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Is this a new law?
February 24, 2013 2:08 PM   Subscribe

New anti-piracy system will hit U.S. Internet users next week. And here's a primer on the Copyright Alerts System (CAS) or six strikes system, also from the Daily Dot.
posted by subdee (173 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite

 
Previously.
posted by subdee at 2:10 PM on February 24, 2013


By "next week", I assume it means "starting tomorrow", since the article was published last Friday.
posted by ardgedee at 2:14 PM on February 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yeah, on Monday the 25th. Last day to download the internet!
posted by subdee at 2:30 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, this sucks.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 2:31 PM on February 24, 2013


Nope. This whole operation is a private agreement, created and controlled by the corporations involved.
at least the state had to pretend to give a fuck about us
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:32 PM on February 24, 2013 [8 favorites]


Anyone know if they're targeting private trackers this time around? Seriously considering a VPN...
posted by troll at 2:32 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


::quietly closes uTorrent, whistles::
posted by Harry Potter and the Puppet of Sock at 2:34 PM on February 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


And the winner of the "exercise in futility of the century" goes to...

What's this going to do? Oh no the dirty pirate's BT box now has a permanent VPN link to an ISP in Whogivesashitaboutcopyrightstan.

8.6% of the people United States have a Netflix streaming sub which ends up to being somewhere in the region of one quarter of American homes. Maybe if people could subscribe to HBO Go without the cable sub they wouldn't pirate Homeland. Put content online in a timely manner, accessible where they want it and at a fair price and people beat down your doors to give you money. If you want to fight a losing war on keeping jealous husband levels of control on your content and seek as much rent as possible (I'm looking at you Sony Pictures) don't be surprised if consumers find ways to get around it and cut you out of loop at the same time.
posted by Talez at 2:35 PM on February 24, 2013 [65 favorites]


To be honest, at this point I just want redbox to do TV as well. It's easier than the internet.
posted by srboisvert at 2:42 PM on February 24, 2013


Oh and for those who are curious, this was the runner up in the Exercise in Futility awards. Spending NZ$250,000 to get a NZ$616.57 verdict is just about as retarded as the content industry gets.
posted by Talez at 2:42 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


What with seedboxes, VPNs, IP address spoofing etc., this is going to be a hot mess - the people who are most vulnerable are going to be the very ones who have the least technological awareness. Already we've seen fax machines being sued and random grandmas who never step outside of the beautiful walls of AOL. "Your" IP address appears somewhere and you had fuck-all to do with it, but now you're caught up in a kafkaesque system, and have no real tools to defend yourself. Meanwhile, the actual pirates are pirating merrily unmolested by these clumsy broadsides.
posted by VikingSword at 2:52 PM on February 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


Note that all five companies—AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon—are involved in some aspect of content ownership or delivery (e.g., cable television, on-demand, etc). A company that operated solely as an ISP would have no incentive to enact this kind of system. But in most of the U.S. there are no broadband ISPs of this nature, because the big five maintain effective monopolies.
posted by dephlogisticated at 2:52 PM on February 24, 2013 [12 favorites]


And the seedbox providers rejoice! I wonder how much money OVH makes off of BitTorrent these days.
posted by burnmp3s at 2:53 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


The weird part of six strikes is this:

After six strikes--what happens? Well, kinda nothing. The fifth & sixth strike is to slow down your Internet for 48 hours or block access to certain sites. But those measures are temporary. After that, they consider you beyond help, and then ... Well, and then nothing. I mean, there's a risk that you might get sued by the content owner, but that risk has always been there. The ISPs and the folks at the center for copyright information (who developed this initiative) really think of this as educational, and not much more. Also--it doesnt affect folks who watch content on streaming sites. It seems like it was expressly designed to be ineffective. I guess my hope is that it will delay SOPA-like laws from coming down the pipe.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 2:56 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


1. This is (partly) why I use a VPN.

and

2. Cox Cable isn't participating? Yippee, I guess. (Being a marketing guy, if I ran Cox I would promote the shit out of that fact, BTW.)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 2:58 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


The point is just to be as Big Brotherish, we-know-what-you-are-doing-with-our-broadband as possible, I think.
posted by subdee at 3:00 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


So is this cooperation pretty much the ISPs doing what they can to add revenue? Their equivalent to the cruft that comes installed on a new laptop or whatever the hell cnet is bundling with their downloads these days?
posted by ODiV at 3:01 PM on February 24, 2013


Maybe if people could subscribe to HBO Go without the cable sub they wouldn't pirate Homeland.

Except Homeland is on Showtime.
posted by birdherder at 3:04 PM on February 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


Time to start a VPN business.
posted by jaduncan at 3:07 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Welp, my RCN internet has been particularly shitty lately and I was considering a move to Comcast, but I guess that's a bad idea. The industry smooth-jazz video is frankly frightening. The smooth-jazz only makes it scarier.
posted by maryr at 3:07 PM on February 24, 2013


Except Homeland is on Showtime.

Same shit, different smell. At least AMC has had the good sense to sign with Netflix.
posted by Talez at 3:22 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wonder how this will play out in the courts after the first few incorrect hits pop up. Like for instance if people get "warned" for torrenting open programs etc.
posted by rebent at 3:25 PM on February 24, 2013


I've said this many times, but it bears repeating. There are two basic facts that everyone must, must realize are true:

1. All First Worlders, pretty much, have machines that are extraordinarily powerful copiers of bits. Even a 'slow' machine can precisely duplicate gigs and gigs of data in just a few minutes; a fast one can do it in seconds.
2. These machines are cheap, and designed to be easy to run. Once purchased, they cost almost nothing to use.

These are simple facts, but they change everything about the old markets. In a world where these things are true, the single business model Least Likely To Succeed would have to be charging people super-premium prices to make copies of bits. This service has very little value, but they want to charge like it's something really special and rare and unusual.

In the 20th century, they were charging for something that had value, and then using the profits from that act to fund the rest of the creative process. They fundamentally existed to sell plastic disks, and funding movies and paying artists were operational costs to move more disks. Disks were so wildly profitable that they got very, very fat doing this. But now that copies cost nothing, they want to keep the old model, charging super-premium prices for making a copy of bits, and then using those profits to fund the rest of their operations. They are demonstrably willing to enforce this business model at gunpoint.

All you have to do is actually look at the world, and you can see that this is a doomed endeavor. It is not going to work. It's like trying to charge everyone $50 a day for cleaning their teeth, in a world where toothbrushes cost fifty cents and last a month or two. There's no reason to pay someone that much to brush your teeth. Likewise, there's no reason to pay someone $25 to make a copy of something for you.

If they can get the service cheap enough, they can still make at least some money. If you could walk into your bathroom, smile, and instantly have your teeth as clean as if you'd brushed them, that'd probably be worth a few bucks a month, right? Likewise, they can still profit by copying bits. But they can't keep themselves in the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed. It's not going to be Fat City anymore.

Sucks for them, but trying to enforce that obsolete model at gunpoint is going to do far more damage to the economy, and to very real people in very normal lives, than any possible benefit that could accrue.

Media companies don't like the Internet, and they're trying to break it. If all of Hollywood were to evaporate tomorrow, this would be a very small price to pay to keep the Internet working normally. The Net is much more important than all the media companies combined. And we need to get that hammered into, not just our heads, but the heads of our politicians.
posted by Malor at 3:26 PM on February 24, 2013 [175 favorites]


usenet usenet bo busenet banana fana fo fusenet fee fi mo musenet
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:28 PM on February 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


Set up BTGuard for $6.95/month and then never think about it again.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:30 PM on February 24, 2013 [8 favorites]


Yep. I heart private trackers and the BT proxy from my VPN service. Considering Usenet, but this is working fine for me for now.
posted by supercres at 3:31 PM on February 24, 2013


Same shit, different smell. At least AMC has had the good sense to sign with Netflix.

Yeah, clearly HBO has no idea what they are doing. That's why they're an absolute failure, all their shows are crappy, and they lose money hand over fist.
posted by Justinian at 3:44 PM on February 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


Annnnd yet another reason to stick with my ISP. Thanks RCN, for not sucking.
posted by Skwirl at 3:45 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


To be honest, at this point I just want redbox to do TV as well.

Netflix Disk service does TV very well. I'm currently rewatching Wolf Lake and once the rush has passed will see the last season of Weeds. I'd much rather wait and Netflix the DVD's than watch a series in real time, even if I had cable TV for the HBO and Showtime series.

Oh, and this looks like yet another reason for me to shitcan Verizon and move to T-Mobile.
posted by localroger at 3:46 PM on February 24, 2013


Hey, I have cable so I get Sci-Fi channel (I refuse to call it Syfy). Sci-Fi broadcasts a couple of Canadian shows in the USA but they are edited. Would I get busted for downloading the unedited versions even though I have a legal subscription to a network which broadcasts the shows? I'm guessing "yes"?
posted by Justinian at 3:48 PM on February 24, 2013


Is Frontier doing this, too? I'm on Comcast now, but back when Verizon still owned the phone system in this area they wired this entire area with fiber. Then it all got sold to Frontier.

If Comcast starts giving me grief, is Frontier an alternative?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:48 PM on February 24, 2013


So does this mean that using PeerBlock isn't enough to keep you out of trouble? I'm asking for a friend who is much dumber and has lesser morals than myself.
posted by nestor_makhno at 3:55 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


If in can strike out, I want to also be able to hit a home run.
posted by humanfont at 3:58 PM on February 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


So does this mean that using PeerBlock isn't enough to keep you out of trouble? I'm asking for a friend who is much dumber and has lesser morals than myself.

Your friend would be well advised to get a VPN account, especially considering that it has the nice additional bonus of securing your communications from dodgy cafe wifi providers and the like. If you don't trust your ISP, get a VPN.

The nexus between ISP and parent company/media conglomerate interests is left as an exercise for the reader.
posted by jaduncan at 3:59 PM on February 24, 2013


Set up BTGuard for $6.95/month and then never think about it again.

How would this compare to a VPN?
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 4:03 PM on February 24, 2013


Yeah, clearly HBO has no idea what they are doing. That's why they're an absolute failure, all their shows are crappy, and they lose money hand over fist.

Inertia lets you do stupid things without much consequence at times. If they want to piss away an ever increasing slice of the content markets because dealing with cable companies is hard that's their prerogative. Doesn't make it any less short sighted and silly.
posted by Talez at 4:06 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


The nexus between ISP and parent company/media conglomerate interests is left as an exercise for the reader.

Yes, they have a financial interest here. But that doesn't make them wrong to want to actually enforce the law, does it? The dude running the 7-11 has a financial interest when he puts locks on the doors at night, it doesn't make him some sort of thuggish hypocrite.
posted by Justinian at 4:07 PM on February 24, 2013


Perhaps "enforce the law" is the wrong terminology in my comment. They're not chucking anyone in jail, after all.
posted by Justinian at 4:07 PM on February 24, 2013


Your friend would be well advised to get a VPN account, especially considering that it has the nice additional bonus of securing your communications from dodgy cafe wifi providers and the like. If you don't trust your ISP, get a VPN.

Just remember, not all VPN providers are created equal. If you reside in the U.S., you should not use any provider that's based in the U.S.. You have to pick carefully - what info does the provider retain and for how long and so on. Ask yourself this question - what happens when the VPN is given a court order to reveal all the info on your account? The less info they have access to, the better. Having a VPN from some providers is like having no VPN at all.
posted by VikingSword at 4:08 PM on February 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


usenet usenet bo busenet banana fana fo fusenet fee fi mo musenet

Are... are files still UUENCODED? I'm trying to imagine how long a uuencoded HD movie would be!
posted by Justinian at 4:13 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Do VPNs slow down your internet speed? Because mine is already too damn slow.
posted by nooneyouknow at 4:14 PM on February 24, 2013


Just remember, not all VPN providers are created equal. If you reside in the U.S., you should not use any provider that's based in the U.S.. You have to pick carefully - what info does the provider retain and for how long and so on. Ask yourself this question - what happens when the VPN is given a court order to reveal all the info on your account? The less info they have access to, the better. Having a VPN from some providers is like having no VPN at all.

Which VPN Service Providers Really Take Anonymity Seriously?
- "Last month it became apparent that not all VPN providers live up to their marketing after an alleged member of Lulzsec was tracked down after using a supposedly anonymous service from HideMyAss. We wanted to know which VPN providers take privacy extremely seriously so we asked many of the leading providers two very straightforward questions. Their responses will be of interest to anyone concerned with anonymity issues."
posted by nooneyouknow at 4:16 PM on February 24, 2013 [52 favorites]


Yes, they have a financial interest here. But that doesn't make them wrong to want to actually enforce the law, does it? The dude running the 7-11 has a financial interest when he puts locks on the doors at night, it doesn't make him some sort of thuggish hypocrite.

No...but it's probably not a good idea to let him get involved in home brewing detection in cooperation with the major commercial breweries. It's not like lawyers aren't accustomed to issues around conflict of interest.

As you say, it's also not a matter of enforcing the law. It's a voluntary agreement between large media companies and the ISPs they largely control, with very minimal protections for customers of those ISPs. I trust the rule of law a lot more than the rule of automated corporate bots.
posted by jaduncan at 4:22 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


HBO very much wants to offer online only subscriptions, but their deals with the cable companies complicate it. They better get it worked out though, because they are dead center in the Netflix crosshairs. Game of Thrones is my favorite TV show, but House of Cards was fantastic as well. If my budget was pressed, I would be going with Netflix.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:23 PM on February 24, 2013


I'm sure HBO will offer online subscriptions as soon as it makes financial sense for them to do it. I liked House of Cards too but find Netflix Streaming extremely sub-par otherwise. I know it's partly because the studios are screwing them by not allowing them to stream a lot of things but the reason matters less than the effect; their selection for streaming is extremely limited and doesn't seem to improve much over time.

The stuff in the "new releases" section has barely changed in 3 months. It's terrible.
posted by Justinian at 4:34 PM on February 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


There is an astounding wealth of content streaming on Netflix. They are held up by the studios, but there is still more there than you will find on any other non-pirate site.

Forget new releases for a second and consider the classic movies available. They justify the subscription price on their own.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:40 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well, yeah, if you don't care about new movies it's a good choice. But for new movies it's awful.
posted by Justinian at 4:43 PM on February 24, 2013


Disney films also completely absent, IIRC. I can't check as I canceled my Netflix after I'd watched all their non-breast-centric anime.
posted by maryr at 4:55 PM on February 24, 2013


I'd imagine that Netflix can purchase the streaming rights to a hundred older or obscure films for the money a single recent blockbuster costs them. Luckily, that aligns pretty well with my interests. I'd love to see the Netflix library expand (particularly with more Showtime content, or any HBO content), but compared to the high cost and vapid content of cable, I consider it a far better deal.

They just recently started adding Disney films, though in limited numbers.
posted by dephlogisticated at 4:57 PM on February 24, 2013


I know it's tangential, but the problem with netflix is that when they changed their interface for the worse a year and a half ago, they didn't respond to the outcry. One really needs to use a site like Instantwatcher to use it properly, because you can't sort by ratings on Netflix like you used to be able to. Also Netflix does a terrible job in letting you know when they are losing their rights to stream something. (For instance, I'm a little pissed that Trailer Park Boys is expiring next week, and I had to find out through the internets, not from Netflix noticing that we were watching it a few times per week.) I don't think that having one ok show is going to usurp HBO from it's throne.

As to the 'six strikes' thing though, that $35 arbitration fee is just absurd. It's going to bilk a lot of innocent people out of a lot of money, and paying it is still not a guarantee they won't unthrottle your bandwidth.
posted by Catblack at 5:03 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I guess my hope is that it will delay SOPA-like laws from coming down the pipe.

Eh, it won't for long. Once the stats are published on how many people run afoul of the new system (supposedly six months from now) the industry will multiply this number by an excessively ludicrous amount and run crying back to Congress with a fistful of donations.

Still, people are choosing to connect their local networks to an ISP in Romania rather than provoke what is essentially a cartel. Not a positive development.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:06 PM on February 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't torrent or pirate any more since I don't have the Internet connection in my name, and the last time I was the signatory on a Verizon bill for a shared household someone decided to download Inception on Bit Torrent and Verizon sent the warning letter to me. I went to free legal council at the University, and they explained that I had pretty much no legal recourse if they decided to take legal action.

Anyway, in my experiment with no longer pirating, I still don't pay directly for movies. I get stuff at the library, on Netflix, or through my Amazon prime account. Sometimes I'll watch a stream of a terrible B movie that somebody has set up.
posted by codacorolla at 5:07 PM on February 24, 2013


Netflix and Amazon are perfectly legitimate ways of paying for movies.
posted by Justinian at 5:11 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Current Disney Movies on Netflix:
Dumbo
Alice in Wonderland
The Aristocats
The Rescuers
The Nightmare Before Christmas
The Fox and the Hound
The Great Mouse Detective
The Rescuers Down Under
Pocahontas
Treasure Planet
James and the Giant Peach
About 50 Air Bud sequels
The weirdly compelling CG Tinkerbell Cartoons
The Phineas and Ferb Movie, which is so great
Pocahontas 2

&c.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:18 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Netflix should maybe cut deals for "best of" addon packages for the major cable networks shows, if the holdup is pricing. I pay DirecTV for a few different addon packages, including HBO. But companies like HBO don't need that suggested to them--HBOgo suggests that if anything HBO would just start selling directly to subscribers. My guess is that the their distribution deals with the cable and satellite companies place some severe limitations on other channels, especially for "this season's" content. With movies, its harder to understand why more new releases don't show up more or sooner. Again, maybe Netflix needs a special "blockbuster advance streaming release" tier or something.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:18 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


In other news: Dead Megaupload Still Has Millions of Visitors
posted by homunculus at 5:19 PM on February 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Won't this also make it impossible to run public WiFi access points in the US (as they don't get exemptions), with the profitable side-effect of compelling more Americans to buy (personally traceable, Six Strikes-compliant) 3G dongles/access points (and tourists to rent them)?

For the telcos, this law seems to be made of win.
posted by acb at 5:28 PM on February 24, 2013


I've long considered Cox to be the 'least evil' of the big ISPs/cable providers. It would take a lot for me to abandon them at this point given that our alternatives are Verizon and Comcast here.

A good publicity campaign could kill these providers and their weaker feeder channels, and this might be something we need.
posted by Fuka at 5:35 PM on February 24, 2013


HBO is owned by Time Warner.
posted by drezdn at 5:52 PM on February 24, 2013


Are... are files still UUENCODED? I'm trying to imagine how long a uuencoded HD movie would be!

No, they use yEnc, which only has 1-2% overhead.
posted by zsazsa at 5:53 PM on February 24, 2013


It still seems crazy to me that the cable and ISP wings of the big telcos haven't been broken up yet on antitrust grounds. I mean, I know why. But still.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 5:54 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


maryr: You (and everybody else) can see what Netflix has available for streaming at instantwatcher.com.
posted by zsazsa at 5:58 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Would I get busted for downloading the unedited versions even though I have a legal subscription to a network which broadcasts the shows? I'm guessing "yes"?

You guessed right.

It still seems crazy to me that the cable and ISP wings of the big telcos haven't been broken up yet on antitrust grounds.

Yeah, we need another action like the one that broke up the studio system.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:00 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Would I get busted for downloading the unedited versions even though I have a legal subscription to a network which broadcasts the shows? I'm guessing "yes"?

Are you breaking the spirit of the law? No.

Are you technically breaking the law? Yes.

Will you be caught? Almost certainly not.
posted by VTX at 6:16 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


People that pirate media do an amazing amount of work and jump though a lot of hoops to get "free" stuff. I’m far too lazy and frankly don’t care enough about any movie or TV show to work that hard.
posted by bongo_x at 6:17 PM on February 24, 2013


If that's true, you're doing it wrong. I have movies that I own that, rather than rip to play on my HTPC, I find it easier to download.
posted by VTX at 6:20 PM on February 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


But in most of the U.S. there are no broadband ISPs of this nature, because the big five maintain effective monopolies.

Happily, my fairly large ISP doesn't seem to be affected by this at all. It's not small, serving multiple states, but it's very much a 'march to the beat of its own drummer' kind of company (there are no customer contracts, they just last-miled fiber to everyone's homes making them the source of the biggest and densest chunk of fiber on the National Broadband Map, their prices aren't outrageous for that fiber, etc.). The whole experience is like night and day in comparison to past experiences with Time Warner, AT&T, et al.

I sincerely wish that the rest of the US could experience an ISP that is a) smaller than nation-wide and therefore cares about individual customers more and b) isn't tied up with providing content as well as access. My first ISP back in the dial-up days was my local newspaper and it was awesome. Unfortunately, that wish seems like kind of a pipe dream at this point.
posted by librarylis at 6:24 PM on February 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


If you're wondering how much the content companies care about censorship, look no further than why the visual effects winners' speech was cut off.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:36 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


People that pirate media do an amazing amount of work and jump though a lot of hoops to get "free" stuff. I’m far too lazy and frankly don’t care enough about any movie or TV show to work that hard.

If you have a good tracker then it's pretty easy. Getting a good tracker might be a bit of work, but at the same time if you're involved in any online community it's probably only a few jumps away in your social network to get an in if you want to do a minimal amount of legwork.
posted by codacorolla at 6:37 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


They seemed pretty clear that the focus would (solely?) be on blockbuster movies and big-unit albums... So, if somebody I knew was acquiring Season 1 of Hellfjord they could probably feel okay finishing that up tomorrow, I bet...
posted by J0 at 6:43 PM on February 24, 2013


So if a guy, say, downloads a YouTube video of an event which some other person has posted, is the guy going to get dinged for this? Like for say programming which isn't offered in a given hemisphere, and which requires a proxy and/or a pirate feed to watch in realtime (a.k.a. the middle of the night) to begin with?

Which is, I guess, to say: will this policy be used only to enforce the will of US-based copyright holders, or will ISPs be lickspittle lackeys to anyone?
posted by wenestvedt at 6:50 PM on February 24, 2013


I'd love to see the content cartel's sociopathic behavior literally squeeze their customers right into a brand new platform.

I recall that Kim Dotcom's MEGA thing was/is going to use unique file keys to create a content commerce platform. Is that still happenable?
posted by Moistener at 6:52 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Between this, measures like SOPA, and indefinite copyright extensions, I find it so surreal, bizzare, and so downright sci-fi dystopian that the greatest threats to our freedoms, civil liberties, privacy would come from of all places, the freakin' entertainment industry. So much sacrificed at the altar of cartoons and rap.
posted by sourwookie at 6:54 PM on February 24, 2013 [11 favorites]


I wonder how this will play out in the courts after the first few incorrect hits pop up.

When the internet is a oligopoly to the home due to local laws that restrict competition and the "rules" were created in a reaction to Government threats/threats from other Corporations - exactly who do ya sue and for what?

The counter-argument is you can avoid the harm by getting a T1 from some vendor that isn't doing this plan so you arn't harmed.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:54 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


So if a guy, say, downloads a YouTube video of an event which some other person has posted, is the guy going to get dinged for this?

"Ideally," sure. In practice, no. Nobody is trying to trace YouTube downloads (possibly excepting YouTube, who would be more worried about streaming loss than infringement.)

Users of public trackers have (slightly) more to worry about.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:56 PM on February 24, 2013


will this policy be used only to enforce the will of US-based copyright holders,

Each one of you is a copyright holder.

Wonder if that can be used to sue the content providers to show the information they are using to protect YOUR rights?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:57 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


A company that operated solely as an ISP would have no incentive to enact this kind of system.

Never have I been so glad to be a Cox subscriber. At least for now.
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:57 PM on February 24, 2013


The CAS also has a sleek new promotional video, wherein a woman explains the process over smooth jazz.

TO HELP YOU REMAIN TRANQUIL IN THE FACE OF ALMOST CERTAIN DEATH, SMOOTH JAZZ WILL BE DEPLOYED IN 3... 2... 1...
posted by Rhaomi at 7:00 PM on February 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


dephlogisticated: "But in most of the U.S. there are no broadband ISPs of this nature, because the big five maintain effective monopolies."

Wasn't google making inroads into the ISP business? Where are they on this sort of thing?
posted by Mitheral at 7:02 PM on February 24, 2013


oh no did i break a copy right linking to that video just now oh god how did this get here i am not good with computers
posted by Rhaomi at 7:03 PM on February 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


But that doesn't make them wrong to want to actually enforce the law, does it?

Can you quote what the law was?

Then can you show how they actually attempted to enforce VS just handwaving or even lawyers lying in attempts to enforce what the law was?

The media companies had civil remedies they could have attempted to use but it sure does seem like they did not bother to use those remedies and instead spent time lying to Congress about what a problem they were having.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:15 PM on February 24, 2013


Which VPN Service Providers Really Take Anonymity Seriously?

I haven't actually tried this, but I suspect buying a Visa or MC gift card in cash, and then buying a subscription to iPredator, should be almost impossible to track. You don't have to give iPredator any info at all, if you don't want, other than a username and password. Generate those randomly, and pay with a gift card, and your sole point of connection becomes the IP you used to make the transaction. If iPredator throws away transaction records after a few weeks, as they claim they do, even that link will be lost, and it probably wasn't enough to prove who you were to begin with.

If you then renew, in the future, while connected to the service, you should be untraceable. I'd suggest, after using up your first term, creating a brand-new username/password combo while connected through iPredator, and paying for that with another gift card. If you keep doing that, and if they indeed do not log IP address assignments at all, you should be absolutely immune to any trace a private party, even a big one, could manage.

Even a government would have to put some serious work into proving that you were doing something they didn't like. They'll know that your IP address was doing something with iPredator, but unless they can sit there and monitor all outbound traffic from their VPN endpoint, they'll have no way to provably match you up with any particular IP address in the VPN range. Even if they managed to get through all that, the cash purchase of a gift card should stymie them. If they can somehow get camera records and prove it was you who spent the cash to buy the gift card, that doesn't prove who used it.

If they wanted to get you specifically, they probably could, but it would cost them a ridiculous amount of money and time. Even assuming a total compromise of the iPredator network, it would still take shoes on pavement to figure out who you were. They're not going to do that unless they want you bad.
posted by Malor at 7:16 PM on February 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


As to the 'six strikes' thing though, that $35 arbitration fee is just absurd.

And when found to be abuse/incorrect - what's the damage for the countersuits?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:18 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you're wondering how much the content companies care about censorship, look no further than why the visual effects winners' speech was cut off.

I don't think that's fair; they weren't cut off because of the content of their speech, they were cut off for going way way over the allowed time. They could have been thanking God, mom, and apple pie and still been cut off.
posted by Justinian at 7:21 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Has anyone thought of a way to sucker false positives to their system so you have a basis to drag them to court?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:26 PM on February 24, 2013


wenestvedt: So if a guy, say, downloads a YouTube video of an event which some other person has posted, is the guy going to get dinged for this?

tl;dr version: no.

Just downloading something may not even be a crime, depending on laws where you are. UPloading the video could get you in hot water, but downloading it should be entirely free of consequence. The media companies wouldn't ask YouTube for IPs of viewers, and then they'd have to prove you knew it was copyrighted, and knew that you were deliberately copying the video to your local hard drive, and that you had no right to do so. This would be an extremely tough case to make, and since you weren't demonstrably transmitting the file onward, they wouldn't bother.

With bittorrent, however, you are uploading any video you are downloading, so you are definitely and, critically, semi-provably violating copyright. They can prove that a machine at your IP address transmitted copyrighted information to a machine they had monitoring the public torrent sites. That's enough for at least a subpoena, a hard time, and probably a whopping legal bill. To get an actual conviction, they have to prove that it was you that knowingly caused the transfer to happen.... in civil court, this is a lower standard than in criminal court, but it's still difficult.

That's why they're going to this Six Strikes setup. They want to avoid any of that pesky stuff like requiring proof before inflicting punishment.

VPNs, if you have a good provider, anonymize your bittorrent traffic; they can tell that IP 12.13.14.15 was transmitting something they don't want you transmitting, but they have no way, as a private party, to link that IP address to your real one, which might be over in 64.13.23.X somewhere. They can subpoena the provider to find out, but if the provider doesn't keep the log, there's no way to link the VPN traffic to you.

But you have to be exceptionally careful never to run your torrent client when the VPN link is down, and for best results, you'd want to not use the machine for anything else, at least while the torrent client was running, so that you wouldn't be emitting anything identifiable from your temporary address.
posted by Malor at 7:32 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've stopped going to the movies, more or less. It is possible to get off the Hollywood teat.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:09 PM on February 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


We've got Charter, and I've been very glad that I haven't particularly run into any issues with them. Being that they aren't tied up with the content industry as a producer, I think I might be a little safe (as long as somehow they don't get bullied into it somehow).

Thanks for the mentions of VPN folks, I'm still thinking it's smart to do something like that.

Can I use a VPN for my entire house? Or does each person using my connection need a separate account?
posted by symbioid at 8:45 PM on February 24, 2013


One per uplink (that is one per ISP, generally speaking). Most users don't have multiple external connections--especially home users--so the answer is "yes." (Even if you did, one VPN account would work, but might increase traceability.)

BUT BUT BUT

unless the VPN is configured on the router, such that all traffic is sent through it, then each connected client machine needs to run the VPN client.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:50 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


As to the 'six strikes' thing though, that $35 arbitration fee is just absurd.

And when found to be abuse/incorrect - what's the damage for the countersuits?


To be fair, it does say at the second link that the arbitration fee is refunded if you win the case. I think this is a actually a pretty reasonable fee for use of the legal system (which has certain costs associated with it, like arbitrator's time).
posted by subdee at 9:14 PM on February 24, 2013


A) it's not a legal system, so there is no 'reasonable fee' for using it. It's being imposed more or less by economic force and the abuse of monopoly power.

B) If you want reasonable results out of a fake justice system like that, setting it up so that the judge loses money if he decides you are innocent is not the way to get it.

If you want lots and lots of guilty verdicts, of course, that's exactly what you would do.
posted by Malor at 9:35 PM on February 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


Mandatory arbitration provisions are a complicated thing. They are not quite a "fake" justice system--I've seen arbitration awards for the underdog in situations where punis might have been harder to get in "real"court. That said, this particular framework (given the motivations in play) gives me the screaming heebie-jeebies.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:58 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


This makes me angry. But the only option I have for internet is Comcast. This makes me angrier.
posted by meese at 9:58 PM on February 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Here's a devil's advocate question: If I modified a BitTorrent client to upload no more than, say, thirty seconds of video to any other peer, could I claim fair use for the clip I transmitted to the CAS spy server?
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 10:34 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'd love to see the content cartel's sociopathic behavior literally squeeze their customers right into a brand new platform.

Oh for god's sake.

The last I heard it was still illegal to infringe on copyright. I'm as fond of torrenting as the next fella, but it's not a fucking right. If I get caught and told to stop or face some kind of penalty then I probably will. Isn't this how it should work? We're not in the realm of million dollar judgements for a handful of mp3s any more.
posted by Sebmojo at 10:48 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh for god's sake.

The last I heard it was still illegal to infringe on copyright. I'm as fond of torrenting as the next fella, but it's not a fucking right. If I get caught and told to stop or face some kind of penalty then I probably will. Isn't this how it should work?


They've created a system with no penalty to them for false positives. I don't think the result is going to be describable as "how it should work."
posted by Zed at 11:10 PM on February 24, 2013 [8 favorites]


Maybe it's my experience in the online multiplayer gaming world coloring my view because I see this as much akin to Sony running software to detect people duping items in WoW or Treyarch doing cheat detection software to find aimbotters and wallhackers. You hear much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the possibility of punishing innocent people but every single time someone goes on the forum and claims to have been unjustly accused it turns out they are a lying liar who was aimbotting.
posted by Justinian at 11:20 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm as fond of torrenting as the next fella, but it's not a fucking right.

Of course it is. Copying things is firmly within your rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness or the equivalent human rights in your jurisdiction.

The fact that this right has been taken away from you makes some specific copying illegal. But laws can be changed.
posted by patrick54 at 11:26 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Copying something you own could be argued to be a right. That's not what we're talking about. Claiming that copying something you don't own is a right, or that uploading copies to others is a right, is a pure case of begging the question. You can't just assert the conclusion as though it were obvious fact.
posted by Justinian at 11:31 PM on February 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Claiming that copying something you don't own is a right, or that uploading copies to others is a right, is a pure case of begging the question.

Right to freedom of speech. Absent copyright law, copying anything recorded at any time or telling it to others would be speech. Absent copyright law, all published works are public domain all times.

With copyright law, the owner of the copyright gains a temporary monopoly to some types of copying with regards that copyrighted work, after which they return to the public domain. The explicit stated purpose of that temporary monopoly is as an incentive to ultimately create more works in the public domain, free for all to share as they wish, for the public good. Owning a copyright is not a permanent conventional property right, no matter how often copyright owners use language suggestive that it is.

It is not heresy to argue that the grand bargain - you get a temporary monopoly on some types of copying in exchange for it ending up in the public domain - has been broken by the entertainment corporations attempting to extend the monopoly to infinite time, and gaining police like powers over the exchange of information on the biggest communication network in history that is so much bigger and more valuable than their business - powers they exercise with abandon and little oversight.

And nor is it heresy to argue that copyright law should be re-written or replaced entirely to better serve the public good, more consistent with the right of free speech.

Or as Jefferson put it when referring to patents, with similar issues:
It has been pretended by some, (and in England especially,) that inventors have a natural and exclusive right to their inventions, and not merely for their own lives, but inheritable to their heirs.... If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property. Society may give an exclusive right to the profits arising from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the will and convenience of the society, without claim or complaint from anybody.
posted by ArkhanJG at 12:02 AM on February 25, 2013 [23 favorites]


Malor: I think that's a little optimistic. The whole point of a VPN (and really, the only thing it does for you) is to hide your IP address. I don't think there's any technical reason that IPREDator or any other VPN[*] provider couldn't comply with requests to disclose the originating IP of some bit of traffic. Yes, this would require them to modify their software a little (to answer realtime queries, or keep a few hours' worth of logs, or whatever) but that's not technically difficult.

Even if it were, for any low-latency VPN, if you can observe the (encrypted) traffic in and out, it's actually really easy to use traffic analysis to match up users on either side.


[*] TOR is nominally more secure because the VPN infrastructure is its userbase, so you need to convince a sufficient fraction of the userbase to cooperate, or flood the network with nodes you control. The principle holds though.


Yes, they have a financial interest here. But that doesn't make them wrong to want to actually enforce the law, does it?

The ISPs aren't actually enforcing any laws here. They are simply adopting terms of service which discourage patterns of behavior that the cartel dislikes. Those behaviors may be illegal, but that's completely unrelated to what's going on here. As a customer you've agreed to these terms of service; the throttling is what you're paying them for. (Ha, ha. I laugh. Nobody who actually reads TOS would sign up for one of these companies' services if they had any alternative; when I've read them they are much worse than the terms of their competitors in the broadband business. But hardly anyone reads terms of service, and even fewer people believe those terms will actually be enforced.)
posted by hattifattener at 12:10 AM on February 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Claiming that copying something you don't own is a right,

Nobody owns ideas. There is no intellectual property; in fact, the Constitution says quite clearly that there is no such thing. Creators are granted one of several types of temporary monopoly on many ideas (copyright, patents, and trademarks), but this is to "promote the progress of science and useful arts". It directly and literally says that they don't own it, because you don't secure "for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries" if it's property. You don't temporarily secure someone's house for them, or their car, because those things are owned, and are covered under property rights. Nobody owns an idea. They just get to borrow it for awhile.

So the actual thing happening is that an unauthorized copy is being made. If you're doing it for yourself or a friend or something, and no money is changing hands, calling this 'theft', is A) wrong; and B) a code phrase for criminalizing unauthorized enjoyment.

A society that criminalizes unauthorized enjoyment has a really serious problem. "Did you pay for that smile, citizen?"

This is, perhaps, the ultimate example of a victimless crime; being deprived of a fantasy transaction ("she would have bought it!") does not constitute harm.

Note: this doesn't mean making copies commercially, for profit, which is quite different. That is criminal behavior, and actually does result in direct and measurable harm to copyright and trademark owners. Money is changing hands in exchange for a copy, which is absolutely the thing that copyrights and trademarks were created to stop. Not personal copying, but commercial infringement.
posted by Malor at 12:12 AM on February 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't think there's any technical reason that IPREDator or any other VPN[*] provider couldn't comply with requests to disclose the originating IP of some bit of traffic.

Of course not. As I said at least once, and maybe twice, you have to trust that they actually aren't keeping logs, as they claim they aren't. Considering that they're the same people that made The Pirate Bay, I'm inclined to believe them. You may decide otherwise.

Giganews' VyprVPN service is an example of a worthless VPN, at least for this purpose, because they will happily rat you out if anyone asks.

Even if it were, for any low-latency VPN, if you can observe the (encrypted) traffic in and out, it's actually really easy to use traffic analysis to match up users on either side.

Which I also pointed out, that a government with taps in a VPN provider's network could possibly determine who you are. I said:
but unless they can sit there and monitor all outbound traffic from their VPN endpoint, they'll have no way to provably match you up with any particular IP address in the VPN range
("their endpoint", in this instance, meaning that of the VPN provider)

Unless they've got taps into that network, though, that ain't happening. And even then, they're just nailing down an IP address, and an IP address is not a person.
posted by Malor at 12:20 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


and an IP address is not a person.

I'd be wary of that claim. If I remember correctly, at least in Dutch case law, an IP address can be linked to a person under the right circumstances.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:26 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you aren't already using a VPN to dl torrents, I think you might be slightly crazy.
posted by phaedon at 1:04 AM on February 25, 2013


This is, perhaps, the ultimate example of a victimless crime; being deprived of a fantasy transaction ("she would have bought it!") does not constitute harm.

Maybe I'm picking this out of context, but.. you don't seriously believe this, do you? Are you saying that file sharing is by definition a victimless crime?
posted by phaedon at 1:16 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes, if it's between two people for no money, it is absolutely a victimless crime. Nothing was taken from the record company or the artist; they still have everything they started with. The only harm they suffer is that they imagine they might have sold a copy instead. And, last I checked, imagining that things could be different does not make you a victim of a crime.

For a theft to occur, you have to actually lose something.
posted by Malor at 1:54 AM on February 25, 2013


Nobody owns ideas. There is no intellectual property; in fact, the Constitution says quite clearly that there is no such thing.

Honest question: What part of the constitution are you talking about here?
posted by dogwalker at 3:46 AM on February 25, 2013


Article I, Section 8, Clause 8?

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

posted by Drinky Die at 3:59 AM on February 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm personally well beyond my schooling days so this is just a curiocity question: what happens in the dorms down at the local institute of higher learning? Do they (generally) already prevent torrents, or is this one (more?) reason to live on campus?
posted by TheShadowKnows at 4:15 AM on February 25, 2013


Well, if Comcast is as accurate in identifying violations as they were identifying bot-infected home computers (back when they were rolling-out their fee-based security product), I foresee a tidal wave of profits rolling-in...in $35 increments.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:26 AM on February 25, 2013


Has anyone thought of a way to sucker false positives to their system so you have a basis to drag them to court?
Yeah, I request the children and grandmothers of every person in congress.
posted by Kale Slayer at 4:41 AM on February 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


dogwalker, as I said, and Drinky Die quoted, the Copyright Clause.

If there was such a thing as 'intellectual property', then there would be no need to secure it to anyone. You don't specially secure houses or wallets or briefcases. That's property, so you own it forever, unless you transfer it for some reason.

By 'securing for limited times to Authors', the Framers were saying that ideas are not property. It's a bit indirect, but that language means that everyone, all of society, owns an idea. In exchange for coming up with it, you get a temporary monopoly. It's a lease, not ownership. You paid for the lease by inventing the idea.

And the rules for the various kinds of ideas you can have are quite different. This is why 'intellectual property' is a bad term to use; it confuses the issues. As far as the legal system is concerned, there are copyrights, patents, and trademarks. There is no overarching 'intellectual property', because none of these things are property.
posted by Malor at 4:52 AM on February 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm personally well beyond my schooling days so this is just a curiocity question: what happens in the dorms down at the local institute of higher learning?

I've worked in IT on various campuses. At most larger schools they've been blocking file sharing for over 10 years through a variety of methods from simple port and protocol blocking to deep packet inspection and active filtering. This started with stuff like Napster, Bearshare, Kazaa and Limewire and other early file sharing programs.

There are also usually very strict policies regarding file sharing and pirating. Even if you tunnel out via VPN your account or connection could and would be flagged for review for excessive bandwidth use.

The connections provided are usually detailed in policies and user agreements that your connection is for academic and general communications use only. On many campuses even stuff like gaming or consoles are forbidden, or were. That may have changed now, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were still banned from most campus networks. This would likely include other high bandwidth entertainment stuff like Netflix .

In undergrad dorms all connections/drops are all heavily monitored and filtered because undergrads are generally filthy rulebreaking child-pigs, and most universities aren't operating under any illusions that undergrads are actually adult humans yet, so they set out very clear and strict policies.

Breaking these rules repeatedly can earn an undergrad a ban from the campus and/or dorm networks, or an academic review, or even expulsion or fines. There were various levels of punishment for first time or repeat offenders, and it wasn't uncommon to turn off the network to their dorm room and make them use the library or computer labs for their internet needs.

These rules actually make sense and exist for a number of reasons.

Even at a world class university with many large internet connections or backbones running through it there may be tens of thousands of on-campus resident students. Not including faculty or staff, nor infrastructure support, nor computer/networking science projects or programs like distributed computing.

One of the huge problems with a P2P network like bittorrent isn't really the total bandwidth but the total number of connections, each sending their own packet streams. A single client on one computer may open and maintain hundreds or thousands of connections to different IP addresses, and maintaining all of those connections taxes the hell out of a very large and heavily branched network as found on a university campus. Multiply hundreds or thousands of persistent connections by tens of thousands of users and you have a very serious network congestion problem that's many times worse than all of those users simply downloading a single large file at many times the total bandwidth per user.

Also there have been a number of campuses who have been sued wholesale by the MPAA or RIAA. I think some campuses now basically have to pay a "usage fee" or bribe or whatever to keep them off their backs, as well as implement filtering or other anti-piracy countermeasures and detection schemes.

From my experience, though, it's mainly that the IT/computing infrastructure departments on most campuses need to maintain a quality of service level so that students, researchers and faculty who are actually working on something can actually work on it. Allowing a free for all of file sharing or open internet use from the dorms is just asking for trouble and network lag.

Infrastructure-wise this was usually filtered as close to the dorm networks as possible so it didn't bog down the rest of the campus network.

Anyway, the short answer is no. Campuses are not a safe haven for unlimited bandwidth or file sharing. Quite the opposite, really. If anything they've been at the forefront of active/deep packet inspection and filtering, perhaps more so than most companies or corporations. They have huge liability issues as well as major bandwidth requirements to meet.

Ironically I know most of this not so much because of enforcing student policy, but because IT/support coworkers at one campus were running a private MP3 server back around 2001. We got heavily scolded by the IT director one month for consuming something like 30-50% or more of the external bandwidth to the campus because so many IT staff people were streaming MP3s off the server from home. This isn't even accounting for the internal on-campus bandwidth use from IT employees streaming from the server to their desks.

To put that in perspective this campus not only had dozens of commercial ISP grade connections from an assortment of different telco/ISP providers for redundancy and load balancing, not only was the campus part of the original arpanet and internet, but it was also host to not one but several "internet 2" or "abilene project" 3.4 gb backbone connections, which were about as fast as a wide area network connection got at the time. Our campus was better connected and had more bandwidth than most network operation centers or colocation facilities.

Yet with that little 50 gb server we managed to use more bandwidth than basically every other service on campus combined, including some major distributed computing projects.
posted by loquacious at 5:05 AM on February 25, 2013 [10 favorites]


Has anyone thought of a way to sucker false positives to their system so you have a basis to drag them to court?

Man up here! The moral dimensions of civil disobedience come from willingness to break the law in order to showcase its shortcomings. If you want to make the point, force the issue with true positives.
posted by IndigoJones at 5:39 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm personally well beyond my schooling days so this is just a curiocity question: what happens in the dorms down at the local institute of higher learning?

For example. It reads to me as rather less draconian than what loquacious describes. When I lived in the dorm, there was some filesharing network that was restricted to computers using university internet connections and people generally preferred that other options, but they still don't seem to be actively blocking filesharing outside the university.
posted by hoyland at 5:43 AM on February 25, 2013


In undergrad dorms all connections/drops are all heavily monitored and filtered because undergrads are generally filthy rulebreaking child-pigs,

That's a much easier stance to take than, say, trying to provide a robust infrastructure. This is why you get things like bandwidth caps, incidentally.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:25 AM on February 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


They've created a system with no penalty to them for false positives. I don't think the result is going to be describable as "how it should work."

Worse, they've created a system that makes false positives potentially profitable. That is problematic, to say the least.

I wonder if they pro-rate your service if you get throttled down below the broadband speeds you're paying for.

I also wonder if imposing this system through a syndicate that comprises a de-facto monopoly on residential internet connectivity might dredge up an argument that the terms imposed on subscribers are unconscionable (being contained in contracts of adhesion -- no negotiation, take it or leave it).....but probably not. (At least, probably not a winning argument.)
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:33 AM on February 25, 2013


I'd be wary of that claim. If I remember correctly, at least in Dutch case law, an IP address can be linked to a person under the right circumstances.

There are US decisions that go both ways on this; but the better, more recent decisions that have come out of certain courts -- the ones that have grown tired of being treated like DMCA batch-processors -- have held that an IP address is not a simple stand-in for the account holder's identity, when it comes to copyright liability. To a certain extent, those courts seem increasingly willing to indulge a defendant's convenient claim of an open WiFi network, for instance, rather than tolerate the continual overreach of the dedicated DMCA mills.

See e.g. the order in K-Beech v Does.

The arb clause is obviously designed to keep a judge from weighing in, so we'll have to wait for someone to try and challenge it for that angle to be explored.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:53 AM on February 25, 2013


Also, loquacious, I dig what you're saying but this...

If there was such a thing as 'intellectual property', then there would be no need to secure it to anyone. You don't specially secure houses or wallets or briefcases. That's property, so you own it forever, unless you transfer it for some reason.

...is an illusory difference that comes from real property and personal property rights as we know them being legally developed, substantiated and enshrined centuries ago. Once, everything was the King's and you held property through a chain of lords (thus, 'land-lords'), inheritance was a privilege not a right, blah blah blah.

In some ways, we do "specially secure" our real property. That's what title recording does; that's how we know we own land and how buyers can be confident in a conveyance. (Or land registration, where that's the system in place.)

And in fact we do specially secure our secret or valuable ideas and information, and have been doing so more or less as long as we've been safeguarding other kinds of property. Most basically, think secret rites in preliterate societies, then secret writings, now digital secrets.

Tangible property rights may seem "more real" or "less artificial" because you can stand on the land or touch the thing, but from a legal perspective they are not necessarily more 'natural.'
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:16 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ironically I know most of this not so much because of enforcing student policy, but because IT/support coworkers at one campus were running a private MP3 server back around 2001. We got heavily scolded by the IT director one month for consuming something like 30-50% or more of the external bandwidth to the campus because so many IT staff people were streaming MP3s off the server from home. This isn't even accounting for the internal on-campus bandwidth use from IT employees streaming from the server to their desks.

...what? I only know about the University of Cambridge, but we had single experiments that would bring in terabytes of data a day from external facilities (mainly particle physics, I understand, but also astronomy, biology etc etc). I'm not seeing how MP3 streaming could be more than a rounding error in a proper academic institution....and you also had two 3.4 gb connections that were 30% saturated by MP3s streaming out at 320kB maximum streams?

3.4gb (assuming you do mean gigabit here)/320kB=11,141.12
11,141.12*2=22,282.24
22,282.24/10*3=6,684.672
22,282.24/10*5=11,141.12

So, 30-50% of the external bandwidth just on the internet 2 hookups is 6,684 to 11,141 MP3 streams at once. Either your uni needed to cut down on your IT staff or someone had their maths wrong.
posted by jaduncan at 7:33 AM on February 25, 2013


Tangible property rights may seem "more real" or "less artificial" because you can stand on the land or touch the thing, but from a legal perspective they are not necessarily more 'natural.'

Possibly less 'natural.'
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:38 AM on February 25, 2013


> Also, loquacious, I dig what you're saying but this...

I didn't write what you're quoting and attributing to me.
posted by loquacious at 7:50 AM on February 25, 2013


Ack. That was Malor. I missed the comment break scrolling. Sorry!
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:55 AM on February 25, 2013


> So, 30-50% of the external bandwidth just on the internet 2 hookups is 6,684 to 11,141 MP3 streams at once. Either your uni needed to cut down on your IT staff or someone had their maths wrong.

It always sounded wrong to me, too. It could have just been the sub-campus I was specifically working for.

But it wasn't all streaming, either. People were placing and pulling the actual files, and it wasn't just staff that had access to it.

I could actually see that group of folks and their friends sharing links and passwords to the server so freely that thousands of people had access to it from around the world. They were that kind of connected and also involved with the radio station on campus, media/music mailing lists and other channels where the URL or IP could be shared.

There really weren't any other servers like it at the time that I knew of that allowed live interactive streaming as well as downloads. It was popular enough that I'd see messages on mailing lists or usenet from people who had nothing to do with the campus begging for access or an account. It was popular enough that it could have become a server as popular as Oink - just ten years earlier.

In any case the warning was very specific, along the lines of "OK, your pet music server has used a significant fraction of the total bandwidth available per month. Knock it off or else."

Our admins wouldn't have come down on us if it wasn't significant because they were using it, too, so someone paying the bills probably held their feet to a fire far upstream of us.
posted by loquacious at 8:02 AM on February 25, 2013


Reading about Abilene etc when it was first coming together seemed so unreal, despite living nearby UCLA. The numbers were unfathomable, compared to the noisy DSL that had only recently replaced our noisy dialup.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:44 AM on February 25, 2013


If you aren't already using a VPN to dl torrents, I think you might be slightly crazy.

Really? I've been telling myself it will be OK because a) I only dl TV shows from b) private trackers. Am I operating under a false sense of security? (Oh and the occasional French TV show from a place I will call "I Might Pay.")


Set up BTGuard for $6.95/month and then never think about it again.

That is for their proxy service. Many private trackers do not allow proxys.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:52 AM on February 25, 2013


For now, using a VPN is probably safest. It's not that they wouldn't have ways and means if they really really wanted to--it's just that they'll have lots of easier, lower-hanging fruit to collect a nice revenue stream of fines from for those who just use public trackers openly.

Prognostication: in a few more years there'll be some legislation rammed through that makes private VPNs not through one's employer illegal to use, or made functionally useless. Said legislation will probably be an obfuscated rider to an uncontroversial bill about, I don't know, a new national holiday about firefighters. Or if it's its own bill, it'll be The Protecting Helpless Adorable Children Measures Which Are Opposed Only By Monsters Act of 2016.
posted by Drastic at 9:11 AM on February 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


It seems to me that using a full on European seedbox, in a non-compliant country, and retrieving the files via SCP is probably the safest thing. IIRC some of them take payment in Bitcoin, if you really want to go for the full on tinfoil body condom approach.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:22 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


If all of Hollywood were to evaporate tomorrow, this would be a very small price to pay to keep the Internet working normally. The Net is much more important than all the media companies combined. And we need to get that hammered into, not just our heads, but the heads of our politicians.

There is a profound irony in this statement appearing in a thread in which people are focused almost entirely on how they can use "the Net" to access the material that "the media companies" produce.
posted by yoink at 9:43 AM on February 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well that is the topic, anything else would be a derail.
posted by Mitheral at 10:51 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Was going to post nooneyouknow's link (Which VPN Service Providers Really Take Anonymity Seriously?), but instead I'll just note that I picked PIA on the basis of that article, and have nothing but good things to say about their support so far.
nestor_makhno: So does this mean that using PeerBlock isn't enough to keep you out of trouble? I'm asking for a friend who is much dumber and has lesser morals than myself.
There are very good arguments for why PeerBlock is really just security snake oil; but the real test would be the RIAA/MPAA getting hostile on a PeerBlock user. Don't know if that's happened.

Proving it works is almost impossible... They could be biding their time, allowing people to trust in its false security while they go after lower-hanging fruit, or it could actually be blocking them.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:04 PM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


There is a profound irony in this statement appearing in a thread in which people are focused almost entirely on how they can use "the Net" to access the material that "the media companies" produce.

The most likely thing to get you speculatively sued at the moment is a belief that your household is uploading porn.

Which isn't really the domain of comcast or time warner, last I checked. And saying the internet shouldn't be used to share porn? That's virtually its prime function!
posted by ArkhanJG at 12:13 PM on February 25, 2013


Soo . . . Can someone provide the idiot's guide to getting and setting up a VPN? I feel like regardless of torrenting or not this is something I'm interested in.
posted by Carillon at 12:16 PM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Malor: But you have to be exceptionally careful never to run your torrent client when the VPN link is down,
This is an option you can click in Settings on PIA (and probably most others). No PIA = no internet at all for that computer, even if rebooted, OR (the default) if PIA goes down, your computer "reconnects" normally to your house modem/ISP.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:24 PM on February 25, 2013


Justinian: Copying something you own could be argued to be a right. That's not what we're talking about. Claiming that copying something you don't own is a right, or that uploading copies to others is a right, is a pure case of begging the question. You can't just assert the conclusion as though it were obvious fact.
Claiming that copying something is not a right is also asserting the conclusion. The burden of proof is on the person who claimed it was not a right, as the first assertion made.

It is illegal. That only roughly correlates with human rights, at best.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:30 PM on February 25, 2013


Secret Life of Gravy: Set up BTGuard for $6.95/month and then never think about it again.

That is for their proxy service. Many private trackers do not allow proxys.
But, for the uninitiated, many do. Most, I'd bet; so it really only narrows your private tracker choices a little bit. In fact, the only complaint I've ever heard of was from posting from a proxy service; this would require you to shut off the VPN if you wanted to chat, post a support question, or upload a torrent itself.
Carillon: Soo . . . Can someone provide the idiot's guide to getting and setting up a VPN? I feel like regardless of torrenting or not this is something I'm interested in.
Step 1: Pick a VPN.

Step 2: If the VPN is not free, pay for a service contract. If it is free, skip to Step 3.

Step 3: Download the VPN software from their link.

Step 4: Install the software. You will need administrator rights on Windows, as with any software.

Step 5: Change any settings you wish, such as picking the proxy location (or forcing it to randomly change with each connection*), preventing or allowing your computer to reach the internet if the VPN goes down, etc. Or: just stay with the default options.

Step 6: Reboot your computer (may not be necessary on all OS).

Done.

* Changing your proxy location may be even more secure, but it can also be a pain in the ass. Secure forms you log into, like your bank or credit card company, may flag entries from new IPs, requiring you to verify yourself with a separately emailed link every time. Far-away sites, or busy proxy sites, may slow your connection. Etc. Basically, just using the VPN is 1000x more secure (anonymous) than what almost everyone else is doing, so these refinements probably aren't necessary at this time.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:48 PM on February 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


Thanks IAmBroom, I appreciate it.
posted by Carillon at 12:53 PM on February 25, 2013


...undergrads are generally filthy rulebreaking child-pigs, and most universities aren't operating under any illusions that undergrads are actually adult humans yet, so they set out very clear and strict policies.

That may be stronger wording than I would have used, but then you can find my real name in my username, so I'm more cautious. :7)

I do agree with the principle that universities are one of the environments in which young people can experiment with boundaries and freedom and responsibility, and the people who staff universities sometimes set limits in order to help those lessons.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:17 PM on February 25, 2013


so basically, they are just going to monitor the use of bittorrent and pitch warnings at those who do?
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:40 PM on February 25, 2013


That is for their proxy service. Many private trackers do not allow proxys.

But, for the uninitiated, many do. Most, I'd bet; so it really only narrows your private tracker choices a little bit. In fact, the only complaint I've ever heard of was from posting from a proxy service; this would require you to shut off the VPN if you wanted to chat, post a support question, or upload a torrent itself.


The biggest problem with using a non-dedicated proxy or VPN for private trackers is the IP address sharing issue. Most private trackers use IP addresses for their banning/warning system, so if you have the same IP address as someone else then from the tracker's point of view you are the same user. You normally wouldn't find out anything is wrong until after your account has been disabled. I don't know how many trackers outright disallow proxies but many of them do not care if they accidentally ban you because you shared an IP address with someone else.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:47 PM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Now how am I supposed to see the new Shaun the Sheep episodes?
posted by drezdn at 3:55 PM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


If hard-core pirates have the means to spoof IP addresses, what is there to help the innocent user in clearing their name? I don't have the technical wherewithal to defend myself if someone decided to use my IP address to get around CAS.
posted by CancerMan at 3:56 PM on February 25, 2013


the greatest threats to our freedoms, civil liberties, privacy would come from of all places, the freakin' entertainment industry.

Because all that Total Information Awareness stuff was just a bad dream.
posted by Twang at 4:36 PM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


If hard-core pirates have the means to spoof IP addresses

They don't.
posted by ryanrs at 4:59 PM on February 25, 2013


However, soft-core pirates have the means of breaking WEP passwords or bad WPA passwords (or just using open wifi.)

Hard-core pirates might create botnets of unpatched Windows machines* and let their IPs do the dirty work. People could do this today but, so far as I know, it hasn't been remotely worth it -- botnets have better uses.

* that's the lowest hanging fruit, not an implication that other OSes are invulnerable.
posted by Zed at 5:25 PM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


If hard-core pirates have the means to spoof IP addresses,

If a hacker has a dumb ISP, he or she can originate packets from his machine that appear to be from anywhere... say, for instance, whitehouse.gov. Normally, a machine puts its own IP address in the 'from' bytes of a packet, but machines can put anything there. Dumb providers will allow outbound packets from random source addresses, meaning that the forged packet will be delivered. Wow, he impersonated whitehouse.gov!

But, well, it's not that simple. An actual TCP connection, which is how bittorrent works, requires three packets to start a connection; an initiation, a reply, and then a confirmation. So if he tries to spoof that process as whitehouse.gov, the remote computer will assume he's for real, and will reply normally. But the Net as a whole knows where that IP address is, and so it will deliver the reply to the real whitehouse.gov server farm. Since it has no idea what's going on, it sends back a 'whatchoo talkin 'bout, Willis?' negative reply, and the connection is terminated.

The only way a pirate could successfully impersonate your machine is if he or she has total control over a router that's either close to you or close to the destination, one that's guaranteed to have all the traffic in a given connection routed through it. It would have to see and modify all the packets in the connection, in the same way that a NAT engine would. It's believed this is very rare, and setting up a spoofing attack on you personally would take some real effort.

It could happen, but that's at least AAA ball, if not the major leagues.... not something a script kiddie in Mom's basement is likely to be able to do. Someone that good, with a penetration that deep into a major network, probably has bigger fish to fry. Why waste a penetration that deep, that valuable, on lousy forged bittorrent traffic? They'd use a VPN for that, just like you would.
posted by Malor at 6:46 PM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, I did just think of one scenario where your IP could be reasonably spoofed -- if a hacker gets malware on your computer, or hijacks your router, and uses either as a form of VPN. Your bandwidth is probably not very attractive for this usage, as you won't have that much upload speed (which turns into download speed for the bad guy/gal), but this would be a way of anonymizing torrent traffic. Fortunately, it would be extremely visible on most home networks -- your Net connection would suck horribly while he or she was leeching all your upload bandwidth.

To prevent a computer hack, adhere to the normal safety stuff, the things that get hollered about all the time. You know the drill.

To avoid a router compromise, ideally, you'd use your own router instead of your ISP's, set excellent passwords, and then stay on top of your firmware updates. If, however, you won't remember to check those fairly frequently, this could be worse, not better. Most providers are at least somewhat proactive about pushing out security fixes. It's rare that they would respond as quickly as someone who's paying active attention, and has just one router to mind, but they're much better than someone who never checks on updates.
posted by Malor at 7:02 PM on February 25, 2013


If hard-core pirates have the means to spoof IP addresses

They don't.


That's maybe not entirely true - not because of some clever hack of how networking works (for the reasons Malor lays out), but because the tracking software they use to look for infringement is pretty dumb and doesn't actually check if someone saying they're sharing a file actually is, or at least wasn't doing so in 2007 and 2008.

Basically the researchers were connecting to trackers to examine network activity of other peers to study bittorrent in the wild; they got a lot of DMCA takedown notices for files they didn't have, and never had, because they only connected to the tracker (that shares who is available to connect to). They then used this to spoof the connection requests as coming from a networked printer (with a real, same segment IP address, which is pretty rare) just to prove the point, that the company sending the notices on behalf of studios etc wasn't checking the file was shared at all - merely being listed on the tracker was 'proof enough'.

Therefore it is possible* to spoof just the connect request to the torrent tracker from an IP you don't own - which then gets that person flagged as being a pirate, even though they may well not even have bittorrent, let alone be sharing that particular file. If the tracker relies on the client to report its own IP, they don't even need to do that, any fake request will do.

*a lot easier if you both share the same ISP and it's a bit crap, or the tracker is crap - may also be possible using the peer-based tracking that's all the rage these days

This doesn't help a pirate download though, so the only reason to do it would be to mess with the monitoring agencies, or hit people you don't like with fake notices, so not massively likely. Though with anonymous about? Who knows, they might do it en-masse just for the lulz.

Another more likely reason this can happen is due to changing IP addresses; when you get issued a new IP from the ISP (due to a line drop), you can still get traffic intended for the previous user of that IP. I often see bittorrent traffic bouncing off my firewall for days or even weeks after I change IP, even though I don't use it* - all intended for the previous holder, and obviously I'm not sharing the same files.

If the timestamps of the enforcer, or the timestamps of the ISP are off, I could be held responsible for that traffic even though my firewall is ignoring it. If they go purely on tracker records like they were in 2008, then I would be flagged as being part of whatever torrent the previous guy was, even with all correct timestamps, as the infringement would appear to be happening from my IP even though I'm sharing jack squat*.

*except for linux mint. Yes, I really am that kind of nerd.

The other, most likely reason to cause you problems is due to shared IP addresses - if someone in your household is using bittorent, or your wireless password has been nicked by someone near by - or you don't even have a wireless password. In which case, you're the one getting flagged as the account holder. This reasonable doubt has been enough for judges to throw out bulk discovery attempts to get IP address account holder information from ISPs.

In the new system, the content holders go direct to the ISP as enforcer, so little things like the person owning the line sub not being the infringer don't matter - in effect, the content holders have got the ISP holding the line owner liable for all traffic coming from it even though copyright law, even the DMCA, does not go that far. I'm sure that all the ISPs that have signed up being big content copyright holders had nothing to do with that.

In all cases, the simplest defence, is ask them to provide evidence you were
a) actually sharing the file in question, not just your IP as part of a tracker
b) that the file downloaded was what they say it is, and actually infringing.

If you're actually innocent, that doesn't hurt to mention either...

But until we actually see the appeals process in question, we won't know if it's actually fair or just a kangeroo figleaf of a court. In theory, this is also only largely a notification campaign, to raise awareness that bittorrenting some files is probably illegal (for what, 8 year old pirates?) with scary language, and presumably to scare parents to stop their kids doing it. There isn't much in the way of actual sanctions. Yet. Once it's been running a year, and had little to no impact? Then they may well start getting nasty.
posted by ArkhanJG at 11:22 PM on February 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Even a government would have to put some serious work into proving that you were doing something they didn't like. They'll know that your IP address was doing something with iPredator, but unless they can sit there and monitor all outbound traffic from their VPN endpoint, they'll have no way to provably match you up with any particular IP address in the VPN range.

Wouldn't traffic to iPredator be probable cause for search and seizure?
posted by acb at 4:49 AM on February 26, 2013


On many campuses even stuff like gaming or consoles are forbidden, or were. That may have changed now, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were still banned from most campus networks.

This has very little to do with bandwidth use and a lot to do with the fact that a lot of these devices have broken TCP/IP stacks that cause endless headaches for network admins and other users of the network.

I think we're just going to see a revival of sneakernet on university campuses.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 6:00 AM on February 26, 2013


what if i spin up an amazon ec2 instance in south america, asia or europe and torrent through an ssh tunnel to that?
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:34 AM on February 26, 2013


You wouldn't ssh a torrent, although you might sftp the actual download to your desktop.

Amusingly, a lot of seedboxes are in France, which has *three* strikes.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:40 AM on February 26, 2013


You wouldn't ssh a torrent

No, but you might run a BT client over an SSH tunnel (and indeed I have). Handily, that's exactly what quonsar was suggesting.
posted by jaduncan at 8:46 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


You wouldn't ssh a torrent

I would also download a car.
posted by jaduncan at 8:56 AM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


you might run a BT client over an SSH tunnel

Ah, then https to your tracker as well.

I would also download a car.

That was a campaign that could only be produced by people who had internalized the "piracy equals theft" argument. I'd download a Mini in a New York second.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:30 AM on February 26, 2013


Ah, then https to your tracker as well.

Ubuntu is nice about this. I set a VPN or SSH tunnel connection and everything runs down it.

SWIM used to do this at college via the uncapped uni servers to get around the local bandwidth cap in the dorms.

I'd download a Mini in a New York second.

I need a hookup to your ISP.
posted by jaduncan at 12:22 PM on February 26, 2013


drezdn: Now how am I supposed to see the new Shaun the Sheep episodes?
THERE ARE SHAUN THE SHEEP EPISODES??? Off to... legally watch them on a friend's fully-paid cable subscription. Yep.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:27 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ubuntu is nice about this. I set a VPN or SSH tunnel connection and everything runs down it.

Three words: Deluge thin client.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:58 PM on February 26, 2013


What with seedboxes, VPNs, IP address spoofing etc., this is going to be a hot mess - the people who are most vulnerable are going to be the very ones who have the least technological awareness.
That's all that really matters though. If they can stop the 90% of the population who doesn't know how to setup a proxy or VPN, then they're good. At least for now, until you start seeing ads for cheapo VPN systems in the US the same way you do for people traveling to China. (And so far, you can also get an unlimited wireless bandwidth from clear, t-mobile, and probably some other providers.)

But ultimately, the number of people torrenting stuff is probably lower then the number of people who used napster. The thing you have to understand is that they don't need 100% success. They just need to cut the unwashed masses off from the tech-savvy, and if at every step on the arms race the percentage of people have the skill and willingness to put up with the imposed extra hassles of piracy they win.
But in most of the U.S. there are no broadband ISPs of this nature, because the big five maintain effective monopolies.
Maybe if people could subscribe to HBO Go without the cable sub they wouldn't pirate Homeland.
Given HBO's business model, they probably figure they lose less money from piracy then they would from decoupling their content from a cable subscription. In fact, I just found this article which goes into some of the details.
But that doesn't make them wrong to want to actually enforce the law, does it? The dude running the 7-11 has a financial interest when he puts locks on the doors at night, it doesn't make him some sort of thuggish hypocrite.
This would be more like 7-11 and all the other gas stations colluding and refusing to sell you gas if they got a report that someone saw you drive drunk, without the police being involved at all. And actually, metaphors are actually not a very good way to make points because then you just end up discussing whether or not various aspects of certain things are "like" other things, rather then whether then the original thing itself.
Which VPN Service Providers Really Take Anonymity Seriously? - "Last month it became apparent that not all VPN providers live up to their marketing after an alleged member of Lulzsec was tracked down after using a supposedly anonymous service from HideMyAss.
If you're going to be breaking the law, especially in a high-profile way, that involves among other things wiretapping FBI Conference calls and releasing recordings online it's probably not a good idea to rely on a legitimate company to maintain your privacy.
I'm sure HBO will offer online subscriptions as soon as it makes financial sense for them to do it. I liked House of Cards too but find Netflix Streaming extremely sub-par otherwise. I know it's partly because the studios are screwing them by not allowing them to stream a lot of things but the reason matters less than the effect; their selection for streaming is extremely limited and doesn't seem to improve much over time.
Netflix originally got really good deals for streaming rights, because they didn't used to be worth very much. Now studios want to get into the business directly, and there isn't really any reason to let Netflix take a chunk of the profit for themselves. Studios can stream directly to customers.
Maybe it's my experience in the online multiplayer gaming world coloring my view because I see this as much akin to Sony running software to detect people duping items in WoW or Treyarch doing cheat detection software to find aimbotters and wallhackers.
Those systems are entirely voluntary. If you don't want to be scanned, you don't have to play those games. Whereas if you only have verizon or Comcast as connection options, your only alternative would be to disconnect from the internet entirely - as if these corporations owned the internet and got to decide who uses it the same way Blizzard owns Starcraft and gets to decide who plays.
The connections provided are usually detailed in policies and user agreements that your connection is for academic and general communications use only. On many campuses even stuff like gaming or consoles are forbidden, or were. That may have changed now, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were still banned from most campus networks. This would likely include other high bandwidth entertainment stuff like Netflix .
What? That's fucking crazy. When I was in school the internet was a complete free for all for most of the time I was there. You didn't even need to use P2P software because pretty much everything was available on local file shares. Eventually they put in (external) bandwidth caps, but didn't do any kind of filtering.
Anyway, the short answer is no. Campuses are not a safe haven for unlimited bandwidth or file sharing. Quite the opposite, really. If anything they've been at the forefront of active/deep packet inspection and filtering, perhaps more so than most companies or corporations. They have huge liability issues as well as major bandwidth requirements to meet.

I think it probably depends a great deal on the school. They might not want the RIAA/MPAA on their backs, but it's kind of hard to imagine the school I went too would have actual hardware problems with torrents now, even if they were running the same networking hardware they had when I was there.

But the thing is, just watching HD content on youtube can easily rival piracy in terms of bandwidth consumed, and at this point I usually switch to HD if it's available just because. It's hard to imagine that any schools out there are blocking youtube, or HD streams on youtube, so any kind of blocking is probably being done for legal reasons, rather then actual hardware limitations.
posted by delmoi at 1:03 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


In other news: The Pirate Bay Departs Sweden And Sets Sail For Norway and Spain
posted by homunculus at 1:45 PM on February 26, 2013


Given HBO's business model, they probably figure they lose less money from piracy then they would from decoupling their content from a cable subscription

This is how legacy industries are disrupted. They can't tear themselves away from the short term pain to ensure their long term survival.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:04 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


But HBO is clearly laying the groundwork for the transition. That's what HBO GO is all about. They're not just sitting there in the buggy whip factory counting their money.
posted by Justinian at 2:46 PM on February 26, 2013


But HBO is clearly laying the groundwork for the transition.

Netflix is already available to cordcutters, while HBO is the butt of rage comics.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:16 PM on February 26, 2013


THERE ARE SHAUN THE SHEEP EPISODES??? Off to... legally watch them on a friend's fully-paid cable subscription. Yep.

The oldest episodes are on Netflix. There's a new season starting in March in the UK.
posted by drezdn at 5:24 PM on February 26, 2013


Man up here!

A willingness to actually fight in Court pro-se isn't manning up?

Contract law binds the hands in this matter. 'service guarantees' are non existent in this matter and not a basis to shut 'em down.

About the best hope is some kind of "damage to reputation" or an unwillingness to enforce "my" copyrights in their automated system. Take the stream of data from a google glasses life, claim copyright and force feed the copyright watchers to consume that stream.

The moral dimensions of civil disobedience come from willingness to break the law in order to showcase its shortcomings. If you want to make the point, force the issue with true positives.

I don't WANT the hollywood dreck. There are plenty of laws on the books for Hollywood to use and have not bothered to use. Get them to use the system already in place.

Adding in the extra-judicial process is what I'd like to stop. Thousands of pro-se's marching into courthouses all across the land to put an end to their kangroo court has an appeal.

Most of the rest of the people in this thread are just trying to figure out how to keep breaking the law VS the 1 who's stated they are 'off the teat' of Hollywood.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:53 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


acb: Wouldn't traffic to iPredator be probable cause for search and seizure?

I can't see how it would be, any more than using envelopes to hide your letters is probable cause to search your home.
posted by Malor at 7:08 PM on February 26, 2013


Of course HBO WANTS to offer HBO Go to people without cable, but their hands are pretty much tied due to some contracts signed with major cable companies. I imagine they're waiting for those to run their course so they can (finally) a la carte HBO go to ANYONE which would be a huge revenue generator for hbo. It's not their fault. Blame the cable companies.
posted by dep at 5:09 AM on February 27, 2013


VPN + Giganews = bliss. Optionally, add couch potato and sickbeard to Really next level your setup.
posted by dep at 5:17 AM on February 27, 2013


I thought this was interesting
Panel mediator Rosemary Neill noted Game of Thrones was the most pirated show of 2012 and that 10 per cent of the downloads came from Australia.

But (Game of Thrones Director)Petrarca shrugged and said the illegal downloads did not matter because such shows thrived on “cultural buzz” and capitalised on the social commentary they generated.

“That’s how they survive,” he told the crowd gathered at the University of Western Australia.

[...]

He said HBO alone had 26 million subscribers in the US and 60 million worldwide, which meant there was plenty of money filtering in and allowing the channel to produce high quality content despite any illegal downloading.
I wonder if he'll get to direct any more episodes.
posted by the_artificer at 5:40 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't believe for a second they'd retaliate in that way. It would be boneheaded. But in a clear example of "Dog Bites Man" news HBO came out today and said they didn't agree with his statement.
posted by Justinian at 2:52 PM on February 27, 2013


How AT&T Is Planning to Rob Americans of an Open Public Telco Network
posted by homunculus at 6:49 PM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


America's six-strikes copyright system is a nightmare
posted by homunculus at 11:21 AM on March 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


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