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RapidShare Urges US To Punish Linking Sites and Not File-Sharing Sites

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the not-my-fault dept.

Piracy 167

hypnosec writes "RapidShare has said that the U.S. government should crack down on linking sites rather than punishing file-sharing sites and strangling innovation. The file-sharing site is understandably a little worried about the recent crackdowns on sites involved in or found to be promoting piracy. Daniel Raimer, RapidShare's Chief Legal Officer, is to meet with technology leaders and law enforcement at the Technology Policy Institute forum. Responding to a public consultation on the future of U.S. IP enforcement, the company emphasized that linking sites are the real problem. It wrote, 'Rather than enacting legislation that could stifle innovation in the cloud, the U.S. government should crack down on this critical part of the online piracy network.'"

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Darn you Google! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41059067)

YOU'RE the problem! Not the innocent file hosts!

Re:Darn you Google! (5, Insightful)

hesiod (111176) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059095)

The problem isn't that I'm offering fake Rolexes for sale, it's that some law breaker is telling people about it!

Re:Darn you Google! (-1, Offtopic)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059173)

Re:Darn you Google! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41059335)

We're sure it is. Nevertheless, piss off.

Re:Darn you Google! (4, Funny)

spazdor (902907) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059453)

OKAY EVERYONE, we just all need to stand in a big circle and each blame the person to your immediate right.

Cops, please follow the chain of blame until you reach the end and find your culprit.

It's the guy who posted the file! No, it's the guy providing hosting for the guy who posted the file! No, it's the blogger who posted the link to the file! No, it's the guy who reblogged the link! No, it's the guy who aggregates blog links! No, it's the guy who wrote a Google custom search which spiders links from those link aggregators! No, it's the guy who figured out that math can be used to obfuscate the "original source" of a data leak! No, it's the guy who came up with a distributed data storage model based on it! No, it's the guy who figured out that the Streisand Effect applies to every piece of published data! No, it's Barbra Streisand herself!

...And there's your culprit. Please go arrest Barbra and sue her for the RIAA's lost wages and in the meanwhile we'll just keep on copying like we always have.

Re:Darn you Google! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41059859)

Sir, I would mod you insightful if I weren't absolutely disgusted by the undercurrent of truth in your words.

As it is, I cannot be positive towards the truth you have unfolded as it would require re-examining my own responsibilities as a potential file-sharer, as well as giving some in-depth thought to more than just a few current business models.

Re:Darn you Google! (4, Insightful)

spazdor (902907) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060917)

Quit thinking about business models, and start thinking about models for society and for culture. A world full of piracy may be a shitty place to try and make money as a publisher, but it's a marvelous place to grow up as a child with a love of music or film or literature. No one has ever said that publishing has to be a profitable business in order for a market or a society to thrive, except for publishers.

Re:Darn you Google! (2)

p0p0 (1841106) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059479)

Real world examples never seem to translate well online and that one was terrible. It would be more like a fake Rolex in a pile of absolutely everything in a giant bin.
Almost impossible to find by itself, but if someone attached a string to it and told you to pull...

Re:Darn you Google! (1)

p0p0 (1841106) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059507)

Also, every single item in the bin s in an individual box and you can only tell what is inside by opening it or reading the gibberish someone wrote on the box.

Re:Darn you Google! (2)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060145)

Almost impossible to find? Really? Let me introduce you to this new way of finding things on the internet called a Search Engine.

No, the Rolex example was spot-on. If my non-tech-savvy folks can find illegally shared stuff online in less than fifteen minutes, anyone can do it.

Re:Darn you Google! (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060375)

Well, your example is still terrible, of course, because these sites don't present you with the pile at all - just the strings.
Google provides you neither, but you can throw a string into the pile and Google will try to make it hook to whatever item in the pile most closely matches what you want it to hook to. That can be the Rolex, or it can be a picture of a cat - whatever you requested.
There's rarely a string with a picture of a cat at the end of the strings offered by the 'piracy' link sites.

But if you want to give a counter example for the argument given, consider personal information on the person and their family. Sites aggregating that information for easy consumption tend to creep people out (like that app that tied foursquare(?) and facebook profiles together - so people could find pretty girls nearby, essentially).
Sites aggregating 'pirated' content, on the other hand, are to be celebrated :)

Aggregation matters in these cases, and the laws usually provide for dealing with it.
Many jurisdictions do have legislation against sites aggregating personal information, for example - to the point of defending convicted criminals. Similarly, many have legislation against link sites, usually under a 'facilitation' header.

Re:Darn you Google! (2)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060127)

Yup, why fix the problem when you can fix the blame? It's certainly cheaper to do that than it is to come up with some kind of solution, in this case, fixing the goddamned copyright laws or something.

Course, I could be wrong. And severely caffiene-lacking...

Re:Darn you Google! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41060397)

The problem isn't that I'm leaving my rented house unlocked for easy self-access, it's that some law breaker is telling people about it!

ftfy.

War on Google (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41059075)

The problem with cracking down on "linking sites" is that it's way to broad. When you start attacking sites that provide users a collection of links, you're effectively attacking the basis of every web site on the Internet. It will no longer be safe to provide links. Further, it will undermine search. What is google but a collection of links?

How about we don't go after file sharing or linking sites and instead go after the RIAA and MPAA for buying our politicians and extorting money out of people by their frivolous lawsuits. I buy my content, but when they go after the basic foundation of the Internet, it makes me rethink that. No revenue means no buying politicians.

Re:War on Google (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41059115)

Because you're some fatass, freetarded virgin who is a net drain on society?

Re:War on Google (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059281)

You don't need to host links. The pirate bay hosts magnet uri's.

Re:War on Google (2)

Altrag (195300) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059433)

Which are, in essence, a link. Maybe not in the technical sense of a direct pointer, but its a method for finding what you're looking for.

Saying otherwise is just as pointless as the old bitching about how "piracy" wasn't a problem because "pirates" roamed the high seas and wore eye patches. Technically true, but a fundamentally pointless argument in practice -- which specific buzzword was used as the label is irrelevant.

Shakespeare even pointed this out several centuries ago ("A rose by any other name..") Its not like "using the wrong label!" has ever really held up as a useful argument.

Re:War on Google (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059977)

Its not like "using the wrong label!" has ever really held up as a useful argument.

I dunno about that. If you get pulled over for speeding, and the cop writes down "Tuesday" but it's Wednesday, that is liable to get the ticket thrown out.

But, other than that, yes, the courts are unlikely to be impressed by technical hocus-pocus acts.

Re:War on Google (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059649)

Conceptually it's the same problem though.

Computer nerds viewed torrents as a way around file sharing rules because you never shared the whole file, only a little piece of it, guess how well that went over?

Changing the technology being used doesn't change what it does, if I post a list of hashes that my browser can interpret as the comments on /. they may as well be the actual links to the comments. Storing a collection of magnets, or links or providing any resource that allows me to access something I'm not supposed to (however you decide that) is going to fall under the umbrella of the law eventually.

Obviously this is a silly game of whack a mole, there are still tax havens and people have been mad about those for centuries, either you block people from leaving your intranet, and then tightly manage what's on it, or you're going to find that people are constantly finding ways to access things you don't want them to, that you can't do much about.

Re:War on Google (1)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059907)

The real question with magnet links is...

How do fucking magnets work?

Re:War on Google (1)

JudgeFurious (455868) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060003)

Miracle

Re:War on Google (1)

hillbluffer (1684134) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060385)

Haven't yall figured it out? RIAA/MPAA mantra: "The Job's not done til the internet is GONE" Making linking illegal will pretty much kill the internet.

Re:War on Google (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060499)

, you're effectively attacking the basis of every web site on the Internet

And they dont care as long as they are still in business and make money.

How does this even make sense? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41059083)

I doubt anybody would punish linking somewhere without punishing outright sharing too.

Re:How does this even make sense? (4, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059305)

The UK just did it..... sent a man to jail for 4 years because he provided links to piratebay, demonoid, and other sites that had TV shows/movies.

Of couse the UK has demonstrated itself to be as bad as Russia when it comes to free speech, so I guess we shouldn't be surprised.

Re:How does this even make sense? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41059381)

Careful there... you're bordering on hate speech!

Re:How does this even make sense? (3, Interesting)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059611)

The UK just did it..... sent a man to jail for 4 years because he provided links to piratebay, demonoid, and other sites that had TV shows/movies.

That sounds innocuous enough - but keep in mind that he actually made GBP35,000/month in 2009 with these activities.
Given that they were merely link sites, his hosting costs weren't going to put much of a dent into those figures.

Now I'm not saying that his profiting is what made it illegal (it was illegal either way), or that 4 years in jail is an appropriate sentence - but let's not kid ourselves by suggesting that these site operators are only wishing to give to the world, to provide cultural enrichment to the needy, etc. They most certainly do profit by providing an avenue through which 'piracy' is committed.

That said, under my copyright reform suggestion, linking sites would in fact not be a valid target for legal action. But not because of some misguided 'free speech' concern. ( In case you were referring to the Pussy Riot thing - wow. Did you really just equate the two? If so, you may wish to read up on that case a bit more. It's many times more scary than any piracy-linksite getting targeted is. )

They were shows that were mothballed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41059999)

I.e. the company who owned the copyrights weren't desirous of making any money off it.

Re:They were shows that were mothballed (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060147)

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-19253359 [bbc.com]

Grey's Anatomy has been mothballed? When did that happen?

Admittedly, I read your post's body first and thought you were going to make a good point; e.g. that if the broadcaster (in the case of Grey's, ABC) wanted to make money off of it rather than leave it to the `pirates'` devises they could have made it available for cheap on their site.
But instead you went for something that is demonstrably untrue. D'oh.

Re:How does this even make sense? (3, Insightful)

Artraze (600366) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059683)

... which is so awesome, even, because that's already down the slippery slope: Piratebay and Demonoid don't have TV shows/movies either, they only link it themselves (torrents are just oversized links). So that means there is now someone in jail for linking to a site linking to pirated bits. Can one even argue there's a difference between:
https://thepiratebay.se/ [thepiratebay.se]
https://www.google.com/search?q=thepiratebay [google.com]
https://www.google.com/ [google.com] seatch for "thepiratebay" and click the first link
?

Sense is really just not a player here.

Re:How does this even make sense? (2)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060031)

an one even argue there's a difference between:
https://thepiratebay.se/ [thepiratebay.se]
https://www.google.com/search?q=thepiratebay [google.com]
https://www.google.com/ [google.com] seatch for "thepiratebay" and click the first link

Yes, one can argue that. If argued in front of a judge, they'd even agree with the argument. If argued in front of any reasonable person, they'd also agree.

Open up TPB in one window, open up Google in another. Present to some person unfamiliar with either. Give them 5 minutes to explore each site. Now ask them to give a summary description of each site. I'd be highly surprised if your test subject would suggest there's no difference between the two sites.

Of course when you add search query details for 'pirate' sites or for 'pirated' contents to the URL, there's far less of a difference. But that's the major, major difference between the two, isn't it? TPB presents the information for you, along with very useful categories, links to the latest content, etc. Google presents you with a search box and a bunch of links to their other services (none of which are comparable to TPB either). (Common) Sense is very much a player here.

It doesn't detract from your earlier statement - or the odd legal approach taken (conspiracy to defraud) - but the whole "TPB is exactly like Google" argument falls apart right at the moment the sentence is finished with ", but for 'pirated' content.". Nobody in their right mind would argue it in a court of law anymore - I don't know why some people continue to suggest this comparison :)

Re:How does this even make sense? (1)

Shagg (99693) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060137)

Of course there's a difference. Google has a lot more money than TPB does. Bullies go after the weak, not other kids bigger than they are.

Not that easy (5, Insightful)

thoriumbr (1152281) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059099)

It is hard to go after the linking sites, they are way too much. The storage sites are just a few, and is easy to go after them.

Re:Not that easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41059835)

I think that's the problem. There's only a few storage sites. How are lawyers and the media companies supposed to make boatloads of money if they only have the option to sue a handful of places, and most or all of those are not capable of being sued (in other countries not in the USA's pockets, etc).

Gotta keep the money flowing if you want to buy laws after all. Suing thousands of people in the USA makes FAR more money than attempting to go after people who are actually good at hiding or protecting themselves.

But in all actuality, I do honestly believe that this is the entire reason all the media companies never talk about going after the storage sites, or only rarely tag one. Not enough money in going after the source. Leaving them alive means an unlimited, constantly renewing source of people down the line to sue.

agreed (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059847)

And what if we add in the thousands of paste sites as well? If someone were to construct a small algorithm we could paste links to these sites, and point these leaves back up to a trunk. Then find them either with a search engine, or by scanning several paste sites. I seems to me that this could all be handled by a bit of javascript in a person's browser.

Suddenly instead of a single paste site, it becomes a web of information from an amalgamation of sites, pieced together by an agent running on a desktop?

Sorry, to spread FUD to the RIAA/MPAA supporters. but I think there are numerous potential innovations that can make linking sites into an unstoppable service.

Uploaders? (4, Insightful)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059101)

Shouldnt they actually go for the uploader and not hosting company or the ones that link? Ahh going for uploaders would hurts their business, so they would rather have the authorities going for the ones that link.

Re:Uploaders? (4, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059221)

Shouldnt they actually go for the uploader and not hosting company or the ones that link? Ahh going for uploaders would hurts their business, so they would rather have the authorities going for the ones that link.

Shouldn't they actually go for the content creator and not the uploader or the hosting company? Ahh pointing out that content creators licenses are what causes the uploading, hosting and linking to be illegal makes them look stupid, so they would rather have unlimited copyright for "a limited time" that's actually THREE GENERATIONS OF HUMANS in length.

Re:Uploaders? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41060601)

120 years? I am sorry, but that's more like 5 generations. ...because great-great-grandchildren of starving artists should not starve... or work for living.

Re:Uploaders? (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#41061097)

Shouldn't they actually go for the content creator and not the uploader or the hosting company? Ahh pointing out that content creators licenses are what causes the uploading, hosting and linking to be illegal makes them look stupid, so they would rather have unlimited copyright for "a limited time" that's actually THREE GENERATIONS OF HUMANS in length.

While I agree that rights' holders current licensing schemes, artificial distribution limits, etc. etc. very much are a huge factor in piracy, the duration of copyright is not a factor in this except for the few activists that decidedly say "I believe 5 years is long enough for copyright, and because of the author.life+70-year copyright term, I will now download this movie released 10 years ago - that I wouldn't have downloaded if the term was 5 years - just to spite them! ha!".
Let's be honest - if copyright duration were reduced to those 5 years, or even 3, do you honestly believe that a significant portion of current 'pirates' would stop 'pirating' material that is not yet 3 years old?
As much as people complain about the author's life + 70 years, the fact of the matter is that mostly they will be downloading content that's not even a year old. Be that a movie released on DVD 2 weeks ago or a TV series episode that aired just the night before (in the U.S. and you have to wait 6 months before it airs where you life - I do hate that with a passion, just not the passion of a 'pirate', instead I go straight to the rights holders - kudos to HBO for airing Game of Thrones rather timely in NL - 1 day after U.S. airing (whether or not my - or the hundreds of other) letter(s) was a factor in that, doesn't matter)).

Go after the uploaders how? Honest question. (2)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059431)

You say that they should go after the uploaders. That sounds like a good principle (in fact, I favor this approach - although in my view rapidshare would not be an innocent bystander either).

There's just one problem with what you are suggesting - how do you suggest they go after the uploaders?

Have you ever sent an e-mail to rapidshare asking for information on the user who uploaded a file? Did you get that information? Were you able to use that information to get additional information required for legal action from the ISP? Were you then able to successfully bring forth legal action against the person?

Note that at every single question mark above, there are at least a dozen reasons why you would be answering 'no', and half a dozen more from privacy advocates who would rather that the above were, in fact, impossible - from strong defenses to weak ones. Just think of the very last one.. have you seen the discussion here since, well, forever, that a subscriber is not necessarily the person actually uploading? Could be somebody else in the household or maybe the WiFi was hacked.

So how, exactly, would you suggest that they actually go after the uploaders?

Though you are right that it might hurt their business - seeing as every single case against an actual uploader that's been covered here has resulted in very, very negative comments on the action.
It seems the only acceptable response to many is to do nothing. Let piracy happen. Or offer better alternatives (and accept that piracy will still happen because it'll never be 'better' enough for everybody.)

But in the interim, I would guess that targeting the hosting sites AND major indexing sites is at least the most efficient, even if the effect of doing this lasts at most a week (at which point pretty much everybody using the site will know of the alternatives to go to).

Re:Go after the uploaders how? Honest question. (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059561)

Most uploaders make money of their uploads. Most hosting companies including Rapidshare pay you proportional to the number of times your file is uploaded. If you can pay them you most definitely can exactly pinpoint them.
 
And if you cannot pinpoint the uploader, bad luck, there is nothing one can do about it. Let piracy happen. The only ones as far as I can see doing something illegal is the uploaders.

Re:Go after the uploaders how? Honest question. (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059575)

s/uploaded/downloaded

Re:Go after the uploaders how? Honest question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41059971)

s/$/\//

Re:Go after the uploaders how? Honest question. (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059841)

And if you cannot pinpoint the uploader, bad luck, there is nothing one can do about it. Let piracy happen.

But then you'd end up in one of the quandaries of my proposal for copyright reform. My proposal is to do away with copyright and instead strictly enforce distribution rights. This would require RapidShare to collect legal information about the uploading party specifically, and exclusively! (though I wouldn't put it past politicians to pervert it), for the purpose of distribution rights enforcement.

So would you agree that RapidShare should collect this information and - if a distribution rights violation has been determined - be presented to the rights holder?
Or would you suggest that RapidShare collect no information whatsoever in order to protect the uploader's right to privacy?
Or something in between?

Because if you're saying "Rights holders: go after the uploaders! Sites: protect the uploaders by making it impossible for the rights holders to after them!", then the whole "go after the uploaders" effectively becomes "go after no-one" by default.

Re:Go after the uploaders how? Honest question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41060229)

No. You don't create draconian laws (such as laws that violate people's privacy or force data retention) just because you have an insatiable desire to catch a few criminals. Can't catch them? Too bad.

Also, we seriously need to rethink our priorities. Copyright and its ilk aren't important enough for the government to enforce or create draconian laws to help enforce.

Re:Go after the uploaders how? Honest question. (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060703)

I had to chuckle when you said 'a few' - I'm pretty sure there's more than 'a few' people who partake in copyright infringement :)

Your right to privacy is also just that - a right, and not necessarily an inalienable one. If you rob a liquor store, do you believe that the camera footage should not be put up in TV broadcasts in an effort to help the police find you? After all, it violates your privacy.
Many would say that, if it's clear that you performed a robbery, you gave up your right to privacy in that matter.

So if you willingly and knowingly partake in copyright infringement, do you not believe that you give up your right to privacy in that matter as well?

You may suggest that by going for data retention (in my suggestion, RapidShare keeping your records on file) your privacy is violated even when you're not partaking in copyright infringement.
But then again, the liquor store's camera setup is also running and storing the feed whether or not you're robbing them.

You know this - or can reasonably know this - before you enter the liquor store. You could know this - or reasonably know this - before you upload at RapidShare (they already have a ToS that says you're not allowed to upload copyrighted materials to which you have no rights to upload it).

Would you label that draconian?

Now, I know I'm drawing parallels between partaking in copyright infringement and a robbery here, but I'm certainly not equating them. I'm also not saying that copyright (or rather, distribution rights) should hold a high priority with government. If anything, it would reduce the burden on government because under my proposal they wouldn't have to care about it at all unless it were to go to the courts (which, depending on jurisdiction, may not technically be an arm of the 'government').

Re:Go after the uploaders how? Honest question. (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#41061051)

My proposal is to do away with copyright and instead strictly enforce distribution rights

Copyright is intellectual property law. What's the point of having a license to distribute IP when you have just abolished IP?

Re:Go after the uploaders how? Honest question. (1)

Shagg (99693) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060245)

So if going after the people who actually committed infringement is too hard, that means they should go after easy targets whether or not they are liable?

Re:Go after the uploaders how? Honest question. (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060489)

So if going after the people who actually committed infringement is too hard, that means they should go after easy targets whether or not they are liable?

(emphasis mine)
Absolutely not - but only regarding the part I emphasized.

I'm certainly not suggesting that if they can't go after the actual murderer, that they should just arrest some random passerby who they reasonably know was there due to cell logs and asking the question "where were you on the night of...".

The question is, of course, whether or not rapidshare can be held liable. That's something for courts to decide - which unfortunately means you have to go after a party of whom you are unsure whether they are liable (you believe them to be, they tend to believe otherwise) first.
Assume the court in the given jurisdiction decides they can't be held liable. Well then the rights holders are f*cked and would have to target something/body else.
But if the court says they can be held liable, then why shouldn't the next rights holder go after rapidshare in the same jurisdiction just as well, rather than trying to find the uploaders?

Yes, they are an easy target - more importantly, they're a target with large impact. At least for a week or so.

I'm not advocating they go after anybody, myself - but if they feel so inclined then hosting sites, followed by link sites, are certainly a more sensible target than individual uploaders under current laws and regulations.

Re:Uploaders? (1)

fa2k (881632) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059441)

Agree 100 %. The hosting company is also technically breaking copyright by distributing copies, but there are methods for dealing with that (the good part of DMCA).

Re:Uploaders? (1)

BlackSabbath (118110) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060317)

Why that's crazy talk!

You young people and your logic...

In the end, he loved Big Brother. (4, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059107)

Daniel Raimer, RapidShare's Chief Legal Officer, is to meet with technology leaders and law enforcement at the Technology Policy Institute forum. Responding to a public consultation on the future of U.S. IP enforcement, the company emphasized that linking sites are the real problem. It wrote, 'Rather than enacting legislation that could stifle innovation in the cloud, the U.S. government should crack down on this critical part of the online piracy network.'"

"Rather than enacting legislation that could stifle innovation in the cloud, the U.S. government should crack down on this critical part of the online piracy network.'"

I guess that's Newspeak for "Do it to Julia, don't do it to me, do it to her!"

But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

US? (0)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059117)

What, they are urging us, the community of Slashdot, to punish them?

How about no, you hypocritical Deutsche bastard?

Re:US? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41059165)

Hey look. I'm a huge fucking idiot.

- nitehawk214

Right.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41059123)

Because we DEFINITELY want a precedent that, rather than punish actually illegal behavior, we should punish people who inform others about potentially illegal behavior.

Sure, the "go here for teh warez!" sites are an issue, but they're not doing anything against the law. Where do you stop when you try to stop non-illegal activities?

It would be a dangerous precedent. (4, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059133)

As the first poster mentioned, it's not a crime. I can even link to a criminal site if I want, with the link saying "Look! Here's a criminal site! The bastards!"

If they start regulating what you can link to, the internet is doomed. Don't go there.

Besides, at least in the U.S., free speech is very much an issue when it comes to links.

Re:It would be a dangerous precedent. (0, Troll)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059197)

Facilitating copyright infringement is a crime and has been upheld by the US courts. Linking to copyrighted material would fall under facilitation. You may not agree with it, but that's the way it is. Free speech doesn't give you cover for it either.

Re:It would be a dangerous precedent. (3, Interesting)

clonehappy (655530) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059355)

Facilitating copyright infringement is a crime and has been upheld by the US courts. Linking to copyrighted material would fall under facilitation. You may not agree with it, but that's the way it is. Free speech doesn't give you cover for it either.

And the US courts are always infallible, right? You sound awfully Team USA with your statement.

If someone asks Siri where to hide a dead body, she will give them the locations of Dumps, Mineshafts, Quarries, etc. Would that make Apple accessory to murder?

Re:It would be a dangerous precedent. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059483)

"Linking to copyrighted material would fall under facilitation."

So far, according to the courts, that is only true when the INTENT is clearly to facilitate infringement. And even then... infringement is not a crime. Piracy is, but by (legal) definition, "piracy" only occurs when infringement is done for profit motive.

"If someone asks Siri where to hide a dead body, she will give them the locations of Dumps, Mineshafts, Quarries, etc. Would that make Apple accessory to murder?"

You are merely reinforcing my point. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to ask such a thing... even for the purposes of forensics. Just as there are plenty of legitimate "fair use" purposes for copying or downloading, which would otherwise be infringement.

At least in the U.S. I don't pretend to know the laws of other countries.

Re:It would be a dangerous precedent. (1)

haruchai (17472) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059403)

It would have to be clarified considerably better than "linking to copyrighted material".
Otherwise you could be charged for a link to a public library.

Say, if linking to copyrighted stuff is criminal, why are Google and Microsoft still operating search engines?

Re:It would be a dangerous precedent. (4, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059545)

"Say, if linking to copyrighted stuff is criminal, why are Google and Microsoft still operating search engines?"

Exactly. And that is only part of the point: how can linking be a crime, when even downloading isn't a crime. ("Piracy" is, but downloading is not piracy, according to the legal definition. Downloading is merely infringement, a civil infraction. Piracy is a crime, but in order to be piracy (generally speaking), it has to involve mass distribution of copyrighted materials for profit.

Re:It would be a dangerous precedent. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059565)

It would have to be clarified considerably better than "linking to copyrighted material".
Otherwise you could be charged for a link to a public library.

Say, if linking to copyrighted stuff is criminal, why are Google and Microsoft still operating search engines?

because the law isn't the same for everyone.
link collection sites have been targeted by feds since the dawn of internet whenever some riaa,bsa or such wanted them to go down. it's not about logic or the feds applying the law on their own.

but the thing is, you find those sites with google... and plenty of those search sites aren't even manually operated.

what rapidshare is trying to pre-empt is them getting raided due to queries made on other sites like http://rapid-search-engine.com/index-s=mass%2Beffect.html [rapid-search-engine.com]

Re:It would be a dangerous precedent. (1)

miltonw (892065) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059949)

It would have to be clarified considerably better than "linking to copyrighted material".

Much of the material on the Internet is copyrighted and the authors very much want people to link to their sites -- that's what they are there for. I'm sure most of Microsoft's site is copyrighted, for instance. If "linking to copyrighted material" was a crime, the Internet would cease to exist.

I believe you mean "linking to unauthorized copyrighted material" but tell me how you propose a person determine, quickly, reliably and automatically, which copyrighted material is authorized and which is not.

Re:It would be a dangerous precedent. (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059531)

"Facilitating" is absurdly broad language for this kind of a law. It deserves to be struck down, or else every ISP needs to be shut down for their role as facilitators too.

If free speech isn't cover, then neither is 'common carrier' law.

Re:It would be a dangerous precedent. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059593)

I understand that has happened, but then how does google survive?

Searching will bring up all kinds of infringing links.

Re:It would be a dangerous precedent. (1)

Algae_94 (2017070) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060325)

Link sites often link to other sites and not to copyrighted material. How many levels of indirection makes it no longer a crime? Since most of the web is linked together through a path of some number of links, the logical conclusion is that the entire web is facilitating copyright infringement.

Re:It would be a dangerous precedent. (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060921)

Link sites often link to other sites and not to copyrighted material. How many levels of indirection makes it no longer a crime?

That's a good question, and I certainly don't have a answer to that with a foundation in any jurisdiction's laws. I'm pretty sure the judges here (NL) wouldn't even know and would have to determine that on a case-by-case scenario until law were written on it ('precedent' doesn't mean much in our courts - which can be both a bane and a boon).

However, in reality, link sites linking to link sites is not really a diverging network. 100 link sites all link to 25 link sites which link to 5 link sites which link to maybe 1-3 hosts that actually carry the files or do link in a divergent manner (content stored on a multitude of small sites, temp accounts, hacked accounts, etc.)
So within that network, the nodes at the 100 level, the 25 level, and the 5 level? Inconsequential when instead you can take down the 1-3 'hosts'. Of course if you can't, then going after the 5 makes a lot more sense than going after the 100.

Would that make the nodes at the 100 level exempt from legal action? Probably not - but why bother if you just took away their 'sources'?

Rapidshare HAS NOW MADE THEMSELVES the problem (3, Interesting)

gavron (1300111) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059149)

The "problem" isn't file sharing. That's legal. It's not linking. It's legal. What's against the law
are violations of the law (e.g. copyright).

HOWEVER, in saying "don't come after us, go after linking sites" rapidshare has thrown the
babies to the wolves in hopes that they can evade a similar fate.

Rapidshare, for that, deserves to die. Linking sites and sharing sites are legal. The US Federal
government and its ICE dogs will sooner or later be brought to task. (Rojadirecta probably).
We'll still remember that Rapidshare threw everyone else to the dogs.

E

Re:Rapidshare HAS NOW MADE THEMSELVES the problem (4, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059249)

Eliminate copyright. Problem solved.

Re:Rapidshare HAS NOW MADE THEMSELVES the problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41059435)

No way, our entertainment industry is "too big to fail"!

It's not a service industry otherwise artists would actually make most of their money performing. Instead, they do a little work up front and sit back and wait for the checks.

Re:Rapidshare HAS NOW MADE THEMSELVES the problem (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059711)

Yeah, bu that would create so much jobs, we would need to eliminate the war on drugs, so people who can do the jobs can get out of prison.

Re:Rapidshare HAS NOW MADE THEMSELVES the problem (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060835)

Eliminate copyright. Problem solved.

hear, hear

Well, partially anyway. It wouldn't exactly 'solve' the problem, would it?

People commit murders despite cops chasing after them, jailing some of them, and even killing a few of them every once in a while. "Eliminate laws regarding homicide. Problem solved." - but you'd still have murderers. You might even have more murderers if you find that you can legally get away with it (of course you might get the family/friends of the victim going out to kill you, and they wouldn't be encumbered by laws saying they can't do that either).

Pretending the problem isn't there doesn't make it go away.

The elephant in the room might be "what problem?" - seeing as I can't think of anybody who views copyright infringement as an actual problem except for the special interest groups that are paid to combat it.
( No, not even Joe the Gaffer - they're affected by economic driving forces far greater than what piracy has ever effected. )

But I do agree that copyright should be abolished and instead distribution rights be enforced. This would still target RapidShare, though - so the problem would not be solved for RapidShare.

Re:Rapidshare HAS NOW MADE THEMSELVES the problem (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060903)

But what makes Rapidshare so different from say Gmail? You can send a big attachment to a 'public' email, then publish the password and user name to a 'link' site. Google will then perform the same function that Rapidshare does. Or how about Googledocs. What if someone posts a copyrighted work there?

man I hope they crackdown on it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41059169)

I can't wait until the regular internet gets so oppressive that even non-geeks feel the need to run a freenet node or even better a byzantium node http://wiki.hacdc.org/index.php/Category:Byzantium

then the "democratic" western governments will have two choices; give up the appearance of legitimacy and go the china route or give up the ability to use enforcement power to support corporate profits

our world is really becoming the world pictured here http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read

But... (1)

Nexion (1064) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059189)

They prefer you, RapidShare, to actually going after a moving target. Sure, they take down a whole bunch of people using your service legitimately, but if they had to go after the sites that linked to pirated materials, and more importantly the individuals who are pirating, then⦠well⦠that would be a lot of work!

Let's make it even easier (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059213)

Just outlaw free speech. That will cover a whole plethora of crimes all at once. Oops! That goddamn 1st Amendment! Gets in the way of everything. Definitely need a constitutional convection and get rid of the damn thing. Nothing but trouble it is.

Re:Let's make it even easier (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059429)

Definitely need a constitutional convection and get rid of the damn thing.

I thought that whole 'Bill of Rights' thing was already long dead and buried?

Re:Let's make it even easier (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060819)

I thought so too. Didn't we crumple it up and toss it out around the time that we created the TSA, passed the Patriot Act, allowed warrantless tracking of cars, and came up with the idea of free speech zones? Actually, has there ever been a time when we followed the constitution? Listening to it would allow the communists/terrorists to win, so only a communist/terrorist enabler would do so...

Re:Let's make it even easier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41059449)

Nah, just that 'terrorists' have no right to the constitution. They arent really people anyway, right? You dont support terrorism do you son?

Obligatory "Your post advocates a" checklist (5, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059427)

Your post advocates a

( ) technical ( ) legislative (X) government ( ) market-based (X) finger-pointing (X) political

approach to fighting illegal file-sharing over the Internet. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws.)

(X) There is no centralized authority that will force people to carry out your plan
(X) Your plan is incomplete or contains too much "needs to be further discussed." phrases
(X) Requires a consensus on whether a problem actually exists
(X) Requires a consensus on the definition of where the problem lies
(X) No one can agree on the definition of the problem
(X) Proposal is philosophically inconsistent in mulple places
(X) Computers and frequently people can't tell if a copyrighted item is being hosted legally or not
(X) The item at the end of a link can change over time

Specifically, your plan fails to account for

(X) Existing court decisions protecting the very activity you want to restrict
(X) Scalability
(X) Extreme opportunity for mischief when abused
(X) Technically illiterate politicians
(X) Stupidity on the part of some people who do business over the Internet

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:
(X) A near-consensus that the activity you want to restrict should not be restricted
(X) Many people download illegally because it is not feasable to obtain content otherwise
(X) If file-sharing ended tomorrow and everything else remained the same, gross revenue wouldn't increase all that much
(X) Is this really the purpose of government?

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

(X) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.

Looking forward to similar posts by others who can do "funny" better than I can.

Wrong Solution to the Problem (2)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059463)

The problem is not the file-sharing sites nor the linking sites: it's copyright law.

Kinda makes you wish (2)

OldSport (2677879) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059465)

that they went after Rapidshare instead of Megaupload.

Re:Kinda makes you wish (1)

Shagg (99693) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060337)

Don't worry, they'll get to them.

Bad form (4, Funny)

JDG1980 (2438906) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059473)

Only a united front can beat back the MAFIAA. Winston Churchill's statement on appeasement seems apropos here: "An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile – hoping it will eat him last".

I'm guilty of a crime by pointing at crime? (1)

AaronLS (1804210) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059499)

So if someone is guilty of copyright infringement for posting the web address of a file, are they guilty of murder for posting the address of a known murderer?

Current efforts of law enforcement are already being wasted on pursuing linkers, when they should be focused on the publishers of copyrighted material. The people uploading, and the people garnering revenue from those uploads are the criminals. The file sharing sites know that plenty of people will subscribe so that they can download that material. They have an incentive to allow it to occur and turn a blind eye. They should be fined for any revenue they receive from subscribers who download pirated content. Essentially nullifying the revenue from the copyrighted material.

Innovation? (1)

sqldr (838964) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059503)

A file server you have to pay for? What exactly did rapidshare innovate in their entire existence?

Douche baggery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41059511)

By RapidShares...

The real battle (3, Interesting)

Shagg (99693) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059515)

RapidShare, MegaUpload, Demonoid, etc all provide competition to the distribution monopoly of the RIAA members. That's their real problem. It isn't about piracy. The RIAA member/cartel are more worried about artists deciding that the middlemen are no longer necessary.

As long as the RIAA has their way, it will be impossible to operate a file locker/linking service without being arbitrarily shutdown by the "piracy" boogeyman. That's what they want, and right now they're the ones writing the laws.

So (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059517)

So basically, say I am a DJ that is hosting a party at a club. At that party, someone brings in drugs or prostitutes or an illegal firearm. As the DJ who handed out a flyer promoting the event, I would then be breaking the law by telling people about an event in which a crime was committed?

Yeah, great idea....

Re:So (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41060077)

No, but if you distribute the flyer on a computer (say via a facebook event) then it would be.

Re:So (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060933)

Under crack house laws, if someone sells drugs at your event the venue can be confiscated. It happened to Camp Zoe.

Crack down on Hollywood Accounting instead (4, Interesting)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 2 years ago | (#41059567)

much bigger problem.

Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41059619)

Stop wasting my tax dollars enforcing other people's copyright. Seriously: stop it. I'm tired of this shit. Especially when they're hosted in other countries!

It's too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41060165)

We have that pesky first amendment... even the insane reactionaries on the current supreme court probably wouldn't go for a crackdown on linking sites

Kill the messenger (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060329)

Yeah way to go. Kill the messenger to demonstrate to your constituents you're doing something about the problem.

Am I the only one who agrees? (1)

supersloshy (1273442) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060379)

Okay I've read all of the reasoning here for why people are against this, but lets think about it: linking is not illegal, file hosting is not illegal, but hosting a website with the explicit purpose of linking to copyrighted material in such a way that it infringes upon the copyright of the content owners? THAT should definitely be illegal. Don't tell me none of you have ever seen a forum or a blog filled with nothing but links to illegally shared copyrighted material. Heck I've seen several that have explicit categories for things like games on a per-system basis, genres of music, or whatever else. Whether it's for ROMs, ISOs, MP3s, or any other type of file, they exist. Lets not pretend that they don't. You can wear a tin hat and stroke your neckbeard while saying that the problem is copyright law, but realistically, in the world we live in where changing it so radically will never happen, these sites should be stopped. Heck I'd gladly link to at least a dozen that I know of off the top of my head for evidence if it wouldn't possibly incriminate me.

"No, DownloadSomeFreeGamesAndShitOrWhatever.com is totally legal! It's just people linking to stuff! They can't control what people share!"

Think about how freaking ridiculous that sounds. Yes, we should go after the infringers in the first place, but that doesn't mean we can't attack these sites as well. It's not like only one person is allowed to infringe. By hosting theses sites, the site owners are accomplices.

Re:Am I the only one who agrees? (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060759)

but realistically

Realistically? Realistically they can never stop these websites. They can shut down a few at most (and if they're host in other countries, that's be difficult) and hope they don't lose the court cases that take place afterwards, but more will spring up in the meantime.

So, yeah, while changing copyright law is unlikely to happen for a while yet, realistically there's no way to stop copyright infringement.

Re:Am I the only one who agrees? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#41060957)

What sounds freaking ridiculous is that you're ready to sacrifice the principle of freedom of speech to make some record execs some extra money.

Re:Am I the only one who agrees? (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 2 years ago | (#41061191)

You can wear a tin hat and stroke your neckbeard while saying that the problem is copyright law, but realistically, in the world we live in where changing it so radically will never happen, these sites should be stopped.

Your logic, it is unquestionable, therefore abdominal.

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