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Comcast Working On 'Helpful' Copyright Violation Pop-ups

Soulskill posted 1 year,15 days | from the because-movie-pirates-love-popups-even-more-than-free-things dept.

Piracy 284

gregor-e writes "Comcast is said to be preparing to snoop on your internet browsing to detect when you attempt to download a copyright-protected item. On detection, Comcast will pop up a helpful window that contains information about where you can obtain a legal version of whatever you're downloading. 'While sources familiar with the new initiative emphasized that it is being seen as a complement to CAS [a.k.a. six strikes] and not a replacement, the very emergence of an alternative raises questions as to the viability of CAS, which has been criticized for myriad reasons ranging from the questionable strategic rationale of punishing subscribers to an implementation that has been characterized as scattershot. How the two systems would coexist is unclear.'" Comcast will be inviting other ISPs to join its new system as well.

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I do not usually do this... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44492743)

... but ROFL OMG LOL ZOMG DHCP BBQ.

Also stfu slashdot, i'll yell when i want to

Re:I do not usually do this... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44493263)

CALLING ALL TROLLS!

Please troll this forum: http://stltommorow.proboards.com/ [proboards.com]

All troll tactics are encouraged, including actual trolling, crapflooding, goatse links, etc.

CALLING ALL TROLLS!

murrika (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44492769)

land of the free!

Re:murrika (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44493383)

slashdot: land of liberal niggerlovers who think it's SO VERY HORRIBLY TERRIBLE for me to say nigger. because they never lived near a bunch of niggers, had anything not nailed down go missing, seen them congregate in packs of 20-30 all of them thugged out and most of them armed, blasting loudass rap music into the wee hours of the morning, aggressively yelling at anyone on the public road, vandalizing everything with gangsta graffiti, destroying property values, causing cop cars to show up weekly, letting their undisciplined bastard kids run around causing trouble, parking junk cars in the yard and leaving them on blocks, and generally acting like the goddamned vermin they are.

note: you CANNOT gently correct a nigger. when youre in a movie theater and they yell into their cellphones (that EBT bought) or yell shit at the movie, you cannot nicely say "sorry to bother you but we can't hear the movie". you will be threatened, they will get even louder to show you who's boss, and you may end up in a fight. they were taken out the jungle but there's no getting the jungle out of them.

what you libs show on TV and see on TV is the sanitized idealized version of blacks, the African American. you don't see real niggers on the news etc unless you watch the crime reports. tv shows always have to have a lawyer, doctor, political leader who is black and smart and resourceful. if they were really that way there'd be no racism. very very few of them are. most of them are the sort that would make Martin Luther King fucking ashamed of the civil rights movement.

Is this so bad? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44492775)

I mean, if this prevent having to deal with the RIAA or the MFAA and all the legal expenses, wouldn't it be better to be warned and go "My bad." and move along?

Yeah, in an ideal World, justice would prevail and yadda yadda yadda, but let's face it, they'll bury you in legal fees - guilty or not - and it would be nice to have someone to back you up saying, "he made a mistake. He won't do it again, right?"

Life is not fair and our legal system is weighted against us average Joes.

Let's take the break where we can get them.

Or maybe not.

Slide some $$$ to the EFF and be passive aggressive.

Re:Is this so bad? (4, Insightful)

Virtucon (127420) | 1 year,15 days | (#44492925)

I think the EFF is outgunned here when you have former Senator Chris Dodd heading up the MPAA. There's a reason why the MPAA and RIAA have friends in DC and why we have laws like the DMCA and an abhorrent fear that the profits of the members of these organizations is at risk. John Doe suits have been their bread and butter attack method and now with more and more Federal Judges growing backbones it would appear that their tactic involves harassing the ISPs all the while greasing the palms of Congress. Let's not forget where the push for SOPA comes from, it's guys like old Chris there, pushing his contacts in DC. [forbes.com]

Re:Is this so bad? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44493319)

You guys here at Slashdot have spent the last 12 years fighting to legalize your pre-college, college-, post-college habit of spending all your leisure time downloading content from fold-tent-one-step-ahead-of-the-sheriff sites, 80 percent of which you'll never get around to listen to or watch.

So who won? You didn't win. Look around at pop music and what's being created today. Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and Justin Bieber style music is all that anyone can make money doing nowadays. Tower Records and all of its bricks and mortar competitors went out of business long ago. So did Borders.

SOMEBODY will make big money from content, that's how capitalism works, and now we see the winners are big, ugly somebodies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T, the owners of the pipes, along with the Chinese and South Koreans who manufacture the handsets and others gadgets. All you guys did was drive the individual artists out of business so these corporate bullies could step in and rake *all* the profits.

Re:Is this so bad? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44493391)

Different AC: Before widespread music piracy, there were plenty of bands on the radio.

After? We have Bieber, and predigested corporate rock bands, old bands... and nothing else. No new bands on the radio, no cool rockin' stuff. Just highly homogenized junk where the only thing singing is Autotune.

Re:Is this so bad? (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493411)

All you guys did was drive the individual artists out of business so these corporate bullies could step in and rake *all* the profits.

Is that really why it ("it" refers to music you don't like being produced and many people buying it) happened, or is that what you wish the cause to be?

Re:Is this so bad? (5, Insightful)

davydagger (2566757) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493441)

"All you guys did was drive the individual artists out of business so these corporate bullies could step in and rake *all* the profits."
No, the same big corporations such as the RIAA and MPAA did that. Its because of their aggressive marketing, they've made sure there is no markett for anyone else. Justin Bieber is what you can listen to without being being labeled as "crazy", or something else where you inherently lack rights, such as being free from assault. This was going on even in the 1990s.

". All you guys did was drive the individual artists out of business so these corporate bullies could step in and rake *all* the profits."
First you complain about big chain stores, next your talking about artists going out of business. Now has never been a better time for live music. This is a bold face lie. None of those artists made a dime off record sales.

" Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and Justin Bieber style music is all that anyone can make money doing nowadays."

Black Sabbath Just go back together and released a new album with all original content. Oh, it sounds sick too.

I think there is more live music going on now, and with the same computers, and even the same technology that is used to "pirate", such as CD Burners, MP3s, and audio tools, can easily be used by artists to produce music without the need for record labels.

The only people really bitching are record label owners. They've always been sleeze bags who've abused musicians. So take your corporation shill ass out of here. Don't wanna here it. The movie industry doesn't have to pay the same 10-20 shitty actors $30 million a movie for a blockbuster with a total budget of $100 million, then bitch about money.

Next you'll talk about how living wage drove blue collar jobs to china.

Re:Is this so bad? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44493497)

How does "downloading content ... 80 percent of which you'll never get around to listen to or watch" produce the effect of "drive the individual artists out of business?"

The individual artists didn't pay for the bandwidth we used to download the crap we purportedly ignored. Or are you saying that the 20% we listened to drove them out of business because, obviously, we would have bought all of that content otherwise, and spending that money would have kept the artists in business?

Fact #1: reducing price increases consumption. At a price of zero, it is guaranteed that people are consuming quite a lot of content that they never would have paid a dime for. So that downloading (at no cost to the artist) would not have translated to pure profit if downloading were not an option, and in fact only a tiny portion of it would have translated to sales, and therefore it could not possibly have hit their sales as hard as you seem to think it did.

Fact #2: The labels habitually left their signed talent owing them money after their albums made the labels a fortune. THAT harmed the artist far more than the free exposure provided by downloading. Buying more albums would not have changed this *at all*.

Fact #3: The issue is not as polarized as you seem to think. Plenty of people on slashdot approve of copyright law, but disapprove of these means of enforcement. Your slippery-slope fallacy is falling on deaf ears.

So there you have it.

Re:Is this so bad? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44493475)

This is worse than bad - not a single Copyright Enforcement Entity (CEE) or Copyright Troll (tm pending) as I like to call them has been able to correctly identify copyrighted works 1 time out of 50.

How many intentionally false (let's call them what they are - Malicious Lies) takedown notices have there been? How many takedown notices for a Copyright Trolls own works on their own websites?

What will happen is you will get hit with a popup when you go to download your own content from youtube, with a pointer to Viacom's website where they will sell you your own work (with their copyright on it) for only 100 bucks.

We need Copyright reform - revert copyrights back to their original 14 year period. Rescind the illegal DCMA (it's illegal because it intentionally, and maliciously extends copyright to infinity as it doesn't have any codified enforcement of decryption keys being put into escrow for the public to decrypt encrypted works after 14 years.

PAEs and CEEs are our nations worst Enemies, right after our own Government and the *AAs of this country that do nothing but steal from the artists and their customers just to pad their fat asses further.

let me get this straight (5, Insightful)

jaymz666 (34050) | 1 year,15 days | (#44492781)

They are going to be modifying web pages with this popup crap? They will be actively scanning every page I go to to see if there is a link to something on some master lists somewhere, modify every HTML page I download to include some sort of script to create a pop-up?

Really?

I guess they could maybe just intercept all HTTP requests that go to specific hosts and URIs and supplant the destination with a replacement HTML page... much better

Re:let me get this straight (5, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | 1 year,15 days | (#44492827)

Hey, break DNS, why not break HTTP too?

Re:let me get this straight (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44492895)

https EVERYWHERE needs to be EVERYWHERE.

Re:let me get this straight (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44493297)

Some of us have been saying this since it was first introduced, and it still hasn't happened yet.

Re:let me get this straight (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44493417)

I'm a little curious now...do you think an 'underground' set of HTTPS certificate authorities is out of the question? Does such a thing exist?

Re:let me get this straight (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,15 days | (#44492987)

Maybe some webmasters would be interested to hear that Comcast is exploring a plan to produce unauthorized derivative works, based on their pages, to hawk media products (not a few of which are from companies in the same ownership structure)... Isn't that the sort of plan that would be approximately a zillion counts of copyright infringement, trademark violation, and who knows what else if it were proposed by anybody other than a hegemonic corporation?

Re:let me get this straight (1)

Seumas (6865) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493217)

HI, THERE!

We see that you're considering buying a box of Buffy The Vampire Slayer DVDs on Amazon.com. We thought you'd like to know that you can watch that for free if you subscribe to our Comcast cable television service! it's on every night at 8:00PM and also available on-demand! Just to be sure you don't accidentally buy something you didn't want, we've gone ahead and disabled the "add to shopping cart" button on this webpage, for you. Thank you for your patronage!

Re:let me get this straight (4, Interesting)

Endymion (12816) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493365)

The copyright infringement problem you describe is only the beginning. The long-term flaw in this plan, I suspect, is that they are claiming to be able to detect a class of "illegal"/"bad" data.

In the early days of the net, this kind of detection was a major part of the pornography debate in addition to the usual copyright stuff. A major defense (one I suspect lead to the creation of the "safe harbor" provisions in the DMCA) was that it is patently unreasonable to force an ISP to decide the legality of each bit that moves across their network. Comparisons were made to the Common Carriers, etc. The consensus seems to be more or less that "safe harbor" idea - that it was only reasonable to request the ISP act after the fact, instead of trying to make them invent some sort of magic "evil bit" detector.

If an ISP wants to ignore all that, though, and volunteer that they have such detection capability... they might be asking for a long line of lawsuits for each item they *failed* to warn about. Even better: it's all the excuse the anti-porn (or anti-whatever) busybodies need to impose their ideas of a "child safe" internet. After all, if you can detect something complicated like copyright infringement, detecting pornography must be trivial.

TL;DR - their lawyer must be having a seizure over the potential liability exposure they seem to be asking for

Re:let me get this straight (1)

complete loony (663508) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493381)

And of course they'll get a commission on any actual sales. This is the same drive for monetisation that lead network solutions to direct you to advertising laden search results instead of returning NXDOMAIN.

So, let me get this straight (5, Insightful)

stox (131684) | 1 year,15 days | (#44492787)

Buying more bandwidth is out of the question is too expensive, but dropping a fortune on the hardware to do deep packet inspection is no problem.

Re:So, let me get this straight (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44492825)

the hardware is already in place.... they just gotta have its owner [slashdot.org] provide the needed data.

Re:So, let me get this straight (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44493403)

alert("Hello! This is your friendly Comcast! It looks like you're trying to watch a movie from out competition. I believe they shouldn't have the rights to use our BW... eerrrr meant that's copyrighted material, are you sure you want to go ahead? We're going to slow you down anyways just so you'll have a very crappy experience. You won't be able to switch ISPs, because we have a monopoly at your location anyways. Enjoy!");

Re:So, let me get this straight (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44493533)

Funny how they'd be willing to do that and not block chinese hackers going after sshd.

Fuck comcast... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44492799)

My fancy new 'digital' tv wont work without comcasts boxes around. You can't even buy one. Rental only. Good thing they gave them out for free...
Oh Wait...'free' dta boxes are now costing every month. What the actual fuck... 'free' to comcast actually means until we start charging for it.

Forced to pay for 40 channels of pure shit to get 10 channels you might want to watch sometime. It's such a complete scam.

Every month its yet another problem with either the net or the tv or billing. And the bills keep going up. The service and quality keeps going down.
And habib over in india or wherever has no fucking clue how to fix anything without calling them at least 5 times.

$160 a month for this shit... It's about time to get rid of them for tv at least...
God i wish i had another choice for internet...

Save us google you're our only hope. Your worst half-assed attempts at anything are 5000% better than comcasts best effort.

Re:Fuck comcast... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44492989)

Get rid of the whole tv side of the equation. Stick with high speed internet, download xbmc, and watch all the *television* your little heart desires.

Seriously, *even* the availability of live sports streams has improved to the point that there is very little that can't be found, very much of it in HD.

Re:Fuck comcast... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44493151)

So reward comcast with slightly less money for doing a bad job.

That sounds... lol

Re:Fuck comcast... (2, Informative)

pepty (1976012) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493157)

Obama just announced he wants to make streaming infringing content a felony. Not the uploading part, the clicking on the link and watching live football part.

Re:Fuck comcast... (1)

Zaelath (2588189) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493341)

[citation required]

Re:Fuck comcast... (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493437)

I'm assuming pepty is referring to this [slashdot.org] which merely talks about removing the distinction between hosting files vs hosting streams. As far as I can tell, it says nothing about watching a stream.

Re:Fuck comcast... (3, Informative)

Zaelath (2588189) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493535)

Yeah, I eventually looped back around and saw that story too. However, as you say the recommendation is:

Adopting the same range of penalties for criminal streaming of copyrighted
works to the public as now exists for criminal reproduction and distribution.

While the willfully infringing reproduction and distribution of
copyrighted works can be punished as a felony, willful violations of the
public performance right are punishable only as misdemeanors. This
discrepancy is an increasingly significant impediment to the effective
deterrence and criminal prosecution of unauthorized streaming. Since
the most recent updates to the criminal copyright provisions, streaming
(both audio and video) has become a significant if not dominant means
for consumers to enjoy content online. The Administration and the
Copyright Office have both called on Congress to amend the Copyright
Act to ensure that illegal streaming to the public can be punished as a
felony in the same manner as other types of criminal infringement.

Which is exactly the opposite of what the GP claims. Also, Obama Administration != Obama, but for a certain class of jackass that's a very fine point.

So, the NSA gets sloppy seconds? (5, Insightful)

sabt-pestnu (967671) | 1 year,15 days | (#44492833)

We're worried about the NSA seeing everything that goes over our connections.

But how much worse is it to have your own ISP doing so? Previously, we at least had the illusion that they didn't know. (Yeah, right. Do you browse with HTTPS-everywhere? And if you do, do your search terms go to some search provider that reports to the government?)

But now we know that they'll be looking directly at what you download. It's no step at all to go from "looking for copyrighted material" to "looking for anything we are interested in". Al Qaida training materials? Anarchist cookbook? PETA protest schedules? Republican party caucus meeting schedule?

Remember that adhesion contract you agreed to when you signed up with your ISP? Where they can change the terms when they want? Care to guess whether those terms will change to assure that you "agree" to deep packet inspection and content filtering of your internet traffic?

Re:So, the NSA gets sloppy seconds? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493025)

But how much worse is it to have your own ISP doing so?

Its not worse. Its not good, but the idea that its 'worse' than the government doing it is complete bullshit.

Re:So, the NSA gets sloppy seconds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44493575)

Its not worse.

How is it not worse? In addition to whatever outsourced NSA flunky like Snowden in China reading the ISP's collected data, we have whatever outsourced ISP flunky in India doing the same.

You better bet that the NSA has everything the ISP collects, plus whatever else they collect on their own.

Re:So, the NSA gets sloppy seconds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44493059)

We're worried about the NSA seeing everything that goes over our connections.

But how much worse is it to have your own ISP doing so?

Well, the NSA has the 'national security' excuse, What excuse does your ISP have? most likely a bullshit one. Sure you could say the same for the NSA, but your ISP is in it for the money and will sell you out, i.e NebuAd and Phorm come to mind.

Re:So, the NSA gets sloppy seconds? (2)

Seumas (6865) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493205)

That's exactly the problem. There are so many layers of potential compromise that it really doesn't matter, anymore. Even if everything else in the chain can be trusted to be secure and trustworthy, the government can spike-in anywhere they want from inside a data center to just outside of a provider's (ISP, facebook, etc) network,... and then your own ISP... and if you use VPN, then you still have to hope your VPN provider can be trusted (assuming you can even GET a VPN service anymore, since it has basically been criminalized).

Anyway, people need to just shut the fuck up and stop using the internet for evil things. The internet is for giving money to corporations to give you entertainment content and nothing more, you sick anti-american terrorist fuckwits!

Re:So, the NSA gets sloppy seconds? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44493433)

This is fairly easily dealt with as of now if in the US:

Get a VPN provider and use it. If you are using torrents, hit a decent provider overseas (ipred, swissvpn, etc.) For other stuff, use strongvpn, hide my ass, or something (just make sure to not use those for torrenting or P2P stuff for obvious reasons.)

If all your traffic goes through a VPN provider (and you might just need to configure a router to keep DNS from leaking or stuff going through normal routes if the tunnel goes down), the ISP can either block your traffic, slow it down, or try MITM attacks. This is a lot harder than just standing back and having a device look at every packet floating by.

I use a VPN provider even though I trust my ISP... mainly because I use wireless APs, and some sites are not using SSL, so to keep the AP operator from seeing/altering traffic in flight (a la FireSheep), I fire up a VPN and call it done.

Of course, ISPs can block VPNs, but that means they will be actively and overtly telling people what they can't do...

To boot, businesses use VPNs all the time, and the last people ISPs want to piss off are the enterprise. Home users, who cares. Businesses who pay the big bucks for the large pipes only to find employees can't VPN in for their jobs, not going to happen.

NSA should do the same (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493597)

We're worried about the NSA seeing everything that goes over our connections.

Exactly. Clearly the NSA should be part of this scheme and provide popups to let you know when you are engaging in behaviour they deem questionable. So next time you click on an https connection to a non-US company you can get a helpful popup: "Using encrypted internet connections to foreign entities puts you on an NSA watch list, are you sure you wish to continue? If you so have you considered using an NSA-approved proxy server that will ensure we can protect your connection - available for free at: https://notthekgb.gov/ [notthekgb.gov] ".

Stupid (4, Insightful)

Virtucon (127420) | 1 year,15 days | (#44492857)

This Six Strikes thing is both retarded and a horrible business practice. Why? Because they'll probably single out torrent traffic and assume that you must be pirating something. Hello Comcast: torrents != piracy. Ultimately that's what all these initiatives for piracy look at and they've declared war on P2P sharing because regardless of what it is, it must be "illegal." It also feeds right into the argument for traffic prioritization and filtering which is another horrible idea for the Internet. I can see some Comcast exec saying "We're going to be filtering torrent traffic because our friendly warnings have shown that 90% of the users involved in P2P are doing illegal activity." All the while they're pushing their own content services for substantial fees onto their users. I for one would be worried if I were a Comcast user and would seek out HTTPs connections everywhere I go on the net or look for another ISP.

 

Re:Stupid (1)

Opportunist (166417) | 1 year,15 days | (#44492917)

That's sure gonna be fun to watch, considering that quite a few games, with WoW maybe being the most prominent one, distribute their patches by P2P means.

Although it could explain why WoW keeps losing players quickly lately, maybe some of them are getting into trouble for "strikes".

Lets not straw man this, and stay on topic (1)

Marrow (195242) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493071)

Lets not magically assume that we know the mistakes they will make before they make them. I doubt that p2p will be an issue. I am curious as to how they plan to allow movie-previews and other stuff that generally benefits the copyright holders. There is a lot of stuff on the websites like rottentomatoes and whatnot that might get flagged. Is there going to be a magic handshake from the website that says we are entitled to broadcast this? Or is the allowed content going to be watermarked.

I am certainly not adverse to going to the other carrier and paying half of what I am paying comcast right now. Esp if comcast breaks the web.

Re:Stupid (1)

KingMotley (944240) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493171)

I do not, nor did I ever have an issue with traffic prioritization. Mostly the people who don't know what that is, or how it works have issues with it, but that's just ignorance. Real traffic prioritization only kicks in when lines are completely full, and then it lets stuff through with higher priority (VOIP, gaming packets, web browsing, video on demand) first. Things that aren't time sensitive (FTP, HTTP, BitTorrent, NNTP, etc) are sent as soon as they can.

Of course, the alternative is that the internet connection becomes unusable during those times for anything time sensitive at all. I'd prefer the former. Of course, I'd prefer they upgrade the links, but we're talking reality not fantasy land like some people still believe in.

Not new from them (1)

djupedal (584558) | 1 year,15 days | (#44492863)

C'Cast did this just a few years back, but the topic was bandwidth, I think. So their sniffing isn't new at all, just their nanny-state attitude over in-your copyright nag.

great, wonderful (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44492877)

Trivially, http never should have been created without full end to end, authenticated encryption. These technologies are subject to weird failure modes, slowing things down, added cost, hard to diagnose problems, and worse, once the infrastructure is in place, then the government can order them to do anything they want with the web. In the end, the customer pays for it all as an invisible tax on their connection. This is not what we want.

Cute, the captcha for this post was trapped.

Re:great, wonderful (1)

KingMotley (944240) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493185)

HTTP shouldn't (and wasn't) created with full end to end encryption or authentication because it's not supposed to be. That stuff is (and should be) all done at a lower level in the network stack.

Re:great, wonderful (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44493389)

HTTP shouldn't (and wasn't) created with full end to end encryption or authentication because it's not supposed to be. That stuff is (and should be) all done at a lower level in the network stack.

Isn't that the point of IPsec [wikipedia.org] ? I had that impression from what I read about it, but all I've ever seen it used for is creating VPNs.

How it works (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44492901)

When one of the major media conglomerates creates something, it's protected by copyright. If Joe the Plumber tries to download it without being allowed to do so, Comcast "warns" him that he isn't allowed to do so, potentially disconnects him from the Internet, and, if the Obama administration proposal mentioned on /. earlier today goes through, maybe calls the police.

When you or I create something, it's protected by copyright. But if Joe tries to download it without being allowed to do so, Comcast does jack shit.

I think this is an anti-competitive practice.

Comcast should not be a content creator! (2)

ravenscar (1662985) | 1 year,15 days | (#44492909)

They are so happy to do this because they own companies that produce copyrighted content. This is not okay. In an effort to get broadband out to larger numbers of people Comcast has been granted monopolies, subsidies, easements, and other things in the public domain. They should not be able to use that public domain to make sure that they can distribute and protect their own content. As soon as they took handouts from the public they lost the right to be anything but a "dumb" connection. I can't understandy why the FCC allows Comcast to exist as it does today - with clear conflicts of interest between their obligation to fairly contribute to the public domain and their need to make as much money as they can from the production of copyrighted content (that they distribute on their infrastructure).

Re:Comcast should not be a content creator! (1)

causality (777677) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493453)

I can't understandy why the FCC allows Comcast to exist as it does today

For the same reason that the FDA allows aspartame despite the mountains of scientific evidence that it's toxic: money.

You just haven't greased the correct palms. If you did, I'm sure you'd have their full support.

So, kids, (1)

Opportunist (166417) | 1 year,15 days | (#44492927)

...when you get a Comcast warning, better start looking for another source of your content, 'cause this one has been found out and will probably become unavailable soon.

Nice of them to hand out an early warning.

Good luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44492949)

Scanning my encrypted Usenet downloads, Comcast. Keep goin' after them evil torrentz!

It's (5, Insightful)

Richy_T (111409) | 1 year,15 days | (#44492955)

Internet
Service
Provider.

Just forward the damn packets and take my money.

Re:It's (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44493317)

Exactly.

Would there be an uproar if parcel delivery services started opening every package and doing "deep packet inspection" of its contents?

Government gets bent all out of shape when someone spills their beans, but expect the rest of us to "co-operate" when they pry into our can of beans? Hasn't this whole thing gotten way way way off balance?

I keep voting for "the little guy" who I think has it right, but he's up against "Tweedle-Dee" and "Tweedle-Dum", ( both a function of the same beast ), and everybody else votes one or the other because he is afraid of what the other guy will do, and considers a vote for the little guy to be a wasted vote. They do not seem to realize the bankers are supporting both Tweedle-Dee AND Tweedle-Dum.

We do not seem to realize we are livestock, bred to be obedient and to serve the ownership class.

When you look at our history, every war has been a banker's war - over who "owns" the right to control someone else. ( Some call it Gods, but look under the covers and it was all about who is in control of other people's destiny, whether it be the powers that be are controlling the subordinated by superstition or economics of ownership of things no man has any business owning. ).

These bankers are playing us all for fools, and what I find so irritating - we play too instead of just packing up our stuff and taking our business elsewhere. They have something they simply print, yet we have to work hard for... money. Although the concept of currency is such a convenient means of wealth accountability and transfer, we have allowed it, through empowering our representatives to coin law for us, to become completely corrupted.

Way too big of segment of our populace has become completely nonproductive, yet richly living by gaming the system.

Re:It's (2)

causality (777677) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493487)

Way too big of segment of our populace has become completely nonproductive, yet richly living by gaming the system.

It remains that way because a much bigger segment has become completely oblivious. This is not mere ignorance. This is a self-protecting, oblivious, zombie-like sleep state. It includes an active hostility towards anyone who suggests that perhaps the increasingly centralized power and wealth of our society lends itself to being controlled by a small elite. You'll be called a tinfoil hatter no matter what evidence and reasoning you produce, not matter-of-factly either but often in an angry hostile fashion, because the zombies are deathly afraid of anything that might pierce a hole in their worldview of denial.

Someone sue for Copyright Infringement... (1)

sconeu (64226) | 1 year,15 days | (#44492959)

This is clearly creating an unlicensed derivative work from the original webpage.

Or, better, how will this work with an HTTPS connection?

Is it HTTP only? What about SFTP, FTP, and Torrent?

Re:Someone sue for Copyright Infringement... (1)

mark-t (151149) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493101)

You could have some javascript code that automatically runs an md5 hash on its content, and compares it to what is known for that page, recording any differences as qualifying as a derivative work, effectively automating the process.

Re:Someone sue for Copyright Infringement... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44493489)

Common! Use SHA1 hashing!

Re:Someone sue for Copyright Infringement... (1)

KingMotley (944240) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493203)

Only if they include content from the original webpage, which it most likely will not. It'll probably be implemented as a DNS redirect, but they might get fancy and just redirect based on URL, but the later requires significantly more hardware, so I'm guessing it's the former. They see you are trying to access www.moviepiratesgalore.com and redirect you to www.mpaa.com instead.

Re:Someone sue for Copyright Infringement... (1)

causality (777677) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493495)

Only if they include content from the original webpage, which it most likely will not. It'll probably be implemented as a DNS redirect, but they might get fancy and just redirect based on URL, but the later requires significantly more hardware, so I'm guessing it's the former. They see you are trying to access www.moviepiratesgalore.com and redirect you to www.mpaa.com instead.

Do you suppose they would also include a transparent HTTP proxy for people like me who run their own caching nameserver?

So is this the NSA equipment (1)

future assassin (639396) | 1 year,15 days | (#44492969)

that's already installed?

Visions of the future (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44492971)

THIS VERSION OF THE ONION ROUTER IS COPYRIGHTED.

Get a legal copy from http://www.fbi.gov/tor_for_suckers.exe

[accept] [accept]

I feel bad for the programmers and sysadmins (3, Insightful)

grahamsaa (1287732) | 1 year,15 days | (#44492985)

I feel bad for the programmers and sysadmins that are being asked to implement this. Surely, they must know that it won't work, but senior management probably insists that everyone can afford all the content they want, and that DRM is easy to deal with (and somehow beneficial) because senior management is completely lost.

The front line people responsible for setting this up are probably rolling their eyes in disgust, and looking for better jobs. If I were in their position, I would be. Have fun trying to enforce something that is unworkable and unrealistic. When you're not having fun anymore, hopefully you'll find a job that uses your skillset to do something that makes sense.

Re:I feel bad for the programmers and sysadmins (1)

KingMotley (944240) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493215)

Why feel bad for the programmers? I'd do if they paid me to do it. I've coded lots of stuff that were based on totally bad designs that I knew would flop almost instantly. I got paid the same, and they flop, and then they pay me to do something less retarded.

uh... downloading isn't illegal... (1)

Nadaka (224565) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493041)

The crime is distribution, not receiving. Its perfectly legal to download any file off the internet.

Re:uh... downloading isn't illegal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44493097)

I sure hope you aren't a lawyer, since you don't seem to know the law at all.

Check it out. [harvard.edu]

Re:uh... downloading isn't illegal... (5, Informative)

Seumas (6865) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493167)

Sorry, but your own link contradicts your statement.

Please cite for us one (and preferably more) cases where someone was sued and received a judgement against in a court of law for DOWNLOADING a file.

Your own link says:

"Most downloading over the Internet of commercially available copyrighted works, such as music or movies, through file sharing systems is illegal. In a widely followed case, a federal Court of Appeals held that users of Napster were infringing copyright when they shared MP3 files of copyrighted music."

As far as I am aware, every single case that has ever existed has hinged on the act of distribution. That is, uploading the file. People have found themselves in hot water because they downloaded content and left it in an accessible folder that is shared back to the other users, publically, of the download program - like Napster or used bittorrent, where you usually have to also upload content back (though you are of course only ever uploading small snippets and never an actual entire file).

Yes, people go around saying "oh noes, downloading a copyrighted file is infringement and somehow now days an instance of copyright infringement is a criminal offense punishable by a decade in prison or forfeiting your life into indentured servitude!", but the fact is (last I checked and I would be glad to know if this has since changed in the States if someone knows of legitimate examples) it is only uploaders/distributors of said content that are cornered.

Re:uh... downloading isn't illegal... (1)

hurwak-feg (2955853) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493367)

Can someone mod this up?

Re:uh... downloading isn't illegal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44493239)

Copyright means we have the right to copy, duh !

if I owned a botnet.. (3, Funny)

wierd_w (1375923) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493047)

If I owned a botnet, I would dedicate a tiny portion of the swarm's resources to simply doing an http get request for some arbitrary file from a list of know triggers, and doing everything in my power to both route the request over a comcast owned link, and suppress the popup on the zombie.

The goal? Create as much noise in the line as possible to make the effort futile. (As a botnet operator, I would have incentive to make deep packet inspection as undesirable as possible.)

It wouldn't take much. Just pull a few bytes of an MP3 here, poke an illegal video server there, and just discard the replied datagrams (occasionally pull a whole fle, just to make it hard to filter). Wait some configurable time variable, then do it again with a different random file. Make it look like piracy is radically out of control, and totally discredit any metrics they collect from deep packet snooping.

Re:if I owned a botnet.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44493505)

Yup... you will have a lot of people in your botnet that had nothing to do with piracy of some song, but had other skeletons in their hard drive.

Imagine your botnet tripped off governmental investigations of lots of peoples machines. People in leadership positions, where their little secrets were on their hard drive. Things like fishy accounting and tax evasion. Searching for evidence of an illegal song download gives some agency free license to root through everything and discover anything they consider wrong.

All it takes to stop this thing is vector it so it annoys the wrong people.

What about stuff with NO legal alternatives? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44493055)

What kind of "helpful pointers" will they be giving when there is NO legal alternative? The few times I've ever used peer-to-peer is when the item in question is "out of print" and "currently unavailable" (Disney is notorious for doing this). Just try and get an original cut of Disney's live action/animated hybrid "Song of the South". It's not available in this country at any price. Oh you can get heavily censored versions, but not the original (supposedly it is "too racist" for Americans).

I realize this represents a very tiny fraction of online acquisition (I hesitate to call it piracy if it can't be purchased) but I mention it because a lot of companies (like Disney) deliberately take things off the market in order to trundle it out every ten years or so with a grossly inflated profit margin.

Re:What about stuff with NO legal alternatives? (1)

Seumas (6865) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493183)

What kind of sick filthy communist are you? If something is no longer in print or has been abandoned -- how dare you try to use it for yourself or other people! If money is not changing hands for a good, service, or information, you might as well be stealing food off the tables of hardworking families! Instead of that free out-of-print book that you are consuming, you could have bought a totally different book and contributed to the capital good of your fellow man!

Re:What about stuff with NO legal alternatives? (2)

KingMotley (944240) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493247)

Just try and get an original cut of Disney's live action/animated hybrid "Song of the South"

Ok, here: http://classicmoviereel.com/SOTS.html [classicmoviereel.com]

Re:What about stuff with NO legal alternatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44493387)

I don't think that is legal copy. They say movies are given because they think they are available under the Berne Convention, but U.S. law does not agree with the Berne Convention in several key ways and because of the way the supremacy rules work in the U.S., the copyright law on the books beats the Berne Convention.

Re:What about stuff with NO legal alternatives? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493429)

Exactly! If Comcast could write a program where I give it a file, and it tells me where I can legally obtain it, I would PAY for that service, just so I know where I can get it from! Of course, such a magical program is impossible.

Safe Harbor is the first victim? (3, Interesting)

Walt Sellers (1741378) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493095)

Wouldn't this violate their "safe harbor" protection? This would mean they would know about violations and they might even benefit from them by saying "get it legally FROM OUR STORE"

Re:Safe Harbor is the first victim? (1)

Seumas (6865) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493173)

No, silly, they're a giant corporation.

Re:Safe Harbor is the first victim? (1)

robot256 (1635039) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493313)

Exactly what I was thinking. The reason they want to pawn off the same system to competing ISPs is so they can turn around and sue them for knowingly letting their users violate Time-Warner's copyrights.

Common carrier (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44493109)

That should lose them their "common carrier" status. They may wish to rethink this idea.

as measured by... (3, Interesting)

OFnow (1098151) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493117)

As measured by a proprietary algorithm with no human review of its calculation or of fair use -- you will be judged.

Now I can get game of thrones (3, Insightful)

joe_frisch (1366229) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493193)

Great, now they will tell me where I can legally pay to download the latest season of "game of thrones"

So... (2)

Hartree (191324) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493195)

Does this mean they're going to start flagging the oodles of things on Youtube that "copyright violations"? And post links to Amazon or some such where you can pay for the music in them (of course ignoring the other content)?

This should get funny when they go up against Google for treading on their turf.

Not gonna mess with Google-tube, huh? Well, I guess like in Animal Farm, some are more equal than others.

if they will offer it, i will rent it (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493245)

... would be quickly pushed a pop-up message with links to purchase or rent the same content

if you can sell or rent me an episode of show that just broadcast an hour ago in 720p without ads and is DRM free, i'll do it. otherwise, fuck off because what i'm getting is better than what you have to offer.

Bring on the VPNs (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493251)

I am loving this stuff - six-strikes and traffic snooping. It so obviously sucks that it is driving the market for VPNs to levels of hyper competition. And I lurve me a VPN because it mixes all my traffic with everybody else on the same egress node which is just great for "hiding in the crowd" while you browse the web without cookies (and other trackers).

Thanks to six-strikes I'm paying less than $4/month for VPN access that gets me my choice of exit nodes in about 10 different countries and 5 simultaneous VPN'd devices - great for stopping verizon, et al from sniffing my cellphone web-browsing too.

Re:Bring on the VPNs (1)

robot256 (1635039) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493325)

But buying a VPN puts you on the NSA watch list. They don't care what you use it for, only who you talk to with it.

https:? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44493275)

Wow, that was hard to circumvent.

Web Browsing or Peer-to-Peer? (1)

TranquilVoid (2444228) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493281)

As usual the summary is terrible. There is no mention of snooping on internet browsing, only P2P. How would this work? Perhaps;

1. Comcast gets you to install a program or browser plugin as part of their ISP crapware.
2. Comcast detect an illegal download by passively joining P2P swarms and, since they know your IP, inject HTML popups into your next browsing request. Popups don't work with many modern browsers but even if this was in the page it would be bizarre for the user to head to their Gmail and see half the page flashing with a warning and click-to-buy links.

SNR (1)

hurwak-feg (2955853) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493351)

For some reason, if this goes live, I would expect people to set up honeypots to make material not violated by copyright protections to trigger a false alarm in their system, and the people distributing material that violates a copyright will find ways around it. When enough people do this, the Signal to Noise Ratio will be so bad they will have little choice but to discontinue it or spend TONS of cash on one of two solutions I see (maybe someone has a better way, but lets not give them ideas) One would be buying gobs of processors, storage, and hiring computer scientists that can compare data passing through their system against their own copies using some sort of fancy algorithm. Even if they have a O(n) algorithm, the volume of data the since of the constant and n are going to be rather large and still cost tons of money to operate and maintain. Another solution is an army of monkeys with a bunch of monitors watching/listening to any streaming media passing through their system, which is probably a ToS and copyright issue itself when legal streams are monitored by those not authorized by the copyright owner to view it that way.

Another problem I can see is a large switch to https and other encrypted protocols to make their snooping useless. Pretty much they are going after the low skilled small fries of the copyright violators.

TLDR - I doubt this will work, I think they will only catch small timers, I think big timers will figure out a work around.

What could possibly go wrong (1)

Guru80 (1579277) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493397)

I already hear the thousands of complaints that come streaming in on day one. Just because you are downloading a copyrighted work doesn't mean you are doing something illegal or shady because I'm not downloading it from the "official" source. I've already fought with my cable provider over this when I was served a notice over a year ago and they admitted to being wrong.

How, exactly? (2)

ZorinLynx (31751) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493423)

How exactly will they "pop up" anything? Unless they transparent proxy an outgoing web request and send back a page with a pop-up, which would (in my opinion) be a gross violation of just being an internet provider and not fucking around with my packets?

Sigh. Why can't internet providers just provide internet, and stay the fuck out of this sort of thing? I just want my packets to make it to their destination, uninspected and un-fucked with, and I want the same for the packets coming back to me.

At this rate, the Internet is eventually going to become a glorified version of what AOL was in the 90s. Shudder.

Use a VPN (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493443)

There are many services available that can keep Comcast from snooping on your usage. This also allows you to use region-locked services by selecting an end-point in one of many major cities worldwide.

Those assholes (1)

stonecypher (118140) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493459)

Would be nice if they'd work on getting their service working instead.

Six months of having to use Google DNS because they can't run a goddamned DNS server.

Giving up on the Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#44493463)

Shit like this, along with the NSA shit, makes me want to just go back to a landline, answering machine and snail mail.

Re:Giving up on the Internet (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493591)

But then the mailman will know what kind of porn you like.

very helpful (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493471)

I found them helpful already just reading about them. Now I'm never going with Comcast ever.

Don't these old media types understand? (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493519)

Don't these old media types understand that this just makes an opening for smaller more nimble ISPs to simply say, "We provide the bandwidth and what the hell you do with it is your business!"

I hope that these guys vomit their cheerios when they see how many previously complacent customers jump to the competition and never come back. Most people are barraged with better offers every day but ignore them thinking that it isn't worth the trouble. But when your ISP starts to threaten you then it does become worth the trouble.

But the funniest bit is that I suspect that people will get false positives all the time. I wonder what they would think of my scp transfers, and ssh sessions, not to mention the torrenting of things like Linux.

Plus you get mission creep. Will they start warning people about downloading VLC or even the torrent programs themselves. Or programs critical of the movie industry. Why not start blocking videos made by dissident groups? What about a warning for downloading Snowden's stuff from Wikileaks?

You also have grey areas like Aereo which the courts have greenlighted but the big media companies are saying will cause the end of civilization.

Then you get people not liking being watched. And lastly I really don't want the ISP to ever alter or change the data that I send or receive. To have a popup it means that they have injected something into my data stream. My potentially mission critical data stream.

https, non-http urls and I'm going to sue Comcast. (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | 1 year,15 days | (#44493585)

How are they going to know what I'm downloading via https://..../ [....] websites and magnet: links? I'm pretty sure bittorrent won't display any of their popups.

They're also running in to the problem that altering the content delivered to the browser is creating a derivative work of someone elses content, potentially violating their copyright.

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