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Copyright Demands Push Largest European Usenet Provider Permanently Offline

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the son-what-does-alt-dot-binary-mean? dept.

Censorship 199

First time accepted submitter jonathan1979 writes "Dutch anti-piracy authority BREIN has caused the largest European usenet provider, News-Service.com, to immediately terminate its services as they felt they could not live up to the court order served earlier."

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199 comments

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power (4, Insightful)

Nembi (1362389) | more than 2 years ago | (#37964732)

It always surprises me how much power Brein has. Brein isn't mandated by anyone. It's not "the" authority, it's a self proclaimed authority. They don't work for the government, it's a foundation.

Re:power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37964752)

A foundation backed by massive America companies. Europeans are America's lapdogs, and will continue to be so until the Chinese start their Pax-Chine regime.

Re:power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37964778)

And then they will be China's lapdogs...

Re:power (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37964822)

And then they will be China's lapdogs...

Oh shit, does this mean that they're going to eat us then?

Re:power (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965012)

That would be hilarious if you hadn't confused China with Korea.

Reminds me of Team America. Koreans can say the 'L' sound, it is the Japanese who find it hard.

Re:power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965304)

Actually, it's the Chinese who find it hard. Japanese are fine w/ it.

China's lapdogs? Then everybody would be pirating - in fact, the law would pretty much allow it and even encourage it.

Re:power (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965358)

Afaik they both find it hard, because they use the same alphabet, and it has same character for "L" and "R" sound in latin alphabet.

Re:power (2, Insightful)

Stellian (673475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37964754)

They are founded by right-holders and have an arsenal of favorable laws. No surprise they can get results.

Re:power (3)

nepka (2501324) | more than 2 years ago | (#37964808)

BREIN didn't have any power, courts did. And they went there and got results, just like you do in a civilized country.

Re:power (1)

Nembi (1362389) | more than 2 years ago | (#37964944)

And several got there by using illegal methods.

Re:power (1)

Nembi (1362389) | more than 2 years ago | (#37964952)

the word "times" is missing there...

Re:power (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965016)

BREIN got a court to remove it.

Re:power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965668)

Oh no you are not getting away with this propaganda. Brein (monetarily) invoked the courts, they are the roots of the power, while the court acts as puppet. All the crosshairs of anger will be on Brein. Your lies won't change that.

If each day I took a slash at you with a razor, eventually you are going to wake up and stop me.
Each day brein took a slash at DNS, or Webhosting providers destroying them one at a time
On a long enough timeline, If allowed to continue unchecked, eventually there won't be an internet, eventually brein is going to wake up to being stopped one way or another.

There is no civilized country on Earth, you don't know what you are talking about.

Quit defending the shitstain called brein

Re:power (5, Insightful)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#37964842)

This power is not coming from Brein themselves. This is based on a court decision. Simply put they have managed to persuade the court that the law is on their side and the law and copyright legislation is providing the power needed.

This is obviously an extreme restraint on freedom of speech. The Usenet data is widely and simply available. There is no way to provide an open communication service whilst guaranteeing that nobody using it puts up copyrighted material. On the other hand there are simple technical measures that BREIN could take, such as providing cancels for all of the posts that they claim copyright over and there are simple legal measures they could take to make using those measures reasonable such as guaranteeing to take over the legal liability of the Usenet providers for any mistakes BREIN make (including libel compensation for anyone who's post they incorrectly cancel). The only reason BREIN doesn't want to do this is that they do not want to take on the costs which their demands would cause. The law should tell the court to tell them to stuff off.

The only solution to this is political. Even if the appeal succeeds the very fact that this judgement could happen at all is going to chill free speech. I hope nobody from the Netherlands will be posting here complaining if they haven't already at least sent a message to their Members of Parliament.

Re:power (4, Insightful)

nepka (2501324) | more than 2 years ago | (#37964876)

It's not a free speech matter. Just take a look at Binverse [binverse.com] and Usenext [usenext.com] sites. All they do is advertise download speeds, binaries, "user uploaded content" and blazing fast downloads. It's clear to everyone what files those are and what users will be looking for. Sadly, that is the state of Usenet now. It's just warez. You would had have a good point in the 90's, but now it's just a scheme from Usenet companies to profit from such material. They know that without warez they would not have subscribers.

Re:power (3, Interesting)

nepka (2501324) | more than 2 years ago | (#37964902)

Oh and just as a note, they could still just carry all the other groups. In fact they could carry all groups, but just block binaries. They already have that system in place as they save text posts longer than binaries. This would satisfy BREIN's wishes. Of course, Usenet providers know that they will lose all their pirating customers if they did that, so they decided to just wrap it up and go home (after a good long profitable run).

Re:power (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965050)

There is no difference between text and binaries to usenet - binaries are just yencoded as text. It's only a convention that binaries be posted in the alt.binaries groups. If those groups were closed down, you'd see binaries appear in the discussion groups.

Re:power (3, Interesting)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965090)

It's relatively easy to block binaries in the discussion groups, though.

Re:power (3, Interesting)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965106)

There is no difference between text and binaries to usenet - binaries are just yencoded as text.

So there IS a difference.
So it would be easy to detect and thus blocked. Also many groups do not want binaries in their groups and users have been known to get removed.

Does this mean there will never ever be somone posting illegal material? No, it would not.

Re:power (2)

Just Brew It! (636086) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965168)

Also many groups do not want binaries in their groups and users have been known to get removed.

How do you remove a user from a distributed system with no central point of control? You might be able to get their upstream provider to cut them off, but they can just find another one pretty easily.

Re:power (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965382)

You're splitting hairs here. Unless you want to start parsing every post for "is this a real world in any of world's languages, or potential typo, or misspelling of any world in any of the world's languages or is it a binary encoded as text", as far as any system is concerned there is no difference.

Re:power (2)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965458)

Not splitting hairs at all. Despite what you may think, it's pretty easy to make a filter that detects binary content, and it doesn't involve checking all the world's dictionaries.

Some simple rules and patterns will do fine.

Re:power (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965720)

Reduce character set to 32 - that's 26 letters, plus a handful of numbers and punctuation. Insert spaces at random. Apply capitalisation as grammar appropriate. You're encoding at a little under five bits per byte, so the overhead is a lot worse than yenc, but your binaries would look almost exactly like text to a computer. It'd just lead to months of an arms race, as pirates devise better ways to hide their data.

Re:power (1)

kesuki (321456) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965802)

fairly easy indeed, post one of 100 is real easy to detect... unless you manually generate the encoded text the newsreader/uploader itself tags the content in the headers.

Re:power (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965270)

There is no difference between text and binaries to usenet - binaries are just yencoded as text. It's only a convention that binaries be posted in the alt.binaries groups. If those groups were closed down, you'd see binaries appear in the discussion groups.

It is straightforward to pattern match encoded binaries and automatically cancel those posts via cancelmoose.

Re:power (1)

HavenBastion (2457216) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965834)

and i suppose that's a good thing because noone ever has a need to post LEGAL binaries on usenet?!

Re:power (4, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37964908)

If they prosecuted the ones uploading the content, thus committing the crime, you would be right. But holding storage/service providers liable is an attack against free communication.

Re:power (1, Troll)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37964970)

If 99% of the "free communication" consists of pirated material, it makes sense to hold the storage/service providers liable.

Re:power (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965112)

If that's the case, why aren't liquor companies liable for drunk drivers? Why aren't gunsmiths liable for murders?

Re:power (2)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965158)

Are you suggesting 99% of all liquor is consumed by drunk drivers ? If so, I'd like to see your references. If not, your analogy doesn't make sense.

Re:power (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965192)

Are YOU suggesting that a recording artist is more seriously harmed by casual downloading than a single person maimed for life by a drunk driver?

Re:power (2)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965210)

No. What's your point ?

Re:power (1)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965406)

"Are you suggesting 99% of all liquor is consumed by drunk drivers ?"

No. He is suggesting 99% of drunk drivers bought it to liquor companies and that 100% of murderers using guns bought it from a gun-producing company.

Which certainly is a good analogy with regards of NNTP and copyright-infringent content (which, by the way, is *not* copyright-infringent content at least on some EU countris, ACTA notwithstanding).

Re:power (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965568)

He is suggesting 99% of drunk drivers bought it to liquor companies

Which isn't true, since a lot of drunk drivers get cheap beer from the super market, or get drunk at a bar.

Even if it were true, it's not all that relevant. You should look at how much of the business of liquor stores doesn't result in drunk driving. You'll find that it's quite a bit, so shutting down liquor stores would harm quite a few legitimate and responsible users of alcoholic beverages.

On the other hand, there's a barely anyone using Usenet binary groups for legitimate purposes, and the few people who do can easily move to a HTTP/FTP server or host a torrent.

Re:power (0)

kesuki (321456) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965848)

i've driven drunk and on sedatives with only caffeine to counter act the mind numbing experience. did i mention it was in fresh snow? it's not nearly as hard as people claim. i wasn't swerving i wasn't having problems with the vehicle... but i was chugging down the caffeine, and could barely sleep when i got to my destination.

however i would never do it again if it were in my power to avoid it. ugh i was so worried i'd get caught and ticketed.

Re:power (2)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965180)

Or perhaps there is an issue with it being illegal in the first place.

Re:power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965272)

no

Re:power (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965434)

That's all every single ISP advertises too. Guess the internet is just a sad scheme to generate profit since the 90's.

Re:power (2)

kesuki (321456) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965688)

google groups shows you as being wrong http://groups.google.com/groups/dir?hl=en?hl=en& [google.com] if i recall correctly google groups doesn't allow you to download binaries.
sure your newsfeed might be relegated to binaries, but the google one is quite diverse and has many languages, and plenty of content.

Re:power (2)

CAPSLOCK2000 (27149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37964904)

I hope nobody from the Netherlands will be posting here complaining if they haven't already at least sent a message to their Members of Parliament.

The Pirate Party is not in the Dutch Parliament yet, so that may be harder.

Re:power (3, Interesting)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965204)

The Netherlands seems to have changed from peaceful easy going to extremely right ring.
From banning products to banning religious practices.

Hal-ah and Kosher meat is soon to be banned from production in the Netherlands, which seems very much an attack on the Muslim and Jewish communities. Strangely importing of frozen Hal-ah meat is not an issue. Hal-ah meat is of extremely high quality due to the stringent rules of what is fit to be eaten and you don't need to be Jewish or Muslim to appreciate that.

It's such a far cry from the freedom loving Dutch people who were the most welcoming and friendly that you would find in Europe. Sad to see the about turn

Re:power (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965322)

1) The word is "Halal". I don't know where you got this "Hal-ah" shit, but it behooves you to at least know the word for what you're talking about before you start mouthing off.

2) Animal rights > Your right to buy what you misguidedly believe is "extremely high quality". The end.

How the fuck did this ever get modded up to +2?

Re:power (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965450)

+2 is what you get to all your posts by default when you're have excellent carma and not posting as AC. Like me for example.

Re:power (5, Interesting)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965438)

Halal meat isn't higher quality - it's usually lower quality in the West. The myth of it being "higher quality" comes from dark ages, when slaughtering animal without letting the blood drain out of it would cause blood remaining in the body to spoil extremely quickly (as blood is a very fertile soil for bacteria growth). Halal meat, while considered religious was actually started as a tradition for more healthy way of draining blood from the animal to get meat that was healthier to eat due to lower bacterial content.

Thing is, modern slaughtering techniques extract blood much more efficiently then slitting animal's throat and letting it drain while its heart still beats. As a result, just like halal meat being better quality then dark ages western meat, it's worse quality then modern industrially slaughtered meat. If you hear otherwise, know that you're talking to uninformed person or a liar with a (religious) axe to grind.

Re:power (2)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965708)

I don't know about Muslims, but observant Jews have made it clear that they don't accept historical conjectures like "pork was banned because trichinosis was a danger" as a reason to give up the kosher rules. Dietary prescriptions are a spiritual matter, not just the possible result of ancient hygienic norms.

Re:power (2)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965730)

The religions practice part of it should be entirely ignored.

The question should be settled entirely on empirical grounds: Does Halal meat production pass the standards of quality, hygiene, and reduction of suffering? All meat production must be held according to the same standards.

If Halal meat complies with the minimum requirements, then it should be allowed. If not, it should be banned. Religion should at no point come into it.

Re:power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965014)

Exactly this.

Why, why, why are such organizations allowed such power? It's as if a government has outsourced policework in a certain area to these organizations.

And another why: why aren't I, as a software engineer, entitled to getting royalties every time someone uses something with my code in it? It's creative work, it's copyrighted work, so why don't I get paid every time like musicians?

Re:power (2)

nepka (2501324) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965154)

And another why: why aren't I, as a software engineer, entitled to getting royalties every time someone uses something with my code in it? It's creative work, it's copyrighted work, so why don't I get paid every time like musicians?

What? It's entirely possible. Just license your code that way.

Sort of like the BSA (3, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965054)

In the US, the BSA is the same way ... its a pseudo-legal extortion outfit.

Of course, that's the norm in the US for a lot of organizations. The "Better Business Bureau" is another classic example. Commercial extortion was an area Yelp was trying to get into for a long time, too.

Re:Sort of like the BSA (5, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965162)

Despite their best efforts, the BSA promotes open-source software. [cnet.com]

In 2000, the Business Software Alliance conducted a raid and subsequent audit at the San Luis Obispo, Calif.-based company that turned up a few dozen unlicensed copies of programs. Ball settled for $65,000, plus $35,000 in legal fees. But by then, the BSA, a trade group that helps enforce copyrights and licensing provisions for major business software makers, had put the company on the evening news and featured it in regional ads warning other businesses to monitor their software licenses.

Humiliated by the experience, Ball told his IT department he wanted Microsoft products out of his business within six months. "I said, 'I don't care if we have to buy 10,000 abacuses,'" recalled Ball, who recently addressed the LinuxWorld trade show. "We won't do business with someone who treats us poorly."

Ball's IT crew settled on a potpourri of open-source software--Red Hat's version of Linux, the OpenOffice office suite, Mozilla's Web browser--plus a few proprietary applications that couldn't be duplicated by open source. Ball, whose father, Ernie, founded the company, says the transition was a breeze, and since then he's been happy to extol the virtues of open-source software to anyone who asks. He spoke with CNET News.com about his experience.

Re:power (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965134)

Shutdown Brein instead.

Re:power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965320)

For the most part BREIN is just like any other civil party, operating under Dutch laws. Dutch copyright laws are heavily influenced by European Union directives.

Solution: for both national and European elections, (1) go out and vote - especially European elections have low turnout so your vote counts- and (2) vote for a party that explicitly demands copyright reform. If every recording released before December 31, 1989 were suddenly become Public Domain, this would break the RIAA's back: there would be so much material available on-line, no one would care about the Justin Biebers, Lady Gagas, etc. All we need to do is limit copyright to 20 years, and The Greens/European Free Alliance group in European Parliament want to do just that.

Complaining on Internet fora will not do anything to bring about change.

This can be rephrased: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37964748)

"Private entity forces censorship upon public at large"

Re:This can be rephrased: (0)

nepka (2501324) | more than 2 years ago | (#37964838)

That would had been the case in 90's when USENET still was something. Sadly, now it's 99.99% warez, and these companies are marketing it as such. Binverse, etc. all market the good and fast access to binary groups and there's nothing but pirated material there. These companies are more or less directly profiting from warez.

Re:This can be rephrased: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965076)

It more 99% windows viruses that some idiot spams across a dozen newsgroups, which anyone with 2 brain cells would ever download. That is what made me quit, and most of the time it not even binaries newsgroups that they spam...

Re:This can be rephrased: (1)

FaxeTheCat (1394763) | more than 2 years ago | (#37964924)

Lets just say that I do not think your comment reflect on the real world. The only people I know who (still) use USENET (one person) use it for downloading copyrighted material. Actually, a number of years ago he said that he was surprised that all the copyright people went after torrent sites when all the good stuff was on USENET...

One down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37964764)

999,999 to go.

I'll defer to the bard on this one (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#37964782)

The more you tighten your grip, BREIN, the more star systems will slip through your fingers...

Re:I'll defer to the bard on this one (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#37964880)

The more you tighten your grip, BREIN, the more star systems will slip through your fingers...

Why are people always using that quote? Aside from the fact it doesn't fit very well here, does anyone remember what happened after Leia said originally?

I'm not a big Star Wars fan, and even *I* know that it didn't end well...

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

Tarkin: Not after we demonstrate the power of this station. In a way, you have determined the choice of the planet that will be destroyed first. Since you are reluctant to provide us with the location of the Rebel base, I have chosen to test this station's destructive power on your home planet of Alderaan.

        Leia: [shocked] No! Alderaan is peaceful. We have no weapons. You can't possibly--

        Tarkin: You would prefer another target? A military target?! Then name the system! [stepping closer to Leia and pinning her against Darth Vader] I grow tired of asking this, so it will be the last time. Where is the Rebel base?

        Leia: [looks at Alderaan for a moment, then, resigned] Dantooine. They're on Dantooine.

        Tarkin: There. You see, Lord Vader? She can be reasonable. Continue with the operation. You may fire when ready.

        Leia: [panicked] What?!

        Tarkin: You're far too trusting. Dantooine is too remote to make an effective demonstration, but don't worry. We will deal with your rebel friends soon enough.

        Leia: No.

        [The Death Star destroys Alderaan]

Re:I'll defer to the bard on this one (2)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37964934)

Fast forward a little more, and the Death Star is destroyed, and a few sequels later, the Empire loses the war. Your point was?

Re:I'll defer to the bard on this one (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#37964972)

Fast forward a little more, and the Death Star is destroyed, and a few sequels later, the Empire loses the war. Your point was?

My point was that Leia's self-assured bravado was pretty much subverted straight away. And most of the time I see it used here, it does tend to come across as a stock geeky wish-fulfilling incantation, especially as it doesn't normally say anything particularly insightful or predictive in the context in which it's used(!)

Re:I'll defer to the bard on this one (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965074)

Again, by the end of the film, Tarkin is dead, and the Death Star is destroyed. The party it didn't END well for was Tarkin, Leia got the short end of the stick in the short run, which is kind of standard fare. The captor attacking the captured when the captured taunts him with the uncomfortable truth of their inevitable failure is a pretty common response, but that doesn't change the fact that the hero almost always does what was claimed by the captured and the captor is usually dead or imprisoned. I will admit it is overused, but so is the stupidity of the music recording and film industries that makes themselves line up with the evil empire cliche.

Re:I'll defer to the bard on this one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965042)

I could imagine Tarkin going on a spacewalk shifting his fingers through Alderaan dust, while staring back at Leia with a wicked smile on his face.

Re:I'll defer to the bard on this one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965680)

You must have missed the part in the films where, despite their seemingly limitless resources, the Empire loses.

You know, kinda like how the RIAA, MPAA, and the rest of Big Media are dumping billions of dollars into fighting piracy and bribing political mercenaries to fight for them while still not accomplishing a fucking thing in the grand scheme of things?

You really don't see the comparisons? You don't see how they may succeed in blowing up this 'Alderaan' but they're never going to win the war because it's not winnable, much like the War on Drugs and the War on Terror? Or are you deliberately obtuse because you wanted to rage at someone making a Star Wars reference?

Re:I'll defer to the bard on this one (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37964966)

You're a cliched idiot. USENET is a centralized distribution system; how do you propose we form a Rebel Alliance that will recreate that centralized infrastructure without repeating the same series of events? There won't be any of your slippage until the evil BREINish Emperor is out of the way.

Re:I'll defer to the bard on this one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965006)

BitTorrent: Now with twice the slippage.

Re:I'll defer to the bard on this one (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965052)

BitTorrent is not USENET. And you've overlooked that the SAME THING happens to it as well: the death of Mininova, etc. You'll next claim that encrypted BitTorrent is the solution, to which The Powers That Be will respond that if you're encrypting peer-to-peer traffic - and they packet-sniff so they know that it is - then you must be a guilty Infringer... and the courts will agree and Strike you down and confiscate your precious HTPC and iPhone.

Deal with the Evil Overlords head-on, or STFU.

Re:I'll defer to the bard on this one (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965124)

Trackerless torrents pretty much have it covered, although even having different trackers presents decentralization. However, even with usenet, that isn't the case. Usenet isn't centralized. News-service.com is. Other usenet providers are still up.

Re:I'll defer to the bard on this one (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965778)

USENET servers are a centralized *paradigm*. Sure, DHT decentralizes BitTorrent, but where ya gonna find out about a torrent in the first place except some centralized resource? Word of mouth? Not likely. Some random forum or blog post? How ya gonna find that post except through some centralized system like Google? Damned middlemen! Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em....

Re:I'll defer to the bard on this one (2)

Cylix (55374) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965700)

I'll fetch him. BREIN? Huh. I can get RIAA! We'll have a nightmare with MPAA, have a surprise party for SCO, Monsanto can do the catering, and then we'll have christening for Lodsys! All I have to do is snap my fingers and they'll be here. They're lining up to get here, and do you know why Jack? Should I tell you why? Hmm? Because here, in this world, the bad guys can win!

Well done (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37964790)

Let's admit it, nowadays Usenet is just another warez distribution network.

Except for a few diehard nerds everyone switched to online forums long ago.

Re:Well done (2, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 2 years ago | (#37964798)

Let's admit it, nowadays Usenet is just another warez distribution network.

Except for a few diehard nerds everyone switched to online forums long ago.

Usenet has always been a Warez distribution network. Now however, it's 99% viruses disguised as warez.

Re:Well done (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965032)

Let's admit it, nowadays Usenet is just another warez distribution network. Except for a few diehard nerds everyone switched to online forums long ago.

Usenet has always been a Warez distribution network.

Well, yeah, it's had the binaries for a *long* time, but I'm pretty sure the OP was also implying that once upon a time this wasn't its primary purpose. The first thing I ever used on the Internet- circa 1993- was Usenet newsgroups via a text-based newsreader (before the web *really* took off and a while before I ever used a browser).

Back then it *was*- along with Internet-based BBSs- still a major part of online discussions. Nowadays... well, yeah, it *is* "just another warez distribution network". I still use it for its original purpose occasionally, but a lot of the groups are pretty overrun with spam and useless, and even MS no longer support their former moderated newsgroups.

Re:Well done (1)

Cheech Wizard (698728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965804)

I was in the BBS world in the early 1980's. There were *many* "warez" sites back then (not to mention p0rn BBSes). Only difference was the files were going across phone lines (albeit slowly). Nothing has *really* changed since the 1980's. It's like the "War Against Drugs": They can have all the armies they want and fight forever, but it won't go away (at least in my lifetime which, considering I'm in my 60's, will admittedly be relatively short). Heck - I know people who have been running "private" FTP sites since the mid-1990's who still make a pretty good living off of their "business" (not to mention US federal and state income tax free). There are lots of them out there if you look, and you really don't have to look very hard. Even IRC has hundreds of channels you can "trade" files on. Personally I'm a bit past "pirating" files, but I know a heck of a lot of people that are into "trading" (aka "sharing") files of all sorts. I haven't used IRC, newsgroups, torrents or any of that stuff in years, but that's just me. I burned out on that stuff a long time ago. The only 2 effective efforts to eliminate something (that I am aware of) were: 1. Eliminated the production of methaqualone (aka "Quaaludes" or " 'Ludes") world wide, and 2. Stopping satellite program "theft" from Dish Network and DirectTV.

It's sad how USENET has changed (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37964816)

If USENET were what it used to be, I would be sad about this. But it's just a scheme for companies like this to charge access to pirated goods while claiming that the responsibility lies elsewhere. If people still had useful discussions, I would feel differently but all that's left is the pirated materials.

Re:It's sad how USENET has changed (2)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965228)

There are plenty of free non-binaries servers out there where you can still do discussions. Unfortunately many people prefer discussing things one many different sites instead of having the discussions grouped and easy to follow.

So forums have taken over.

Re:It's sad how USENET has changed (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965392)

I hated Usenet when it existed, given that except for moderated newsgroups, the signal/noise ratio was really low. It's a lot better now given that people just go to their favorite websites and post there, and the owners take them more seriously. I'm glad that it's devolved to the point that some ISPs are pulling it, and it won't be a loss when it's gone. And that's not even counting all the porn that'll be gone w/ it.

Re:It's sad how USENET has changed (3, Funny)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965502)

Why aren't you blaming the hard drive companies? Everything was better when people only had 1.44 MB of storage!

Re:It's sad how USENET has changed (5, Insightful)

dkf (304284) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965682)

If people still had useful discussions, I would feel differently but all that's left is the pirated materials.

You were subscribed to the wrong groups. There are still useful ones out there, with ordinary discussions happening just as they used to a decade or more ago.

Re:It's sad how USENET has changed (1)

FridayBob (619244) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965798)

You're probably right about the pirated content, but it's not right either for the courts to be allowed to order parts of the Internet to simply be shut down every time the entertainment industry claims that it is being used for copyright infringement and starts making unreasonable demands. Sure, Usenet isn't what it used to be, but nothing on the Internet is the same way is was ten years ago. But Usenet is still there (at least, it was last time I looked), it still works the same way and it's still useful. It's time for our politicians to start protecting consumer interests, recognize that the demands of the entertainment industry are unreasonable before they end up shutting down the rest of Internet as well, and also face up to the fact that most copyright infringement could be prevented if only the entertainment industry were willing to change its business model and allow for on-demand access to content via the Internet for a reasonable fee.

Usenet is still around (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37964818)

hello from /b/

Re:Usenet is still around (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37964840)

So is Facebook, WTF happened there anon? First the Cartel, now chickening out of downing Facebook? What's next? Screaming like sissies?

Re:Usenet is still around (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37964884)

So is Facebook, WTF happened there anon?

The current consensus amongst some of us spectators is that it seem to be that it was a bunch of summerfags who thought they were 'bigger' then the actually were behind this, and the cadre with anon which actually knows how to do things (not the 'script kiddie' wannabes that tart themselves out to the media) decided to let the make a fool of themselves. Lulls the future targets into thinking 'anon is a spent force etc.'

It's quite funny, I really like this lot, they're very 'Scottish' in their hate of everything, including each other.

Re:Usenet is still around (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965062)

Anon needs the script kiddies. At best they can be trained up to become competant hackers... and if not, they serve as an army of highly visible targets to hide behind.

Re:Usenet is still around (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965224)

...and if not, they serve as an army of highly visible targets to hide behind.

Sort of LOICannonfodder? (or should that be LOLCannonfodder?)

Re:Usenet is still around (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965316)

The current consensus amongst some other spectators is that it seems to be that Anonymous has little power to do anything but drum up some big headlines for things they have no ability in doing.

Re:Usenet is still around (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965088)

Pfft.
Rules 1 and 2, l2interweb, newfag.

practically doesn't mean what it used to (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#37964862)

It requires NSE to finding a way to identify and delete all copyrighted files from its servers, which is practically impossible.

practically impossible?!? If a human compared every file being uploaded, and already on, just one server to a list of copyrighted material they still wouldn't be able to effect the files munged onto the server from other servers. Everyone involved knew this from the start. Encrypted P2P is the only way to go.

Re:practically doesn't mean what it used to (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37964978)

And the instant you encrypt that traffic you're presumed guilty and treated like a criminal. There's no "workaround" here; we have to confront the evil overlords head-on. The revolution is at least 50 years overdue.

The only way to win. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965002)

When we stop trying to acquire their product, we will win. Boycotts do work.

Re:The only way to win. (3, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965078)

They work only if you can get enough customers to join in to have a serious impact. Despite the constant claims of hollywood that internet piracy is killing their industry, they are still churning out a series of blockbusters every year that rake in the cash with ease.

Re:The only way to win. (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965100)

No they don't and here is why: You manage to get enough people to boycott (not easy since their goals are now the complete control of the channels so you can't hear or see anything but pre-packaged crap) to seriously hurt their bottom line and what will happen?

They will blame their losses on piracy, walk into the halls of power with a nice PPT that shows conclusively that "If we made X that year than logically we should have made X+Y by now so it HAS to be the pirates!" and then after handing out the customary bribes they WILL get ever more draconian laws and copyright extensions!

You see this is like "too big to fail' which is "heads I win, tails you lose" as they have long since figured out how to game the system so ANY action results in increased power and profits for them! Hell if you were to cause enough damage they'd just have a "piracy tax" added to every single HDD, flash drive, anything that can hold a scrap of data, and pick the money straight out of your pockets!

You have to give them credit, its a great scam. there is literally not a single answer you can give that won't give them more money and power! You copy their content you're a pirate, you don't copy but don't buy you're a pirate, you don't copy and DO buy you're not giving them the year over year gains their PPT says they should be so you must be a pirate! It is like xkcd [xkcd.com] only every road leads to " we get more money and/or power" for the megacorps. like I said, pretty slick scam.

It's the correct response (1)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965122)

News-Service.com responded correct. If they're going to make laws/rulings that make it impractical, just completely do away with the service and let the users, politicians, rights abusers and courts work it out. If it pisses of enough users, the politicians will get involved. But News-Service.com doesn't have to spend a ton of money (and raise prices) to stay out of trouble. And of course, the rights holders will be inconvenienced by this in ways they haven't even thought of yet.

Re:It's the correct response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965430)

"If they're going to make laws/rulings that make it impractical, just completely do away with the service and let the users, politicians, rights abusers and courts work it out. "

I see your logic now, what you are saying is it won't be long before brein destroys dns, webhosting, html service, ssl service, ftp service, ssh service, tor service, and basically there won't be a web at all, and then at that point the correct response is for the newly unemployed go over to brein house, and have a weenie roast at 2AM,
after it pisses of enough users, the politicians and corrupt judges brein will be for dinner!

after all this destruction, what will be left? Internet 2, the platform where everything you do is snooped on. Where your domain name is a sub domain of brein,
slashdot.brein.com where a dns lookup can both give gps coordinates for a drone to drop a missile on your house or an email contact.

I wonder what you will say when you go to withdraw your retirement from the bank and they tell you it's gone. Will you behave like a slave still?
I'll give you some time here, let this sink in a bit, you seem to be somewhat confused about reality and of the global treason going on.

Usenet is a dinosaur (2)

Just Brew It! (636086) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965274)

Sad as it may be, this was probably inevitable. I was pretty active on Usenet back in the day (1990s), and look back on that time with a fair bit of nostalgia; but I don't use it any more. Technology has moved on, and Usenet is an anachronism. The last couple of times I poked my nose into the groups I used to frequent, they were full of spam with very little (if any) worthwhile discussion taking place. The poor S/N ratio makes it pretty much unusable.

Usenet's primary purpose these days seems to be the distribution of spam and illicit copyrighted content. I've wondered how long it would be able to continue flying "under the radar" when many of the other popular file sharing services were getting hammered by the **AA and their henchmen.

While Usenet is essentially a distributed system, users still require an upstream provider, and these providers are quite vulnerable to legal pressure. It looks like Usenet's day of reckoning may be at hand; the incoming asteroid is on a collision course.

RIP Usenet.

Re:Usenet is a dinosaur (4, Insightful)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965494)

"Technology has moved on, and Usenet is an anachronism."

So, please, can you explain to me what's the better technology that arose that made NNTP an anachronism? Because I honestly say I don't know the current technology that is better than NNTP doing its stuff on technical grounds.

Re:Usenet is a dinosaur (3, Insightful)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965500)

> Technology has moved on, and Usenet is an anachronism.

As a distributed content provider subdivided by categories, usenet was better than most centralized systems we have today. It doesn't matter if they are implemented in the cloud: if fb throws you out, who cares how many redundant servers they have.

Usenet did leave people with too much freedom, so alternatives who removed such control creeped in. Now we are at the stage of megaupload and company that is replacing bittorrent that is replacing p2p. See an involution? You become the dumb terminal again.

Re:Usenet is a dinosaur (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965592)

vulnerable to legal pressure

What really is obsolete is "law" when corporate entities can achieve their aims by using quasi-legal (i.e. illegal) means. They and their agents thus put all their property and lives outside the protection of society...

Largest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965650)

Largest by whom's measure? I've used a ton of usenet providers and never heard of these guys.

Look I will go along (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#37965690)

If you give me a web site that I can go to, browse through movies and TV shows to find what I want without ads and I will give you $0.25 for TV, and $1.00 for movies to download, otherwise fuck straight off.

I can remember a time when the television personality would apologize for the "word from our sponsor" then quickly get back to the show, now each show is 1/3 ads (and often the show is an ad) and they scream at you, literally scream at you.

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