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Dutch Usenet Provider Ordered To Remove Infringing Content

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the trouble-in-the-usenets dept.

Piracy 109

dutchwhizzman writes "Amsterdam-based Usenet wholesale provider News Service Europe has been mandated by a court to remove all copyright-infringing content on their servers, or face severe financial penalties. Dutch copyright organization BREIN has won a court case making the Usenet provider responsible for the content posted on platforms other than their own. Could this be the end of Usenet as we know it, or will an appeal be won by NSE? Why didn't the judge make the provider that allowed the posts responsible? Why didn't the judge honor the 'cancel message' procedure that technically exists in the NNTP protocol?"

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usenet warez (2)

tech4 (2467692) | about 3 years ago | (#37571896)

News-Service.com sold their services to the likes of Binverse and Usenext, so it's not really surprising. While it takes away sad piece of history, the leeches and warez destroyed it. While some people still use it for talking, for the common people and most of the world it's just like BitTorrent. Not like I agree with the situation, but if something that is a major problem needs to be shut down and for the few using it for legal purposes need to move to something else, well, it's not surprise move.

While still being somewhat similar to ISP's and contraty to popular belief here on Slashdot, it's the intent that counts. That's why ThePirateBay was also found quilty in court.

Re:usenet warez (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 3 years ago | (#37572466)

But it's not stopping for the handful of people still using NNTP for discussions.
I am curious as to how they will determine what is and is not copyright-infringing content.

Re:usenet warez (5, Insightful)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | about 3 years ago | (#37572494)

I am curious as to how they will determine what is and is not copyright-infringing content.

By shutting down access to everything, obviously. There is no other possible way to do it because there is no automated way to determine who the copyright owner for a piece of text is or whether it was properly licensed.

Re:usenet warez (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37576898)

Porbably, but not necessarily.

The verdict was won by BREIN, and technically only covers material for which BREIN is responsible. The existing notice-and-takedown procedure was deemed unacceptable because it was post facto. This ruling would still allow NSE to set up a staging area where BREIN would inspect uploaded content before it would be distributed to clients and other USP's. Whether this would be automated or manual would be BREIN's problem

Of course, that won't happen. BREIN _would_ take down 90% of the content before it appeared, making NSE's business utterly worthless.

Re:usenet warez (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 3 years ago | (#37574148)

And that's the problem, it's only a handful of users it seems. I was on there for ages even into this millenium. But the number of useful and usable groups diminished as more and more of them got taken over by spam. Once enough users have left it becomes pointless to try and have good discussions.

I liked the one-stop model of usenet; all forums were there from everywhere. Local classified ads up through high level discussion of what should be in technical standards. And an interface you could pick and choose from all of them vastly superior to the awful web based forums out there, discussions groups not controlled by corporations, etc. I used to read tons of groups (and waste tons of time). With the current web model of forums I only look at the ones I absolutely have to because it's too time consuming to track all of them.

Re:usenet warez (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 3 years ago | (#37573322)

Spammers destroyed usenet. Web forums and BBSs destroyed usenet.

"Leeches and warez" did no such thing. No one forces you to look into .bin.

Re:usenet warez (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 3 years ago | (#37574198)

A lot of BBSers migrated from the BBSes to Usenet in the 90's. I used both for a while, but the signal to noise in usenet was too poor for a long time, at least most of the spammers are gone now. Also, NNTP is used today for some BBS message nets.

You'd like to believe it was intent... (2)

lpq (583377) | about 3 years ago | (#37574738)

While searching for some foreign music, I ran into a 'catchall' on Google...

They'd gotten a take-down notice for including search results about licensed anime, on blog and database sites -- that included no downloads or links to downloads...

Now we are talking not just going after linkers, but linkers to people who even talk about the content.

The takedown notice to google (to block search results -- freedom of speech) [chillingeffects.org] ,
      shows the list of sites I first ran into...then I ran into a real hilarious one --

one against TWITTER -- and multiple 'twitters' [chillingeffects.org] that were deemed
infringing content!! Like I be they were distributing movies 140 bytes
at a time!

Yeah...must be some serious 'intent' going on here...

Oh yeah...lest I forget...the takedowns against Music Blogs [chillingeffects.org] almost 12,000/month -- musta been writing about the lyrics...

Yeah, right...

For every 'pirate' out there, there, there are 10-100 corporate pirates stealing the rights of the rest of us...

Why is this posted? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37571906)

Eway on'tday iscussday netuseay.

Re:Why is this posted? (2)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | about 3 years ago | (#37571958)

I dont know what you're talking about... but I agree :P

Re:Why is this posted? (2)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 3 years ago | (#37571988)

You aren't fooling anyone AC.

We all know that the REAL way you got good at using regular expressions was by bulk downloading alt.sex.binaries, then using ls, grep, and rm to automatically remove all the kiddie porn before the fbi became the porn police.

You only refuse to talk about it now out of fear of goons knocking in the door. ;)

Re:Why is this posted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37573720)

Yeah, I did all that to "remove" the CP. Gotcha.

pourin' some bits out on the curb (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37571952)

Such a shame. Usenet was a tiny little holdout of what the internet used to be. Crazy, lawless, illegal, sometimes informative, and full of porn and spam.

Re:pourin' some bits out on the curb (2, Funny)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 3 years ago | (#37572046)

Yea, its so much better now that we got rid of all the porn, spam, and illegal stuff.

Re:pourin' some bits out on the curb (4, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 3 years ago | (#37572066)

The internet never "used to be" like that, and USENET was never full of porn and spam, either. Believe it or not, there were people online before you ever got your first AOL floppy disk delivered to your house by junk mail.

Re:pourin' some bits out on the curb (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 3 years ago | (#37572158)

I remember those!

I used to bulk send requests for trials, then use a roll of masking tape to cover the write protect hole. Free floppies!

It's a shame they stopped the practice after cds. Getting a bunch of usb sticks in the mail would make me feel like a kid again. :)

Re:pourin' some bits out on the curb (1)

sg_oneill (159032) | about 3 years ago | (#37574386)

I started using usenet around , maybe 93? Back when here in australia the only internet I could get was a crazy little BBS run by a couple of paraplegic guys turned ISP that boasted of its 128kb ISDN connection to the local university back when all internet in australia was run by the universities and they where starting to lease connections out to private providers. Getting TCP/IP to work properly with MS-DOS proved beyond my technical skills at the time and TCP/IP just didn't exist on my minix machine. What I *could* do however was modem into the ISP and set up a terminal to a shell account and use USENET via, uh I think it was PINE. It was amazing, I could argue with anyone (and boy did I like arguing) , read about news from all sorts of wierd places, read bizzare nonsense from the church of the subgenius (really the internets first comedy "meme") , read the ongoing fight between usenet users and scientologists, and so on.

But there absolutely was spam. Starting with the green-card lawyer scandal and spreading out from there. It wasn't TOO bad (and thankfully they hadn't stumbled upon trying to fuzz out spam checkers via deliberate spelling errors) , and in fact was mostly controllable via a handfull of dudes like cancel-moose sending out usenet cancel messages.

Porn did exist, but it was an absolute bastard, especially in an era when a full-screen gif image could take a bunch of minutes to download, as you'd have to track down all the pieces of the image, download them and then run them through a piece of software that extracted the binary. Then you'd view it on a chunky looking EGA screen and yup, Samantha fox's tits.

It wasn't that compelling to be honest.

I guess what I'm saying was I was there not quite at the beginning, but very much on the rising side of the bell curve, and there WAS spam, porn, and warez, its just that there wasn't really very much.

If one however is going to blame warez for anything, its that flooding usenet with terabyte upon terabyte of wares has made it unprofitable for most ISPs to carry a usenet mirror, and THAT is a problem.

Re:pourin' some bits out on the curb (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 3 years ago | (#37575302)

This was BEFORE the greencard spam. As a matter of fact, nobody even called it "spam" because the word hadn't been appropriated yet. Newbie.

Re:pourin' some bits out on the curb (4, Interesting)

lgw (121541) | about 3 years ago | (#37572140)

Such a shame. Usenet was a tiny little holdout of what the internet used to be. Crazy, lawless, illegal, sometimes informative, and full of porn and spam

That's called the "deep web" now: crazy, lawless, illegal, sometimes informative, and full of porn and spam. I wonder whether that will take off, or join freenet in the margins.

Re:pourin' some bits out on the curb (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 3 years ago | (#37573804)

I have to disagree, as in the old days, it was *not* full of spam. Now, porn and lawlessness, that is another story ;)

At least there is still freenet. ( until draconian bandwidth caps effectively kill that off )

Re:pourin' some bits out on the curb (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37573818)

I've seen the same thing said about 4chan.

Judges!=Techies (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37571986)

Duh, Judges judge law, they don't know technical protocols and unless outlined and understood properly they are poorly equiped to issue judgements based on the information they receive by prosecutors and defense attorneys... imho :-)

Re:Judges!=Techies (4, Insightful)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 3 years ago | (#37572102)

You're right, judges aren't techies.

That means that they look at the technical arguments the defendants put forth, examine them, say "nice try", and then agree with the rebuttal that these news server admins who take membership fees for their services which exists largely as the hosting and distribution of material for which they have no implicit or explicit permission to do so, know damn well that this is how their service is used and thus that their service operates on the boundaries of the law at best.
The boundaries were just shifted, again.

I'm guessing they'll appeal, though.

Re:Judges!=Techies (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 3 years ago | (#37575536)

The courts have been bought and sold for a long time. As long as the rich and corporations can buy laws citizens are not obligated to obey them.

Usenet as I knew it (4, Insightful)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 3 years ago | (#37572016)

Could this be the end of Usenet as we know it

Usenet as I knew it was a bulletin board system for worldwide discussion of all kinds of subjects under the sun, from politics to auto mechanics to cigars to, of course, Star Trek - For me it was never a place to download gigabytes of binaries of Fringe episodes. To me, SPAM killed usenet, not a binaries ban.

Re:Usenet as I knew it (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 3 years ago | (#37572054)

For me it was more the 4chan like behavior, as usenet was totally unmoderated in many channels.

True, the endless barrage of penis enlargement and work at home ads didn't help any, the constant stream of "show me your boobs" type posts in totally inappropriate channels was a show stopper.

Eventually, all it was good for was downloading porn and pirate software.

Re:Usenet as I knew it (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 3 years ago | (#37572068)

TITS or GTFO!

Re:Usenet as I knew it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37572384)

    (o) (o)

      O
      |||
      |||
    O O

They're DDD, fake, and yes, it is that big!

(Ascii tranny porn FTW!)

Re:Usenet as I knew it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37573944)

Let's see some ASCII CP so it's really like usenet!

Re:Usenet as I knew it (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | about 3 years ago | (#37574058)

Anonymous delivers. [4chan.org] Though it is Shift_JIS, not ASCII, so I guess it would more appropriately be called lolicon. Oh well, have fun.

Re:Usenet as I knew it (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37572116)

Usenet has issues (I don't use it anymore either), but Usenet was the best-moderated discussion forum in the history of civilization. It was moderated by your NNTP client. When will web-based forums achieve that level of perfection?

Re:Usenet as I knew it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37572966)

This. The longer something remains unmoderated, the more likely it will fall and burn.

Things like self-moderation only typically work when you have a huge number of users.
Staff moderation and self-moderation can work quite well. (such as users voting on something and staff making final decisions)
Plain staff moderation tends to not work at all unless the community is tiny. Especially worse if you have a whole bunch of boards and no actual central moderation panel.
Usenet is and most boards on 4chan for that matter are in a 4th group, LOLNOMODSBOOBSPENISVAGINA.
On a place like Usenet, it isn't too bad since retention is based on the date, if you check every day, you'll likely never miss anything.
On a place like 4chan or other standard imageboard and textboards, purging is typically activity-based, so it destroys boards when large amounts of crapthreads are made.
This is also equally worsened by a large number of users on any one board since the thread order speeds by so quickly that you can miss entire threads even when on the board and being active.

As for the story in general, more and more of this is going to happen.
A lot of people hate P2P for some reason, but with a huge number of people + encryption and pseudo-stealth similar to Tor Onion routing, it would make things considerably harder to suppress or censor, outside of ruling an entire product illegal to use even thought it could be used for good stuff as well.
But Tor hasn't been outlawed yet and you see child porn, terrorism and all sorts of drug-related stuff happening on there. So either this is because people CAN be tracked, or there is no way of banning the program within the law(s of whatever country in question)
Maybe in this new age of paranoia, there is more chance to push anti-tracking measures to "the masses".

Re:Usenet as I knew it (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37572132)

Register on eternal-september.org and it still can be. They dropped all .binaries forums and only host the primarily text based discussions, which allow them to mirror the majority of important usenet stuff for only a fraction of the bandwidth. Even better they have options to allow mirorring of their copies.

Re:Usenet as I knew it (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 3 years ago | (#37574206)

Yeah, bbs-scene.org uses eternal-september for their upstream to usenet.

Re:Usenet as I knew it (2)

idontgno (624372) | about 3 years ago | (#37572228)

You lived a very sheltered USENET life.

From the beginning, the half-smirking explicit intent of the majority of the alt.* hierarchy was "megabytes of copyright violations."

The wild west was wild. Now the agribusiness farmers have moved in, platted the range, put up miles of barbed wire, and will hang you for the most innocuous cattle rustling.

But yes, the spam (aka bills and signs nailed up on every tree and fencepost) didn't help either.

Re:Usenet as I knew it (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 3 years ago | (#37573248)

Yep.

Usenet was about 5 years before my time, but I still recall the days we thought the Net was the Great Frontier.

But now after spending Mega Billions, some 200 Corps plus 30 Governments hauled all of the net into a Big Brother nightmare.

Re:Usenet as I knew it (2)

twistedcubic (577194) | about 3 years ago | (#37573888)


From the beginning, the half-smirking explicit intent of the majority of the alt.* hierarchy was "megabytes of copyright violations."

This is not at all true. Ignorant people shouldn't make up shit.

Re:Usenet as I knew it (2)

jgrahn (181062) | about 3 years ago | (#37575656)

From the beginning, the half-smirking explicit intent of the majority of the alt.* hierarchy was "megabytes of copyright violations." This is not at all true. Ignorant people shouldn't make up shit.

I can confirm that. In the 1991--1995 timeframe (which isn't at all early in Usenet's history), alt.* was like any other hierarchy, plus some really alternative groups like alt.suicide.holiday, alt.drugs.*, alt.fan.* and so on. There might have been some stuff in alt.binaries.* but back then it made more sense to bury the stuff in some obscure corner of your Uni FTP server.

It wasn't until many years later I learned that some people saw Usenet as a big warez server. That still pisses me off -- it's destructive, like fishing with dynamite.

Re:Usenet as I knew it (3, Interesting)

rs79 (71822) | about 3 years ago | (#37575936)

Correct. I created alt.aquaria (indirectly) and alt.sex (indirectly) and comp.fonts and all the aquaria groups and alt.prose and christ knows what else.

Brian Reid was my best friend on the net back then (and still is) and he created alt. It wasn't created for warez, it was created because Brian was pissed off his recipes group got turfed by Gene Spafford. John Gilmore wanted alt.drugs so they created those two groups, quietly snuck the into decwrl and the rest is history. alt.aquaria was the 7th alt group

Henry Hardy wrote hos masters thesis on this. You can check for yourself online.

People used to post patches via usenet (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 3 years ago | (#37572322)

There was a time when patches were distributed via usenet. I haven't touched it since technology shifted to web interfaces, subversion clients, etc.

But as far as I can recall, it was always rife with spam, offtopic posts, script kiddies, porn, and illegal binaries.

I won't mourn usenet any more than I mourn the kermit protocols.

Sad that another company's business is going the way of the dodo, but that's life.

Re:People used to post patches via usenet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37573112)

I suspect you arrived to the party late. Usenet started going downhill from ~1993. Usenet in its heyday was mostly well behaved, as it was moderated by social pressure through the universities (where most people got on it). There were problems with new students every September, but they got stopped. In 1993, commercial access started taking over, and we got what was called "Eternal September" - always new people that hadn't adjusted to the culture. (The first spam came in April 1994.)

Re:People used to post patches via usenet (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 3 years ago | (#37573330)

I first hit Usenet in 1984. The spam and crap were already there, sorry to say. People always have rose-coloured glasses when remembering "the good old days."

Re:People used to post patches via usenet (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 3 years ago | (#37574292)

It wasn't always rife with that stuff. Once the alt.* stuff showed up it became more popular, then after the awful day when AOL was unleashed it was worse. But you could still find alternate newsgroups. Ie, you might find a moderated group that paired with the unmoderated ones, and the technical groups weren't inundated with asshats. Over time it just deteriorated with spam. The only alternatives were BBSs which were pretty awful, or maybe compuserve.

Interesting note... When I was first out of school I hooked up to usenet to get the stuff to our local machines. Mostly this was to get my usenet fix but it was also vital in that this was the only technical discussions out there, period, and a good way to get email. So much data I didn't want everything so I just took the technical newsgroups. I was mostly flying under the radar as the company was big on security and the concept of connecting to an external "network" would have freaked them out. Then one of the users wanted me to add an adult group, alt.sex.bondage I think it was but I may have it wrong. I'd say no I couldn't do it, this is a work computer and I'm not going to get myself fired over this. So it became a running joke, once a week he'd come into my office ask for alt.sex.bondage and I'd say no. I was never sure if he was serious or if he just wanted to have some fun.

So I eventually left the company. Later I heard from someone who still worked there that this guy also left and started his own company. And this company had a new business model where you could subscribe and then dial in to a shell account to get email and access all usenet groups and other services. In other words, this one one of the first ISPs and it actually became quite influential and was a very recognizable name.

So occasionally I become self delusional and tell myself that I helped start the internet revolution by refusing to supply alt.sex.bondage to a user!

Re:People used to post patches via usenet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37575764)

So it became a running joke, once a week he'd come into my office ask for alt.sex.bondage and I'd say no. I was never sure if he was serious or if he just wanted to have some fun.

Is there a difference in this case?

Re:Usenet as I knew it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37572510)

Web forums, IM, and finally facebook "killed" Usenet.

Re:Usenet as I knew it (2)

bcrowell (177657) | about 3 years ago | (#37573436)

Usenet was decaying slowly for years, but the big hit was in 2008 when Andrew Cuomo scored political points by getting ISPs to drop parts of the usenet hierarchy that he claimed were full of child pornography. What ended up happening was that ISPs just started dropping usenet service completely. A ton of people gave up on usenet at that point rather than pay a provider. You could use web interfaces, but they sucked. After that, I basically no longer could use usenet to communicate with the people I wanted to communicate with, because so many of them had left.

Re:Usenet as I knew it (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 3 years ago | (#37576224)

Started? ISPs started dropping usenet well before then. My first ISP gave new subscribers a floppy disk with web, mail, news, FTP, and telnet programs on it. By the late '90s, most people only cared about the first two, so ISPs stopped advertising NNTP and FTP, and eventually dropped them. My ISP still has NNTP servers that sometimes work - they periodically turn them off, then notice that their external bandwidth bill has gone up a lot as people turn to third-party NNTP servers, and turn them back on again...

Re:Usenet as I knew it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37574794)

Spam did not kill Usenet. The refusal to *deal* with spam, and abuse, killed Usenet. The pseudonymity of Usenet led to useful and helpful discussions, and making information available in stable, long-lived formats before HTML existed. Mining that deep well for information helped my life, and my career. Filling that well with fresh information, answers, and useful questions for everyone else was one of my great joys, and helping n00b's find their way to getting things to work was a delight for me as a human and as an engineer.

Between the warez and porn kiddies spewing alt groups faster than anyone with a life could cancel or drop the groups, the refusal of ISP's to act against abusive customers like Canter & Siegel spamming professionally, and the refusal of the net.libertarians to take responsiblity for the abuse done by, and through, their own systems, it was doomed. And the cancellation wars, with the little secret cabals of spam cancellers and blacklisters who wouldn't name their criteria or even admit their membership just took the cake. I *liked* the sensible spam cancellers and fighters, the sort who showed at the MIT spam conference.

Remember the good old days (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37572062)

before the mouth breathers and their lawyers understood how to use the internet and we could enjoy it with impunity,

Why didn't the judge make xyz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37572080)

Most judges, laywers, politicians, cops and such authority figures are made from the "QA failed" batch of the Evolution, that is why.

Re:Why didn't the judge make xyz? (1)

Earthquake Retrofit (1372207) | about 3 years ago | (#37572126)

speaking of authority figures...

The link provided returns: You have asked Firefox to connect securely to torrentfreak.com, but we can't confirm that your connection is secure. The certificate is not trusted because the issuer certificate is unknown.

Re:Why didn't the judge make xyz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37573854)

It's because they use positiveSSL, Comodo's cheapass SSL cert service, and a few distros (and maybe the Firefox upstream, dunno) have removed Comodo's root certificate in response to multiple security breaches. If enough people complain to them (and everyone else using Comodo), they'll switch to another SSL provider. Then Comodo will face severe drop in revenues, and either shape up or go out of business.

Look, it's a system working (almost) as it's meant to, despite severe deficiencies!

Tools (1)

Moonrazor (897598) | about 3 years ago | (#37572144)

Once again they point fingers at the hammer, while the thief gets away...

Near-car analogy (5, Insightful)

airfoobar (1853132) | about 3 years ago | (#37572162)

Dear government. You provide the streets, therefore you are responsible for all crimes taking place on said streets. If you cannot stop all crimes on the streets you will face severe penalties.

Therefore, I conclude that this is fucking stupid.

Re:Near-car analogy (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 3 years ago | (#37572372)

Ah, but governments are special.

Besides which, although there is certainly crime that occurs which takes place on said streets, a far greater amount of non-crime takes place on those streets.
This cannot be said for the news servers in question.

In addition, the streets weren't created for the facilitation of said crimes.
While some news servers may have originally been set up purely for the discussions, the servers in question most certainly were not.

Finally (as far as this post goes), as alien as it may seem, the government does in fact put police on those streets, doing regular patrols or responding to alerts. While this doesn't prevent all crime, nor address all crime, let alone get those doing the crime punished appropriately, it's not entirely useless.
Most news server administrators, however, look only at their bank accounts as subscription fees come in - they purposefully do not monitor what their service is actually hosting / indexing, although invariably they know quite well what the on-goings are.

That doesn't really diminish your conclusion - but the argument-by-analogy is rather weak.

You could just directly argue that a news service has no task in monitoring what's going on any more than ISPs do (that's the task of law enforcement and/or copyright holders, depending on applicable jurisdiction and the material in question) and that the demands placed on them by the court are undue and will with no uncertainty mean the end of their business which also provides legal services.
I'm not sure if that's what they'll try in the appeal (if any), though.

Re:Near-car analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37575926)

Ah, but governments are special.

Besides which, although there is certainly crime that occurs which takes place on said streets, a far greater amount of non-crime takes place on those streets.
This cannot be said for the news servers in question.

In addition, the streets weren't created for the facilitation of said crimes.

Usenet was created in 1980 for the posting of warez, even though period computers couldn't store video?

Troooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooololololol

Re:Near-car analogy (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 3 years ago | (#37575988)

oh you silly anon.. you know very well I wasn't talking about Usenet as a technology. The discussion was regarding the service providers - such as News Service Europe - which most certainly are set up primarily for the aforementioned activities. As others have already pointed out, there are similar service providers that have dropped the binaries altogether - provided there isn't a shift in content location to the non-binaries groups, that should do just fine for the court order again News Service Europe. I don't think their revenue stream would be quite the same, though. What do you think?

Re:Near-car analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37575220)

Does the government advertise the street to criminals as being a paradise for mugging people and a great place to stay hidden from the police? No. This is what this usenet provider did, however. The court used common sense here. Its blatantly obvious that they were actively trying to earn money off people sharing content.

The next new thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37572174)

I reckon people will shift to a type of distributed file sharing technique that requires some kind of encryption. Invite only maybe. People will find a way to do what they want to no matter the corporate or government that is trying to stop them. I'm thinking Virus. Mutating like one. That is if this kind of thing continues.

Awww dammit! (2)

squidflakes (905524) | about 3 years ago | (#37572182)

Ok, fess up you guys. Who told the government about USENET?

Re:Awww dammit! (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 3 years ago | (#37572246)

Some 12 year old AOLer back in 1990.

It just took this long for the court clerks to figure out how to use NNTP. You know how hard such new fangled technology is for them.

Just wait till they figure out facebook!

Re:Awww dammit! (1)

squidflakes (905524) | about 3 years ago | (#37572276)

/me too

Re:Awww dammit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37572330)

AOL didn't exist in 1990.

Re:Awww dammit! (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 3 years ago | (#37572420)

I wouldn't know.. I never actually *used* their pittiful service, and used a real ISP.

(I only took notice of aol when they started sending out reasonably high quality floppy disks with shitty software on them, which was closer to 94 or 95. Investing in a 1$ roll of masking tape could net you all the free floppies you could ask for. It was awsome.)

Besides, that wasn't the joke. The joke was that a butthurt netcopper whined about somebody calling his mom a whore, and only just now did the technologically challeneged in government figure out how to use their ancient coppy of fedora freeagent.

Re:Awww dammit! (1)

JustSomeProgrammer (1881750) | about 3 years ago | (#37572456)

That's why they were known as AOL: America's Favorite Diskette Provider

Re:Awww dammit! (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 3 years ago | (#37573370)

AOL didn't exist in 1990.

The predecessor, Q-Link, did (1985). Q-Link then morphed into AOL in early 1991.

Re:Awww dammit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37577220)

And after that, AppleLink (1986). That's right, one incarnation of this abomination was briefly run by Apple Computer, as their answer to CompuServe and The Source.

NSE stores the messages. thats why. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37572248)

Because News Service Europe stores the infringing posts and makes them available. The judge has to honor the law and the company has to follow it not some self appointed RFC "cancel" procedure that may or may not work. Why is it that whenever a downloader gets cought people say: go for the hosters, when a hoster gets cought go for the provider when a provider ....

Re:NSE stores the messages. thats why. (2)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | about 3 years ago | (#37572710)

Because News Service Europe stores the infringing posts and makes them available. The judge has to honor the law and the company has to follow it not some self appointed RFC "cancel" procedure that may or may not work. Why is it that whenever a downloader gets cought people say: go for the hosters, when a hoster gets cought go for the provider when a provider ....

An enormous FAQ on RFC cancel, cancel bots, forged cancels, cancel wars, etc. can be found here:
http://wiki.killfile.org/projects/usenet/faqs/cancel/ [killfile.org]

Unfortunately, the ability to cancel someone else's post is just too much power, so that privilege is not freely given out. Chances are, this hoster has probably turned it off. Maybe just turning it back on would be considered "following the judges orders", but it would open a lot of new problems.

A better way to fight this is using Mere Conduit [wikia.com] , which is similar to the Safe Harbor provisions we have in the DMCA.

SSL problem? (1)

antdude (79039) | about 3 years ago | (#37572358)

Is it me or is https://torrentfreak.com/major-usenet-provider-ordered-to-remove-all-infringing-content-110929/ [torrentfreak.com] untrusted? My Mozilla's SeaMonkey v2.0.14 web browser says:

"torrentfreak.com uses an invalid security certificate.

The certificate is not trusted because it is self-signed.
The certificate is not valid for any server names.
The certificate expired on 2/9/2011 6:43 AM.

(Error code: sec_error_expired_issuer_certificate)"

ELinks v0.12pre5 says "SSL Error".

Re:SSL problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37572748)

Here I see it signed by PositiveSSL CA (using Seamonkey too). Still shows warnings about unencrypted content though.

Re:SSL problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37573148)

Yes, it's bad security practice to use self-signed certificates; you're supposed to break into a CA server to get one.

Re:SSL problem? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 3 years ago | (#37573280)

Even more curious, Safari shows the content, but does not show the lock icon in the corner of the window. Filed a bug.

At Least... (1)

kuhnto (1904624) | about 3 years ago | (#37572422)

They waited till Friday to announce this. Bad news is best broken on Fridays.

NNTP doesn't have cancels (5, Insightful)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 3 years ago | (#37572440)

The "cancel" doesn't exist in the NNTP protocol. NNTP is a protocol for transporting news articles, one of which may be a cancel control message as defined in USEFOR and USEPRO.

The answer to why server admins don't honor cancel control messages is simple: they are routinely and regularly abused and honoring them would make USENET unusable.

This decision will be the death knell for USENET. Making server admins responsible for monitoring content will get them to turn it off.

How do they know? (1)

dbet (1607261) | about 3 years ago | (#37572464)

How do they know what content is copyright infringing?

Re:How do they know? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37574212)

Gonna guess this goes down the napster route: news provider appeals, judge rules that the claimants have to provide enough information to identify infringing posts, i.e. a set of blacklisted binary filenames. Binaries with these names are blocked, so posters start using misspelled filenames to circumvent the block. More court cases ensue (pun intended). Eventually, news provider just gives up in realisation that they're no longer making a profit because they're spending 2*their (dwindling) subscription revenues on filtering tech, and sells their brand to someone who wants to set up a web download store.

Kill the binaries groups so Usenet sucks less. (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 3 years ago | (#37572506)

Snuff the binaries groups and improve Usenet. It will still be spammy though.

judge (2)

Tom (822) | about 3 years ago | (#37572600)

Why didn't the judge honor the 'cancel message' procedure that technically exists in the NNTP protocol?"

Because that's implementation details that the judge doesn't and shouldn't care about. If they want to remove the content that way, he'll decide whether or not that's good enough to count as compliance. But the job of the judge is to decide what should be done, not how.

What is killing usenet is.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37572630)

database sites that generate NZB files. Makes it easier for the technologically illiterate to use it, therefore brings it onto the radar...

"Could this be the end of Usenet as we know it?" (1)

John Hasler (414242) | about 3 years ago | (#37572856)

Not in the USA: we have the DMCA "safe harbor" provisions.

Re:"Could this be the end of Usenet as we know it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37576330)

Good God, is the DMCA actually being helpful for once?

Re:"Could this be the end of Usenet as we know it? (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about 3 years ago | (#37576844)

Yeah, tell that to my ISP that decided to get rid of it just because they don't want to risk taking a risk with a risk of risking risk with risk.. yadda yadda...

My provider's name is Time Warner.

The Dutch and Usenet binaries? Cry me a river (1)

Megane (129182) | about 3 years ago | (#37572956)

The Dutch were notorious for abusing Usenet binaries. They would post floods (ignoring upload limits in group rules, such as uploading whole TV seasons all at once), post off-topic binaries (such as US cartoons in anime groups), post passworded archive binaries, and worst of all, they had warez-exchange programs using Usenet as a file transfer protocol that meant they didn't have to care, much less know, what Usenet was. Basically, they used alt.binaries.* as their own personal file dump. And their news admins didn't care.

I'm not surprised that Rule #1 and Rule #2 were broken over there. Nor am I sympathetic about this situation.

And cancel messages? Gimme a break. Once the net.kooks learned that they could forge cancels to wipe anything they didn't agree with, larger NSPs simply ignored cancels wholesale. That was in the mid '90s or so.

Re:The Dutch and Usenet binaries? Cry me a river (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37573124)

The Dutch were notorious for abusing Usenet binaries.

"Were"? :)

Re:The Dutch and Usenet binaries? Cry me a river (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37576518)

Without going into the whole causality thing, nowadays the Dutch have a huge presence on Usenet. Most commercial Usenet-providers have a least a few servers in Amsterdam. There is a fairly large datastream between usenet-servers, and having them all (quite literally) on the same switch saves a bunch in peering costs. Especially since 90% of their customers are connected to the same exchange.

In conclusion, if Usenet takes a hit in The Netherlands, the rest of the world will feel the blow.

Enlighten me. (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | about 3 years ago | (#37573014)

How does this spell the end of usenet? There are way more providers than this one.

Complying to the letter would only cause a blip (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37573776)

The way usenet works (simplified) is that servers store messages, and each article in each newsgroup has an expiry date, determined by the server. A client then connects to a server, and says, 'please give me all the posts you have in these newsgroup since this date'. The big, paid-for usenet providers store lots of posts simply by having long expiry dates for every newsgroup on their servers. But, every server is also a client, and it gets its data from other servers, and they from others and so on. So it's a distributed storage network. So presumably one solution might be to remove /all/ their content, thereby complying with the court order and restarting with a clean slate and then allow the nntp protocols to repopulate all their data from their peers. Because that's how the nntp protocols are designed to work. (I didn't just RTFA, I looked at the court order, but unfortunately it's in some funny furrin lingo, and what's more it's one of those horrible flash-embedded document things.)

NSE can't possibly censor the data - and they haven't been ordered to, only to remove it. If, on the other hand, the court does have a specific list of copyrighted material that they want blocked, then those specific items could theoretically be searched for, found, and removed. But then, again by the nature of usenet, it should be easy for people to create new versions of the infringing data that evades the ban. So, if it's still 'active content', it would very soon leak back on again. And if it's not actively-sought content, no-one's going to miss it if it's not there. So the result of this court order, as far as I can see - and optimistically assuming the article is a complete explanation of the ruling - will be a temporary blip in what's available on the NSE servers, then everything will go back to normal again. Even if they make continual good-faith attempts to find and remove copyright material (and if they started doing this, they could even demonstrate what steps they were taking), it would quickly leak back on to their servers.

I use usenet quite a lot, but the groups I subscribe to are tiny rarely-visited cul-de-sacs with little posting activity, and they are mostly moron-free. In fact, the people that do post are highly literate, able to use not only capitals and lower case, but punctuation, sarcasm, irony and humour. Notice how I'm not even hinting at which groups I subscribe to here... OTOH most of the people I know are simply unaware of the existence of usenet; they think web forums are all there are. I think there will come a point soon where one will have to actively obtain newsreader software in order to get on to usenet. At which point, the clue ratio should rise dramatically, and it'll gradually go back to being a quiet, niche area inhabited by people who can actually string words into sentences. (Do note that I'm specifically excluding the alt.binaries hierarchy from this prediction. :-)

The end? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 3 years ago | (#37573788)

Could this be the end of Usenet as we know it?

For those of us that were around before Usenet existed, and watched it overtake local dial-up BBSs i can assure you that Usenet effectively died a long time ago. The Usenet of today is just a obscure shadow of what it was at its height.

When you read into the details... (1)

guruevi (827432) | about 3 years ago | (#37574020)

... the provider did offer a YouTube-type "if you tell us we'll remove it" deal but BREIN didn't want that. BREIN ultimately wanted to create a precedent where the owner of a service is solely responsible for finding out which content infringes on random copyright, remove it from their servers and from everybody else who downloaded it.

Re:When you read into the details... (1)

laffer1 (701823) | about 3 years ago | (#37574114)

If this were applied in general, search engines, video and blog sites, and anyone hosting a message board/forum would have to shut their sites down. It's stupid and shows a judge that hasn't got a clue how the Internet works. IF they should go after anyone, it should be the poster of the content not the service providers.

Re:When you read into the details... (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 3 years ago | (#37574610)

the provider did offer a YouTube-type "if you tell us we'll remove it" deal but BREIN didn't want that.

Well, let's be honest... can you blame them?

Presume for a second that you're a content 'owner' in terms of having the sole distribution rights for that content.

You find such a site, and you find that your content is hosted on that site.
You realize the site has such a "if you tell us we'll remove it" option, but it comes with a long list of provisions which you have to fulfill, and the document has to be (digitally) signed by yourself or a legal representative.
So you do all that, probably at a cost.
The site, after barely even reviewing the material (may even be automated, the way YouTube does it), removes the content.
Done - victory for the content 'owner', right?

Except that the same file is back up the next day.
If you were to come knocking at the provider's door, they'd just point to the "if you tell us, we'll remove it", put on a huge grin, then laugh as they walk away.

It's always been my belief that as much as people like to lambast the DMCA in the United States, the 'safe harbor' provision essentially makes 'piracy' sites legal as long as they comply with DMCA take-down notices (can be automated) and their users don't start fussing with counter-notices.

I'm not sure if BREIN wanted to set a precedent for 'a' service. These cases are often quite limited in scope. My co-replying commenter for example immediately does the knee-jerk thing stating that the entire internet may as well be shut down as e.g. Forum owners would have to monitor for user-posted content as well.
Except that the judge didn't make a grand ruling - they ruled on a very specific case, one that is neither a forum nor particularly a service that is mostly associated with activity well within the boundary of the law. It may be precedent for a next news server provider to be targeted, however.

It's all about... (1)

Patent Lover (779809) | about 3 years ago | (#37574382)

alt.nuke.the.usa

Stupid! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37574390)

Yeah putting the dealer in jail when you can't find the cook helps everyone. LOL stupid backward oriented people.

Cheer up pansies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37574582)

The next level up on the internet, we can run all this shit over VPN :-) call it inter-internet

End of Usenet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37575110)

Let's just all filter Amsterdam out so that the country cannot access Usenet servers. That should do it. When they revoke the decision, they can come back.

cheap monster headphones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37576180)

It's not hard to design headphones that win raves from bloggers and customers. Just give people a big, cheap monster headphones [headsetonline.net] fat bassline and you can expect to be showered with praise for "phenomenal" beats, "exceptional sound quality", and "blissful, skull-vibrating pure bass". It's a much trickier proposition, though, to design headphones that give you all of the above, monster headphones [headsetonline.net] deservedly winning plaudits for the booming basement - while sounding just as good in every other department: Rocking the house and stomping the beats one moment, bringing out the best in fragile folk and spine-tingling sonatas the next, that's the real trick that few headphones manage to perform. beats dr dre [headsetonline.net] and Jimmy Iovine made an appearancein Times Square.

Re: crappy cheaply made monster headphones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37576932)

Crappy, cheaply made, terrible sound.

Nope (1)

jon3k (691256) | about 3 years ago | (#37576928)

phpBB (and other messageboards, like vBulletin) killed usenet.

Why this ruling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37577016)

The submission has a few questions. I'm Dutch, not a lawyer but do have legal training, so I could and did read the verdict.

First, it's a civil suit. No government involved.

The judge was in fact sufficiently aware of technical details. E.g. relevant RFC's were quoted during the trial , and the verdict correctly reflects the role of RFC's on the Internet.

Will an appeal be won by NSE? Doesn't seem likely, it was a slam-dunk case. Why didn't the judge make the uploader responsible? Well, the verdict explicitly acknowledged how Usenet works, and that a majority of infringing works were obtained via NSE's peers. For that reason, the verdict considered those cases seperately. Surprisingly enough, the judge did not see a problem here. Whether NSE obtained content from one of its peers or one of its subscribers, BREIN failed to prove that there was a copyright violation there. It certainly doesn't count as publication, because USP's are not considered to be the public.

And that "publication" is what did cause the verdict. BREIN argued, and NSE didn't dispute, that 90%-90% of the submissions were in fact unlicensed. Observing that cancellations don't work in practice, NSE should have not made public those submissions without some form of check up front. Since it's a civil suit, the judge didn't go off too much into hypotheticals. In particular, he didn't rule how the responsibilities should be divided then. The current situation just wasn't OK.

NSE's case wasn't exactly helped when they claimed "common carrier" status because they only hosted the content "temporarily", while they were at the same time advertising with an industry-leading retention time. That didn't buy them any favors from the judge.

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