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WiFi Hotspots Elude RIAA Dragnet

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the ain't-nobody-here-but-us-fileswappers dept.

Music 400

mblase writes "A CNET News article discusses a problem the RIAA is having with its copyright enforcement strategy: public wireless hot spots. Normally, the RIAA notifies the ISP when a user is found to be violating their copyrights, but in this case, the ISP is powerless to do anything. Key quote: '...unless the administrator keeps detailed logs of everybody's account use - which is not required by law - she may well not know who was swapping files.' I wonder how long it will be before those detailed logs ARE required by law?"

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400 comments

GNAA Supports WIFI spots (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458177)

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Re:You are the founder, no doubt. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458443)

nm

Speaking of dragnets (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458180)

Torrentse.cx [torrentse.cx] is gone due to a cease and desist letter. Very sad. ByteMonsoon [bytemonsoon.com] is down too!

Re:Speaking of dragnets (0)

Comsn (686413) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458296)

one giveth and one taketh away ;)

http://www.zenith-net.co.uk/

close one door, and 1000 shall open.

Re:Speaking of dragnets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458418)

C&D on what grounds?

I wouldn't worry (4, Funny)

I Want GNU! (556631) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458185)

I'm sure Senator Hollings will pass a bill that bans WiFi access, in order to solve this problem of cataclysmic proportions.

Re:I wouldn't worry (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458287)

yo mama

Re:I wouldn't worry (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458463)

Please don't give him any ideas. I wouldn't put anything past him.

Homeland Security (1, Flamebait)

Sabalon (1684) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458489)

All in the name of homeland security - how are we going to harass muslims, er... catch terrorists without it?

GNAA ROCKS! FECAL TROLL MATTER SUCKS TACOSNOT! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458189)

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Well if everyone would quit breaking the law (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458190)

We wouldnt have these problems..

Re:Well if everyone would quit breaking the law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458214)

Such a simple solutions ain't it? If only...

Re:Well if everyone would quit breaking the law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458261)

Or we could remove bad laws.

Re:Well if everyone would quit breaking the law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458311)

Lawyers earn money from bad laws...
It takes lawyers to write new laws to fix broken ones...
You see the problem...

Re:Well if everyone would quit breaking the law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458400)

You don't need to be a lawyer to be elected to the legislative branch of government (at least in the United States).

Dynamic IP's Extra (4, Interesting)

Ken@WearableTech (107340) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458191)

This gives rise to a solution to these and similar lawsuits. Whether or not the ISP's have a choice in turning over the customer information when they have the IP address subpoenaed it does generate a loss because they will have staff or outside lawyers look into it on every case. If this continues and expands then it may be cost prohibitive to the point that the ISP's just stop logging. I think larger ISP's might do this to avoid billable hours and small ISP's will do it as a feature.

Will people be happy to get rid of that static IP for a dynamic one?

Re:Dynamic IP's Extra (1)

stripe (680068) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458227)

I doubt if the ISP's will stop logging the info. Congress will probably pass some dumb bill requiring them to keep all logs and records for 5-20 years. I am sure EMC and all the disk drive manufacturers would support such a bill too. Imagine if the phone companies had to keep the recordings of all phone conversations for 5-10 years! :)

Re:Dynamic IP's Extra (5, Interesting)

Mistlefoot (636417) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458284)

The ISP's should be billing the RIAA $40 or so per hour (or whatever it costs) to sift through their logs. THere is no way this should be paid for by the ISP. If I try to access records through my local courthouse I pay fees. It is not free for me to get information that I have a right to access. I don't think it should be free in this circumstance either.

Re:Dynamic IP's Extra (4, Funny)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458477)

My logs are copyrighted, and if the RIAA wants to see them, they have to agree to an EULA stating that they won't sue me or anyone named in the logs, and on top of that they must also pay $25 for a copy of the log on CD, which they are not allowed to copy, distribute, or share.

Re:Dynamic IP's Extra (5, Insightful)

KrispyKringle (672903) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458260)

I don't think so. The benefits of logging (detecting unauthorized or illegal use such as spam, computer vandalism, abuse, or trespass, and preventing other more heinous activity) far outweigh, for most ISPs, the minor inconvenience of dealing with a few occasional subpeonas, I would think. Hundreds or thousands of letters are sent, certainly, but not nearly as many cases of user information requests happen.

Granted that Verizon was willing to spend quite a lot in a protracted legal battle, but I think they'd be more willing to do that then stop logging. There really is a huge incentive for ISPs to log, even if they no longer charge by the hour.

Re:Dynamic IP's Extra (4, Interesting)

cait56 (677299) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458437)

Exactly. The ISP needs to be able to prove that it is not the source of DoS attacks and/or spam. So ultimately for reasons totally unrelated to the RIAA they will have logs to show who was the authorized user of an IP address at any given instant.

Don't think of ISPs protecting file-sharers, shift it to protecting distributers of child pornography. There is no way that ISPs will not be forced by explicit law and/or by the need to defend themselves to have such logs.

In fact, I can imagine a strong legal case that providing untracable access to an IP network is an attractive nuisance that the ISP knew, or should have known, would be used in the commission of felonies. Big time liabilities lurking.

Re:Dynamic IP's Extra (1)

heli0 (659560) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458386)

"Will people be happy to get rid of that static IP for a dynamic one?"

Until they get the former IP of a troll/IRC script kiddie and are banned from lots of sites and constantly being ddos'd.

Sigh. (1)

Unknown Poltroon (31628) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458200)

"The law requires that you keep written records"
'Look again, the law can't even require that a man be able to read"
-Badly misquoted Heinlein.

Re:Sigh. (1)

Ummite (195748) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458328)

I think law should better ask for "records", so someone can instead speak and record the ip adress of everyone. It would also by the same way be protected by the RIAA

logging your wifi is a good idea... (3, Interesting)

mkbz (317881) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458210)

proxying port 80 and logging is a good idea for wifi -- why go to prison for your neighbor's kiddie porn habit?

Re:logging your wifi is a good idea... (1)

geekmetal (682313) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458233)

But then one can turn that argument around on the grounds of privacy

Re:logging your wifi is a good idea... (1)

Strag (682984) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458369)

I hardly see how that would be a privacy issue if you're logging your own wi-fi access or access on your wi-fi network. If your neighbour goes and accesses your network I would think he gives up a right to privacy over what he does on said network.

Re:logging your wifi is a good idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458421)

If your neighbour goes and accesses your network I would think he gives up a right to privacy over what he does on said network.

Keep your network secure, and you don't have that problem (ie, you neighbor won'tbe able to access your network.)

Re:logging your wifi is a good idea... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458370)

Thats it. If everyone is so obsessed with kiddie porn that all they do is sit around day after day and work out how every new technological innovation can get them more kiddie porn, I'm going over to the park and joining that hermit who's living in a treehouse.

Whats the point of technology if everyone is going to either a) pervert everything to perverted ends, from which immediately follows b) fight to stop technological advances because they have been perverted to perverted ends?

At this rate, the winning side will either turn us all into horse-and-buggy Ammonites (wait, someone might brand a slightly suggestive image on the horse. You're going to have to get out and push), or Fox will have to fight against the all-porn-all-the-time-jammers to get their reality shows broadcast on TV.

Re:logging your wifi is a good idea... (2, Informative)

oob (131174) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458460)

Another logging option popular with hotspot operators is NoCatAuth [nocat.net] as it provides access controls and logging can be easily implemented.

I always wondered about this... (4, Interesting)

Dr Reducto (665121) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458216)

I always thought that the true anonymous internet would come when unsecured Wi-Fi was rampant. How are they going to carnivore anyone when they aren't tied to the other end of a line? There is no way to really know who is doing what on Wi-Fi.

What account? (5, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458225)

The free WiFi hotspots I've used don't require accounts at all. They just serve bandwidth and you connect thru DHCP.

Are they going to log MAC addresses? Good luck. I can use ifconfig on my Orinoco card and set the MAC. 00:00:00:00:00:00 and a prepaid debit card in a pseudonym works nicely on the AT&T Wireless hotspot in the Denver airport.

Re:What account? (2, Insightful)

JayPee (4090) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458250)

Indeed. How about living in a suficiently urban environment with unsecured hotspots all around you? Grab a nice directional yagi antenna with sufficient gain and log in anonymously from miles away.

Re:What account? (4, Insightful)

Cipster (623378) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458254)

My question is though why go through all that trouble for a few MP3's?
I think this is precisely what the RIAA is aming for: make it risky or inconvenient enough that people will stop using Kazaa etc...
Most people use those services because all you have to do is double-click on a few songs, go to bed with Kazaa on and the next day you have whatever music you wanted.
I doubt there will be a big group of people Wardriving for Tunes.

Re:What account? (4, Interesting)

Fizzlewhiff (256410) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458326)

Is it about wardriving for tunes or is it about using WiFi hotspots with your favorite p2p app? It is the latter. Currently P2P traders can't be identified in a WiFi hotspot as was the case with Bryant Park.

I'll agree though, wardriving looking for shared tunes is a big waste of time and gasoline for that matter.

The thought of me getting fined or jailed for sharing would be enough for me to stop doing it as I'm 35 with a wife and kids. If I were 15 I don't think I would think twice about it. It sure didn't stop me from phreaking back then.

Re:What account? (2, Interesting)

Cipster (623378) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458491)

This brings to mind an interesting question. How will the RIAA deal with the bad publicity of dragging to court teenagers and branding them as criminals for sharing music?

Re:What account? (2, Interesting)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458342)

Most people use those services because all you have to do is double-click on a few songs, go to bed with Kazaa on and the next day you have whatever music you wanted.
I doubt there will be a big group of people Wardriving for Tunes.


I suspect there will be more and more willing to unplug the cat5 and leach off the wireless connections however. I've got six unique home networks around me w/o any security. PrettyKitty, TSUNAMI, homeboxen, Blaze, Ford150, and JarJar.

PrettyKitty? JarJar??? These freaks are within WiFi range. Ah well - it is late. Any recomendations? (kidding)

MAC adress (1)

mihai (202836) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458343)

MAC addresses must be unique in order for APs to work. So 00.00.00.00 may be a bad idea if somebody else do the same.

Re:What account? (1)

s20451 (410424) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458348)

Which would you rather do?

Drive to the airport (gas, etc.), pay for parking, pay for access, download a few MP3's before your battery runs out, and come home hours later

-or-

Go to a store and buy an album

Re:What account? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458416)

I'd rather walk 2 blocks down 17th street in washington DC, hit up a free wireless internet cafe, and plug in and download all the songs I want, rather than do the same on my desktop at home and risk a $1 billion dollar suit brought against me by the RIAA.

because spending $17 for the one good song and a lyric sheet is just plain stupid.

Don't have a free wireless internet cafe in your neighborhood? In a couple years I bet you will...

Re:What account? (1)

chill (34294) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458430)

Which would you rather do?

Drive to the airport (gas, etc.), pay for parking, pay for access, download a few MP3's before your battery runs out, and come home hours later

-or-

Go to a store and buy an album


Well, the airport was just an example. Also, I always plug in when at the airport -- power abounds.

There are several locations downtown in big cities where you can sit for a coffee, plug in (power) and get online.

My answer was really for general WiFi usage and not grabbing MP3s. I have better things to do than grab MP3s. Albums are too damn cheap as long as you don't want the latest-and-greatest ultra-hyped music.

Won't last that long... now that its becomming big (2, Insightful)

Marnhinn (310256) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458414)

True a good portion of current WiFi hotspots don't require accounts - but also the amount of users swapping songs over WiFi is not that high yet.

Should the number increase the RIAA will simply sue them for aiding copyright infringment or whatnot and boom - suddenly logging systems will exist (they may not have them now - but somehow they will make them).

Privacy is good - when it is used correctly, but as soon as it becomes a cover for breaking the law, the courts will rule against it. Refusing to log on a WiFi, should the RIAA get a court order to do so (which is easy - simply show that someone is violating the law through such and such terminal), is like being an accessory to a crime. You cannot broadcast info from a police scanner over a ham radio network - you're allowing local people to get free info (more or less a ready to go crime set).

I dunno, but this won't last... systems that will are ones that have no centralized control. WiFi has admins (which some companies hold responsible) and therefore won't stand around to long. E5 / Freenet - those will be around, anonymous WiFi... I doubt it.

Re:What account? (3, Interesting)

inertia@yahoo.com (156602) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458479)

What if someone sets up a WiFi LAN just for file trading on their block? It's an open network, but there's no ISP at all. What would the RIAA do then, if they even noticed?

Kind of reminds me of my BBS days when you could uuencode files on and share on WWiVnet. Other than the phone company, there was no connectivity. Files could distribute over night by modem (2400 to 19200, yikes!), sometimes hopping multiple nodes, and no one would be the wiser.

Print this on coffee cups (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458234)

"By drinking this beverage, you agree not to violate RIAA's copyrights"

EULA (2, Insightful)

Omega's Wildfire (603364) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458368)

This puts a whole new spin on the EULA. It kind of reminds me of some annoying pop up ads that claim I agreed for them to annoy the piss out of me.

More on topic, I believe these hot spots should provide the RIAA with one key thing... They have another way to annoy the public with stupid scare tactics. I think the RIAA has been watching too much of the SciFi network.

forced liability, coming soon to a lawyer near you (3, Insightful)

MrLint (519792) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458236)

' I wonder how long it will be before those detailed logs ARE required by law?"

I foresee something much worse, in fact I have been worrying about it for years. As it has been reported there are those ISPs that seem to want to have their nose up your butt and watch everything you do.

Well I foresee soon that *all* suspected criminal activity will have to be reported, oh and all those pesky logs you have around because you wanna be a hyper nosy jerk? Well you, my friend, have just just blown you plausible deniability plea. Because you are keeping all those logs, and you didn't notify the 'authorities' right away you have blown your safe harbor status cause the RIAA came to you. So guess what? You have just become an accessory after the fact. *oops*

When I tell people this they think im overly paranoid. well you decide.

Re:forced liability, coming soon to a lawyer near (4, Interesting)

RevMike (632002) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458358)

IANAL, but...

If you have the logs, they are business records and can be subject to subpeona. The key is to set up a business policy which purges the logs entirely on a rapid basis, and actually follow it.

If an RIAA lawyer asks you for information about who had what IP address at a particular time last month, and you then delete the logs, you are in a whole lot of trouble.

But, if you only store a week's worth of logs, and regularly delete the logs after they are a week old, you can honestly say "Sorry, that information has been purged in accordance with our document retention policy." There is nothing the RIAA can do about it.

This was what happened at Enron/Arthur Anderson. They had a document retention policy that would have saved their asses, but no one followed it. Only when they realized that they were about to be sued did they shred everything. If they were shredding all along as standard procedure, they would have been fine.

Give the RIAA a piece of the action (0, Troll)

felonious (636719) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458240)

WHat about if the RIAA takes control of all the Wifi networks and charges $19.99 for a months access. You can't download what ever you want and as much as you want in that time frame.

They can also have penalties implemented.

Say you're at a fufu coffee place and you've downloaded what you wanted. You leave and the RIAA mp3 detector discovers pirated music on your hard drive. You can then be picked up by the massive RIAA Robocop and broken into fucking pieces as a deterrent to the other users.

Who said you could take the files home? They forgot to inform you of their new DRM-Wifi model which gives you a subscription to download the files but you cannot move them more than 6 inches on the table you're using. If you chose to ignore the DRM-enhanced service and adjust your laptop then you're fucked!

er... du-uh (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458291)

Top of post may be sarcasm... bottom of post sounds more likely what would happen with the RIAA, buttt...
Reasons the RIAA shouldn't be interfering in/with anybody else's business, especially wi-fi:


a) Somebody already owns the wi-fi... they're supposed to just sign-on-the-dotted-line with the RIAA? Worked great for artists...
b) Not everyone using the Wi-Fi downloads music. Not everybody with ADSL does either. Geeze... legit users who are just trying to get an indie or pr0n fix are getting pissed off with having to pay for other people's "misuse". Ditto to the existing CD taxes.
c) We don't want to pay the RIAA. They have to shape up or ship out, not take over. While some might argue that these are the "alternate business methods" that we say they lack... mainly we just want a decent product for our buck (no 1-hit-wonder CD's) and the RIAA off our back.

Logs and whats required (2, Interesting)

doormat (63648) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458244)

I was thinking about this in lieu of the RIAA sending subpeonas [yahoo.com] to ISPs, and why ISPs need to keep logs of what MAC address had what IP at what time. Maybe it would be enough to drop the time, or get really vauge? "Yea, three MACs have had that IP address this week, sorry, cant tell ya which one had it at that time." Not quite sure how that would affect tracking the source of hacker and/or hacking. Vauge engough to keep it out of a court of law, specific enough to combat/detect hacking.

Of course, whats the big deal to set my computer to an empty address in the DHCP pool, and DHCP logs wont detect squat.

Re:Logs and whats required (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458404)

What about the fact that many ISP's don't require you to register your MAC address to connect, or don't have a listing of the MAC addresses that corresponds to their customers? Then you get a log with a MAC address associated to an IP address...what do you do then? Sure you can tell what MAC address had that IP, but that doesn't necessarily give you a customer name. I'm sure they'll figure something out sooner or later, but until then "Viva la Resistance!"

A free world through bad security. (4, Insightful)

Bob The Lizard (193273) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458252)

"I wonder how long it will be before those detailed logs ARE required by law?"

An interesting point occurs to me. One of the great things about the many 'anti-hacking' laws passed around the world is that most (if not all), have little (if any), requirement for systems operators to take reasonable steps to keep their systems secure.

So if I open up a Wi-Fi shop, and keep detailed logs, of all my paying users, but don't bother to secure the setup?????

'Yes officer, you can have the logs of my customers. Unfortunitly it dosen't cover the several thousand p2p users, who have creaked my system, and you want..... Yes thats correct, removing the howto from the MOTD would reduce this, but I'm under no requirement to do that.' :-)

home based wifi (1)

qqqqarl (678615) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458264)

i wondered about this - if i have an open wifi spot at my home - how can they prove i was the one trading files? K.

I run an open AP for this very reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458267)

plausible deniability - anyone within 200' of my AP could be downloading files. And I live in the Bay Area, where nearly everyone (in my neighborhood) has a computer.

Public by definition (1)

quinkin (601839) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458272)

The wireless access points were defined as "public access".
So without some authentication method, there is now way of identifying those naughty file sharers (IP's and MAC's are easily spoofed of course).
I am not one to endorse setting up public access hotstpots with no access controls (or internet access) but it might be time to accidently misconfigure that home network.
Q.

Them WiFi Chalkers (4, Funny)

inertia@yahoo.com (156602) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458276)

About them WiFi Chalkers,
ain't they fun to see?
Goin' all around,
chalkin' them AP!
Them resourceful Chalkers,
what a useful crowd.
Showin' all the world,
where the net's allowed.
Look at all them WiFi Chalkers,
demon drivin' through.
AirPort, D-Link, and LinkSys,
WEP passphrases too!
How to be a WiFi Chalker,
it's fun if you know how.
Gitcha mobile WiFi kit,
and stumble on them now.

Re:Them WiFi Chalkers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458451)

fucktard

Copying is not theft (0, Troll)

tjstork (137384) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458280)


Doesn't the RIAA have exactly the same number of songs, artists, money in the bank, after someone makes a copy of a song? How is it theft when they never lost anything?

It is not stealing to copy.

Is copying a breach of contract or license to use a work? Yes, but breaching a contract is not morally wrong, otherwise, corporations might actually tell the truth.

Re:Copying is not theft (1)

rritterson (588983) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458324)

That is absurd. When you have free and unlicensed access to media, you are less likely to buy it, and thus the owner loses money.

You are, in effect, granted permission to the content when you purchase it. Unauthorized use is against the law.

I'm going to steal your next paycheck. You have the same amount of money in the bank, so it's not stealing.

Re:Copying is not theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458482)

this argument has been going on for ages... but you are slightly incorrect. The record companies lose the potential to get profit, which isn't quite the same thing.

Also your analogy is a litte wrong too... my paycheck WAS going to come through, but you stole it... the money the record companies MIGHT have gotten from me buying a cd is only a possibility.

Re:Copying is not theft (5, Funny)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458483)

Try this: Go to your local theatre. Right after the movie starts, ask the owners if there are any empty seats left. If so, ask them if you can go in and watch the movie for free. Tell them your theory that you weren't going to pay to get in anyway, and they aren't losing anything by letting you in. Report the results back here to /.

For even better effect, take a movie camera. Tell them that recording the movie won't cost them a cent.

Re:Copying is not theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458487)

I think we should sue china for copying all of the american tools, like crescent wrenches and screw drivers. Obviously it's a potential loss of profits by craftsman and other companies when china copies these tools. LOL

WEP (3, Funny)

quinkin (601839) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458281)

Ah WEP - the greatest filesharing invention of all time.

Easy configuration? Now you don't even need to be aware that you wanted to share your files. :)

Q.

Usual RIAA (1)

Scottm87 (689558) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458283)

Again and again, the RIAA is always viewing technology with their patented always-pessimistic blinders. Think about the possibilities of hi-fi wi-fi (Besides being absolutely obfuscated). Borders now have wi-fi hotspots. What if these hotspots could provide customized music to cafe customers - with the option to walk over and buy the album! The argument has been given so many times it almost dead, but worth repeating. Technologies that allow users to mobilize and discover music are a key component in the new music industry. my 2 cents, Scott

Re:Usual RIAA (1)

Andurin (653272) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458351)

Speaking of Borders, McDonalds is probably going to start rolling out Wi-Fi to all its restraunts. Can you imagine the RIAA going after Ronald?

A sad confession (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458290)

I have no idea what it is, but I get some sort of relief coming to this site and just typing in some mindless drivel.

On the other hand, I get disappointed when I come to site after an absence and it's like I'm reading the same stories. And I don't mean dupes, I mean literally the same topics over and over and over again, just with a few different words and people involved.

And it doesn't matter how long I've been away... ack.

RIAA Responds (5, Funny)

Synesthesiatic (679680) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458294)

The RIAA has brought suit against the descendents of Guglielmo Marconi for his invention, known as radio.

"Using a special radio receiver, a listener, or 'criminal', can listen to copywrited music for free," said Hilary Rosen, of the RIAA. "Some special units even have the ability record. All without one cent going to us, the true owners of the material."

Rosen added that the recent use of public WiFi radio-based internet to evade prosecution for file sharing was the last straw.

"This Marconi guy's got a lot to answer for. This 'radio' thing clearly has only ilicit uses."

Rosen also complained that her wallet wasn't big enough for all her fifties, and her diamond pants were too tight.

This has been my strategy (1)

cheshiremackat (618044) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458295)

I have a notebook computer with WiFi access. My potential defense is that it would be impossible to determine if my computer was the one doing the d/ling...

The only way to determine would be to subpoena my hard drive... which is not only encrypted, but I would fight tooth and nail against improper search and seisure. Just because I own a publically accessable hotspot does not allow for a "fishing hunt"... the laws regarding improper searches is much better defined than that regarding internet searches... Consider this... If I owned derilict property that was used for illict purposes (illegial photocopying even) does not make me necessarily guilty of the same offense.

So, my hope is that by being a difficult target, I will be ignored for the first few rounds of the RIAA Gestapo raids...

_CMK

Re:This has been my strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458314)

I have a notebook computer with WiFi access. My potential defense is that it would be impossible to determine if my computer was the one doing the d/ling...

The only way to determine would be to subpoena my hard drive... which is not only encrypted, but I would fight tooth and nail against improper search and seisure. Just because I own a publically accessable hotspot does not allow for a "fishing hunt"... the laws regarding improper searches is much better defined than that regarding internet searches... Consider this... If I owned derilict property that was used for illict purposes (illegial photocopying even) does not make me necessarily guilty of the same offense.

So, my hope is that by being a difficult target, I will be ignored for the first few rounds of the RIAA Gestapo raids...


In other words...

"I'm a criminal. I know I'm a criminal. And I'm going to do my damnedest to ensure that I'm not caught for the crimes I'm fully aware I'm committing".

Right. Gotcha. Thanks for that illuminating clarification, criminal.

Re:This has been my strategy (1)

cheshiremackat (618044) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458378)

Ye-ah...ok I'm a criminal? Well... The U.S. constitution, MY Constitution (Non-U.S. citizen), and current Laws state that copyright infringement is, well, not a crime.. you need to learn that... So umm, yeah I am a copyright infringer, and guess what, so are you... Read the newspaper and ignore the ads, copyright violation... tell a joke you saw last night on letterman (or worse email someone), copyright infringement... Sing a song around the campfire, and not properly pay for the rights... yuppers, you guessed it, copyright infringement... hell singing a song in the shower is a violation of copyright if your neighbour hears it... So tell you what, I'll keep doing this until the LAW is changed... copyright law is totally screwed, and is supporting a morribund industry... its like prohibition, I know it is wrong, and I am doing it until the law catches up... _CMK

Re:This has been my strategy (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458459)

Ye-ah...ok I'm a criminal? Well... The U.S. constitution, MY Constitution (Non-U.S. citizen), and current Laws state that copyright infringement is, well, not a crime.. you need to learn that...

Yes, it is.

A guide to criminal penalties associated with the crime of wilfully infringing copyright [usdoj.gov]

So umm, yeah I am a copyright infringer, and guess what, so are you...

No, I'm not.

Read the newspaper and ignore the ads, copyright violation

No, it's not. Copy the newspaper and give it to someone else - copyright violation. Ignoring the ads is simply ignoring the ads.

Sing a song around the campfire, and not properly pay for the rights... yuppers, you guessed it, copyright infringement

No, it's not. Unless you're making a movie of it, or are holding a concert around the campfire.

a song around the campfire, and not properly pay for the rights... yuppers, you guessed it, copyright infringement... hell singing a song in the shower is a violation of copyright if your neighbour hears it

No, it's not.

So tell you what, I'll keep doing this until the LAW is changed... copyright law is totally screwed, and is supporting a morribund industry... its like prohibition, I know it is wrong, and I am doing it until the law catches up...

You'd make a much bigger impact by boycotting music entirely. But given that that would be way too harsh for you to stomach as a way of promoting your ideals because - oh, lawks a lordy - you'd be deprived of your God Given Right To Other People's Hard Work, I guess you can keep on justifying and rationalizing your actions regardless of whether it's right or wrong.

And there's a big difference between prohibition and copyright law. One was wrought out of religious intervention into public affairs, and the other is in order to protect the people who create intellectual property in order that they may continue creating that property.

Oh, and something else you're not doing - you could just talk to your local politicians if you don't like the lay of the land. You live in a democracy. And if you're not doing that, then you don't have the courage of your convictions on that point either.

All the evidence points to you just wanting a free ride... not that you're making a 'statement'.

It's quite simple... (5, Interesting)

spectecjr (31235) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458298)

Stop copying other people's stuff.
Take the moral highground.

Then, when the RIAA doesn't have a leg to stand on, push the balance of copyright law back to normal.

Until people stop publishing and redistributing material which they have no claim to (or rights to), the people who produce that material will gang up against them. And that gang typically has bigger pocketbooks.

They didn't care about it before now, because it's only with the rise of fast connections to the Internet that people have had enough bandwidth to make it a real problem. The losses were a blip on the radar.

Self regulate, learn the rules, or the fairness police will come down on you. If you think it's fair to copy someone else's material willy-nilly, then I'm willing to bet that you've never produced anything of any worth.

Re:It's quite simple... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458403)

"If you think it's fair to copy someone else's material willy-nilly, then I'm willing to bet that you've never produced anything of any worth."

Most of us are in the same position as the musicians; everything of worth we have created is owned by a large corporation.

Re:It's quite simple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458419)

Most of us are in the same position as the musicians; everything of worth we have created is owned by a large corporation.

Then set up your own corporation to deal with your material, or go it alone. Especially with the Internet being the way it is, you don't need a big brother to do it all for you.

Besides, if you were really that creative, then I doubt that would be the case.

but the RIAA strategy is... (4, Interesting)

rritterson (588983) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458299)

From what I know, the RIAA is planning to sue sharers, not downloaders (although often they are one and the same). The idea is, kill the supply, and the demand decreases. (Yeah, because it worked so well with illegal drugs.)

Point is, how many people are likely to run persistant shares over a hotspot? I'd think that those who use hotspots have nothing to fear from the RIAA, yet..

There was a previous discussion about an ISP who was encouraging customers to setup an access point and share the connection with others for a reduced rate. /. readers came to the consensus that I can be held accountable for content my neighbors download with my connection. Does this mean that the RIAA can sue coffee shops who setup their own independant hotspots? (Of course, it doesn't apply to the server businesses who have paired with T-Mobile)

Re:but the RIAA strategy is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458432)

The idea is, kill the supply, and the demand decreases. (Yeah, because it worked so well with illegal drugs.)

Um....supply and demand curves have nothing to do with each other. Together, they give you some SWAGs about pricing, but that's about it. Ever see a model of inelastic demand and a supply curve? That's the drug model.

In a nutshell, (addictive) drugs = a product with little elasticity (demand changes little even if price changes -- sort of a "gotta have it" item). Reducing supply does nothing to demand; it simply results in an increased price.

Your point is on the money, but your back up is pretty thin. Need to brush up on your basic economics, Tex.

It's simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458323)

The Net treats RIAA as damage and routes around it.

Article's may be a plant. (1)

vegetablespork (575101) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458344)

Looks like a blatant attempt to make policymakers aware of the impending "anonymity problems" associated with open WiFi. Remember that all propaganda isn't of the RIAA "hit you over the head" variety.

Of Anonymity on the Internet and in the Real World (4, Insightful)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458361)

As much as I have come to hate the RIAA and it's dictatorial attitude off late, I really don't think online anonymity is the thing of the future. True, we would all like to be anonymous, and protect are so called privacy: online and elsewhere, but I just don't see it happening anytime soon, or maybe ever.

Consider anonymity in the real world. It's almost impossible to do anything really worthwhile completely anonymously. True, you may get along for a while, but sooner or later, you would need a job, a place to live, maybe a phone...the list goes on....and it's pretty much impossible to do any of these without proving your identity. You just cannot get along without remaining completely anonymous, in a fast developing world.

Maybe in lesser developed countries, you would not need an SSN or ID, but you would need alternate means of identification nevertheless, unless ofcourse you prefer to exist illegally under multiple identities.

With the Internet fast becoming part of our lives, and the ever broadening range of stuff that can be done online, it's but natural that some measures to establish identity come into force some time or the other.

People may argue that in the offline world, you are able to perform certain activities anonymously...say relax in a lounge chair in front of the fireplace...but BAM....as soon as you interact with society, anonymity is gone....Poof.

The problem with the Internet, is, that you are *always* interacting with some computer, somewhere, which does not belong to you. This is not true with the real world, if you're sitting lounging on a chair, you're interacting with the chair which belongs to you, thus ensuring anonymity. Anonymity on the Internet, on the other hand, is and will remain to be a very hard thing to achieve.

I guess that's a long enough rant for this time of the night.

Re:Of Anonymity on the Internet and in the Real Wo (4, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458448)

What you are missing is the level of anonymity.

On the internet, I have the equivalent of a Unique Identifier tatooed on my forehead.

In real life, if someone asks me my name, I can say "Hi, I'm Peter Smith", or perhaps say nothing at all. Online, it's incredibly easy (and regularly done) to automate the process of recording your IP address, and associating it with every action you take online... You can't refuse to give it, you can't shop somewhere else when they ask for it, you don't even get notification that they are doing it...

It's not to say you have true anonymity in public, unless you can change your physical appearance at a whim (to some extent that is possible), but the point is that you DO have some reasonable level of anonymity.

For instance, imagine that the FBI feels like fishing, and decides they want to know the identity of everyone who read about bombs, and politically dissenting material. For digital info, they simply have to ask for those records from each place, and correlate them. In the real world, they would need to track down everyone that was at each place, have them give a description, and then compare the descriptions. That doesn't make you anonymous, but it adds a large barrier to removing your anonymity, which, in reality, is all people really want.

Re:Of Anonymity on the Internet and in the Real Wo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458458)

" maybe a phone...the list goes on....and it's pretty much impossible to do any of these without proving your identity"

Walmart sells pre-paid cell phones for $50, the minutes are $0.05 each(if you buy the 2000 minute card), and you can pay for this all with cash.

Re:Of Anonymity on the Internet and in the Real Wo (2, Insightful)

adaknight (553954) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458470)

In the spirit of poking holes in arguments for the sake of poking holes in arguments ... I don't have to show my driver's license in order to buy a compact disc (when using cash, anyway). The shopkeeper doesn't log the transaction along with my SSN. There are plenty of other ways that you remain anonymous in the offline world. Digital technology can be easily used to erode this anonymity at many levels, to the point where some machine or person somewhere becomes suspicious, determines that you are to be watched even more closely than you are already watched because of, say, your musical preferences.

As our offline world became more digitized, suspicious, and tracked, I for one loved the Internet as a medium where I had some measure of anonymity. I for one would like to keep things that way.

HE, not SHE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458365)

Why do people use "she" instead of the proper "he" when referring to others of unkown gender? Just because the administrator could be female, the proper pronoun to use is still "he". It isn't any more politically correct to use "she" instead of "he". If you really want to be PC and not use appropriate words, use "he/she" or "s/he".

Looking at the definition of "he" [m-w.com]:

2 -- used in a generic sense or when the sex of the person is unspecified

Re:HE, not SHE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458475)

Not to mention at least 95% of Wifi administrators are males...sheesh

Linux web servers don't stay up very long (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6458381)

do they? [netcraft.com]

RIAA is getting what is deserved for selling (3, Interesting)

truthhurts1 (689438) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458412)

CD's and Records at ridiculous prices and conspiring with others to control prices.

There is nothing they can do except try and shutdown ISPs'. And why is there no parallel analogies to the us postal service ? Should we shut them down if somebody is sending copyrighted stuff ?

The next to be hit is the movie industry. The movie selection should improve when higher speeds come around which should be never with Time Warner controlling everything.

Does KazaaLite protect you ? (0, Offtopic)

truthhurts1 (689438) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458429)

Just downloaded the new version which is supposed to hide IP address. Does anyone know if it works ?

The only people the RIAA will catch... (5, Interesting)

Berrik (632561) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458434)

...are people not smart enough to secure their systems. And the more people they bust, the more people will be enticed to secure their systems, thus causing the RIAA's overhead to rise. Frankly, the RIAA is trying to shovel back the ocean with a fork. The only question is how much money they're willing to spend trying. I myself serve almost 500 gigs of stuff (most of it anime, jpop, and the like), and if the RIAA wants to track me they can sure try. I knew the risks when I got into this, and accept them as a cost of doing business. That being said, if the RIAA breaks down the door to get the HDs I keep the stuff on, I have no problems whatsoever with activating the electromagnets sitting on top of 'em and scrambling the whole mess into indecipherable gobbledygook. I got a nice stack of back-up CDs in a safe place ;) Oh, and for those of you who use Kazaa Lite: The latest ver blocks the IP ranges that the RIAA and their minions/co-conspirators use. Who says resistance is futile? Berrik

Excellent (2, Funny)

jeffkjo1 (663413) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458445)

So now all I have to do is setup a Wireless basestation with anonymous acces in my house and I can claim that I don't know who was downloading music from my internet connection.
The ultimate legal shield!

Who's gonna upload from a coffee shop? (4, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458446)

This is just plain over before it started...

The RIAA dragnet is for uploaders because their theory is if they can scare people out of sharing, the non-sharing freeloaders will saturate the remaining uploaders so that the file-sharing network will cease to be useful.

But the coffee shop isn't the idea place to even set up a transient P2P sever. The P2P share would only exist when the laptop user is at the bookstore, which won't be that often to begin with. Any transfer in progress when the laptop user leaves the store will get aborted. Smart coffee shop owners have ADSL behind these shares, because they're expecting browsers not servers, so the upload speed won't be that pretty anyway.

This isn't a technology worth banning, it's not gonna be that useful to file-swappers in the first place!

Your rights to whine (3, Insightful)

God! Awful 2 (631283) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458450)

Take this exact same story and substitute "file sharing" with "spamming". Would this story still be posted as a YRO?

(Actually, probably yes, except this time it would be about your right to sue the WiFi operator who allows untraceable spam.)

-a

Re:Your rights to whine (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458481)

The interesting thing here... it's easier to operate a hit and run spam server than to operate a hit and run P2P server...

IP Logs (5, Interesting)

Klimaxor (264151) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458456)

The IP Log Circle Jerk:
1) ISP's will be required to keep logs, for legal purposes
2) the common folk, with their (insert firewall here) logs will say "hey, if ISP logs are kept for legal purposes, why not track this sonuvabitch down who tried to .winnuke me"
3) The Department of Justice will get involved when they hear of rumors that such and such a ISP has been tampering with their logs, thus costing us more money in them doing their shit.
4) Some random group of people who like to complain will picket the government some more claiming "they are tracking how long i'm on the internet and what i'm doing, invasion of privacy" and that will cost us even more money as they send out the swat teams and the rubber bullets because we all know protesting in any form is pretty much ILLEGAL now.
5) Some Congressman will present a bill to overthrow the IP log law because it's causing conflicts in society (he doesn't want them to catch onto his warez/kiddie porn ring)
6) the law will be discontinued, we'll be right back were we started, a couple billion dollars further in the hole, with nothing more accomplished.

Small constitutional issues . . . (2, Insightful)

werdna (39029) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458468)

The United States Constitution may have something to say about North Carolina's policy: the Supremacy Clause. Assuming, just for the sake of this argument, that the defendant's conduct was in fact copyright infringement, and there are no federal defenses, a State probably doesn't have the power to require, directly or indirectly, a compulsory license for which the Congress did not provide.

Data over VoIP (3, Interesting)

bigmattana (646048) | more than 10 years ago | (#6458493)

This makes me wonder... Wouldn't it be possible to make some sort of data transfer network or "sub-internet" where people communicate using digital channels over internet telephony? It would be pretty hard to trace what people are doing, sharing, etc, because data packets would be coverted to a digital representation of audio being sent out. The digital "soundwaves" could be modulated to any any frequency, so they would in no way look like the digital bits they actually represent. This would probably be fairly slow, but possible.
Any thoughts?
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