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UK ISPs Could Be Forced To Block Or Restrict P2P 231

Posted by Soulskill
from the expanding-the-job-description dept.
MJackson writes "The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has published a draft set of proposals for tackling illegal broadband file sharing (P2P) downloads by persistent infringers, among other things. The proposals form part of a discussion piece concerning the role that a UK Digital Rights Agency (DRA) could play. UK Internet Providers will already be required to warn those suspected of such activity and collect anonymised information on serious repeat infringers, though they could soon be asked to go even further. The new discussion paper, while not going into much detail, has proposed two potential example solutions to the problem. UK ISPs could employ protocol blocking or bandwidth restrictions in relation to persistent infringers. In other words, P2P services could be blocked, or suspected users might find their service speeds seriously restricted."
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UK ISPs Could Be Forced To Block Or Restrict P2P

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  • I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Sunday March 15, 2009 @01:16PM (#27200881) Journal

    Why is there such a big push to punish infringers outside the court system?
    How many other types of civil crimes get treated the same way?

    • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by klingens (147173) on Sunday March 15, 2009 @01:42PM (#27201099)

      > Why is there such a big push to punish infringers outside the court system?

      Because there are so many infringers that the court system would be clogged for years with nothing else and the cost for the justice system not bearable.

      • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

        by BSAtHome (455370) on Sunday March 15, 2009 @02:04PM (#27201263)

        On the other hand, the sheer number of "infringers" means that there is a demand for something that is not satisfied by the normal market. So, either you can beat down on the "infringers" by any means, or you try to make them part of the regular market. You already know where the profit would be.

        The traditional view of "property" and "limited monopoly" is turned upside down with the commoditization of communication. If you cannot control the distribution channel, then all attempts on artificial scarcity will be in vein too. The only sustainable way out is to rethink the way we see creation and exploitation of it.

        • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

          by commodore64_love (1445365) on Sunday March 15, 2009 @02:31PM (#27201407) Journal

          "What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural fertilizer." - Thomas Jefferson, founder of the Democratic Party.

          Wise words.

          In this case the tyrants would be the CEOs behind RIAA and MPAA and the Author's Guild. Jefferson in 1816 wrote a friend, "I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country". ALSO: "I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale."

          Sometimes I wonder if this guy had a crystal ball. Almost everything he said has come true. Today we spend 2000 billion dollars, and tomorrow our children and grandchildren are expected to pay their parents' debt. Nice. And corporations exert more power over government than do the People for which government exists! Of course Jefferson knew his history - everything he warned against had already happened in the past.

          We just keep repeating the same mistakes.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by DNS-and-BIND (461968)
            Ridiculous. Refreshed with the blood of patriots. So, is it you who will stand up and take a couple of bullets in the chest for your beliefs? I didn't think so. It's just like during Bush, when angry liberals ranted about the constitution and waited for someone else to start the revolution (which they would then support with firmly-worded weblog posts and paypal donations).
            • Re:I don't get it (Score:4, Insightful)

              by an unsound mind (1419599) on Sunday March 15, 2009 @04:05PM (#27202121)

              And what is PATRIOTISM?

              When did American become a religion as opposed to a nationality?

              • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                by Vertana (1094987)

                September 11th 2001. Don't support the PATRIOT ACT? Sounds like terrorism to me...

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by jabithew (1340853)

                This is quite an interesting one. I was talking to an American friend after Obama's inauguration, and she was telling me how she felt more proud to be American than ever before. She actually said "I feel more nationalistic than ever", because patriotism has become such a dirty word with the left in America.

                Of course, as a European, I told her to say patriotic, because I can't hear the word 'nationalist' without thinking of fields with graves as far as the eye can see...

            • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Screaming Cactus (1230848) on Sunday March 15, 2009 @05:37PM (#27203005)

              In Jefferson's time, people regularly fought and died for their beliefs. Today, you may be right, but when Jefferson wrote those words, HE was right. And he still is. If no one is willing to risk death for freedom, then liberty will wither away (like it has been doing).

              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                by JunkmanUK (909293)

                Likening some fifteen year old spotty kid who wants the latest Linkin' Park album to people who faught and died protecting their freedom is, to be honest, a bit insulting. There is no deep meaningful argument supporting illegal free downloading. Basically it comes down to a rather primal 'I want it free and I can get it free so I will'. Services cost, and if people don't want to pay anything at all then they don't need the service.

                Please note - this is not in support of the music publishers, which I tota

              • by syousef (465911)

                In Jefferson's time, people regularly fought and died for their beliefs. Today, you may be right, but when Jefferson wrote those words, HE was right. And he still is. If no one is willing to risk death for freedom, then liberty will wither away (like it has been doing).

                Have you SEEN what these fools are pirating? I wouldn't risk life or limb for the latest Guns And Roses Album. Hell I wouldn't even risk a slice of toast for that rubbish. There's risking your life for freedom, then there's risking it to list

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              >>>Refreshed with the blood of patriots. So, is it you who will stand up and take a couple of bullets in the chest for your beliefs?

              Okay.

              Like my forefathers did in the 1770s (against an oppressive government), 1810s (against a foreign power kidnapping citizens), and 1860s (on both sides). I'm going to die anyway, and rather than die an old man gasping for his last breath, I'd prefer to die in service to Liberty and Human Rights. RIAA is an organization that threatens citizens with extortion - pay

        • Re:I don't get it (Score:4, Interesting)

          by moteyalpha (1228680) * on Sunday March 15, 2009 @02:31PM (#27201411) Homepage Journal
          Very insightful and if I had mod points today, you would get them. Also I see that it is a hopeless effort on their part if there is demand. It is like keeping picnic baskets from bears. I can think of several ways around the P2P restrictions using steganography, and other transforms. By attempting to block the most primitive methods that the bears use, it will lead to smarter bears and an ever more expensive government bureaucracy, which is probably their goal.
          Bureaucrats think in terms of selecting a niche that has endless and lifelong traction and income.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Kjella (173770)

          On the other hand, the sheer number of "infringers" means that there is a demand for something that is not satisfied by the normal market. So, either you can beat down on the "infringers" by any means, or you try to make them part of the regular market. You already know where the profit would be.

          There's a huge demand for free Ferraris too, that is not satisfied by the normal market. Why? Because supplying what the market wants at the prices the market is willing to pay would lose money, that's why. So please show me the revenue/cost statement that will turn a profit. I'll give you a template:

          Revenue = 0$ * units = 0$
          Distribution cost = 0$ * units = 0$
          Initial cost: x$
          Total profit: 0$ - 0$ - x$ = -x$

          Marketing? More units at 0$ profit. And your fans on a different continent is never going to visit you

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by nabsltd (1313397)

            Face it, if you're going to go on tour and cover the cost of touring, you'd better be pretty famous already. And the idea that people like to donate for free stuff in any significant amount is contradicted by pretty much everything I've heard whether it's software projects or otherwise.

            You must work for a record label, because this is exactly the sort of nonsense they spout in order to try and prop up their failing business model through legislation.

            Here [techdirt.com] is a great example of how giving away things can make you a lot of money in the long run. You don't have to be famous to begin with...you just have to be talented and smart enough to figure out how to make money with that talent.

            I suspect this last part is the major reason there are so many musicians whining about file sharing taking fo

          • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

            by DangerFace (1315417) on Sunday March 15, 2009 @05:06PM (#27202669) Journal

            you'd better be pretty famous already

            ...and I'm sure it's much easier to get famous when people have to pay you just in order to listen to your music. In fact, why not extend the point? It is, in fact, harder to give something away for free than sell it for extortionate sums! And incidentally, I am a musician and would never, ever charge for my music, beyond the costs of distribution - just with my laptop, a few bits and bobs and my trusty SM57 I could make an album tomorrow, master it the next day, and be giving it away the day after with no capital outlay whatsoever outside of what I have spent on treats for myself - and I'm learning to program almost specifically for the purpose of not charging for it. So, that's your experience out the window. So...

            Revenue = ($0 * units) + donations = $some

            Distribution costs = ($x * units) - ($x * units) = $0

            Initial costs = $0

            Money from playing live = $quite a bit - $a little bit = $some

            Total profit = $some + $0 + $0 + $some = 2*$some

        • On the other hand, the sheer number of "infringers" means that there is a demand for something that is not satisfied by the normal market. So, either you can beat down on the "infringers" by any means, or you try to make them part of the regular market. You already know where the profit would be.

          In this case nowhere.
          I understand your viewpoint but it's gone to far and it's to late. No matter what business model you will provide, as long as people can get the same product with the same quality for free there is no business model.

          When it comes to music there are a few very viable alternatives for downloading digital music for a marginal price.
          Yet 90% (wild guess) of all digital music is pirated, 1 dollar is still to much it seems. Free is still the more attractive, and usually the easiest, choice

          When

      • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 15, 2009 @02:44PM (#27201507)

        If there are so many infringers, then the law does not serve the people...

      • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TubeSteak (669689) on Sunday March 15, 2009 @02:56PM (#27201587) Journal

        Because there are so many infringers that the court system would be clogged for years with nothing else and the cost for the justice system not bearable.

        The reason "Western" countries thrive because the police & judiciary are strong, respected, and are (mostly) corruption free. Removing any segment of society from the State's protection is short sighted and wrong.

        When a law cannot be practically enforced by the police or the courts, the proper response is to revisit the law, not to move enforcement outside the State's legal system.

        Fuck, even the Magna Carta says:
        To no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay, right or justice.

        • by jamstar7 (694492)

          Fuck, even the Magna Carta says:

          To no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay, right or justice.

          Problem is, that's for the UK. Here in the States, Justice belongs to the biggest checkbook. Let's call it the OJ Effect [wikipedia.org].

          Ever notice that *AA isn't going after anybody with any real money to provide a proper defense?

        • by fm6 (162816)

          Removing any segment of society from the State's protection is short sighted and wrong.

          That's a nice principle, but the State has finite resources. (Thank God for that!) It can never do everything you'd like it to do.

          Anway, I don't really think that the whole polity is going to fall apart if IP laws aren't as enforced as rigorously as IP owners would like. Especially when those laws give the IP owners have more "rights" than most people consider fair.

        • by syousef (465911)

          The reason "Western" countries thrive because the police & judiciary are strong, respected, and are (mostly) corruption free

          Mod -1 naive.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by davester666 (731373)

      Well, when in the past has two extremely wealthy industries had their 'work' stolen by the unwashed masses before? How are they expected to keep having ginormous profits if they have to sue every Tom, Dick and Harry for copyright infringement?

      They have to protect their profits by getting the gov't to put us back under their thumb again.

    • by will_die (586523)
      According to a 1995 US Department of justice 12-month study of the 75 most populous counties showed that only 2 percent of some 762,000 state court civil cases were decided by juries.
      So at that point someone had actually filed the paperwork for a court case. So you would have to guess how many civil problems got settled before court paperwork was even filed.
      As for why they are doing that, it is cheaper. If they can get you to settle before the court action they save time and money.
      • Yeah but a trial by your peers is the surest defense of liberty from unjust laws. I would not settle; I'd go all the way to the end.

    • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Adrian Lopez (2615) on Sunday March 15, 2009 @01:45PM (#27201137) Homepage

      It's a frightening prospect. The penalties are significant, but there's no due process of law.

      So why the push? I'm not sure, but I think it has to do with how easy it is to block things at the ISP level (whether workarounds exist, it's easy enough to block things in a way that you have to look for a workaround). It's just easier for the government to inflict the burden of enforcement upon ISPs that to deal with the problem through the courts. As the saying goes: "Out of sight, out of mind."

      • Re:I don't get it (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 15, 2009 @02:00PM (#27201227)

        ..how easy it is to block things at the ISP level..

        It's funny that they think they will be able to install some equipment and then all P2P is automagically blocked. There are plenty of brilliant people out there that will find a way to bypass this system. It's just like trying to take down torrent sites - take down 1 site and 3 more will pop up somewhere else.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          In the old days we pirated stuff directly, via a phone-based network of BBSes. Perhaps something similar will arise if the ISPs block torrenting.

          • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

            by st0rmshad0w (412661) on Sunday March 15, 2009 @03:35PM (#27201843)

            SSL VPN P2P "darknets" already exist.

            My question is, how would a P2P blocking/throttling methodology at the ISP level effect those content producers who distribute via P2P?

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Andy_R (114137)

            It already happens, there are plenty of mp3 sharing blogs that post links to files stored on Rapidshare.de, megaupload.com and other similar sites.

          • by w0mprat (1317953)
            Encrypting torrent traffic goes a long way. It's still possible to detect P2P traffic behaviorally, rather than inspecting packet payload, i.e. by ports, packet size and behavior patterns. Randomize those and suddenly it becomes near impossible to block or throttle.

            A P2P app could use HTTPS over port 80 - that would be impossible to detect.

            Thus we get to fundamentals of why any prohibition scheme is fundamentally flawed.

            At the end of the piracy arms race, if the winners are the big guys, we may end
            • >>>if the winners are the big guys, we may end up with a sanitized internet where all traffic is illegal if it is not traffic on an approved protocol.

              Translation:

              No more downloadable photos of naked women or men because the government will consider that "unfit for children" or some other nonsense. Free speech is not free if you have to first ask permission to open your mouth.

    • Easy (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nurb432 (527695)

      Because doing it this way bypasses peoples legal rights and opens the door to other easy abuses down the road.

      No legal restriction to having an ISP throttle you for any reason, as long as its in the contract.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      >How many other types of civil crimes get treated the same way?

      Until other markets get their dirty money into politicians pockets.

      I'm doing my own war on the music industry by not buying any new music. I haven't bought a new cd from a music store for years. I mostly go to my local Cash Converters and get used cd's for $2.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Just wait. Pretty soon the Used CD market won't exist, because corporations will wisely only make songs/albums available by download. You'll have no choice but to "buy new".

        Yay.

        • Just wait. Pretty soon the Used CD market won't exist, because corporations will wisely only make songs/albums available by download. You'll have no choice but to "buy new".

          Yay.

          Yeah seriously, so much for the right of first sale.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jimicus (737525)

      UK copyright law is criminal liability - and we don't really tend to award punitive damages in the civil system so the $millions in fines you see awarded in the US wouldn't happen over here.

      But even then there is plenty of opportunity to deal with criminal offences outside the court system.

      Fixed penalties for speeding, customs agents have the right to impound your car if you import too much booze or tobacco - they don't need a court order to do so. Councils routinely hand out fines for parking which is de

      • by beelsebob (529313)

        Fixed penalties for speeding, customs agents have the right to impound your car if you import too much booze or tobacco - they don't need a court order to do so. Councils routinely hand out fines for parking which is decriminalised and the only appeal route is to go via the people who issued the ticket in the first place.

        Not strictly true. If you look at any of the letters you get from these people, you'll see they'll all say some varient on the lines of "Dear sir, we caught you engaged in a criminal activ

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        (1) Fixed penalties for speeding, (2) customs agents have the right to impound your car if you import too much booze or tobacco - they don't need a court order to do so. (3) Councils routinely hand out fines for parking which is decriminalised and the only appeal route is to go via the people who issued the ticket in the first place.

        1 & 2 are imposed by the State
        3 is local government (unless a town council is something different in the UK)

        Notice how none of those are private corporations?
        Which is essentially my entire point.

  • by Darkk (1296127) on Sunday March 15, 2009 @01:16PM (#27200883)

    We can encrypt bit-torrent files so they wouldn't be able to tell the difference between P2P to normal traffic. Sheesh.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nurb432 (527695)

      To scare off the average joe user.

      Its not about hardcore techies, that isn't the market they are after.

      • by Patch86 (1465427) on Sunday March 15, 2009 @02:14PM (#27201331)

        But if the technical solutions find their way into mainstream programs as default settings, what then?

        If Limewire and uTorrent and such were to adopt, as default, new technology to disguise file-sharing (and it'd be in their interest to, if ISPs were blocking these programmes en mass), most people would use it. Most people would use it and not even know they were using it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by shish (588640)

      We can encrypt bit-torrent files so they wouldn't be able to tell the difference between P2P to normal traffic. Sheesh.

      Enjoy your throttled HTTPS / SSH / everything else that isn't standard port 80 HTTP...

    • by TheSpoom (715771) * <slashdot@@@uberm00...net> on Sunday March 15, 2009 @02:34PM (#27201427) Homepage Journal

      Most of the ISP filtering nowadays isn't based on protocol specific filtering... it's based on the idea that if you have multiple incoming connections all at once, you're probably using BitTorrent, so they filter you.

      If you can get around that, you're a smarter man than I.

      • by jimicus (737525)

        Most of the ISP filtering nowadays isn't based on protocol specific filtering... it's based on the idea that if you have multiple incoming connections all at once, you're probably using BitTorrent, so they filter you.

        If you can get around that, you're a smarter man than I.

        Easy enough. Proxy everything over a VPN tunnel - then an eavesdropper can't tell if you're using a lot of bandwidth with one connection or many.

        • by MBGMorden (803437)

          A VPN to where? Unless you get some altruistic central authority in some other jurisdiction then a VPN isn't going to do much.

      • by BoberFett (127537)

        So they're going to block online gaming? I don't think Sony and Microsoft will sit around and let that happen.

      • by siDDis (961791)

        What about all of the P2P games out there? Like Civilization 4.

        They can't block multiple incoming connections

        • by beelsebob (529313)

          Yes they can, and the result is Civ 4 players getting screwed over. Have fun with your no gaming :).

      • by st0rmshad0w (412661) on Sunday March 15, 2009 @03:41PM (#27201897)

        Wait until bittorrent is a popular method for delivering licensed content. WoW patches are BT aren't they? Wasn't the BBC talking about content delivery via BT?

    • by jimicus (737525)

      We can encrypt bit-torrent files so they wouldn't be able to tell the difference between P2P to normal traffic. Sheesh.

      There's more than one way to skin a cat.

      Even if you were to encrypt it and run it over port 443, it'd be relatively easy to see if it looks like genuine HTTPS traffic:

      - Are you connecting to a number of IP addresses which are known to be in blocks allocated to domestic DSL/Cable connections? This is made particularly easy when most ISPs around the world set up PTR records like 123.123.123.123.domestic.dsl.customer.london.isp.com.
      - Are you sending a small amount of traffic upstream to a small number of serv

      • by Zerth (26112)

        Averted in the form of a webpage, each image being a block of data and each paragraph next to an image is a Markov chain of English gibberish encoding the checksum/hash of that data.

        Call the website distributed.really-damn-big-images.com and use roundrobin dynamic DNS to point at everyone who tries to download that page.

    • We can encrypt bit-torrent files so they wouldn't be able to tell the difference between P2P to normal traffic. Sheesh.

      Wrong!

      Watch Rob King and Rohlt Dhamankar's talk about identifying encrypted protocols, at http://www.shmoocon.org/2007/presentations.html [shmoocon.org]

      The short version: by looking at packet sizes and interpacket timing going up and down (plus the entropy and traffic difference), you can identify which protocol is being talked over the encrypted channel.

      The problem is that each individual TCP segment is iron-clad encrypted, but the relationship between TCP segments can't really be hidden that well.

      For P2P, at the ISP lev

    • by jamstar7 (694492)
      True, but massive amounts of traffic look suspicious, especially to non-technical lawyer types looking for 'pirates'. You can hide the content, but unless we come up with some SERIOUSLY crunched down compression, they'll still notice massive data transfers.
  • Due process (Score:2, Insightful)

    This sort of thing isn't unreasonable if the people it hits are actually breaking the law. If the law is unreasonable, then getting the authorities to enforce that law uniformly and against everyone breaking it will make those authorities very unpopular and show the law to be flawed. Such laws rarely last much beyond the following election. On the other hand, if the law is reasonable, then impartially punishing those who break it is also reasonable. Personally, I don't have much sympathy for freeloaders.

    Of

  • by krou (1027572) on Sunday March 15, 2009 @01:24PM (#27200943)

    ... the Featured Artists Coalition [featuredar...lition.com], which consists of 140 of the UK's biggest music stars, voted recently [independent.co.uk] on the issue of illegal downloading, and "most of the artists had voted against supporting any move towards criminally prosecuting ordinary members of the public for illegally downloaded music."

    Bragg was speaking as a key member of the coalition, which was set up to give a collective voice to artists who want to fight for their rights in the digital world. It is pushing for a fairer deal for musicians at a time when they can use the internet to forge direct links with their fans. "What I said at the meeting was that the record industry in Britain is still going down the road of criminalising our audience for downloading illegal MP3s," he said.

    "If we follow the music industry down that road, we will be doing nothing more than being part of a protectionist effort. It's like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube.

    "Artists should own their own rights and they should decide when their music should be used for free, or when they should have payment."

    The artists wanted to tell Lord Carter "that we want to side with the audience, the consumer".

    Since we keep getting told to think about the artists, why is no-one listening to what they're saying?

    • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice.gmail@com> on Sunday March 15, 2009 @01:50PM (#27201173)

      Since we keep getting told to think about the artists, why is no-one listening to what they're saying?

      Because most of the artists in question willingly and quickly signed away the right to have a say on the matter when their first contract was placed infront of them.

    • Since we keep getting told to think about the artists, why is no-one listening to what they're saying?

      This reminds me of the popular but incorrect notion that a commercial television network's customers are the viewers, and not the advertisers.

      Those tasked with passing legislation are protecting the interests of media companies. By that I don't mean "the Big Bad Media Companies", but companies that generate tax revenue, employ people, and generally contribute to the economy (or more directly to the pockets

  • I hardly DL at all. Most of my music comes from LAN parties or trading hard drives. Much more efficient.

    when I do DL something, it is because I seek it out using google.

    "nameOfBand"+"nameOfRecord"+download, inurl:blogspot

    gets me a hit on someone who has a blog that features the music I want and has a link to the music on rapidshare or some other online file repository system.

    There is nothing "peer to peer" about it at all.

    These links will break, but are often replaced by other links. The download

  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jamstar7 (694492) on Sunday March 15, 2009 @01:42PM (#27201101)
    How am I supposed to get my Brit TV fix now? If they block everything off, I won't be able to torrent shows I can't officially see here in the US, like The IT Crowd [imdb.com] or FM [imdb.com] or even No Heroics [imdb.com].

    That really sucks.

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      How am I supposed to get my Brit TV fix now? If they block everything off, I won't be able to torrent shows I can't officially see here in the US

      "The Scene" does almost everything through FTP.
      So don't worry, your favorite British shows will still find their way off that cold and rainy island.

      • by mrbcs (737902)
        You're making me nostalgic for the old days..

        Back in 97, when I got my first cable modem, I hooked up to an mp3 site in eastern Canada. We used icq to make contact, then just met and exchanged ftp's and logins with the site users. I'll never forget Pumpkin, this chick had over 20 gigs of mp3s when most hard drives were 4 gigs. Good times. I had a 500 meg scsi drive set up on 1:10 ratio site. It was full every night! I'd take off what I wanted and delete the rest so the next night it would work again. I only

      • by moxley (895517)

        "The Scene" does almost everything through FTP."

        - I wouldn't discount the role of IRC/Undernet; also, I wouldn't worry about losing access to this technology, there will always be a way to get around, bypass, obfuscate any attempt to stop the free flow of information - there will be new technologies.

        The brilliance of the tech and engineering community will never be overcome by the ignorance of corrupt governments and their corporate bedmates.

        They can make things difficult, they can put the fear into

    • by meist3r (1061628)

      How am I supposed to get my Brit TV fix now?

      As if any of this would affect the way in which the distribution works. The day after this is implemented there'll be ways to route P2P traffic through proxies or hide it via encryption if that's not already done. I wonder how the ISPs want to distinguish between "regular" http traffic and torrent traffic that is made to look like it.

      Other than that from what I can tell most British groups have large seed server on the continent anyway, Top Gear for example is almost exclusively pushed out of France for

  • So what? Because of the over-selling I only get half of my 20Mbps now!
  • When I first read the title, it made it seem like the UK was going to have ISPs just block all P2P traffic, in my mind a possibility considering the UK's position on internet snooping and censorship combined with the fact that smaller networks (like universities) routinely block all P2P traffic, legal or otherwise.

    I don't agree with the punishments being handed out by the ISPs, but what if the restriction was part of a court-imposed penalty? Perhaps lawyers could argue to get the P2P blocking imposed in
  • Stop it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    illegal broadband file sharing (P2P)

    P2P is not synonymous with illegal file sharing.

    Don't repeat the MAFIAA's propaganda.

  • Freenet (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Shitty laws like this will only give a rise to anonymous P2P-networks like Freenet (freenetproject.org). Freenet is much more harder to block at ISP level and ensures anonymity of both downloaders and uploaders. The warez,mp3,movies etc trading will continue there.

  • ..is that why those oriental-looking chaps selling bootleg dvds were high-fiving each other?

  • It is still theft (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cecom (698048) on Sunday March 15, 2009 @04:20PM (#27202259) Homepage Journal

    We are all a bunch of hypocrites. Of course I strongly disapprove of blocking P2P or throttling. It may become a big problem. However it is hypocritical to pretend that P2P is used mostly for legal purposes.

    Say what you like, but downloading music and movies for free is still theft, no matter how you look at it. So, you don't approve of the current content owners' distribution policies, you think that CDs are overpriced, and that DRM sucks, and that everything should be available cheaply and conveniently online. I completely, 100% agree. However this is no excuse for stealing. Don't like the policies - don't use the product. End of story. Anything else is simply unethical.

    Come on people, it is unethical. If I try to sell you a piece of crap for $1000 you are not obliged to buy it, but you don't have the right to steal it either.

    Let's face it, illegal downloading of movies and songs is really rampant. I have more than a few acquaintances in Europe who have collections of many thousands songs, movies (and software packages), without having _EVER_ bought a single one. They will never buy a CD or a movie, for any price, while they can download it for free. They never go to the cinema either because they download all new movies. They act as if they are entitled to this product for free, just because they consider it too expensive or too inconvenient to buy. Personally I find that disgusting (even though I agree with the expensive and inconvenient part).

    Distribution of pirated software is a subject that I find close to my heart. It takes a _lot of_ money to develop software. Perhaps not everybody realizes it, but programmers need to pay rent and eat. So do musicians and movie makers.

    • by jamstar7 (694492)

      Say what you like, but downloading music and movies for free is still theft, no matter how you look at it.

      No it's not, it's copyright infringement. If I steal something from you (classic definition of 'theft'), then I have it and you don't. Filesharers 'create' copies remotely, with the copy exactly like the original. Nothing's lost, and you still have your original copy.

      • by cecom (698048)

        No it's not, it's copyright infringement. If I steal something from you (classic definition of 'theft'), then I have it and you don't. Filesharers 'create' copies remotely, with the copy exactly like the original. Nothing's lost, and you still have your original copy.

        Except that if I don't get paid I am not going to create any more songs (or movies, or programs, etc) and will go work in an accounting office instead...

        • by jamstar7 (694492)

          No it's not, it's copyright infringement. If I steal something from you (classic definition of 'theft'), then I have it and you don't. Filesharers 'create' copies remotely, with the copy exactly like the original. Nothing's lost, and you still have your original copy.

          Except that if I don't get paid I am not going to create any more songs (or movies, or programs, etc) and will go work in an accounting office instead...

          So the GNU movement and Creative Commons License are just figments of my imagination, eh?

          • by cecom (698048)

            So the GNU movement and Creative Commons License are just figments of my imagination, eh? DAMN, I need to copyright my brain!!

            I don't see the relevance. The GNU movement is a philosophical one. It doesn't claim it is a way to make money or to even support oneself. BTW, how many Creative Commons movies have you seen lately? Hmm, not that many you say? :-)

            But seriously, there are ways to profit off 'free' stuff. Put a PayPal button on the download page of your software. Sell per-incident support and/or dead

    • Say what you like, but downloading music and movies for free is still theft, no matter how you look at it

      Pfffft... silly naive person. You are so entrenched in your narrow world view that the mere idea that some things need not be treated like commodities is outside your realm of imagination is it? Did it even occur to you that some of us view music and other forms of expression as abstract information on the same level as mathematics, philosophical and religious ideas, physical theories and cultural tradit

      • by cecom (698048)

        Just out of curiosity, are you a musician, writer, movie maker or software developer, and if so, do you give away your work for free? No?? Really?? Hmm. But you want to take other people's work for free? Isn't that nice. It seems a bit asymmetrical though.

        Earth to Utopia: That ain't gonna work, pal. You either pay for their effort, or you are gonna have to try to write your own software/music/books/whatever ... :-)

        It is amazing how few people realize that without compensation there would be almost no litera

  • I'm from the UK, I make music, and I'm launching my first album soon, so this is important stuff for me.

    My business model will be: legal torrenting to gain exposure, iTunes sales as an option for those who will either pay for the convenience or want to throw me a tip, a donate button for much the same reasons, and if I think I've generated the fan base to support it, a limited run deluxe physical CD package for people (like me) who like to own a physical product.

    What the UK Government is proposing starts of

  • First of all, it's not going to help. How long until P2P programs are tunnelled over HTTP or SSH? And what are they going to do, packet inspect all HTTP connections? You gotta be kidding me...

    Second: the users want to trade music and videos, the artists want the users to do it. Only the distributors of music, ripe with the blood of the artists and the users whom the sucked the life from with their failing business model will be satisfied. Well, I for one, hope that they all fail, go bankrupt, and somehow en

  • What is deeply concerning is the way the MafRIAA's of the world are as highly organised as they are. Keeping my tin foil hat off, the same kind of push for legislative change is popping up in many countries just reccently, to disconnect infringing users on accusation being the common theme. In some cases the legislation is slipping through in the dead of night, in the case of New Zealand's section 92A. Which has now thankfully as good as dead in the water.

    So they tried it on and it didn't work, in about
  • "Illegal broadband file sharing (P2P)"? Which is to say, "P2P" is an abbreviation used to refer to something illegal, I suppose.

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