Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Digital Act Could Spur Creation of Pirate ISPs In UK

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the arrrr-what's-the-password-landlubber? dept.

The Internet 204

scurtis writes "British anti-copyright group, Pirate Party UK, has predicted that Pirate ISPs will spring up across the country — promoting online privacy and allowing users to share files anonymously — in response to draconian file-sharing proposals outlined in the Digital Economy Act. The news follows reports that the Pirate Party in Sweden (PiratPartiet) will launch the world's first 'Pirate ISP.' The move is designed to curb the use of online surveillance in the country, and combat what PiratPartiet describes as the 'big brother society.'"

cancel ×

204 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Yarrr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32982598)

Arrgh ye scurvy dogs!

Re:Yarrr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32983114)

We be sailin the seven ISPs.

Am I naive to think it might get scrapped? (4, Informative)

levell (538346) | more than 4 years ago | (#32982630)

Hopefully public pressure (e.g. the ideas on the "Your Freedom" Government run website for suggesting laws to scrap: here [hmg.gov.uk] and here [hmg.gov.uk] ) will cause the Digital Economy Act to be scrapped.

Aside from public pressure, there is also a possible review in the Lords [zdnet.co.uk] so there are a few chinks of light in the sky.

Re:Am I naive to think it might get scrapped? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32982786)

And just while the music industry is shoring up its defences in that particular house [torrentfreak.com] .

Re:Am I naive to think it might get scrapped? (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983122)

An excellent example of why a fully elected second chamber is the only democratic way forward...

Re:Am I naive to think it might get scrapped? (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983244)

a fully elected second chamber is the only democratic way forward...

Pretty much by definition. But is a fully elected second chamber the best way forward?

Re:Am I naive to think it might get scrapped? (4, Interesting)

dotwaffle (610149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983956)

Personally, I don't think so. You only need look at the US to see that having two elected chambers is not necessarily a good thing. While the hereditary aspects of peerages are not very nice, the vast majority of the debate that goes on within the Lords would surprise you and some startlingly frank and honest discussion is carried out that really does represent the best interest of our country.

In my ideal world (and I'm not suggesting for a moment that this is a perfect system), the upper house would be replaced with a system of jurors. Just like in jury service, a selection of 100 people are chosen at random and they debate the bill under discussion, and place their vote in favour, against, or decline to vote. There would be no politics to play, as they have no seat to defend - just like how the Lords was designed. Only now, you get the common-man check on the bill that the Commons is trying to pass.

As a by-product, I think you'd get legislation that is also a hell of a lot easier to read and understand, rather than the legalese that seems to be produced at the moment.

Re:Am I naive to think it might get scrapped? (2, Interesting)

cjb658 (1235986) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984082)

I think that's a great idea. We should just pull Joe Blow off the street and he'll be our president for the next year. It certainly couldn't be any worse than what we have now.

If he really sucks, we can recall or impeach him.

As for having a fully elected legislature, I disagree with this idea. US Senators were not originally elected by the people, but rather by state legislatures. The reason is that voters are very easy to manipulate. (Politicians can fool some people all the time, and all people some of the time.)

Of course, there are other problems created by not having an elected (by the people) legislature, so that's why we had the hybrid bicameral one.

Re:Am I naive to think it might get scrapped? (2, Interesting)

dotwaffle (610149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984230)

Sounds good!

One amendment though - you NEVER want one person in charge of something for a long period of time. They might learn how to do things better, for sure, but they're more likely to take self-interest into the equation much sooner.

That's why I suggested that for each bill, a new "jury" of 100 people were chosen. It seems fair, considering ultimately they would have to abide by those laws when deciding someone's innocence/guilt in a court.

Re:Am I naive to think it might get scrapped? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32982808)

so there are a few chinks of light in the sky.

The story about the chinese shooting down a satellite was yesterday

Re:Am I naive to think it might get scrapped? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32983068)

so there are a few chinks of light in the sky.

The story about the chinese shooting down a satellite was yesterday

we can't very well tell a story about niggers and satellites because primitive stone tools can't launch anything into orbit

Re:Am I naive to think it might get scrapped? (2, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#32982822)

Sadly, we'll never see anything of the sort in the USA, because the MafiAA and ISP-Mafia ensure that 90% or more of our people don't even have two rival choices for their ISP - just whatever the fuck shitty company like Cocks or Comcrap paid off the local county board for the right to run "exclusive" cable or phone lines back in the day.

FiOS is 2 miles from my house, but I can't buy it because Verizon doesn't own the fucking PHONE LINES on my side of the interstate and therefore isn't allowed to service fiber to my house either. For fuck's sake.

Re:Am I naive to think it might get scrapped? (1)

cjb658 (1235986) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984126)

Well, most of us at least have the choice between DSL and Cable, or, God forbid, wireless and satellite.

P2P and web browsing aren't that sensitive to latency though, so it might make sense to have two internet connections, and use wireless for activities that might be censored, and get DSL or cable for games and VoIP.

Re:Am I naive to think it might get scrapped? (1)

Neil_Brown (1568845) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983072)

so there are a few chinks of light in the sky.

I would add to your list the petition for judicial review, which BT and TalkTalk have brought jointly to the High Court.

In my understanding of the situation, the basis of BT's decision is that BT does not consider that the DEA got a fair hearing in Parliament, as a result of being pushed through the wash-up procedure; BT feels that the House of Commons did not have the opportunity of giving the bill, as it was, adequate scrutiny, despite the attentions of the House of Lords.

BT took external legal advice, as to whether BT might face a challenge by users affected by the provisions of the Act, as to whether law was compatible with EU law, and considers that, on the basis of the advice received, that there is a distinct lack of clarity as to whether the DEA regime is compatible with EU law. On this basis, BT and TalkTalk want to seek judicial clarification.

There are four main strands to their petition:

  • a.) lack of clarity as to whether law is proportionate – in particular, whether a proper impact assessment of the bill was done. To my mind, this could be a separate challenge on a proportionality basis alone, or else a reference to Art. 1(3)a of the Framework Directive;
  • b.) that BT considers that the DEA does not respect the privacy of its users, and that it is not compatible with ePrivacy directive;
  • c.) that the DEA may imperil the liability of intermediaries, such that it is incompatible with the eCommerce directive; and
  • d.) that the Government did not follow due process, by failing to notify in accordance with the Technical Standards directive.

(Based on public comments by a senior manager of BT, at an event I attended last week.)

Re:Am I naive to think it might get scrapped? (3, Interesting)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983494)

I would add to your list the petition for judicial review, which BT and TalkTalk have brought jointly to the High Court.

When BT and TalkTalk announced that they were going for judicial review I emailed my (new, Tory) MP the following

...
could you please clarify the Government's stance on BT and TalkTalk's legal challenge to the Digital Economy act? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/10542400.stm [bbc.co.uk] I note that the statement from BIS in the BBC article just commented on the purpose of the act, not whether the government would actually be defending it. Indeed, given the wiggle room it leaves, it could have been written by Sir Humphrey Appleby himself.
...

In response I've got, on House of Commons headed notepaper dated 12th July 2010 a letter a copy of a letter from her to the Secretary of State.
We've not yet received a response; I don't think that the coalition government has actually decided what it'll do with the act; it knows there's a lot of public pressure, the lib-dems opposed it a lot of Tory back bencher's are\were unhappy with the way it went through in the wash up without proper scrutiny. I'm not 100% convinced that they'll even defend it at the judicial review. Indeed, Nick Clegg is on record as saying that it "badly needs repealing"

Re:Am I naive to think it might get scrapped? (2, Interesting)

Barrinmw (1791848) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983786)

"The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers." Leia Organa

Crazy Talk (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32982678)

Next you'll be telling me draconian drugs laws could create multi-billion-dollar black-market economies that could turn streets into war zones, corrupt law enforcement, and actually bring down elected governments.

Go sell crazy somewhere else.

Re:Crazy Talk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32983268)

Next you'll be telling me draconian immigration laws could create multi-billion-dollar black-market economies that could turn streets into war zones, corrupt law enforcement, and actually bring down elected governments.

Go sell crazy somewhere else.

Re:Crazy Talk (0, Flamebait)

ooshna (1654125) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983468)

Next you'll be telling me copying someones thought and changing some words to make it work for another idea is cliche, done too much, and will get you modded down. Oh something about a multi-billion-dollar black-market economy too. Go sell crazy somewhere else.

Why Pirate? (2, Insightful)

ceraphis (1611217) | more than 4 years ago | (#32982704)

Why associate the creation of ISPs that protect your privacy with piracy?

I'm all for the idea of having certain protections in place at your ISP so you can sleep well at night, maybe even have an unsecured access point knowing that the ISP won't help authorities get you for something your neighbor or a wardriver did.

But what if I don't care for piracy and like to buy the stuff that I enjoy? Why do they want to, in a way, force you to be guilty by association?

Re:Why Pirate? (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 4 years ago | (#32982770)

Regarding the law, you don't buy anything, but just borrowing it.....for awhile.

Re:Why Pirate? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 4 years ago | (#32982912)

Not that I know anymore then you do, but I think pirate ISP is just them taking a name that induces more controversy. Not that they do not want people to pay for anything digital.

Re:Why Pirate? (1)

AigariusDebian (721386) | more than 4 years ago | (#32982936)

Marketing towards computer-savvy customers? Those that usually recommend ISP to others too?

Re:Why Pirate? (1)

geekd (14774) | more than 4 years ago | (#32982978)

I assume it's from "Pirate Radio". They are "pirate" because they don't have a license or permit to be a real ISP.

Re:Why Pirate? (1)

TarMil (1623915) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983000)

It seems that you didn't understand the idea behind the names "Pirate Party" and "Pirate ISP" in the first place. The word "pirate" symbolizes the public fear of everything people don't understand in IT. These guys are making fun of it, and in some way denouncing it, but they have never encouraged anyone to do anything illegal.

Re:Why Pirate? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983056)

That may be, but the word 'pirate' has been strongly associated with lawbreaking since the invention of the term, and there's very little that any sort of political campaigning is going to do to change that.

Now that said, I know that language evolves over time and words that mean one thing can come to convey another notion - but this sort of evolution takes a long time, and I really don't see piracy not having the connotation of breaking the law being strongly associated with it any time within the next half a century.

Re:Why Pirate? (1)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983326)

I've always presumed that they use the word "Pirate" to poke at the idea that illegal copying is somehow equatable to high-seas violence. (As opposed to, say, "copying your neighbor's homework").

I think the next step is to apply the same overbearing verbage to those who are trying to screw over the consumers. I think "rights rapist" has a nice ring to it.

And yes, I am fully aware that rape is a serious and not-funny crime. Kind of like actual piracy.

Re:Why Pirate? (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983486)

I think the next step is to apply the same overbearing verbage to those who are trying to screw over the consumers. I think "rights rapist" has a nice ring to it.

IPillager

Re:Why Pirate? (2, Interesting)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983664)

That may be, but the word 'pirate' has been strongly associated with lawbreaking since the invention of the term, and there's very little that any sort of political campaigning is going to do to change that.

That is the point of using the name.

The pirate party was established to fight the unjust laws. Thus breaking the laws as a political statement.

Re:Why Pirate? (2, Insightful)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983024)

Many people associate pirates with freedom, not with theft and murder. It's this fantasized version of pirates that has permeated modern cultures. Have you ever seen the anime One Piece? It's a fantasized story of pirates, who are really just a bunch of people who enjoy being free, and go around fighting injustice. How much actual piracy occurred in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies? Some, yes, but not a lot. Wasn't the tale of Jack Sparrow more about his search for freedom? In the end, he was searching for freedom from mortality. Isn't the desire for privacy really a desire for freedom from some form of oppression?

Re:Why Pirate? (1)

kz45 (175825) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984248)

"Isn't the desire for privacy really a desire for freedom from some form of oppression?"

You are confusing freedom with copyright infringement.

"Have you ever seen the anime One Piece? It's a fantasized story of pirates"

Pirates have almost always been criminals that steal, rape, and pillage. Your one example of anime where they just so happened to be good doesn't justify a name change.

Re:Why Pirate? (5, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983044)

If having any privacy is outlawed, only criminals will have privacy.

Re:Why Pirate? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983170)

And if having complete privacy is legislated, criminals will do whatever the f**k they want, safely hidden behind an anonymity shield that means they can never be held accountable for their actions.

The world is not black and white.

Re:Why Pirate? (3, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983332)

And the world I want is somewhere in between.

Where you have the reasonable expectation of privacy, but given sufficient evidence, the authorities can get a warrant.

You know, the kind of place that America was supposed to be?

Unfortunately this concept is rapidly loosing ground to the Police Statist agenda.

You can not fight an extremist with reasonable moderation.

If you do, any compromise will result in loosing ground.

You need an opposing extremist.

That way, a compromise may hopefully exist somewhere within the reasonable area between the two.

Re:Why Pirate? (2, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983384)

There are plenty of ways to track criminals other than IP addresses. But if the "crimes" don't involve money, or physical goods, or (physical) personal interaction, or something else trackable in the real world, then "safely hidden" is probably the same as "free speech", so I'm OK with that. The occasional act of digital vandalism is a small price to pay for protection from overbearing governments and corporations.

Re:Why Pirate? (1)

kz45 (175825) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984276)

"But if the "crimes" don't involve money, or physical goods, or (physical) personal interaction, or something else trackable in the real world, then "safely hidden" is probably the same as "free speech", "

Right, so if it doesn't meet you definition of crime, it's a-ok in your book. Since nobody here seems to care about the rights of content owners, I wonder why there is an outcry when people violate the GPL?

Re:Why Pirate? (2, Interesting)

Nikker (749551) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983478)

Coming up with a brain fart doesn't prove your point. The ISP is not some magical black hole that has ability to change server logs and make you invisible. Do you really think The Terrorists(TM) will be able to have some magical internet anonymity if they just pay a different ISP? I think the following link will clear this up for you....

The invisible internet [tumblr.com]

Re:Why Pirate? (2, Interesting)

ooshna (1654125) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983638)

Take away the rights of millions to catch dozens. Yep that makes sense.

Re:Why Pirate? (2, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984152)

That's precisely what court warrants are for. Last I checked, none of those "extra privacy" ISPs claimed that they would ignore a warrant. They just don't want to hand anyone (including law enforcement) any information above and beyond that mandated by the law as it stands. Which is as it should be.

Privacy has been redefined (2, Interesting)

freaker_TuC (7632) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983822)

Privacy has been redefined; from the sixties where nudity was a sin, the seventies where everything was relaxed and aliens visited the world, the eighties where nudity was a common thing, the nineties where the .com market was blooming in size, after 2000 where our privacy started to erode and take different terms and conditions.

Phonelines can be tapped, faxmachines and e-mails can be read, privacy does not exist anymore because the current technologies allow for high-speed capture of such content. Not only taps but trojans, backdoors and other nasty programs can be installed to redirect such traffic (including passwords) used on that pc to a remote location.

The "ring of trust" lies in how far the user takes his security in his own hands. Use the same password on all sites and you will ask for a disaster to come. It takes only one to break that "ring of trust" to get hacked on many more sites, even some which the user doesn't remember and/or got joined with another service provider on the net.

Emails are important in a way that they will offer unlimited access to some of such services. There is no end in how far privacy can be broken by using a simplistic password or recovery routine by finding the mothers maiden name through Facebook or any other alike service. By getting access to the "ring of trust" they get access to everything. Only one flaw and the ring is broken. "One ring to rule them all". Being lazy in using the same password will bite you once in the nuggets...

To beat the system, everyone has to stand up for their own security, privacy and protection. That means, everyone should be fully informed how important it is to keep a system safe from any trojans or backdoors, how to safely communicate with others and websites, how to determine malicious e-mail versus good, be informed how safe communication really is, what the dmca and eucd means and many more. More information to the public means more understanding. Too many things are being hidden away by legalise which only a third of the population might understand.

There are so many flaws in society and many definitions that we often don't know it anymore by ourselves. What privacy really means versus secrets. We used to play in a camp we built at a small river in a town called Duffel. We told secrets there as kids. As adult I've got a few secrets too. The Internet and cellular technology has sure redefined communications and the "can you keep a secret" thing...

I'm as open as a book although if someone asks me to keep a secret I do that in respect of that person. I don't know if I have to take that with a very sarcastic smile or not.. I'm not paranoid, although I do know reality since i'm born.

Re:Why Pirate? (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983100)

That was my first thought as well. Privacy and piracy are two very different things and it may be that these "pirate" parties are disingenuously trying to link those two together.

Of course, there is a connection in that by trying to stop the piracy the authorities are inclined to trample on our right to privacy, but if that is their concern they should call themselves the Privacy Party or something. They have defined themselves by their rejection of the right to intellectual property and in my opinion that taints whatever valid things they are trying to do.

Re:Why Pirate? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984086)

They aren't "linking" anything. Privacy is one of the things they defend - just like any other party, they defend more than one thing.

They have defined themselves by their rejection of the right to intellectual property and in my opinion that taints whatever valid things they are trying to do.

Then open your own "Privacy ISP".

Re:Why Pirate? (4, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983184)

The "Pirate" movement has distanced itself from the "I want free stuff" mentality. Their platform involves freedom, privacy and individual rights, and many "pirates" that have actually thought about the issues do support their artists. The Pirate movement is using the word "pirate" specifically in an attempt to reclaim the word, which is currently used as a propaganda term by the copyright lobby in an attempt to link downloading to stealing ships, and associate it with freedom, privacy and all that other good stuff. It's all a war of words.

Re:Why Pirate? (1)

kz45 (175825) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984304)

"The Pirate movement is using the word "pirate" specifically in an attempt to reclaim the word, which is currently used as a propaganda term by the copyright lobby in an attempt to link downloading to stealing ships, and associate it with freedom, privacy and all that other good stuff. It's all a war of words."

If I posted your credit card info on a website, should the site get taken down? After all, it's just data and information. I should have the freedom to do what I want with it.

Re:Why Pirate? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983214)

Why associate the creation of ISPs that protect your privacy with piracy?

Because those will be their strongest supporters. Not that it's their only supporters or that's all that they are good for, but thats who will identify with them most. No more, no less. Just like you don't have to be an environmentalist to support the Green Party in Canada, but they call themselves that.

Re:Why Pirate? (1)

kz45 (175825) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984216)

"Why associate the creation of ISPs that protect your privacy with piracy? "

Because their intent is to allow people to pirate digital goods. Privacy is just the excuse.

Perhaps, but superfluous anyway (5, Insightful)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#32982716)

Even in the event that the "less than 400K subscribers" loophole doesn't manage to give people enough freedom, there's always the various darknets. And if the freedom is for copyright infringement, actual physical "sharing parties".

Really, if you don't have enough freedom to break the law, you probably don't have enough freedom. (And before the comprehension-disabled jump on me for encouraging crime, I did not imply that people should break the law --- just that they should have enough personal freedom that they could.)

Re:Perhaps, but superfluous anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32982928)

i agree, freedom is a responsibility, this requires trust from government and the people, some will abuse it but most will not....

Re:Perhaps, but superfluous anyway (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983206)

Really, if you don't have enough freedom to break the law, you probably don't have enough freedom.

That may be an oversimplification, but it's probably true. I would perhaps qualify it slightly differently: if you are going to be completely, preemptively restrained from carrying out an act, the consequences of that act had better be serious and non-reversible enough to justify the constraints. Would I want to allow just anyone to have a large nuclear weapon that they could detonate in the middle of a city? No. Do I think that locking down the entire Internet to prevent a bit of song-swapping is justified? Also no.

Re:Perhaps, but superfluous anyway (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983762)

OK, OK, I admit it. It just didn't have the same "ring" after it was properly qualified. Your comment about nuclear weapons is justified. However, the reality of the situation is that there are so many layers of laws now that even if you tried hard you probably couldn't avoid breaking some of them. (See this post [slashdot.org] and the thread it's in.) So if you read my comment as meaning "break any law", you don't really need to qualify it.

<offtopic>(BTW, I've always admired your inspired Slashdot name).</offtopic>

Is Pirate ISP viable? (2, Insightful)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32982728)

In most of these digital rights doctrines that are popping up, ISPs receive a safe harbor status provided they actually respond to DMCA takedown notices. If some DRM law does get passed, how much do you want to bet that the pirate ISP will be drowned in litigation for not complying to it? Even if they don't take logs of their customers, they'll just be disbanded for not complying.

Re:Is Pirate ISP viable? (4, Interesting)

Neil_Brown (1568845) | more than 4 years ago | (#32982952)

ISPs receive a safe harbor status provided they actually respond to DMCA takedown notices

To my mind, it would depend on whether the "Pirate ISP" simply handled traffic (i.e. was an access provider), or whether it provided hosting services too.

s.512 of the DMCA, and Art.14 of the eCommerce directive (European) offers protection for hosts (in Europe, the provision of services which "consist of the storage of information"), provided that the ISP takes steps to remove infringing material upon becoming aware of them. However, the corresponding protection for traffic carriage, Art.12, has no such requirement - as long as the IAP does not select the receiver of the transmission, initiate the transmission, or modify the content of the transmission, it is not liable for the traffic which it carries.

That being said, I would not be surprised to see an application of the Sharman Networks / Grokster reasoning, that there is a difference between being a mere conduit, over which parties transmit and receive information, where these acts are infringement of copyright, and promoting / encouraging copyright infringement (using these words loosely).

Re:Is Pirate ISP viable? (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983626)

The trick would be to provide just bandwidth and privacy, no storage nor any sort of search/matchmaking service.

If they emphasis that they are selling "lack of logging", then they should be better off than "file exchange" services.

What to call groups like these (1, Troll)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#32982736)

I take issue with something in the coverage of these groups on Slashdot--why label them "anti-copyright" instead of "pro-piracy?" There's not exactly a question of intent when the groups have the word "pirate" right in their names, and since there is a difference between having some issues with current copyright law and outright ripping artists off, it's blurring the distinction to label these groups as anti-copyright groups. In fact, it hurts the movement to modify copyright law. You can't get rid of copyright completely and wouldn't want to. Without copyright, companies could steal GPL code without consequence because the GPL is a copyright license and is thus protected by copyright law.

Re:What to call groups like these (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32982868)

Good, without copyright GPL software is no longer necessary and the license is useless.
You should not keep obosolete stuff around for the keepings sake, if it has served its purpose but is no longer needed, get rid of it.

Re:What to call groups like these (2, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#32982930)

The GPL exists to ensure source code is available to the user. Without copyright, companies would use your volunteer code in their own binaries without contributing back. You may be able to pirate the binaries, but you wouldn't have the freedom of source code access that the GPL is supposed to protect.

Re:What to call groups like these (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983042)

> You may be able to pirate the binaries, but you wouldn't have the
> freedom of source code access that the GPL is supposed to protect.

Ah, but any anonymous leak of that source code would have no protection, either. (OK, not exactly, the leaker might still be liable for damages of revealing a trade secret. Might even be criminal. But the code itself would automatically become free of that protection after it's been leaked, a la, RC4.) Somehow, I think it might not be as bad as you paint it.

Re:What to call groups like these (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983142)

Really? You'd rather rely on some percentage chance of good will from an anonymous leaker who would be risking their jobs instead of having a law that 100% guarantees source code access and legal options in cases of theft? How would you even know the anonymous leak was the real thing and not a decoy?

Re:What to call groups like these (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983276)

> a law that 100% guarantees source code access

No law guarantees anything.

> and legal options in cases of theft?

Theft? You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

> How would you even know the anonymous leak was the real thing and not a decoy?

Code review, my boy, code review. How do we know any submitted patch to a GPL project is "the real thing"? This doesn't create any additional vulnerabilities which weren't already there.

Re:What to call groups like these (2, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983470)

No law guarantees anything.

Laws make guarantees of things all the time. As a software license, the GPL cites copyright law to make a guarantee that source code be accessible, with legal consequences for violators.

Theft? You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

Theft of intellectual property. You've never seen a "GPL code theft" story on Slashdot before?

Code review, my boy, code review. How do we know any submitted patch to a GPL project is "the real thing"? This doesn't create any additional vulnerabilities which weren't already there.

That doesn't make any sense. What I was talking about is a decoy source release "leaked" from the company itself via a fake anonymous source that contains inefficient or misleading code which isn't the code being used to compile the binary release. Your scenario in which we wait on anonymous sources to leak code is fraught with problems like these.

Re:What to call groups like these (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983660)

What I was talking about is a decoy source release "leaked" from the company itself via a fake anonymous source that contains inefficient or misleading code which isn't the code being used to compile the binary release.

Ah, yes, I admit I didn't understand you there.

Your scenario in which we wait on anonymous sources to leak code is fraught with problems like these.

The only problem is the problem which you have already stated: we might not get the real source code. Yes that might be a problem, and I pointed out how not having copyright partially improves this situation.

The other "problems", however, are just in your mind --- if MegacorpX leaks out useful source code which isn't the "right" source code, it's still useful. Or not, and whoever vets the commits is responsible to figure that out. Just like now.

Re:What to call groups like these (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983732)

What MegacorpX leaks may or may not be useful. It could even be downright crap. You're leaving it up to MegacorpX to decide, but under copyright law and the GPL, it's not up to them.

Re:What to call groups like these (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32982992)

Without copyright, GPL could be implemented as a contractual agreement. It would loose some of its teeth, but it could still bite.

Re:What to call groups like these (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983290)

Without copyright, GPL could be implemented as a contractual agreement. It would loose some of its teeth, but it could still bite.

How much community involvement do you think you'll get if everyone (or their guardian) has to sign a legally-binding contract before they can do anything ?

Re:What to call groups like these (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983740)

That is a good question. And it is one that there is no clear answer for.

A lot of people agree to click through EULA's, but that isn't the greatest example.

But perhaps more than you think.

Re:What to call groups like these (3, Interesting)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#32982898)

> You can't get rid of copyright completely and wouldn't want to. Without copyright, companies
> could steal GPL code without consequence because the GPL is a copyright license
> and is thus protected by copyright law.

Much as I like the availability of the GPL and other copy-left licenses, if you would give me a magic wand which would erase copyright, I would have a hard time deciding if I should use it. Face it, copyright can never really get fixed --- as in, optimally benefit society as opposed to large corporations --- because "society" doesn't help elect politicians since most of "society" are sheeple who vote for the politician with the biggest advertising budget (supplied in part by, guess who, large corporations) as opposed to voting for politicians who reform copyright laws.

Re:What to call groups like these (4, Interesting)

AigariusDebian (721386) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983002)

GPL is a clever hack of the copyright system created because people did not agree with the predominant (then) system of knowledge lockdown. Stallman has stated in the past that if he would have the power to abolish copyright, he would do so, even considering the fact that this would also kill the power that GPL depends on, because this is what GPL was created to defeat in the first place. By hacking around it.

Re:What to call groups like these (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983106)

"Sheeple." Ugh.

Anyway, the thing about copyright is that it protects things that aren't necessities. We're not entitled to movies and music. They're entertainment we are able to enjoy. Copyright's primary purpose is to make sure people make money from their work so that we have an economy, which is a benefit to society. If nobody pays anyone for their work, you won't have the amount and quality of art as before, and culture would suffer. It's common sense.

I never understood the complaint when Slugboat Willy was about to fall into public domain. We have a right to Mickey Mouse? Who cares about it? If Disney is still making money off of it, why shouldn't they still own it? We live in a different era than when copyright was first created, an era in which media is far more pervasive and long-term than before, so it makes sense to extend copyrights to reflect today's media reality.

Re:What to call groups like these (2, Insightful)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983504)

"Sheeple." Ugh.

Anyway, the thing about copyright is that it protects things that aren't necessities. We're not entitled to movies and music. They're entertainment we are able to enjoy. Copyright's primary purpose is to make sure people make money from their work so that we have an economy, which is a benefit to society. If nobody pays anyone for their work, you won't have the amount and quality of art as before, and culture would suffer. It's common sense.

Somehow I think you lack imagination, and culture would survive quite well, even without copyright. Not that it's going to happen, anyway.

I never understood the complaint when Slugboat Willy was about to fall into public domain. We have a right to Mickey Mouse? Who cares about it? If Disney is still making money off of it, why shouldn't they still own it?

Now it's my turn to say "ugh". Corporations, unlike people, are virtually immortal. Your paragraph is something which could only have been dreamed up by someone who doesn't actually create any "culture", because the vast majority of the those who do create culture (the ones who aren't too full of themselves) will tell you that they are just recycling and revitalizing material from the public domain. You know, the public domain which no one would have if corporations could maintain copyright forever (by showing a profit of $1 even on things which no one is currently interested in and which they don't even sell --- make way for the new form of Hollywood accounting).

We live in a different era than when copyright was first created, an era in which media is far more pervasive and long-term than before, so it makes sense to extend copyrights to reflect today's media reality.

Actually, in our era, the term of copyright should be shortened because practically no works generate any significant income after 10 years. Didn't you listen to Andy Warhol (well, actually it's because the production of content is now so much more widespread that most older content just gets drowned in all the new stuff)? I think something like 15 years from publishing plus another 15 years if you pay to extend would be plenty.

Re:What to call groups like these (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983538)

I'd say books were pretty pervasive and long-term when copyright was created. Copyright's primary purpose is to maximize the works available to the consumer, or more specifically, to "promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries". Ensuring payment to the author is a (very important) means to that end, but not the end itself.

Copyright needs to last long enough for the creator of a work to make good solid money off of his idea, but short enough that other creators can build on that idea and take it further while it's still culturally relevant. Of course, no one wil be making Mickey Mouse cartoons regardless of copyright, since that's a trademark issue, and that's OK - brand protection is a different topic.

Re:What to call groups like these (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32983600)

What's that sound? My sheeple radar is detecting sheeple!

Re:What to call groups like these (1)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984000)

Copyright's primary purpose is to make sure people make money from their work so that we have an economy, which is a benefit to society. If nobody pays anyone for their work, you won't have the amount and quality of art as before, and culture would suffer. It's common sense.

Wrong. The purpose of copyright is to encourage the release of creative works to the public domain by providing a temporary monopoly on the work in exchange for this release. Its not for making money off of work so we have an economy. Its for the sharing of ideas, the ability to springboard off of an existing creation to a new creative height.

Copyright is about sharing, not hoarding.

Re:What to call groups like these (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984226)

Anyway, the thing about copyright is that it protects things that aren't necessities. We're not entitled to movies and music.

Let me rephrase that: Content creators aren't entitled to our tax money to protect their monopoly.

Copyright's primary purpose is to make sure people make money from their work so that we have an economy, which is a benefit to society. If nobody pays anyone for their work, you won't have the amount and quality of art as before, and culture would suffer. It's common sense.

Yes. That's why art has only existed when copyright was created.

We have a right to Mickey Mouse?

We have the right not to pay for courts and all the required law enforcement resources to protect their monopoly.

Re:What to call groups like these (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983548)

... since most of "society" are sheeple...

Surely, you must be quoting one of the great philosophers with such elegant verbiage. Which one of the great thinkers are you cribbing from?

Welcome to the age of marketing (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983178)

> when the groups have the word "pirate" right in their names

When was the last time a political party with a name like "copyright reform party" succeeded? Using "pirate" is just good marketing and a droll way to turn the rhetoric of the pro-copyright side on its head. In fact, the Swedish Pirate Party got its name from the Piratbyran who got its name from humorously dropping the "anti" from the pro-copyright side's "AntiPiratbyran" [wikipedia.org] .

Re:What to call groups like these (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983630)

Actually being anti-copyright is anti-piracy. To claim ownership of something you can't own is theft, and it's piracy if you sell stolen (from the public in this case) property. And your arguments are specious, at the very best. It's like saying I should pay your electric bill because I take advantage of the light shining from your house into mine, or that there should be a law requiring me to pull my shades down.

To repeat about the GPL, which you like to twist to suit your agenda, you can't steal it while I have my copy. And anything you make from it is ours for the taking in the same fashion.

You really ought to try to come up with a new argument. All you do is repeat yourself, and it's quite tiresome. You only display your willful ignorance.

So there.. I hope you like apples

Re:What to call groups like these (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984030)

Without copyright, companies could steal GPL code without consequence

So what's your point? Suppose some company takes my code, adds cool features to it, and starts selling it. Well, I'll just copy that code, improve it further, and sell it myself. THERE'S NO COPYRIGHT, remember?

Legality? (1)

stagg (1606187) | more than 4 years ago | (#32982742)

What would the legality of this be? I RTFA and am still unclear, yet it seems that a lot hinges on this question.

Re:Legality? (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983182)

What would the legality of this be? I RTFA and am still unclear, yet it seems that a lot hinges on this question.

The legality of what? TFA basically states the new law doesn't apply to ISPs smaller than 400,000 users. Are you questioning whether it's legal to operate such an ISP? Or what?

More harm than good? (4, Insightful)

bit9 (1702770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32982790)

I wish the people behind these anti-big-brother movements would stop calling themselves pirates. There are LOTS of good reasons to support file-sharing and a free-as-in-speech Internet, and to oppose abusive government intrusion and the commercialization of the Internet. Those who fight for this cause under the "pirate" banner are not only doing a disservice to their own cause, but to the rest of us who want a free Internet for reasons other than downloading the latest crappy summer blockbuster movie via BitTorrent.

At the very least, the word "pirate" should be avoided because that is the MAFIAA's loaded word of choice for painting file sharers as dangerous criminals. Why let your enemy frame the argument in his own terms? It's akin to the way the neocons in the U.S. frame the war debate as a question of whether or not you support the troops.

Re:More harm than good? (2, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32982904)

And I think that the MAFIAA's should stop using the word pirate to talk about people who are infringing on their temporary state granted monopoly handout. Piracy requires the threat or act of violence to capture ships, cargo or hostages at sea. But it isn't going to happen.

Re:More harm than good? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984176)

"Piracy" has been used in the meaning **AA uses it today for over 300 years now. You're a bit too late at trying to change that article in the dictionary.

Re:More harm than good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32982906)

My thoughts exactly. Mod parent up!

Re:More harm than good? (2, Informative)

Neil_Brown (1568845) | more than 4 years ago | (#32982994)

At the very least, the word "pirate" should be avoided because that is the MAFIAA's loaded word of choice for painting file sharers as dangerous criminals

Whilst I agree with the substance of your comment, that "pirate" is an inappropriate descriptor, used to gain emotive advantage, the term has been used in this context for far longer than just this round of the "copyright wars".

For a great history of the term "piracy", and on copyright infringement generally, I'd recommend Adrian Johns' excellent book, "Piracy". For a look at the use of emotive language in the "copyright wars", I'd recommend Bill Party's "Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars".

Re:More harm than good? (1)

Neil_Brown (1568845) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983272)

I'd recommend Bill Party's "Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars".

Sorry, Bill - that would be "Patry", and not "Party".

Re:More harm than good? (2, Interesting)

AigariusDebian (721386) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983036)

I don't think so. For one pirates are cool. So your argument is invalid. Also it is much easier to counteract MAFIAAs message if we 'embrace and extend' their message against them. They call us pirates, so we have fun like all the cool pirates do. If they can make stuff up, so can we! Piratez of the world unite and fight back the ninjas of MAFIAA! For the boooty!

Re:More harm than good? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983496)

I think what you were trying to say is that there is nothing wrong with uniting people behind a symbol, the only people who consider pirating (in today's terms) a crime are the record companies, and a few of their lackies.

Re:More harm than good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32983430)

This is the best post I've seen on /. in a very long while. Succinct and spot on.

By contrast, the infantile reply below stating that pirates are cool is one of the worst posts, and has been written by a fool or a MAFIAA sympathizer. "Pirates are cool. So your argument is invalid." What a buffoon. Are Somali pirates 'cool', /. member 721386?

The ACTA will squash these . . . (2, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32982908)

From the leaked draft:

Rule One: No Pirate ISPs!

Rule Two: No member of law enforcement agencies are to maltreat the innocent Internet users in any way at all -- if there's anybody watching.

Rule Three: No Pirate ISPs!

Rule Four: From now on, I don't want to catch anybody not using DRM.

Rule Five: No Pirate ISPs!

Rule Six: There is NO ... Rule Six.

Rule Seven: No Pirate ISPs!

Re:The ACTA will squash these . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32983134)

Actually, the first rule of ACTA is you don't talk about ACTA

From the leaked draft:

Rule One: No Pirate ISPs! ...

Re:The ACTA will squash these . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32983284)

The Philosophy Dept of the University of Wooloomooloo wants to sue you for copyright and patent infringement.

I don't need a "pirate" ISP (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32982966)

I'd be happy with an ISP that considered itself a collection of dumb tubes.

What has piracy got to do with it? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983136)

Sounds sort of like community or municipal efforts to me. The 'pirate' label really should be dropped to help with marketing. Sure, its cute, but wont help.

what immature bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32983240)

Maybe the children who waste their lives pretending to 'stick it to the man' in the 'retard party' should get a fucking job and grow up.

How does one form a PIrate ISP? (1)

celtic_hackr (579828) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983280)

The article's definition of a "Pirate ISP" is somewhat misleading. It really is just talking about making smaller ISPs.

I've thought about how to do real "Pirate ISP" stuff myself a few times, but how exactly does one go about becoming an ISP?

1) You have to have some kind of facility, even if it is a ship at sea.
2) You need to have lots of bandwidth.
3) You need to have some connection to other facilities, to form a root DNS zone.
4) You need to have a way of connecting others.

Now, if you plan on just being a small ISP, like the article says, then step 3 isn't necessary.

The thing that I have been contemplating is the creation of a truly "pirate" ISP. That is, one that uses the backbone fibre of the internet to create an internet within the internet. Here, I thought the article was really about that. An internet within the internet is the likely outcome of all this heavy handed behavior of the Entertainment industry, via politicians.

In a few more years, it'll be possible to build a wireless "alternet". A new internet with it's own DNS stack separate from the internet and the eyes of Big Brother. Except by capturing the signals and decrypting them. Technically a wireless alternet is feasible now. I have several wireless routers in my neighborhood. We could form our own network, and they can probably see a few routers I can't see further out and could connect with them. The question is: is there enough density now, that we could grow that out city-wide, county-wide, state-wide, country-wide, worldwide(how)? Certainly is major cities this is feasible. This will happen if the powers that be don't relent. If you make the internet illegal only the criminals will have internet, and almost everyone will be a criminal. The technology is out there. People have a real need to b e connected to the internet now. Take it away and they'll find new way.

Re:How does one form a PIrate ISP? (1)

ZERO1ZERO (948669) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983574)

In a few more years, it'll be possible to build a wireless "alternet". A new internet with it's own DNS stack separate from the internet and the eyes of Big Brother. Except by capturing the signals and decrypting them. Technically a wireless alternet is feasible now. I have several wireless routers in my neighborhood. We could form our own network, and they can probably see a few routers I can't see further out and could connect with them. The question is: is there enough density now, that we could grow that out city-wide, county-wide, state-wide, country-wide, worldwide(how)? Certainly is major cities this is feasible. This will happen if the powers that be don't relent. If you make the internet illegal only the criminals will have internet, and almost everyone will be a criminal. The technology is out there. People have a real need to b e connected to the internet now. Take it away and they'll find new way.

I've always thought this would be an excellent thing. How does one go about setting this kind of thing up? I guess it could be kind of like the BBS days.

Re:How does one form a PIrate ISP? (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983946)

The thing that I have been contemplating is the creation of a truly "pirate" ISP. That is, one that uses the backbone fibre of the internet to create an internet within the internet.

This is a solved problem, and your personal Freenet node is just a download away. True anonymous peer-to-peer for web browsing, filesharing, or whatever, is already here. It just needs more nodes, and a lot more content. The "network effect" is not yet working in Freenet's favor, but technically it's solid, and there's nothing wrong with it that more users won't fix. (Well, what it really needs is a client that's as easy to use as Bittorrent).

Good Luck With That (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32983354)

British anti-copyright group, Pirate Party UK, has predicted that Pirate ISPs will spring up across the country

Independent slashdot user, dangitman, predicts that the Pirate Party UK is incorrect in their statement and is just attempting to get publicity. A wave of "Pirate ISPs" suddenly appearing is about as likely as the British people rising up in mass revolt against the government.

Re:Good Luck With That (2, Informative)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32984236)

Leader of Pirate Party UK reveals that he wasn't actually trying to get publicity, he was just answering a journalist's question about the possibility of the UK party following the Swedish party's lead and setting up their own ISP. Out of all the countless quotes he's given to journalists over the last year, he's actually quite surprised that this one made it to the front page of Slashdot.

Please please please please........ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32983854)

Please god, let this happen. I don't care if I have to pay twice as much because they can't oversell the fuck out their bandwidth and then punish anyone who uses it for more than checking their e-mail.
If I'm extra good can I get an improvement on the industry wide policy of offering 3rd world upstream with all purchases of "OMGWTF 100Meg Fiber Optic Unlimited Broadband!!!*"

*Your definition of "unlimited" and "fiber optic" may vary

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>