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Italy May Censor Torrent Sites

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the giving-them-the-boot dept.

Censorship 194

An anonymous reader writes "Following a Pirate Bay block more than a year ago, Italy continues its attempts to censor torrent sites. The Italian Supreme Court has ruled that copyright holders can now force ISPs to block BitTorrent sites, even if they are hosted outside Italy. The torrent sites which 'hold' copyrighted materials are accused of taking part in criminal activity. It seems someone should enlighten Italian jurists about technology."

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Enlighten about technology? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30591770)

It's not a technological matter. If a country wants to censor a communication medium, it can certainly do so. It will never be 100 percent effective, but censorship does restrict availability of information. We should not fall back to a "we can get around it" position. While that is true, most people will not get around it and controlling their access to information is an undue power.

Re:Enlighten about technology? (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591822)

It's not even about censorship. What The Pirate Bay and others supporting "swedish piracy" fail to see is that your purpose will count in court. No matter the stupid .torrent 'indirect' linking, hash linking, whatever, the judge will look at what your purpose is. This is why the pirate bay failed in court. It is perfectly clear what they are doing. On another note, sweds do have a nice culture, as seen in this tv advertisement [youtube.com] .

Re:Enlighten about technology? (1)

Madsy (1049678) | more than 4 years ago | (#30592042)

The word you're looking for is probably intent, not purpose.

Re:Enlighten about technology? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30592046)

So basically you're saying that if something can be used in an illegal fashion it should be illegal and to have it banned one must only point that out? Fascinating..

Re:Enlighten about technology? (2, Interesting)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592274)

I see.

So what the Pirate Bay should have done was set as its purpose to be a site that told stories about how pirates commit piracy?

Seeing as how authors and filmmakers very often depend on depicting the details of how criminals commit crimes to sell their wares they should have no problems with sites dedicated to the same.

One such story might begin thus:

"Alvin, feeling downtrodden by the corporate masters ruling society, created a .torrent file that contained the following data...(insert link to data here)".

Would that be enough? Or do you believe any description of how crimes are committed should be censored?

Re:Enlighten about technology? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30593186)

That'd be pretty clearly a fairly empty story, lacking in entertainment or informational value compared to the real intent of disseminating the movie.

So no, that wouldn't be enough. A judge would see right through it.

Re:Enlighten about technology? (1)

Bluebottel (979854) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592430)

The fact that one of the judges was a member of a copyright lobby group didnt exactly hurt the RIAA folks. He has since been removed from the "case".

Re:Enlighten about technology? (1)

DMiax (915735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591842)

It's not so terrible as censorship, in a sense. As the current copyright law stands, sharing copyrighted material is illegal. The court stated that to prevent illegal behaviour it is legitimate that lower courts order ISPs to block sites that are created to break the law. The same would happen with libel, for example. At least in the highest court of the country we can ask that if something is illegal it should not be allowed. It's a nice principle...

OTOH we can push for copyright law to be changed, but with the international agreements in place it is very difficult for any single country to overhaul it.

Re:Enlighten about technology? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30591962)

Unlike the US, this decision DOES NOT GENERATE A PRECEDENT. this means that applies just to this case, according to italian regulations.

Re:Enlighten about technology? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30592200)

Its funny because the movies people pirate speak of freedom... and yet they have nothing of the sort in the real world.

Piracy is a protest. Its todays rebellion. Music is pathetic and corporate. Music today speaks of conformity. Look at Rap, or Autotuned pop crap. Its all about conforming.

Torrenting is this generations way of rebelling against their parents and the system because there is no other outlet.

Its a protest, and its valid.

Re:Enlighten about technology? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30592276)

So says the person who has almost every piece of pirated software and music out there. The revolution is only valid to those who are revolting. Change in the law is required but if we follow the above though process then I should shoot people until they change the gun laws in the US.

Re:Enlighten about technology? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30592962)

If you're protesting against autotuned pop crap, then why bother actually downloading the pop crap? If today's music is so bad, why waste the disk space on it?

If you really want to encourage a counterculture or better music, go and SPEND your hard earned money on the music you like. That sends a real message.

I can't see what your protest accomplishes at all.

Re:Enlighten about technology? (2, Funny)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592352)

Are the Italians that desperate to stop the video of Berlusconi being thumped being available around the world? :)

Re:Enlighten about technology? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30592452)

The "technological matter" is that contrary what the court seems to think, torrent sites do NOT hold copyrighted material.

If they can or must censor under Italian law, fine. But the decision needs to be grounded in the actual facts, not misunderstandings thereof.

Re:Enlighten about technology? (1)

dysplay (1026828) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592662)

ISPs should start censoring Google. See how long an idea like this holds up after that.

Cosa Nostra (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30591796)

They can't make any money off the crime of free sharing.

"Supreme courts" (1)

spammeister (586331) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591802)

Arn't they run by judges who are also lawyers? It would be neat if normal people AKA jurists were in charge but I don't think that is/ever will be the case.

Re:"Supreme courts" (3, Insightful)

cperciva (102828) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591852)

Jurists != Jurors.

A jurist usually means anyone with a law degree, although in some countries it is generally reserved to refer to judges.

Re:"Supreme courts" (2, Interesting)

DMiax (915735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591916)

Judgement by "normal" people is something that was feared a lot in writing the Italian Consitution, because we had seen how it worked with fascism. The principle that people support is enough to justify everything is the essence of fascism and one of the scary mantras of Mr. Berlusconi.

Re:"Supreme courts" (2, Interesting)

lbbros (900904) | more than 3 years ago | (#30593380)

The extreme of that fear, in turn, created a closed group that is essentially a clique of a selected elite that has none, or very little, accountability. I wonder why people here, even Italians, are tying this judgment with the government, since this so-called clique is all but in support of the current government. Not saying that people judgment is correct, but that fear caused the exact opposite. There is a dire need for some middle ground.

Re:"Supreme courts" (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592296)

Judges can think rationally and apply the letter of the law. Jurists, without that to keep them in check, can say "that's immoral, 5 year prison sentence" even if it's not technically illegal. A precise legal framework is needed because you can conform to one, but you can't conform to someone's morality which you don't even know of until the trial.

Re:"Supreme courts" (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592304)

Minor correction: I meant jurors, not jurists [google.ca]

Block these (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30591806)

Can someone tell the italian government to block gmail.com and hotmail.com? I have seen some bittorrent files on those domains.

Not the point ... (5, Insightful)

golodh (893453) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591812)

Knowing a thing or two about Italy and its love for byzantine legal constructs, I fear that the effectiveness of such measures isn't their primary purpose. Their PR effect, however, is.

Italy has plenty of laws that would totally paralyze every aspect of public and private life, were they to be rigorously enforced. Such laws look terrific on paper but don't have any practical effect except in lawsuits where they can be (and are) routinely used to club people over the head with. Anyone who has ever driven a car in an Italian city South of Rome (Naples for example, or tried to cross the street in the same city at a pedestrian crossing that's showing a green light for pedestrians) knows all about the practical value of laws in Italy.

This little decision will satisfy officials who can now tout it as a bold step towards curbing piracy. This is important. Just remember that their prime minister, Berlusconi, owns a whole chain of content-creating enterprises. He can't afford to look "soft on piracy" and retain his credibility in business circles.

As one or two nerdish forum members may already have figured out, blocking a torrent site or two won't necessarily stop people from finding or downloading torrents. To put it mildly.

The only thing it *will* do is to slowly erode yet another form of legal freedom in Italy and afterwards in the rest of Europe.

That's all folks.

Re:Not the point ... (4, Insightful)

the_xaqster (877576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591960)

The problem will come when another of the EU countries (yes, I am looking at you, England) will hold this law up as a shining example of government doing good, and then enact a law that embraces and extends this law into something completely different, more costly, more annoying, but ultimately just as useless.

Just don't get me started on what will happen if Brussels gets hold of it....

Re:Not the point ... (1)

iamapizza (1312801) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591984)

The UK has started already. From some news article: "The government's newest attack against online piracy, the Digital Economy Bill will force Internet service providers (ISPs) to monitor users and penalize infractions." Although the ISPs are protesting it, it's going to go ahead anyways and it's going to up our broadband charges. While slashdotters may complain about the US' poor mobile plans, the UK has far worse broadband plans. We already pay too much for bad service and now we're going to pay more for even worse service.

Re:Not the point ... (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592538)

As soon as this happens, I'll stop paying for the Internet, it's free in a lot of places already so there isn't any real need on my part to have it in the house.

Re:Not the point ... (2, Informative)

Psicopatico (1005433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30592014)

This ruling is just the confirmation of an original one enacted last summer (and promptly suspended) which imposed all major ISPs to block traffic at DNS level.
Any user using OpenDNS or his own DNS (or GDNS today) wouldn't be affected.
This is nothing more than the perfect italian way to make politics: life goes on just like before, but the big guys can say that something has beeen done.
(Yes, i live in italy and feel ashamed of that)

Re:Not the point ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30592942)

this is a juridical decision, not a a political one, don't mix things. And I agree Berlusconi and his governament controls a lot here in Italy, but at present he definitely can't control the juridical system. He's trying to, but still has to succeed in this(well, i DON'T hope he does and DON'T think he will ever suceed in this).

Re:Not the point ... (0, Troll)

Znork (31774) | more than 4 years ago | (#30592130)

The only thing it *will* do is to slowly erode yet another form of legal freedom

Or it will simply erode even more respect for the law. I certainly don't regard IP laws as legitimate any more; perhaps we're going to get a more Italian attitude towards the law spread around.

That said one is hardly surprised by the Italian legal system bowing to the MAFIAA...

Re:Not the point ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30592330)

When guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns. When ISP's block all torrent traffice, even the legitamate ones, then only pirates will run torrents.

Goverments never think how to really resolve the problem. They just screw the little people who do things legitamate.

Re:Not the point ... (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592318)

The president is also the head of many large corporations? That itself should be bolded in 72-point font, to truly show the kind of corruption in Italy.

Re:Not the point ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30593154)

the president is Napolitano, Berlusconi is prime minister. I understand that US citizens have much confusion about this kind of separation, but this is no excuse for ignorance about other countries power separation.

Re:Not the point ... (2, Insightful)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592384)

This stupid laws won't stop Italians from downloading. But it will limit the amount of stuff they can share with the rest of the world.

Italian culture will suffer from stupid laws like this.

Italians and technology (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30591824)

" It seems someone should enlighten the overwhelming majority of Italians about anything more complex than watching the Big Brother on TV."

fixed that for ya.

Someone needs to enlighten certain geeks... (1, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591844)

It seems someone should enlighten Italian jurists about technology.

Facilitating a crime has, to my knowledge, never been legal in any Western country. That is precisely what sites like The Pirate Bay do for users in certain countries.

Re:Someone needs to enlighten certain geeks... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30591926)

There are hundreds and thousands of other sites that facilitate crime in the same way as The Pirate Bay, including Yahoo, Microsoft Bing, and Google.

You obviously don't know how the law works (1, Troll)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592550)

So let me explain it to you. A company that sells to the general market products that can be used for crimes is not liable for their use. A company that happens to unknowingly sell to a lot of criminals is not liable for their use of the goods it sells. A company that knowingly sells goods to criminals is fully liable for their use insofar as it has knowingly facilitated a crime.

From that description, you should be able to grasp why The Pirate Bay and search engines are treated quite differently.

Re:You obviously don't know how the law works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30592954)

So why is this the problem of ISPs to police, monitor or censor? That will simply give them the excuse to increase customer rates (even though they'll probably end up saving 80% on bandwidth if torrents are blocked...) But why the ISP? Why not the electric company for supplying electricity 'knowing' full well that someone somewhere will be using the electricity for illicit puposes? Or the computer manufacturer? I'm pretty sure that Dell knows each computer they ship out the door is a potential warehouse for stolen software/music/movies... Or why not Microsoft, for having made an operati'ng system that ALLOWS people to steal...
ok, I admit the last couple are beginning to come a little close to the 'she was asking for it' defense, but hopefully my point is made. At what point do you shift the blame from those who 'infringe' to one of many groups who simply enables those who choose to infringe. And why do the content providers get to choose via the government which of those 'enablers' has to take the hit for policing those infringements. Why not set up 'computer driving licenses' where everyone has to go to a motor vehicle like department and require everyone to sucessfuly test to even be allowed to use computers instead?

Re:Someone needs to enlighten certain geeks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30591940)

But if you go that way then they should also block search engines as they after all facilitate the search for illegal material.

If you can't prove that the site sole purpose is to provide illegal content, then you can't ban it. Which rejoin what golodh is saying above : another shiny looking unapplicable law.

Re:Someone needs to enlighten certain geeks... (1, Insightful)

AGMW (594303) | more than 4 years ago | (#30592072)

But if you go that way then they should also block search engines as they after all facilitate the search for illegal material. ...

.. and so, reductio ad absurdum [wikipedia.org] , we end up banning the internet (which, as we all know, is a series of tubes) because it too facilitates crime.

OK, let's take a few steps back from the precipice and discuss where we actually want to draw the line, indeed, where is it sensible to draw the line. Yahoo? Google? Well, obviously not, we're still firmly on terra-absurdum there. But The Pirate Bay? Come on ... it even has "Pirate" in the damn name! That's like a shop called "Burglars-R-Us" selling lock-picks, crowbars and bricks in velvet bags - buy two items get a personally engraved cosh free! That is going to attract unwanted attention from the powers that be and it deserves to!

Assuming most of us are in the IT business we have to stop looking at illegal copying as some sort of freedom fight or otherwise worthy cause. I agree whole heartedly that the media barons are just trying to protect their outdated business model, but having people advocate, or otherwise support, the cause of software and/or content theft (ie taking without paying when payment is requested) is foolish as it all adds fervour to the content companies cries and it would appear that no government can resist the tears of a media mogul weeping into their bolly as they moan about all their lost sales, darlings!

Re:Someone needs to enlighten certain geeks... (2, Interesting)

Znork (31774) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592214)

where we actually want to draw the line, indeed, where is it sensible to draw the line.

Complete repeal of all copyright. Ultimately, that's where we're going anyway, the attacks on information flow and social sharing has merely resulted in technological shifts towards less open forms, and the next stage is pretty much the end game; f2f darknets re-form the whole fabric of communications into untraceable undetectable anonymous networks.

You end up with a situation where you have no scale on which to draw the line, where it's impossible to tell communications apart, you end up with a binary choice: allow communications or not.

If you still want state support of content industries, just pay them out of the state budget, from a macroeconomic point of view there's no difference between taxes and monopoly rights anyway (except taxes tend to be more efficient). Legalize copying and pay them a premium per copy to emulate the current system if you want to do that.

it even has "Pirate" in the damn name!

Oddly enough, I haven't seen them selling speedboats or peg legs. Doesn't seem like they're out to aid any piracy. And they're not called 'the copyright infringement bay', are they...?

some sort of freedom fight or otherwise worthy cause.

You don't give up ethics just because the bully's whine more. Rather the opposite; with the actions of the content industries in situations such as ACTA, it has become a moral imperative to deny them any form of revenue. Their corrosive influence on democracy and corruption of politics has made it obvious that they are intolerable to civil society in their current form.

Re:Someone needs to enlighten certain geeks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30592380)

Someone needs to enlighten the companies who make this software. I think that I should pay for everything I own but I also don't think I should pay for 5 copies because I have 5 computers. Anti-virus folks are getting on the right train with this. Pay a little bit more and get 3, or even 5, license's for a product and use it that many times.

Re:Someone needs to enlighten certain geeks... (5, Insightful)

AGMW (594303) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591942)

Like most people (here at least!) I'm not happy about the way the big media companies are rail-roading governments around the world to shore up their failing businesses - and even more unhappy at how the Governments are cow-towing to the media moguls and allowing themselves to be manoeuvred into generating more legislation (and don't get me started about ministers feathering their nests before the next election!) ... but copyright isn't all bad! If you create something it isn't unfair to expect people to pay for it!

Re:Someone needs to enlighten certain geeks... (2, Interesting)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591982)

From another POV, you can see that Goverments everywhere welcome any possiblity of increasing their power, and censorship/media control is quite powerhouse.

The fact that someone else (entertainment industry) will take all the blame for it is icing on cake, especially as entertainment industry can run its own propaganda campaign to justify it.

Is it goverment allowing themseles to be maneuvred or media moguls being played to be white horses?

---

So you end up with censorship infrastructure for your use and with someone else taking blame for all of it happening. Its quite a victory!

Re:Someone needs to enlighten certain geeks... (2, Insightful)

AGMW (594303) | more than 4 years ago | (#30592108)

Is it goverment allowing themseles to be maneuvred or media moguls being played to be white horses?

---

So you end up with censorship infrastructure for your use and with someone else taking blame for all of it happening. Its quite a victory!

True, never attribute to incompetence that which could be malice!

Governments trying to grab more power!? The Hell You Say! Oh ... yes ... OK ... yer, that might be happening too. Certainly having an infrastructure that gives power to the Gov isn't going to be something they fight against too hard - Lord Voldeson-er-Mandlemort's new digital bill amendment for example, that allows new powers to be drawn up without recourse to any discussions or voting on the matter in Parliament!

See also all this climate change shenanigans: That's going to give Governments even more power (and I'm not saying the climate isn't changing, or, indeed, that it might be us at least partially responsible!).

Re:Someone needs to enlighten certain geeks... (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30592070)

but copyright isn't all bad! If you create something it isn't unfair to expect people to pay for it!

It is, however, unfair to expect that other people should lose their freedom of expression in order to encourage people to pay for it.
Copyright isn't the only means of compensating people for creative work, In the grand scheme of things it is really quite new and is used to compensate those who do the non-creative work of distribution far more than it is used to compensate the actual creator.

Re:Someone needs to enlighten certain geeks... (2, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30592076)

hang on a second. a few weeks ago slashdot ran a story about how MPAA memebers enjoyed a record box office year, so how are they failing and making record sales at the same time?

Re:Someone needs to enlighten certain geeks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30592252)

Maybe you should have taken time to read beyond the blurb to see that the article was nothing but flamebait. Reading doesn't seem to be too high on the list of so many know it alls around here though.

Re:Someone needs to enlighten certain geeks... (1, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592238)

If you create something it isn't unfair to expect people to pay for it!

If I create something and sell it to someone I expect them to pay for it. If they create a copy of what I sold them and they sell that further, I certainly have no right to expect them to pay me for that. They created the copy, I didn't, so why should I get paid for their work?

Re:Someone needs to enlighten certain geeks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30592654)

You can't seriously think that. Well, you could, but you would be a dumbass. You create and record a song. I buy it from you for $2.99 and put it up free to download on the website www.downloadznork.com. Now instead of everyone paying you $2.99, they download it from me for free. I may not make money off of that, but you can be damn sure I will be getting money from the banner advertisements and selling traffic details. Now you made $2.99 after spending hours and hours creating that song. Congratulations!

Re:Someone needs to enlighten certain geeks... (1, Informative)

selven (1556643) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592774)

You're repeating the debate the 10001st time already, and the rebuttals are well ironed out:

1) Some people actually want to support the artists.
2) Artists make most of their money from concerts and merchandising anyway.
3) Your song being on www.downloadznork.com increases your popularity and people will be more likely to go to your website, giving you ad revenue.
4) We can't stop copyrighted content from appearing on the public P2P networks days or even hours after it is officially released, and copyright law has to respect this basic technological reality.

I'm enlightened: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30592032)

you, Sir, must be a RIAA paid shill

Re:Someone needs to enlighten certain geeks... (2, Funny)

srothroc (733160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30592112)

This is exactly why gun manufacturers and gun stores are sued every time a crime is committed with a gun. Or why Dell is sued every time someone uses a Dell laptop in a crime.

MOD PARENT UP! (2, Insightful)

JRGhaddar (448765) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592198)

Parent is absolutely correct. Please mod it up, and go ahead and mod me flaimbait or troll I know it's an unpopular position on here, but than again most people that stand up for fairness get shot at.

And don't tell me well the lawsuits the MPAFIAA and RIAFFIA aren't fair because I agree they are extreme, but than again so is the brazen attitude that piracy is OK. It's like Neocons vs Anarchists
both are extremes and both are stupid.

First off people on here need to stop hiding behind the veil of "Oh they are trying to restrict information" and "The don't host the files so how are they at fault!? defense. That is not working any more and it never did.

When the internet came about it was like the wild west. No rules or regulations an open space. But without law things got out of hand quick looting, murder, gambling, prostitution etc. The laws of the internet are now being written in countries and when it comes down to data links to replicas of copy-written material there weren't any rules set forth to protect the works or understanding of what was really going on to try those who were "just hosting links yo".

Yes isohunt, the piratebay, and others are indeed accessories to piracy. Which is against the law.

If you give a map of the building to a thief knowing full well what he intends to take and he robs a bank yeah you are liable.
"But I didn't rob it I was just showing him paper and ink?!" doesn't work.

And people need to learn fast that the free ride days are going to come to an end. If you want to watch a movie, download a song, or use a piece of commercial software buy it. Stop being so damn cheap, and stop saying "well I want to preview what I see before I buy it" is a huge load of crap.

There are trailers/teasers for movies as well as selected scenes released for free for you to preview them.

There are plenty of free streaming samples of songs, on amazon and itunes, and lala, and last.fm, and pandaora, and XM/Sirius , and traditional radio, and internet radio

There are typically trial versions of most software applications

So really the preview attitude is really a poor defense.

I can't go into a restaurant and preview an entire meal and then decide if I want to pay for it. You order you consume you pay for it.
And don't say "well I can send it back.. at the theaters I can't send back a movie!"... actually you can.... within 30 minutes of a film's start time you can tell the box office that you didn't like it and they will give you back your money or venue credit. Got another excuse captain cheapo?

But you haven't had to pay with this loop hole before?!...waaaaah.... and now you don't wanna?....waaaaah

Tough shit suck it up and pay what you owe.

If you don't want to pay THEN don't watch/download/use it!

Re:MOD PARENT UP! (2, Insightful)

RobVB (1566105) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592312)

While most of your post at least made SOME sense, you made a big mistake here:

I can't go into a restaurant and preview an entire meal and then decide if I want to pay for it. You order you consume you pay for it. And don't say "well I can send it back.. at the theaters I can't send back a movie!"... actually you can.... within 30 minutes of a film's start time you can tell the box office that you didn't like it and they will give you back your money or venue credit. Got another excuse captain cheapo?

This shows that you don't see the difference between copyright infringement and theft. I could make another post explaining the difference, but I'm sure you could have read thousands of them here on /. if you cared.

Re:MOD PARENT UP! (-1, Troll)

JRGhaddar (448765) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592458)

Hi yes your argument looks good but you made a mistake HERE now I'm not going to say what is wrong with HERE but HERE shows that you don't know the difference.

If you are going to point out a "big mistake" please illustrate how the "big mistake" is a "big mistake"

Specifically that "big mistake" was in context to illustrate how poor the justification for piracy that "I want to preview the movie before I decide to go/buy it via torrent"

I didn't say steal the food or theft anywhere.

I was illustrating the defined process by the establishment of which you consume food.

You order you consume you pay. That's how restaurant's work

Of which torrents are a way of circumventing the defined process by the establishment of which you can consume their product.

You select you pay you watch/listen/use that's how movies,music, and software works.

Those sites change the defined process of commercial trade established creators by removing the PAY option.

If they had just partnered with the studios and took a 30% standard distributor fee and offered a "PAY" option before you could click on a torrent link they would not have been sued or persecuted and would have made money, and probably the studios would have worked with them to make their infrastructure better, but now they are on the run, facing fines, or imprisonment.

Way to go rebels you really showed the world nothing, but how stupid you are.

Re:MOD PARENT UP! (4, Informative)

selven (1556643) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592798)

If you leave out the pay step in a restaurant, the restaurant loses money. If you leave out the pay step in a software purchase, the software company stays the same, as if you never touched the software at all.

Re:MOD PARENT UP! (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592668)

You should explain, it's not just the parent after all who is going to read your post. Whatever you will say will probably benefit others and if this was a real conversation you would come across as a douche, even though I understand in this context you're not.

Re:MOD PARENT UP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30592422)

There is a difference between speaking up for whats right and being troll/flame bait. In your case you start out strong with good examples of how things could be better then you dive in stupidity. First all countries are not the same so don't assume your statements are valid anywhere but your home.

Second my thoughts on piracy are pretty much the same as most folks. Its wrong but if the game/software companies made quality items with a limited preview maybe it would stop those who do it. Instead they charge stupid-ass prices for crap quite often. So piracy is wrong but so is the model we use for everything.

Any other company that made this crappy for a product for this price would be done. I wouldn't pay 100K for a car that lasted 1year, I wouldn't buy spoiled food at a "quick sale discount" but we allow this kind of behavior to go on in the computer world. Fix the problem, stop the whining and he said/she said not my fault crap.

Someone needs to think before they post ... (2, Insightful)

golodh (893453) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592220)

What "crime" are you talking about? Even though this is Slashdot, it helps to pay a little attention to how you formulate your posts.

Downloading copyrighted material never was a "crime". At most it's an actionable infringement of someone's copyright. Actionable by the copyright holder that is, not the State. It's not even a misdemeanor.

Besides, torrent sites in and by themselves were never "criminal", as they only facilitate an exchange of information which, among many other things, allows people to infringe copyrights.

Re:Someone needs to enlighten certain geeks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30592426)

"Facilitating a crime has, to my knowledge, never been legal in any Western country. That is precisely what sites like The Pirate Bay do for users in certain countries."

One could argue that TPB does facilitate copyright infringement. However, AFAIK, copyright infringement is a civil, not a criminal, offense in most western countries.

The "content" creators would like for the behavior to be criminalized, so as to decrease the cost of enforcing their copyrights by transferring this responsibility to the state.

Re:Someone needs to enlighten certain geeks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30592622)

But what sites like The Pirate Bay do is the equivalent of the phone book or the Yellow Pages. Furthermore, ordinary people use the same service all the time for non-criminal activities. Are you suggesting that the phone company should be charged with facilitating a crime every time they provide a phone number that is subsequently used in a crime?

Re:Someone needs to enlighten certain geeks... (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592630)

What is facilitating a crime and what is not still comes under question. The pirate bay did not facilitate crime, they simply kept an open record of torrents available with controlling what was available, it was fully automated. No different they rendering anyone assistance with a problem not directly associated with a crime. For example a criminal has a flat and no spare, you see the problem and stop and assist him, once mobile they immediately commit a robbery, which with out your assistance they would not have been able to commit, did or did you not facilitate the crime.

No different to Pirate bay, they were not the ones making content available and the had no control over the people or the devices making that content available. For example should someone sell a legitimate copy, knowing the person to whom they are selling, are likely to distribute it online, have they facilitated the crime by providing them with a legitimate copy. Especially now, when they are trying to shift to the principle for copyright, that everyone is guilty and they have to prove their innocence upon accusation (at their own expense without any costs being reclaimable, legal corruption at it's worst), as such any attempt to sell a legitimate copy could be considered to be facilitating crime as all possible customers are presumed guilty of copyright infringement by default.

Re:Someone needs to enlighten certain geeks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30592656)

Exxon sells gasoline to any arsonist that wants it, they're still in business...

Re:Someone needs to enlighten certain geeks... (1)

mrclisdue (1321513) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592752)

erm....except that it's not a crime....it's copyright infringement...a civil matter.....repeat ad nauseum.....repeat ad nauseum....repeat ad nauseum

Re:Someone needs to enlighten certain geeks... (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 3 years ago | (#30593094)

So does writing, but no one is trying to ban it.

Does this mean (1, Interesting)

pedestrian crossing (802349) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591876)

Goodbye EZTV?

Re:Does this mean (1)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592306)

That'd be sad - it's about the most comprehensive, easy to use, and up to date catalog of everything interesting :-(

http://eztv.it/ [eztv.it] - you will be missed.

This was expected... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30591892)

Ever since they solved all their problems related to organized crimes (ie. Mafia), I was expecting them to hit on pirates.

Re:This was expected... (0, Troll)

Neuroelectronic (643221) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592280)

No, you got it all wrong. How are the local criminals supposed to compete with the Pirate Bay? This law was obviously created to protect their market.

Copyright Holders Are Winning Control of Our Govts (4, Informative)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591896)

This is extremely worrying.

Let me get this straight. In previous rulings copyright holders were denied the blocking of sites on the grounds of free speech and censorship.

The Supreme court gets involved and blocking P2P sites suddenly becomes a good idea?

We have a Supreme court in the UK and something similar happened recently with "Unfair" bank charges.

Two (maybe one was an appeal?) court cases were held to decide whether bank charges fell under UK consumer law and thus can be challenged that bank charges were excessive. Both times the courts agreed this was the case.

The Supreme court got involved and funnily enough ruled that this was not the case which now means banks can charge what they like.

Since Lord Mandy went on holiday and "bumped into" into Mr Geffen - the recommendations of the digital communications report and the concerns of ISPs were completely ignored. It appears the "3-stikes" legislation is to go ahead after all.
The EU took a dim view of this policy and warned the UK it was illegal and against the EU principles of free speech and human rights.

I'm pretty sure the EU slapped-down France the first time France tried to implement this policy too.

However, recently:
1)France recently tried a second time and no comment from the EU has been heard.
2)Lord Mandy's propsed legislation appears to be going ahead.
3)Italy are ready to censor the internet.

What happened to suddenly make all these points "agreeable" and not challenged by the EU ?

There must have been intense lobbying and money used by copyright holders to silence the many critics of these proposals.

It appears our "democracy" is firmly under the control of commercial entities.

Re:Copyright Holders Are Winning Control of Our Go (2, Interesting)

gowen (141411) | more than 4 years ago | (#30592010)

The Supreme court got involved and funnily enough ruled that this was not the case which now means banks can charge what they like.

No, they can charge the customer agreed to when they opened the account. What the Supreme Court said was "If you don't like the charges, don't open the account. Don't expect the courts to bail you out on something you agreed to."

And this is good for two reasons:
i) Personal responsibility is a good thing.
ii) My banking is free, because people who pay unauthorised-overdraft fees subsidise it.

Re:Copyright Holders Are Winning Control of Our Go (2, Insightful)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30592100)

If someone is overdrawn by £2 and then the bank charges a £35 unauthorised-overdraft is "fair"

If someone is in financial difficulty and the bank keeps charging £35 unauthorised-overdraft fees every month thus compounding the problem. That person could have lost thier job.

These are not hyperthetical scenarios - this has happened to people I know and to a certain degree myself too.

I'm all for personal responsibility and "free" banking is nice.

"..they can charge the customer agreed to.. " - Yeah we all know how banks responsible banks have been recently.

I'm tempted to say your post is troll-like but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and put it down to retarded-like ignorance.

Re:Copyright Holders Are Winning Control of Our Go (0, Troll)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592172)

Why is his post a troll? I think the retarted like ignorance applies more to the drooling idiots who are incapable of doing simple arithmetic and understand that more going out than is coming in means they'll eventually go overdrawn. I've never been overdrawn in my life and you want to know why? Because I can add an subtract. Perhaps you and your idiot friends should learn those rather useful skills.

Re:Copyright Holders Are Winning Control of Our Go (1)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592354)

Right!

(1) "I'm tempted to say your post is troll-like but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and put it down to retarded-like ignorance."

OK - I did not say the post was a troll and reading the above line what I posted was maybe a bit harsh.

(2) Please do not attack my friends and call them "idiots".

(3) "incapable of doing simple arithmetic and understand that more going out than is coming in" - This is fine if your financial situation is straightforward. If you have a family of 2 kids, both parents are working, husband decides to walk away from everything and cease his financial contribution then things get messy very quickly. Believe me the bank is not understanding at all.

(4) What about the businesses that have suffered from banks withdrawing financial support (there are a few legitimate reasons why this is needed) and then hitting them with "unauthorised" fees afterwards?

(5) I can add and subtract - my finances are fine as I am sure my friends can add and subtract too.

I just think you arguments are very simplistic.

Re:Copyright Holders Are Winning Control of Our Go (1)

vivaelamor (1418031) | more than 3 years ago | (#30593364)

It seems to me like the dog-eat-dog mentality. While I can respect such principles if genuine, I have to suspect that they only take that position when they are the bigger dog or when it's not their puppy being eaten.

As someone who helps people who get into financial trouble I would also point out that the majority of them are in difficulty through an unexpected change in circumstances, for which the ability to do simple budgeting is no prevention or cure.

Re:Copyright Holders Are Winning Control of Our Go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30592398)

OK, I'll bite (even tho I shouldn't feed ya)...

Let's say you have a SO and he/she is suddenly diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and the only hope for his/her survival is an expensive experimental treatment. Since you are capable of addition and subtraction and even multiplication, you know that if you want to pay for this treatment you will have to take out a loan which you can only pay back if you don't get fired in the next 3 years. Let's assume you are also capable of accurately estimating the probability of being fired at 0.01.

Now, wise guy, do you take the loan and try to save your SO's life?

If you said yes, understand that there are another 99 people like you, so on the average someone will end up having trouble paying back his debts.

Welcome to the real world where there are hard decisions, and personal responsibility isn't black and white.

Re:Copyright Holders Are Winning Control of Our Go (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592364)

The main issue wasn't really the cost of the charges (even though that's what everyone focuses on), but the inconsistency with which they're applied even within the same bank on the same account. Sometimes it's £10, sometimes it's £25, sometimes it's £40, sometimes it's immediate, sometimes it's after a 7 day warning period, etc. for the same penalty.

Re:Copyright Holders Are Winning Control of Our Go (1)

vivaelamor (1418031) | more than 3 years ago | (#30593064)

There is a wider issue over the imbalance in the contracts between banks and customers. When a customer makes a mistake the bank has it in their contract that they get penalised, they do this in a way that is not technically a penalty (which is disallowed by contract law) but walks and quacks like one. The customer has no such opportunity to insert unfair clauses into the contract or even negotiate on the existing ones, the contracts are considered set products and the customer is expected to go elsewhere if they don't like it.

What makes this issue worse is that they will admit to a court the purpose of charges is to fund their business but won't advertise it to their customers. This is dishonest because they could easily offer both types of account at no cost to themselves, they deny the customer choice by misrepresenting their services as competitive when really they're gambling on their customers misfortune.

Re:Copyright Holders Are Winning Control of Our Go (1)

vivaelamor (1418031) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592946)

No, they can charge the customer agreed to when they opened the account.

I presume the same goes for loan sharks? You may not agree with laws against unfair contracts but they do exist. I too agree that personal responsibility is a good thing but so is corporate responsibility. Here are some example scenarios to consider:

i) A customer misses a payment on a loan with their bank, the bank automatically takes the money out of their account anyway causing them to go overdrawn. This eventuality isn't in their contract and does not occur to them because had they a loan with a different bank such a thing would never have happened, why would any sensible business penalise customers for using all their services? Banks do.

ii) The bank makes a mistake which ends up with a customer going overdrawn. While the bank has it in the contract to add charges should the customer make a mistake, the customer is forced to go through a complaints procedure that can take up to eight weeks in which time the bank is adding more charges and interest on those charges. The customer is unlikely to get any compensation for any problems resulting from the mistake.

iii) A customer falls ill and goes overdrawn because they are in hospital and have no one to cancel any direct debits. The bank does not make any direct debit payments because there is no money in the account, they do however charge the customer for the rejected direct debit which pushes them overdrawn. By the time the customer is out of hospital they are in arrears with various companies whose direct debits have defaulted and on top of that have hundreds of pounds in overdraft charges putting their account further into the red. The customer now has the option to beg the bank to write off the charges out of good will.

My banking is free, because people who pay unauthorised-overdraft fees subsidise it.

This would be valid if people made the choice to gamble the fact that they can micromanage their finances, most don't because the banks don't advertise that as the function of the accounts. If they offered more choice and advertised the purposes of their different packages adequately then this would not be an issue.

Re:Copyright Holders Are Winning Control of Our Go (3, Informative)

Kijori (897770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30592066)

Since Lord Mandy went on holiday and "bumped into" into Mr Geffen - the recommendations of the digital communications report and the concerns of ISPs were completely ignored. It appears the "3-stikes" legislation is to go ahead after all.

I think you're absolutely right to be worried. I'm going to talk about the UK situation since that's what I know about, but the situation EU-wide is largely as you describe: governments are caving to copyright owners.

Before saying anything else, it's worth making clear that the "3 strikes" legislation contains nothing to do with three strikes [digitalwrong.org] . It is totally silent on the specifics of the chances that have to be given to internet users before they can be cut off and leaves the question entirely to a "code" that has not yet been written and so cannot be reviewed before the bill becomes law. You can read more about this at the link I gave above. The "new" bill pays lip-service to the Government's "commitment to human rights", and seems to be relying on this "code" to avoid the criticism of the EU. However, as the link above makes clear, it gives the Secretary of State a get-out clause to get past the code if he wants to, with little to no oversight or controls.

There's a lot of confusion, even on Slashdot, about the content of the bill. To break down the sections on Copyright infringement (taken from http://www.digitalwrong.org/?page_id=6 [digitalwrong.org] ), the new process in case of alleged infringement is:

  1. The rightsholder for example a record company determines that the user is infringing. The bill does not set out how this is to be done; the company is in effect free to determine guilt any way they see fit. As has been shown by the cases that have gone to court, this determination is often made on the back of weak or non-existant evidence.
  2. The rightsholder sends a letter to your ISP
  3. Your ISP sends you a warning letter. This will contain information of the time of the infringement and the IP address of the computer that committed it. It will also contain information on securing your network.
  4. If the rights holder judges that infringement has continued after a period of time (not defined in the bill) they may require your ISP to throttle your connection, prevent you from accessing certain resources, or disconnect you completely.
  5. If you believe this was done in error, you can appeal. This appeal would not go to a court, but to a First-Tier tribunal. This would be your first chance to deny the accusations, and could come after the punitive measures had been taken.

This goes absolutely against the presumption of innocence that is such an important part of a modern democracy.

If this all sounds a bit worrying, there is some good news. The bill is entering its committee stage on the 6th of January, and this is the best chance to change it before it reaches the House of Commons, at which point its progress will be faster and more subject to the party whip. So please, write to a Lord [digitalwrong.org] and explain to them why the measure is bad, either morally or because - as has even been admitted by the impact assessment - network security means the wrong people will be punished, and what they can do to change it - i.e. go to the open committee session starting on the 6th and change the bill.

Things are advancing very quickly, and I appreciate that not everyone has time to read the 300+ pages of the bill, the debates, the notes and the impact assessment, so if anyone has any questions on their contents please ask and I will answer them. Otherwise, please write in before it's too late, and spread the word - either online or offline - about the travesty that is the Digital Economy Bill.

Re:Copyright Holders Are Winning Control of Our Go (1)

cpghost (719344) | more than 3 years ago | (#30593258)

governments are caving to copyright owners.

Sadly. And the fact that the content industry generates taxes that are badly needed by our nearly-broke governments won't help improve the situation. In an economy that is so reliant on commercializing (and taxing!) imaginary "goods", I have no hope to see those copyright excesses be repelled anytime soon.

Re:Copyright Holders Are Winning Control of Our Go (1)

kenshin33 (1694322) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592328)

That law in France was declared unconstitutional by there "Conseil constitutionnel" (constitutional council) http://www.boingboing.net/2009/06/10/frances-three-strike.html [boingboing.net]

What the heck?? (1)

paxcoder (1222556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591924)

Oh, c'mon, what the heck is happening? I thought we'd be over this Internet police crap by now.
Torrent files are p2p links (trackers enable those links making them dynamic, as they need to be for p2p).
This is utter bull.

Distributed hash tables and magnet URIs (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591970)

With the advent of DHT & magnet URIs, the main remaining purpose of torrent sites is search functionality. Since DHT could handle search too, I wonder how long it is until Bittorrent follows the likes of eDonkey / eMule by being largely for peer to peer for pretty much everything.

Italian law does not follow precedents (4, Informative)

lbbros (900904) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591996)

This is for US/UK people, to clarify things: the Corte di Cassazione (aka the Italian Supreme Court) is indeed the maximum level of interpretation of the law, but its decisions do *not* set precedents. They are mostly used as a guidance, but judges/prosecutors aren't forced to follow such an interpretation (i.e., there is some kind of discretionality).

It is worth to know here that the same court rejected an accusation on the grounds of copyright infringement because there was no profit involved.

And no, this has nothing to do with the government. The judicial system is definitely of different views with regards to the government.

well, duh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30592012)

...what do you expect from a country where mafiosi like mangano [wikipedia.org] are "heroes" to the main politics, and where we're givin streets name to someone like Craxi [wikipedia.org] ?
seriously, Italy is just a big show, nothing more.

No Suprise Here... (0, Troll)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#30592038)

Not to me at least. I've never met an (Euro-born) Italian that didn't have a pole up his ass or didn't think they knew better than anyone else.

Re:No Suprise Here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30592090)

Not to me at least. I've never met an (Euro-born) Italian that didn't have a pole up his ass or didn't think they knew better than anyone else.

Oh, thank you from an Italian Internet user.

Re:No Suprise Here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30592236)

this comment shows that YOU think you know better... maybe you're Italian... checked your ass recently for the presence of a pole?

DHT (1)

guttergod (94044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30592048)

The biggest host for torrents would be the DHT network, good luck blocking all those hosts. And also, with the magnet links posted on pretty much all public torrent sites the google cache is enough to get a download started.

Re:DHT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30592110)

This is why the big issue isn't censorship of torrent site but the ability to punish users without any trial or judicial oversight, as is planned in the UK [digitalwrong.org] .

am currently resident of SAUDI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30592212)

you talkin about torrent sites . in here you cant even browse videos on youtube . they have censorship and agreements with google .yahoo. every main search engine . for example on yahoo you cant turn safe search off . yet you have the option available but you can never apply it !

on youtube you can watch few selected videos. which are allowed . the worst thing i ever seen tinyurl is blocked .

am ready to give up torrents . let me search freely

Arms race - time to move to Freenet (1)

FreenetFan (1182901) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592266)

These kind of actions will see an arms race to encrypted p2p networks like Freenet.

After French laws changed to crack down on filesharers, there was a lot more French people on Freenet.

It's worth trying Freenet out if you haven't recently - it's a lot faster than a year or two ago, and music and movies are shared there regularly. It's also good for hosting websites that have political censorship on the regular internet.

Right, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30592412)

As an Italian I can safely predict that nobody is going to care.

Err... (1)

curious.corn (167387) | more than 3 years ago | (#30592588)

... It seems someone should enlighten Italian jurists about technology.

Err... Italy has worse problems to deal with than petty piracy:

I don't really give a rat's ass for Torrents of craptacular films that just watching them is a waste of lifetime anyway...

Saluti & Baci

Italy's ignorance about the Internet (1)

Oberix (1221696) | more than 3 years ago | (#30593326)

Maybe what Italy mostly needs in terms of tecnology is much more knowledge. Not only from the government side, but mainly from the citizens. In Italy les than 50% of the pepoles have an acces to the Internet, and how may of those peoples do you thing actually know how to get around a DNS block (this is what they did last time they decided to block The Pirate Bay)? Furthermore it's to notice that bitTorrent is not so much popular in Italy (at last as far as I can see in my experience), the mostly used p2p protocol is still eDonkey. This denotes a double ignorance: from the "Corte di Cassazione" side is that they decided to block TPB because they know it as a web site (the only part of the Internet they have a bare idea of what it is an how to block it), while they have no idea of what an eDonkey server is, or even how to connect to it. While from the citizens side few knows of TPB, fewer knows of bitTorrent and only some nerdy tecnitians know what DHT just means (almost nobody knows how it actually works). So what's the point of blocking TPB? IMO this is just a way to meet the favor of other UE countries taking measures against file shearing systems.

Re:Italy's ignorance about the Internet (1)

lbbros (900904) | more than 3 years ago | (#30593472)

In Italy les than 50% of the pepoles have an acces to the Internet

That's the effect of having a country-run monopoly for years. SIP, and later Telecom Italia (ex-monopolist for phone lines, for the foreign people reading) has still got the majority of copper wires around, and is not playing by the market rules.

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