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Interview With Suren Ter From 'You Have Downloaded'

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the you're-all-criminals-but-i-like-you-anyway dept.

Piracy 366

An anonymous reader writes "Suren Ter discusses privacy, piracy, and the future of filesharing. Suren produced the virally popular YouHaveDownloaded.com, which displays all downloads on the public BitTorrent network associated with an IP address." When asked about his views on piracy: "Just like I told a French journalist and to the lady at the Washington Post, pirates are thieves and they do steal. Yeah yeah, 'when I steal your DVD, you have no DVD, but when I copy a file, you still have a file' — I get that BS. We all know that it’s BS too. However, SOPAs and PIPAs create tyranny. If given the choice between thieves and tyranny, I’d rather stay with the thieves."

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Right, because BS is a thorough refutation (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354281)

Oh well I used to believe there was a difference between theft and copyright infringement; but now that someone's called the distinction BS I'm changing my views. Heh, my captcha is "proofs"

I can't wait to start moderating (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354415)

I have about a dozen mod points to spend for the flood of "-1 Redundant" mods that are due when dozens of slashdotters rush to explain how "copyright != theft" isn't BS. Even the first person doing it could be modded redundant because it's so blindingly obvious (even if some of us don't agree with that, everyone knows exactly the point they're trying to make) but we'll have way more than one as people get turned on by cheap karma. ;)

Re:I can't wait to start moderating (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354703)

You can argue semantics all you want, but the base argument is very simple and straight forward: Should you be allowed to take another person's efforts and do whatever you want with them?

If you answer Yes, nothing else needs to be discussed, people "own" nothing.

If you say No, then you need to start breaking down things to qualify what belongs to a person and what is effort. Since this simple question is overlooked to quibble about false analogies and traditional word meanings, very little useful dialogue tends to pop up in these conversations.

Re:I can't wait to start moderating (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354829)

Nobody "took" anything. The content was bought and then shared.

Re:I can't wait to start moderating (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39355043)

You jumped ahead of the question. You are already defining bought, shared, ownership, content and implicitly effort. The point is the base definitions do not work any more, the technology and methods of distribution have moved beyond the scope of our general legal understanding. Copyright has been used to try and combat that, but it is flawed in many ways. Start from the beginning, define everything with your logic and see what you get.

As it currently stand the purchase once and give away free to everyone is not sustainable. What do you propose those industries do then? I'm not saying it's gonna happen tomorrow, but outline to me how "sharing" would not eventually kill these intangibles based industries we all love so much?

Re:I can't wait to start moderating (4, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39355257)

Sharing and buying are not incompatible:

As it currently stand the purchase once and give away free to everyone is not sustainable.

You're falling for the mental trap they've set up. That situation simply won't happen. People who share also pay: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/apr/21/study-finds-pirates-buy-more-music [guardian.co.uk]

Hell, they buy it even before it's made: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/66710809/double-fine-adventure/ [kickstarter.com]

The "copyright or bankruptcy" dichotomy is simply false. Maybe there will be less money to go around, but that's all.

You know who will really suffer? People who sell shit and don't take refunds, because pirates try before they pay. But should we really give a crap about them?

Re:I can't wait to start moderating (4, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354875)

"Should you be allowed to" is virtually never a valid question. We should be allowed to do everything except what we AREN'T allowed to do. Most reasonable rationales for why something should not be allowed are based off of harm caused or intended to be caused. If I stab you, that harms your body, so that is something we should not permit. There is no such harm with copying, so it shouldn't inherently be stopped like actual theft should.

Re:I can't wait to start moderating (0)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 2 years ago | (#39355255)

Most of us are in favor of punishment for insider trading, yet there is no harm done in those transactions. Most of the time all that happens is some stock changes hands and everyone continues to have something. Certainly nothing like physical harm is done. The insider doesn't want to destroy the system or anything. They just want to make some money. Chances are the stock may still be worth something later. What's the harm in that?

Re:I can't wait to start moderating (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354971)

You can argue semantics all you want, but the base argument is very simple and straight forward: Should you be allowed to take another person's efforts and do whatever you want with them?

If you answer Yes, nothing else needs to be discussed, people "own" nothing.

If you say No, then you need to start breaking down things to qualify what belongs to a person and what is effort. Since this simple question is overlooked to quibble about false analogies and traditional word meanings, very little useful dialogue tends to pop up in these conversations.

Except that information != physical property. You can't compare the two because they behave in totally different methods. For instance I can't simply copy a chair by right clicking o it, the same is not true for information. All there person's effort went into making the first copy. Once it's made there is no additional effort expended in the copying of said idea.

This is the problem though, people want to treat information as physical property with defined rights of ownership. Well unfortunately you physically can't. The best you can do is lock down every information channel and force everything into a DRM mandated system. The damage to the free flow of general ideas (i.e. ones that people may not even be trying to own) is obvious and catastrophic.

We need to find a way to reward the initial creation of an idea, not it's distribution.

Re:I can't wait to start moderating (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39355135)

You can argue semantics all you want, but the base argument is very simple and straight forward: Should you be allowed to take another person's efforts and do whatever you want with them?

If you answer Yes, nothing else needs to be discussed, people "own" nothing.

If you say No, then you need to start breaking down things to qualify what belongs to a person and what is effort. Since this simple question is overlooked to quibble about false analogies and traditional word meanings, very little useful dialogue tends to pop up in these conversations.

Except that information != physical property. You can't compare the two because they behave in totally different methods. For instance I can't simply copy a chair by right clicking o it, the same is not true for information. All there person's effort went into making the first copy. Once it's made there is no additional effort expended in the copying of said idea.

This is the problem though, people want to treat information as physical property with defined rights of ownership. Well unfortunately you physically can't. The best you can do is lock down every information channel and force everything into a DRM mandated system. The damage to the free flow of general ideas (i.e. ones that people may not even be trying to own) is obvious and catastrophic.

We need to find a way to reward the initial creation of an idea, not it's distribution.

Why not pay them to create ideas?

Re:I can't wait to start moderating (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39355295)

Who will pay them, who will decide how much, who will decide which ideas are worthy of payment at all, who will decide what kind of ideas are wanted...?

Re:Right, because BS is a thorough refutation (5, Insightful)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354841)

Yeah yeah, 'when I steal your DVD, you have no DVD, but when I copy a file, you still have a file' — I get that BS. We all know that it’s BS too.

Who says it's BS? You point out the primary function between theft and copyright infringement is completely different, and then say it's not?

I live by this philosophy. Copyright infringement, and copying of protected works, is in no way theft. Nor is it equal to a lost sale. Nor is it lost revenue.

I don't care WHAT website this guy made, his take on copyright is flat-out wrong. And going by how well it works for my IP and the amount of shit I download, I would say he's not very good at building web apps either.

Re:Right, because BS is a thorough refutation (3, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354973)

I'm curious what will happen when our society invents the replicator, and starts cloning things like bread and corn.

Will the bakers and farmers claim they have a copyright to food, and you "stole" their bread and corn? I'd have to say no; theft is only theft when the original owner loses his bread or corn. Making a duplicate is merely copying (and possible infringement on a government-granted monopoly) but not theft.

Re:Right, because BS is a thorough refutation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39355141)

Most IPs are hardly static anyway. Your modem resets and you could find yourself with the same IP as the 'thieves'. This app proves nothing, it's all hype. He's riding the media wave, let him have his 500k hits of fame.

Re:Right, because BS is a thorough refutation (4, Insightful)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39355237)

Some people (like you) will argue until the day is done that copyright infringement is not theft. You will not be convinced otherwise.

Some people (like me) will argue until the day is done that copyright infringement is theft. They (I) will not be convinced otherwise.

Now that's out of the way, how about we accept this incompatibility and read the article and comment on some of the interesting points he raises? Like his view on BitCoin and predictions for the future of downloading. Agree or disagree? Discuss.

I like this one:

...the majority is too dumb to learn anything. For example, we get the same question about dynamic IP at least ten times a day. The answer is right on the first page. Itâ(TM)s on every page, actually. Ignorance is bliss but most people abuse it. They never really learn, they just get used to something.

Or this hypothetical. Is abusing the GPL wrong? If so, why is that wrong and piracy is okay? At a high level, it's the exact same issue - someone says "I've produced this intellectual property, I want other people to do this or not do that with it", and someone else says "too bad, I'm going to do what I want. Deal with it".

Re:Right, because BS is a thorough refutation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354931)

If I could walk up to a ferrari and simply touch it and 30 seconds later I would get a copy of it without paying for it, god damnit I'd do it!

RIAA Acquisition (2, Interesting)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354289)

I'm just surprised this service hasn't been acquired by the MAFIAA. It could easily lead to the largest John / Jane Doe lawsuit ever filed; just make a little script to generate a legal document for every IP address matching one that downloaded something they think they own.

Re:RIAA Acquisition (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354325)

Or rather, one with each IP address. Obviously they're not going to file multiple cases with multiple filing fees; they're not made of money! (Yet.)

Re:RIAA Acquisition (1)

NemosomeN (670035) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354417)

This is already the method the RIAA and MPAA are using.

If everyone hides behind each other then what? (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354833)

What good is tracking IP addresses when every computer on the internet can become a proxy so that it's impossible to know who downloaded what?

The proxy service could be built into file sharing apps themselves or created as a chrome plugin which uses onion routing to hide file sharers behind other file sharers and then download the file in bits and pieces and reconstruct it. This could even be done in a way so it looks like ordinary port 80 traffic.

It's not really BS though, it's a clear distinctio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354295)

..n. Of course, if you use it as an argument to say that 'pirating' is OK, then it's BS. But making the distinction surely isn't?

Re:It's not really BS though, it's a clear distinc (1)

gorzek (647352) | more than 2 years ago | (#39355131)

Well, the key is that if you spend all your time debating whether or not copyright infringement is theft, you never actually have to discuss whether copyright infringement is wrong. Arguing definitions lets you avoid addressing the real issues!

Re:It's not really BS though, it's a clear distinc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39355265)

But how do you about adressing real issues if people argue with mismatched and illogical definitions?

Obligatory (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354321)

When I copy your DVD, you still have a copy that you can try to sell to someone else. When I can't copy your DVD for free, I won't pay for it, I won't bother acquiring it, I don't end up having it, and I haven't wasted my time watching it. You still have a copy. You still don't have my money. That's the difference.

You know what's BS? (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354341)

The idea that you can sell your product and retain control over what people do with it. That's BS.

Re:You know what's BS? (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354381)

Yea, its like someone telling me I have to release my software under the GPL just because I used their code which was released under the same license!

If you dont like the license something is released under, just dont use it.

Re:You know what's BS? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354551)

Or use it anyway, as you want.

When there is an equitable distribution of reward for every contribution everyone has made throughout history, weighted to take account of opportunities varying with time, location, health, innate intelligence and any remaining factors other than the productive man's effort, then I'll start worrying about the morality of ignoring the artificial constructs of copy rights and patents.

Until then, I'll not take stuff from people because that deprives them of their enjoyment. But I shall most definitely copy stuff.

Re:You know what's BS? (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354913)

Or use it anyway, as you want.

When there is an equitable distribution of reward for every contribution everyone has made throughout history, weighted to take account of opportunities varying with time, location, health, innate intelligence and any remaining factors other than the productive man's effort, then I'll start worrying about the morality of ignoring the artificial constructs of copy rights and patents.

Until then, I'll not take stuff from people because that deprives them of their enjoyment. But I shall most definitely copy stuff.

Please elaborate. Do you believe it's ethical to defy Copyright?

Re:You know what's BS? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39355127)

Is it ethical to make a copy of something which is 71 years old but not something which is 69 years old? What a stupid question. Copyright, in the US at least, wasn't designed on an ethical basis, but to promote science and the useful arts by providing an artificial mechanism to reward people who add in certain specified ways to the wisdom of the nation. Laws must provide a degree of certainty, so they are written in a much less purposive way than the underlying social policy.

Put another way, there may be an ethical issue with taking someone's life work, relabelling it as your own, and then flooding the market with it. But there is no ethical issue whatever with copying some stupid Twilight DVD, beyond the offence the production causes to human culture.

Re:You know what's BS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354557)

This * 1000. You are so correct. We all rally around GPL violations but think we can share movies as much as we want.

  Fucking slashdot hypocrites

Re:You know what's BS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354757)

The solution for both is the same though: abolish copyright.

Re:You know what's BS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354781)

This * 1000. You are so correct. We all rally around GPL violations but think we can share movies as much as we want.

  Fucking slashdot hypocrites

This /1000. You are so wrong.
The reason you think that slashdot is so full of hypocrites is because you are an idiot that doesn't realize that there are many different opinions on slashdot and all people here do not think the same. The groupthink some hipsters are talking about does not exsist. All slashdotters do not think the same.
I do for example not like GPL at all becasue I think it is an overly restrictive license.

Re:You know what's BS? (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354865)

Hypocrisy my ass. If we're stuck with copyright anyway, why shouldn't we use it?

Re:You know what's BS? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354967)

How many times has GNU/EFF bankruptedd people who violated the GPL? Even when a company is not obeying the GPL, as soon as they start following it the lawsuit is dropped - compare that to the RIAA/MPAA, who will sue everyone and their grandma into oblivion just to make a few more bucks. Copyright can be good, but it has been abused for a long time and I have no sympathy for the RIAA/MPAA scum.

Re:You know what's BS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354595)

Unfortunately, not using something is a slow way to provide feedback.

Re:You know what's BS? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354597)

There's a difference between a user license and a distribution license. I'm no fan of the GPL, but it doesn't restrict how you use the software in any way. It also allows unlimited redistribution of unmodified copies. It only restricts redistribution of derived works. There's a big difference between that and something that says you can only play it on approved devices, or can't transcode it.

Re:You know what's BS? (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354695)

That would be relevant if the guy was saying that EULAs are fine and dandy, but the issue at hand is basic copyright ("copying is stealing"). GPL is most certainly a copyright-based license - you can't violate GPL per se, you can only infringe on someone's copyright when GPL doesn't give you permission to do something that copyright forbids you from doing.

Re:You know what's BS? (1)

AshtangiMan (684031) | more than 2 years ago | (#39355085)

I really don't understand the wish to conflate copyright infringement with theft. It's like everyone thinks that by not equating them that somehow copyright infringement is legal. Copyright infringement is illegal, and it is not theft. Even ICE and DOJ are saying that copyright = theft. Is this because there are stricter punishments for theft, and DOJ and ICE are the enforcement arms of the RIAA/MPAA?

Re:You know what's BS? (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#39355239)

There's a difference between a user license and a distribution license.

No, there isn't. Even the GPL itself acknowledges this:

2. Basic Permissions.

All rights granted under this License are granted for the term of copyright on the Program, and are irrevocable provided the stated conditions are met. This License explicitly affirms your unlimited permission to run the unmodified Program. The output from running a covered work is covered by this License only if the output, given its content, constitutes a covered work. This License acknowledges your rights of fair use or other equivalent, as provided by copyright law.

You may make, run and propagate covered works* that you do not convey, without conditions so long as your license otherwise remains in force.

*A "covered work" means either the unmodified Program or a work based on the Program.

-- GNU General Public License V3 [gnu.org]

That's right: an explicit and conditional use license. A very generous one, compared to proprietary EULAs, but nonetheless, a use license.

Re:You know what's BS? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354615)

The difference is that the GPL is optional. You do not have to agree to it in order to use the software.

Normally, you can not distribute the software, since you do not own the copyright. Same way you can not copy a Harry Potter book and distribute it. The GPL is simply a convenience that grants you the right to distribute under certain conditions, without the author having to deal with everyone personally. The original copyrightholder however is still completely free to grant you any other rights he or she chooses, with or without payment.

This is in contrast to EULA's and the type of license the original poster was talking about, which *add* additional restrictions that are not supported or required by law.

Copyright law stops you from distributing Harry Potter books yourself, but the GPL will grant you an exception IF you choose to abide by it.

EULA's tell you you can not read your copy of Harry Potter on the toilet, read it on your holiday to another continent (region codes), sell it at a flee market, or tell your friends you did not like it.

Can you imagine buying a car and it coming with a license that says you can not drive it on sundays ? Or that if you drive through a red light, the company is allowed to fine you (even though traffic rules are already enforced by the police) ? That you can't tell anyone the gas milage you get? Or any other arbitrary stupid rule ? Yeah, don't buy a car from them if you don't like the license.

Here's a thought, we already have laws, so shove your license.

Re:You know what's BS? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354635)

GPL and other licenses exist only because copyright exists.

When/if the world rids itself of copyright (good luck on that though), there would be no reason for GPL to stay either.

Re:You know what's BS? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354715)

When/if the world rids itself of copyright (good luck on that though), there would be no reason for GPL to stay either.

Richard Stallman disagrees [computerworlduk.com] with you on that.

Re:You know what's BS? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354759)

He also disagrees with soap and water. What's your point?

Re:You know what's BS? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354861)

The point is the same one he makes. GPL offers way more than a freedom to copy, which is the only thing that you get by abolishing copyright. So GPL does not "exist only because copyright exists", it exists to promote sharing and openness. A world with no copyright would still see binary-only releases and other ways of preventing end users from reverse-engineering or modifying the product. If you care about those things, you'd still need something to replace GPL in such a world.

The license that would be made obsolete by abolition of copyright is BSDL.

Re:You know what's BS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354763)

that IS BS.
just because you agree with something doesn't mean it's not BS.

Re:You know what's BS? (4, Insightful)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354773)

That's not really an applicable comparison. GPL only applies when you distribute something, you can still use GPL-software as you like even if you don't agree to the license just as long as you don't distribute it. On the other hand Big Media tries to control how you use their media, including on your own, private time on your own, private devices, and flat-out denies distribution altogether.

Re:You know what's BS? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354801)

This isn't about licensing, it's about losing our right to "own" what we spend money on. If you have the choice between buying a car or leasing a car, you know what you are getting in to. If you buy a game and you can't resell it, you've lost some rights. If you buy a game, you change computer and you can't use the game anymore, you've lost some rights. If you buy a game and the developer decides to shut down the master server and you can't play because the game required a constant connection to that server to allow you to play in single player, you've lost some rights. It's about developers telling you what you can do with the software and the devices you have spend money to acquire. It's about being told that you can't hack and tinker your own device.

It's about corporate greed. It's about people who want to charge libraries a fee for reading books to kids. It's about people who want to charge you if there is more than X person in your home theater watching the movie you bought. It's about people who want to force you to sit through the FBI warning, ads and trailers before you can watch the movie you bought. It's not about the licensing. It's not about using open source or closed source and not respecting the term of the license, it's about consumers rights versus corporate greed.

Information wants to be free. We don't want to be told how we can or can not use a product.

Re:You know what's BS? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39355053)

I thought the reason GPL existed was because if it was not copyrighted, somebody like Microsoft or Google might copyright and claim the Linux Kernal and other OSS programs belonged to them? In other words a defensive measure.

Re:You know what's BS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354553)

No, what's BS is the idea that copiable information is something that can be owned (and hence, bought and sold) in the first place. Storage space can be owned, bandwidth can be owned, but the idea of owning an information pattern itself is philosophically ridiculous.

Re:You know what's BS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354555)

The idea that you can sell your product and retain control over what people do with it. That's BS.

I works for Apple. Very well, I might add.

Re:You know what's BS? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354765)

I works for my employer very well too.

Re:You know what's BS? (1)

Njovich (553857) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354741)

That's too simple. It is an agreement.

They don't "sell you the movie", they offer you a DVD disc with very clear conditions (even if those are just the applicable copyright laws). You are 100% free to say no and not watch the movie. If you accept the offer you are not free to do whatever you want in terms of copyright.

So what you are doing is agreeing to all that, to all the terms they state, take the disc, and then ignore the agreement.

Same as hiring an employee, you 'buy the employee' for a certain number of hours, but that doesn't give the employer the right to do whatever you want with the employee. Or are you entirely fine with your boss doing whatever the * he wants with you?

Having said that, I love torrents and use it all the time. But please don't pretend that you are on the moral high ground.

Re:You know what's BS? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354823)

You are 100% free to say no and not watch the movie.

Except that you aren't. Ever try to return a DVD because you didn't agree to the copyright warning at the beginning of the disc?

Re:You know what's BS? (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354907)

No. I think it may be worth trying it and see what happens :)

Re:You know what's BS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354965)

I'm pretty sure it's on the back of the box.

Re:You know what's BS? (2)

AshtangiMan (684031) | more than 2 years ago | (#39355317)

You've summed up the industry argument. however fair use and the first sale doctrine do exist, though the media industry is somewhat successfully eliminating them. When I used to buy LPs, the first thing I would do would be to make a copy on tape which I would then listen to, keeping the LP safely stored away. When the tape wore out or got eaten in the car, I would simply make a new copy from the still like new LP. All of that was and is legal . . . I can and did do the same with CDs (now they are all in my computer as aif files, original CDs nicely packed away, and I can burn CDs with various mixes of songs on them for road trips). For some reason this is supposedly not allowed with DVDs? There is no good reason for that beyond the industry wanting to restrict how you use the product you bought. If the first sale doctrine applies (it does, but is being challenged . . . AutoDesk stopped someone from reselling older versions of AutoCad) then how do the fair use exemptions not apply?

On the other hand, sharing the files starts to get tricky . . . technically if I lend someone a CD I should have to delete my copy of it until I get it back. I don't lend CDs though so not a problem. But if you publicly share the rips of DVDs/CDs/LPs/books/ whatever then you are breaking the law and there is no moral high ground there. If you want moral high ground in the fight against the media companies, then just stop using their products.

Re:You know what's BS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39355373)

Same as hiring an employee, you 'buy the employee' for a certain number of hours, but that doesn't give the employer the right to do whatever you want with the employee. Or are you entirely fine with your boss doing whatever the * he wants with you?

Bullshit. This argument isn't even a fucking STRAWMAN, unless your DVD collection has somehow acquired sentience. The more accurate (and Slashdot-friendly) analogy would be: you buy a car, and then the manufacturer tells you you can't get it repainted, or put seat covers in it. Anybody trying THAT would get tossed out of court so hard they'd be bouncing a week later.

If your position is true, why can't I get a free replacement disc when the physical embodiment (which, according to you, I don't "own") of that license breaks?

Is it stealing? And even if it is, is it unethical (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354795)

The idea that you can sell your product and retain control over what people do with it. That's BS.

I would like for anyone on Slashdot to logically and mathematically answer this from a consequence based risk analysis perspective.

Why is it wrong to download music if no one is hurt by your consumption of it? Is artificial scarcity worth it and why do we have to maintain artificial scarcity? Is it a religion or tradition to maintain artificial scarcity in certain industries?

I don't see how it's unethical. I do the math and I don't see the fans of music/movies/art losing, I don't see the artists/actors/ losing, as people will always go to concerts, movie theaters, or buy copies to see them before everyone else.

So what is the point? Can they squeeze a few percent more profits by artificial scarcity? Probably, but these profits aren't enough to justify putting the entire file sharing industry out of business and totally changing the face of the internet.

Re:You know what's BS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39355031)

Is a photograph a product?
Is a painting a product?
Is a movie a product?

Should a photographier, painter or company own rights how many copies are sold?

Photo on negative is same as digital photo in file format. You can make as many copies you like from both of them. Does it make photographers rights less than painter?

Living proof, bluetack blocklist works. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354385)

My result, dozens of recent and hundreds of historical "infringing" torrents later:

Hi. We have no records on you.

This means you are using a private torrent tracker or, of course, you may not be a torrent user at all! It happens. Please, entertain yourself. Feel free to see what other people have downloaded. The search box is on the top. If you have any friends who use torrents, use it to scare them off. We also have a widget that you can install in your website, blog or Facebook page. Or you can just send them a link to this site. They will see a table similar to what you see below. The only difference — they will see their downloads.

Re:Living proof, bluetack blocklist works. (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354405)

PeerBlock seems to be working as well.

Re:Living proof, bluetack blocklist works. (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354513)

Mine says I'm in "London, City of" and have downloaded Supernatural, Sanctuary, Twilight Saga, and Jasmine Webb Experience. All completely incorrect. Right country, wrong everything else. This web site is worse than useless.

Re:Living proof, bluetack blocklist works. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354579)

Mine says I'm in "London, City of" and have downloaded Supernatural, Sanctuary, Twilight Saga, and Jasmine Webb Experience. All completely incorrect. Right country, wrong everything else. This web site is worse than useless.

I would deny that too!

Re:Living proof, bluetack blocklist works. (0)

TheCRAIGGERS (909877) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354673)

Mine says I'm in "London, City of" and have downloaded Supernatural, Sanctuary, Twilight Saga, and Jasmine Webb Experience. All completely incorrect. Right country, wrong everything else. This web site is worse than useless.

It seems you don't understand what an IP address is.

But hey, congratulations! Your understanding of how the internet works is on par with most of our politicians and lobbyists. Perhaps you have a new career opportunity?

Re:Living proof, bluetack blocklist works. (1)

Idimmu Xul (204345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354685)

Dynamic IP, new Internet connection, open WiFi, other, or is the site _really_ making a mistake?

Re:Living proof, bluetack blocklist works. (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354949)

No, the site is just unreliable. Which is fine for their purposes, I guess.

Re:Living proof, bluetack blocklist works. (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354853)

I don't suppose your ISP does DHCP assignment?

This is the whole point in people being pissed off at the RIAA/MPAA associating IPs with people with no other links to tie it down.

Re:Living proof, bluetack blocklist works. (1)

MisterMidi (1119653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354593)

The only thing they got right is my approximate location. They show all kinds of stuff I never torrented, and none of the stuff I did torrent, along with the message

"Of course, we are sure that you didn't violate any laws of Netherlands and downloaded only legal stuff, right?"

Yeah, I'm sure. Obviously they're not aware of the fact downloading is still legal here in The Netherlands (uploading is illegal though.)

Re:Living proof, bluetack blocklist works. (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354825)

Yeah, I'm sure. Obviously they're not aware of the fact downloading is still legal here in The Netherlands (uploading is illegal though.)

How does the law work in regards to P2P methods of downloading? When downloading something via e.g. BitTorrent you are also uploading, you aren't simply just downloading, so can you be held accountable for that? Does the law take intent into account?

Re:Living proof, bluetack blocklist works. (1)

MisterMidi (1119653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39355097)

Yes, intent makes all the difference. Just to be sure, I stop the torrent when it's finished downloading. The government recently decided there'll be no law prohibiting downloading. Instead, they'll just raise the "home copy fee" (don't know if that translation makes sense, it's a kind of tax on recordable media.) I don't care, I hardly use CD's and DVD's anymore and if I buy them, I'll buy them outside The Netherlands.

Re:Living proof, bluetack blocklist works. (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#39355217)

Yes, intent makes all the difference.

I thought it would, but I felt better to ask than guess. Thank you for the response.

Re:Living proof, bluetack blocklist works. (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354661)

When I checked my IP (untraceably of course) when news of the site hit Slashdot, it showed just a few torrents, about half of which I had actually downloaded. Mind you the box that was on the IP at the time was seeding over 600 torrents. It uses a variety of blocklists including many of the bluetack lists.

Re:Living proof, bluetack blocklist works. (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354929)

Hahaha, just checked again and they say the current IP for the same box "is in the clear!" XD

Re:Living proof, bluetack blocklist works. (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354917)

Same here. But they did alert me to the existence of "Big Tits In Uniform, Two Boob Salute.rar" so the site isn't all bad.

DVD copying is BS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354429)

The RIAA/MPAA take things too far, but that doesn't mean everything digitally created has to be open for all to have. Seriously, take it to the extreme. What is the difference between information on a disk and the information in your genome. Should you get your DNA sequenced for any reason be open for all to peruse?

Re:DVD copying is BS (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354599)

Are you trying to convince us you're BadAnalogyGuy?

I don't want my DNA sequence being shared, therefore I won't sell it. People who don't want their content being distributed can do the same.

Re:DVD copying is BS (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354871)

Sure, why not. It's not like my DNA is full of proprietary code or is some kind of artistic expression.

I'll tell you what's BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354475)

This is BS:

Hi. We have no records on you.

This means you are using a private torrent tracker or, of course, you may not be a torrent user at all! It happens. Please, entertain yourself. Feel free to see what other people have downloaded. The search box is on the top. If you have any friends who use torrents, use it to scare them off. We also have a widget that you can install in your website, blog or Facebook page. Or you can just send them a link to this site. They will see a table similar to what you see below. The only difference — they will see their downloads.

I have downloaded so much off Bittorrent, without any sort of "disguise" or "cloaking" - primarily because a grand total of [ 0 ] successful claims have been brought in the English courts.

Worthless (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354573)

Its been proven before and is still true. IP doesnt mean anything. I just put in my printers IP and it downloaded Twilight... I never knew my printer likes crap vampire movies

Re:Worthless (1, Funny)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354659)

I never knew there were people out there who gave printers their own internet IPs.

Not BS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354619)

Copyright infringement is not theft and cannot ever be theft. This is an absolute and irrefutable fact, and it is impossible to even disagree with it. Anyone who claims to is lying. No exceptions can ever exist.

However, just because it can never be theft doesn't mean it is not wrong. I am not necessarily saying that it is, I am merely pointing out that "is it theft?" and "is it wrong?" are two entirely separate questions, the answers to which are independent of one another.

Bittorrent isn't a "network" (0)

Megane (129182) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354675)

which displays all downloads on the public BitTorrent network associated with an IP address.

Bittorrent is a protocol, not a network. Failed my BS detector right there.

It's got trackers, which keep track of who has and needs which chunks, and that's it. You can always set up your own tracker (getting people to use it is another matter), and nobody knows who is using it except the people who are using it. There is no requirement for trackers to talk to each other, and I don't even know if there is even an option for that.

I'm pretty sure you can't even get info on who is participating in a particular torrent unless you ask the tracker specifically about that torrent, and that there's no wildcard mechanism to ask the tracker for a list which torrents it serves.

So they could download a bunch of .torrent files off of popular sites that are using popular trackers and snoop into those, but there's no way they can see everything.

Re:Bittorrent isn't a "network" (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354863)

Technically true but you could call it a network in the same sense as the "tor network" or "i2p network."

So they could download a bunch of .torrent files off of popular sites that are using popular trackers and snoop into those, but there's no way they can see everything.

Yep that's what they do. Not hard to write a scraper to download all torrents from a tracker index site.

Re:Bittorrent isn't a "network" (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39355039)

Actually, there is a "bittorrent network": Mainline DHT. uTorrent, BitComet, Transmission, etc all use the same network (although apparently Vuze has its own).

Wrong at all counts... Two things: (4, Interesting)

dragisha (788) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354683)

a) NAT
b) dynamic IP ranges

But authors are so full of themselves it hurts :). Good luck for them and maybe-buyers, once they try to litigate with mostly false data.

Fingerprinting for download rights? (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354937)

Should fingerprint scanners be used to allow someone to download and listen to a particular song or watch a particular movie or unlock a particular game?

If nothing is free, is it right to steal? (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354687)

For anyone who knows math, logic, or who is rational, can you please answer this question as to whether stealing becomes right if everything is owned?

Re:If nothing is free, is it right to steal? (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354943)

Too broad a question to answer in a simple comment. Even just the plain concept of right and wrong depends so much on a person's background, their upbringing, what they've gone through in life, intelligence, gullibility and social and monetary status. Then you have to define what it actually means to own something, which in and of itself is enough to write a full thesis on. Just as defining stealing is terribly subjective, and then there's also the motive; are you "stealing" for your own uses, are you "stealing" for someone else, are you "stealing" for a cause and so on.

Re:If nothing is free, is it right to steal? (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39355009)

Too broad a question to answer in a simple comment. Even just the plain concept of right and wrong depends so much on a person's background, their upbringing, what they've gone through in life, intelligence, gullibility and social and monetary status. Then you have to define what it actually means to own something, which in and of itself is enough to write a full thesis on. Just as defining stealing is terribly subjective, and then there's also the motive; are you "stealing" for your own uses, are you "stealing" for someone else, are you "stealing" for a cause and so on.

If everything is owned and you cannot afford something you need, at what point does it become right to steal?
Or is it always wrong even if you can starve to death if you don't steal?

The people who say information sharing is stealing aren't understanding that for a person who doesn't have the money to afford to buy something their options aren't the same as the person who has the money to buy something.

Re:If nothing is free, is it right to steal? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39355143)

But why would you steal, when you can just download it? ;)

Re:If nothing is free, is it right to steal? (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#39355191)

The people who say information sharing is stealing aren't understanding that for a person who doesn't have the money to afford to buy something their options aren't the same as the person who has the money to buy something.

Indeed. They also fail to account for the fact that if a person does not have the means to obtain something legally it isn't a "lost sales" if that person obtains it illegally. But yes, it is an interesting philosophical question and worth discussing, something I personally very much enjoy, I just don't feel like Slashdot is the right place for philosophy; it'll just attract trolls to it like honey attracts flies.

Nobody has a right to a monopoly (4, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354727)

Not even the author of the work. It is a government-created *privilege* not a right, and it is revocable and limited in scope.

Someone who copies your work has not stolen anything..... they've merely infringed upon your government-granted monopoly. That's life and part of the cost of doing business (like when 80s-era Microsoft, Commodore, and others copied Apple OS's look-and-feel).

Re:Nobody has a right to a monopoly (1, Troll)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#39355151)

it is a right. Copy -right-.

I disagree with the premise that copying is stealing but it really is a, "It's not a tragedy of the commons, it's a tragedy of you're a dick. [slashdot.org] " situation.

I think it's important to keep the distinction between piracy and theft clear, because theft is just an absurdly loaded word when in this context, but, let's not get crazy here. It's a goddamned dick move.

Calling it like it is. (1, Troll)

celtic_hackr (579828) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354753)

I expect to get flamed and modded down for this. But if I had any mod points right now, I'd mod Suren +5 insightful.
Well except, I could only mod him +1 insightful.

And except for the fact that making copies of music/movies you own and sharing with others isn't really piracy, but sharing with unlimited strangers is simply wrong, and y'all know it is. Whether you will admit it or not.

And except for the fact that breaking DRM to make legitimate copies of your stuff is totally not piracy and should by all accounts be a fair use right. Oh wait it is, except for that vile DMCA.

So, perhaps the Movie and Music industry brought some of this "piracy" on themselves. Still doesn't make filesharing of others copyrighted work right. I too prefer the "piracy" over tyranny. Until such time as media companies figure this out, they won't see one penny from me.

Re:Calling it like it is. (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 2 years ago | (#39354855)

Why is it wrong? I can think of several reasons that someone might consider it wrong to redistribute umodified copies of a copyrighted work without license to do so. Which one motivates you?

Can't read article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354887)

Work filter blocked for "Proxy Avoidance"

The site doesn't seem to work very well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354889)

I'm curious about the site. I entered to see what had agreggated on me (yes, I download quite a bit).
Instead I was struck with such a list of crap movies that I felt it was bordering on slander.

But nothing I've actually downloaded. And I have a fixed ip.

The site doesn't seem to work very well. And I'd hate to get sued by MAFIAA for allegedly downloading "Superhero Movie".

False positives. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39354925)

I looked.

I've had this IP for awhile and I (and especially my gf) have never downloaded Nirvana's Greatest Hits. False positives.

I've even received notices of abuse from my Internet provider for Vampire movies that I have supposedly torrented. Nuh-uh. More false positives.

We now live in a world where anyone can be turned into a criminal by simply appending an IP address onto a file.

False positives - and pretty WTF too (1)

ace37 (2302468) | more than 2 years ago | (#39355149)

Others said torrents throw in a few sprinkles of fake IP addresses. They should throw in a lot more! Maybe when we have a few more grannies 'downloading' The Hangover 3 and Eminem people will start to realize this IP address thing is garbage. I only hope the government isn't too dumb to figure out this list is worthless.

Their website says my home IP address downloaded two files I've never heard of:
      Mobb Deep Black Cocaine - EP (45.02 MB)
      30 Minutes or Less.2011.7 ... p.BRRip.Xvid.AC3-SiNiSTER (2.08 GB)

Mobb Deep Black Cocaine? Lol. I'm a fricking skinny white guy. I'd much rather listen to Pink Floyd or Foo Fighters than some heavy rap. But I just bought the CDs instead of downloading them. Maybe I'm actually funding the real root problem by giving the **IAA groups my money.

The site is a joke - the authors say it themselves (4, Informative)

sam_paris (919837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39355261)

From the site:

"Don't take it seriously The privacy policy, the contact us page — it’s all a joke. We came up with the idea of building a crawler like this and keeping the maintenance price under $300 a month. There was only one way to prove our theory worked — to implement it in practice. So we did. Now, we find ourselves with a big crawler. We knew what it did but we didn’t know how to use it. So we decided to make a joke out of it. That’s the beauty of jokes — you can make them out of anything."
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