Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Piracy Media The Courts Your Rights Online

How Litigation Only Spurred On P2P File Sharing 140

littlekorea writes "The growth in peer-to-peer file sharing surged in response to efforts by the content industry to litigate over the past decade, according to a new study by a researcher at Melbourne's Monash University. Dr Rebecca Giblin explains why 'physical world' assumptions don't apply to the online world."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

How Litigation Only Spurred On P2P File Sharing

Comments Filter:
  • All in a bucket (Score:2, Interesting)

    by EEDAm ( 808004 ) on Saturday November 12, 2011 @07:44AM (#38033918)

    The article reads like an undergraduate who wants to write a shit-kicking thesis and is really oooh excited about things but has entirely failed to do anything more than throw a few disjointed ideas in a bucket. It is peppered with lines that sound good but don't stand up to a couple of seconds examination: " So once the Napster litigation made P2P programmers aware of the rules about knowledge and control, they simply coded Napster's successors to eliminate them." I mean WHAT? Programmers coded out rules of "knowledge and control"???? No, the rules of law on knowledge and control exist independently in jurisprudence. How do you "code out" something that's entirely outwith software? Nonsense.

    The author states "I would argue pre-P2P era law was based on a number of "physical world" assumptions." She goes to state that that makes sense because, well, it was pre-P2P. When you start any sentence with "I would argue that" (which is bad enough as it goes) and then point out in the next sentence that it's bleeding obvious, then it rather tends to underline you haven't made a point at all. Which is more than a small problem when you then go to make four non-points on the back of that about "the physical world" where, again, one sees no connection to the principal "argument" that litigation apparently "spurred on" file sharing. Ideas in a bucket.

    And at the heart of it, the article offers no causative argument that litigation spurred on file sharing. At best it observes that file sharing increased in the era after litigation but it falls down entirely in showing any causation rather than correlation. There are other daft arguments about the Supreme Court making laws: it doesn't, de Tocqueville et al were rather insistent it couldn't; rather its interpretation of law clarifies the law already in place, which show the author is floundering on the subject matter.

    So a number of ideas that sound like they were excitedly discussed in an undergraduate bar (and not at a terribly good college) and aren't worked through or even put into a single coherent narrative and which argues causation but offers no evidence of it.


  • by geogob ( 569250 ) on Saturday November 12, 2011 @07:47AM (#38033926)

    Just finishing reading this long page on how the file sharing litigation process is flawed, I feel little enlightened. Most of the observation presented have been discussed here over a decade ago. What's interesting though, is where these observations are coming from. Maybe someone on the legal size has finally opened his eyes.

    If that's good or bad for file shares and file sharing app creators is another story though.

  • Re:All in a bucket (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Saturday November 12, 2011 @08:10AM (#38034000) Homepage
    You forget that part of the litigation process was the advertising that they started forcing on people who bought legal copies. Who can forget the message of, you wouldn't steal a car, you wouldn't steal a handbag, you wouldn't steal a television, and of course, you wouldn't steal a movie. Hmm, but yes I must admit given the oppurtunity I would not have the slightest qualm about copying a car, copying a handbag or, copying a television and of course now where does that leave me when it comes to copying a movie []. This and other stupid anti-piracy made it far cooler to copy than to be lame and buy.

    The other big thing about the copyright litigation process, it was all pretty obvious it was a quick dirty extortion route to law, poor people where targeted for publiclity stakes and then the lawyers got greedy. The gathering of evidence was laughable, nothing beyond the most weak of circumstantial evidence was submitted, more often than not when challenged the court cases failed.

  • by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <{richardprice} {at} {}> on Saturday November 12, 2011 @08:36AM (#38034074)

    I don't see what your reply has to do with my post - the OPs point was "well, if they are against X, then why arent they equally against Y?" when X and Y differ hugely in the effort required to do the same "damage". Someone lending over sneakernet is going to have to work pretty damn hard to lend to the same number of people that one person spending 5 minutes uploading to isohunt can end up distributing to over the internet.

    Thats why X is more rigorously persued than Y.

  • Weaponised Internet (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Phoenix666 ( 184391 ) on Saturday November 12, 2011 @08:53AM (#38034120)

    It makes me think about recent events with the Arab Spring's use of technology, Anonymous, and Wikileaks. Are the little people (us) in essence weaponizing the internet against the powers-that-be? Ad-hoc mesh networks might be a fall-back when the powers-that-be realize that and try to switch it off.

    But especially with regard to Wikileaks. They say they've been stymied by the financial blockade of the big banks. So I wonder if there is any work being done on how to route around the financial blockade, since it seems to be the only thing that has remotely stopped the efforts of the little people against the powers-that-be.

  • by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Saturday November 12, 2011 @10:25AM (#38034444) Homepage Journal

    Uhhhh - what exactly does it matter if tens of thousands get their copies in a few hours, or if it takes ten or twelve days? The end result is precisely the same - everyone who really wants a copy will get one.

    Oh - you may object that "Well, SOME people won't want a copy badly enough to put the wear on their sneakers! P2P actually ENCOURAGES people to make copies." And, I would say "Bullshit!" My wife and sisters had extensive libraries before any of them had access to internet. One would rent a movie, and make two, six, or twelve copies, depending on who they thought the movie would appeal to. I'm not sure that I could load out a tractor trailer with all their stuff, but I could most certainly load two smaller local delivery trucks. Shelves and shelves, loaded with old VCR movies.

    In short - the time involved makes no difference at all. If anything, the internet has saved me from further inundation by VCR, CD, and DVD recordings. Now, everything is stored on hard drive! Imagine that - entire libraries, stored on a hard drive! I love it!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 12, 2011 @02:30PM (#38035858)

    > GTFO. Everyone is looking to maximize profit for their product. Everyone. Here's the bottom line: Music is created, the details don't matter. Music is for sale at a set price. If you want it, you pay that price. If you don't want it, you don't.

    You may be trolling (and badly, unless it's intentional) -- but since you pose a so caricate face of a (evil) distributor, I feel better.

    Anyone is entitled to an opinion, yours matches that of what I called a distributor. Mine matches one of a composer. When I do things, I want everyone to see it, even though not everyone will like it (like my posts, for instance).

    You (and other simplistic minded distributors) resemble that Chinese emperor in the old Andersen fable about a nightingale. I hope you meet a similar happy fate.

  • Re:RTFA (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 12, 2011 @09:16PM (#38038260)

    Interestingly, there are examples where something similar happens in the real world...

    Prohibition tends to fail for a similar reason...

    Alcohol prohibition only increased organized crime. The "war on drugs" has done much the same, with the social problems being swept under the rug because, OMG DRUGZ!

    and one of my favorites:

    If you criminalize gun ownership, then only criminals will have guns. I'm not looking forward to living my life in fear of criminals - I'd rather be able to defend myself, thank you very much.

IN MY OPINION anyone interested in improving himself should not rule out becoming pure energy. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.