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Microsoft-Funded Startup Aims To Kill BitTorrent Traffic

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the momma-said-knock-you-out dept.

Microsoft 601

TheGift73 writes "The Russian based 'Pirate Pay' startup is promising the entertainment industry a pirate-free future. With help from Microsoft, the developers have built a system that claims to track and shut down the distribution of copyrighted works on BitTorrent. Their first project, carried out in collaboration with Walt Disney Studios and Sony Pictures, successfully stopped tens of thousands of downloads. Hollywood, software giants and the major music labels see BitTorrent as one of the largest threats to their business. Billions in revenue are lost each year, they claim. But not for long if the Russian based startup 'Pirate Pay' has its way. The company has developed a technology which allows them to attack existing BitTorrent swarms, making it impossible for people to share files."

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Interesting technology (-1, Troll)

objective-c (2637831) | more than 2 years ago | (#39987949)

This is certainly interesting technology and Microsoft must see lots of potential in it. Good for them, as casual piracy really is hurting the industry. It wouldn't be so bad if it went back to the BBS secret ages, but now everyone is pirating.

Re:Interesting technology (5, Informative)

Ignacio (1465) | more than 2 years ago | (#39987963)

casual piracy really is hurting the industry.

Lots of "people" say this, but the evidence is lacking.

Re:Interesting technology (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39987993)

In the end it won't matter. Someone will figure out how they are doing there and modify the swarms so it becomes ineffective. The true way to combat piracy is to look at why people are pirating and modify your business strategy so that pirates become paying customers by their own choice. Yes, there are "die hard" pirates who will pirate regardless, but there a lot that wouldn't if they could get it legitimately.

Re:Interesting technology (5, Interesting)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988091)

The true way to combat piracy is to look at why people are pirating and modify your business strategy so that pirates become paying customers by their own choice.

They could start by pricing DVDs and Blu-rays reasonably. Next step would be to remove all the crap [tomsguide.com] that goes on between "insert disc" and "watching movie," [i-am-bored.com] which often cannot be skipped without violating the DMCA (I'd like to violate the DMCA, actually, with the business end of a shovel).

Re:Interesting technology (4, Funny)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988159)

(I'd like to violate the DMCA, actually, with the business end of a shovel).

Don't worry, that sentiment is mutual.

Re:Interesting technology (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988173)

They could start by selling them. Like you know, in the rest of the world.

It's all great the US has all these services and that the DVDs and Blu-rays are available there in the first tier (which is still too late). But most of them never even get to Central/Eastern Europe. People pirate here not out of choice but because of lack of options. Also, in a country where a new game costs about the fourth of minimum wage (which is not enough to live on anyway), people are not going to simply become paying customers. Economy of most slavic countries lies in ruins, and that is it.

Source: I live there and have lived all my life.

Re:Interesting technology (5, Interesting)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988407)

First, I rarely bittorent anything, but I recently tried to find an audiobook for my son that is old and no longer being sold anywhere. My experience was somewhat similar to the oatmeal trying to watch game of thrones online: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/game_of_thrones [theoatmeal.com] . Audible? No. Amazon? No. Barnes & Noble? No.

The only places I could find the audiobook were used and costs 40.00 or more for cassette tapes...which I would then have had to convert to MP3s myself. Long story short, thanks to bittorent, my son is now halfway through the book and loves it.

If someone would have bothered to actually sell the audiobook, I would have forked over money for it.

This is a prime example of why copyright law should be relaxed on abandoned copyrighted material. They like to bitch about piracy, but they sure don't go out of their way to offer the public what they really want.

Re:Interesting technology (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988411)

Not paying protection racketeers would be a great start.
Because that's what MPAA/RIAA are.

Re:Interesting technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988171)

I hope you're right.

As a former medical writer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988415)

This technical writer is instantly thinking of his experience to bacteriological medical pubs. The higher up you are in the food chain, the slower you are to adapt. The bacteria always out evolve our ability to treat them because they've nothing else to do. They always find ways to piggyback onto something, adapt, move or use other species to continue.

No lion has ever killed a bacterium. In principle, there are millions of ways to share files, practically there aren't that many; but if all you need to do is modify your behaviours so it's 'good enough' to stop the flavour of the week corporate sponsored anti-piracy tech, then good enough means what it says on the tin.

Re:Interesting technology (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988457)

If this is adopted, P2P will adapt. Period.

It will take a month or so, so maybe we'll suffer a little bit. OTOH the media companies will have been ripped off for millions of dollars by a Russian company with 'Pirate' in their name. This will help me with the transition pains.
.

Re:Interesting technology (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988469)

1: convenients. People are still buying DVD's at the food store. Ask the question why and you know why people spend money on bottled water.
2: Price. Much less important than convenients, but still important.
3: Long tail. Stop trying to control what people buy, and supply better than the pirates.
4: forced adds, piracy warnings and other crap need to go!

Re:Interesting technology (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988471)

Netflix and iTunes already prevented a lot of piracy because they have a lot of choices, fairly easy to use, and are comparatively cheaper than hard media. but media moguls are tyrannical tech idiots, they pay their lawyers an insane amount try to fill in all the microfractures in the world when those lawyers are probably costing them more than the pirates are hurting their business. what, you think anyone is going to PAY to watch crap like Hollywood and Wine? don't make shit and people who are already willing to pay to go to the movies will do so.

Re:Interesting technology (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988111)

I'd love it if there was either an organized voluntary stoppage of pirating in the U.S. for, say, a year, or if they somehow managed to stop torrents and the like for a significant period of time. It's almost certain their viewership or sales would continue to fall, and there's a good chance the legitimacy of their complaints would finally come into question (among those who matter, not us) and their stranglehold on Washington would loosen.
 
There's got to be a way to undue the damage done by the RIAA and MPAA to the American public through their corruption of the government, but it's probably not through piracy.

Re:Interesting technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988435)

"undo" not "undue", dammit. Oh wait, I meant "undo the undue damage." Yeah, that's the ticket.

Re:Interesting technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988215)

the evidence is lacking.

I think in Microsoft's defense, they know there are a metric shitton of pirated copies of Windows.

It's one thing to say some of the people who pirate wouldn't if another method was available. It's another to say that when 90% of Windows in China [neowin.net] are pirated. At least SOME of those 90% would have paid for it if pirating weren't an alternative.

Re:Interesting technology (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988293)

If I couldn't pirate Windows I'd finally be motivated enough to get WINE working properly...

Re:Interesting technology (1)

seepho (1959226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988365)

I haven't used WINE in awhile, but doesn't it require proprietary MS files that you need a Windows license to use?

Re:Interesting technology (1)

maeka (518272) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988425)

Require? No. Able to use? Yes.

Re:Interesting technology (1)

OliWarner (1529079) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988445)

No.

Re:Interesting technology (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988371)

Sure, some would pay, but it would also lead to many opting for GNU/Linux or other alternatives, especially since the Chinese government isn't a big fan of having lots of money going to other countries. So, there may be some minor short-term gains, but it would be the death of the company.

Re:Interesting technology (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988399)

Is to compensate the licenses that they sell and are never used.
I've lost count to how many "windozes" I had to buy with a new pc just to format and install some linux distro.

Re:Interesting technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39987977)

Good for them, as casual piracy really is hurting the industry.

What industry is piracy hurting, exactly?

Re:Interesting technology (5, Funny)

Quartus486 (935104) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988083)

The seatrade industry. Just look outside the coast of Somalia...

Re:Interesting technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39987979)

I guess we'll just have to figure out another way of sharing stuff.

Re:Interesting technology (1)

dobster (989215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988505)

Lets call that way Usenet. Seriously, why should I even use bittorrent?

Re:Interesting technology (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988015)

This is certainly interesting technology and Microsoft must see lots of potential in it. Good for them, as casual piracy really is hurting the industry. It wouldn't be so bad if it went back to the BBS secret ages, but now everyone is pirating.

Take that MAFIAA dick out of your mouth - I think it's compressing the part of your brain responsible for rational thought. If this is "hurting": http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ct-disney-earnings-20120509,0,984276.story I wish MY paycheck was "hurting" right now...

Re:Interesting technology (2, Interesting)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988021)

no they aren't. i've been in touch with plenty of tech and online people since the 1980s, and if anything, people pirate less now. more total bytes downloaded, maybe, but a lower percentage of [online/connected] people are pirating than ever in my 30-year view.

Re:Interesting technology (1)

X.25 (255792) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988295)

no they aren't. i've been in touch with plenty of tech and online people since the 1980s, and if anything, people pirate less now. more total bytes downloaded, maybe, but a lower percentage of [online/connected] people are pirating than ever in my 30-year view.

I really love all the parameters and calculations you've used in order to achieve that conclusion.

Hey look, I am 40 myself, used computers since I was 7, and I can surely tell you that I know less people engaging in copyright infringement now than 25 years ago.

Never mind that I don't even care if anyone pirates anything, nor would I ask, nor am I buddy with tons of teenagers who are most likely to be the ones doing copyright infringement - but my logic is flawless anyway.

Brilliant.

Re:Interesting technology (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988393)

I'm buddy with way more techies now than when I was a kid... And I do ask people.

Re:Interesting technology (5, Insightful)

huh69 (57503) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988095)

I personally think that is a very ignorant thing to say. First off, I think the evidence that piracy "hurts" these industries is sketchy at best. Sure... *IF* the person pirating said copyrighted material would have bought it legitimately otherwise, then I could buy that argument, but I'm not convinced that's the case. I think it's more likely that most of the pirated material simply would not have been purchased at all. If someone wanted it bad enough, and they couldn't obtain it any other way, of course they'd pay for it.

For me though the real issue is how anyone thinks they could make such a bold claim to stop piracy all together. If it just so happens that torrents no longer function because of their software, or some other means, people who want to pirate copyrighted material will just come up with another way. This is a never-ending competition and the RIAA, the MPAA, or any other organization for that matter, will *NEVER* win it as long as there is some method to digitize the material and there is someone out there with the intelligence and the desire to put forth the effort to get around whatever copy-protection mechonism is in place at the time.

Re:Interesting technology (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988137)

Sounds more to me like Microsoft and the media companies are being scammed.

Re:Interesting technology (4, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988467)

Yep. And by a Russian company with "Pirate" in their name.

Forgive me for what I'm about to type, but: "LOL!"

Re:Interesting technology (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988153)

Good for them, as casual piracy really is hurting the industry.

And a Denial Of Service attack on your dynamic IP address, or on your neighbor's IP address, isn't going to hurt your internet connection or anyone else's. Right?

but now everyone is pirating.

Yes, even Microsoft is doing it. For a long while companies like Microsoft and Macromedia (now part of Adobe) would seed their own cracked products on torrent sites, just so that they could gain market share (while maintaining their high official listed price). It seems piracy was helping those companies, not hurting them.

Sometimes, I wish companies couldn't have it both ways.

Re:Interesting technology (2)

mk1004 (2488060) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988427)

Yes, even Microsoft is doing it. For a long while companies like Microsoft and Macromedia (now part of Adobe) would seed their own cracked products on torrent sites, just so that they could gain market share (while maintaining their high official listed price). It seems piracy was helping those companies, not hurting them.

Reference?

Re:Interesting technology (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988503)

yes because Piracy is hurting the industry soooooo much that films just are not making money
Oh wait...

Superhero movie The Avengers has topped the US and Canadian box office for the second week in a row, taking $103.2m (£64m), studio estimates suggest.

The film is now the first in Hollywood history to ring up more than $100m in its second weekend of release.

It is the movie's second record, after scoring the biggest-ever US opening weekend, with takings of $207.4m.

Fact is for a good while shit was comming out of hollywood so a choice between spending your money on a trashfilm or pirating it just to go meh is easier to swallow. Make something people want to see and people will go see it.

I mean compare Batman & Robin (1997) to Batman Begins (2005)

which had the better story, acting, camera?
Look at LotR and all. All this hype around piracy hurting the industry also occurred when the industry was churning out shit and enough people swallowed the piracy excuse for the loss of earnings rather than having a look at what they were actually making.

Good! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39987967)

Actually, this is good. Bittorrent is a great protocol, but it can be improved in many ways. Something like this is likely to fix that (legal attacks won't).

blocking = NOT net neutrality (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39987973)

there fore it is illegal in most western nations
in canada it would be illegal to use this tech

Re:blocking = NOT net neutrality (3, Informative)

objective-c (2637831) | more than 2 years ago | (#39987997)

Net neutrality only concerns ISP's, not service or third parties.

Protocol encryption? (5, Interesting)

zerothink (1682450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39987987)

And what about http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BitTorrent_protocol_encryption [wikipedia.org] ? It is turnrd on by default in most bt clients and I seriously doubt they can detect what content is distributed over encrypted bt connection ...

Re:Protocol encryption? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988081)

This service doesn't appear to be listening into BT chat between two parties. It is joining existing swarms and spreading misinformation to the swarm to confuse clients into halting their downloads.

Re:Protocol encryption? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988183)

Congrats on not spending the time to educate yourself enough to understand how this system works, and making yourself look like a fool in the process.

Peer ban hammer (5, Informative)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988009)

"The company doesnâ(TM)t reveal how it works, but they appear to be flooding clients with fake information, masquerading as legitimate peers."

All it would take is for a client to verify to data in the chunk (probably by it's MD5 or SHA), and if it's busted then try and download it again from the same peer. If it fails the second time then just ban the peer.

But I imagine they already do this, don't they?

Re:Peer ban hammer (1)

pankkake (877909) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988115)

They already do this. But it might be other kind of fake information (maybe give a lot of fake sources through peer exchange?). It could waste a lot of bandwith with a lot of fake clients sending fake parts.
I'm pretty sure it isn't that effective.

Re:Peer ban hammer (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988485)

Presumably the real peers won't forward the fake chunks of data to other people so they'll have to set up thousands of IP addresses and some huge servers to make this effective. That's going to cost them a lot of money. Which is a good thing.

Re:Peer ban hammer (1)

wmbetts (1306001) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988121)

If that's all it is rofl at them. That will be so easy to defend against it wasn't even worth them writing the code to do it in the first place.

Re:Peer ban hammer (4, Interesting)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988125)

"The company doesnâ(TM)t reveal how it works, but they appear to be flooding clients with fake information, masquerading as legitimate peers."

All it would take is for a client to verify to data in the chunk (probably by it's MD5 or SHA), and if it's busted then try and download it again from the same peer. If it fails the second time then just ban the peer.

But I imagine they already do this, don't they?

I never looked deep into BitTorrent protocol - I did examine Gnutella/Limewire, and you might be surprised just how horridly lame and insecure that protocol was. BitTorrent is the next generation after Gnutella, I assume it's better, but I doubt it's the last word in P2P.

The value of P2P is in the user pool, the protocol can be tincans on strings and it is still an impressive and valuable resource.

Pirate Pay is aiming to piss in the user pool, forcing the issue of trust... I assume that will be addressed now.

Some thoughts [mangocats.com] from, oh, maybe 10-15 years ago on the subject.

Re:Peer ban hammer (1)

Nyall (646782) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988221)

Every once in a while an article makes slashdot about the advances in md5 collision. I really don't know what the state of the art is, but I'm willing to bet this start up is willing to throw a cluster of PS3s at this like others have done.

That is terrorism (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988013)

By at least a few governments' definitions.

Re:That is terrorism (2)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988299)

Only as long as it's not in favor of their MAFIAA campaign donators.

Re:That is terrorism (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988509)

Sure, but it's THEIR definition so they can change it at will.

For ISPs to use? (3, Interesting)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988019)

I assume this software is meant for use on ISP equipment, because otherwise what they're claiming seems totally impossible.

Re:For ISPs to use? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988129)

impossible doesn't matter if the industry really believes their own bullshit about the story of the pirates and "the missing billion dollars." It means there is a market there to sell the idiots in charge on what is impossible for a slice of whatever you can convince them it's worth up to 1billion dollars.

A fool and his money as they say. As the *IAA continue to pretend that they can ever get back to their business as usual reselling us the same garbage in new formats, restricting regions, using various drm, someone is selling them on that crap too. Same thing here. They'll figure out at some point it's just been vultures picking their bones, probably after losing a few more billions of dollars fighting "piracy" and not making more profit. Boy would it be nice though if they didn't figure that out until it was too late and the cartels were destroyed.

Re:For ISPs to use? (5, Funny)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988361)

Maybe the people who wrote LOIC for Anonymous should've set up a front organization to sell a rebranded version of the same thing to the RIAA.

Re:For ISPs to use? (1)

Nyall (646782) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988387)

What if you were another peer uploading garbage that had sha-1 collisions? Yep its hard but I'm willing to bet they'd put the resources into this.

Good luck with that (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988027)

Which will result in increased private trackers, whichever flavor of megaupload is coming down the pipe, expanded usenet, encrypted file contents, etc etc. I have yet to see any attempt by content holders cause any more than a minor hiccup in the download stream. Oh, wait, I have seen one - I haven't downloaded a song since iTunes began allowing me to get DRM free songs through their service.

Isn't this illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988035)

I thought using force to stop criminals was only the privilege of the police and similar state owned organizations.

Re:Isn't this illegal? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988323)

I thought using force to stop criminals was only the privilege of the police and similar state owned organizations.

I get this unpleasant impression that you also get to use force if you are a state-owning organization...

Re:Isn't this illegal? (2)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988383)

That's probably why they're based in Russia, which is notoriously lax in enforcing any sort of internet-related laws (unless they involve websites making fun of Putin, of course).

This isn't the first time... (4, Interesting)

multicoregeneral (2618207) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988037)

This isn't the first time they've tried to disrupt file sharing. First, they added whitespace to music files. And that mostly killed Kaza. There has been file sharing since Kaza. Every time there's an iteration like this, the technology evolves, and the previous methods to stop illegal sharing are rendered useless. Honestly, I think this whole business is more of a fetish, or compulsive fascination with file sharing on the part of the old guard, than a solution to any actual problem.

Re:This isn't the first time... (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988235)

Honestly, I think this whole business is more of a fetish, or compulsive fascination with file sharing on the part of the old guard, than a solution to any actual problem.

Sticks and stones may break my bones -
But protocol poisoning excites me.

Twisted fucks....

Re:This isn't the first time... (1)

multicoregeneral (2618207) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988421)

Ha! Yeah, pretty much.

Easy to figure how it works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988041)

Since most clients block an ip after consistently receiving bad data, it wouldn't be hard to spoof other people ip (from the list they got from the swarm/tracker) and constantly sent in bad data in the name of other people. Of course, encrypted connections would not be effected but it's currently not the norm.

As always, I'd imagine this would get work around fairly quickly if it starts to become a major problem.

Re:Easy to figure how it works (1)

profplump (309017) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988103)

It is hard, so long as the connections are using TCP. You need a MitM position to fake TCP, not just knowledge of the remote address.

And encryption has no bearing because torrents don't provide any method of authenticating each other. So if you can MitM to fake TCP streams you can MitM to fake encryption as well.

This is how Peerblock comes in handy (5, Informative)

Cito (1725214) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988043)

Downloaded the blocklists for Pirate Pay as well as the antip2p blocklists.

I tested on a poisoned swarm that had listed 5000 seeders (which were mostly mediadefender and pirate pay poisoners)

Peerblock dumped over 4500 of the poisoned seeds from the torrent by blocking them and my torrent speed went from 20K/s download to 2500-3000K/s download

So for companies like this I highly recommend picking up Peerblock and getting some blocklists, especially the antip2p blocklists.

http://www.peerblock.com/ [peerblock.com]

Never ever again have problem with companies like Mediadefender or PiratePay and their ilk.

Re:This is how Peerblock comes in handy (-1, Troll)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988375)

"Never ever again have problem with companies like Mediadefender or PiratePay and their ilk."

PeerBlock is probably great for all the Neanderthals who still use Windows. It isn't available to anybody else.

Re:This is how Peerblock comes in handy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988475)

Luckily, any decent BT client supports blocklists natively. There's really no need to download a 3rd party program.

Re:This is how Peerblock comes in handy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988483)

Yeah, I went there hoping to at least find a well-maintained list I could add to /etc/hosts or something, and all they've got is "Sorry, no Mac yet, because we've bumbled our way into an MSVC+++ only coding environment, and can't find our way out." Lame.

Take a penny, Leave a penny (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988045)

They will bring down piracy by abusing the take a penny, leave a penny dish. Really impressive.

**AA, always taking the hard road (5, Insightful)

Red Herring (47817) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988047)

They can spend lots and lots of $$$, effort, and time trying to make it harder to get access to content that people want... ... or, they could just make the content available for a reasonable price in a timely manner. But I guess that takes too many brain cells.

And why is MSFT so interested in making their platforms less useful for consumers? As a stockholder, I'd like to see them quietly funding 'legitimate' sharing sites to make the Windows OS the preferred content consumption platform, rather than keeping me from getting what I want.

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/game_of_thrones

Re:**AA, always taking the hard road (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988277)

I get the impression that WMDRM (in its ill-starred public appearance as 'playsforsure') was intended to be exactly the strategy you describe: a multiple-vendors-as-long-as-they-run-windows 'interoperable DRM' ecosystem of media sellers and DRM-blessed devices that would work with one another so long as the PC bringing them together was a Microsoft one...

Since that didn't end up working out so well, they seem to have gone the route of more overtly sucking up to the content guys. Whether this is because they just really don't want to see the Wintel platform get locked out of the fancy new blu-rays and so forth or whether they see themselves and Hollywood as having the same long-term architectural interest in building platforms that make paying for digital goods non-optional isn't clear to me.

Challenge Accepted (3)

wmbetts (1306001) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988075)

I don't pirate movies, music, or software, but I'd be more than happy to try and figure out how to stop this. I haven't looked into it much, but I will. I seriously doubt it'll be hard to combat them, but it'll be fun figuring it out.

My, isn't this wonderful... (0)

Thangodin (177516) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988077)

Because, you know, it's not like any legitimate content is shared by BitTorrent.How nice of them to block WoW updates. And it sure gets rid of those pesky linix torrents--I can certainly see why Microsoft is backing this.

As always... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988079)

The internet sees censorship as damage, and routes around it.

DDoS inc? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988099)

Wonder how long their servers will stay up..

Interesting But Stupid! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988133)

If this were instituted as a process on passing information through a controlled node then OK, you have that power. BUT if this were to go out and disrupt traffic which it itself was not carrying then it breaks many computer cracking laws in many countries. Also as a side note, how exactly are they going to tell the difference between a/ A copyrighted work shared illegally and,
b/ One shared under fair use or,
c/ One that triggers a false positive but is not matching.
Any single mistake in the above could be grounds for a suit under obstruction of free trade or even computer miss-use laws.

Legal? (4, Informative)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988135)

“We used a number of servers to make a connection to each and every P2P client that distributed this film. Then Pirate Pay sent specific traffic to confuse these clients about the real IP-addresses of other clients and to make them disconnect from each other,” Andrei Klimenko says.

If they're attacking computers without authorization, they're in breach of all kinds of criminal law. It doesn't matter if those computers are participating in infringing or not. Sounds all kinds of illegal, at least in the US.

Re:Legal? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988245)

They're in Russia. What do they care about anti-hacking laws?

Re:Legal? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988377)

I suspect that their American customers might still have a problem. Yeah, the 'Pirate Pay' guys are probably in a jurisdictional black hole; but one would think that hiring them to do something illegal would still make the chaps in Legal nervous. That is why I find the involvement of MS(and a couple of major movie studios mentioned in TFA) so curious.

Re:Legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988511)

Not to mention, what about disrupting traffic of copyrighted works which are legitimately distributed via .torrent? Like Ubuntu. Just because it's got a copyright doesn't mean it's not broadly licensed.

Good to see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988145)

... the technologically illiterate fucks in the MAFIAA are still getting scammed. Shady no name outfit from Russia, for crying out loud, claims they can stop the planet exchanging ones and zeros using some magic technology they won't reveal to anyone. This is either outright snakeoil, or a one-trick job that will be effective for as long as it takes the clients to patch the vulnerability (by then, I suspect, our comrades will have done a disappearing act with whatever cash was thrown at them to continue developing this).

the'd better be careful (3, Insightful)

drwho (4190) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988157)

If riaa/mpaa whomever attempts this on torrents for my legitimate content, I'll track them down and file charges for denial of service.

Umm, wait a moment... (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988181)

Remind me again when performing DoS attacks against 3rd party servers became legal?

The assorted ISP-based 'filtering' stuff is obnoxious; but quite possibly legal under the 'we do whatever we want, cry about it' clause under which consumer ISPs customarily operate.

However, if the (rather vague) description provided by this startup outfit is to be believed they are spoofing bittorrent peers and sending some sort of specially crafted misinformation in order to bring communication between multiple 3rd-party systems to a halt. That certainly looks like a DoS attack, if probably a smarter-than-brute-force one. Even if there were actually some standard of proof being applied to determine that the target swarms are in fact 'infringing', vigilante justice is generally not all that legal. Without any such standard, this is a case of a couple of studios hiring some skeezy Russian outfit to perform denial of service attacks against who knows who in support of their bottom line.

I understand that the law isn't really supposed to apply to people who matter; but surely a felonies-for-hire business model presents some degree of risk to those who go shopping for their services, no?

What could go wrong? (3, Funny)

jholyhead (2505574) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988199)

An anti-piracy startup in Russia? Cue the sound of kneecaps being broken in 5...4...3...2...

Nothing to worry about yet. (1)

Lose (1901896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988205)

Congratulations, Pirate Pay. You repurposed the same technology Low Orbit Ion Cannon offers so that it could target BitTorrent clients. Its a bit early to assume anyone will jump on this software, though. Fighting fire with fire and then complaining when down the road your network hosting this software is inevitably being DDoS'd by the clients it aggravated would come off as a bit hypocritical.

Although, I wonder if this targets specific torrents, or just any torrent downloading it detects on a network. I'd be rather ticked if I was in the middle of downloading a Debian DVD ISO and my download speeds dropped substantially because my system was being DDoS'd for using my download protocol of choice.

Re:Nothing to worry about yet. (1)

reve_etrange (2377702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988313)

my download protocol of choice

And, coincidentally, the protocol which is objectively best for large files. I never get tired of this animation [wikipedia.org] .

we just invent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988237)

a new protocol -___-

iTunes Store, Amazon, Spotify (4, Insightful)

moderators_are_w*nke (571920) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988253)

These are awful business models. Their content is all available for free on Bitorrent. They can't possible expect people to pay for content they can get for free.

So they're all a dismal failure, right? Well no. They're actually doing pretty well. There is a simple way to reduce piracy, make the content available at a good price on demand so that it's just as wasy to get it legally. Most people don't actually mind paying for content, they just don't want to drive to the store to buy a disc to watch a film.

Re:iTunes Store, Amazon, Spotify (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988395)

Most people don't actually mind paying for content, they just don't want to drive to the store to buy a disc to watch a film.

Not to mention paying a premium to get the film on BluRay only to be FORCED to watch 5-10 minutes of idiot pre-movie trailers and FBI warnings each time I insert the damn thing.

A downloaded movie actually provides me with a superior product, at a lower price.

That said, I love the easy apple TV movie store, and I pay for movies there. I would like to see competition however, to not get locked into one greedy provider.

I don't even watch anymore. (4, Informative)

jimmyfrank (1106681) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988297)

I use to watch lots of movies using Amazon, Netflix, buy my own, and other sources. Now I just don't watch movies. Netflix stinks and when I want to watch something on Amazon it's usually a 48hour pre-release rental. Ugh, no, I'd like to watch it now, thanks. I decided the easiest thing to do was just not watch anymore. I listen to lots of music and purchase lots of music because Google Play makes it friction-less. I also read a ton now. I doubt that's the goal of the MPAA but they make it to damn difficult.

Probably Illegal (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988305)

From the description, it appears to me that they are using spoofed IP addresses and other such means to "fake" the P2P data. What this amounts to is "jamming" the internet traffic, in much the same way a DDOS attack (or radio jammer, but more targeted) works.

If that is so, using this "technology" is probably very much against U.S. and international law.

So much money wasted... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988325)

You cannot stop piracy. You remove one source, and a few pop up to replace them. All they are doing is giving people more reasons to NOT BUY.

Needs some legal mandate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988349)

If microsoft tries something like this , you can bet they better have good legal advice
before they actually encourage the practicOr even endorse a law breaking firm .
Cause beleive it or not .. the Patriot Act can be called on them . :)
Lawsuits soon to follow . Very soon i should say.

does it matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988357)

My guess it that eventually the "tens of thousand blocked downloads" found their pirated content anyway by clicking the next result in their torrent search list.

Don't start a war you aren't likely to win. (4, Insightful)

whizbang77045 (1342005) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988379)

Ignoring some of the technical arguments, Microsoft would appear to be at a disadvantage here. They are the open, public company, who can readily be prosecuted and/or sued. Hackers are the unknown, harder to find individuals/groups, who will be harder to prosecute or sued.

In attacking BitTorrent, Microsoft is attacking a protocol, which may or may not contain something illegal. When they disrupt a valid download, it is they who will be in the wrong, and it is they who can potentially be the target of legal action (assuming they get caught). They are also attacking a group (hackers) known to fight back in ways that are difficult to detect.

If Microsoft can target BitTorrent downloads, then hackers can look for flags which indicate Internet traffic originated from a Microsoft program, and target it. If that happens, it won't be long before Microsoft products become known for their inability to function reliably over the Internet (some might argue that this is already true, but I'll ignore that possibility). Yet the individuals/groups Microsoft would have to identify are much harder to find, and thus much more difficult to prosecute or sue.

I believe this is a very foolish act, perhaps and act of despiration, on Microsoft's part. It doesn't appear likely to work very well, and is likely to make them a target.; Moral: don't start wars you aren't likely to win.

Countermeasure (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39988391)

I propose an addition to bittorrent clients that detects this poisoning and floods the poisoner with packets. If all clients devoted some small percent of their bandwidth, say 10% to flooding poisoners it would DDOS them. I propose we call it 'ImRubberYoureGlue".

No wonder my (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988465)

Diablo 3 wasn't downloading, stupid bit torrent being used for non piracy.

OH CHRIST WHEN WILL IT END??? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988493)

I'm so sick and tired of all these thieves, there I said it, THIEVES stealing other people work! "Oh it's not stealing it's copying, you don;t lose what you have..." no no, seriously, f-off with that. I CREATED something, I MADE IT, I am unwilling to just fork it over. You have to pay. I don;t care what you THINK it's worth, it's mine. If you made a program that can do something that people want, it's yours, you put the price on it and if people want it they have to pay that price. The market determines if it's worth it.

You bloody file-sharers are KILLING US! the industry is being crippled for the last couple of decades, again.

We (cumulatively) are losing hundreds of billions Every. Single. Year. Media companies are going bust, artists are living on the streets and musicians are forced to play live music again to earn a living - Seriously people WTF, OK? W. T. F.?!

It's about time a serious effort to combat piracy is made. We've shut down lycos mp3 search, shutdown napster, Kazaa, The Pirate Bay and Megaupload. You (copyright violator) better watch out cause you're next on the hit list!

The fact is, if this technology fails to stop rampant piracy, the next step is to take file sharers (Being the root of all evil), drag them naked in front of their families and have them shót, the footage of which shall be shared via torrent sites.

P.S.

Just wait until we DRM your dog. You will not be able to pet it unless it's in the right petting zone, you would not be able to let your neighbor look after it unless you bought a neighbor license, in fact you don;t even own that dog, it's a rental.

Wiretap Laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39988497)

This is the illegal interception of traffic...send them to jail.

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