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LegalTorrents Launches Copyright-Compliant Tracker 113

Posted by timothy
from the presumption-of-download dept.
drDugan writes "Many legitimate media providers are using Bittorrent to distribute content, but the recent Pirate Bay legal verdict and closures left many content downloads unavailable. Along with the ongoing legal issues at Mininova and other sites, options have been scarce for legitimate Bittorrent tracking service. Once a torrent is created with a tracker URL, that tracker has to stay running for normal distribution to continue. LegalTorrents.com has quietly launched a solution with three open Bittorent trackers for its members, including a fully automated, community-based flagging system to blacklist and immediately remove copyright-infringing content. Users submit SHA1 hash values for content with infringing materials. Site members can include and track their own published materials regardless of flagging."
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LegalTorrents Launches Copyright-Compliant Tracker

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  • slashvertisement (Score:5, Informative)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @04:56PM (#30065514) Journal

    This slashvertisement conveniently left out the fact that
    1) You need to add the hash via their website, which for you need a member account and
    2) Member accounts start at $20 an year up to $399 an year

    While the trackers itself are "open", as in everyone can get the peers via them, you need to add the hash first for it to function. So no, this isn't open tracker.

    • Re:Legal torrents (Score:3, Interesting)

      by IceDiver (321368)

      I fail to see that this will do much good when the bittorrent protocol is blcked on many ISPs (including mine).

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by greensoap (566467)
        I don't know the figures, but I would venture to guess that AT&T and Comcast are the two largest ISP's providing DSL and Cable (at least in California). Neither of them block bittorrent, maybe its time to get a new ISP. You know, one that doesn't block legitimate file transfer protocols.
      • by Tynin (634655)

        I fail to see that this will do much good when the bittorrent protocol is blcked on many ISPs (including mine).

        I was under the impression it uses the TCP protocol (maybe UDP under some of the new versions IIRC). They wouldn't be blocking TCP on you. Just encrypt your traffic and lower the number of connections you allow, and you'll be back in business. They cannot "block" bittorrent, not possible, but they can make it slow, that is for sure.

    • Re:slashvertisement (Score:5, Informative)

      by drDugan (219551) * on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @05:16PM (#30065752) Homepage

      Actually, this is not accurate, the trackers are open, and can be used without adding the hash to the website. Unfortunately, a completely open system is open to abuse, copyright infringement, and other issues.

      To publish your own content, or content you have a license to distribute, membership is required to "whitelist" content, and prevent automatic removal by blacklisting. This is the solution we have come up with to minimize and prevent abuse.

      Any logged in user can flag content as copyright infringing, here
      http://www.legaltorrents.com/flag_content [legaltorrents.com]
      and unless that hash value is in the whitelist (added by a member), the tracker will remove it in about 15 minutes.

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        "Adding hash value is not required for the tracking to start. You can try the service without a membership. However, taking this step prevents other users from flagging the content as copyright infringing, and removing it from the tracker automatically."

        from http://www.legaltorrents.com/about/member_self_publishing [legaltorrents.com]

      • Re:slashvertisement (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @05:53PM (#30066222)

        This is the solution we have come up with to minimize and prevent abuse.

        Is that to imply you are involved with this service (beyond member that is)?
        I had a question that doesn't appear in the FAQ

        Plenty of places state how the site will respond to a member that uploads someone elses content, and a very partial description of how DMCA requests are handled - but only from the assuming I am a criminal view.

        If I was to become a member, and publish my own works where I have the copyright on that work, how do you defend MY rights against DMCA notices?

        To actually qualify for safe harbor provisions, the site is required by law to notify me of a take down notice, and upon my reply that I do in fact own the copyright, are required by law to put that content back up (and provide the entity sending the takedown with my contact info)

        Does the site do this? Am I as a rights holder going to still be treated like a criminal when some fool sends an illegal takedown notice to you? Will the site follow the law and inform me?
        Will I be compensated if this does not happen, out side of me having to press charges for damages in civil court? (If you do not notify me, you do not qualify for safe harbor, and my own lawsuit will almost certainly win, and odds are the fool sending the takedown can sue you successfully too)

        The FAQ states so many places how the rights of IP-thieves (IE RIAA and co) are protected, and not a single mention of how real IP holders rights are protected if at all.

        Just curious...

        • Re:slashvertisement (Score:4, Informative)

          by drDugan (219551) * on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @06:19PM (#30066626) Homepage

          There are several steps to qualify for safe harbors, and we will follow each of them to the letter. We have not yet had to reply to any DMCA takedowns yet - all the content on the website must have a share-friendly license before content can be uploaded.

          In such a situation, we will both defend the rights of our customers and provide them all the information possible to resolve the issue. I disagree the FAQ is slanted toward "IP-thieves". This does not represent the ethos of LegalTorrents.

          Fred von Lohmann from the EFF provides an excellent .pdf review for service providers; there is a recently updated version here:
          http://www.law.depaul.edu/centers_institutes/ciplit/niro_symposium_09/pdf/paper_cohn1.pdf [depaul.edu]
          plus EFF has a wiki page with additional details: http://ilt.eff.org/index.php/Copyright:_Digital_Millennium_Copyright_Act [eff.org]

          • We have not yet had to reply to any DMCA takedowns yet - all the content on the website must have a share-friendly license before content can be uploaded.

            Say someone develops a video game in the vein of Quadra [google.com], Quadrapassel [gnome.org], or KBlocks [flickr.com]. These games are free software, and they implement substantially the same rules as Tetris. The Tetris Company claims that other computer programs that implement the rules of Tetris infringe the copyright in Tetris, despite a U.S. Copyright Office publication to the contrary [copyright.gov]. If someone develops a Free video game with the same rules as Tetris and hosts a mirror of the game on LegalTorrents, how do you plan to handle a DMCA requ

            • by Homburg (213427)

              Presumably, if the author of the software says it doesn't infringe, the site will put it back up. The whole point of the DMCA safe harbor provisions is that the host doesn't have to judge whether there is any copyright infringement - they just have to (first) trust the claim of copyright infringement by the complainant, and take the material down when requested, and (then) trust the claim of non-infringement by the uploader, and put it back up when requested. After that, it's up to the courts to decide, and

              • Presumably, if the author of the software says it doesn't infringe, the site will put it back up.

                The problem with the DMCA safe harbor is that it enforces at least 2 weeks of downtime before a service provider relying on the safe harbor can put the work back up. Quoting 17 USC 512(g): "the service provider [...] replaces the removed material and ceases disabling access to it not less than 10, nor more than 14, business days following receipt of the counter notice".

          • by nomadic (141991)
            We have not yet had to reply to any DMCA takedowns yet - all the content on the website must have a share-friendly license before content can be uploaded.

            Huh? Didn't you just start this thing?
            • by drDugan (219551) *

              LegalTorrents.com has been in operation for about 6 years now. We host licensed digital media and distribute using Bittorrent.

              This article refers to an announcement that we have launched a new service for members providing open Bittorrent tracking so anyone can host their own content seeds, and publish an unlimited amount of material without uploading to the LegalTorrents servers.

      • by Kjella (173770)

        In other words, until you're big enough to have one asshat flag you and "tough luck, you'll need a membership to stop it being deleted". I guess you're technically correct but given the number of asshats on the Internet I'd say it works out the same. Unless there's some ToS problem, I'd just add all the open trackers like OpenBitTorrent, The HiddenTracker, OpenBitTorrent.kg, PublicBitTorrent and BitTrk [wikipedia.org]. Host the torrent yourself, everybody loks at that but honestly nobody looks at what tracker(s) you're usi

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        This is the solution we have come up with to minimize and prevent abuse.

        This is good work, drDugan. I'm glad you identified yourself as part of the project.

        I currently distribute my own original, Creative Commons-licensed content via bittorrent (under my professional name, not "PopeRatzo"), and I plan to sign up for an account right away. Thanks to you and the others involved in legaltorrents.com.

      • by ShakaUVM (157947)

        BTW, don't let the normal Slashdot flamers get you down, man. The community really needed a site like yours.

        Even though people like Blizzard have been using bittorrent for years to distribute patches and such, many ISPs (not to mention idiots like the *IAA orgs) are still stuck in the bittorrent = piracy mindset.

    • by wjh31 (1372867)
      Which is a shame, somewhere with unabiguously legal content available freely and freely would be great. I have plenty of content [lifeinmegapixels.com] that i would happily share freely, but im not going to pay to share it. Id bet there's a few others in a similar situation aswell.

      On the other hand, even if such a place did exist, having only 512kbit upload would make sharing multi-gigabyte, multi-gigapixel images tedious anyway.
      • Which is a shame, somewhere with unabiguously legal content available freely and freely would be great. I have plenty of content [lifeinmegapixels.com] that i would happily share freely, but im not going to pay to share it. Id bet there's a few others in a similar situation aswell.

        If you're serious, consider The Internet Archive [archive.org]. Servers around the world, zero cost, unlimited uploading and downloading for all, and no size limits (as far as I know). IA hosts a lot of large files (full-length movies, DVDs, some periodic TV shows

    • For some reason I thought of this clip [youtube.com]. In light of this, I think we shall call it TheFlandersBay.
  • Legal Torrents (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Profane MuthaFucka (574406) <busheatskok@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @05:01PM (#30065570) Homepage Journal

    Torrents that have been approved by your masters, is more like it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by patrick_hx (1677296)
      I'm wondering how "Profane MuthaFucka" is so insightful here.

      Approved... how so? The point of this article is that for $20/year ($1.67/month) LegalTorrents will provide a reliable tracking service so YOU can host and publish anything you want with Bittorrent. For $45/year (less than $4/month !!) they will *HOST* 10GB of your content AND DISTRIBUTE it for you with no bandwidth charges.

      This service is super cheap and available to anyone.
      • The moderations are a result of a simple gaming of the system. There are a few opinions which are generally approved on Slashdot, and posts echoing those opinions are typically moderated up.

        This particular button I pushed here is found on naive Libertarians. It's easy to push it to receive good karma.

        There is hardly a skeptic such as yourself remaining on Slashdot, so usually I can just push the button, receive the karma, and nobody says anything about it.

  • ... why bother? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lead Butthead (321013) on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @05:03PM (#30065586) Journal

    There's no benefit as whatever may be available on "their" side isn't as appealing anyhow. Wake up, give people what they want and you'll make money. Keep trying to force your business model on people, you'll go under.

    • by nomadic (141991)
      Wake up, give people what they want and you'll make money.

      No, SELL people what they want and you MIGHT make money, if your expenses don't exceed your revenue. Giving stuff away doesn't usually turn a profit.
      • by Inschato (1350323)
        Giving stuff away can certainly turn a profit if it's used as advertising for other services/products.
        • by tepples (727027)

          Giving stuff away can certainly turn a profit if it's used as advertising for other services/products.

          But advertising eventually has to point to a product for sale. Say I develop a video game for PCs or Android phones that isn't massively multiplayer. What should go into the "demo" that I distribute freely, and what should I restrict to draw revenue?

        • by h4rm0ny (722443)

          Giving stuff away can certainly turn a profit if it's used as advertising for other services/products.

          The advertising industry subsists off the companies that actually sell products. It isn't an end in itself. When people make money advertising movies, promoting albums, showcasing books, free game demos, etc. etc., it is because the people or companies making those products pay them from the money they make selling those products.

          And you want to replace this with what? The content producers make equival

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by h4rm0ny (722443)

      Wake up, give people what they want and you'll make money.

      My understanding is that what pirates want, is the same thing but without having to hand over money.

      Or is this about to be another person arguing that the customer should be able to force the seller to hand over the goods at whatever price the customer fancies (including nothing) - or else they'll just take it for free anyway. Or perhaps the other argument that if you give your most valuable asset away for free, you'll magically make more money f

      • What people want is reasonable prices. When companies make insane profits (not saying that they don't have a right to, cuz they do), they're obviously charging way more than is necessary - pirating is people's way of saying "I like what you're producing, but you're charging too much - cut the cost and I'll buy it". I guarantee that if the average new movie price was $10 instead of $25, they'd sell a LOT more dvd's and there'd be a lot less pirating going on. Same with seasons of tv shows - since the cost
        • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

          I guarantee that if the average new movie price was $10 instead of $25, they'd sell a LOT more dvd's and there'd be a lot less pirating going on

          The average price of the movie I buy is $10. I haven't seen a lot of movies above that except in the first month or so of release.

          So, you could wait, like I do, or pay more. But instead you decide to pirate it.

          If you said "I don't believe in copyright" I would think you were honest; naive and wrong, but honest. I think you just want something for nothing and are

          • No, I buy them on sale, but I'm a collector. Don't assume.

            Just because I know many people who do pirate for that very reason (that they're too expensive) doesn't mean I do. But hey, you can just go ahead and look like a jackass without having a clue about my spending habits!

            • No, I buy them on sale... Don't assume.

              Why shouldn't I assume? It's a flawed argument that speaks as to your motiviation. That is, it wasn't a baseless assumption, it was inferred from your statements. And reading subtext (especially accurately, see below) is necessary in inter-human communication.

              Just because I know many people who do pirate for that very reason (that they're too expensive)

              So, you quote your friend's point-of-view anonymously, and I mistakenly respond your friend instead of you. Please

              • That is, your friend should wait a few months or pay $10-$15 more.

                Yea, except he's not going to pay that (and it's not "a few months" - more like "a few years" at best for a movie to drop to $10). So it's either he downloads it or he just doesn't buy it. Either way, he's not paying the MPAA's excessive fees. So what motivation is there for him to not download it? The MPAA makes the same profit either way ($0), it's costs are the same either way ($0), so the only variable is if he sees the movie / tv series or not.

                It's a flawed argument that speaks as to your motiviation.

                Flawed argument that people dislike excessive profit ma

        • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          So how do you define 'insane profits'? Exactly whose profits are you objecting to? Is it the content provider, the retailer, the trucking company, the energy company heating the producers building? Do you really expect anyone to believe that you check the balance sheet of whatever provider you are pirating from to make sure that the profit is 'too high' first (and what exactly are you looking at to make your insanity determination)? Please give us some examples of the 'insane profits' that you see, beca

          • by h4rm0ny (722443)
            I wish you hadn't posted as AC.

            So how do you define 'insane profits'? Exactly whose profits are you objecting to? Is it the content provider, the retailer, the trucking company, the energy company heating the producers building? Do you really expect anyone to believe that you check the balance sheet of whatever provider you are pirating from to make sure that the profit is 'too high' first (and what exactly are you looking at to make your insanity determination)? Please give us some examples of the 'insane

      • DRM (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        My understanding is that what pirates want, is the same thing but without having to hand over money.

        It depends on the pirate. For music, I think you're almost always right.

        For TV and movies, what some pirates want is unDRMed files. They're willing to pay for it, but it's not for sale at any price. Try playing a BluRay with mplayer sometime, or get a cablecard driver for Linux, and you quickly run into trouble. Pirates offer files without DRM.

        Same goes for most offline Windows games too. If the non-pira

        • by h4rm0ny (722443)

          For TV and movies, what some pirates want is unDRMed files. They're willing to pay for it, but it's not for sale at any price. Try playing a BluRay with mplayer sometime, or get a cablecard driver for Linux, and you quickly run into trouble. Pirates offer files without DRM.

          I'll grant you its not easy (nor was playing DVDs on Linux when they first appeared mind you), but I have played Blu-Rays in mplayer on Linux. Anyway, I assume that these pirates that are willing to pay but just want a lack of DRM are bu

      • If I could get the service I get from torrents (practically any film/album on demand, at the highest available quality, with a decent download speed, in an open format) at a reasonable price from a legitimate vendor then I and a lot of other people would use it. There will always be pirates. There have always been pirates. The problem is that currently the pirates get a much better deal and often get a services that isn't provided at all by the people are trying to distribute this content through legal chan
    • by StikyPad (445176)

      Keep trying to force your business model on people, you'll go under.

      Yeah, just like the cable companies, Microsoft, Apple with it's iPhone, etc...

      You use the term "people" like they're some single object that all wants the same thing. As long as *some* people want the product, and revenue exceeds costs, then *any* company can remain solvent, regardless of how you personally feel about it.

  • It's a bit like the invention of fire. You can't suppress it, despite its danger - sure, people are burned with it every day (and there are people out there who use it to burn people!) but if you want to cook food or refine metal, you can't throw it out.

    There are legitimate users of BitTorrent technologies, and there will continue to be legitimate uses of it. This site/service, whether it's directly useful to you or not, serves as documentation of that fact.

    • by Interoperable (1651953) on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @05:12PM (#30065702)

      Exactly, a site and set of trackers dedicated to legal material will facilitate the argument that there are, in fact, legal uses for torrents. This fact is utterly lost on many legislators thanks to the lobbying of Big Content. They need all the help they can get to see beyond the lobbyists and this is a step in the right direction. If the LegalTorrents community can demonstrate that a community can self-regulate to avoid infringement it will make the arguments of the RIAA more transparently false.

      Big Content will eventually die off simply because they aren't needed anymore. Artists no longer need big labels to publish their content and the more tools that artists have to avoid Big Content the better.

      • by Hobophile (602318) on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @05:45PM (#30066096) Homepage

        Exactly, a site and set of trackers dedicated to legal material will facilitate the argument that there are, in fact, legal uses for torrents.

        The name of this particular service - LegalTorrents.com - serves to focus undue attention on the ubiquity of torrents providing access to infringing content.

        Moreover, it comes down squarely on the wrong side of an important issue: torrents themselves are arguably never illegal, in that they only provide a means of finding content, and leave the actual distribution up to participating clients. Google indexes plenty of content that is either illegal or infringing, and though they deal with plenty of copyright-related complaints, they have not seen the need to establish an explicitly "legal" search service.

        The company would also do a tremendous disservice to those advocating legitimate uses of torrents, if the number of torrents it tracks becomes a convenient shorthand for the number of legal torrents available. It might be good for business to publicize those numbers, to the extent they aren't readily visible, even if it is very bad for other legitimate users of the protocol. For instance, it would be trivial to assert that only 5% of torrents are available through LegalTorrents.com, and to imply that the other 95% are somehow illegal or questionable.

        Frankly, it would be better for everyone if they had simply picked a name they could brand and advertise effectively. I can't see "LegalTorrents.com" getting the same sort of traction with Fortune 100 businesses as Akamai has, and it draws an inordinate amount of attention to the fact that the legality of the underlying protocol is controversial.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by shentino (1139071)

          Torrents themselves do not infringe copyrights.

          They might however be unauthorized derived works of the material whose hashes they contain.

          For sure though once a tracker has knowledge that one of their torrents is being used to facilitate copyright infringement they become an accessory if they fail to remove it.

          Copyright infringment is BS. Aiding and abetting, however, I'd be more apt to buy.

          • by JesseMcDonald (536341) on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @11:00PM (#30068900) Homepage

            If torrent files are derivative works because they contain hashes of other works, then any work with a bibliography is a derivative of the works it references. Hashes merely identify the a work; they aren't a copy of it.

            Moreover, to the best of my knowledge as a non-lawyer, if something wouldn't qualify for copyright on its own (and thus isn't a work at all) then it can't be a derivative work. Hashes certainly wouldn't qualify by themselves, and it's rather unlikely that any torrent file containing them would either.

            The "aiding and abetting" argument would indeed be the most sound approach. To that end—if you wish to support copyright—then once the copyright holder has established in court that a given swarm (identified by hash) is infringing on their copyrights, or the court has granted them an injunction pending a final decision, then you should blacklist that particular hash. However, allowing the swarm to continue when its illegality has not been established in a court of law should never be considered "aiding and abetting", since the tracker doesn't have "knowledge that one of their torrents is being used to facilitate copyright infringement"; they only have the copyright holder's allegations to that effect.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        Exactly, a site and set of trackers dedicated to legal material will facilitate the argument that there are, in fact, legal uses for torrents.

        This isn't the only one either. bt.etree.org has been around for quite some time.

      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        Uhhh...dude? Big content has one BIG fricking advantage you seem to be missing. You see, you are under the naive impression that by proving your argument with common sense, you, the little guy, might actually win. Wrong son, so wrong it ain't even funny.

        The reason it is so wrong is big content has these thing called "lobbyists" that carry a magic wand called a "big fat check". Now you see with enough of these "big fat checks" you can get a congress critter to say blue skies are green, the moon is made out o

      • by tepples (727027)

        Artists no longer need big labels to publish their content

        Over the past decade, this has become true of books, music, and short film. But in interactive entertainment, three companies (Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo) act as gatekeepers to the market, and they prefer to deal with big labels over individual developers. Individuals can self-publish games on PCs, but PC gaming has serious drawbacks that I've discussed numerous times in the past.

    • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @05:23PM (#30065812) Homepage

      I'd think the use of BitTorrent for things like World of Warcraft updates [arstechnica.com], for about 5 years, is more validation than someone hosting a pay-to-join tracker for legal content.

      Aren't there already totally free trackers for legal content (like Linux ISOs, etc)?

      • by dissy (172727)

        Aren't there already totally free trackers for legal content (like Linux ISOs, etc)?

        Yes there are, but as the summary states, the biggest ones of those are the trackers being shut down by lawsuits.

      • by shentino (1139071)

        Hey that's right!

        Blizzard might actually be a big bad corporation on OUR side here.

        If ISPs start interfering with WoW's ability to update itself...

      • I think it's a cunning scheme.

        If you have a very popular website that hosts torrents, and its name is "The Pirate Bay", it has certain connotations, and an undesirable association is formed. Well, then, if so much is in the name, then another website hosting torrents named "Legal Torrents" might go a long way towards reversing that association!

    • by Kjella (173770)

      It's a bit like the invention of fire. You can't suppress it, despite its danger - sure, people are burned with it every day (...) but if you want to cook food (...) you can't throw it out.

      Between my kitchen cooktop, oven and microwave - all of which run on electricity - I'd say that was a very poor example. The last time I cooked something with fire, like an actual burning flame was when I went camping. Or in a cabin on a stove using either gas or wood. The only time you'd find a flame in my kitchen is if I'm trying to flambé something or I've set the kitchen on fire, where the latter is far more likely. Particularly since the former would probably lead to the latter.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by nsayer (86181)

        It depends on where you live, but out here on the West (U.S.) Coast, the prevalent heating fuel is natural gas, which is used in the vast majority of forced air furnace and hot water heaters. They work with open flame. Unless you have an electric hot water heater (they do exist, but are phenomenally expensive to run, by comparison, according to my brother-in-law in Florida who has one), it's very likely that your hot water needs are met by fire.

        If that's not enough, there's more: Your house likely has coppe

        • by Kjella (173770)

          Somehow I don't relate how they welded my water pipes to cooking, the charcoal grill is a decent point though. I think here in Norway anyone using gas would be the outlier, it's almost all electric here. Yes, we use oil and and gas and wood for space heating and water heaters but almost noone for cooking - normally people boil initially cold water so the water heater isn't involved either. Besides, you can quite easily burn yourself without a flame, so wasn't like that it's safer. Just that most here cook w

          • by nsayer (86181)

            Somehow I don't relate how they welded my water pipes to cooking,

            It's not related to cooking, it's related to the GP's original point about the necessity of fire to modern life.

        • by dgatwood (11270)

          It depends on where you live, but out here on the West (U.S.) Coast, the prevalent heating fuel is natural gas...

          The ironic part of that is that electricity is probably cheaper at this point, given how much natural gas prices have increased.

          I've always thought someone should design a clothes dryer based on tying into your home's heat pump system. Have a three-way switching valve on the freon lines. When you're heating clothes, you're either cooling your house (if it needs to be cooled further) or cooling

          • Heat pump systems do not work that way, unfortunately. They are typically just a reversible air conditioner hooked up to forced air ducts.

            I would love to see a heat pump system that had high and low pressure refrigerant lines, individual throttles in each room, and tie-in ports for things like refrigerators. It always strikes me as inefficient that we stick a refrigerator up against a wall in an insulated room and then chill the room itself.

            On the other hand, such a system would also suffer from some scal

            • by dgatwood (11270)

              I'm not sure what way you think I think heat pumps work.... I'm just talking about a reversible air conditioner hooked up to forced air ducts except that the waste heat would be dumped in the dryer when it is running instead of outdoors, and while the A/C is off, the waste cooling is dumped outdoors.

              I totally agree about refrigerators. That's another application where you could significantly improve things by adding a few more freon lines and doing some smart valve work. For that matter, with a refrigera

              • I like your ideas. Someday, you should build them into a home.

                Now, I'd also suggest that bang-bang control is less than ideal depending on your power plant. (I have electric heat with bang-bang control for some stupid reason, for example)

                Convection goes like dT^3, so it's much more efficient to hold the temperature as close to the average temperature as possible, to avoid excessive heat loss during the too-high period.

            • I would love to see a heat pump system that had high and low pressure refrigerant lines, individual throttles in each room, and tie-in ports for things like refrigerators. It always strikes me as inefficient that we stick a refrigerator up against a wall in an insulated room and then chill the room itself.

              Hmm ... good argument for a more integrated heating/cooling system for the house. How about wrapping it up with electricity generation too? The Whispergen [whispergen.com] folks in New Zealand make a Stirling-cycle microCHP (Combined Heat & Power) generator suitable for the home. You could theoretically switch the flow of the cold and hot sinks with a bit of clever plumbing, and use the energy - the thermal differential, basically - otherwise wasted in generation for heating and cooling places.

              Not sure how much add

          • by nsayer (86181)

            The ironic part of that is that electricity is probably cheaper at this point, given how much natural gas prices have increased.

            Except that electricity prices have generally risen at the same time, mostly because a lot of electricity is made from.... wait for it.... natural gas.

    • by mangu (126918)

      There are legitimate users of BitTorrent technologies, and there will continue to be legitimate uses of it

      And even if there weren't legitimate users, there should be, if only the legislation weren't so absurd. The fact is that current "intellectual property" regulation is completely arbitrary, imposed by the corrupt organizations that have taken over our culture.

      They want to use analogies as long as it benefits them, they call it "piracy" and "just like stealing" when someone copies something, yet they forg

      • by Cal27 (1610211)

        When I buy a cat, it's not "piracy" to let it procreate and give or sell the kittens, even if I'm reducing the potential profits of the cat breeder.

        We'll see what the Feline Breeding Association of America has to say about that.

  • Who cares? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Ah, right, the media industry cares. Maybe they will use it. I hear they have atrocious up/down ratios though. When will they get through their thick heads that the cat is out of the bag? There will never be a time again when people have no way of communicating with one another across huge distances without needing someone else to approve the message. Digital information can be copied at next to no cost. If you believe that you can make people attribute value to something which can be copied and transported

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by icebraining (1313345)

      Well, people actually do, but only if it's worth it:

      Indepedent movie Nasty Old People:
        -> Financed by a bank loan
        -> Freely distributed via bittorrent at TPB
        -> Released October 10
        -> 16 day later (October 26), they had paid 25% of the loan, all with donations

      http://nastyoldpeople.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tkw954 (709413)
        I'm not criticizing these film-makers, but it's disingenuous for you to say that this validates some kind of sustainable financial business model. According to the second sentence, "nobody got paid". This sounds like an expensive hobby.
      • by tftp (111690)

        16 day later (October 26), they had paid 25% of the loan, all with donations

        This is nice; however this alone does not matter. What matters is that 100% of the loan should be paid by a certain date. They still need to collect the remaining 75% and that is not guaranteed because it may well be that they have already collected from almost everyone who was likely to donate.

  • Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jeffasselin (566598) <cormacolinde&gmail,com> on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @05:22PM (#30065798) Journal

    Which version of copyrights? The MPAA and the RIAA where fair use doesn't exist? The US one where anti-circumvention tools are legal? The German version where hacking tools are illegal? Or the Canadian version where fair use and privacy actually matter ('till ACTA is signed and forces us to change our laws, at least)? Something might be legal in one situation and not in another. In the end, only the proper authorities and legal system (aka the courts and judges in most countries) of the users can fairly decide what is legal and what isn't.

    And this "community-driven" system for black-flagging "illegal" content looks rife for exploitation.

  • Hashing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by b1ng0 (7449) on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @05:31PM (#30065900)
    Their SHA1 hashing method will not be sufficient to detect most copyright infringements. Even one bit change in a file will result in a completely different SHA1 hash. I am the creator of pHash [phash.org], which is well suited for this type of similarity search. The hashes do not need to be identical in order to detect duplicate or similar files, and similar files will have hashes that are "close" to one another. This is really what they should be using.
    • How does your hashing algorithm handle parody or covers? With so much user-created content on YouTube (an example of possible use from your website) would the "censors" be bogged down with material which is clearly fair-use?

      I checked your site for an FAQ, but didn't find one.
    • I'm not sure why, but I find it somewhat ironic that you released pHash under the GPL, even though its purpose is to support the kind of thing the GPL's creators are opposed to.
  • by Antiocheian (859870) on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @05:36PM (#30065944) Journal

    The eMule Content Database [emule-project.net] has been doing that, very successfully and for many years. Legit content, that is.

    And you need no tracker in eMule. As long as the file/collection is moderately popular, once a few people download it from you it will exist in the network for ever. I know as I have published service manuals there and I can still find them after 4 years...

  • What is with this fud about TPB being closed?

    it's still there! It hasn't gone anywhere!

    Why does slashdot keep quoting media sources written by people who are obviously either too old or too ignorant to type in a URL and watch a page load?!

    • by Hatta (162192)

      I haven't been able to connect to tracker.prq.to for weeks.

    • by Joren (312641)
      Anecdotally, it seems to be blocked for some people and not for others, and the blocking itself seems to be in flux. The last time I saw a post on Slashdot saying it had been closed, I tried accessing it then and could not. This time around, I can access the website. Don't know about the torrent though, haven't tried.
      • by Joren (312641)

        Anecdotally, it seems to be blocked for some people and not for others, and the blocking itself seems to be in flux. The last time I saw a post on Slashdot saying it had been closed, I tried accessing it then and could not. This time around, I can access the website. Don't know about the torrent though, haven't tried.

        Meant to say *tracker* - heh. Maybe I shouldn't slashdot without my green tea :)

    • it's still there! It hasn't gone anywhere!

      This seems to be varying. During the last weeks, there were two days during which the main site would simply not load at all. Keep in mind that some European countries have already blocked it, and then also there are some ISPs that are doing that preventively.

  • November, 2015: the world's first and only legal movie torrents tracker announces a breakthrough as they register more than over 100 (one hundred) simultaneous active transfers. The website's administrator, who strangely declined to reveal his name (mumbling something about a "revoked geek card") credits the help and careful surveillance of the RIAA for this feat. The RIAA spokesman adds: "We are more than content with the outcome of our 1.5 (one point five) billion dollars investment in trained personnel,

  • Transparency (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Alerius (851519)
    I would find it a little less questionable if it was made clear in the summary that the story promoting a "for pay" site had been submitted by a representative of that site.
  • Is being able to report the SHA1 of the content not an admission of ownership? Reporting "I downloaded this data with this SHA1, and that was an illegal act" sounds like a stupid thing to do.

    On the up-side, the SHA1 can come in very handy if you want to get the magnet link for a file, so I hope they create a Bitzi like page with "SHA1: this_and_that, is an illegal episode of Some Series, do not try to download it (quality is very good, I would rate it a 5 out of 5 for being very illegal)".

  • We've had decentralized tracking for years now, based on the Kademila distributed hash table. As long as the .torrent creator didn't turn on the private flag DRM [nullprogram.com], this system works really well, and I think it tends to provide an even richer set of peers from which to choose.

    We also have OpenBittorrent [openbittorrent.com] which is a tracker that has no idea what it's tracking, putting it in a safer legal position than trackers have normally been in. Any torrent can use that if they wish.

    The legal bottleneck is in distributing t

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