×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Napster Going Offshore?

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the law-of-the-sea-law-of-the-jungle dept.

Music 325

BananaBoht writes: "According to this article, a Canadian named Matt Goyer plans to set up a Napster clone server off the shores of the UK on a sovreign island. Mr. Goyer is eyeing HavenCo Ltd. as a possible site for his cloned Napster computer server. The company rents computing power and Internet data storage space to those seeking to avoid government laws. It operates from an ocean platform called Sealand, which has operated for 30 years as a sovereign territory off the coast of England."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

325 comments

Re:HavenCo Status, Fairtunes, etc. (2)

Zachary Kessin (1372) | more than 13 years ago | (#382101)

It does not matter where the servers are. If you are a Canadian living in Canada you are subject to Canadian Law.

Re:Not for long.. (1)

yooden (115278) | more than 13 years ago | (#382104)

If the US government were to send in the marines they'd be invading another country. A declaration of war. That would violate more treaties than you can count. The repercussions would be horrendous politcally.
That got me laughing real, real hard. The USA do not care for international treaties. Have never, will never. Examples: Iraq, Grenada, Iraq, Panama, Iraq, LaGrand, Iraq, Kosovo, Iraq, ABM Treaty, Iraq. You think Bush would hesitate for a steel plate sitting on a stone?

Re:It may just shift the problem. (1)

divec (48748) | more than 13 years ago | (#382107)

The UK has _no_ history of good international behaviour.
When the US declared independence, it was much weaker than the UK. The reason it managed to survive is because it managed to make enough powerful friends. If Sealand can do the same, they may survive. Remember, if the British government were to claim that Sealand is British, then it is bound by domestic law and so it just takes a few rich people to mount a legal challenge to slow the whole thing down.

Re:This does not protect the Individual. (1)

Totally_Lost (177765) | more than 13 years ago | (#382108)

It also doesn't protect the individual server sites in the US which are the ones really breaking the copyright laws by effectively offering on demand broadcast service for the music which is subject to royalties.

Re:It may just shift the problem. (1)

divec (48748) | more than 13 years ago | (#382109)

Sorry, I should have added this: The US, and the Falklands for that matter, were not considered actually *part* of the UK, only colonies. Hence UK law did not necessarily apply there. Sealand could only be claimed as part of England proper.

Re:Does these sealand hosting facilities really ex (1)

kju (327) | more than 13 years ago | (#382110)

should read havenco.com of course. sorry for that.

Re:Saddam to the rescue (1)

infractor (152926) | more than 13 years ago | (#382116)

Since when was Iraq well connected to the internet? I think trade restrictions might limit their connectivity.

But why waste time with a lump of concrete like Sealand, it's not yet been proven to be untouchable.

Why not Russia or China, as far as I know the RIAA lawyers wouldn't be able to do much there and Russia seems pretty well connected these days.

Personally I'd rather see a cryptographic true peer to peer network, that way they'll have to sue each and every user.

It may just shift the problem. (3)

Soft (266615) | more than 13 years ago | (#382123)

How much time before the RIAA starts putting the pressure on the ISP linking Sealand to the shore?

AWESOME!!! (1)

AntiTuX (202333) | more than 13 years ago | (#382125)

This is honestly great for the napster community.
I wish everyone involved the best of luck. The only problem I can see, is the fact that napster might try to pull copyright infringement on this. to be honest, this probibly isn't set in paper anyways, but it's worth a shot.

CONGRATS#$

I predicted this about 6 mos. ago. (1)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 13 years ago | (#382127)

This is exactly what I predicted would happen. What I wonder is whether the RIAA will be able to pressure ISPs not to route traffice from that island...

What's the difference? (2)

sagacious_gnostic (319793) | more than 13 years ago | (#382128)

I don't see how this is different to making millions off dealing drugs and storing it in a swiss bank -- or a similiar situation for tax evasion purposes. Maybe (IANAL, so I can only say maybe) this avoids responsibility but does this make it any less illegal? Disclaimer: I am not saying Napster is wrong, just that to try and avoid the legal implications doesn't seem the right way to go about things (IMO)

metallica to cancel (1)

oingoboingo (179159) | more than 13 years ago | (#382198)

i guess this means that the previously sold-out metallica/dr. dre double header on sealand will be cancelled. do you know how hard it was to get tickets?

Re:It may just shift the problem. (1)

Claric (316725) | more than 13 years ago | (#382200)

Maybe not.

I think that due to the publicity this will generate it would be easy for Sealand to get funding to have its own ISP (if not already). This seems to be similar to the data haven idea in Cryptonomicon. How much power the RIAA will have to stop this is debatable.

Claric
--

Let me be pessimist... (3)

ishark (245915) | more than 13 years ago | (#382208)

All this sounds like a wonderful idea, I just hope it doesn't get hijacked into a moral justification for massive law-mandated Internet filtering.

I fear that the major labels probably have enough money for this...

[[ I admit I tried Napster for the first time a couple of days ago (even if I followed all the copyright discussion from the start), and it's really a killer. I'd be ready to pay a fee for unrestricted usage. Just throw in md5sums to verify file integrity and I'm ready to pay up to 50FF/month without even *thinking* about it. ]]

Watch the RIAA eat Sealand. (2)

Ryan Koppenhaver (322154) | more than 13 years ago | (#382211)

I'm not kidding. Sealand has lasted thus far because there's been no good reason to take it over. The RIAA is not going to let Napster get away, though, and they'll hire government agents to destroy any Sealand operation that Napster might try to start.

It's about time Napster rolled over and admitted that they can't fight money.

Sealand's History (5)

CiaranMc (149798) | more than 13 years ago | (#382215)

Sealand isn't really much of an island. It's an old WW2 concrete artilery platform - completely man-made. It was abandoned for many years, before being settled on by Paddy Roy Bates, who has since been proclaimed 'king'

Their main claim to sovereignty is that the UK ignored them for many years, writing them off as a bunch of loonies. However, in the last few years they've been allowing HavenCo to situate their servers on the island, and the UK government have started laying claim to the island.

Note however, they get all their power and internet connection from nearby countries, who would be entirely within their rights to switch off the connection if Havenco start doing something they disagree with.

Useful Links:

-Ciaran

Sealand's Legal Status (1)

Cabby (39912) | more than 13 years ago | (#382225)

I wouldn't get too excited.

Sealand has survived up till now by not doing anything that annoyed anyone very much.
Officially it's a British crown dependency (its independence certainly hasn't been recognised by anyone that I know of) and if enough pressure is put on the British Government then they'd probably end up shutting it down. The UK extended her territorial waters a few years back, so it's no longer outside them (as it was in '67).

There's an article about it from Wired here [wired.com]

Re:It may just shift the problem. (2)

vidarh (309115) | more than 13 years ago | (#382230)

Uhh... They have to connect to somewhere.. Otherwise it's kind of meaningless. And whoever they connect to will likely be pressured by the RIAA. Especially considering that even if you accept Seelands claim to being a sovereign state, the ISPs they are connecting to aren't situated there, and will be possible to reach via courts in the countries they operate in.

Re:Watch the RIAA eat Sealand. (3)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 13 years ago | (#382235)

I'm not kidding.
No, you're not thinking.
Sealand has lasted thus far because there's been no good reason to take it over. The RIAA is not going to let Napster get away, though, and they'll hire government agents to destroy any Sealand operation that Napster might try to start.
Sealand is a fort. Manned by people who arguably have the right to retaliate with force (they've fired at English naval vessels before). Which means the RIAA would have to go in with force. Can you imagine what would happen if someone was killed and it was linked back to the RIAA? They'd get crucified.

The RIAA would have to fight in the courts, which could be a tricky business given Sealand's as undetermined status as a country. Their best bet would be to go after the Canadian who owns the server in Canada. Shut him down and their problem goes away.

It's about time Napster rolled over and admitted that they can't fight money.
I guess you didn't read the article either. This is some guy wanting to set up a clone server. It has nothing to do with Napster (the company) at all.

Fight the Club (sandwiches) (1)

BIGJIMSLATE (314762) | more than 13 years ago | (#382236)

"I am Jack's complete lack of surprise" Did you really expect for some comany and/or person to NOT do that? I'm surprised Napster stayed in the US at all, since it would be much harder for the RIAA to get them (Napster Inc.) legally if it was WAAAAAY out of jurisdiction (i.e. Antarctica, Guam, New Jersey). ;p Hm...how far DO these copyright laws extend anyways? If I happen to download a Zeppelin track (don't worry, I own all 10 cds) while vacationing in the Congo...theoretically, could the RIAA go after me for copyright infringement? (Sorry if its a dumb question, but copyright law is fairly new to me).

On the ISPs, plural. (5)

Paul Crowley (837) | more than 13 years ago | (#382239)

Sealand has multiple connectivity into the UK and into Amsterdam.

Now, maybe all of those ISPs will capitulate. But supposing they don't? Supposing, say, one of the well-connected Amsterdam ISPs stands firm, and is backed up by the Amsterdam court? I don't think the RIAA are going to try and cut off Amsterdam, which is a major Internet hub for Europe, but maybe they'll demand that US ISPs fake the routing tables so you can't route to Sealand? Then another offshore alternative opens up, more routing frob...

Eventually the RIAA and MPAA will demand that the Internet as we know it be dismantled in favour of a networking protocol that is better at supporting censorship. Eventually they'll demand an Internet that has "providers", who are big companies that can afford legal fees and scrupulously provide only legal content, and "users" who can send email and read content provided by "providers" but who can't afford the legal fees needed to publish anything, and whose communication with each other is heavily mediated by the "providers" taking legal responsibility. They'll want changes to the law, backed by new international conventions, that make even Slashdot illegal, because Slashdot can't guarantee someone won't put DeCSS here.

They won't necessarily get what they demand, but they will eventually be forced to demand it if their position is to make any sense at all. And they're not the kind of people to say "OK, that would be too nasty, we'll concede defeat."
--

Re:It may just shift the problem. (1)

THEbwana (42694) | more than 13 years ago | (#382240)

From what I remember they have redundant links to a number of nations. That would mean 3+ governments to attack. They are also working on offsite mirroring to other parts of the world..the RIAA are going to have to work for their money this time ;-)

The irony of it (1)

pbkg (24307) | more than 13 years ago | (#382248)

"There's enough irate people out there I think I can get many to chip in $10 each," Mr. Goyer said.

Isn't it a bit ironic that people would want to pay to be able to freely trade copyrighted music.... or is it just me.

Re:It may just shift the problem. (3)

JoeShmoe (90109) | more than 13 years ago | (#382249)

Not Insightful, Uninformed. Please read the previous stories about HavenCo/Sealand such as

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=00/07/02/1602 53 &mode=nested

(Or Click Here [slashdot.org] )

The rules about upstream ISPs are different for countries. Just because an Internet connection to Canada travels across US soil does not give the US the right to censor it. HavenCo is counting on international treaties that govern communications carries to prevent any organization or entity (read RIAA or US Government) from saying "pull the plug". No one owns the Internet, so no one has a right to block another country's access to its content.

- JoeShmoe

Could Napster sue the Napster Clone?? (2)

rlowe69 (74867) | more than 13 years ago | (#382251)

Just a thought:

If he is setting up a Napster clone and Napster plays all goody goody with the RIAA, what will stop Napster from suing the maintainer of the clone?? Heck, they may get the RIAA's help to do it! Is the Napster software protected (or not) by a restrictive license that does/doesn't allow for rogue clones?

rLowe

A little more information... (3)

ThroughYourEyes (189368) | more than 13 years ago | (#382253)

Incase you're wondering about Sealand, here [sealandgov.com] is the official website. For pictures [demon.co.uk] , look at their old website [demon.co.uk] .
If you ask me, it looks like a raft on stilts rather than a sovereign territory, but hey. To each his own. {=)

Saddam to the rescue (5)

Placido (209939) | more than 13 years ago | (#382256)

Napster should appeal to Saddam for asylum (i think that's the word). I'm pretty sure he'd do anything to piss the west off and what better way than destroying a billion dollar industry and rewriting international copyright laws in the process... he could also download some cool songs inbetween signing execution orders.

There is no copyright law in Sealand (2)

evilandi (2800) | more than 13 years ago | (#382260)

AntiTux: napster might try to pull copyright infringement on this

There is no copyright law in Sealand. Sealand is not a member of the Bern Convention [wipo.org] and it does not have a copyright law of it's own.

The only intellectual property law in Sealand is that child pornography is illegal.

--

Re:It may just shift the problem. (2)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 13 years ago | (#382261)

the ISPs they are connecting to aren't situated there, and will be possible to reach via courts in the countries they operate in.
The likes of AOL Time Warner would have pretty strong concerns about a case that sets the precedent of ISPs being legally responsible for the data they carry. I'd say the RIAA would have to try to throw money at the link operators to drop the connection (cable to England, I believe).

Why it might work... (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#382262)

First of all, Matt Goyer is Canadian, so the RIAA will have a much harder time going after him personally. If he were American, they could probably just throw his ass in jail. If he were British, they'd force him to give up his login/pass, then ALL YOUR BASE... You get the picture.

Second, he's actually in the clear from the moral point of view. As evidenced by him spending about $10,000 to set up Fairtunes [fairtunes.com] , a site which allows fans to donate directly to artists, he cares about seeing that artists don't get ripped off. I've personally donated $25 through Fairtunes. To get the same amount of cash into artists' hands, I'd have to spend over $300 on CDs.

Third, Sealand's independence has, to some extent, recognized by British courts. Sealand fired a warning shot at a boat that approached too closely, and Roy Bates was taken to court for some weapons violation. The court ruled something to the effect that the weapons laws didn't apply to Sealand since it is sovergn. Also, Sealand established its independence before Britain extended its teritorial waters, so Sealand is in the clear on that front, too.

Fourth, the Sealand guys seem to know what they're doing. They have generators and redundant internet connections. Their server room is filled with pure nitrogen for security and fire prevention. Cool shit. I'm sure they could handle Napster II.

Fifth, Sealand might take this on just for the publicity. With Napster in the news nearly every day, this could get Sealand some much-needed press.

Re:AWESOME!!! (1)

Zemran (3101) | more than 13 years ago | (#382275)

Eeerr, if they are on Sealand no-one except Sealand can call anything copyright infringement. They are outside everyones jurisdiction. Any court case in the US is just a waste of money unless it is against individuals that live in the US.

napster is so very doomed... (3)

Error27 (100234) | more than 13 years ago | (#382281)

I sometimes wish I could get my hands on the weed people smoke when they decide that napster can afford to spend a billion dollars to the record industry over five years.

Why would you invest in something like that? I do agree that millions of people would be willing to pay for mp3's on a subscription basis. But what's to differentiate napster from the hundreds of over clones that Canadian CS students set up in their dorm?

It's true, the Napster name brand has house hold recognition. But not the kind of recognition that's worth a billion dollars.

I really doubt napster will be around still by this Christmas.

"plans" ain't "does" (1)

streetlawyer (169828) | more than 13 years ago | (#382284)

a Canadian named Matt Goyer plans to set up a Napster clone server off the shores of the UK on a sovreign island

Indeed, and a young-at-heart Missourian of my acquaintance "plans" to father the children of Natalie Portman, but he'd be the first to admit it's a long and complicated process with no guarantee of success. For a start, he has no money, and therefore can't pay HavenCo's bills. For seconds, unless he intends to move to Sealand for the rest of his life, he'll end up in jail. For thirds, since "material that is ruled unlawful in the jurisdiction of the originating server" is against the AUP of Havenco, it's quite arguable that they won't let him do it.

Re:Fight the Club (sandwiches) (1)

Betcour (50623) | more than 13 years ago | (#382287)

Humm, I think Taïwan has pretty non-existent copyright laws, but any country in Eastern-Europe or many other pacific islands would do the trick too. They can probably place several servers in several different places, that way it gets impossible to shut them down at all :)

Good way to force the Sealand sovereignty issue... (5)

Wee (17189) | more than 13 years ago | (#382288)

I can tell you one thing: this will let us know whether Sealand really is a sovereign nation or not. The jury is still out on that question, and it's one that has to be answered before anyone spends their cash on a colo setup there.

For example, let's say you set up a gambling operation there. You're running along happily, until one day the British Gov't comes calling because you've violated the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act of 2000 [hmso.gov.uk] , which was enacted so that MI5 can listen for bad guys by reading your email. Then some bigwig public official in Norwich happens to be gambling on a game of canasta with the Crown's money, and the Brits get all upset because they can't find out who he is, what he bet, when he plays, etc. So they sue, he sues, everyone sues everyone else. It becomes a big mess, and the anonymous email operation you set up six months prior is caught in the middle of it. How do you repel a DoS attack from the Home Office?

Later on, the providers of HavenCo's bandwidth get pressured from all sorts of people. See, Sealand might be independant, but the companies that give HavanCo their pipe are based in countries which most certainly are not. They can (and will) be pressured. They get leaned on, and then HavenCo gets leaned on. Shit runs downhill. (And don't give me that satellite rap; you know that's only an expensive worst-case backup of dubious technical merit.) The upshot here is that everyone who gave money to HavenCo is now officially S.O.L.

Which is why we need something "friviolous" like a Napster server to take up residence on Sealand. If it goes down because of the Strong Arm of the Law(TM), then it really isn't that big of a deal. It gets sorted out in court and we all wait to see what happens. In the meantime, we run our gambling and pr0n operations off some island like everyone else has been doing. We're listenign to stuff off FreeNet, and grabbign MP3s from OpenNap servers.

But the court will have to decide one way or the other. The RIAA -- for one -- will surely force the issue (like through the U.N., maybe?). And the decision will likely be binding; what's good for Mr. Napster Server Clone is good for you and me (please note: IANAL and I don't want to be one, either). If the verdict is for the Napsterites, then we can all put our servers on Sealand. If the verdict favors whatever government happened to bitch, then we lost no money setting precedent ourselves.

It's a good thing. I want to see it happen.

-B

Amusing quote.. (1)

OblongPlatypus (233746) | more than 13 years ago | (#382291)

From their FAQ, answering a question about Sealand being recognized by other nations:
..and Germany once sent a diplomat to negotiate directly with the Prince of Sealand for the release of a German criminal being held in a Sealand prison.
Compare that to the image of a raft on stilts, and you get a pretty amusing picture.

This is junk (2)

seizer (16950) | more than 13 years ago | (#382301)

For a slightly more cynical take (and in my view, more realistic), take a peek at the Register [theregister.co.uk] 's coverage of this story [theregister.co.uk]

Who? (2)

dimator (71399) | more than 13 years ago | (#382303)

I like how a Joe Blow CS student with a good idea is all of a sudden labeled a 21-year-old Canadian Web entrepreneur. How is he an entrepreneur? How is this plan of his going to make him money? It seems he's just after enogh ($15k) to pay the bills.
--

Re:Sealand's Legal Status (2)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 13 years ago | (#382305)

The UK extended her territorial waters a few years back, so it's no longer outside them (as it was in '67).
And there's the rub. It was an abandoned platform in international waters. Britain later extended their territorial waters to encompass it. The British government has probably left it too long to get rid off the occupiers by normal means (i.e. trespass laws). Plus there was that court case that was thrown out because the judge decided he didn't have jurisdiction.

Re:Not for long.. (1)

Zemran (3101) | more than 13 years ago | (#382307)

If they sent the US marines it would be a great laugh (remember Iran 8-) . If they sent real soldiers it would be an act of war which seems a bit strong for a business dispute. The British sent soldiers to take Sealand and they ran away with their tails between their legs after a bit of gunfire. Given the US's track record they probably wouldn't find the place.

HavenCo Status, Fairtunes, etc. (5)

rdl (4744) | more than 13 years ago | (#382312)

I woke up this morning to find about 500 messages in our trouble ticketing system about this. Heh.
(I'm one of the cofounders of HavenCo, and the CTO, if you didn't already know; I'm also an active slashdot reader (what else do you think we do for fun out in the middle of the north sea?))

First of all, www.fairtunes.com is hosted in Canada, is slashdotted, and isn't our fault!

Second, I can't comment on confidential discussions with customers w/o their permission, but yes, from looking at the fairtunes site, it looks like they're trying to raise money to pay for a year of service on one of our boxes with the goal being to host an offshore OpenNap server. I'm personally a user of napster (although I mainly use Mojonation [mojonation.net] now. We definitely would like to have them as a customer -- what they're doing doesn't violate our AUP, and we're happy to offer service to anyone who will pay. Of course, what they are doing is NOT being done by us; if they choose to host with us, it's still their responsibility.

We have network connectivity through multiple providers around the world, and can easily add more. We assign customers a /29, so if any government decides they must protect their citizens from human-rights information, music trading services, etc., they would need to block the customer's /29, affecting only that customer. I personally think the chances of IP blocking at the borders of a country are pretty slim in any marginally free country -- it's difficult from a technical perspective, would be widely opposed by users, and is generally not worthwhile.

As for HavenCo's service, we've been up since May 2000, and now that we have high-speed low-latency network, fully debugged power systems, etc. we're offering commercial service to anyone who is interested and obeys our AUP [havenco.com] . Our pricing is standardized, and is USD 1500/month for a 2U box with redundant power, cooling, 24x7 network monitoring, armed security, etc., and 256kbps of Internet bandwidth (local 100baseTX is free, so people can offer services to other HavenCo customers without paying for bandwidth). We charge a USD 1500 one-time setup fee, and USD 3500 for hardware (we can use any high-quality 1U or 2U box, and pricing is US cost; we don't try to make a profit off hardware, but we can't accept non-rackmount, low quality, etc. stuff). We have about 3-5 days lead time, from receipt of payment, before we can have a server up and running, and as long as you're not doing spam/spam support, child pornography, or hacking from our machines, we'd love to have you as a customer; contact sales@havenco.com [mailto] for more info.

We're in the middle of a web redesign, and have been trying to focus on getting services fully up, rather than getting more press, but we're about to begin a big sales and press push. This is a bit earlier than was planned, but now that people are getting slashdotted, might as well post. :)

Re:Not for long.. (2)

onion2k (203094) | more than 13 years ago | (#382314)

SeaHaven is officially another country. From the SeaHaven web site

Gradually, over the years, Sealand has become increasingly secure and internationally accepted. More and more, the international Lawyers and other Jurists stated that Sealand fulfilled all the legal requirements of a State and that the Sovereignty of Sealand was absolute and unquestionable. The major states of Europe have now accepted this as a fact

If the US government were to send in the marines they'd be invading another country. A declaration of war. That would violate more treaties than you can count. The repercussions would be horrendous politcally.

Much as Americans like to believe they control what happens globally, they don't. Theres nothing the US could do, beyond breaking off international relations with SeaHaven. I doubt that'd be a big worry.

Re:Sealand's History (2)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 13 years ago | (#382326)

Note however, they get all their power and internet connection from nearby countries, who would be entirely within their rights to switch off the connection if Havenco start doing something they disagree with.
First they'd have to prove that Sealand wasn't a country. If it is a country then Britain would be on pretty dodgy ground as far as international law went.

Re:Sealand's Legal Status (1)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 13 years ago | (#382328)

The UK extended her territorial waters a few years back, so it's no longer outside them (as it was in '67).

So, by that argument, if the UK was to futher extend her territorial waters by say, 15,000 miles (give or take), then the entire world would become a Crown Dependency and have to kowtow? It might fix a few problems I'm sure, but I can't imagine about 5.5 billion people being very happy about it. ;-)

Canada anyone? (1)

Maskirovka (255712) | more than 13 years ago | (#382332)

Does anyone wonder why hotline (http://bigredh.com) is located in canada, while the creator is Australian? If you take a really close look at the hotline scene you'd find that it would be completely impossible to shut down and/or censor under canadian copyright law, at least in terms of the software it's self. Just some food for thought. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, then move on to the next post.


Maskirovka

Re:Sealand's History (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 13 years ago | (#382334)

Their main claim to sovereignty is that the UK ignored them for many years, writing them off as a bunch of loonies

From http://www.sealandgov.com/history.html : "The result of this lawsuit in Chelmsfort/Essex was a spectacular success for Sealand's claim to sovereignty. In its judgment of 25 November 1968, the court declared that it was not competent in Roy of Sealand's case as it could not exert any jurisdiction outside of British national territory. This is the first de facto recognition of the Principality of Sealand. English law had ruled that Sealand was not part of the United Kingdom, nor did any other nation claim it, hence Prince Roy's declaration of a new Sovereign State was de facto upheld."

Which is a bit whacko, but then again, name me a nation that's been formed by any means other than robust and repeated assertion and defence of its autonomy.

Re:Sealand's History (2)

joss (1346) | more than 13 years ago | (#382336)

is there really such a thing as international law ?

on whose authority is international law written ?

this isn't going to work dudes (1)

yawgnol (244682) | more than 13 years ago | (#382344)

This isn't going to work. The entire idea of the data-haven as small and untouchable only works if no one knows where it is (or it is on the move). In other words, it only works if no one CAN shut it down (economicaly that is).

The only way a stable, useable data-haven is going to work is if it is located in a country large enough that shutting it down would require and act of aggression equal to war. If it's going to be public and stable, it has to be defendable.

Imagine a data-haven set up in Russia. If Iraq or Thailand decides to set up a data-haven it's going to be as hard to shut down as drugs are to stop now.

But back to reality, even if they get this Napster Clone to work, it STILL isn't going to make them any more money than NAPSTER has. NOTHING! And if people DO pay for subscription, then they'll have to compete against the record companies' future subscription services.

Add to that the fact that most of us would RATHER pay the artists if we're gonna have to pay anyway.

This idea is just wrong-headed. Interesting, good news, but not sustainable or even desireable.

Re:Sealand's Legal Status (1)

luckykaa (134517) | more than 13 years ago | (#382347)

Sealand's "independence" is backed up by a lot of very rich people who have a lot invested in their tax haven. They could probably keep the issue tied up in the courts for years.

Why Sealand? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 13 years ago | (#382348)

I've got a lot of respect for the guys at Sealand, but they're a very small fish and this might end up being exceedingly bad for them if the RIIA decide to squash them.

Anyone who's serious about doing this should consider another host country - China. Think about it. No copyright or IP laws, so Napster is both perfectly legal and doctrinally sound in China, plus even the RIIA might think twice about spilling China's pint. OK, the reliability isn't great, but that'll only improve with investment.

Re:Watch the RIAA eat Sealand. (1)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | more than 13 years ago | (#382354)

Now let's not get carried away here. I think you have watched too many movies. :-)
And if it turned out that RIAA was not some fat lazy money grabbing monkies from hell, USA is not the world people, they have no business there, they have just as much power there as a ant under your shoe. RIAA can kiss their hairy yellow ass.
--------

Plural, but awfully singular (1)

Kaa42 (137049) | more than 13 years ago | (#382355)

If only things were that good

The internet is already ruled by a few big companies that sell connectivity to smaller providers. And unfortunately they have already showed their willingness to censor and govern who publishes what according to what ever whim they feel like at the moment.

Just look at what UUNet/Worldcom and KPNQwest did to Flashback.se (Slashdot's coverage [slashdot.org] , founder Jan Axelssons coverage [janaxelsson.org] ) and that was only because a Swedish politician made a few phonecalls. I can imagine the RIAA has a few more and nastier tricks up their sleeves.

Re:Fight the Club (sandwiches) (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 13 years ago | (#382356)

Technically, any copying infringes the copyright. What you have on your side is "fair use" precedent, which is just court speak for "Aww, c'mon, be sensible." Copyright law says that you cannot even create a backup of the music data, but fair use precedent says "Don't be silly, of course you can."

The problem with "fair use" is that it's just precedent covering specific circumstances; it doesn't effect the copyright or licensing per se. And courts can happily ignore precedent under a couple of circumstances: the facts are materially different from the precedent setting case; or if they feel like it (see the Supreme Court Gore Exemption).

To answer your question, it's highly unlikely that the RIIA would pursue individuals who are using Napster to download tracks that they own licenses for, but they could do it on the basis (true or not) that there is a material difference between using Napster and making a personal backup on hard media. They don't have to be right, they just have to intimidate users enough to get a body of non-legal precedent while preventing it ever actually coming to court and getting a fair use precedent against them.

Re:Let me be pessimist... (1)

main() (147152) | more than 13 years ago | (#382357)


> Just throw in md5sums to verify file integrity

I'm sure its been discussed here before, but there is no way of verifying the integrity of MP3 encoded audio. That is except decoding it and listening to it yourself.

That's why the real killer will include some sort of massive rating scheme... either that or bandwidth will have to become so abundant that people don't care about the inefficiency of downloading the same track repeatedly.

Si

This means consumers are SCREWED... (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 13 years ago | (#382358)

Why? Because most consumers never used Napster, and most likely never will. They will simply pay the price of a bunch of music pirates force on them by flaunting laws.

Napster was illegal from day one, and all it accomplished was to deprive many shareholders of their money to line the pockets of certain core company executives. It also forced the hand of the RIAA and that is coming out as a mailed fist.

So cheer on you Napster goons, you've screwed us royally. Hell, whats so damn funny about it is the simpletons who claim Napster are great only got to steal songs, the real beneficiaries of Napster already cashed out - the execs of the company

Re:Sealand's Legal Status (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#382360)

The UK courts have already ruled that they do not cover Sealand (In a court case because they fired warning shots at a Royal Navy vessel). From Sealand Website: "In its judgment of 25 November 1968, the court declared that it was not competent in Roy of Sealand's case as it could not exert any jurisdiction outside of British national territory. This is the first de facto recognition of the Principality of Sealand. English law had ruled that Sealand was not part of the United Kingdom, nor did any other nation claim it, hence Prince Roy's declaration of a new Sovereign State was de facto upheld." As far at the extended territorial waters go Sealand extended hers to the same distance 12 nm at the same time. International law states that where this happens and areas overlap each get half. Since Sealand is further out than the UK they still have access to open waters. See www.sealandgov.com/history.html for more info

Re:napster is so very doomed... (2)

TheOutlawTorn (192318) | more than 13 years ago | (#382361)

Even if Napster is doomed, the subscription model is likely the shape of music distribution will take over the next decade. Either that or advertising based, which you can compare to the TV model of today. Several stations offering free content(NBC,CBS), with other stations offering content for a monthly fee (HBO, ESPN). Even if Napster the company goes under, there will most likely be one major clearinghouse for subscription based service, and one for advertising based service. Either way, the RIAA can be cut out of the picture, the consumer wins, and the artists win.

Re:HavenCo Status, Fairtunes, etc. (2)

Kiffer (206134) | more than 13 years ago | (#382362)

I'm interested in how you went about setting up sealand ... I know i should read the history and I'm off to do that in a little while after i finish posting/reading news ... but anyway back to my point. I've looked in to the possiblity of setting up some thing like sealand before ... although at the time i'd never heard of sealand ... any way I think you should (if you have not all ready ) look at the page below ... the info on sea concreate was interesting , as was the otec stuff(set off a big splurge of research on the net) http://www.luf.org/artisle.html Grr I'm posting crap again ...

This does not protect the Individual. (2)

evil_one (142582) | more than 13 years ago | (#382363)

The individual in question, although Canadian, and proposing a service in yet another country, is not shielded by American law. Should he be sued in American courts, any decisions made will be binding. Should he be found guilty on anything and not pay up, he could face extradition at the worst, and at the least, if he were to set foot on American soil, could be arrested. If the folks in Sealand don't get paid, then guess who's SOL.
---

Re:Good way to force the Sealand sovereignty issue (2)

Peejeh (260114) | more than 13 years ago | (#382364)

So they sue, he sues, everyone sues everyone else. It becomes a big mess.
Na, it's only in the US that everyone sues everyone else. In Britain we'd rather dual at five paces and then make up over a afternoon tea.

Re:Sealand's History (1)

davidmb (213267) | more than 13 years ago | (#382365)

The UK and the US do not recognise Sealand. Since the 1987 expansion of Britain's territorial limits, Sealand has been within the our sea boundaries.
Check out this article [wired.com]

According to a US State Department official, who declined to be identified, "There are no independent principalities in the North Sea. As far as we are concerned, they are just Crown dependencies of Britain."

Re:Good way to force the Sealand sovereignty issue (4)

rdl (4744) | more than 13 years ago | (#382371)

As for testing sovereignty, I'd say the armed invasion over a decade ago, and subsequent military recapture, where the Germans send diplomats directly to Sealand to negotiate the release of a private citizen being held as POW, is a stronger test of sovereignty than a Napster server!

But yes, we're always happy to have more legal experience and affirmation of Sealand's sovereign status.

And as for satellite bandwidth -- it's certainly not as good as other bandwidth, but even being connected only by high-quality satellite bandwidth during a legal challenge to the UK or Netherlands over terrestrial links wouldn't be the end of the world; since in the absolute worst case, security of servers is assured, even in the event of invasion, Sealand is still the best place to host data which truly needs the highest security.

Re:Sealand's Legal Status (2)

Cabby (39912) | more than 13 years ago | (#382374)

At the time of the court-case the platform was in international waters. Now it isn't.

Obviously there's the potential for something like this to drag on in the courts, but I'd say that the onus of proof of sovereign status rests firmly on Sealand's head rather than for the UK Government to prove otherwise.

The 1987 Act just ratified a previous agreement over sovereignity with France for that bit of the Straits of Dover (details here [hmso.gov.uk] and that sounds like international agreement to me.

Getting rid of the occupiers is another matter entirely. As long as they don't violate UK law I'd imagine they can stay there as long as they like!

Whole thing sounds far too much like an Ealing comedy to me. Passport to Pimlico anyone?

So how will this differ... (2)

TheOutlawTorn (192318) | more than 13 years ago | (#382375)

...from the subscription service that Napster will roll out later this year? This guy has to recoup his costs somehow, and I doubt he will be setting up a "donation box." He'll have to charge something, either metering by bandwidth or by a flat fee. This whole thing seems more along the lines of a upraised finger than a legitimate plan.

Re:Saddam to the rescue (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#382376)

--
If Saddam Hussein wanted to enter Turkey from the rear, would Greece help?

practical issues (1)

mirko (198274) | more than 13 years ago | (#382377)

  • How about the bandwidth in these islands?
  • Wouldn't the fact of running away during their trial cause them huge problems?
  • Why in fact do they choose this "Somewhere" solution where a P2P model like GNUtella would settle them *Anywhere*? We know that things change damn fast these years and even Iraq or China might not be a lawless Eden for a long time (and by the way, with Iraq being bombed once in a while, it might induce lots of power shortages around the server).

--

Re:AWESOME!!! (2)

Zero Sum (209324) | more than 13 years ago | (#382378)

Great for the Napster community? You haven't read HavenCo's AUP, have you? They wil not put anything up that is illegal by the laws of the country where the server (and service0 originates from. If Napster is illegal in Canada, then it would be illegal for a Canadian owned server to host it (Napster).

RTFM

However it is good for a lot of things, for example a server where open source people could log in and work on beating things like DeCSS and incorporating them in products and posting the result.

There are NO laws about reverse engineering in Sealand.

Quite the Opposite (2)

garethwi (118563) | more than 13 years ago | (#382379)

Wouldn't something like this be an admission of guilt. If they really believe what they are doing is right, then they should stand and fight, except, of course, that you would need to be based in a free country where the government represented the people. Let me know if you ever find one of these.

Re:Watch the RIAA eat Sealand. (1)

casioc (247849) | more than 13 years ago | (#382380)

OK. Is it a fort. Built by the brits in the WWII era. Admitted, they had the guts to fire (warning shots) at naval vessels. Given a real conflict, how long will the British govt stand still to an ant like this ? How many direct hits could it take? How long do servers run under water? Maybe this should be resorted to some different place... IIRC this Kamen guy owns an island off the US shore. IIRC he already has a signed non-violence pact with the US. THAT is a legal hack. HavenCo will only get the shit boiling by hosting Napster clones ... And it is also very limited in space. I dunno how many servers it will take to serve say 10mio users...

Re:Sealand's History (2)

Shimbo (100005) | more than 13 years ago | (#382381)

The thing to realise here is that Sealand doesn't need to be party to these treaties - it's what England and the U.S. are party to that counts. Which is why neither of them would be able to go in with force.

That sounds like nonsense to me. For one thing: when has it stopped the US before? Secondly, it assumes that third parties actually recognise Sealand. Let's face it, if Britain decided to use force, do you seriously think anyone is going to give a damn?

It won't help napster. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#382382)

Even linking to objectionable material is now illegal. Objectionable is a broad spectrum whose bounds are only limited by ones lobbying and litigation resources.

"Napster is simply another kind of link" is all the lawyers have to say, and since the law is already on their side following the DCSS debacle, the courts will most likely give them whatever they want.

The United States is no longer a free country. It's a lukewarm mix of freedom and corporate dictatorship that's getting colder all the time. Perhaps on the freedom scale, the US ranks the highest or is pretty close to the top. But how long will it be before comparisions that benchmark freedom evolve into choices of lesser evils?

Satisfaction by contrasting lesser choices is a fool's paradise.

Critical opinions from citizens of $UTOPIA will be regarded cautiously. Think long and hard before contrasting $UTOPIA with the US when it comes to the subject of freedom and how it is earned. Take a stroll though Arlington national cemetary sometime if you really want to know what the price of freedom is. Count your dead.

Re:Not for long.. (1)

palmersperry (242842) | more than 13 years ago | (#382383)

> If the US government were to send in the marines
> they'd be invading another country.

Alternatively, if Sealand isn't another country then they've just invaded the United Kingdom and this would also, as you said "violate more treaties than you can count. The repercussions would be horrendous politcally."!

Re:Sealand's Legal Status (2)

Shimbo (100005) | more than 13 years ago | (#382384)

The UK courts have already ruled that they do not cover Sealand

At the time, it was outside British territorial waters, so obviously not part of Britain. Since then Britain has extended its claim.

It's a nonsense to claim this ruling is an implicit recognition of Sealand.

Re:It may just shift the problem. (2)

vidarh (309115) | more than 13 years ago | (#382387)

Sure, but who says they'll have to have a legal claim? Just threatening to sue may be enough in many cases. And there's more than enough other ways to "fix" the problem of ISPs that won't listen, if you just have the money.

Re:Sealand's Legal Status (2)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 13 years ago | (#382388)

I don't know if the UK can arbitrarily declare that her territorrial waters are now extended. International law is clear about how far from a countries shores are their territory.

LK

Not so fast... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#382389)

According to HavenCo.'s acceptable use policy: Unacceptable publications include, but are not limited to: Material that is ruled unlawful in the jurisdiction of the originating server (Such as child pornography in the case of our flagship Sealand datacenter). HavenCo fully complies with content restrictions on a jurisdiction by jurisdiction basis, and does not allow content illegal in a given country to be hosted on servers at HavenCo facilities within that specific country. Which would lead one to believe that a napster clone (who would concievable profit from the trafficing of pirated media) would not be allowed to co-locate on Sealand.

Re:It may just shift the problem. (2)

vidarh (309115) | more than 13 years ago | (#382391)

No, it would mean 3+ ISPs to threaten with lawsuits, and throw money at.

Attacking a government would be hard. Attacking an ISP is comparatively quite easy. Most of them doesn't have anything resembling a spine when it comes to defending their customers rights.

Re:Sealand's History (2)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 13 years ago | (#382392)

International law usually means international treaties. Specifically these days it means the sorts of things that the UN handles. See the UN's page on international law [un.org] , for example. Other examples include the Warsaw Convention which you'll find mentioned on the back of most airline tickets and copyright treaties like the Berne Convention.

The thing to realise here is that Sealand doesn't need to be party to these treaties - it's what England and the U.S. are party to that counts. Which is why neither of them would be able to go in with force.

Go after the bill payer... (1)

Codeala (235477) | more than 13 years ago | (#382394)

Unless Matt himself *live* in Sealand, he didn't enjoy any kind of protection from RIAA. If I am the bad guys, I'd just sue his ass till he can't afford to pay Sealand (do you how much lawyers charge these days? :-). I am sure the Sealand guys are nice people: but business is bussiness, if you can't pay your bill, the server will be shut down.

====

Re:HavenCo Status, Fairtunes, etc. (2)

IainMH (176964) | more than 13 years ago | (#382395)

I'm also an active slashdot reader (what else do you think we do for fun out in the middle of the north sea?))

Well at a guess, if what my friend in the navy said is to believed, it probably involves an old toilet role and some face scrub. :-p

Oops (2)

TheOutlawTorn (192318) | more than 13 years ago | (#382397)

That's what I get for posting at 3:30am with a coffee deficiency. What I meant to write is that I doubt the "donation box" will cover costs. He will have to charge something etc etc blah blah blah

Re:It may just shift the problem. (2)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 13 years ago | (#382398)

I guess we'll see just how in the RIAA's pocket the government is. I mean their only option really is miltary action.:)

I can see it now, mass carpet bombings using unwanted N*Sync CD's...

---

Matt Goyer come to Australia (1)

benspionage (265723) | more than 13 years ago | (#382399)

Be as hero, save napster, dont go putting these "Napster clone server" ideas to waste "on a sovreign island". Come to the land of freedom that is Australia.

Hell you can set your servers up in my house if you want and the Government over here is ...., hey, wait, shit I just remembered, no dont do it, turn back I got it all wrong, please ignore this post and slashdot DO NOT FORWARD THIS, I do not want to be sued

Re:Sealand's History + Islands forming states. (1)

Kiffer (206134) | more than 13 years ago | (#382400)

http://www.luf.org/artisle.html This page has a lot of info and thought on forming states ... can a corp. form a state on a unclaimed island ... can a group of normal people, etc. oh and it talks about making islands aswell ... hummmm

Re:Sealand's Legal Status (2)

Shimbo (100005) | more than 13 years ago | (#382401)

I don't know if the UK can arbitrarily declare that her territorrial waters are now extended. International law is clear about how far from a countries shores are their territory.

Yes, well the UK are bringing their claim into line with the normally recognised 12 miles (neither the US or the UK have actually ratified the relevant treaty).

Anarchy on internet (1)

jipje (309993) | more than 13 years ago | (#382402)

Tecnical knowledge should be the judge on internet
and internet users the jury.

Erm... People are forgetting one thing... (3)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 13 years ago | (#382403)

That the RIAA are clueless bastards:) Do you think they honestly know anything about this routing shit? I mean honestly, they're with a hive mentality. Just like ants, someone has breached their defences and they're reacting the only way they can, by reacting without thinking. If anyone at the RIAA actually got a clue and pulled off this routing tables thing, I will gladly stand naked in Times Square on New Years Eve jumping up and down saying "I'm Mister Lizard" with the 10 top selling CD's of the time taped to my dick...

---

This *does* protect the individual. (3)

rjh (40933) | more than 13 years ago | (#382404)

For a lawsuit to be brought, first the Canadian would have to be served with papers from a US court.

Guess what? You can only be served with US court papers... if you're in the United States. The US has no legal authority to go about co-opting citizens or residents of other countries in order to enforce its own laws. Even in the event that criminal charges were filed, extradition from a foreign country is never guaranteed.

So as long as the Canadian never sets foot in the US, he's totally immune to the United States civil-justice system.

Re:Sealand's History (1)

divec (48748) | more than 13 years ago | (#382412)

That sounds like nonsense to me. For one thing: when has it stopped the US before?

True, but the US has a long history of flouting international agreements like this. (I'm not trolling, there's lots wrong with my country too). For example, it is in favour of a World Court to police things like human rights - but only if Americans would be exempt from prosecution. (Ok, so the president would probably be tried for helping to execute people on flimsy evidence after unfair trials, but hey).

Let's face it, if Britain decided to use force, do you seriously think anyone is going to give a damn?
That's an interesting question. I'd be intrigued to know the answer. Conceivably, lots of small places might give a damn. I wonder what the Scottish Nationalist Party would have to say about it. Since courts rule in this country, a well-presented legal challenge could make it hard for the government to do anything.

Re:What's the difference? (1)

ooze (307871) | more than 13 years ago | (#382413)

The difference is that for corporations the US is a single huge offshore island. That's the reason why Mr. Gates, despite the lawsuit, still doesn't buy a carribian Island, declares it an own state (he has the money and the lawyers to convince some states there) and moves Redmond there. There is just no need to do so, as he already has this island.

Re:Not for long.. (2)

rjh (40933) | more than 13 years ago | (#382414)

If the US government were to send in the marines they'd be invading another country. A declaration of war. That would violate more treaties than you can count. The repercussions would be horrendous politcally.

Grenada, '84.

Panama, '89.

Either of these two ring a bell? :) Or, for the Europeans out there, did this logic stop the British from protecting their interests in the Falklands? Or the French, who send their Foreign Legion and paratroops off to the Third World all the time in order to "look after the interests of former colonies"?

Treaties can only be broken if there's a relevant treaty in the first place. The US has no pacts or treaties with Sealand, so there's no treaty to be broken.

Re:Watch the RIAA eat Sealand. (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 13 years ago | (#382415)

That's an insult to humans everywhere, though in all seriousness, it's starting to sound a lot like Animal Farm. Everyone is equal, only some are more equal than others. I mean the RIAA, MPAA, whoever, could take any one of us on here to court, and I guarantee that 99% of us would be found guilty, even if we'd done nothing wrong. Government doesn't have power anymore, coporations do, and that scares the hell out of me.

Like the sig BTW.

---

Re:Sealand's History (1)

divec (48748) | more than 13 years ago | (#382417)

The UK and the US do not recognise Sealand.
Yebbut, the UK and the US do not recognise Taiwan (although the US did till 1971). Anyone who believes the Chinese Government that Taiwan is just a "renegade province" is crazy. Taiwan is the country with the 14th highest international trade volume in the world.
Since the 1987 expansion of Britain's territorial limits, Sealand has been within the our sea boundaries.
Yebbut at the same time as that happened, Sealand expanded its sea boundaries. If you don't think that is valid per se, then Dover belongs to France.

Re:Erm... People are forgetting one thing... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#382418)

I'm sure I remember you doing that last year...

Re:It may just shift the problem. (1)

Hater's Leaving, The (322238) | more than 13 years ago | (#382421)

"Counting on". Get a grip!
The UK's claim to Sealand is at least as strong as its claim on the Malvinas, or whatever the Imperialistic Brits calls it. The UK has _no_ history of good international behaviour. Not one decade has passed without some offensive that has caused a moral outcry.
THL
--

Re:Sealand's History (3)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 13 years ago | (#382422)

The UK and the US do not recognise Sealand.

Well maybe someone should take a photo of it and give it to them to help jog their memory.

---

Does these sealand hosting facilities really exist (1)

kju (327) | more than 13 years ago | (#382423)

What i wonder: Does anyone have real proof that sealand has any hosting facilities and/or leased links? Do they really do host there, or is this all an giant bluff?

Lets take a look on the known servers (heavenco.com, sealandgov.com ...). They all have assigned ARIN-based IP addresses. ARIN-assigned addresses are _NOT_ for the use in europe, so if they use these addresses on sealand, ARIN will call these addresses back. IP addresses in Europe are assigned by the RIPE.

And then: traceroutes to this servers all end somewhere in the US in big server housing farms _not_ operated by heavenco. Isn't it a little bizarre that a hosting / colo company which claims to have redundant links and their own location still relies for all of their servers on other hosters?

The idea is nice, but i doubt if they actually do any hosting there. Has anyone any evidence showing otherwise?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...