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UK ISPs Could Be Forced To Block Or Restrict P2P

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the expanding-the-job-description dept.

Government 231

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

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I don't get it (5, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#27200881)

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

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

klingens (147173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201099)

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

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

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

BSAtHome (455370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201263)

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

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

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

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201407)

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

Wise words.

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

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

We just keep repeating the same mistakes.

Re:I don't get it (1, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201991)

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

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

an unsound mind (1419599) | more than 5 years ago | (#27202121)

And what is PATRIOTISM?

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

Re:I don't get it (2, Funny)

Vertana (1094987) | more than 5 years ago | (#27202325)

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

Re:I don't get it (3, Interesting)

moteyalpha (1228680) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201411)

Very insightful and if I had mod points today, you would get them. Also I see that it is a hopeless effort on their part if there is demand. It is like keeping picnic baskets from bears. I can think of several ways around the P2P restrictions using steganography, and other transforms. By attempting to block the most primitive methods that the bears use, it will lead to smarter bears and an ever more expensive government bureaucracy, which is probably their goal.
Bureaucrats think in terms of selecting a niche that has endless and lifelong traction and income.

Re:I don't get it (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201741)

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

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

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

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

Face it, if you're going to go on tour and cover the cost of touring, you'd better be pretty famous already. A million people that like your album and is willing to give you 10$ for it is a lot. Yet it's still only 1/300 of everyone in the US. If you went to a million person city that's 333 people - minus everyone that never heard you were going on tour, or that are busy that weekend, or didn't have the cash right then and so on. Maybe it's music people like to listen to while they're driving or exercising or feeling blue but not going to a concert to hear. And the idea that people like to donate for free stuff in any significant amount is contradicted by pretty much everything I've heard whether it's software projects or otherwise.

Re:I don't get it (2, Insightful)

nabsltd (1313397) | more than 5 years ago | (#27202483)

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

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

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

I suspect this last part is the major reason there are so many musicians whining about file sharing taking food out of their mouth...the reality is that they just aren't talented or smart enough to keep producing music in a way that people are willing to pay for.

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

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27201507)

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

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

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201587)

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

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

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

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

Re:I don't get it (1)

jnnnnn (1079877) | more than 5 years ago | (#27202261)

If so many people are doing it, would it make more sense for it to be legal?

Re:I don't get it (3, Insightful)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201113)

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

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

Re:I don't get it (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201123)

According to a 1995 US Department of justice 12-month study of the 75 most populous counties showed that only 2 percent of some 762,000 state court civil cases were decided by juries.
So at that point someone had actually filed the paperwork for a court case. So you would have to guess how many civil problems got settled before court paperwork was even filed.
As for why they are doing that, it is cheaper. If they can get you to settle before the court action they save time and money.

Re:I don't get it (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201455)

Yeah but a trial by your peers is the surest defense of liberty from unjust laws. I would not settle; I'd go all the way to the end.

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

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201137)

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

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

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

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27201227)

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

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

Re:I don't get it (2, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201475)

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

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

st0rmshad0w (412661) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201843)

SSL VPN P2P "darknets" already exist.

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

Re:I don't get it (2, Informative)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 5 years ago | (#27202319)

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

Easy (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201211)

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

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

Re:I don't get it (2, Insightful)

future assassin (639396) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201265)

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

Until other markets get their dirty money into politicians pockets.

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

Re:I don't get it (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201501)

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

Yay.

Re:I don't get it (1)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201859)

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

Yay.

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

Re:I don't get it (1)

jomiolto (1092375) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201877)

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

You'll always have the choice of not buying. There's a lot of free stuff available and there are also indie labels that are not affiliated with RIAA and buddies.

Re:I don't get it (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27202091)

You are still making it easier for other people to buy new music, and harder for still other people to buy used music (which may push them to buy new music...).

Re:I don't get it (1)

redkcir (1431605) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201609)

The usual reasons. Politics, money and control. Businesses, like the movie and music industry because they were foolish concerning digital and the Internet and are losing money hand over fist. With a lot of Artistes bypassing them there cash cow is dying. Why give most of the profits to someone else when you can now produce your product and distribute it your self? While having the Big Media companies can give you some exposure in the form of highly advertised gigs,Air time on the radio, etc., people are turning in droves to the Internet instead of paying for stuff they don't want to get what they do. Radio is fine for traveling, buy how many people really listen at home anymore? Politics and control - Governments have always and will always strive to control what they don't like or understand. The old adage what to control information is to control the populist is as true today as it ever was. If you can censure what travels over the net (and this is the real reason governments want control of the net. See China.)then you can bend the truth as you see fit. Hence, more control. And control is what it's all about for politicians. If you are an American you are seeing this played out with the newest administracion. They didn't like the last one so they are doing everything they can to change what they did. I'm not pro either party myself, so this isn't me talking about who should or shouldn't be in power. At issue is who gets to dictate what freedom or rights people can or can not have on a given issue. That is control over peoples lives. The right to MAKE other people toe Your line. Sometimes you need to look around the tree for the rest of the forest.

Re:I don't get it (2, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201635)

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

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

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

Re:I don't get it (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201901)

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

Not strictly true. If you look at any of the letters you get from these people, you'll see they'll all say some varient on the lines of "Dear sir, we caught you engaged in a criminal activity, we have enough evidence to hand to the police and get you sent to jail for it. However, for a fixed fee, we'll be quite happy to make the evidence disappear." It's not so much outside the court system as using the court system as leverage to make you pay, and there's always a way to appeal â" take it through the court system!

Re:I don't get it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27202171)

i thought that was called blackmail.

Why they bother to try? (5, Informative)

Darkk (1296127) | more than 5 years ago | (#27200883)

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

Re:Why they bother to try? (1)

Gerafix (1028986) | more than 5 years ago | (#27200993)

Evidence? We don't need no stinkin' evidence!

Re:Why they bother to try? (2, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201217)

To scare off the average joe user.

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

Re:Why they bother to try? (4, Interesting)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201331)

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

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

Re:Why they bother to try? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27201435)

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

Sorry, I don't like correcting people but this one's kind've a given....

Re:Why they bother to try? (1)

broken_chaos (1188549) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201251)

Even up here in Canada, without any real threat so far, I've taken to only allowing connections from encrypted peers - partly due to ISP filtering slowing down all downloads, even legitimate ones (Linux distro ISOs). I suggest everyone gets a recent torrent client (such as Transmission on OSX) and allow only encrypted peers.

Re:Why they bother to try? (1)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201389)

Does your performance suffer much by doing that?

Re:Why they bother to try? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27201449)

I use utorrent and have it set to force the use of encryption and to only access to other encrypted peers. I still regularly saturate my my up and down stream. If their is a performance hit, which I'm sure there is, I'm not noticing it. Of course I imagine it depends on the behavior of others in the swarm, but generally I think people who find/use non-public torrent trackers generally should know to use encryption.

Re:Why they bother to try? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27201669)

In my tests (and I'm an active researcher/developer in this field), encryption, properly implemented, is faster.

Even if your ISP doesn't throttle, performance is typically better with encryption forced on and legacy connections disallowed, because of all the other peers in the swarm who'd only be able to seed to you effectively through encrypted connections because their ISP throttles. (Unless, that is, you have a legacy static seed in your swarm with high bandwidth; in which case, you should upgrade the static seed ASAP to encrypted, to get better performance for the whole swarm!)

In addition, the issue of certain bit patterns (for example, the 32 bits that make up your internal IP address) causing data corruption issues in some (faulty) consumer routers is worked around, as re-keying will naturally produce a different bit pattern the second time around.

Bittorrent's protocol obfuscation isn't very strong encryption (1024-bit RSA exchange, ARC4 stream cipher, moderately weak man-in-the-middle protection based on the infohash, so MUCH stronger when the infohash isn't available or there isn't a colluder in the swarm, ideally run the tracker over https), but also runs very quickly (RC4 is simple and fast, though at this point I would say possibly broken or at least breakable, and can be distinguished from random data as per recent research).

It's quite possible to do strong encryption just as quickly. In my tests, applications running over TLS actually deliver the exact same level of performance and negligible CPU usage except for the short pauses for RSA key exchanges when new connections are established; and much faster asymmetric Diffie-Hellman algorithms based on elliptic curves (or emerging schemes based on genus-2 hyperelliptic curves) which would not exhibit this issue already exist - as do efficient authenticated-encryption block cipher modes like OCB-AES-128 which beat CBC+HMAC in terms of speed and security and obviate the need for block padding.

Re:Why they bother to try? (2, Interesting)

shish (588640) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201327)

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

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

Re:Why they bother to try? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27201545)

So split the file into image sized chunks and send them as image/jpg or whatever. We can easily disguise p2p as "standard port 80 HTTP".

I only use bittorrent for snagging Linux/BSD releases and even I'm thinking the content mafia, providers and the office for copyright, patents and trademarks can fuck off with their "suspicion".

Re:Why they bother to try? (4, Interesting)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201427)

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

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

Re:Why they bother to try? (1)

coretx (529515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201489)

PLEASE mod parent up ! Since this is the "new" problem we need to work on !

Re:Why they bother to try? (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201641)

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

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

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

Re:Why they bother to try? (1)

BoberFett (127537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201673)

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

Re:Why they bother to try? (1)

siDDis (961791) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201729)

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

They can't block multiple incoming connections

Re:Why they bother to try? (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201917)

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

Re:Why they bother to try? (4, Interesting)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201897)

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

Re:Why they bother to try? (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201677)

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

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

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

- Are you connecting to a number of IP addresses which are known to be in blocks allocated to domestic DSL/Cable connections? This is made particularly easy when most ISPs around the world set up PTR records like 123.123.123.123.domestic.dsl.customer.london.isp.com.
- Are you sending a small amount of traffic upstream to a small number of servers and receiving much more back?
- Is the connection kept open for a significant length of time (more than a few minutes)?

Re:Why they bother to try? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27202237)

- Are you connecting to a number of IP addresses which are known to be in blocks allocated to domestic DSL/Cable connections? This is made particularly easy when most ISPs around the world set up PTR records like 123.123.123.123.domestic.dsl.customer.london.isp.com.
- Are you sending a small amount of traffic upstream to a small number of servers and receiving much more back?
- Is the connection kept open for a significant length of time (more than a few minutes)?

Right, so I hope these ISPs don't like customers who play online games.

Re:Why they bother to try? (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#27202235)

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

Wrong!

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

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

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

For P2P, at the ISP level, you can also look at how many connection are being made to any one of your customer's ports.

Encryption doesn't hide the protocol of the message, in the case of IP. Sadly :(

News? (1)

wmbetts (1306001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27200893)

This was bound to happen sooner or later.

Re:News? (1)

franki.macha (1444319) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201073)

In fact I've read several times on slashdot that it's already happened, but I'll only believe it when the files stop coming.

Due process (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27200897)

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

Of course, we know that governments always follow due process in these cases, provide timely hearings where someone accused has an opportunity to defend themselves, and provide fair compensation if they screw up and an innocent party is damaged as a result, so there's really nothing to worry about.

And in other news ... (5, Informative)

krou (1027572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27200943)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Re:And in other news ... (0, Troll)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#27200989)

now i can download the discographies of 140 artists without even a tang of guilt, shame i dont even recognise the majority of the list though.

Re:And in other news ... (1)

Gerafix (1028986) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201007)

Honestly I am surprised they haven't started the "Think of the Children" soup de jour yet. I mean, think of all those children of the record execs that will have to go without bread and water because of those naughty downloaders!

Re:And in other news ... (5, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201173)

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

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

Re:And in other news ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27201451)

Willingly? Well more of an choice of signing away your creative soule or starving to death (or, oh no, get a "real" job) due to not being able to crack the payola wall of the promoting media which funny enaugh the RIAA put up in the first place to keep out the independant artists.

Re:And in other news ... (1)

friendofthenite (1226310) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201621)

Billy Bragg has always concentrated less on music than he has on left-wing activism, and the haphazard selection of musicians he's recruited to this cause are not '140 of the UK's biggest music stars'. The list of sixty or so names on their website includes some extremely marginal musicians alongside a cluster of big names who have a track record of supporting anti-corporate causes. They are entitled to their view, for sure, but contrary to what they and The Independent might lead you to think, they are not representative of the British music industry.

Re:And in other news ... (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201807)

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

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

Those tasked with passing legislation are protecting the interests of media companies. By that I don't mean "the Big Bad Media Companies", but companies that generate tax revenue, employ people, and generally contribute to the economy (or more directly to the pockets of those with power). Add to that the notion that we're all living in service economies where the value of IP has replaced more tangible assets, it's easy to see why deference (or "special preference", if you prefer) would be given to corporations instead of the man in the street. The consitutents of the elected representative are, therefore, not the music fans or the guy in the street (even one strumming a guitar), but the media companies.

As to why the "Won't anyone think of the artists?" sentiment falls flat with the Featured Artists Coalition vote, it's because the media companies own it as slogan. They're the ones who have been using it all these years, and they've been shouting the loudest. And if they're the ones who are ostensibly responsible for taking care of or paying their artists, what legislator is going to adopt a position that on its face appears to muck around with private contractual disputes?

On the other hand, if the artists want to use that slogan themselves, thereby effecting some kind of positive change, they'll have to win themselves the power to do that. Broad popular support with the public (unless accompanied by the modern-day equivalent of pitchforks) is rarely enough. In the interim, one can always hope for enlightened legislators to step forward while we're busy adopting workarounds, or moaning about the situation on Slashdot.

What is the difference... (1, Interesting)

prndll (1425091) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201049)

...between downloading from a P2P network and downloading from something considered more legit (like Itunes) when it's presented as DRM free? At it's very best, all it amounts to is downloading the exact same thing from a different server...especially when it's downloaded for free. All 'legit' services do give 'free' DRM free downloads. It has been said by the RIAA that "downloading is illegal and immoral". Yet, downloading from Itunes is never questioned. Why is it that when someone downloads from P2P, they are "freeloaders" but when it's a DRM free 'free' download...everything is ok? One aspect of this that does bother me is that you cannot pull up ANYTHING from the web that is NOT downloaded (in some way). The entire internet is based on the concept of "copying" things, from one computer to another. In all the arguments surrounding this issue, I have yet to hear any logical reason that justifies the actions of the recording industry on any real technical level.

Re:What is the difference... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27201141)

Die in a fire, srsly.

Re:What is the difference... (1)

prndll (1425091) | more than 5 years ago | (#27202127)

I have to wonder how much hate there is in your heart????

Re:What is the difference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27201163)

Because you usually pay a fee to download media from the iTunes store.

Re:What is the difference... (1)

prndll (1425091) | more than 5 years ago | (#27202065)

and when you don't?

I don't DL from P2P (1, Insightful)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201087)

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

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

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

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

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

These links will break, but are often replaced by other links. The download is fast, but not superfast, simply "fast enough".

The whole P2P thing is so 2001. So yesterday. So "who cares? I've moved on from there..."

RS

Re:I don't DL from P2P (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27201193)

The 90's just called, it want its illegal mp3 websites back.

Re:I don't DL from P2P (1)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201931)

The 80's just called, it wants Usenet back.

Re:I don't DL from P2P (1)

prndll (1425091) | more than 5 years ago | (#27202185)

here again....simply downloading from different servers

So... (5, Insightful)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201101)

How am I supposed to get my Brit TV fix now? If they block everything off, I won't be able to torrent shows I can't officially see here in the US, like The IT Crowd [imdb.com] or FM [imdb.com] or even No Heroics [imdb.com] .

That really sucks.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27201531)

And we won't be able to get our American shows without having to wait some dumbass amount of time either. Way to go my country! It probably won't last long, either it will be removed or people will find ways around it... Sunrise, sunset..

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27201539)

You could, you know, purchase them [amazon.co.uk] ?

Amazon has no problem shipping from the US to Europe, so I doubt it's a problem in the other direction either.

Re:So... (1)

IonOtter (629215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201857)

No you can't. Not unless you have:

1. A region-free DVD player
2. A player that can handle PAL.

Usually the two are combined, but #1 is a bit hard to come by, and illegal in some places.

Re:So... (2, Interesting)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 5 years ago | (#27202255)

Hard to come by? I got my region free DVD player for £30 off Amazon. But maybe it's different in the USA.

P.S. WTF is up with Slashdot not supporting Unicode. Manually escaping characters sucks.

Re:So... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201607)

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

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

Re:So... (1)

mrbcs (737902) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201925)

You're making me nostalgic for the old days..

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

Maybe we need a new way to trade ftp sites besides irc.

Re:So... (1)

moxley (895517) | more than 5 years ago | (#27202017)

"The Scene" does almost everything through FTP."

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

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

They can make things difficult, they can put the fear into people, they can pass laws that nobody wants that can hurt people, but none of this will stop progress in the end.

Re:So... (1)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201633)

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

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

Other than that from what I can tell most British groups have large seed server on the continent anyway, Top Gear for example is almost exclusively pushed out of France for example. LARGE pipes. And I believe if they have something like that on hand they also have a dedicated access pipe that feeds the continental boxes and from there on the stuff goes out. The only ones affected by this, as usual, are the noob users that barely know what filesharing is and don't know anything about encryption, direct connections and filtering countermeasures.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27201799)

Well, you could use the BBC iPlayer or 4od, both of which allow free streaming of British tv shows

IF we can't P2P... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27201183)

...that's what thumb-drives and portable hard drives are for...oh wait I forgot on /. no one has friends, your all screwed!

Re:IF we can't P2P... (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201483)

Thanks. You just gave me the idea for thesneakernetbay.org

It's a tracker service like bittorrent, but people walk around instead. You add your coordinates, and it searches for the nearest peer, then a load of people turn up on your lawn holding USB sticks.

Service Speeds Restricted? (2, Funny)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201269)

So what? Because of the over-selling I only get half of my 20Mbps now!

Protest P2P Blocking: +1, PatRIOTic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27201281)

Don't visit the country which contributed the most to world problems: Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, and India.

P.S. God Save The Queen [youtube.com] .

Yours In Communism,
Kilgore Trout

Title a tad misleading (2, Insightful)

dwhitaker (1500855) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201363)

When I first read the title, it made it seem like the UK was going to have ISPs just block all P2P traffic, in my mind a possibility considering the UK's position on internet snooping and censorship combined with the fact that smaller networks (like universities) routinely block all P2P traffic, legal or otherwise.

I don't agree with the punishments being handed out by the ISPs, but what if the restriction was part of a court-imposed penalty? Perhaps lawyers could argue to get the P2P blocking imposed in exchange for dropping some stiff financial penalties? I'm not a lawyer, and I'm sure those filing the suits would want the P2P blocking on top of everything else, but there could be a potential less-negative thing out of this if it is used instead of other penalties. I don't agree with internet restriction, especially with how the UK is handling it, but if someone IS violating copyright using P2P and it is shown to be such in court, I don't see a problem with this.

Protocol blocking? (1)

Turzyx (1462339) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201415)

Yeah, let's block TCP and UDP, problem solved. Sighface.

Re:Protocol blocking? (1)

fluch (126140) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201503)

Hmm, somewhere someone from the Maffia is thinking this might be a idea .... $^£%&#! CARRIER LOST.

Too far... (1)

TheMightyFuzzball (1500683) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201457)

I am already a victim of this, my ISP is restricting my download speeds to 100Kb/s down and 180kb/s up, and I am paying for broadband speeds. Who is the criminal, the ISP me thinks...

Stop it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27201527)

illegal broadband file sharing (P2P)

P2P is not synonymous with illegal file sharing.

Don't repeat the MAFIAA's propaganda.

Government Intervention with Internet (1)

jamesmcm (1354379) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201533)

Why is the Government intervention here always so terrible? Can't we elect a decent technology minster to back net neutrality and stop censorship, not pander to corporate interests. This is why we should elect the cabinet not the party.

Again, the main point is lost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27201563)

Again the main point is lost on these folks. File sharing in and of itself is not illegal, nor imoral. Its when copyrighted material is shared that an illegal act is performed. Restricting or blocking P2P file sharing would be punishing the inocent along with the guilty. Yes, there are legitimate uses for P2P file sharing and the use of torents. Such as the distribution of and/or sharing of one's own copyrighted material, or material that is legal to share.

Find a way to catch and punish the criminals without treating everyone as a criminal, pr just drop it!

Cryptograph comes to mind... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27201691)

Just crypt all your traffic and you'll be safe!

Freenet (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27201815)

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

Well... (1)

antanca (1424525) | more than 5 years ago | (#27201905)

goodluckwiththat

If forced to block... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27201927)

I will sue the ass off them.

I was sold an Internet connection, not a "Nearly the Whole Internet, but not X, Y and Z"

I'm getting a bit pissed off with this bullshit.

Hmm... (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 5 years ago | (#27202039)

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

It is still theft (3, Interesting)

cecom (698048) | more than 5 years ago | (#27202259)

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

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

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

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

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

What about my business model? (1)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 5 years ago | (#27202499)

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

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

What the UK Government is proposing starts off by saying in the first paragraph that they want to "create an environment in which the creation of digital content is rewarded and innovation is encouraged", but then they immediately do a 180 degree flip and recommend creating a semi-governmental RIAA sock-puppet that has a legal right to kick people off P2P without trial, which neatly kills off my business model at the first step.

The reality is that this has nothing to do with fairness or encouraging innovation, it's all about trying to shore up the failing RIAA business model. I will make formal comments to this effect, but I the whole tone of the report suggests they've already had their minds made up by the RIAA lobby, as indicated by their unquestioning parroting of the 'all piracy is bad' RIAA line instead of looking at the benefits to the consumer of trying before they buy, and of exposing consumers to artists they would never have encountered without exploring P2P torrent sites.

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