclusively that "If we made X that year than logically we should have made X+Y by now so it HAS to be the pirates!" and then after handing out the customary bribes they WILL get ever more draconian laws and copyright extensions!

    You see this is like "too big to fail' which is "heads I win, tails you lose" as they have long since figured out how to game the system so ANY action results in increased power and profits for them! Hell if you were to cause enough damage they'd just have a "piracy tax" added to every single HDD, flash drive, anything that can hold a scrap of data, and pick the money straight out of your pockets!

    You have to give them credit, its a great scam. there is literally not a single answer you can give that won't give them more money and power! You copy their content you're a pirate, you don't copy but don't buy you're a pirate, you don't copy and DO buy you're not giving them the year over year gains their PPT says they should be so you must be a pirate! It is like xkcd [xkcd.com] only every road leads to " we get more money and/or power" for the megacorps. like I said, pretty slick scam.

  • Re:power (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 06, 2011 @11:31AM (#37965322)

    1) The word is "Halal". I don't know where you got this "Hal-ah" shit, but it behooves you to at least know the word for what you're talking about before you start mouthing off.

    2) Animal rights > Your right to buy what you misguidedly believe is "extremely high quality". The end.

    How the fuck did this ever get modded up to +2?

  • by turbidostato ( 878842 ) on Sunday November 06, 2011 @11:53AM (#37965494)

    "Technology has moved on, and Usenet is an anachronism."

    So, please, can you explain to me what's the better technology that arose that made NNTP an anachronism? Because I honestly say I don't know the current technology that is better than NNTP doing its stuff on technical grounds.

  • by marcello_dl ( 667940 ) on Sunday November 06, 2011 @11:53AM (#37965500) Homepage Journal

    > Technology has moved on, and Usenet is an anachronism.

    As a distributed content provider subdivided by categories, usenet was better than most centralized systems we have today. It doesn't matter if they are implemented in the cloud: if fb throws you out, who cares how many redundant servers they have.

    Usenet did leave people with too much freedom, so alternatives who removed such control creeped in. Now we are at the stage of megaupload and company that is replacing bittorrent that is replacing p2p. See an involution? You become the dumb terminal again.

  • by dkf ( 304284 ) <donal.k.fellows@manchester.ac.uk> on Sunday November 06, 2011 @12:21PM (#37965682) Homepage

    If people still had useful discussions, I would feel differently but all that's left is the pirated materials.

    You were subscribed to the wrong groups. There are still useful ones out there, with ordinary discussions happening just as they used to a decade or more ago.

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.