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German Court Rules Rapidshare Is Legal, But Must Adjust Content Policies

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the some-zwiespältigkeit-with-that? dept.

The Courts 73

New submitter loosescrews writes "Online file locker Rapidshare is legal in Germany, but has to adjust its policy regarding infringing content, the Higher Regional Court in Hamburg has ruled. Rapidshare plans to appeal. Rapidshare was sued by the German copyright organization Gema which represents 64.000 copyright holders. After reading the verdict, both parties claim they are victorious."

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Psssssst... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532191)

Send me the warez d00d. Add me to the list. Yeh yeh me too.

So they left out the good part (5, Informative)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532261)

It would have been nice if the summary had described the "adjustment" that Rapidshare is being required to make:

The copyright organisation had asked the court to order Rapidshare to scan files during the upload process, but the court took another approach, ruling that Rapidshare must actively monitor incoming links from external sites to the files it hosts and take down any illegal files thus identified.

I.e., if a warez site links to a Rapidshare file, then Rapidshare will deactivate the file.

Amusingly enough, Rapidshare already did this, which is why warez sites typically don't allow posting clickable links. Non-clickable link = you have to copy and paste = no HTTP referer = Rapidshare is none the wiser.

Re:So they left out the good part (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532293)

Most of the sites I know of that index links to sites such as Rapidshare, use HTML magic to forward you to the link without a referrer anyway

Re:So they left out the good part (2)

Scott Swezey (678347) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532335)

@AC, if you are out there and still reading this.

Most of the sites I know of that index links to sites such as Rapidshare, use HTML magic to forward you to the link without a referrer anyway

I am relatively proficient when it comes to many things web/html related, yet I have never heard of being able to create a link that doesn't pass referrer information. After googling this topic for a little bit, all I see is that most modern browsers now pass the referrer info, even with target="_blank" or when the link is handled via javascript.

That said, I am well aware that "The more I learn, the less I know."... So... Can you enlighten us on this HTML magic to which you refer?

Re:So they left out the good part (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532369)

Can you enlighten us on this HTML magic to which you refer?

rel="noreferrer" [google.com]

Re:So they left out the good part (3, Interesting)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532483)

"No shipping browser currently supports this"...

in 2009... (3, Interesting)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532679)

"No shipping browser currently supports this"...

Are you sure about that?
Support for the "noreferrer" option was added to Chromium [chromium.org] in 2009.

Re:in 2009... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39536917)

Wait until IE/Firefox/Chrome...hell, even Opera supports it...

Re:So they left out the good part (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532381)

HTML magic is not really required (I dont think it is possible either). There are websites, whose sole purpose is to forward you to the link passed as a parameter. Pretty much every website uses such an "anoymiser" service. So your website redirects you to the anonymiser website, which inturn redirects you to rapidshare. Now according to rapidshare, the referrer is the anonymiser website, and it cannot know which website really sent you to them.

Re:So they left out the good part (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532465)

So they ban the anonymizer website...

Re:So they left out the good part (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 years ago | (#39533109)

So they ban the anonymizer website...

And suddenly 234235623 twitter links go dead. In this context a URL shortener is an anonymizer too, you'll now have a bit.ly referrer not a evilwarezsite.com referrer. I bet Rapidshare would love it if they insisted on that, it'd turn into a PR nightmare for the copyright holders.

Re:So they left out the good part (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39536919)

...?

Rapidshare banning files that have a referer from a URL shortener site has what to do with Twitter?

Re:So they left out the good part (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39537803)

Rapidshare banning files that have a referer from a URL shortener site has what to do with Twitter?

I don't know if you're trolling but I'll assume you've been living under a rock and it's a genuine question. Twitter is made for SMS (also known as texting) where you have a 160 character limit - unless you do multi-part texting. For that reason people don't generally want to paste long URLs .- like the link to this comment is 95 characters [slashdot.org] . So you use shorteners like bit.ly/SDGGV6FASD -10-15 characters instead.

Re:So they left out the good part (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#39537887)

Uh, is posting shortened links to Rapidshare a big thing on Twitter?

I don't use Twitter, so maybe I have been living under a rock...

Yes, I know that when you link to something from Twitter, you use a URL shortener. But I truly don't understand what Rapidshare files being deleted has to do with Twitter. Unless a bunch of Twitter posts linked to Rapidshare files, using URL shorteners. Which would be pretty silly, since there are much better ways to link to Rapidshare than to use Twitter.

Re:So they left out the good part (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532543)

I am relatively proficient when it comes to many things web/html related, yet I have never heard of being able to create a link that doesn't pass referrer information. After googling this topic for a little bit, all I see is that most modern browsers now pass the referrer info, even with target="_blank" or when the link is handled via javascript.

That said, I am well aware that "The more I learn, the less I know."... So... Can you enlighten us on this HTML magic to which you refer?

it is rather simple, you write the link as plain text:

hxxp://www.rapidshare.com/some/file.here

the user then copy/pastes it, and replaced the hxxp with http, when they enter the url in their browsers address bar, there is no referrer information. It is not an automated solution, but it is something most users of forums and other sites that have rules about links are familiar with

Re:So they left out the good part (3, Informative)

wmbetts (1306001) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532711)

double meta refresh no referer

Google the above phrase and you'll get more information on it than you care to know.

Re:So they left out the good part (1)

blackicye (760472) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532847)

I am relatively proficient when it comes to many things web/html related, yet I have never heard of being able to create a link that doesn't pass referrer information. After googling this topic for a little bit, all I see is that most modern browsers now pass the referrer info, even with target="_blank" or when the link is handled via javascript.

That said, I am well aware that "The more I learn, the less I know."... So... Can you enlighten us on this HTML magic to which you refer?

http://anonym.to/ [anonym.to]

Re:So they left out the good part (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 years ago | (#39533623)

It's pretty trivial to do. You write a CGI script that redirects to the URL passed as a parameter and host this with SSL. Browsers don't pass referrer information to non-HTTPS pages when the preceding page was HTTPS (to prevent things like passwords or session IDs in GET requests being passed on to other sites). DuckDuckGo, for example, optionally does this to prevent other sites from seeing your search terms.

Re:So they left out the good part (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532309)

or a site uses a dereferer site like dereferer.org

Re:So they left out the good part (5, Insightful)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532325)

Most sites I see rapidshare style linkage on uses anonymizer services to hide the referrer for exactly that reason.

No reason to make the link unclickable these days.

Re:So they left out the good part (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532475)

Unclickable?

Triple-click, right click, F... opens the link in a new tab (and respects the no referrer). Does this not work on IE or something?

Re:So they left out the good part (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532801)

Triple click this: http://www.slashdot.org/ [slashdot.org]

Didn't work? That's the point. So people DON'T single click and hence pass on the referrer the rules are that the poster don't direct link without an anonymizer in between. It's more enforceable than asking your visitors not to click on links.

Re:So they left out the good part (3, Funny)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532805)

!!!! WELL THANKS A LOT SLASHDOT, you don't support unicode, but you turn my text post into a link even when I didn't add the a href tags. :-(

Re:So they left out the good part (2)

toutankh (1544253) | about 2 years ago | (#39533189)

That's why you have to click on "preview" before you can submit. Apparently it's still not enough. Or did the preview show you something else than what we are now seeing?

Re:So they left out the good part (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 years ago | (#39533617)

There's a preview? I just mash the button in the bottom left.

Re:So they left out the good part (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#39536441)

I'm afraid the preview function often fails, at least it does for me, when I am trying to make a link that isn't clickable. it looks like its not gonna be a link but then /. turns it into a link when you hit submit, or at least it did when i was using the new layout which is one of the reasons I went back to the old way. When i put a link to a small site that i don't want /.ed I do NOT want it to be clickable as everyone knows there are plenty that won't bother with copy/paste unless it is something they really care to see.

As for TFA I wonder how damned long the MAFIAA are gonna play whack a mole before they just accept reality and embrace new technology? there is no damned logical reason why I can't go to Amazon, whip out a CC, and buy a movie or show in .avi or .mkv for playing on my dad's media tank but as it is here are my choices...1.-Buy DVD, 2.-wait for DVD to arrive, 3.-rip DVD into format that will play on media tank, 4.-upload video onto media tank. or I can 1.-download from TPB in the format I need, 2.-stick file on media tank....now which one is easier? Which one has fewer steps?

So why the bullshit, does it in ANY way hinder piracy? nope, in fact the pirates often have the movie or show at or before release day. So wake up and smell the 21st century MAFIAA and embrace the Valve model, make it easy, make it simple, make it cheap. I'm sure you could power half the USA just by wrapping Henry Ford's corpse in copper for all the spinning he is doing in his grave from so many fucking up one of the most basic tenants of capitalism with all their hoop jumping and artificial scarcity bullshit. He'd be cranking that shit out in any and every format someone would give him money for and backing the money truck up to his back door daily.

It just amazes me that all these so called "MBA" or Masters of Being Assholes, can't even figure out the most basic ideas of supply and demand. Black markets are the market's way of telling you that you are fucking up, your price is too high or you aren't offering the people what they want. make it easy, make it simple, make it cheap, and watch the huge piles of money rolling in. In a way it reminds me of how the MPAA had to be literally dragged to the huge profits that videotapes offered, because until the government literally forced them to allow the format to exist they were comparing it to the Boston Strangler. How many BILLIONS did they make off of videotapes again?

Re:So they left out the good part (2)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#39533543)

Apparently slashdot still does it even if you set your post style to plain HTML. You can evade this by using the pre tag: http://www.slashdot.org/

Re:So they left out the good part (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#39534489)

Another way is to put it into <a> tags without href: http://slashdot.org/

Re:So they left out the good part (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39537721)

The regexp in Slashdot is looking for http:/ at the beginning of the post or immediately following a whitespace character. Anything other than a whitespace character before http:/ will prevent Slashdot from auto-forming a link. This includes HTML tags; <p>http://slashdot.org</p> won't auto-link either.

The easiest way to avoid auto-linking is to just put <> before http:/. Slashdot will strip out the malformed HTML, but it won't auto-link.

Not quite true (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532347)

If they keep taking down files due to copyright violations, and those files are referred from particular websites, then they need to examine other files linked to from those websites.

Making them cut and paste defeats the referrer as you say, but Rapidshare also kill accounts that have multiple violations against them and don't let an anonymous account be used for more than 10 downloads.

IMHO, Rapidshare do their best to tackle the problem, and this extra requirement won't stress them particularly.

No suggestion of fake accounts, paying people you know are pirating stuff, taking down single links while keeping the content active using the fake accounts, etc,. Nothing like the MegaUpload case. I'm surprised they went for such case.

Re:Not quite true (2)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532759)

But here's the thing: their demands never stop. It's impossible to police all the content, and even their current policies are bound to affect innocent users. They shouldn't be forced to scour warez sites just to make sure no one is copying anyone's precious, precious data. Even that is too much to expect. And if it's automated, it's bound to hurt innocents.

Re:Not quite true (2)

moronoxyd (1000371) | about 2 years ago | (#39532909)

If they keep taking down files due to copyright violations, and those files are referred from particular websites, then they need to examine other files linked to from those websites.

That might run against the privacy laws in Germany.
A hoster must not 'inspect' the data of its users.

And even then: Rapidshare can not decide what is a legitimate use and what not. You know, Rapidshare does not employ judges, to my knowledge.

Re:So they left out the good part (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532665)

It would have been nice if the summary had described the "adjustment" that Rapidshare is being required to make:

The copyright organisation had asked the court to order Rapidshare to scan files during the upload process, but the court took another approach, ruling that Rapidshare must actively monitor incoming links from external sites to the files it hosts and take down any illegal files thus identified.

I.e., if a warez site links to a Rapidshare file, then Rapidshare will deactivate the file.

Amusingly enough, Rapidshare already did this, which is why warez sites typically don't allow posting clickable links. Non-clickable link = you have to copy and paste = no HTTP referer = Rapidshare is none the wiser.

THANKZ FOR SHARE

Always amazes me (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532321)

Why is it okay for Rapidshare to make money off copyrighted content but not the creators? As some one that lives off copyrighted content why do they have more rights than I do? I spend years creating the content that they casually hand off to anyone with a computer. My creditors would point out that I'm far from rich yet the owners of Rapidshare make serious money off copyright holders. Take away the profits and the creators will vanish. I couldn't care less about the distributors I'm talking about the creators. As a creator I'll tell you now if you give all the profits to groups like Rapidshare then there will be no new content. They aren't the heroes it's the content creators who have been screwed over by the distributors who paid them $0.10 on the $1 and now the file sharing services that pay zero cents on the dollar!. Support the artists and screw the corporate lackies including Rapidshare!

Re:Always amazes me (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532409)

Why is it okay for Rapidshare to make money off copyrighted content but not the creators?

Troll much? No one said creators cannot make money off copyrighted content. In fact I see creators making money of copyrighted content every day. And it is not ok for Rapidshare to make money of content that it knows is infringing on other's copyright, either. The problem is they cannot know which files is infringing and which files is not. If they did, they would have been outlawed long ago.

Re:Always amazes me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532429)

False premise much?

Good idea! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532437)

Why is it okay for Rapidshare to make money off copyrighted content but not the creators?

Great idea, tell the creators to offer the same deal as Rapidshare so that they can make money too. A workable business plan! (Not a joke at all.) I'm sure they will be delighted to hear of it.

Very insightful of you to spot that. Now go talk to the creators and help them understand how to make money. Unfortunately you'll have more success talking to a brick wall, because they insist on keeping prices so high that they're out of reach, and so they make no money whereas Rapidshare does. It's entirely their choice, and their problem, one of unrealistic expectations.

Re:Always amazes me (1)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532767)

What? They sell premium accounts, not copyrighted work. Should every site on the internet (or at least ones with ads/premium accounts) be shut down merely because there's a chance that there could be copyrighted work there?

As a creator I'll tell you now if you give all the profits to groups like Rapidshare then there will be no new content.

No new content at all? You're not the only creator in the world, you know. Not everyone does it for money. Just because you claim to be a creator doesn't mean your words are the be-all end-all of the debate.

Re:Always amazes me (1)

hlavac (914630) | about 2 years ago | (#39533359)

No new content at all? You're not the only creator in the world, you know. Not everyone does it for money.

Yeah, someone will do it for free right? So, why not you? Go, spend 20 man years making a game and then give it away for free just for the good feeling of being creative... There are things that simply can not be free, because it takes too much to create them. Free silly flash games? By all means. Free Skyrim? No way.

Re:Always amazes me (1)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | about 2 years ago | (#39534079)

Yeah, someone will do it for free right?

Yes, they will. You can already see this with music, software, and various other things. He said no new content will be created.

So, why not you?

1) Irrelevant.
2) Why not? Did you assume that I wasn't a creator?

There are things that simply can not be free

Sure they can. It might be unlikely, but it is 100% within the realm of possibility.

Free Skyrim? No way.

He didn't mention Skyrim anywhere. He simply said no new content. That implies none at all. That's what I replied to, and somehow you thought I was talking about AAA games.

Re:Always amazes me (1)

rioki (1328185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39547519)

Glest [glest.org] ? No further questions, your honor.

Re:Always amazes me (4, Interesting)

aix tom (902140) | about 2 years ago | (#39532933)

Just make your content as easy (or easier ) available than on rapidshare. Note that I said "easier" not "cheaper" or "free" just "easier".

Sometimes it seems the priority one of the artists (or perhaps the distributors) is to PREVENT people from getting their stuff. Last Month I was looking for some older songs I remembered. No CD available at all, Only an MP3 on amazon.com I tried to buy it, but I wasn't allowed. So I had to spend about an hour tracking it down "some other way", since nobody was willing to offer me a option to actually buy it in a way that would have supported the artist.

Last week I got shipped 5 Blu-Rays hat I ordered. Only 2 of them worked out of the box, for 2 others I first had to upgrade my players firmware first, the fifth didn't work even then but funny enough I had no problem ripping it and then watching the copy.

So every time when I have to decide whether to buy or pirate, I have to take into account the amount of work it takes to get the actual purchased copies to even WORK. The only way out of this problem for customers AND content creators in my opinion to cut out the distributor middle-man. It used to be they were the ones who had better technical means to distribute content from the artists to the masses. But now every artist could have way better means to get his content to the masses, and in the end have perhaps $0.90 of $1 left over for himself.

Re:Always amazes me (1)

hlavac (914630) | about 2 years ago | (#39533369)

Just make your content as easy (or easier ) available than on rapidshare. Note that I said "easier" not "cheaper" or "free" just "easier".

Proper response in a market based economy is to go create your own competing content and offer it at better terms, not to bitch about high prices.

Re:Always amazes me (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 years ago | (#39533603)

Proper response in a market based economy is to...

In what sense? Perhaps in terms of economic theory, but then again economists have been described as people who, when they see something working in practice wonder how it can work in theory.

Anyway, the whole thing is so far from a market economy that it doesn't make any kind of sense.

Copyright is a very artificial construct designed to make easily copyable data act like physical goods in order to make the market work so that such data is produced (which I think is fine). Between lobbying causing massive theft of the public domain[*], DRM making the data which is meant o be like physical goods less so and the fact that vendors of such data can't touch pirates, so they abuse paying customers instead. Oh and throw in various chunks of patent and copyright law which prevents companies from making products which strip out the DRM and you have a complete mess.

Re:Always amazes me (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 years ago | (#39533683)

Forgot to fill in [*]

What the copyright lobby are doing fits the definition of theft much better than piracy. If a thief steals something, then you no longer have it.

Re:Always amazes me (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#39534591)

Proper response in a market based economy is to go create your own competing content and offer it at better terms, not to bitch about high prices.

Did you read what you responded to? Even just the part you quoted? He explicitly did not bitch about the prices. He complained about the work he has to invest to get the content he paid for to actually play (if he could get it at all).

Once upon a time, you could basically rely on being able to play whatever you bought, as long as you had the right sort of playing equipment. Those times are apparently over.

Re:Always amazes me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39537181)

Or as a user, take your business elsewhere. I buy netflix because it is a good deal. I'm not going to rent movie on google play for $5. It is just too much money when netflix is only $8 a month. I would pay a small amount to download a movie I can watch on an airplane but at the price and trouble it seems to be I just go without.

Re:Always amazes me (2)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 2 years ago | (#39533131)

If you're only creating stuff to make profit, then I'm not interested in paying you. Generally, talented people create things because they either love doing it or have a real need to express themselves. Often, they can also make a living out of doing that if they are good enough

Human culture has always been based on sharing. It's one of the first lessons that kids are taught ("share that toy with your sister, Bobby"). Modern capitalism seems to be moving away from this aspect of culture, but people genuinely enjoy sharing experiences with others.

If you dont want to create things without getting paid, then maybe you should just go and get a job. Maybe there's too many content creators in the world - there certainly seems to be a lot of rubbish content out there.

Re:Always amazes me (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about 2 years ago | (#39533751)

You are asking artists to produce without any external incentive. Basically you want communism -- everything should be shared, and everyone will get everything.

Communism works in small groups, that's why it's applied in families. But you can't force it on the whole world, saying everyone who doesn't give away stuff is greedy, and argue that taking away their works is justified.

Re:Always amazes me (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 2 years ago | (#39533867)

I'm not asking artists to produce. My point is that artists will produce anyway. If they don't want to, they don't have to. I don't see how people sharing things has anything to do with communism - communism is where the state owns everything and there wouldn't be any sharing between individuals as the individuals wouldn't "own" anything.

I don't care if people give away stuff or not - that's down to the individual. It wouldn't necessarily be greedy for someone to not give something away - often people produce very personal works of art/fiction and don't want to publish or sell it.

Taking away people's works is never justified - it's stealing, plain and simple. Voluntary sharing of things either involves relinquishing ownership (temporarily or permanently) or in the case of digital media, it can be copied for next to zero cost.

Re:Always amazes me (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 years ago | (#39534037)

Generally, talented people create things because they either love doing it or have a real need to express themselves. Often, they can also make a living out of doing that if they are good enough. (...) Maybe there's too many content creators in the world - there certainly seems to be a lot of rubbish content out there.

In all honestly, many may have the need but there's plenty who suck at it. See the initial round of talent shows for example, where some people sing like a cat being tortured but still think they can make it as a singer. Trying to get people to pay to listen to you actually weeds out a lot of them. I have a relative that had an intense need to express himself, paintings, books, poems, sculptures, photographs, everything - none of which are going to make art history. He didn't have to care what you thought about it though, so he didn't. It's not those that are "good enough" that make a living, it's those that make things their customers want. That can be two very different things, many so called "great artists" went poor and unrecognized in their time. And many best left forgotten too.

Besides, it tends to presume that just because you have an idea you can realize it without money. I can have a great movie idea but I'd still need a cast, a crew, locations, stages, camera, sound, lighting, clothes, props, makeup, music, editing. For example Lord of the Rings took something like 2400 people to make, how many of them can you name? Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen and Orlando Bloom maybe. The other 99% you can't, most of them didn't give any creative input either. Stand here, do that, move that light two feet to the right. I like a lot of the popular art, no surprise since that's why it's called popular. It's fair to have particular tastes, but some seem to have them just to be elitist artsy fellows, because they understand art "better" than the rest.

If the audience wants brain dead action movies with lots of explosions, is the audience wrong? Is Hollywood wrong for pandering to what they obviously want, and not making art movies instead? Or the music industry for giving teen girls boy bands and teen boys a superbabe in skimpy clothing to drool over? I mean, if it's just for the artist's self realization we're paying them I'd like my government sponsored self-realization too. Just like the press they're both independent but at the same time their value is ultimately none if nobody reads it. Maybe one thought provoking article is worth more than a thousand bland notices but multiplied by zero readers it's still zero value. Art only has value if at least somebody appreciates it beyond the artist itself.

Re:Always amazes me (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 2 years ago | (#39538059)

even if someone likes to create, they sometimes can't afford to do so at the best of their abilities.
some people are professional enough to do a good job at something they don't like doing. (this includes the unpleasant aspects of something one likes to do overall)
in either case, money can help

Re:Always amazes me (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | more than 2 years ago | (#39539645)

I agree, which is why I love the idea of Kickstarter and I've ended up helping fund quite a few projects on there (despite living in the UK and Kickstarter being primarily US).

Good content producers have to find a way to get word-of-mouth round that they are good in order to get funding for larger projects. File sharing actually helps these people as it makes it easier for their works to get distributed.

Look at the success of The Order of the Stick on Kickstarter - a free webcomic gets over a million dollars to fund re-publishing some of the books. It shows what a dedicated fanbase can do.

Re:Always amazes me (4, Insightful)

muuh-gnu (894733) | about 2 years ago | (#39533165)

> but not the creators?

It is OK for creators to make money off content... if they can. If people are willing to pay. If they are not willing and prefer to produce their copies themselves instead bying them from you, you're SOL and have to change jobs to something wehere people want to pay for what you do. What is NOT ok is to solve the problem simply by making technological advancements and the modern copying infrastructure illegal with the intent to simulate the 50's where nobody had a PC and nobody had his PC connected with billions of other people with a PC. "Now as all of you have those wonderful futuristic tools became real... dont use them, because people will lose jobs."

For your business model (selling copies) to work, you basically have to make people forever stay in the 50's. This is the same as if people in the 16th century made book printing illegal to protect manuscript scribes. You're basically a luddite fighting technological advancement because it obsoletes your business. Do you sincerely think you can win that fight? Before, you could run a business to distribute stuff to people, now they can do it themselves. The distribution problem has now been solved. Your business model is simply gone. Adapt or die, you won't win this.

Re:Always amazes me (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | about 2 years ago | (#39535213)

Proof of this model is in the webcomics industry.

The main draw to their sites is, unsurprisingly, the comics.

The earlier days of it had a "donate" button, and the artist made money that way. (A lot of artists still use that, in fact.) A lot of them also say things like "This is pretty much my day job, and I need this much money a month to survive... any and all donations are appreciated". Some go a step further and include a donation wallpaper, a donation tracker (I've gotten this much money this month), etc.

Things soon progressed to "premium clubs", where you would get to see the comic a day or a few hours early, exclusive content, etc.

Lastly (and more recently), things have went to a merchandise-driven model. The comic is free. There's no donation button or premium clubs. The artists make their money primarily off of printed books (which takes a lot of work, especially if you didn't set the comic up right in the first place) and/or t-shirts and other merch. Topatoco, Dumbrella, etc. are coalitions of comic authors who combine their services in such a fashion and make it easy to buy webcomics-based merch in a handful of places.

It's trivially easy to copy the "content" of the site, the stuff they make. Hell, even the printed books are easy enough to find scans of online. And yet they make money - sometimes enough to be better than what they would make doing drawing comics for a career - without resorting to lawsuits and draconian DRM.

Re:Always amazes me (3, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#39533565)

You are mistaken, Rapidshare doesn't make any money off of copyrighted material. Their income comes from selling storage space and bandwith. Granted, some people use these services for copyright infringement, but blaming Rapidshare for the crimes of others is stupid. Guess what, warez sites also buy their storage and bandwith from someone, should we make ISPs illegal too?

Re:Always amazes me (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39534505)

"Take away the profits and the creators will vanish."

Because people hate to create and would only consider doing so with a guarantee of financial compensation.

"I couldn't care less about the distributors I'm talking about the creators. As a creator I'll tell you now if you give all the profits to groups like Rapidshare then there will be no new content."

I couldn't care less about the distributors, the creators, or new content of any kind. There is a much, much, MUCH more important issue at stake hear, the rights of people to freely share information they have with each other. Next to this, all music, movies, games, software, books, and even the internet, are as nothing. This is why people like me get so pissed off when others, particularly creators, defend copyright, as if their right to make a living off of the creation of art is more important than the rights of others to share it.

Re:Always amazes me (3, Insightful)

future assassin (639396) | about 2 years ago | (#39534695)

Why is it okay for Rapidshare to make money off copyrighted content but not the creators? As some one that lives off copyrighted content why do they have more rights than I do? I spend years creating the content that they casually hand off to anyone with a computer. My creditors would point out that I'm far from rich yet the owners of Rapidshare make serious money off copyright holders. Take away the profits and the creators will vanish. I couldn't care less about the distributors I'm talking about the creators. As a creator I'll tell you now if you give all the profits to groups like Rapidshare then there will be no new content. They aren't the heroes it's the content creators who have been screwed over by the distributors who paid them $0.10 on the $1 and now the file sharing services that pay zero cents on the dollar!. Support the artists and screw the corporate lackies including Rapidshare!

Seems to me your method of making money is dead. Sitting there and bitching about it will do nothing and legislating will take year and years to lock up the illegal distributions methods while new ones pop up. So wouldn't it be about time to change careers like the majority of the population or embrace the interweb as the ultimate distribution channel and work your way up to success. Mind you, you still need to produce something worth while as like with antiques all of a sudden those rare ones seem to be popping up all over the place because of people using the Internet to connect with each other, No where there were only a few, there a hundreds and technology killed that scarcity.

Here you go http://www.engadget.com/2011/12/22/louis-ck-makes-1-million-in-12-days-proves-that-drm-free-conte/ [engadget.com]

Re:Always amazes me (1)

xigxag (167441) | more than 2 years ago | (#39537573)

Everyone on Slashdot is a "content creator" in that we make submissions and write comments that draw readers to the site, and we do it for free. And Slashdot makes money off us. And by posting here, you seem to be okay with that.

Re:Always amazes me (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#39537763)

Everyone on Slashdot is a "content creator" in that we make submissions and write comments that draw readers to the site, and we do it for free. And Slashdot makes money off us. And by posting here, you seem to be okay with that.

Perhaps someone should have told these people that [slashdot.org] ...

"Both parties claim they are victorious" (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532349)

"Both parties claim they are victorious"

Nice, a "win-win" verdict.

Re:"Both parties claim they are victorious" (5, Funny)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532449)

As it happens, though, it was the lawyers for both parties talking. After that they went out together for caviar.

Never been about freeware (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532489)

No one cares it some one shares a file they created themselves. This has always been about files that cost millions to create being given away. Why should I pay to have the content created when some one else gets to download it for free? Why not download it for free myself? Because I want future updates. There are free options but people prefer the content that took millions to create. Funny how that works. Yes there are fan made movies and open source software but the bulk of the downloads continue to be the content that cost a fortune to create. If the free content was just as good I doubt there would be an issue and the paid content creators would be out of business. This isn't about free is just as good this is about I want it free and I want it now! There are plenty of free sites but they aren't nearly as popular as sites that deal with content that cost a lot to create. Since I pay for my content I get to carry the freeloaders which is where I get upset!

Re:Never been about freeware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532577)

is this pasted from another discussion?

Re:Never been about freeware (2)

lxs (131946) | about 2 years ago | (#39533307)

I hate paying freeloaders too but studio executives appear to be a necessary evil these days.

Re:Never been about freeware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39535051)

It costs millions to produce pornography?

It's all about.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532771)

treading that sweet line between 'carrier' and 'facilitator'. Technically there is little difference but legally one is cause for international police cooperation to take you down and one is a legitment business model.

How many? (1)

jduhls (1666325) | about 2 years ago | (#39533471)

Only 64.000 copyright holders? That's a small special interest group.

Re:How many? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39533513)

64k copyright holders should be enough for anyone.

Re:How many? (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 2 years ago | (#39541687)

That's about the size of the British royal family, who've been successfully lobbying to avoid the country becoming a republic again for 3.5 centuries now. "Small" doens't mean "ineffectual".

Re:How many? (1)

jduhls (1666325) | more than 2 years ago | (#39543467)

So that's actually not a typo?!?! Daaang.

Re:How many? (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 2 years ago | (#39554819)

64 Not 64k.

Lobby is everything (1)

luk3Z (1009143) | more than 2 years ago | (#39547671)

It's all about money. If you know how to "pay" some people then your business is legal.
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