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Three-Strikes Copyright Law In NZ Halves Infringement

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the maybe-sneakernets-have-heated-up dept.

Government 202

Bismillah writes "The 'Skynet' copyright act has been in effect for six months in New Zealand and rights holders reckon it halved the number of infringements in the first month. Even so, they're not happy and say over forty per cent of Kiwis continue to infringe online. The fix? Rightsholders want the current NZ$25 infringement notice processing fee payable to ISPs to be dropped to just a few dollars or even pennies, so that they can send out thousands of notices a month. ISPs want the fee to increase four times instead, to cover their costs. Unfortunately, the submissions for the review of the infringement notice fees are kept secret by the government."

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202 comments

Yeah na bro (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732155)

As I New Zealander I speak for everyone when I say:

Hah!

Re:Yeah na bro (5, Insightful)

Mathinker (909784) | about 2 years ago | (#40732493)

As a critical thinker, I speak for everyone when I say:

"Never believe effectiveness reports made by industry groups who lobbied for the change in question, without actually reviewing the report methodology (which, BTW, is hardly ever disclosed in these so-called "reports")."

Re:Yeah na bro (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#40733083)

As a critical thinker, I speak for everyone when I say:

"Never believe effectiveness reports made by industry groups who lobbied for the change in question, without actually reviewing the report methodology (which, BTW, is hardly ever disclosed in these so-called "reports")."

Also, even if the drop is real it will almost certainly fade away with time.

Re:Yeah na bro (2)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | about 2 years ago | (#40733497)

Just like the US's alcohol prohibition if the 1920s, or ongoing War Against (Some) Drugs, it's much more likely they've just driven it underground and increased people's appetite for the forbidden fruit. You could say this behavior is as old as Adam and Eve ...

Re:Yeah na bro (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732947)

So infringement dropped. But did purchases of music and movies increase? That seems like a much more better question to ask.

Re:Yeah na bro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40733223)

I'd also check USB Hard drive sales - given the mini price war here since the law came into effect....

Re:Yeah na bro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40733679)

That question is completely irrelevant.

Free file sharing reduces the value of the intellectual property. If such property is going to be seen as a viable investment vehicle, it must be able to retain its value over time. An increase in short-term sales is not *nearly* as valuable as a reduction in free data duplication, as you get much more money long-term, and can optionally sell the IP itself (not the copies) at a much higher fair market value, if the IP holds its value over time.

They need the commodity to be artificially scarce *much* more than they need a quick boost in sales.

Re:Yeah na bro (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#40733369)

The fix? TFS suggests that there is a fix. I say there is no fix. When blind fools abdicate their rights, there is no fix. For generations to come, in NZ, Australia, the UK, the US, Canada, and other nations that sign our ridiculous fucking treaties, people are going to be oppressed by the likes of RIAA.

Screw that. No "rights holder" holds any rights that take priority over our right to download information, or to entertain ourselves with a bunch of binary digits.

We've all got our heads up our asses, or those "rights holders" couldn't have bought up all the politicians who have made these laws possible.

But each infringer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732167)

...has doubled the amount copied.

Pays to Be Sneaky (5, Insightful)

rueger (210566) | about 2 years ago | (#40732169)

New Zealand and rights holders reckon it halved the number of infringements in the first month.

Or just as likely, the heaviest downloaders just found better ways to fly under the radar. If "success" is measured by a drop from eighty percent to forty percent of users "stealing" content, I'd say it's time for the Industry to admit total defeat.

Re:Pays to Be Sneaky (3, Funny)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 2 years ago | (#40732189)

New Zealand and rights holders reckon it halved the number of infringements in the first month.

Or just as likely, the heaviest downloaders just found better ways to fly under the radar. If "success" is measured by a drop from eighty percent to forty percent of users "stealing" content, I'd say it's time for the Industry to admit total defeat.

Its hard to spot a Kiwi on radar.

Re:Pays to Be Sneaky (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732195)

a fully laden kiwi?

Re:Pays to Be Sneaky (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732877)

European or African?

Re:Pays to Be Sneaky (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40733229)

given that the little buggers can't fly, its kinda hard to spot them on radar

Re:Pays to Be Sneaky (4, Funny)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 2 years ago | (#40733449)

given that the little buggers can't fly, its kinda hard to spot them on radar

They fly at mach 6 and over a hundred thousand feet. They can pull 40 g in a turn, and they are being trained to protect the planet from spacecraft

Their radar cross section is less than a female mosquito's antenna. They also make a great sandwich.

Re:Pays to Be Sneaky (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732315)

My completely anectdotal experience living in NZ is that people just found other ways. Seedboxes especially may have actually made the industry's problem worse as they're much faster for P2P connections than local NZ broadband connections have ever been and as such the volumes achievable are higher. For example I used to hear people talk of only getting averages of 200-300Kbps with P2P using the cheap ISP supplied modems, but they can get 2Mbps+ over an HTTP connection to a seedbox, and that seedbox itself might achieve 10MBps or more.

There was a 10% drop in NZ internet volume when the law came into effect, but little mention of the numbers since.

So yes, I'm inclined to believe they are seeing less infringement, but in reality there's likely more than ever.

Re:Pays to Be Sneaky (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732807)

My completely anecdotal evidence living in NZ is that I found another way: Usenet w/ SSL rather than Bittorrent. Switched ISPs to pay less for a more-than-doubled data cap, and I max out my connection whenever I download. Faster that BT, plus no data cap wasted on upload. Downside is nothing's free, but $100 a year for the account and index site subs isn't too bad.

Re:Pays to Be Sneaky (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732411)

The way to see if the program was successful (from the "deterring copyright infringement" point of view) would be increased sales on legitimate channels.
The reduction of pirated download could mean people not being detected (as you suggested) or (as i would like it to be) that people, tired of being harassed, stopped consuming copyrighted music and videos (there is nothing good there, anyway).

Re:Pays to Be Sneaky (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#40733097)

The way to see if the program was successful (from the "deterring copyright infringement" point of view) would be increased sales on legitimate channels.

Only if infringement is actually cutting into sales to begin with.

Re:Pays to Be Sneaky (0)

xQx (5744) | about 2 years ago | (#40732495)

Or time to redefine "stealing" so it's in line with public perception.

Isn't that what a democracy is supposed to be about?

Re:Pays to Be Sneaky (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732605)

Completely agree, people I knew were all moving to VPNs to hide traffic. This had the added benefit of enabling access to sites like Hulu, Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

(I haven't read the article but) It would be interesting to know how they measured the before and after values.

Re:Pays to Be Sneaky (4, Insightful)

digitig (1056110) | about 2 years ago | (#40732619)

My immediate reaction on reading the title was "Shouldn't it be 'Three-Strikes Copyright Law In NZ Halves detection'"?

Re:Pays to Be Sneaky (5, Insightful)

anubi (640541) | about 2 years ago | (#40732743)

I guess what bugs me is something like policing copyrights of publicly available information, especially music is almost impossible to enforce.

Rightsholders are quick to privatize their profits, however they are eager to socialize enforcement costs.

I do not want to get into a shouting match on whether or not it is theft to copy a song. Technically, I think it is, but practically, its like trying to enforce a clean mind when seeing porn.

It stretches honesty when one is hungry and sees his neighbor's apple tree, knowing the trunk of the apple tree is his neighbor's property, yet the fruit is hanging in his yard, even dropping on his lawn, and only some law, passed by some senators lobbied by the tree owner, says he can't pick the apple off his lawn and eat it, or even take a picture of it.

There are some things which are are very difficult to enforce... and tend to function not as a deterrent, but as a starting place for learning to disrespect obedience of law. I see this kind of law as a prime example of this.

Like prohibition, trying to enforce law like this does more harm than good, as it gets people started at a very early age to have no inner respect for law, obeying it not for the common good, but only for fear of punishment if caught. It does not foster respect for law, instead it fosters a sense of accomplishment for finding creative ways of disrespecting the law.

Re:Pays to Be Sneaky (3, Insightful)

tftp (111690) | about 2 years ago | (#40733601)

Like prohibition, trying to enforce law like this does more harm than good, as it gets people started at a very early age to have no inner respect for law, obeying it not for the common good, but only for fear of punishment if caught.

I'm afraid you are about 50 or 100 years (if not more) too late. I don't know how it is in NZ, but in the USA respect for the law is not even a theoretical concept anymore. Widespread violations cannot be detected and the law enforced; this leads to loss of fear of punishment. You do not need to go too far to see proof of that. Everyone drives faster than the speed limit allows and the police does not even bother stopping anyone unless they are way over the limit. People jaywalk with no care in the world; robbers rob 24/7 stores as if it is their personal ATM; people park under signs "no parking", have sex in public parks, set up camps in public places, use drugs, and take dumps on police cars. What rule of law are you talking about? It's pure anarchy, with occasional firefighting done by few LEOs.

There is no law to respect either. Over the years new laws accumulated up to a whole library of books - some with laws and other with their interpretations. Most people quite reasonably think that the law is not protecting them. And how it can be, with laws against "disorderly conduct" and with people arrested for "resisting arrest" or for filming police or for taking photos of cities? On the other hand, real criminals (petty or not) are in and out of jail faster than you can keep track of them. The police is most certainly not your friend; LEOs are not interested in helping you and they have no duty to help you. They might kill you, though, if you give them half of an excuse, because safety of one officer is more important than ten dead bodies of the rabble.

With this whole train wreck continuing downhill with ever accelerating speed we will see more anarchy and fewer places where an nonest person can safely walk around. Downloads of music are just a minor blip on the radar of widespread lawlessness.

Re:Pays to Be Sneaky (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40733293)

If eighty percent of the population are breaking a particular law then you don't have a democracy.

More likely 40% started to run Peerblock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40733581)

There's a few firewall like setups that prevent you from sending data to any IP registered to an infringement logger. If you start running a few safety protocols, you can certainly reduce your levels of being caught. Though that's hardly something very amazing.

Re:Pays to Be Sneaky (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40733727)

How do you know a random file happybirthday.mp3 is a copyright violation? media never come with license agreements, or they are viewed only after downloading. Serve the notice back to them, enmass, for privacy and / or piracy trespassing on the internet

Begpardon? (4, Funny)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#40732173)

It's not rights holders doing the complaining, it's the industry associations (read: RIAA/MPAA or NZ equivalents), who themselves hold no copyrights apart from their corporate logos.

To them, I refer them to the response given in Arkell -v- Pressdram (1971):

We acknowledge your letter of 29th April referring to Mr J. Arkell. We note that Mr Arkell's attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of our reply and would therefore be grateful if you would inform us what his attitude to damages would be, were he to learn that the nature of our reply is as follows: fuck off.

Re:Begpardon? (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#40732227)

It's not rights holders doing the complaining, it's the industry associations (read: RIAA/MPAA or NZ equivalents), who themselves hold no copyrights apart from their corporate logos.

They ARE rights holders, otherwise they would have no standing to complain about infringement or bring cases to court.

Re:Begpardon? (3)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#40732293)

Industry associations do not hold the copyrights. In English Common Law, the actual copyright holder (read publisher or author) is the one that has standing to sue.

If you look at the actual lawsuits in the US where we follow English Common Law with regards to this stuff, it's never "RIAA vs. Joe Anonymous" it's always "Universal Studios vs. Joe Anonymous." The RIAA and MPAA just have the loudest mouths, so journalists and common folk think it's them who are doing the suing when no such thing happened.

You must hold the copyright to have standing in court. Whatever industry associations there are in NZ, they are third parties and thus have no standing. Sure they can lobby and file briefs as amicus curiae, but they don't have any actual standing.

--
BMO

Re:Begpardon? (3, Informative)

Grumbleduke (789126) | about 2 years ago | (#40732445)

Industry associations do not hold the copyrights. In English Common Law, the actual copyright holder (read publisher or author) is the one that has standing to sue.

Actually, under English law copyright is wholly a creature of statute, there's no such thing as "common law" copyright (and one of the first big copyright cases, Donaldson v Beckett 1774, turned on that). As such, who can and cannot sue depends on what the statute says. My understanding of English procedural law is that anyone with an "exclusive licence" to do something protected by the copyright can bring a claim, however the actual copyright owner, and all other exclusive licensors must be joined to the case for it to go anywhere (which was the technical point that brought down the ACS:Law [wikipedia.org] case, where they weren't even sure who some of the copyright owners were).

But yes, generally it is the copyright owner bringing the claim, as a key part of tort-related cases is showing damage - and if you're just an industry association, you won't have suffered any loss from the infringements.

However, as I've noted below, this isn't about suing for copyright infringement, this is about notifications and allegations of copyright infringement under a special law. I don't know about the NZ version, but the UK equivalent [wikipedia.org] allows anyone "authorised" to act on behalf of a copyright owner to make the allegations, and it is understood that it will be the industry associations (particularly the BPI, MPAA and Publishers Association) who will be doing the actual dirty work. This lets them accuse in bulk, and has the bonus of protecting the actual copyright owners and artists from negative feedback.

Re:Begpardon? (2)

Phrogman (80473) | about 2 years ago | (#40732487)

Then its that authorization clause that needs to go first. If you want to accuse me of something in court, the least you can do is do it yourself, not farm it off to some third party contractors solely because it makes it easier for you to accuse your supposed customers.
It sure would be nice if government would stop favoring the corporations in these matters, but I guess the bribes are just too good to ignore.

Re:Begpardon? (3, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#40732297)

They are a non-rights holder hired to enforce rights. This became an issue in the US when the court case was thrown out because the enforcement organization had rights to pursue violations, but not rights to the object themselves. The ruling was that they could be correct on all counts, but they could not have suffered any loss. They argued that with statutory penalties, such things were irrelevant, but the judge ruled that statutory losses are for when losses are otherwise hard to determine or have other externalities, and when the number is provably $0, then that number must be taken instead.

Re:Begpardon? (2)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#40732451)

This became an issue in the US when the court case was thrown out because the enforcement organization had rights to pursue violations

It's not just that. Bringing suit without standing pisses off judges because they have better things to do than waste their time listening to people who aren't damaged parties bringing suit.

These rights are not assignable without assigning the copyrights. The courts have said time and again that the only people with the standing to sue are the copyright holders themselves. This is settled law. It is the reason why Righthaven (an example of the above) is no longer a going concern and the lawyers associated with Righthaven have had to pay for court sanctions out of pocket.

Suing without having standing, and insisting you do, and fucking around with the court system and pissing off judges is a quick way to fines and disbarment.

--
BMO

Re:Begpardon? (3, Insightful)

Grumbleduke (789126) | about 2 years ago | (#40732299)

Everyone is a rights holder. We all have some rights of some sort or another.

Also, (very nearly) almost everyone is a copyright owner. Given that copyright (in most places) covers anything from a doodle or quick email (or a /. post) to a great piece of artistic craftsmanship, the only way someone wouldn't be a copyright owner is if they had signed a contract with someone handing over all their copyrights (...talking of record companies).

As for the RIANZ doing the complaining, if the NZ law is anything like the UK one, it is specifically designed so that industry associations can make the allegations and so on (mainly because most copyright owners can't really be bothered with this sort of thing, but are happy to pay their industry association a fee to do it for them). If not, it will still be the industry association who kicks up a fuss, publishes press releases and does the research, because that's how they justify their existence and pay-cheques.

Re:Begpardon? (2)

Kittenman (971447) | about 2 years ago | (#40732775)

Also, (very nearly) almost everyone is a copyright owner. Given that copyright (in most places) covers anything from a doodle or quick email (or a /. post) to a great piece of artistic craftsmanship, ...

My /. posts are great pieces of artistic craftsmanship, you insensitive clod!

PS Including this one

Re:Begpardon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40733361)

And I've made so many posts over the years, I forget about the good ones. Its too bad I have multiple personality disorder. Sometimes I don't even recognize posts I made. Maybe I should change my password from Hunter2?

Re:Begpardon? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732897)

Note, no cases have been brought to the copyright tribunal. There have been a number of third strikes but none of these were considered a good trial prospect by the RIANZ. Their refusal to comment on why they didn't pursue these further implies a lack of standing.

Re:Begpardon? (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#40732279)

It's not rights holders doing the complaining, it's the industry associations (read: RIAA/MPAA or NZ equivalents), who themselves hold no copyrights apart from their corporate logos.

It's not even that. It's the Australian versions of the American Associations that are pressuring NZ government, sometimes through local PACs set up for the sole purpose of hiding their 100% foreign ownership, but often directly as well.

How about this instead? (0, Troll)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 years ago | (#40732175)

Have you tried "knocking this fasco-capitalist shit off before the revolution comes and lines you all up against the wall"?

'cuz that's what's gonna happen if you don't. Brick wall. Machine gun. Get the picture?

A fitting end to the MAFIAA, I think.

Re:How about this instead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732251)

You can stop trying to sound like a badass now. You're not one. Get the picture?

Not anymore. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732179)

When the law came into effect, everyone shifted to direct download sites, which can't be tracked like torrents can. Then everyone heard from friends who didn't shift that they didn't get any notices, so they've all shifted back.

Re:Not anymore. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#40732229)

When the law came into effect, everyone shifted to direct download sites, which can't be tracked like torrents can.

You have that backwards. With direct-download, theres a very clear download log saying X downloaded from this server.

With torrent, that ISNT the case.

Re:Not anymore. (3, Informative)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#40732319)

You are 100% wrong, in that downloaders are not targeted. The targets are always uploaders, and if you download a file from a direct downloader, you did not distribute the file. With torrent, when you connect, you offer, as well as receive, parts of the content. That is an uploading activity.

Re:Not anymore. (3, Informative)

Grumbleduke (789126) | about 2 years ago | (#40732329)

Yes, but to get that download log you need access to the download server, yes (IanaITguy)? And if that server doesn't keep logs for long, or refuses to hand them over without a court order, it can be very hard for a third party to get hold of the info. Plus (at least in the EU) you have issues with data protection and privacy about access to that data.

With P2P stuff, though, it's really easy; you just join in the swarm, share the file with some people and log the IP addresses and times. You then have much more reliable evidence of both downloading and uploading (assuming you've done it correctly), without having to involve an extra party (although you'll still need the ISP to turn that IP into a person), and without as many of the data protection/privacy issues, as this data is all "in the public domain."

Re:Not anymore. (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 2 years ago | (#40732375)

Those logs aren't publicly accessible, though, so DDL is harder to track from the outside than torrents.

Re:Not anymore. (1)

Kalriath (849904) | about 2 years ago | (#40732635)

Who cares? On a technicality, downloading isn't illegal. Uploading is.

Re:Not anymore. (3, Interesting)

Grumbleduke (789126) | about 2 years ago | (#40732739)

Depends on the jurisdiction. I would imagine NZ law is similar to UK law, in which case downloading probably is illegal as well, but much harder to prove both that it happened, and that the copyright owner suffered a loss.

Actually, English law is completely insane at the moment due to a rather odd judgment that managed to slip through the Court of Appeal (although the Supreme Court will hopefully fix it next year). Under this ruling, merely visiting a website, or receiving an email can count as copyright infringement if you don't have permission to make a copy of the copyrighted contents of the page/email. While there was some discussion of website owners giving "implied licences" to copy by putting something on their website it was pointed out that these didn't matter if there was an express licence... which would, in theory, include something like "All rights reserved". So if you're in England, and you visit a website that says "All Rights Reserved" on it (such as /.), well done, you've probably just committed copyright infringement.

Re:Not anymore. (1)

X.25 (255792) | about 2 years ago | (#40733713)

You have that backwards. With direct-download, theres a very clear download log saying X downloaded from this server.

With torrent, that ISNT the case.

So, what you are saying is that NZ 'right holders' have access to logs on direct download server located in [insert favorite country]?

Really, there is a reason humans have brain. You should use it.

Uh-huh, right (5, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | about 2 years ago | (#40732181)

So, the people behind the law claim that it is effective enough to have been justified, but not effective enough to remove the need for even more industry-friendly laws.

How convenient.

Costs per infringement (5, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#40732201)

Rights holders want the current NZ$25 infringement notice processing fee payable to ISPs to be dropped to just a few dollars or even pennies, so that they can send out thousands of notices a month.

So what they're really saying that infringements actually cost them less than $25 per infringement in the long run. Because if it was like the thousands of dollars per, that they claim, they wouldn't have a bitch about a $25 fee. It would be a no-brainer and the battle against piracy would fatten their coffers easily even with the $25 fee. But no, they say it's too expensive. It's only too expensive if the net gain is negative.

>the ISPs want it increased to $100

Considering the vetting and such and going through the motions to send a customer a notice, I believe it. Even inter-office memos are not free. You'd be surprised what one actually costs if you measured it.

The IP enforcers have no leg to stand on with regards to this argument. By all rights, the ISPs should at least double their price. And the IP enforcers should shut up and take it.

--
BMO

a small but not to small fees keeps out abuse (3, Insightful)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#40732253)

a small but not to small fees keeps out abuse and let's small Rights holders have there say.

Re:a small but not to small fees keeps out abuse (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732417)

Lets rights holders have *their* say.

Not too hard is it?

Re:a small but not to small fees keeps out abuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40733549)

I'd like to add that it should be "too" not "to," and "fee" not "fees"

Re:a small but not to small fees keeps out abuse (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | about 2 years ago | (#40732761)

a small but not to small fees keeps out abuse and let's small Rights holders have there say.

Is $25 not considered a small fee, especially when taking into account the losses being claimed as owing to infringement?

Conversely, if the fee is too high for "small rights holders" then how much money are they really losing from infringement rather than plain old lack of success?

Re:Costs per infringement (2)

Zaelath (2588189) | about 2 years ago | (#40732267)

I want the cost of filing complaints against rights holders reduced to pennies as well, so they can be deluged with trivial notices that cost them a fortune in salary to wade through.

I'm w/ BMO; $100 sounds cheap compared to the eleventy billion dollars every shared copy of mp3 causes in damage.

Re:Costs per infringement (2)

msobkow (48369) | about 2 years ago | (#40732399)

But the *AA industries have never been willing to pay for enforcement. For as long as I've heard them whining and bitching in my life, part of their whine and bitch routine was to justify why someone else should pay the costs of enforcement.

They are, without a doubt, the single most "self entitled" group I have ever encountered. Even the religious organizations which beg their parishioners for money don't claim the money is owed to them like these trough-suckers do.

Re:Costs per infringement (2)

rtb61 (674572) | about 2 years ago | (#40733535)

Why not, someone else created the completely artificial means by which they profit, copyright law. Even when absolutely no attempt is made to ensure the content does in fact promote science and the useful arts as required under law, which technically means those profits have been stolen, factually stolen as that money was not 'copied' it was parasitically removed from the economy.

Report from the Ground (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732213)

Only popular music was being tracked. I know many, many people that continue to download movies, music and T.V. via torrent.

Re:Report from the Ground (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732723)

I.
I don't download music. It's mostly shit these days.
I don't download good movies, I watch then in the theatre. Not so good ones, I download.
I don't watch free-to-air TV in NZ because half the shows get cancelled before they are even shown here. I don't want to wait 3 - 18 months to watch an episode.

what are "Pennys"? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732225)

"pennys" ... you'll never hear a New Zealander use that phrase unless they were talking about those antique coins granny has on her mantle piece.
Closest thing to a "penny" is a 10 cent piece (no longer any 1, 2 or 5 cent coinage) so stop trying to nickel and dime away NZ culture
 

This is getting interesting... (5, Interesting)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 2 years ago | (#40732239)

This is getting interesting.

Earlier this month ISPs came to an agreement with the recording/movie industry to enact a "6 strikes" policy to punish copyright infringement. (see ArsTechnica article, as previously discussed on /. -- http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2011/07/major-isps-agree-to-six-strikes-copyright-enforcement-plan/ [arstechnica.com] )

The very next day after the article was published, I noticed something interesting when I was using BitTorrent--aside from request overhead, I was uploading zero data. I'm currently watching a 3.1GB torrent--1.79 GB downloaded and 0.0 uploaded. And no, it isn't my client settings. I have checked them several times, nor did I change them any from when I was uploading normally. Seeding a completed torrent does nothing--it just sits there with no activity.

To put it in simple terms, Comcast (my ISP) is throttling uploads by 100% but not touching download rates (at least mine). Are they, in essence, protecting their customers from the "6 strikes" policy they agreed to enforce? If so, I assume they are doing this to prevent losing customers that continue using P2P software.

I can't imagine the MPAA/RIAA will be very happy about this.

Re:This is getting interesting... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732371)

well eventually your ratios are going to be fucked and you're going to get banned from download anymore...unless of course you're using some lawyer-bait public tracker. so they're indirectly banning you from torrents without saying so.

Re:This is getting interesting... (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | about 2 years ago | (#40732511)

The very next day after the article was published, I noticed something interesting when I was using BitTorrent--aside from request overhead, I was uploading zero data. I'm currently watching a 3.1GB torrent--1.79 GB downloaded and 0.0 uploaded. And no, it isn't my client settings. I have checked them several times, nor did I change them any from when I was uploading normally. Seeding a completed torrent does nothing--it just sits there with no activity.

Hasn't Comcast been doing something similar [torrentfreak.com] for several years prior to that article being published?

Re:This is getting interesting... (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 2 years ago | (#40733089)

"Hasn't Comcast been doing something similar [torrentfreak.com] for several years prior to that article being published?"

Not according to my own experiences with Comcast (I've been a customer for 10 years...Yeah, I know. No other choice unless I want a 10th of the bandwidth).

I've always been capped at 1.5MB/sec download speeds (P2P--I get advertised download rates for everything else). I still get that. What changed was the upload. In the past, what I found through some experimentation was that Comcast had an upload cap that changed based on the time of day--if you exceeded this cap your connections were reset, dropping both download and upload rates to zero, then they would slowly climb back up to normal until you exceeded the cap again. The ramp-up took long enough that it hurt your download rate enough to make it not worthwhile to exceed the upload cap. The cap varied from 65kb/sec (noon) to 200kb/sec(3 am). In response to this I simply changed my upload rates to prevent triggering the cap resets. I'm sure that was the whole idea. That being said, I was able to upload, just at very limited rates. Now, zero. Period.

There was one exception--If I was downloading on two machines locally (but NOT networked), they would hook up to each other via BitTorrent and pass data to each other with no limits to upload rates. I assume that was because both machines were using static IPs behind a single Comcast-issued dynamic IP and Comcast sees that as "OK", I guess. The only reason I ever even noticed this is because I often used two machines to effectively double my download rates (been awhile, and I haven't tried it since the uploads stopped altogether).

There might be another reason for this, but I am not sure exactly how this works, so I'll just throw it out there--Magnetic Links. If nobody is uploading anything but the overhead/requests, doesn't this break, eventually, magnetic links? Aren't the file information/hashes shared/managed by the peers now, instead of centralized trackers? Could they be trying to break that whole model?

Re:This is getting interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40733553)

That's strange. I'm on Comcast and my BitTorrent uploads work just fine. (I checked just now: I'm definitely uploading on multiple torrents.)

Magnet links (usually) use distributed trackers (DHT [wikipedia.org] ), but as I understand it, that's a somewhat separate protocol from BitTorrent. That is, I'm pretty sure you could block DHT and BitTorrent independently of each other. I am pretty sure Comcast is not presently blocking DHT, but that is an interesting idea: it wouldn't completely disable BitTorrent but it would put pressure on sites like PirateBay which have switched to magnet links to limit their storage/bandwidth needs.

Re:This is getting interesting... (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 2 years ago | (#40733181)

"Hasn't Comcast been doing something similar [torrentfreak.com] for several years prior to that article being published?"

I should have mentioned this in my other response to your post, rather then posting again. Better late then never?...

I know for a fact that Comcast allowed seeding as recently as two months ago. How do I know this? Because I already received a "copyright infringement" warning for a previous torrent, before they even announced the "6 strikes" policy. If I wasn't sharing data in the form of uploads, that warning would never have been issued as only uploaded data is considered infringing.

Their upload caps applied though.

Re:This is getting interesting... (1)

Kalriath (849904) | about 2 years ago | (#40732647)

I find it drastically unlikely. If I'm not mistaken, almost all US ISPs are also rights-holders, or closely affiliated with them. It's more than likely just traffic management gone insane.

Re:This is getting interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40733285)

To put it in simple terms, Comcast (my ISP) is throttling uploads by 100% but not touching download rates (at least mine).

I also have Comcast. If they're doing this, I wonder why they're not doing it to me?

Is that the correct measure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732243)

Even if true, is it really achieving what they want? Not producing any product would also drop infringment.

How do sales look since the introduction of 3 strikes compared to other countries without 3 strikes over the same time period?

The next question is... (2)

majesticmerc (1353125) | about 2 years ago | (#40732263)

Have sales gone up?

If sales have gone up, then congratulations, you've scored a minor victory against those stealing to avoid paying for decent content, but if not, what exactly have you achieved? Sure, people have stopped *cough* "stealing" your content, but they're not buying it either, it simply proves it wasn't worth paying for in the first place.

Either that, or they're still downloading it for free, they just figured out another way to do it without getting caught. Thus continuing the perpetual cycle of cat and mouse between the consumer and the dying business model of the entertainment industry.

Re:The next question is... (2)

Grumbleduke (789126) | about 2 years ago | (#40732357)

If you're interested, there was a study done into the effects of the French law (Hadopi) using iTunes sales provided by the major record companies. The full study is here [electronlibre.info] if you're interested and it found a 50% relative increase in iTunes sales ... when the law was being debated in the French Parliament, but no change when letters or disconnections were taking place.

However, that study has all sorts of other problems with it (such as missing some other relevant points, and having a rather dubious control group); if you're really, really interested, I got angry enough at the IFPI and politicians using this to justify the UK equivalent that I wrote a counter-paper, which can be found here [wordpress.com] .

Re:The next question is... (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 2 years ago | (#40733273)

If you're interested, there was a study done into the effects of the French law (Hadopi) using iTunes sales provided by the major record companies. The full study is here [electronlibre.info] if you're interested and it found a 50% relative increase in iTunes sales ... when the law was being debated in the French Parliament, but no change when letters or disconnections were taking place.

iTunes music store launched in France on 15 June 2004.

iTunes started offering movies in France on 30 April 2009.

Hadopi was being discussed in parliament in April/May 2009, which coincides with the launch of the movies section of iTunes. And as such product launches are usually accompanied by major marketing pushes, I'm not surprised that the iTunes sales went up a lot in that period. Having more on offer - a complete new product line in this case - is usually a recipe for increasing sales, too. That it happened while Hadopi was being discussed may be mere coincidence.

Remember: correlation is not causation!

Re:The next question is... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#40733005)

...dying business model of the entertainment industry.

I'm sorry, Netcraft has not confirmed that [boxofficemojo.com] . Of course, in order to avoid honoring its obligations, the industry will tell you they didn't make a dime [techdirt.com] .

Some thoughts on studies and numbers (4, Interesting)

Grumbleduke (789126) | about 2 years ago | (#40732269)

Only halved? I thought these things were supposed to have a 70% reduction according to the earlier surveys. Oh wait, those surveys are complete rubbish, as is most data on this sort of thing. The surveys for how much this sort of thing would reduce filesharing are all over the place; according to the IFPI, the French version, Hadopi, would cause 71% reduction [ifpi.org] in unlawful file-sharing, whereas a ZdNet.fr survey put it at 4% [musicweek.com] . Then there was a really fun Hollywood-sponsored survey from Australia that found 74% would stop infringing [scribd.com] - unfortunately, in the fine detail, it turned out only 11% were actually committing copyright infringement on a regular basis, so at least 15% of people don't infringe regularly, but wouldn't stop even if threatened by their ISP.

This is definitely one of those "detailed-study-complete-with-full-figures-and-methodology or it didn't happen" situations.

However, it is interesting to see that the RIANZ are claiming that half isn't enough, and that more needs to be done. It mirrors my concerns about these laws elsewhere (particularly in the UK, obviously) that they have no criteria for success or failure, nor any real way to measure effectiveness. It means that once implemented the RIAA/Rianz/BPI are free to say "This is working, so we need more!" or "This isn't working, so we need more!" or "We're not sure whether or not this is working, so we need more!" no matter what actually happens, and we're back to copyright enforcement for the sake of copyright enforcement.

Fortunately in the EU these sorts of charges to ISPs were declared unlawful, so copyright owners are being forced to meet most of the bill for the UK three-strikes program (although subscribers will have to pay an arbitrary £20 to appeal allegations made against them).

The one good thing about the UK version, though, is that the government were persuaded that, once the three-strikes law is in force, someone should actually look into whether or not such a law is needed or will do any good, so in a year or so, after over 1m letters being sent (and however many lawsuits and prosecutions), we may actually get some independent and reliable data on this whole "online infringement of copyright" thing.

[Disclaimer: I 'work' as a lobbyist in this area and am currently in the middle of consultation work on the UK version of this sort of thing - so I'm rather biased. For anyone in the UK interested in this, the Ofcom consultation is available here [ofcom.org.uk] and closes on Thursday.]

Re:Some thoughts on studies and numbers (5, Interesting)

Kalriath (849904) | about 2 years ago | (#40732681)

Actually, the New Zealand government is also obliged to review the three-strikes law as well, and this is that review happening. Interestingly, although the music industry has been utilising their weapon quite frequently, the motion picture industry has flat out refused to, until the $25 fee is abolished (making it so ISPs have to foot the bill for enforcing their content - they claim that "ISPs make all of their profits from infringement of our copyrights, so they should pay"). Additionally, there have been a small number of people who have hit three strikes, and the music industry has not pursued disconnection for those people - presumably because pursuing it means taking it to a tribunal which might actually require evidence of infringement.

Re:Some thoughts on studies and numbers (2)

Grumbleduke (789126) | about 2 years ago | (#40732769)

Mm, something similar is happening in the UK; but here Ofcom is planning to sit the major lobby groups down and force them to sign up to the scheme before they set it off (under their plan, the enforcement groups have to "buy" infringement allegations in advance, before each year-long period).

As for the reporting, the main problem I have with the UK plan (and the NZ plan by the sound of it) is that the reporting, investigating and evidence-gathering is happening after the law goes into force. Call be a radical/extremist, but I was generally under the impression that you gathered evidence first, and then put in place policy (particularly something fairly expensive)...

Hit em where it hurts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732307)

1. Create original content - anything at all. Could be text. Load it with keywords that would attract NZ govt clicks. Minister's names, etc.
2. Put it on the web
3. Have a click-through license that says something to the effect of "free license granted to all people worldwide, except for citizens of NZ employed by the government"
4. Log all accessing IPs, match to list of NZ govt IPs.
5. Send infringement notices as necessary. Once you've sent a few, post publicly, send to a few blogs, and CC to the press.

Re:Hit em where it hurts... (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#40732491)

And then be laughed at. The law only targets peer-to-peer file sharing. Unless you can convince an MP or such to download it as a torrent and seed it your infringement notices will be a waste of $20.

Re:Hit em where it hurts... (2)

Kalriath (849904) | about 2 years ago | (#40732687)

I'm sure Melissa Lee could put it on a CD for you. It was all legally obtained after all!

I'm sure the Kiwis discovered VPNs... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732353)

I'm pretty sure that a good number of New Zealanders are now using VPN services now, likely offshore.

Is this a victory for the copyright people? Nope. The steps they have to take next are to force ISPs to block VPNs (which likely violates free speech laws), demand VPNs offer IP address mappings by request (fat chance, especially in another country), or pass a law requiring all Internet facing endpoints have a DRM stack which notifies a central authority if it is tampered with, similar to XBL.

Real police work is now severely screwed by this. Now that the pirates are now running black pipes, the child pornographers will follow suit, so the real crimes against people will not be able to be detected, when before the Draconian copyright laws, it was a matter of sitting back and running a utility like Splunk on packet headers.

Not the full picture! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732365)

While it's true that P2P traffic has decreased in NZ after the law, the tunneling traffic has increased. See bellow:
http://www.matthewtaylor.co.nz/2012/03/11/three-strikes-law-shifted-file-sharing-from-torrents-to-tunnels/
http://www.wand.net.nz/sites/default/files/nznog12_0.pdf :)

How to measure Success ? (1)

bug1 (96678) | about 2 years ago | (#40732455)

Media cartels judging if their 3-strikes approach is successful based on how many people they punish. Someone needs to remind them that their job is to promote the sale of music/movies.

If they paired their research on punishment, with data on legal sales then it might be meaningful, as it stands its just a scare story.

I like the part (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#40732467)

Where Rianz and co say the fee should be dropped from $20 per notice to $2 or less and the ISPs countering that with the largest saying it should cost over $1000 per notice, as they have spend half a million dollars complying.

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732483)

Local retailers are reporting massive jump in sales for Music, Movie and DVD - yeah right!

cue the zealots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732579)

Cue the zealots claiming that this is why people disagree with them because this is an easy way to categorize people as "different" and "blind" so that they can be considered "other" than the group and therefore minimized, ignored and mistreated. Instead of recognizing that all people have views for reasons

Re:cue the zealots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732663)

gah! wrong threat! WTF slashdot! I click one thread and post on another?!?

3 Strikes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732659)

We don't play baseball in NZ, we play cricket. Of course its winter now so we play rugby (Union or League, take your pick)

Probably shifted to alternatives (1)

jonwil (467024) | about 2 years ago | (#40732835)

If you want music for your collection, YouTube + one of the many YouTube to MP3 options is one way to get a specific song that their anti-piracy detection methods probably cant pick up.
That or downloading from any number of websites offering music for download (including file sharing sites)

For movies & TV, if you want to watch something once (and dont care so much about the quality) YouTube is a good way to do it if you can find a copy. If YouTube doesn't have it, plenty of other video sites that probably do...

Plenty of options that dont involve using P2P software to download mainstream content (although I wish YouTube would do more about the people who upload the dodgy videos saying "we cant upload this film to YouTube because its been blocked but go to dodgyvideosite.com to watch it" with a link to some dodgy scam site)

Re:Probably shifted to alternatives (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about 2 years ago | (#40733365)

I think YouTube audio is something like 64kbps highly compressed MP3 so it's even lower quality than even the worst torrents you'll find. Same with ripping from streams like Pandora or Spotify, it's usually radio quality. That used to be acceptable but today with lossless codecs and cheap storage in the terabytes there's no reason to put up with low bitrates.

Direct download sites (I like filestube which searches many of them from one place) are the best option if you are worried about getting caught using BitTorrent.

Re:Pandora is 192k mp3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40733721)

Pandora is 192k mp3 which while not the highest quality is pretty decent.

Grumpy (1)

ANonyMouser (2641869) | about 2 years ago | (#40732955)

This law was introduced as a one strike(!) law with no fees(!!!!!!!) by the major left wing party government of the day. The same politicians tried to undermine the (now in government) major right wing party by accusing them of implementing laws at the directive of American interests. Of course that right wing party eventually passed the watered down version that we now have in place. You just can't win with politics. I'm sorry but as a NZer, the whole thing to me just stinks. The appropriate insult in the local vernacular: the bloody mongrels! Honestly, I'm not a protester. There are many of those and I don't identify at all. However, this issue is nearly enough for me to vocalise my feelings. Defend your content rights by all means, but do it honestly. You wont convince me that the NZ film and TV industry is not worth the amount claimed: nearly the size of the NZ economy, as I've seen on posters in video shops. When I see that sort of thing, I just don't go in to spend my money. Good on Sky TV for making content available online ASAP after initial screenings overseas. I hope they expand this and others follow suit.

That's not the only fix (2)

chebucto (992517) | about 2 years ago | (#40732963)

The problem is that 40% of the people are breaking the law as it is written.

There are two basic ways of solving this:
- Punish 40% of New Zealanders, or
- Change the laws

Methinks the second option deserves more consideration

Halves huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40732967)

More like 50% of infringes were the smarter ones who are now using vpn's.

Streaming is the new torrenting (1)

MadAndy (122592) | about 2 years ago | (#40732971)

I live in NZ, and a quote I heard on the radio lately says it all: "streaming is the new torrenting". Instead of torrenting you connect to one of the indexing sites and simply stream what you want to watch. That's what we do now. Not only does it use less data allowance, but as far as I know it's actually legal too, as you're not offering a copy to anyone else.

About the only hassle is the stupid ads, and some of the sites stream data to you too slowly to watch in real time. We've gotten in the habit of kicking those off at night and running hobocopy to copy the stream files from Temp inside my profile folder. Then VLC plays 'em whenever I like :)

And music? There are indexing sites for that too. We really did try to go legit there, but with all the region restrictions and limited catalog rubbish it was such a pain in the ass. The indexing sites have it all...

Sure (1)

rainer_d (115765) | about 2 years ago | (#40732995)

Maybe because Kim Dotcom has been imprisoned for some time and couldn't download himself.

Now that he's out again and online, I'm sure he'll skew that statistic just like every other statistic....
;-)

Funny numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40733053)

Here's the quote: "Forty-one per cent of New Zealand internet users accessed such "copyright infringing services online" in February, compared to a global average of 28 per cent, it said." Both of those numbers are ridiculous. The 41% includes legitimate P2P, and the 28% global average presumably includes countries like Ghana that aren't exactly an apple-to-apples comparison.

Shocked, shocked! (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#40733071)

The haves wanting more, whodathoughtit.

They won't be happy until... (1)

sparkeyjames (264526) | about 2 years ago | (#40733177)

they are the judge jury and executioner for anyone caught stealing or purported to be stealing their
precious IP. The sad thing is is that politicians will let them do so because they are just as corrupt as
those doing the bribery.

...or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40733185)

maybe it just doubled the use of encryption.

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