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Mininova Starts Filtering Torrents 267

Posted by timothy
from the afterthought-beforetrial dept.
Dreen writes with this snippet from TorrentFreak: "Just a few days before their court appearance, Mininova, the largest BitTorrent site on the Internet, has started to filter content. The site is using a third-party content recognition system that will detect and remove torrent files that link to copyright-infringing files."
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Mininova Starts Filtering Torrents

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  • Lol. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2009 @05:23AM (#27874229)
    Let us know how that works out for you.
  • Coming up next (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2009 @05:23AM (#27874231)

    Mininova collapses. How Mininova went from being the largest BitTorrent site to being the smallest.

  • Why Bother (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    They're still going to end up in court.

    • Re:Why Bother (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Animaether (411575) on Friday May 08, 2009 @05:35AM (#27874313) Journal

      Yes they are - but now they can more-or-less show 'good faith' to the judge.

      Currently mininova - knowing full well the reason why people use their site - simply go by the strict laws.. if a copyright holder / representative tells them they're hosting particular copyrighted content, they'll take it down.

      Of course it will be back up there 5 minutes later. This is pissing the Dutch interest groups off who are trying to slap the mininova people around a bit with other laws / more loose interpretations.

      But now they can say "ahh, but look.. we installed a filter.. it's not our fault that them sneaky pirates find ways around those filters.. it would be *impossible* for us to manually go over each and every upload!".. then hope to exit the court grinning while their main page continues to display top 10 lists of every popular category with scarce 'legal' torrents (I think the Windows 7 Release Candidate was the only one when I checked yesterday and yes, I know there's nothing illegal about a torrent file itself.. splitting hairs over technical details is what they'll be doing in court).

      • Re:Why Bother (Score:5, Insightful)

        by LordSnooty (853791) on Friday May 08, 2009 @05:52AM (#27874407)
        yeah, cos it worked for TPB didn't it...
        • Re:Why Bother (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Macthorpe (960048) on Friday May 08, 2009 @06:34AM (#27874641) Journal

          There's a difference between the Mininova defense and the TPB defense:

          Mininova: "These are copyrighted, yes, but we do our best to remove content when flagged and we've even installed a filter to remove it automatically. It's not our fault if people still try and get around that."

          TPB: "These are copyrighted, yes, but we don't fucking care. Ahahaha, losers."

          I'm sure you can pick up the subtleties...

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by noundi (1044080)

            There's a difference between the Mininova defense and the TPB defense:

            Why is this modded +5 insightful!? The trials take/took place in different countries, which naturally don't hold the same laws. That is the only difference that matters as equal crimes will be treated differently in different countries.

            -1, self centred.

            • Re:Why Bother (Score:5, Insightful)

              by KillerBob (217953) on Friday May 08, 2009 @07:41AM (#27875137)

              No, he's right. The behaviour of the sites in question has a huge impact on the outcome... Mininova is at least attempting to appear as though they're cooperating with copyright holders. TPB, by contrast, has a long history of replying to C&D letters by telling them things like "This is Sweden, you've got no jurisdiction, silly American coroporation, so fuck off" and then posting said takedown notice on their site so that everybody can read their ridicule.

              There's a slight difference. And the copyright laws aren't really *that* different in Sweden when compared to the Netherlands.

              • by noundi (1044080)

                No, he's right. The behaviour of the sites in question has a huge impact on the outcome...

                Oh is he now? I would very much like to see what you're basing this "fact" on. Most likely your only references are other American trials, but prove me wrong and I'll stand corrected.

                There's a slight difference. And the copyright laws aren't really *that* different in Sweden when compared to the Netherlands.

                If you had any idea what you were talking about you'd know that the question is not about breaking or not breaking copyright laws, the question is about assisting in breaking copyright laws. This doesn't exist everywhere, Sweden included, I would know as I'm a Swede.

                I'll admit I don't know much about Dutch law, but what I do k

                • Re:Why Bother (Score:5, Informative)

                  by Animaether (411575) on Friday May 08, 2009 @08:09AM (#27875405) Journal

                  Correct - usually these sites are targeted under a "facilitating [whatever]" type thing;

                  "Hij benadrukt daarbij dat er, volgens hem, niets grijs is aan illegale torrentsites en trackers. 'Zij faciliteren de inbreuk en de torrents zijn ook een onmisbaar bestanddeel van de inbreuk. Dat is onrechtmatig, en een strafbaar feit,'" - citing Tim Kuik, BREIN (kinda like the riaa and mpaa and whatnot rolled into one).

                  To translate..
                  "He stresses that, according to him, torrentsites and trackers do not operate in a gray area. 'They facilitate the infringements and the torrents are a necessary part of the infringement. That is unlawful and a criminal act,'"

                  So regardless of whether mininova hosts the data, or even hosts the torrent files, if BREIN so wishes, they can sue under Dutch law.. and they are suing (court case upcoming). Whether the judge will agree with BREIN is another matter - but realistically, he would, and the arguments would be more about what damages are to be awarded.

                  • by noundi (1044080)
                    I can sue you for anything under any law no matter the alleged "crime", that's fundamental. The problem is Sweden. Our shit-in-the-pants nation is so scared of international friction that nobody expected any other initial outcome for the TBP trials. The sentence however has been appealed and will most likely be tried in the Swedish surpreme court as well. Whatever "standard" this trial set is definetly going challenged. Still EU is not US. Just because it passed in Sweden it doesn't make it any EU "standard
                • Re:Why Bother (Score:4, Informative)

                  by KillerBob (217953) on Friday May 08, 2009 @08:34AM (#27875675)

                  I'll admit I don't know much about Dutch law, but what I do know is that it resembles Swedish law more than American law as both countries are very social democratic. I don't intend to flamebait but seriously, the world doesn't spin around the US. Read, learn, understand, then speak. I hate to make this about the US but you and your ignorant assumptions drive people into it. Stereotyping is bad, statistics are facts.

                  And I know it's difficult for you to comprehend, but it's possible, even likely, that I'm not an American, and that I haven't set foot in the USA in more than a decade. The closest I've been to the US in recent memory was a flyover while I was on my way to the Netherlands Antilles (CuraÃao) for a vacation in January.

                  If you had any idea what you were talking about you'd know that the question is not about breaking or not breaking copyright laws, the question is about assisting in breaking copyright laws

                  When have I said it's about breaking copyright laws?

                  If you actually read what I said, you'll notice that I said that it's appearances that matter. Mininova is trying to appear as though they are trying to help the copyright holders keep their rights, by removing copyrighted material when asked, and by trying to develop a filter. How effective that filter turns out to be is completely irrelevant. TPB responded to takedown requests by laughing at them and posting them publicly.

                  In other words, Mininova is trying to appear as though they are inhibiting the infringement, whereas TPB was trying to appear as though they were facilitating it. It's got nothing to do with whether or not the site itself is infringing on copyrights by linking torrents, and everything to do with how the site reacts to requests from copyright holders.

                  And appearances are all that matters. Mininova could implement a completely innefectual filter, but from having put it there in the first place, they can still claim that they're trying to help, and escape the kind of punishment that TPB has earned.

                  If you had any idea what you were talking about you'd know that the question is not about breaking or not breaking copyright laws, the question is about assisting in breaking copyright laws.

                  While I prefer not to flame, I feel I should point out that if you want any credibility, it helps to actually read what the person you're replying to is saying. This being Slashdot, however, I can forgive you for not doing so.

                • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

                  by bsdaemonaut (1482047)

                  "I don't intend to flamebait but seriously, the world doesn't spin around the US."

                  From what I've read many Swede's feel that Swedish copyright law is such to appease foreign corporate companies. Gee, I wonder where all those software companies are based? No, the world doesn't spin around the U.S. Unfortunately it does spin around large corporations.

                  And please, don't think you know the American public based on your small experience. We are hardly a homogeneous people.

                • Uh, since he said "behaviour", I'm just going to guess that he's decidedly NOT American, and your rant against him now looks very sophomoric. So speaking of "ignorant assumptions"...
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by RulerOf (975607)

              The trials take/took place in different countries, which naturally don't hold the same laws.

              He was pointing out the differences in the defense put forth by each, not the difference in the laws of the country in which the trial took place.

              His point stands, I think. A big "Fuck you guys" is gonna get you on the shitlist of pretty much any judge, court, or (probably) jury.

              • Re:Why Bother (Score:5, Insightful)

                by noundi (1044080) on Friday May 08, 2009 @08:38AM (#27875725)

                His point stands, I think. A big "Fuck you guys" is gonna get you on the shitlist of pretty much any judge, court, or (probably) jury.

                I'm sorry, you're wrong. The attitude of the person has to be kept separate from the crime commited. The crime must be treated unbiased. The law doesn't say "It's illegal to break copyright laws, and if you're a bit of a middleman it's illegal if you have a nasty attitude, otherwise it's ok". In Sweden (which I guess differs from the states in this sense as you seem to think that everything works as it does in the US) you should be able to flip off the judge and shit on his desk if you want. You'll get sentenced for indecent exposure but this should have absolutely no impact on the initial trial. That's called a fair trial.

                • Re:Why Bother (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by stewbacca (1033764) on Friday May 08, 2009 @09:24AM (#27876293)

                  I'm sorry, you're wrong. The attitude of the person has to be kept separate from the crime commited.

                  It "has to"? Are you certain? Did you write those laws, or are you merely providing your opinion? Well, obviously you either have no understanding of the pragmatics of law, or you choose not to agree with the way laws are carried out. Just because you don't agree with something doesn't make it less true.

                  Pretty much every criminal trial encounters the word "remorse" at one point or another, which shows that courts do take attitudes into consideration.

                • Re:Why Bother (Score:4, Informative)

                  by Kirijini (214824) <kirijini AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:28AM (#27876947)

                  Have you ever heard of "mens rea"? A required element of almost every crime is a culpable state of mind of the actor. There's a huge difference between doing the actions required for a crime (like, taking someone's stuff) with a reckless state of mind, as opposed to a purposeful statement of mind. (Recklessness would be if one knows there's a good chance that the stuff they are taking doesn't belong to them; purposeful would be if one took the stuff because it didn't belong to them.)

                  For most crimes, negligence isn't a culpable state of mind. If you didn't know the stuff you took didn't belong to you, but a hypothetical "reasonable person" in your situation would have known it probably didn't belong to you, then you're negligent. But you didn't commit a crime. On the other hand, if you were reckless about it (and the prosecution can prove that beyond a reasonable doubt), then you did commit a crime.

                  The parallels to copyright infringement (if it's a crime and not just a civil cause of action) by torrent sites should be obvious. The Pirate Bay was clearly at least reckless - more likely, knowing, which is more culpable - where as mininova is probably trying to show that they were just negligent, and that their action in putting up a filter is an attempt to correct that negligence. The judge might interpret the filter as reducing their culpability from recklessness to negligence.

                  This is all based on American criminal law under the model penal code, not civil law, and not dutch law. IANAL, YMMV, infringement isn't stealing, etc.

                • by MightyYar (622222)

                  What world do you live in?

                  Listen, dude... if you ever end up in court, may I offer some advice? A haircut, clean shave, a nice suit, and a very respectful attitude toward the judge. Don't loose your temper.

                  Yes, until we invent some kind of robo-judge who rules the planet with an even-handed titanium fist, even judges have egos.

                • by Kjella (173770)

                  The attitude of the person has to be kept separate from the crime commited.

                  Attitude yes, intent no. Particularly if the crime is "aiding and abetting", "conspiracy to", "facilitating", "economical gain" or similar. Lots of things that are otherwise legal would be illegal if you're doing them in relation to a crime. If an employee left the window open, that's not a crime. If an employee left a window open with the intent that his co-conspirators could break in through that window, it's a crime. There's a difference between being google and "Get your latest hollywood movies here" di

                • The attitude of the person has to be kept separate from the crime commited.

                  Mens rea [wikipedia.org] , dude, look it up. Don't they teach basic civics in school anymore?

                • by rhsanborn (773855)
                  The intent most certainly does have bearing on the law. It's the difference between murder and manslaughter. Likewise, the intent of the pirate bay was to facilitate the distribution of copyrighted content, the attitude is simply used as evidence of intent. Mininova on the other hand appears to be trying to show that their attitude shows a different intent.
                • Actually, that is the way the legal system in the US is designed to work. The US is among the first countries in the post Renaissance era to ensure through a Constitution that all persons are entitled to a fair trail. The idea certainly isn't ours, but the were arguably a catalyst for the adoption of this concept in Europe. Or maybe I'm drinking US-centric history kool-aid.
            • by timeOday (582209)

              That is the only difference that matters as equal crimes will be treated differently in different countries.

              You must have missed the verdict [arstechnica.com]. What TPB case showed us is that different countries' laws are pretty much the same after all. Some of us might like to think there's no international consensus on this, but there is.

      • Re:Why Bother (Score:5, Informative)

        by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday May 08, 2009 @05:52AM (#27874409)

        I think the Windows 7 Release Candidate was the only one

        I'm too lazy to double-check, but I would be mightily surprised if MS had consented to unregulated 3rd party distribution of any version of windows. Just because MS lets people freely download it from their own servers, and possibly those of a handful of designated 3rd parties, doesn't mean they've given permission for just anyone to distribute it.

        • by Talderas (1212466)

          I would be mightily surprised if MS had consented to unregulated 3rd party distribution of any version of windows. Just because MS lets people freely download it from their own servers, and possibly those of a handful of designated 3rd parties, doesn't mean they've given permission for just anyone to distribute it.

          Most likely, especially since you still have a product key for the version of Windows 7 that you download. I'm making some assumptions here, but I'm guessing that you aren't issued a product key when you download Windows 7 via a torrent or an authorized 3rd party distributor. This would mean that Microsoft could technically go after torrent seeders as unauthorized distributors committing copyright infringement.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by mdwh2 (535323)

        Currently mininova - knowing full well the reason why people use their site - simply go by the strict laws.. if a copyright holder / representative tells them they're hosting particular copyrighted content, they'll take it down.

        Well I'm curious what the law is in wherever-it-is-that-Mininova is filtered?

        In the US, responding to takedown notices is all that's required, and there is no obligation ("good faith" or otherwise) to do more. My understanding is that the problem with TPB was that they didn't respond

    • Why Bother... they're still going to end up in court

      But now they can legitimately claim to be pussies and sheep led around by others, instead of people who believed in something and defied an unjust law, like the Pirate Bay team.

  • by g253 (855070) on Friday May 08, 2009 @05:28AM (#27874263) Homepage
    I saw the headline, and just immediately deleted my bookmark. I hardly ever used it anyway, but that makes them completely irrelevant to me.
    • by patro (104336) on Friday May 08, 2009 @05:41AM (#27874351) Journal

      Well, I downloaded the latest Lost torrent from it yesterday without any problem (sorry, I can't wait until they decide to air it here in Europe), so the filter is apparently not very good.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by g253 (855070)
      I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be trolling. It's just that, unlike everybody else here (I'm sure), I've installed uTorrent not to download the latest OpenBSD iso, but to illegaly download movies and music that I wouldn't purchase, because my opinion is that there's nothing morally wrong with that.
      So that move makes mininova useless for me (and presumably a lot of their users), because they plan to start removing the very content that I'm looking for. I realise they might still have their place, but I wanted t
  • Big Yawn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Willeh (768540) <rwillem@xs4all.nl> on Friday May 08, 2009 @05:30AM (#27874283)
    Sounds like they don't want any hits anymore. Meanwhile, alternatives like the Piratebay, isohunt & torrentreator are likely beefing up their infrastructure to accomodate the increase in traffic. There has been speculation on dutch tech sites that they only did this to appease the dutch copyright vigilantes, so they are making a half-assed effort to filter some stuff out. Let's face it, a torrent site without any "illegal" (under dutch law, downloading music & movies is LEGAL!) content is about as useful as a 3-legged, dead dog. With a nasty case of fleas.
    • Re:Big Yawn (Score:5, Funny)

      by Shadow of Eternity (795165) on Friday May 08, 2009 @05:32AM (#27874293)

      Biological weapon for a trebuchet.

    • Re:Big Yawn (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2009 @05:53AM (#27874423)

      Mininova can not technically be an alternative to a Bittorrent tracker (like TPB etc.), since Mininova is not a tracker - it's just an indexed repository for .torrent files.

    • Re:Big Yawn (Score:5, Informative)

      by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Friday May 08, 2009 @06:38AM (#27874667) Homepage

      Let's face it, a torrent site without any "illegal" (under dutch law, downloading music & movies is LEGAL!) content is about as useful as a 3-legged, dead dog. With a nasty case of fleas.

      Downloading is in fact legal in many jurisdictions. But the problematic thing with Bittorrent is that it makes you an uploader as well, and that decidedly isn't legal in many jurisdictions.

      • by jabithew (1340853)

        Unless you turn off the uploading...

        In the mean time I note that Mininova still has in excess of 200 seeds and leaches active on the Fallout 3 DLC released a few days ago. So that's some good anti-piracy filter.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Last time I tried mininova it was pretty much the least usable of torrent sites, super slow. So I gave up on it a long time ago. Perhaps this is their attempt to regain relevance — the fearful can use them.

  • Alternative? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I use Mininova often, primarily to find torrents for two TV shows I watch regularly.

    So the question is - what are the alternatives?

    • tvtorrents.com I've personally never used mininova for anything. There never seemed to be anything that I wanted on there, so in my mind it was always just some runty site with no content.
    • Re:Alternative? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Archon-X (264195) on Friday May 08, 2009 @05:42AM (#27874357)

      Depends which category you fall into.

      Personally, I use NNTP.
      There are a few ways you can go here.
      I use www.bitnabber.com - for the monthly fee, I get the NNTP service, but also access to the download library - verified Music/Movie/TV/Games/Anime downloads, with full info (source, quality, reviews,etc) - makes browsing for a movie to download a breeze. Also supports streaming on downloading (try doing that on a torrent..)

      The other way is to get yourself a cheaper NNTP account: usenetserver.com / giganews.com are the best.
      From there, you can trawl NZB sites to get the NZBs for what you want to download.
      There are some good ones out there, the best being newzbin.com - but it's invite only, hence why I went w/ the top option.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Inda (580031)
        I haven't checked out usenetserver for a while but giganews is an all you can eat service. Great if you watch 2 movies a day but it's way over the top for casual users.

        Astraweb has a pay per download service that suits me better. $25 for 120gb lasts me ages. When the GBP/$ exchange rate was good, this worked out the cheapest option for me. Today I pay about 70p for a DVDR. Today it takes about 35 mins from start to finish to download. 3 years ago, on my very old PC, it would sometimes take longer to extract
        • by vlm (69642)

          Check out easynews before you commit to a NNTP provider.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by value_added (719364)

        Personally, I use NNTP.

        The first rule of USENET is ... oh, nevermind.

        I use www.bitnabber.com

        For yucks, I visited the site. Cute and friendly so I guess it would appeal to novice users. That said, the following caught my eye:

        What can I download?

        Using BitNabber's technology, it's possible to download anything you can imagine! Bitnabber updates in real time with the latest NZB files, allowing you to grab the latest in movies, music, tv shows, and software!

        Reading the above I'm reminded of the way in which N

      • by LanMan04 (790429)

        astraweb is the best provider out there.

        Unlimited transfer, really fast, 200 day retention, SSL, 20 concurrent connections, for US$11/month.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      For TV shows I don't understand why anyone wastes time torrenting - use Usenet. Your ISP probably already provides a news feed, just set up SABNZBD [sabnzbd.org] with MyTVNZB [foechoer.be] and TV shows will be downloaded automatically as soon as they're available and you don't have to waste your bandwidth seeding unneccesarily.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by bluesatin (1350681)

        Your ISP probably already provides a news feed [..]

        Really?

        How many ISPs actually have a feed set up, let alone anything more than just text.

        I only know of a single ISP that provides a news server in the UK, that Virgin Media but I don't know anyone that trusts it.

        • by robably (1044462)
          I've used the Virgin news server for downloading binaries for about two years now - it's the reason I'm with Virgin - what do you mean about not trusting it?
    • http://www.torrentz.com/ [torrentz.com]

      Search engine for search engines :) Plus you get the tracker list for free :) (So even if TPB goes down, your torrent will run.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Krneki (1192201)
      http://thepiratebay.org/tv
      http://eztv.it/

      You own me a beer.
    • by mblase (200735)

      AFAIK, all of the major network's shows are available as free ad-supported Flash video on their respective websites or Hulu. (My computer is too old to run said video, sadly, so I still use downloads.)

  • by bhunachchicken (834243) on Friday May 08, 2009 @05:37AM (#27874327) Homepage

    ... hiding the body after you've been accused of murder, hoping that you'll then not be convicted?

  • Not very effective (Score:3, Informative)

    by SatiricComet (1337631) on Friday May 08, 2009 @06:26AM (#27874587)
    Apparently it's not very effective... http://www.mininova.org/search/wolverine/seeds [mininova.org]
  • Victory! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xelios (822510) on Friday May 08, 2009 @06:39AM (#27874683)
    And it only took the RIAA + friends what? 4 years to kill Mininova? It must be frustrating to know there are literally hundreds of other torrent sites, all of which will be happy to take the 'refugees' from this minor inconvenience.

    In any event being able to bully torrent sites into submission through legal means isn't what I'm worried about. I'm much more worried about them coercing ISP's into their little self-regulation schemes, as if it's somehow an ISP's responsibility to protect Sony BMG's copyrights. It strikes me as being just as misguided as expecting the people who maintain our roads to be responsible for people smuggling drugs across the border. Sorry guys, if you want to cling to the old IP system in the information age you should be prepared to do all the hard work yourself. If you don't like it I'm sure we can come up with some new, fairer systems to try.

    Or, you know, just bribe politicians until you get your way. I guess that works too...
  • It's kinda funny... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2009 @06:42AM (#27874697)

    http://www.mininova.org/tor/2569928

    This is one of their "featured torrents". It's called "How to bypass mininovas copyright filter". I'm mildly amuzed.

  • Featured torrents: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by skzo (1058906) on Friday May 08, 2009 @06:48AM (#27874735)
    I went to mininova just now, and on the front page I found:
    Featured torrents:
    "How to bypass mininovas copyright filter"
  • I would guestimate that 3/4 of the OP comments which don't agree with this course of action are people who are actively using Mininova to search for copyrighted material, against the terms of the applicable license. Apparently BitTorrent is predominantly used for copyright infringement.

    Well done for proving the RIAA / MPAA right, boys. You're a true help to the cause.
    • by mdwh2 (535323) on Friday May 08, 2009 @07:01AM (#27874823) Journal

      If I say that Google shouldn't have to actively search out and filter content (which they don't, nor do they have to by US law), does that mean Google is predominantly used for copyright infringement? I don't think so.

      Your argument is a straw man anyway. I don't think anyone would deny that bittorrent is mainly used for copyright infringement, but the issues are whether search engines should be liable. Also consider that even though something is copyright infringement by law doesn't mean it is unethical - e.g., someone downloading something they already bought in another format, or a BBC licence payer in the UK downloading BBC produced content, and another example would be using it as a form of timeshifting, downloading a show you just missed on TV you pay for. Consider, in the UK it's copyright infringement to copy a CD you've bought onto your own mp3 player. So it would be accurate to say that "MP3 players are used almost entirely for copyright infringement" - however that's not really a fair statement, and doesn't mean people are downloading things they haven't paid for.

      • also consider that even though something is copyright infringement by law doesn't mean it is unethical

        That something may be called ethical doesn't make it permissible, nor does it mean that another perspective on that same issue is unethical. Your response to the straw man begs the question and implies a binary where none exists.

        Property law isn't entirely about ethics--in fact very little law is. Instead, it's simply about balancing competing interests. Ethical conduct is the domain of criminal law and certain areas of administrative law. Most transactions aren't questions of ethics, and any ethical ju

        • by russotto (537200)

          Property law isn't entirely about ethics--in fact very little law is. Instead, it's simply about balancing competing interests. Ethical conduct is the domain of criminal law and certain areas of administrative law. Most transactions aren't questions of ethics, and any ethical justification you might rationalize about copyright infringement is mooted by the ethical violations conducted in the unlawful taking. As they say, two wrongs don't make a right.

          There's no ethical violation, per se, in "unlawful taking

      • Woosh.

        My point was that "groupthink" is pissed off because they can't get the tracker for XXXXXX copyrighted content from Mininova anymore. They're not whinging about freedom being curtailed, or their rights being oppressed, defending Mininova as "only linking, not hosting." One guy above talks about downloading Lost.

        Where's your altruism now? Don't kid yourself, bub. We all know that BitTorrent can be used for legal purposes (WoW patching, iPlayer / 4oD content etc), but that most of it is for illegal fi
    • Apparently BitTorrent is predominantly used for copyright infringement. Well done for proving the RIAA / MPAA right, boys. You're a true help to the cause.

      According to the logic of Sony v. Universal, as long as the technology has substantial non-infringing uses, the creators won't be held liable for contributory infringement. That's under US law, of course.

      Also, there's this thing called selection bias. [wikipedia.org] Or don't you think people who primarily use Mininova to download infringing material would be more likely to comment on an article that says Mininova is filtering infringing material?

      Sheesh.

    • Well done for proving the RIAA / MPAA right, boys. You're a true help to the cause.

      But they are right in that regard... I mean, come on. Let's not kid ourselves. I think this is an example where people just make-believe that bittorrent is some sort of misunderstood technology that is just being painted negatively by some evil group of corporate baddies. Everyone uses bittorrent to pirate media. I am sure some Freetard will pop on and say "I only use it to download linux distros and Creative Commons licensed music"-- but I guarantee you this douche is in the minority.

      There is no misunderst

  • by worip (1463581) on Friday May 08, 2009 @06:57AM (#27874797)
    After Mininova implements this fully, how much content will be left?
    I guess the open source stuff will still be there, and any software that is in the public domain. How about those e-books that are nowhere else to be found, except on torrents?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Lord Lode (1290856)
      I think it's good to have a legal torrent site that hasn't the risk of being closed down associated with it.
      • It ceases to amaze me that a torrent site attempts to go legal and all I see comment-wise is a bunch of whines and complaints that Mininova will die.

        I've realized in the last few years that I actually agree with people's ability to exercise their copyrights--and if I don't agree with the terms they set out for use of their content...I don't consume it.

        I don't find alternate ways of obtaining it, I don't talk about it, and I definitely don't buy it. I'll use an alternative that is legal, or go without. It do

      • There's bt.etree.org [etree.org], which shares live concert recordings of taper-friendly bands, and which tracks the shifting of petabytes each year. (It is, IMO, a much more useful site if you click on the "hide Grateful Dead and Phish" button at the bottom of the page, but opinions may vary.) There's also legaltorrents.com [legaltorrents.com] which specializes in creative-commons media. Neither one is going to have as much mainstream material as the illegal sites (that should go without saying), but etree, at least, has some fairly b

  • by hesaigo999ca (786966) on Friday May 08, 2009 @08:10AM (#27875407) Homepage Journal

    That will prove to be 99.9% of their traffic, and revenue...
    well it was fun while it lasted, now on to the next one!
    (crouches down as if on a hunt) .....have you seen any ISOs around here lately?

    • by glwtta (532858)
      (crouches down as if on a hunt) .....have you seen any ISOs around here lately?

      Hmm, no, which is weird since I'm a complete junkie when it comes to BitTorrent.
  • Does anyone have any idea how difficult it would be to set up a tracker within freenet? Is there already a project anywhere trying to do this?

    • by slux (632202)

      Never mind Freenet for this, you could use I2P [i2p2.de] which also features in-network Bittorrent. Of course if you really want to only share the torrents with an anonymising network you'll need to do modifications but at least it'll be easier when you can use existing tracker software. TOR [torproject.org]'s hidden services would work as well I suppose.

      Just hosting the tracker on one of these networks is an interesting idea. It wouldn't provide any protection for the downloaders and seeders themselves but if people aren't quite

  • HOW? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by silver007 (1479955)
    Seems like this would be very easy to do. A text filter looking at the torrent names. I'm trying to figure out how this would -not- be effective... and if the host site didn't do this, why would the court not demand it? Seems like such an easy solution, until someone redesigns the actual torrent clients for encrypted filenames or something. I'm not worried about Mini specifically, but what if all sites were required to do this? Just hypothetically...
  • It seems to me... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by theJML (911853) on Friday May 08, 2009 @08:40AM (#27875751) Homepage

    ...that this is yet another opportunity to come up with a way of making a distributed lookup system part of the bit torrent spec. Sure, it wouldn't be as quick, but if your client can listen for other nearby clients and query them for a list of files that they've accessed (not just ones being seeded by them, but ones they've connected to recently or are currently connected to). I'm sure this would greatly limit the number of seeds you find, but with a proper system of distributed "well, I've heard this guy has this" and "I'm seeding this right now and I've transfered it to this guy who might also be seeding" and such would give you a fairly decent list of seeds that you can probably get a good speed to (since they're somewhat 'local'). This would have the benefit of not needing a search site, nor needing any centralized repository.

    On the other hand if this worked and was really successful, the RIAA would just try to ban the protocol from ISP's.

  • by Danathar (267989) on Friday May 08, 2009 @08:44AM (#27875779) Journal

    I've often wondered if a list of indexed DHT URI hashes would be any stronger in court.

    I figure at some point we will have sites that don't link to or have torrents but just indexed and categorized DHT URI links.

  • I think all torrent sites should 2-way encrypt all their search results (meaning the titles, descriptions, etc..) and put a statement up that says decrypting is not allowed. Then have "hackers" make a firefox addon that automatically decrypts the text on torrent sites. Everybody (except MIAA/RIAA) starts using the addon. The MIAA/RIAA can't use the addon because that would violate their own laws can be sued for breaking encryption.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      That would be as effective as the FTP sites during the 1990s that had 'The FBI or any other law enforcement agency is forbidden from accessing this server' banners.
  • TV shows available pretty much whenever I want. I watch a 1 minute commercial (or switch to another browser tab for 1 minute), and then I get the entire episode streamed. Just as convenient as torrents.
    • by ph0rk (118461)
      Hulu only keeps a handful of episodes around. No good if you want to watch the entire season.
      A critical error on their part, imho.
    • In addition to what the other reply said, it doesn't work outside the US.

  • by Endo13 (1000782) on Friday May 08, 2009 @10:30AM (#27876985)

    Why expose your IP address by using a public tracker found on Mininova? It's just asking for trouble. Plus, the invite-only sites almost always have much better transfer speeds because ratio matters.

    • by russotto (537200)

      Why expose your IP address by using a public tracker found on Mininova? It's just asking for trouble. Plus, the invite-only sites almost always have much better transfer speeds because ratio matters.

      1) I'd never join a group which would have me for a member.

      2) Being a member of an invite-only site makes me a target.

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