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Belgian ISP Forced To Block P2P Traffic 207

Posted by kdawson
from the it-could-happen-here dept.
An anonymous reader lets us know of developments in a case in Belgium that has been under litigation since 2004. The Belgian copyright watchdog SABAM has forced an ISP to begin filtering P2P traffic (PDF). According to the PDF on the SABAM site: "The Belgian Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers (SABAM) has just won an important legal battle within the context of the dispute that opposes it to the Internet Service Provider (ISP) Tiscali, which has become Scarlet Extended Ltd. In its sentence of June 29, 2007, the Court of First Instance of Brussels is demanding from the access provider that it adopts one of the technical measures put forward by the expert in order to prevent Internet users from illegally downloading SABAM's musical repertoire via P2P software." The rumor is that Scarlet will be forced to deploy the same software as MySpace uses (Audible Magic) to filter illegal P2P traffic from the legal.
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Belgian ISP Forced To Block P2P Traffic

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  • by OlivierB (709839) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @11:21AM (#19754453)
    For Relakks.com to start marketing their services to these ISP customers.

    FYI, here's what Relakks does:
    "- You'll exchange the IP-number you get from your ISP to an anonymous IP-number .
    - You get a safe/encrypted connection between your computer and the Internet. "

    How could the ISP filter or block VPN traffic without annoying the rest of the professionals who rely on corporate VPN access?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      How could the ISP filter or block VPN traffic without annoying the rest of the professionals who rely on corporate VPN access?

      Unfortunately some ISPs throttle all encrypted traffic and will continue to do so, unless customers start leaving in droves.
      • by bberens (965711)
        I'm not clear on how the ISP could distinguish between encrypted data and any generic binary data.
        • by jZnat (793348) *
          If said generic binary data has a recognisable structure, it can probably be assumed to be unencrypted. However, the difference between random data and encrypted data is indistinguishable provided a good crypto algorithm and a random key.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by beyondkaoru (1008447)
          people generally don't send raw binary data these days; they send things encapsulated in ftp or http or whatever. those are easy to recognize, since routers can keep track of the whole tcp stream (aka eavesdrop) and look inside to see what's going on. so, even if you're downloading an image, you first had to do an http get. some encrypted protocols are obvious (ie, start with a handshake that is easy to recognize), and others are not, but hey, isp's control the routers, so can do whatever they want.

          some of
    • How could the ISP filter or block VPN traffic without annoying the rest of the professionals who rely on corporate VPN access?

      They don't need to. They just need to block traffic to Relakks, then all other legit traffic can continue.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by OlivierB (709839)
        ou are right but to that one could reply that:
        - There is no evidence that Relakks customers are involved in illegal activities (unlike P2P whose unecnrypted packets you can monitor). I for instance happen to use Relakks more for Hotspot access than anything else.

        - What happens if Relakks has some sort of DynDns VPN server address? The ISP could not reference this address in their DNS servers but then agin those subscribing to Relakks are savy enough to use OpenDNS as well.

        What happens then?
        FYI, countries li
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dAzED1 (33635)
          trust me, it wouldn't be difficult. If you can find it easily, then they can block it easily. Matters not if you use a different name service.
          • If you can find it easily, then they can block it easily.

            That's false. Unless the ISP wants to move to destination address whitelisting (i.e. you can only access approved servers), there's no way to reliably prevent people from using encrypted VPN tunnels for their P2P traffic. If set up properly, such tunnels can actually *improve* P2P download speeds in some cases.

            • by dAzED1 (33635)
              1) adding headers never improves speed. You're smoking crack.
              2) we're not talking about preventing VPN tunnels in general, we're talking about preventing traffic (of any sort) in specific - specifically a certain site. If an ISP doesn't want you to get to that one site, it is beyond trivial for them to block your "easy" attempts to get it.
      • Then route it through TOR.

        There is no such thing as a reliable blocker based on IPs.
        • by dAzED1 (33635)
          um, yes there is.

          Query various name services for the crap you want to block. They'll give you an IP. Block those IPs.

          Block the meta-IPs for TOR and any other such thing. At some point, you're relying upon something with a stable name/ip association. Block that thing.
          • If you enjoy rolling stones uphill, be my guest. You'll have to block "random" IP addresses all over the planet.

            I dunno if you know how TOR works. If not, here [eff.org] you can find the specs. And the program. And the proxy, in case you want to participate and become a proxy, too.
    • by monk.e.boy (1077985) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @11:34AM (#19754607) Homepage

      Hey, lets all burn 3 CDs of mp3s each, and post it to random Belgans.

      FILTER THAT, FUCK-WITS

      :-P

      monk.e.boy

      • by J0nne (924579)
        Great, contact me to get my address, send whatever you like...
    • $5/month or $50/12-month period

      Wasn't the whole point of the P2P stuff this court ruling targets that people don't want to pay for the content?

      ( Yes, I know.. "people are willing to pay for the content, but not as much as the copyright holders are asking" ..not sure how that became an excuse for "so I'll just get it cheaper illicitly" instead of "so I'll just wait 2 months and pick it up out of the bargain bin", but alright. )
      • by MightyYar (622222)
        They still get my money if I wait until it's in the bargain bin. I want to make sure that doesn't happen.
        • by Kijori (897770)
          Then buy it second hand. Unless what you meant by not wanting them to have your money is that you want to have it...
          • by MightyYar (622222)
            My first choice is to find independent labels. If there is someone I REALLY love on a major label, then I will buy it 2nd hand, though 2nd hand shops are not that easy to find and online purchases of 2nd hand stuff are a bit shady since you can't inspect it first.

            But I have no moral problem downloading the major label stuff - mostly I don't like the quality, though. If I'm going to put on my pirate hat, it is typically to go over to the library with my laptop and rip compilation CDs. The New York Public Lib
    • by Alchemar (720449)
      By only blocking VPN traffic that goes outside the country for anyone that has a residential account. Most people that would need to access a VPN outside the country would need to do so from the company that they were visiting, or access from a hotel. I am sure that companies large enough to have international visitors and hotels could set up an unfiltered line. I am not in favor of this action, just given some prior thought about how this wonderful loophole was going to be eventually closed.
      • by OlivierB (709839)
        you assume that my employers VPN servers are based in the same country as I am. In any multinational company, they will have a central VPN server, and it sure as hell won't be in Belgium. What if I am a small company in Belgium and I oustource all my hosting to a company in the UK? Your solution doesn't work.
        • by Tony Hoyle (11698)
          If they have any sense they'll have VPN gateways in each country that they operate in. They're dirt cheap to setup, and wouldn't be travelling over home but business ones, so no restrictions.
  • Just encrypt? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dintech (998802) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @11:21AM (#19754459)
    Is it just me or is this trivial to circumvent by encrypting traffic?
    • by profplump (309017)
      It's not just you.
    • Re:Just encrypt? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 05, 2007 @12:16PM (#19755195)
      The deep packet inspection boxes that ISPs buy can thoroughly block encrypted Bittorrent traffic because it examines the "pattern" of connections (BIttorrent's are unique), not the actual content.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jZnat (793348) *
        But which is more expensive: the deep-inspection boxen, or the amount of bandwidth being used by encrypted BitTorrent? I would probably guess the inspection box is, but that's just me.
        • The inspection box is a mostly one one-time capital expenditure. An OC-192 or similar high-speed connection to a Tier-one backbone provider could cost hundreds of thousands of US dollars per month.

          Buying bandwidth (or maintaining, leasing, and deploying fiber in the case of Tier-1s) is the #2 recurring cost an ISP faces, second only to employee salaries.

          Even very expensive hardware is comparatively cheap.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by iwan-nl (832236)
        From the summary:

        The rumor is that Scarlet will be forced to deploy the same software as MySpace uses (Audible Magic [CC]) to filter illegal P2P traffic from the legal.

        I don't know how the mentioned software works, but if they are going to distinguish between legal and illegal P2P traffic, they will have to analyse the content. If that's the case, I think encrypted content can only be blocked by employing a whitelist containing fingerprints of legal content.

      • by MikShapi (681808)
        Bittorrent (or the next generation of P2P, be that whatever) will simply adjust.

        I can think offhand of at least two simple ways -
        1. Encapsulate bittorrent in SSL over plain port-80 HTTP.
        2. Either randomize or approximate flow pattern of any legit application that would be way too painful for any ISP to block.

        The sheer scale of false positives, bad vibes, pissed customers and support load an ISP would encounter from any form of selective blocking of high-profile legit customer data will make it totally impra
    • by billsf (34378)
      You are right. Its very obvious and I'm still puzzled why this wasn't done from the start. Torrent has an easy to recognize pattern as one author said, crypted or not. Far more problematic would be key management. Another issue is using crypto improperly can be worse than not using it at all. While its routine with Unix, its not with Windows. Small issues, but a political move like this might be just what's needed to get people to understand the basics and use it.

       
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 05, 2007 @11:23AM (#19754479)
    Aw, Belgium, man! Belgium!
  • by Jaaay (1124197) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @11:24AM (#19754485)
    It'll be interesting if they'll be able to sue for damages once P2P customers take their buisness elsewhere since this is being selective applied to them and not their competitors for now. Note that this is for a specific ISP so it's really making them uncompetitive. If it were applied to all ISPs then it wouldn't make a difference for the company but if their the odd one out you'd imagine they'll lose a lot of customers since in the reality of this situation a lot of people like to spend all day downloading stuff. Legally if this was applied it should be in a law that affects all isps to keep the market fair. Whether any law banning P2P which has legitimate users also is good in the first place is another question.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Broken scope (973885)
      All the Belgian wow players are going to be pissed.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by arivanov (12034)
        They are pissed as is already. AFAIK Belgian congestion levels due to P2P are one of the worst in Europe at the moment. So funnily enough this is likely to receive support from a large portion of the paying customers.
        • by J0nne (924579)
          I doubt that. Every major ISP here limits the amount of traffic per month, which means that people tend to either leech (=not share on p2p networks) or use newsgroups or rapidshare. Bur hey, prove me wrong by providing a source if you like.
  • by bunburyist (664958) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @11:25AM (#19754499)
    I think that our Belgian friends could simply bypass this using protocol encryption for bitorrent. Since bittorrent can work on any port, portblocking filters are useless. Packet sniffers would have a tough time detecting encrypted traffic. The major bittorrent clients all support protocol encryption. For a guide on how to get it working with your client check out:
    TorrentFreak's guide to protocol encrpytion [torrentfreak.com]
  • Legal VS Illegal (Score:4, Insightful)

    by j.sanchez1 (1030764) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @11:25AM (#19754501)
    According to SABAM, if all Belgian Internet access providers would adopt the technical measures proposed by the expert so that P2P software could no longer be used for exchanging copyright works, this would put an end to the illegal traffic as Belgium is concerned.

    But what about the LEGAL P2P traffic, like Linux Distros and patches for various apps and games that are out there, as well as artists who promote and encourage the sharing of their works?

    I hope that this isn't dragged over here to the States by the RIAA or MPAA.
    • by kv9 (697238)

      But what about the LEGAL P2P traffic, [snip]
      RTFblurb

      The rumor is that Scarlet will be forced to deploy the same software as MySpace uses (Audible Magic [CC]) to filter illegal P2P traffic from the legal.
    • Re:Legal VS Illegal (Score:4, Informative)

      by guruevi (827432) <(eb.ebucgnikoms) (ta) (ive)> on Thursday July 05, 2007 @12:32PM (#19755425) Homepage
      Well, as you know, the RIAA is trying to force ISP's and universities to use the same exact appliance (Audible Magic) to block P2P traffic. If you work at a university and get to know this appliance, basically all it is is a very expensive firewall and as their website also declares, it blocks all unencrypted P2P traffic, doesn't differentiate between 'legal' or 'illegal' use.

      It wouldn't surprise me if Audible Magic is owned or otherwise affiliated to people within the RIAA and it's offshoot organizations.

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Does anybody else find it funny that they're supposed to use a product called "magic" to block P2P traffic? Does it detect things that are zipped/rarred? How about ISOs? How about Ogg? How about VFQ files? It's nice that they have a product that is supposed to do the blocking for them, so they don't have to worry about how well the filtering is being done, but I think it will be pretty useless, and that people will just find a very easy way to get around the filter.
      • by Jugalator (259273)
        it blocks all unencrypted P2P traffic, doesn't differentiate between 'legal' or 'illegal' use.

        Wow. Even computer game companies like Blizzard Entertainment should make more noise about that.
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      I hope that this isn't dragged over here to the States by the RIAA or MPAA.

      Of course they will.

      See, lately, they've been acting abroad through subsidiaries, getting other countries to sign up for more restrictive laws than they have to deal with, and then getting congress to re-import those laws in the interests of 'harmonizing' everyone's laws.

      I'm willing to bet if you followed the trail, it's large multinationals like Sony who initially lobbied for these laws in the first place. Next, they'll push real h

  • I get the impression an SSL standard for packet encryption is going to get put together for torrent fairly soon...

    Either that or a couple of the bigger ones are going to get updates/patches/plugings so when sharing with the same client they will be encrypted...
    • by brunes69 (86786)
      Azerus already does packet encryption.... has done so for years.
    • Azureus has supported RC4 stream cipher for a long time.

      It's not as strong as SSL could be, but for the purpose at hand it's perfect.
  • by Bullfish (858648) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @11:26AM (#19754519)
    That the "experts" think methods like these (filtering) work when it comes to stopping and slowing piracy when history shows that they do not. In fact, pretty much any shutdown/slowdown ever achieved created or accelerated development of newer, stealthier, more robust methods of piracy and distribution. At best it seems a scam to sell filtering software.
    • Creates "Jobs" (Score:2, Interesting)

      by superbrose (1030148)

      Another somebody gets paid for implementing a technology that definitely does not offer any real solution to the piracy problem and probably makes life for the law-abiding end-user a little more difficult.

      Just like those fantastic copy-protected CDs that were so safe that pirates managed to copy them instantly, while many CD players failed to read them (not to mention the reduction in sound quality)!

      Instead of paying all these experts to come up with the solution, maybe prices for digital products shoul

      • Re:Creates "Jobs" (Score:5, Insightful)

        by CastrTroy (595695) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @01:19PM (#19756041) Homepage
        This is the problem with the Music/Movie companies. They want to maximize their profits. So they ran their numbers through some computer, and discovered that movies should cost $X and that CDs should cost $Y. These prices have nothing to do with the cost of producing the CD/DVD, because the cost of those is effectively $0. Instead they try to figure out how many people they can get to buy the product at a certain price in order to make the highest profit. However, these calculations were done a long time ago, long before P2P was widespread. People were willing to pay more for stuff when there was no other way to get it. However, now that people have another way to get it, legal or otherwise, they should lower their prices in order to compete with piracy. Piracy shouldn't be an issue. If you like a song, it should be so cheap to buy it that you won't even think twice and will just get it right away. Currently, people have to look at the price, think it over, leave the store, and then maybe go back to the store (virtual or brink and mortar) and make a conscious descision to purchase music. However, if they made CDs $5, and DVDs similar, and downloaded songs around 10-25 cents, people wouldn't even think about whether or not they should buy it, or if it was worth pirating, they would just pay for it.
    • Yes, but now the music+movie industry can blame the failure on the ISP, and drag them into further litigation.
  • Encryption (Score:5, Insightful)

    by javilon (99157) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @11:39AM (#19754673) Homepage
    I will repeat what I say on this cases, and also about censorship and network neutrality issues:

    The only way to assure net neutrality is to encrypt every packet and randomize the ports on all new network protocols. This is true right now for some P2P and skype.
    Given the current European policy on data retention, we should do it even for mail and instant messaging. Of course you should use sftp instead of ftp and ssh instead of telnet, and your SMTP sessions should go encrypted, but that is not enough. We should rewrite every protocol and make it look like IPSEC.

    This way we would avoid the following problems without the need for regulation:

    - Government censorship (the China firewall becomes less efficient)
    - Traffic Shaping (ISPs shouldn't have the right to decide what protocols can you use).
    - Multi tier pricing (the ISP could discriminate by IP, but not by service)
    - Traffic analysis (for example the European Data Retention policy. If all packets look the same it becomes much more difficult)

    A technical solution is always better than a political one.

    In this case, the "expert" wouldn't have suggested the filtering solution if all of the p2p protocols where encrypted, like some bittorrent variants.
    • Re:Encryption (Score:5, Interesting)

      by profplump (309017) <zach-slashjunk@kotlarek.com> on Thursday July 05, 2007 @11:52AM (#19754865)
      Instead of re-writing every protocol to look like IPSEC, couldn't we add a layer to the network stack between the transport layer and the IP layer to encrypt the IP payload? Then we wouldn't have to re-write all our old apps, wouldn't need to implement encryption in every app, and wouldn't need to try to hide the port numbers. If only there were such an IP-layer SECurity service...
      • Instead of re-writing every protocol to look like IPSEC, couldn't we add a layer to the network stack between the transport layer and the IP layer to encrypt the IP payload? Then we wouldn't have to re-write all our old apps, wouldn't need to implement encryption in every app, and wouldn't need to try to hide the port numbers. If only there were such an IP-layer SECurity service...

        Maybe we should call it Stunnel [stunnel.org]?

    • As we migrate to IPv6, we should adopt the approach of developing all new protocols with port randomness and encryption-by-design in mind, then gradually phase out old protocols. Even basic infrastructure protocols could be phased out: think of the day UUCP was replaced by SMTP; both coexisted for a while, but nowadays UUCP is virtually unheard of.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      "A technical solution is always better than a political one." That depends on who's version of "solution" you end up with. One persons solution is another's restriction...
  • Usenet and IRC are next, guys. All it takes is one person to show some jackass ignorant lawmaker a pie chart of bandwidth used for piracy compared to bandwidth used for information exchange.

    What is happening to our intertubes?! :'(!
  • by gelfling (6534) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @11:57AM (#19754917) Homepage Journal
    It's insane that my provider can happily support my P2P traffic, get paid for it then turn around and rat me out all the while being immune from those very same lawsuits. If people want to see changes in the P2P laws then you will have to make the carriers bleed.
    • by MightyYar (622222)
      That already happened in the US - thus the carriers getting a pass in the DMCA, and the infamous DMCA takedown notice.
  • Bad news (Score:4, Informative)

    by Filip47 (728436) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @12:01PM (#19754997)
    This is bad news for us Belgians. We have but 3 major ISP's in the country and Scarlet is one of them. Soon, SABAM could attack the other two. Scarlet was the best choice to start, as it is the smallest of the three.
    • by KevinColyer (883316) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @01:25PM (#19756131) Homepage
      I am disappointed by SABAM but not surprised. I live in Brussels and we run a small bar that plays live music. It is typical European - i.e. a small venue. We pay SABAM licensing fees for playing general recorded music and for concerts we host. (And a separate fee for our shop next door's right to play music). Now we could only fit a maximum of 50 people in and yet we still pay the same fees clubs fitting in hundreds would.

      When bands come and play their own original music, we have to pay a fee to SABAM for this right...
      What upsets me the most is that as far as we know NONE of the bands who fall into that category have received one Euro cent of royalties from SABAM.

      I (and many others here) are not impressed with this company. Their business seems more akin to racketeering than ensuring royalties are correctly rewarded to the artists who created the works.
      • When bands come and play their own original music, we have to pay a fee to SABAM for this right...


        What gives them the right to demand those fees? Did you sign some kind of shitty contract or is it stipulated by law?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by J0nne (924579)
          I'm not sure how they got the right to ask that, but they can force you to pay. If you throw a (public) party and you play music, you have to pay them too.
    • by houghi (78078)
      Yes, if you looked at only the largest three. There are other alternatives. I use Evonet. One of the reasons is that they are not scared if you use the word Linux talking to them.
      • My problem with Evonet is that they do not have a proper English website (i.e. so-called English pages are in Dutch).
    • Unless things have changed recently, Belgium has only one ISP - Belgacom Skynet. All the others are just resellers.
      • Have you been living under a rock ?

        Nowadays some ISPs will sell you an internet service through a Belgacom line (as far as I know, Mobistar does this for example), but even then we're talking about two different layers of services (the line and the internet connection at the end of said line).

        Other ISPs will work completely independently using their own hardware on the raw twisted-pair (Scarlet does that). Of course, twisted pair belongs to the incumbent operator (which in this case is Belgacom) but that's
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 05, 2007 @12:05PM (#19755049)
    No, this isn't the 'p2p' is legal in Canadialand response. It's the "Canadian ISPs do this without being lobbied".

    Rogers Cable throttle _all_ encrypted traffic now, as people were encrypting to get around bittorrent throttling. Your 7Meg line will get about 10KB down on a fully seeded torrent (Linux ISOs or whatever).

    No worries, you'd think, in a nice open market you can just go to the competition, except that there is none. If your local copper is incapabable of decent DSL speeds, chances are Rogers are your Only option for broadband.

    Go the 'free' market.
    • by ratboy666 (104074)
      As I have noticed...

      Of course there is an "easy" solution... Encrypt everything, rencode the encrypted version to ASCII, PNG content, and WAV formats and then transport that via normal http requests. But, break it into a "page with rich content", hitting n servers.

      The data will expand (roughly by 2x, it will actually be a bit less). Since the throttle is 10KB compared to 5MB, its 500 times slower. So, this will speed up your transfer by 250 times. The value of "n" would then be 8 to 10, which corresponds we
  • ob (Score:3, Funny)

    by Hognoxious (631665) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @12:15PM (#19755193) Homepage Journal
    I for one welcome our new Belgian [zapatopi.net] overlords.
  • Let's see how SABAM holds up against the Foreign University and College Kids Exchanging Music group (FUCKEM).
  • by holt (86624) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @12:52PM (#19755691) Homepage
    Many people have been commenting that acoustic fingerprinting is how ISPs can differentiate between legal and illegal traffic. What I'm confused by, though, is why files that match are automatically determined to be illegal traffic. Are MP3 files I ripped myself from CDs I purchased and still own considered to be illegal? If not, how can an ISP know whether a particular transfer is between me and some random P2P person, or between me and another machine under my control? If the transfer is between two machines I control, is that actually an illegal transfer?

    The problem is that there is no way to know, simply by inspecting packets or analysing traffic flow, whether the users involved have the appropriate licenses to perform the action they're performing.
  • Can anyone let me know if 'Audible Magic' has a tag and rename feature? Can it download album art? I need to know more about this product!!!!!1one
  • Don't panic yet. (Score:3, Informative)

    by witte (681163) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @02:42PM (#19757077)
    This is only the Court of First Instance. Scarlet will appeal, and this may very well drag on for several more years. The decision may be overturned; and I expect it will be.

    What I don't know, IANAL : Is Scarlet already obliged to enforce this ass-hat decision while the case is appealed ?
    If so, as a Scarlet customer I will have to figure out a way to subvert Le Filtre P2P until I find another ISP. Sorry Scarlet ;-(

    Tangentially, it's worth noting that SABAM tries to set a precedent by taking on a small ISP (at the time this case started rolling they were quite small compared to Skynet and Telenet).
    I don't see them trying to pull this shit on Skynet/Belgacom. Odds are they'd get crushed like a puppy trying to stop a bus. (Wishful thinking)
  • Not that that is much better, but it is not as bad as it looks. At least it is realy directed at copyrighted material, not at the protocol in itself.

    Some information on the tool they most likely will be using and the thoughts about that tool
    http://www.eff.org/share/audible_magic.php [eff.org]
    http://www.eff.org/share/audible_magic.php?f=audib le_magic_letter.html [eff.org]
    http://www.eff.org/share/audible_magic.php?f=audib le_magic2.html [eff.org]

    They claim is that they can filter 70%. That means that can't filter 30%. Let's see how fast
  • This movie [dumpalink.com] is for those who do not understand what paricy is.

    It is a pity that those new fangled technowlegees killed the movie industry.
  • by eagl (86459) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @03:58PM (#19758085) Journal
    Every business (linux distro producers plus others) that rely on bittorrent as a primary means of distributing their product should join together and sue for anti-competitive practices. If MS can get sued and lose for including a media player in their OS bundle, then certainly a "watchdog group" that forces an ISP to block the primary distribution means of multiple companies can be held liable for lost business.

    The music industry does not live in a digital vacuum and the sooner they (and lawmakers) figure out that they are just one medium-sized piece of the digital landscape, the better. Heck, any company that uses the internet should feel threatened that one industry can block use of the internet across the board, because it's only a matter of time before the precedent set here will be used by some other group to shut off, say, TCP-IP because that's how computers communicate to each other to do something or another that is illegal somewhere.
  • How many times do we have to go over this? there are only three things in life that are certain: Death, taxes, and the guarantee that teen-age boys will find a way to DL their prOn.

    Now that's a battle the government will NEVER win.

    d

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