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Atari Loses Copyright Suit Against RapidShare

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the game-over-play-again? dept.

Music 198

dotarray writes "Online copyright lawsuits aren't all about music. Video game publisher Atari Europe recently became concerned that copies of its game Alone in the Dark were floating around one-click file-hosting service RapidShare, so it took the hosting company to court. While they won the initial case, the decision was overturned on appeal, finding that RapidShare is doing nothing wrong."

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198 comments

torrent (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34789366)

They did nothing wrong hosting a full game, while other site hosting torrents are?

Re:torrent (4, Informative)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789396)

they follow the DMCA, they remove things when people report stuff to them.

Re:torrent (1, Informative)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789410)

Then they allow the exact same file to be uploaded again with a slightly different filename.

Gone is AloneInTheDark_87A81B2717B.zip, say hello to AloneInTheDark_87A81B2717C.zip

And they don't provide any means for copyright holders to prevent this.

Rapidshare may be legally right, morally they are very wrong.

Re:torrent (0)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789438)

While law is something we can all more or less agree upon, pointing to the relevant documents even if we want the laws overturned, morality is not defined so conveniently. I think you'll find a pretty large amount of Slashdotters believe that filesharing is not immoral.

Re:torrent (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789680)

RapidShare is not just sharing files, it's making money off content that is mostly illegal. This is not a service that wants to "share" anything, in fact they try to push you into paying by making the "sharing" part next to impossible for free. Remove all illegal content from RapidShare, and they'll be out of business very quickly.
To me, that makes RapidShare, and similar services catering primarily to illegal files, immoral.

I think you'll find a pretty large amount of Slashdotters believe that filesharing copyrighted content for profit IS immoral.

Re:torrent (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34789730)

it's against the law, but what makes it immoral?

Re:torrent (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34789956)

majority rule. duh.

Re:torrent (5, Insightful)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790004)

But rapidshare isn't the one sharing the material. They don't even enable searching for files. They just provide storage and downloads of files someone else uploads and then tells people about.

Would you consider google evil for enabling the sharing of files through email? Or ISPs evil for providing their customers upstream bandwidth?

Re:torrent (0)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790048)

any service he likes will be ok because he likes it and uses it for other things.

any service he doesn't like will be not ok because he doesn't like it and doesn't use it for anything himself hence (at least from his point of view)nobody is using it legitimately or the people who do use it legitimately don't count for one concocted reason or another.

Re:torrent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34790292)

On that note, public storage places should be made illegal too, and instead, people should had over goods so a police officer can inspect them, have a dog sniff for anything like controlled substances, and lock them up in a large property room for the same price. Public storage places make money from people storing drugs and used MAD magazines, and that is immoral to some Slashdotters too.

Rapidshare can't control what people store there, and they are highly proactive in removing content. They obey the law.

Don't forget if Rapidshare gets shut down, there will be other services who would gladly take up their banner and run with it. Services located in areas where the DMCA, ACTA, and other laws are considered jokes. I'd rather have a place that actively stomps out infringed/illegal content (and hands over the IP addresses of those who upload it) than a place in Elbonia whose only response to people complaining about child pr0n being stored on their servers is a middle finger. SOMEONE is going to take Rapidshare's niche, and it won't be someone who might not give a rat's ass about Western IP laws.

Re:torrent (0)

Jaktar (975138) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790330)

RapidShare is not just sharing files, it's making money off content that is mostly illegal.

Link to source please.

Re:torrent (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790432)

Who's more immoral, the guy who uses government power to get himself paid in perpetuity for a days work, or the guy who helps others get around that?

Re:torrent (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790570)

This is not a service that wants to "share" anything, in fact they try to push you into paying by making the "sharing" part next to impossible for free.

They host big files. Getting one ad impression in before people eat 100 MB of bandwidth doesn't cover the costs, everybody understands that. Well, everybody except you. That's a truth no matter whether the files they're sharing are legal or not, even YouTube streaming 100 MB of video has a much, much higher ads/profile value for advertizers. And even they struggled to manage costs early on.

Rapidshare doesn't target illegal files. They've steered very clear of any behavior on their part to encourage piracy. But they don't need to, because it's what people want anyway. It's like if you made knives and everyone wanted to stab people. You'd try making kitchen knives and tool knives and hunting knives, but they all turn to stabbing knives because it's what people want. If people thought like you, we'd never have tape recorders or VCRs or CD burners or anything like it.

Re:torrent (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790710)

Obligatory Jack "Technophobe" Valenti quote about boston strangler and VCR here, perhaps?

Or would the old "buggy whip manufacturers vs modern automobile" bit be more appropriate?

Plenty of companies still make money selling games. Plenty of people still make money creating them. And then there are companies that seem to think coasting on old successes and re-releasing the same old tired game for umpteen platforms is their "model."

For that matter, plenty of bands manage to make money playing music - the Dave Matthews Band, like them or hate them, make money because they focus primarily on touring [slate.com] and working for a living. Of course, they became known in the days before radio consolidation made it so that the only thing heard on the radio is the top-40 paid-for Payola scam crap we see today (I'm in the 3rd largest radio market in the country and we have FIVE TOTAL FORMATS, six if you count right-wing bile-spewing talk radio; the other five are "classic rock top 40, drugs and sex woohoo", "rap top 40, let's shoot cops", "hip-hop top 40, let's pimp hos", "country top 40, play it backwards and your truck starts working and your wife and dog come back to you", and "How many times did that racist asshat just say gringo? what the fuck is this that sounds like a combination of a mariachi band, yoko ono, and a cat having its intestines pulled out through its mouth?").

Re:torrent (5, Insightful)

andydread (758754) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790574)

I think you'll find a pretty large amount of Slashdotters believe that lying to congress about your lost profits, running college extortion schemes, presenting false information about how piracy is killing jobs, corrupting govenrment officials, corrupting DJs with payola, ripping off artists, paying a RIAA/MPAA/CRIAA/IFPI tax on blank media and many more of the practices of the RIAA/MPAA/BSA/CRIAA/IFPI immoral

Re:torrent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34789456)

Who said it's rapidshares fault or responsibility to help other companys protect their intellectual property?

Oh right. Nobody. Including the law.

Morals don't pay the bills.

Re:torrent (4, Insightful)

mariushm (1022195) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789522)

And you suppose they should just ban everything with the text "AloneInTheDark" in the name, as if nobody can upload some some screenshots or some machinima movie or some game mod or some fan related stuff for Alone In The Dark... Just look up Youtube to see how many videos are for "Alone in the dark", only 5040 videos.

The reality is the name of the file has nothing to do with the content... and if you enforce something like this, soon you'll find files called a.rar, a.r01 and so on, and copyright owners won't even find the pirated stuff because people posting pirated content will just type the description, do a print screen and post the picture with the details instead of text. And how is that going to help anyone?

Re:torrent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34789820)

And you suppose they should just ban everything with the text "AloneInTheDark" in the name

No, they should calculate a checksum for the infringing file (preferably multiple different kind of checksums to avoid false positives), and if a new file matching the checksums is uploaded, it should be deleted right away.

This would still not prevent people from uploading the file again if they really want to, but they would have to modify it in some way (for example package it into a new zip file) which is a lot more work than just uploading it unchanged.

Re:torrent (1)

PhrstBrn (751463) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789950)

Put a password on it, and change the password each time you upload. The checksum will change, guaranteed.

Re:torrent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34789988)

they should calculate a checksum for the infringing file

Yeah, that'd stop 'em. I'm serious. No this is not sarcasm. Not in the slightest. Why would you say that? Cut it out, I really mean it.

Re:torrent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34790246)

To change the ZIP (and the MD5 that RS checks), it just takes a few seconds to drag in a random LOLcat picture. Which isn't really "a lot of work".

Cryptic names for pirated stuff (2)

vgerclover (1186893) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790032)

(...) and if you enforce something like this, soon you'll find files called a.rar, a.r01 and so on, and copyright owners won't even find the pirated stuff because people posting pirated content will just type the description, do a print screen and post the picture with the details instead of text. And how is that going to help anyone?

Some groups have been doing this for some time now, generally using the first letters of the name. For this it might be something along the lines of al.int.d.r01.

Re:torrent (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34789524)

Rapidshare is against tough odds.

1) noone can be sure that AloneInTheDark is a game owned by Atari. Might as well be an amateur p0rn movie, a school comedy about ghosts etc. Is RapidShare and other file hosts expected to sit and watch every content to confirm ?

2) They could implement hashes, which would only force uploaders to change a counter in a text file, making the hash completely different. It would delay pirates at max 10 seconds, doing it by script.

Re:torrent (1)

Noone Thirty (1314485) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790162)

noone can be sure that AloneInTheDark is a game owned by Atari.

True enough, but it doesn't matter. I'd never work for those bastards.

Re:torrent (4, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789570)

So not only must Rapidshare know the name of every film, book and video game in existence (and in copyright) but they also have to filter anything that sounds even vaguely like them, has characters added, uses "l33t" spelling, etc. so that they don't accidentally host them? And not only that, but they have to go by the filename, so if I upload 2.7 millions movie clips all called "Aliens", they have to take every single one of them off despite not a single one of them actually having any copyrighted material in them?

Yes, it's obvious that it's easy to circumvent. It's also immediately obvious that, even if a court orders it, they can't *stop* that no matter how many people they hire, checks they make, or copyright holders they work with. Thus it's a pointless exercise to try to pretend they can. All they NEED to do is react to reports of copyright infringement, the same as anyone else. If you don't react, you are basically hindering copyright holders from stamping out infringement. If you DO react, you're not getting in their way even if you do end up inadvertantly hosting some of their content - but you can at least say "it wasn't us, this guy gave us that file" and so trace it back to an individual that CAN be prosecuted (and refusing to identify users etc. will get you into the same trouble with courts as not taking off the files when asked to by a validated copyright holder).

Additionally, I'm a copyright holder. I have written software, written books, drawn images, filmed videos and all manner of things. Thus if I ask, they have to take stuff down if I believe it's mine. That means they have to have some kinds of primitive checks to ensure I *am* a valid copyright owner and have NOT given my permission (there are some genuine software authors that willingly use RapidShare to save their bandwidth, for example), even for the most obscure and nonsensical things that get uploaded to their service. So even investigating every copyright infringement *report* is a huge burden, let alone every *potential* copyright infringement (which basically means performing those checks for EVERY file).

RapidShare might be a hive of illegal content, but when reported it gets removed. So is eBay a hive of illegal content, but when you report it, it gets removed - whether that's because you're selling Nazi memorabilia in France, a baby, or just unlicensed software. It's RIDICULOUS to expect a host to pre-screen absolutely everything they put onto a download website or even a busy auction site. (Almost) Every court in the world recognises that and only expects them to co-operate fully when things ARE reported.

Re:torrent (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789700)

So... how exactly does YouTube handle copyrights in video's? They don't do a perfect job, but they manage.

Bad analogy (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789732)

Big difference.

YouTube displays the content it hosts, which requires that it is uploaded unencrypted. Rapidshare doesn't display uploaded content, which means it is trivial for anyone to upload an archive which includes encrypted content and also a CAPTCHA revealing the password.

Only YouTube's business model is amenable to automatic copyright infringement detection.

Re:Bad analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34790538)

And to add to that, Youtube are hosting videos. Rapidshare host every possible filetype known and unknown. If someone uploads a file that's a PDF made up of scanned pages of a book, they'd have to know to OCR the text in the images then they'd have to have a copy of the book in digital format for comparison. What if the uploader put two books into the PDF? If RS are to avoid manually inspecting everything they'd need an algorithm that could compare sections of content to determine if it came from multiple copyrighted sources. What if the uploader is actually uploading an essay that quotes sections of copyrighted works, i.e. copyright but fair use? They'd need to know that was a legitimate use. What if the uploader was sneaky and broke copyrighted works up and placed them in a boilerplate fake essay with instructions somewhere else on how to stitch them back together? There are limitless variations they'd need to account for even if they did insist on no encryption. Essentially they'd need to employ an army of IP expects to inspect every single file that was uploaded, patently ridiculous. Compare that to doing some basic comparison work in two videos (and even then Google doesn't catch 'em all, trivial changes can be enough to fool their automation).

Re:torrent (1)

kj_kabaje (1241696) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790140)

I have a question about how this works, money laundering is described thusly: "By its nature, money laundering (as in the case of receiving stolen goods) is a form of acting as an accessory after the fact, - a material contribution to, or assistance in, taking benefits from assets of illegal origin." It's my understanding that a bank is liable when they gain or take benefit from stolen goods. If Rapidshare is charging for the distribution of stolen goods, are they then gaining from assets of illegal origin?

Re:torrent (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790602)

Only in the same way as Ford are guilty of bank robbery when they sell a car that's used as a getaway vehicle. Companies providing goods or services which can be abused (as most can) can only be expected to comply with the law insofar as they are aware of the wrongdoing - holding them to account for illegal activities done without their knowledge when they have shown nothing but willing in complying in the past where things have been brought to their attention is a bit much. You'd never be able to sell cars with that kind of ruling, never mind hosting legitimate files.

Re:torrent (1)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790356)

That argument, "it is to hard!" is so damn silly. Rapidshare have at their disposal this new thing called computers and technology. No, they can't manually check every file that is uploaded, but they can develop heuristic methods [wikipedia.org] to flag the content that is most likely warez and then manually remove that.

For example, if a file gets more than 100 downloads per hour, it is most likely some copyrighted game or movie. If most of the referers who downloads the file comes from www.warezforum.com, then the file is also very likely warez. Is there file part of a 30 parts big rar archive? Probably warez too because no one else but warez groups share files like that.

These dirt-simple heuristic methods that I thought up in about five minutes could be used by rapidshare to eliminate 90% or more of all copyrighted content shared on their site with few false positives and very little manual work needed. It is not rocket science, it is a few days work at most for a competent developer to implement this system. The only reason rapidshare is not doing it, is because they profit from the "sharing" of it on their site.

Time for a Monty Python quote... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34790566)

"Our sales would plummet!"

Re:torrent (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790598)

> For example, if a file gets more than 100 downloads per hour, it is most likely some copyrighted game or movie.

Citation needed.

> These dirt-simple heuristic methods that I thought up in about five minutes

Perhaps if you spent 10 minutes you'd come up with one which wasn't shit?

Re:torrent (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790654)

well, they read the geoshitties memo and decided that it wasn't a good policy to make popular content automatically disappear.

it's just not good business.

also your part has a 'manually remove that'. of course, you might understand that a lot of stuff put on rapidshare is in encrypted zips and the like.

you'd like to put your imagination against all the worlds 15 year olds? your heuristic methods would come up with a lot of gray area positives too. unless you just go with the popular=illegal because otherwise it would be hosted elsewhere.

Re:torrent (1)

djnforce9 (1481137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790666)

All the methods you just came up with in five minutes are flawed, error-prone, and make way too many assumptions. 100 Downloads per hour? What makes you think every single illegal archive is retrieved that frequently and what if a software developer used RapidShare to save bandwidth BECAUSE their files were obtained that often? What if the uploader had permission to host the copyrighted content? You don't know that.

Also, the idea of checking the referrer address would never work either. For starters, it's not going to stop people from actually "uploading" illegal content because there is no referrer until somebody clicks the link from another site. Also, virtually any link imaginable can be posted in any site/forum so just because someone came from a site with the word "warez" in it (which not all warez sites even have in their URL), it doesn't mean the file they are downloading is automatically illegal in every single case (although it's probably likely to be such). Once again, you make way too many assumptions.

Lastly, Rapidshare has absolutely NO legal obligation to inspect every single file (as the courts just ruled). They are doing what is required by law so there is no need to cripple their service and waste excessive resources to fix the copyright woes of some other company they couldn't care less about. If they did, everyone would just dump them and move onto other file hosting services to which there are many. The last thing they'd want to do is ruin their entire business fighting an impossible battle. I know I would be frustrated if I tried to upload a "legal" file only to have it taken down immediately due to overly aggressive heuristics.

Re:torrent (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790708)

Those dirt simple heuristic methods took you five minutes to think of because they'd take five seconds for the warez community to skew into uselessness. Is a file getting more than 100 downloads an hour? What if they just upload 100 versions of the file and iterate through the link URLs they display on their sites - heuristic skewed. Most of the referers come from warez forums? Host a link on the warez site to a legitimate site and put the download link there, or have your community spend a little time clicking legitimate download files to bury the warez in noise, or simply configure your server to not send the referer in the header - heuristic skewed. Big rar archive, same thing, upload a bunch of legitimate files in big rar archives, or put all the files into one single encrypted download, or upload the 30 parts with randomly generated names so there's no easy way to identify that they're part of the same archive and just give out instructions (or a patch application the users can run) to piece them back together - heuristic skewed.

Rapidshare are fighting precisely because they don't want to be in the position of playing whack-a-mole with the thousands of warez sites out there. It would be basically pouring money down a bottomless pit. All the cash that the music and movie and games industries have poured into this already going on over a decade now, with ridiculously expensive solutions like DRM hasn't put an end to file sharing, what makes you think Rapidshare can manage it. More to the point, what makes you think that even if they did such a thing out of the goodness of their own hearts, rather than being forced to in court, that a competitor who didn't care wouldn't just spring up and take their place?

Re:torrent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34790596)

It's RIDICULOUS to expect a host to pre-screen absolutely everything they put onto a download website or even a busy auction site.

Yet it's not ridiculous to expect a publisher to pre-screen a book before sending it off to the printing press... you have an interesting take on things.

When I ran a file-sharing BBS back in the late 80's and early 90's, I pre-screened every file in my upload directory before moving it to public (at the peak I had around ~150 unique users).

If one kid with 4 modems and one system could do it with antiquated technology... It seems rather reasonable to me to expect better for a file-sharing service today.

Re:torrent (2)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789648)

The DMCA put the "policing" responsibility on the copyright holders, who are, after all, the ultimate beneficiaries of the copyright anyway. So no, they shouldn't be forcing unrelated third parties to do it for them.

Re:torrent (1)

X.25 (255792) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789652)

Then they allow the exact same file to be uploaded again with a slightly different filename.

Gone is AloneInTheDark_87A81B2717B.zip, say hello to AloneInTheDark_87A81B2717C.zip

And they don't provide any means for copyright holders to prevent this.

Rapidshare may be legally right, morally they are very wrong.

I can only laugh at your moral(e) values.

Re:torrent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34789726)

RapidShare is knowingly hosting illegal downloads and is making a profit from it and you think that's morally correct?
Or are you honestly so naive as to believe that RapidShare intented to host legal downloads?

Re:torrent (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790080)

once someone tells them they're hosting copyrighted content they take it down.
Should they be rooting through my files, reading my documents and watching my home videos just to try to decide if it's copyrighted content (which they still won't know) before someone reports it?
never mind encrypted files.

Re:torrent (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790132)

RapidShare is knowingly hosting illegal downloads

No, they're not. They have no idea if a specific file is legal or not until the owner tells them, and then they remove it.

What exactly is immoral? Having a file hosting service at all?

Morality (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789792)

Rapidshare may be legally right, morally they are very wrong.

A law that extends copyright for decades after the author's death is immoral. Extending copyrights decades after a work was created is immoral.

So, should we follow the law or should we try to be moral?

If the law had any relation to morality it would follow the constitutional mandate that copyrights are for the authors and last for a limited time. They are not for a corporation to extend indefinitely long after the original term expired and the author died.

Re:Morality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34790126)

Yeah, because the #1 torrent download is Steamboat Willie followed by Pong at #2, and definitely not any recently-released movies or video games.

Re:Morality (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790756)

That just proves that copyright is useless for its primary purpose as well as beggaring society in the long run as a secondary consequence.

Re:torrent (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789806)

>>>morally they are very wrong.

Alone in the Dark is over 14 years old. (If I recall correctly.) It should be in the public domain anyway. "Morality" tells me that no company should have a permanent monopoly on art. Imagine if the Venus de Milo or Mona Lisa were still copyrighted, such that nobody could reproduce them, not even in textbooks. We cannot lock-up our culture like that.

Also RapidShare isn't really hosting the file. They are merely a man-in-the-middle providing addresses between Me and Whoever has the file. Much like what the phonebook does. Do you sue the phonebook because they allowed me to locate and call a stranger to say, "Can you copy that game for me?" Nope.

So I don' think RapidShare is wrong but I DO think it's a crime against humanity to look-up art for more than 14 years (or more than 100 years under current law).

Re:torrent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34789998)

> Also RapidShare isn't really hosting the file

Sorry, but no. Rapidshare isn't a torrent tracker; they actually host the files.

Re:torrent (2)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790188)

Rapidshare may be legally right, morally they are very wrong.

Like Obiwan said to Luke, that depends on your point of view.

Some people think homosexuality is immoral, some think that drinking is immoral, and hell, my great aunt told my grandmother that she was going to hell because she wore pants. Morality depends on your viewpoint.

There are people who think there should be no such thing as copyright, there are people who have bought a license to the game but scratched the CD, there are people who don't want to shell out good money until they've tried the game; I've seen posts from all these viewpoints at slashdot and so have you.

Then you have to remember that there has never been proof that piracy is harmful to anyone, and there is proof that with books at least, piracy is actually beneficial.

What's going to happen when we can print anything physical we want?

Besides, what do morals have to do with business? To someone who worships money, nothing that brings a profit is immoral.

Re:torrent (1)

RJHelms (1554807) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790312)

Yeah, I'm sure their compliance with the DCMA means a lot in a lawsuit heard in the Higher Regional Court of Dusseldorf.

Well well well (-1)

dbune (1792602) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789370)

Am a fan of rapidshare.. but but but if you are hosting a pirate copy of a copyrighted content on your servers.. YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING WRONG !!! #disagree with the judgement !

Re:Well well well (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789392)

Well, yes. But there's only so much you can do. No provider can be 100% certain none of the material is breaching copyright. I think it comes down to what measures they take to avoid this, amongst others.

Re:Well well well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34789464)

This. A lot of the content is uploaded as .rar files, that are encrypted with some easy password, usually the name of the forum it was shared to. That would be a good example of when RapidShare can't do anything.

Re:Well well well (5, Insightful)

allometry (840925) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789394)

A file sharing service being held accountable for a file a user posted?

While they are technically hosting the file, they did not originate the content. Kinda like saying a person who picked up a second-hand pair of boots off a dead guy is an accessory to murder.

This was the right call.

Re:Well well well (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789704)

While they are technically hosting the file, they did not originate the content. Kinda like saying a person who picked up a second-hand pair of boots off a dead guy is an accessory to murder.

While I agree with the ruling, the analogy must be one of the worst I've heard. They are the tool actually executing the production of additional copies, they're closer to the knife or the gun than anything else. A better analogy might be factory workers that produce faulty and deadly brakes from a bad design. They may be the ones doing it, but they're not the ones responsible for it.

Re:Well well well (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790572)

Are you sure? Slashdot exists to demonstrate the truism `all analogy is fraud`. There should be a monthly roundup of the 'best' - it would be a giggle.

Re:Well well well (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34789740)

I think a better analogy is a person puts drugs in an airport locker and holding the airport criminally responsible for possession of drugs.

Re:Well well well (2)

beothorn (1795956) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789402)

#disagree

This is slashdot not twitter. If you know a bulletproof way to stop someone from uploading any copyrighted material to a upload site, please, enlighten us.

Re:Well well well (0)

dbune (1792602) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789616)

#disagree

This is slashdot not twitter. If you know a bulletproof way to stop someone from uploading any copyrighted material to a upload site, please, enlighten us.

Yes, it is indeed slashdot and not twitter and i am STILL entitled to have my opinion in the comment section. The style of writing does not break any slashdot guidelines, does it? If it does, please elaborate.

Please elaborate on your method (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34789658)

Please elaborate on your method. You were asked about your bulletproof method of stopping people uploading files to a filesharing site that are not legal.

Instead of disagreeing, which is merely crybaby whining, how would it be done?

Please elaborate.

Re:Please elaborate on your method (0)

dbune (1792602) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789742)

Please elaborate on your method. You were asked about your bulletproof method of stopping people uploading files to a filesharing site that are not legal.

Instead of disagreeing, which is merely crybaby whining, how would it be done?

Please elaborate.

Dear Anonymous, next time please login and not use childish tactics to avoid any negative score.. and regarding my comment, sorry am not answerable to anyone for opinion ! :) I just wrote my thoughts over the article and opinion .. so just Chill !! and not pick on each and every thing on the internet.

Re:Please elaborate on your method (1)

smash (1351) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790444)

ok dbune (i am not the AC but i'll have a go anyhow). elaborate. what should rapidshare do to prevent this?

I have no account. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34790528)

I have no account. And this is the third time you've gished your way out of explaining HOW Rapidshare could stop illicit file sharing. Would this be because you know they can't?

Baby whining from you again, trying to distract.

Re:Well well well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34789686)

If you know a bulletproof way to stop someone from uploading any copyrighted material to a upload site, please, enlighten us.

Just to stave off the nitpickers.. yes, Linux distributions are also copyrighted material and the distribution thereof is completely legal - save for fringe cases you're making up right now after reading the preceding.

The premise of a bulletproof way to stop someone from uploading any copyrighted material is, of course, a trap; the site would first have to know that this material is copyrighted and the uploader doesn't have the distribution rights for the material in question.. which is impossible for any given random upload.

So let's limit things to uploads that are -not- random, as per the GP's complaint. A user uploads Movie X and it gets stored as "somesite/MovieX_abc.iso" at cost roughly equal to $0. Studio does the legal work, files an official DMCA complaint (in the case of U.S.-hosted content) at cost undoubtedly greater than $0 stating that "somesite/MovieX_abc.iso" infringes and bla bla bla. Hosting site reviews the matter and ultiamtely takes down the content. Problem solved... except that the same user, or another user, re-uploads the exact same file and it gets stored as "somesite/MovieX_def.iso". References from the various forums/messageboards/IRC/etc. are modified to fit (this can, and has been, automated), and things are back to square one as the rights holder must file a -new- DMCA complaint for the exact same file as made available at the new URL.
So what good did the DMCA do there? Well, it did a lot of good for the uploader(s). As much as the DMCA is scorned by most Slashdot visitors (usually for the circumventing protections part), it certainly has the above loophole that makes it very easy for uploaders to do what they do, while hosting companies can sit back and play innocent while they rake in the cash for the premium accounts.
So the first step toward a semi-bulletproof way would be to close that loophole and add a filter that will block future uploads of the same file.

Of course people will get wise to that, and will simply add a file to, or remove a file from, the archive.. or pad the file with some bytes, or upload e.g. a movie that's been encoded with some different encoder. So then the next step would be to actually match against content, rather than the files. Plenty of fingerprinting technologies out there that will match against e.g. music and movies, so this could be realized. There may be false positives as a result of this, but that can simply be dealt with by notifying the uploader and allowing them to overrule the finding, as well as notifying the rights holder(s) so that they can then overrule the user if they deem this applicable. Plenty of haziness regarding fair use there, but that falls back to the DMCA claim/counterclaim thing.

Then of course people are just going to upload in formats that the site doesn't understand - be it an unknown codec or an encrypted archive. The solution to that is also fairly simple: don't allow uploads of files the hosting site can't parse.

Ultimately, this will still allow uploads of files for which the uploader does not have the distribution rights - as implied by the second point where the user can override fingerprint tech findings combined with the nature of these hosting sites; the user is anonymous.
In the case of such an upload, the -user- should thus be accountable - that means that the user has to actually be known.. not just by an account name, but as a full legal entity. This is also doable - e.g. a one-time micro-transaction to a bank account with a password that serves as the account notification code and similar strategies that tie into real-world real-persona linked information sources.

Here's the rub, though... if such hosting sites were to implement these features, or at least any of the latter (the first being very easily circumvented), they would soon find their visitor and premium account holder numbers dwindling and go out of business as the users flock to another hosting site which does not implement these features.
You may say "speculation! You are suggesting that such hosting sites exist only by the grace of illegal content without any data to back up these claims!" and I would say you are right; and this would also be difficult to research as such hosting sites do not disclose any information - such as per-url traffic statistics - that could either prove or disprove that claim. On the other hand, it would be very naive to believe that such hosting sites exist by the grace of creative commons music, home videos, and GPL software unless one is entirely unfamiliar with the site in question.

Re:Well well well (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790424)

if such hosting sites were to implement these features, or at least any of the latter (the first being very easily circumvented), they would soon find their visitor and premium account holder numbers dwindling and go out of business as the users flock to another hosting site which does not implement these features.
You may say "speculation! You are suggesting that such hosting sites exist only by the grace of illegal content without any data to back up these claims!" and I would say you are right;

I wouldn't. Who in their right mind would give their real name and bank account number to Rapidshare, regardless of the legality of the file? Even if you don't care about the privacy issues, it would take so much time nobody would use it.
And preventing me from uploading encrypted personal files would make me use another service.

So they could perfectly lose business even from legal distribution.

Re:Well well well (2, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789518)

Is Rapidshare used for anything besides sharing films, music and ebooks?

Re:Well well well (5, Insightful)

dbune (1792602) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789626)

Is Rapidshare used for anything besides sharing films, music and ebooks?

Yes it is! games,pictures,porn,cracked softwares .. ..almost everything

Put the words "public domain" in front of the... (1)

Fibe-Piper (1879824) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790580)

Is Rapidshare used for anything besides sharing films, music and ebooks?

Is Rapidshare used for anything besides sharing films, music and ebooks?

the sacred words "films, music and and ebooks" and you have actually made the case that RapidShare or any other file sharing technologies should be protected by the courts.

Alone in the dark? Rapidshare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34789376)

Of course it was just porn in disguise.

contrast with pirateBay (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34789378)

RapidShare, hosts (unknowingly) copyright content, not guilty

PirateBay, doesn't host (knowingly) copyright content, guilty

granted, different jurisdictions

Re:contrast with pirateBay (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789416)

Oh come on! The Pirate Bay knew that most of the stuff was infringing copyright, and even if they weren't aware of it should have been after receiving legal demands to remove access to the material.

Rapidshare actually made some effort to prevent distribution.

Re:contrast with pirateBay (2)

Rysc (136391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789504)

Except that in the jurisdiction in which The Pirate Bay operates there is no legal way to demand that you remove a link to copyrighted material that you do not yourself host. That's a USA law and not found in most other places.

Re:contrast with pirateBay (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789870)

Awe..... pity those poor Corporations with their billion-dollar capital and millions in annual revenue, while they layoff programmers who did nothing wrong (except they are unneeded human cattle) (and Indian,Chinese programmers are cheaper). Ahh poor little baby megacorps. Ahhh.

Bullshit. I don't give a fuck if movies/games the Megacorps make get downloaded. They will STILL find a way to make money, even if it's only through theater tickets and Walmart DVD sales. I think they will survive. '

Re:contrast with pirateBay (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790374)

Hey, I have hundreds of gigs of pirated media. I'm not criticising the ethics. Just pointing out that if you do have a business that exists solely because people are using it to break the law then don't expect it to last.

Re:contrast with pirateBay (3, Insightful)

Rysc (136391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789426)

No.

Rapidshare hosts (unknowingly) copyrighted content, not guilty.

PirateBay does not host any copyrighted content, guilty.

Re:contrast with pirateBay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34789826)

oops, yeah, that's what I meant... got excited going for frist psot and didn't proofread enough :)

it doesn't make sense though does it? these two results are the opposite of what I expected and sort of reinforces the idea that the cases are not decided on fact but rather on relative strengths (typically financial strength and all the lawyers and pollies that brings) of those participating in the suit... in the PB case the strength of the prosecution was immense compared to PB.... in the RS case, a much more even match perhaps given that Atari isn't what it once used to be

yes the RS 'but we responded to dmca' part of the argument shows a 'willingness' to participate in the process which must further tilt the table in their favour even if that willingness is somewhat tounge in cheek while the PB guys basically said 'your dmca notices are meaningless', and they meant that within both the scope of their jurisdiction (which is fine)
but the also made it clear that they meant it in terms of technical fact, sadly they'd sent that part of the message many times with an FU intonation and no further explanation, by
the time they attempted to explain that part of it the people who needed to hear it were no longer listening... and to go on a real tangent, that's where Assange has blundered too,
you've got to manage the situation carefully from the start, not highhanded at the start and then becoming reasonable later

Re:contrast with pirateBay (2)

Josh Triplett (874994) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789436)

RapidShare hosts content themselves, and takes down content when requested to. Atari sued them because they didn't want to keep sending takedown notices, and would prefer that RapidShare do their job for them, like YouTube currently does for copyright holders ("here, tell us what files you don't like look like, and we'll handle it automatically"). The courts sensibly said that RapidShare doesn't have to offer any more help to Atari than they already do.

PirateBay doesn't host content themselves, infringing or otherwise, which means they very sensibly don't respond to takedown notices. That then confuses and annoys both copyright holders and courts, who can't quite figure out that PirateBay has done nothing wrong, because naturally they *must* be doing something wrong if they're not responding to takedown notices.

Re:contrast with pirateBay (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789496)

They weren't found guilty of hosting. They were found guilty of assisting copyright infringement.

Given that I used TPB for most of my vopyright infringement at one point, I can certainly agree, they assisted me greatly.

Re:contrast with pirateBay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34790510)

The site that has helped me the most with *yarw* software piracy is Google. Great site, you should check it out!

Re:contrast with pirateBay (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790238)

they very sensibly don't respond to takedown notices

Yes they do, they have an entire page full of taunting 'haha, we're not in your jurisdiction' replies that they've sent.

I don't believe it (4, Informative)

paganizer (566360) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789388)

If nothing else, this article led me to the Wikipedia page that provided the information that Alone in the Dark was remade in 2008, and that Atari is suing pretty much everyone that has anything to do with it.

It was REALLY exciting, until I realized that no North American courts are involved... A sane decision concerning copyright infringement by a U.S. Court would be really fantastic.

Re:I don't believe it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34789508)

A sane decision concerning copyright infringement by a U.S. Court would be really seldom.

Re:I don't believe it (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789574)

A sane decision concerning copyright infringement by a U.S. Court would be really seldom.

On the fringe of being an oxymoron.

Re:I don't believe it (2)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789544)

From what I read playing that AITD remake alone is punishment enough, no need to rub it in with a lawsuit.

Re:I don't believe it (0)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789660)

It was REALLY exciting, until I realized that no North American courts are involved... A sane decision concerning copyright infringement by a U.S. Court would be really fantastic.

There are times that I really think slashdot should have a +1 or -1 Sarcasm mod. You would have gotten one from me, if so.

No North American courts? (2)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790364)

If nothing else, this article led me to the Wikipedia page that provided the information that Alone in the Dark was remade in 2008, and that Atari is suing pretty much everyone that has anything to do with it.

It was REALLY exciting, until I realized that no North American courts are involved... A sane decision concerning copyright infringement by a U.S. Court would be really fantastic.

Apparently, while this article may have led you to the Wiki page, it didn't lead you to the article's third paragraph, which states:

This is not the first time that the file hosting company has come under the legal spotlight. Last year, the same German appeals court overturned a separate ruling against them, while a US court has also decided the company is not liable for its users behaviour.

Analogy time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34789724)

You own a private road which has hundreds of millions of cars passing by each month. Some of these cars are doing illegal.

Atari says it's your fault for "allowing" these cars to do what they do, but it's a freaking road - roads do not know what the cars are doing. You politely receive and resolve complaints Atari sends you, but then Atari says you're not doing enough.

So Atari takes you to court, you state that you've done everything that can be done, and the judge tells Atari to STFU & GTFO. The end.

Toll roads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34790546)

Toll roads have cars speeding on them. Lets fine the toll operator for letting criminals on their roads...

One click? (4, Insightful)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790056)

one-click file-hosting service RapidShare

One click? Sure, if you mean one click to follow the posted link, then three more clicks to navigate towards the download, a few more to skip adds, then at least five more to answer questions like "Do you want the premium service? [NO], I don't want to wait, sign me up. [YES] I want it..... [extremely tiny font] just download my fucking file already [/extremely tiny font]

i'd be concerned about it too (2)

smash (1351) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790414)

I mean piracy of that game? I got 5 minutes into the demo, bored out of my brain and quit.

Why bother wasting the bandwidth?

Re:i'd be concerned about it too (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790646)

There was a demo?
The rat-thing leaping up and down at the window scared the crap out of me. And the creepy statue on the stairs.

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