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Post by trog @ 11:35am 09/02/09 | 53 Comments
Some movement on the case against iiNet in the last few days with word that they've filed their defence and a date has been set for the court showdown (October 5th). From The Age:
In court today, lawyers for the movie studios said they provided iiNet with evidence of its customers' copyright infringement yesterday. The studios hired online investigators DtecNet to intercept BitTorrent traffic and record all instances of iiNet users downloading copyrighted movies illegally.

Both sides agreed that the main issue in the hearing would be whether iiNet was liable for the actions of its users and whether it in effect "authorised" their copyright infringement by failing to disconnect them when notified of the infringements by the movie studios.

The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) sent several letters to iiNet notifying the ISP of the infringements, however, in its defence iiNet said the notifications were "mere allegations of copyright infringement" and were forwarded to police.
UQ Law Lecturer Peter Black's Freedom to Differ blog has more information and is a good place to watch the action unfold. This is a pretty big case for your Internet liberties so it's one to keep an eye on.



iinetpiracy





Latest Comments
Spook
Posted 11:38am 09/2/09
im nervous, i dont trust our justice system to get this right;
MrHardware
Posted 11:42am 09/2/09
yes, spook is right. i don't trust our justice system to get this right either. it's too new, it's unchartered territory essentially, apart from a few kazaa type cases which are a different kettle of fish.
an ISP is a dumb pipe and should not be responsible for whats in the series of tubes pipe.
dynamite
Posted 11:46am 09/2/09
iiNet is supplying a service. It should not be responsible for how it is used.

If someone buys a knife from a shop and then goes and stabs someone with it the shop is not liable.
Alt_F4
Posted 11:49am 09/2/09

If someone buys a knife from a shop and then goes and stabs someone with it the shop is not liable.


What if the shop had a blacklist yet still knowingly sold the weapon to someone on it.
dynamite
Posted 11:52am 09/2/09
^^ Assuming the knife was sold legally... I thought that was a given but obviously you needed it spelt out.
tequila
Posted 11:58am 09/2/09
as an iinet customer with a 100gb plan, i hope they get it right
I don't know what I'd do if I had to stop downloading!@ - oh wait yeah I do, I'd just figure out another way around it

Boxhead
Posted 12:23pm 09/2/09
I hope iinet lose and I also hope the internet filter comes into being...

K lolworthy troll aside..

It is quite clear that in this day and age parents are not able to control childrens activities on the computer.. regardless of all the crys for them to 'supervise' and to monitor the goings on with the family pc, it just isn't working...

Hell I would say in some houses little jimmy has convinced mum and dad to let him have a pc in his room so he can do assignments late at night etc etc etc when in reality he's dloading porn, tv shows and video games...

The argument which has been applied to people racking up mobile bills and huge dload usage (eg user error = user failure.. pay up etc..) isn't working.. It seems as each new technology comes along or makes services moire accesible to a larger audience the average ability of the user drops.. or their smarts drop or something...

What i'm saying is people have proven to be unable to control themselves so hell yeah steps should be taken to control the situation...
Midda
Posted 01:01pm 09/2/09
This is all about Bittorrent, yeah? Usenet can't be monitored by anyone other than the Usenet provider, correct?
ViscoS
Posted 01:24pm 09/2/09
Is there some reason they're only targeting iiNet? Can't anyone with an internet connection use bittorent?
Dan
Posted 01:29pm 09/2/09
The case mentions Bittorent, but I'd guess it would account for any peer to peer sharing, like limewire and all those other p2p apps.

Usenet is a totally different beast. Since as a downloading user, you're not sharing anything back and yeah, if you're using ssh nobody can monitor your usage except the usenet provider and all the major ones boast about how they don't keep logs.
parabol
Posted 01:31pm 09/2/09
Usenet can't be monitored by anyone other than the Usenet provider

I can't see why it couldn't be monitored? Unless your usenet provider allows SSL end-to-end, but usually you have to pay for that type of account (e.g. Internode's free premium stream does not offer SSL).
Dan
Posted 01:33pm 09/2/09
Is there some reason they're only targeting iiNet? Can't anyone with an internet connection use bittorent?
Probably because iinet has a big enough customer base to set legal precedents, yet small enough to not have the legal defense bank roll that bigpond or optus (number 1 and 2 ISPS) would.
Dan
Posted 01:34pm 09/2/09
I can't see why it couldn't be monitored? Unless your usenet provider allows SSL end-to-end
The provider I use (paid) does, at no extra charge.
Pinky
Posted 02:32pm 09/2/09
Usenet can't be monitored by anyone other than the Usenet provider

I can't see why it couldn't be monitored? Unless your usenet provider allows SSL end-to-end, but usually you have to pay for that type of account (e.g. Internode's free premium stream does not offer SSL).

In Usenet the uploader more exposed though, don't forget that. The downloaders can hide behind the paid-for provider with SSL very cheaply.

If you use free Usenet from your ISP for pirating you're a fool. But, please, keep doing it because you will go down first which will serve as an advanced warning to the more careful users. I.e., Operation Human Shield (Southpark Reference).

Pirating is a crime, but my personal stance is that it somehow balances out the power tilting it towards the consumer. How many times consumers pirate a game and then buy it because they love it. Or worse, pirated a game that didn't provide a demo, play for 5 min, thought this sucks and never played it again. The power at the current time is with the consumer which I think is a healthy place for it to be.

If publishers provide more flexible purchasing options I think piracy can generally be avoided. But first they need to somehow collect meaningful metrics about piracy which currently they are not. One million people pirating a certain movie is not a meaningful indicator on it's own - piracy is a lot more complex than that.
Dan
Posted 02:45pm 09/2/09
In Usenet the uploader more exposed though, don't forget that.
True, but in terms of piracy, the general user never really has a need to upload a file. Because of all the people trying to one up one another for e-peen or whatever the reason. Pretty much everything is already there, and seemingly a whole lot faster and more complete than it used to be.

And I'd assume most uploaders that know what they're doing, would be uploading from regions where the us movie studios wouldn't be able to touch them anyway.

last edited by Dan at 14:46:24 09/Feb/09
Nathan
Posted 03:00pm 09/2/09
What if the shop had a blacklist yet still knowingly sold the weapon to someone on it.


Who makes this blacklist - the government? No, its a commercial entity looking after its own interests.


To make a vaguely related comparison. Spam is illegal. There are blacklists of purported spammers. If I give this list to IINet and they dont block it, can I then sue IINet?
tequila
Posted 03:02pm 09/2/09
^ good analogy, spammers make more money than movies do too
probably because you can't pirate Viagra, but still
parabol
Posted 03:16pm 09/2/09
The provider I use (paid) does, at no extra charge.

That's my point, for all intents and purposes it's included in your paid subscription. Most people don't pay, hence can't SSL in but still think it's safe and unmonitorable because it's a direct download instead of P2P.

last edited by parabol at 15:16:03 09/Feb/09
Pinky
Posted 03:15pm 09/2/09
^ good analogy

Nah, not good analogy. It's in the ISP's interest to block spam because the transferral of useless information is expensive and reduces performance the service they are offering the customer.

It's not in the ISP's interest to stop piracy because it adds value to their service. Why else would anyone need 100GB of data a month? Yeah, my....ah...online backup....mirroring.

And the film industry is pushing an "All piracy is bad" agenda when it's potentially wrong and they don't have the metrics to justify it. Some piracy leads to growth. In my industry for example some commercial software costs $20k+ and many uni students pirate this software to learn it at home. These students are never going to be able to pay $20k+, and the commercial organisation is benefiting because the students are learning their software and will use those skills when they end up in industry. That kind of piracy is should be practically encouraged if you ask me. Ok, in that case maybe the publisher should really cater for that market, which it doesn't and has no plans to.

The only piracy that is bad is commercial piracy - the pirates are making money, or a commercial enterprise is making money by using pirated software to generate revenue, and that revenue is not shared with the developer/publisher.

In the case of the film/games industry though - practically everyone is a consumer (except perhaps review sites). When they catch these groups that are mass-producing copyright material for retail sale in China and so on - that to me is terrible. I see that as a completely different thing as downloading 1,000 DVD rips.
tequila
Posted 03:24pm 09/2/09
Nah, not good analogy. It's in the ISP's interest to block spam because the transferral of useless information is expensive and reduces performance the service they are offering the customer.


you completely missed the point

he's just saying that something is illegal, why is it any less illegal to pass spam traffic than it is to pass music/movie/porn traffic?

if they really wanted to, they could implement sophisticated filters to catch every bit of spam too, but funnily enough it would probably slow the internet down to a crawl (sound familure?)

Dan
Posted 03:33pm 09/2/09
Most people don't pay, hence can't SSL in but still think it's safe and unmonitorable because it's a direct download instead of P2P.
I know you said that's you're point, but I still don't quite get what that point is, or how it's relevant to the discussion in this thread?

iinet is being sued here because the movie studios were able to compile a list of IP addresses of their users that they have accused of downloading copyrighted material. This was possible and simple for them because of the nature of bittorent. They just jump on the torrent for a film they own the copyright to and scrape a list of any peers that are sharing from an iinet ip.

This situation wouldn't occur when downloading from usenet. Because while it may potentially be possible for an outside client to sniff out what it is you're downloading if not using SSL, that's way outside the realm of what the movie studios are doing in terms of their p2p investigations, not to mention probably illegal anyway.
FaceMan
Posted 03:36pm 09/2/09
If iNet lose wont that mean that all their customers will be subjected to search warrants ?
It would be reasonable grounds to suspect that users of an ISP that encourages piracy would have pirated software/media.
tequila
Posted 03:46pm 09/2/09
if iinet lose i'm going to store my media drives off my premises and change isp's, swap my storage disks for my OS raid array to start scrubbing the old data etc

just not worth the risk at $50k/pop or whatever it is for each movie/tv episode etc

I went to use bigpondmusic.com the other day and after paying for my album I'm told I had to download a f*****g client to then download the files from the site, which is ridiculous

why they cant just give me a .mp3 link is beyond me;

so i downloaded them all, one file failed - wasn't able to redownload it because "it had already been downloaded".
so i sent an email, no response for 24+hrs and i called up - the lady enabled the download again, clicked on it and no love (so it was like the file wasn't on the media server or something)

she said she'd escelate it, i gave up and demanded a refund
I have 99% of this album now, everything but one song and it didn't cost me a thing

I still would have had no problems paying the $20 or so for the whole album though
try to do the right thing and it just blows up in your face

actually i'm listening to the album now ;)
I work in the same building where the bigpond music media guys are down here in Sydney but its near impossible to get s*** done in a company this big

edit: + this from independent.co.uk (via digg.com) just now, for anyone that knows what aXXo means

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/scene-stealer-the-axxo-files-1214699.html

last edited by tequila at 15:46:03 09/Feb/09
Pinky
Posted 03:51pm 09/2/09
he's just saying that something is illegal, why is it any less illegal to pass spam traffic than it is to pass music/movie/porn traffic?

Nah, I still think they are very different. Spam is unsolicited delivery which is illegal under Australia's "opt-in" subscription law (you have to request to be added to a subscription service - it's illegal to mass-mail a list of people that have not asked to be mass-mailed).

Piracy is requested. You hunt for the stuff and download it knowingly doing the wrong thing.

Spam should be quite easy to solve. Find the people that are actually making the spammers money - the d*******s buying fake degrees, erectile drugs and mail-order brides from the Ukraine - and punch those suckers in the god-damn face for being so stupid.

an ISP that encourages piracy

No ISP encourages piracy. iiNet don't encourage piracy - proven in practice by the documents they have provided to the police - they disagree that they should be the ones to police it. That is what police are for.

What makes the issue so complex is that there is no metric to quantify how much damage piracy is doing. The music industry is a growth industry. The film industry is a growth industry. The computer games industry is a growth industry. The copyright infringement groups are arguing for substantial losses in three large growth industries. This substantially weakens their case because they can say five billion people are pirating their movies, but they can't say how many of those people are also paying for movies. It's complex. Just look at how many DVD box sets are sold at Xmas. I am yet to find anyone who gives their mate 10 DVDs from China for Xmas.

I think everyone should be assigned a number, and all actions tracked by the government. *sarcasm*
tequila
Posted 04:30pm 09/2/09
the effort required to ban both spam and file sharing is almost identical, both require deep packet inspection (layer 7 filtering)
just because one is opt-in and the other is opt-out doesn't make either more right or wrong

in the scenario presented why can't we sue iinet for not blocking spam, yet the media company can sue iinet for not blocking movie downloads?
either way its not iinets fault, they just provide us with the medium upon which we obtain either spam or movies, its not their fault that either of them make it through so why blame them at all ?

I know what you're trying to say but Nathans original point has eluded you
trog
Posted 04:35pm 09/2/09
I went to use bigpondmusic.com the other day and after paying for my album I'm told I had to download a f*****g client to then download the files from the site, which is ridiculous
You don't have to use it, its optional - its there to make downloading easier so you don't have to click multiple mp3 downloads links (people are newbs and can't do it) (we wrote that tool)
the effort required to ban both spam and file sharing is almost identical, both require deep packet inspection (layer 7 filtering)
just because one is opt-in and the other is opt-out doesn't make either more right or wrong
Maybe in the sense that it is infinity hard
tequila
Posted 04:49pm 09/2/09
I tried to download it using the individual links trog, it downloaded a file about the right size (3.5mb or so) but it had an unusual file extension which had to be opened using the aforementioned client

all in all the whole experience was simply too painful, in all honesty I would rather use itunes and have my music crippled with DRM because at least I can circumvent that, oh and the download/payment system is flawless in comparison

If you have access, check out "Drapht - 06 - Dreams and Dreamers.mp3", I bet you $10 there's a problem with the file on your storage servers



Maybe in the sense that it is infinity hard


hence why iinet is happy to help test the internet filtering thing for the govt.
they know it is insanely hard and they're keen to show how ridiculous the whole thing is, or at least I hope that's what they're doing

they've stated already it will have a serious impact of performance across the whole of Australia; we all knew this anyway

*conspiracy theory*
if they slow down our tubes for the riaa, they might as well filter spam and movie/music downloads too

last edited by tequila at 16:49:15 09/Feb/09
Obes
Posted 04:51pm 09/2/09
Dan I think alot of those News servers have clauses in them like we don't log anything unless requriered by law ?

Who knows what that phrase means.
thermite
Posted 05:16pm 09/2/09
Is it possible to encrypt torrents with GPG and make it harder for these Internet Detectives working for RIAA to determine what I'm torrenting? Or do they pretty much count any torrent regardless of it's content as a lost sale for the Recording Industry?
(Obviously the person making the torrent in the first place would be the one encrypting the data)

Or alternatively have encrypted data sent to you from an overseas server.

last edited by thermite at 17:16:50 09/Feb/09
dRanged
Posted 05:18pm 09/2/09

Maybe in the sense that it is infinity hard


Not if media companies send copyright notices to ISPs and they "act" on it.

Personally I think it's pretty obvious that iiNet, while being picked on as prime target, is as guilty as any ISP in turning a blind eye to piracy, given historically, the lack of accountability ISPs have had, and the general boon to the bottom line all those extra subscribers produce.

So maybe the question is what is a fair and equitable outcome. As in, yes, they're guilty, but how to we appropriate measured amounts of blame to the industry, the end user and big media itself for using imo such the cynic's tactic.

Surely there should be some mechanism or process whereby a rights-holder can notify the service provider of an alleged copyright infringement, who can then take some action which, at the same time as exercising the owners rights, also protects the end user from 'abuse', and doesn't the destroy the ISP's reputation and goodwill.
tequila
Posted 05:29pm 09/2/09
Is it possible to encrypt torrents with GPG


only the headers are encrypted afaik, the actual data transfers still go unencrypted
trog
Posted 05:57pm 09/2/09
Or do they pretty much count any torrent regardless of it's content as a lost sale for the Recording Industry?
(Obviously the person making the torrent in the first place would be the one encrypting the data)
public access torrenting, no matter how you encrypt it, will be subject to snooping.

What you want is a Darknet like Nullsoft's WASTE, which you might remember was STOMPED by AOL within hours of it being released, because they realised what a threat it was.

I sincerely thing darknets are the next big thing; all it'll take is a minor improvement in upload speeds to fix the problem of less peers.
nF
Posted 06:59pm 09/2/09
i'm sure waste is still used by pedos, terrorists and the like.

If you use free Usenet from your ISP for pirating you're a fool. But, please, keep doing it because you will go down first which will serve as an advanced warning to the more careful users. I.e., Operation Human Shield (Southpark Reference).


I don't think they are going after downloaders. So i think you'd be safe, that said how many isps still have binaries on their news servers?

From what i gather though, people are being done not on what they've downloaded, but what they have uploaded. Being bittorrent its happening at the same time, so everyone who uses it is liable.
Pinky
Posted 07:45pm 09/2/09
I sincerely thing darknets are the next big thing; all it'll take is a minor improvement in upload speeds to fix the problem of less peers.

For sure. The only thing holding this back is average connection speed - in particular upload speed since that's greatly reduced still in general. Once this improves darknets will be more enticing. The problem is security vs. content. You want less people for security (trust network) but more people for content. It will be like communist Czechoslovakia - who can you trust? :-))))
Corrupt
Posted 07:55pm 09/2/09
This shouldn't even be at trial basically AFACT are asking iinet to police it users instead of AFACT lodging infringement claims against its users through the proper process through the legal system with the appropriate evidence.
spencer
Posted 11:17pm 09/2/09
Music copyright infringement (also called piracy) is a lost cause.

In 10 years it is predicted that hard drives will reach 100 terabytes.
This compares to the 2 terabyte hard drives of today.

At and average of 5 megs a song, by my reckoning that is 20 million songs on a single hard drive.
Thats pretty much every song ever made, well songs worth having at least.
trog
Posted 11:24pm 09/2/09
If you use free Usenet from your ISP for pirating you're a fool. But, please, keep doing it because you will go down first which will serve as an advanced warning to the more careful users. I.e., Operation Human Shield (Southpark Reference).
Fact: usenet is the single safest way to download anything off the Internet, aside from darknets and other private networks.

There's still a few years before the media companies catch on to usenet. Going after torrent users is way easier; there's more of them, they're dead easy to find and, if the media companies in Australia get their way, the ISPs will have to police them.
BatS***
Posted 11:29pm 09/2/09
The amount of hdd space has nothing to do with it because 10 years ago there were cds. It's clearly not how much junk your HDD can hold but how accessible it is to you.

I remember reading someones account of going "legal" with everything on his computer. He came to the simple conclusion that piracy (ie downloading songs) is extremely easy to do and it gives you high quality products with top speeds and a huge range. But legal on the other hand was nearly completely opposite.

last edited by BatS*** at 23:29:51 09/Feb/09
BatS***
Posted 11:31pm 09/2/09
So trog you are saying I should use usenet for all my game downloads?
nF
Posted 11:38pm 09/2/09
but have you ever used winamp on a machine with even 30gig of mp3s.

you just sit there mashing the skip button until a decent song comes up.

imo theres only maybe 10gig of mp3s IN THE WORLD i'd ever listen too.
spencer
Posted 01:37am 10/2/09
-> The amount of hdd space has nothing to do with it because 10 years ago there were cds.

The size of mp3s hasn't changed in 10 years.
But hard drive space has gone from ~6gigs to 2000gigs
and soon from 2000gigs to 200,000 gigs

My point is that the writing is on the wall for existing music distribution as 1 hard drive can store it all.

-> It's clearly not how much junk your HDD can hold but how accessible it is to you.

Just order a hard drive with 20 million songs on it over the internet (from the Eastern Bloc/Asia) etc.
Theres no need to download it when a single hard drive contains everything you need.
trog
Posted 10:19am 10/2/09
My point is that the writing is on the wall for existing music distribution as 1 hard drive can store it all.
Hard drives have been able to store more music than I could ever want since well before I got my first iPod
So trog you are saying I should use usenet for all my game downloads?
if it weren't for awesome sites like ausgamers that make getting files so easy, usenet would be an awesome way to download patches, demos, etc
Obes
Posted 10:31am 10/2/09
10gig of mp3s IN THE WORLD i'd ever listen too

I have nearly that in Pink Floyd.
Obes
Posted 11:07am 10/2/09
Also with usenet. Not only do you have the server you are grabbing files from, but isn't there usually a nzb server ?

And since they are charging for access to both servers as I understand it, aren't they going to be a huge target assuming the big companies work it out ? given that people are visibly making a profit ?
Dan
Posted 11:19am 10/2/09
There are paid sites that distribute nzb's and nfo's yeah. It's a huge crazy gray area. I think it's best protection is it's relative obscurity due to the higher technical abilities needed to use it.

Even the best apps and gathering methods are still a bit beyond the average peer to peer downloader but they're getting better all the time and once that happens it will probably attract the attention of the movie/music studio's attack dogs.
Obes
Posted 11:31am 10/2/09
When the watch dogs go in for the kill will the sites you are paying hand over customer lists for reduced penalties ?
trog
Posted 11:37am 10/2/09
When the watch dogs go in for the kill will the sites you are paying hand over customer lists for reduced penalties ?
most of the sites have privacy policies that indicate that they (allegedly) don't track what you download. So even if they handed you over there'd be no evidence of what you were downloading - of course, you have to take those companies at their word.

Going with a US-based usenet provider though if you're supplying personally identifying details seems like a bad idea, if you're using it for less-than-legal deeds.
Dan
Posted 12:12pm 10/2/09
Also, It's also already been established that they don't seem to have much interest in downloaders anymore anyway (too much bad press from the napster days probably).
ravn0s
Posted 01:09pm 10/2/09
do sites like rapidshare track what you download?
Midda
Posted 01:15pm 10/2/09
Also with usenet. Not only do you have the server you are grabbing files from, but isn't there usually a nzb server ?

There are paid NZB servers? I've always just used the search built into Alt.Binz, or gone to Newzleech. Why would you pay for NZBs?
trog
Posted 01:24pm 10/2/09
do sites like rapidshare track what you download?
they probably have regular HTTP logs that store your IP and what file you downloaded, but I'd say they are rotated/deleted pretty quickly. Their terms don't mention anything and I can't see a privacy policy.
Martz
Posted 05:17pm 10/2/09
Interesting where this is going to go... just like others have said, this is risky business when it comes to taking it up on Australian justice system.

last edited by Martz at 17:17:43 10/Feb/09
nF
Posted 07:36pm 10/2/09
10gig of mp3s IN THE WORLD i'd ever listen too


I have nearly that in Pink Floyd.


exactly, thats 10gig i'd never listen to.
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