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A Bit of Bittorrent Bother

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the even-mainstream-media-has-trolls dept.

402

Lave writes "A journalist at the BBC is replying to complaints about its recent Newsnight show, where it stated that using Bittorrent to download copyrighted material is theft. It's a very frank and honest account about the perceived realities of the internet and how traditional media represents it. From the article: '[One] answer is that we're totally scared of new media, because new media is railways and we're canals, and you all just know how that's going to end. So we seek to equate the internet with all bad things to scare you off it. At some corporate Freudian level, there's some truth to that accusation.'"

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402 comments

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First post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14829237)

First

Encryption (4, Insightful)

Kelson (129150) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829244)

The talk of encryption is what worries me. Given that it's regularly used for secure remote access (SSH), used for secure communications (S/MIME and PGP), and essential to commerce over the internet (SSL), I'd expect there's quite a bit of legitimate encrypted traffic flying around already.

Sure, it's buried amid the flood of email (80% or more of which is spam), web traffic, and P2P traffic. But encryption isn't a rare thing mostly used by bad guys, as the article suggests.

The attitude reminds me of one of the five or so episodes of Enterprise I saw, in which T'Pol got an letter from home and the crew spent the whole episode trying to decrypt it. The theme was very anti-privacy, with one of the characters actually saying to her, "Do you know how suspicious that looked?" It made as much sense as claiming that closed curtains were a challenge to look inside.

I'd guess that even without encrypted torrents, most encrypted traffic on the net is business traffic of one sort or another. So the bad guys using encryption are already lost in the noise.

Re:Encryption (1)

croddy (659025) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829370)

That episode occurred during a time of high tension between Earth and Vulcan; T'Pol was not a member of Starfleet at that point, and the message was sent not only encrypted but disguised as noise. To add to the suspicion, the Ti'Mur had been apparently spying on Enterprise from a distance. Relations between two mismatched armed starships are hardly a comparison for businesses and governments spying upon their own users and citizens :-)

Re:Encryption (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14829496)

get. a. fucking. life.

Re:Encryption (1)

Buran (150348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829515)

And you don't have anything that you're passionate about? Give me a break. People who can quote baseball statistics out of their heads are just as geeky but THEY don't get made fun of.

Take. some. damn. tact. lessons.

Re:Encryption (2, Funny)

davez0r (717539) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829548)

Link. me. to. hot. pics. of. T'Pol.

wait, what? i got sidetracked.

Shatner (1)

Mr Guy (547690) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829551)

No, no, no.

Shatner talks like this:

And you....don't HAVE anythingthatyou're.... passionate about? Give ME a break. People who...can...QUOTE...baseballstatisticsoutoftheir.. ..heads...are JUST as geeky... but they DON'T get made fun of.

Take...some..damn....tactlessons.

Re:Shatner (1)

Catbeller (118204) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829802)

I heard Shatner explain why he.. spoke in... clipped sentences on Star Trek.

He kept forgetting his lines. He was pausing during his efforts to remember the rest of the sentences. It became a character tick; we wouldn't recognize Kirk without that panicked wait for the rest of the words.

Re:Encryption (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829604)

People who can quote baseball statistics out of their heads are just as geeky but THEY don't get made fun of.

Agreed. Somehow society has decided it's OK to set up a fantasy football league, but not to get into a debate about the Hulk vs. Superman. It's OK to paint your face blue or wear a giant piece of cheese on your head when you go to watch a game five or more times a season, but it's not OK to paint yourself blue and dress up as a Farscape character when you go to a convention to meet other science-fiction fans once a year.

One obsession is accepted as just some sports fan. The other gets told to get a life.

Re:Encryption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14829741)

Get a life

*ducks*

Re:Encryption (2, Funny)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829629)

get. a. fucking. life

Note that you are on Slashdot, a self professed "News for Nerds" site. So not only are you (by posting here) a nerd, you're also lousy at it. You're a wannabe of the outcasts. You're not just a nerd -- you're the idiot nerd the other nerds make fun of.

Sucks to be you.

--
Evan "IHBT. I enjoyed it. F@11."

Re:Encryption (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829840)

get. a. fucking. life. ...Says the one who's trolling Slashdot with AC comments.

Now that's irony!

Re:Encryption (1)

IflyRC (956454) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829584)

I'm not sure that is exactly relevant. If an officer aboard a US Aircraft Carrier began receiving encrypted transmissions...I'd worry!

Re:Encryption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14829624)

The writer only claims that he's the geekiest they could find Newsnight. He's not necessarily geek enough to give a correct response.

OJ Simpson (0, Offtopic)

'aspies' are retards (958036) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829256)

Don't tell anyone, but OJ Simpson is an "en eye jee jee ee arr."

Whoa... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14829288)

A reporter who's actually honest, tech-savy, and not prattling on about the latest incarnation of Bennifer?

Now I've seen everything.

Why Bittorrent (4, Insightful)

teklob (650327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829308)

Why attack bittorrent for supposedly encouraging piracy when it has decidedly legitimate user as well, and there are many, many technologies out there being developed that are solely for the purposes of piracy, spam & exploitation. These technophobes should do a little more homework before selecting their targets, in my humble opinion.

Re:Why Bittorrent (1)

mcsestretch (926118) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829356)

But the answer is in the article:

They're trying to do anything to sell copy/garner attention.

The fact that BT has legitimate uses doesn't garner any additional market share. Joe "Average" Watcher will turn to the other channel that has a report on OMG!!!! Th3R3 IZ PR0N oN Teh INtarWEBS!11!!!11!!1eleventy eleven!

Re:Why Bittorrent (1)

shippo (166521) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829439)

It would explain why I couldn't download a Debian DVD ISO torrent last night. My first attempt to use BitTorrent for a few months and none of the clients would work. Perhaps my ISP has already started to block torrents?

Anyway I've started an HTTP transfer instead. Should be finished by tomorrow morning.

Re:Why Bittorrent (1)

JTorres176 (842422) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829523)

I just got the latest DSL (2.2b) from http://linuxtracker.org/ [linuxtracker.org] a few days ago using Azureus. Actually, I'm still seeding it at 30k along with quite a few others using various speeds. I got a 50MB download in just less than a couple of minutes, and have gotten larger iso's (debian/slack) in surprisingly short periods of time. Maybe it's just the tracker or client you were using.

My download's completely legal, fully within the ToS of my cable company ISP, and I haven't had any problems using it once I got a few firewall issues sorted out. Bittorrent is a great program, but I think most of the media wants to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Just because it's a tool used by pirates and/or theives, doesn't mean that every single application for it is evil by association.

Sounds more like BitterTorrent (2, Funny)

dotslashdot (694478) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829309)

Sounds more like BitterTorrent.

hIgh sPEED INTERNET ACCESS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14829319)

my butthole brings David Boises to the bard,
and your mom is a effin tard
and your mom is a effin tard.

A poet, especially a lyric poet.

Journalism (4, Insightful)

Jordan Catalano (915885) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829321)

"If you ask the security services and the police why they monitor the internet, [pedophiles and terrorists] are the bogeymen they claim to be chasing.

In a four minute piece, we're sort of obliged to take that at face value"


No. As a journalist, you're obliged to think critically.

Re:Journalism (1)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829407)

Not in a 4 minute piece. I'm sure if he had half an hour he'd love to do that for you. And I'd love to see him do it.

When you have 4 minutes, and the topic is BT encryption, you don't go off on a tangent about whether or not the authorities are doing what they're say they're doing for the reasons they're specifying. It's called "sticking to your topic".

Besides, 4 minutes is hardly enough time to give anything the critical analysis it deserves. Maybe next time, on a bigger time slot, with a different topic.

Re:Journalism (2, Insightful)

Danse (1026) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829456)

Not in a 4 minute piece. I'm sure if he had half an hour he'd love to do that for you. And I'd love to see him do it.

If you can't do an accurate piece in the allotted time, then pick another topic. Don't do some half-assed job that just spreads misinformation and FUD.

Re:Journalism (1)

mctk (840035) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829542)

But without comments, slashdot would be boring!

Re:Journalism (1)

Theatetus (521747) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829528)

When you have 4 minutes, and the topic is BT encryption, you don't go off on a tangent about whether or not the authorities are doing what they're say they're doing for the reasons they're specifying.

And that, coupled with the fact that all news pieces are 4 minutes long now, is why we're in Iraq...

Re:Journalism (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829585)

Or maybe you just change your wording. Instead of saying that's what they're after, say that they said that's what they're after. Problem solved. It's called Journalism, buddy, and it's seriously lacking these days. My feeling on the news is that they should be accurate, or shut the fuck up. It's one thing if they're reporting the "facts" as they are understood. It's another thing when they're just too lazy to word things properly.

Re:Journalism (1)

Quirk (36086) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829732)

Journalists became reporters, then reporters became advertising sales people. It may be that the only true jounalists remaining are ethical scientists.

Re:Journalism (1)

m1a1 (622864) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829598)

No. As a journalist, you're obliged to think critically.

Everything has it's place. A four-minute piece is not a fucking expose. Sometimes to get anything done you have to take people on their word.

That isn't to say I agree with everything he had to say. However, I don't think there is anything wrong with "monitoring" the internet. That is, internet protocols are built so that much of the traffic is public. Especially when you get down to the simple hubs. While I'm not so ok with governments grabbing information using subpeonas to rip information out of ISPs and search engines, I think they have as much right to the packets that hit their network cards as anyone else. The real problem with this article is the criminal angle with which encryption is used. Encryption should never be criminalized by any society that values privacy. Granted, this is a BBC piece and privacy is less valued in the UK than the US, so maybe he falls more in line with the norm there.

A Welcome, Humorous Response (2, Insightful)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829324)

It's nice to hear that some "old media" organizations are slowly getting it. It may require all the old employees to retire or die off, but most huge cultural changes seem to require it. It was also refreshing to see that he admitted to downloading television shows via P2P, along with a "nudge, nudge, wink, wink" that it was for research purposes only.

It's interesting times we live in.

knee-jerk reaction (1)

rkhalloran (136467) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829327)

Auntie Beeb usually has better standards than this. The response column at least admits they put their collective foot in it, and asks the question whether we've embarked on a digital arms race between the ISPs trying to ration bandwidth and the techs' traditional "censorship=blockage, route around it".

I think the ISPs are going to have to deal with their own success and open the spigots a bit wider; we *are* paying for our bandwidth, let us get to it.

Re:knee-jerk reaction (1)

ebyrob (165903) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829816)

I think the ISPs are going to have to deal with their own success and open the spigots a bit wider; we *are* paying for our bandwidth, let us get to it.

Ya, or they should just grow up and use a sane scheme of metering/bandwidth caps. I don't think we'd ever have gone to "unlimited" service in the first place if AOL and friends hadn't charged huge prices per hour for dialup.
April 21: AOL lowers prices from $7.95 for two hours a month plus $6 for each additional hour to $9.95 for five hours a month and $3 for each additional hour.
Wow!! $3 an hour for dialup! What a great deal!

Just charge $2 per Gigabyte transferred (above some reasonable monthly cap, say 20 gigs a month if you're paying $60/mo for broadband) and be done with it. Just make sure to update the costs often enough that people aren't racking up hundreds of dollars in charges. (Say, give bulk discounts to anyone going over their normal monthly subscription cost, and make sure less than 2% of users are in that category.)

Note to gamers: World of Warcraft (for example) takes 10 megs or less an hour to play. If you were somehow logged in and active 24/7 for a 30 day month that'd be 7.2 gigs of data. You'd still be able to download 13 gigs of pr0n that month.

sing Bittorrent to download copyrighted content is (0)

ikejam (821818) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829332)

"stated that using Bittorrent to download copyrighted material is theft" isn't it?

Re:sing Bittorrent to download copyrighted content (2, Informative)

Weird O'Puns (749505) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829498)

No. You can legally share copyrighted files if you have permission from the copyright owner. Even if you didn't, it would only be copyright infirgment not theft.

Re:sing Bittorrent to download copyrighted content (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829804)

"only" copyright infringement?

Last time I checked, copyright infringement carried a pretty stiff penalty. One could argue disproportionate to the apparent severity of the crime, even.

Re:sing Bittorrent to download copyrighted content (1)

tpgp (48001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829499)

sing Bittorrent to download copyrighted content is

"stated that using Bittorrent to download copyrighted material is theft" isn't it?


I have never seen a better reason to use punctuation.

In answer to what I think is your question. No - copying something (even against the copyright owner's wishes) is neither morally nor legally theft.

Its not legally the same - you won't get charged with the same crime as a thief.

Not morally the same - you don't deprive the person you are 'stealing' from with the item you are 'stealing'.

Not the right thing to do - but not theft.

Re:sing Bittorrent to download copyrighted content (4, Informative)

GWTPict (749514) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829601)

No it fucking isn't, it's copyright infringement, go and buy a dictionary and look up theft, actually I'll save you the trouble,

Theft, the dishonest taking of property belonging to another person with the intention of depriving the owner permanently of its possession

Collins Concise English Dictionary, Third Edition

Yes it's illegal but please don't drink the **AA Kool Aid and conflate it with theft, theft is nicking some old dears purse, shoplifting etc etc. Rather more serious in my opinion, that's why the **AA like to confuse the two. Got to go, dinner is served.

Re:sing Bittorrent to download copyrighted content (1)

kartan (906030) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829669)

Nope.

Re:sing Bittorrent to download copyrighted content (2, Funny)

taskforce (866056) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829690)

Looks like SOMEONE forgot to wear their tin foil hat when they walked past a record store this morning!

News At 11 (1)

PTS Tech (932180) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829334)

"Why is it that every time the media starts to talk about the internet they feel compelled to bang on about paedophiles and terrorists and generally come over like a cross between Joe McCarthy and the Childcatcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?"

The author's initial response (because it sells copy) was dead on...

"Your computer may have already been taken over by terrorist pedophiles - details at 11..."

lawyers, pirates, and other slimeballs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14829361)

it stated that using Bittorrent to download copyrighted material is theft.

What, instead of being more precise and saying "intellectual property violation"? The only people who bother to make that kind of distinction are A) lawyers and B) anti-social wankers trying to excuse their selfish no-cost acquisition of material against the wishes of those who created it.

Re:lawyers, pirates, and other slimeballs (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829776)

No, instead of being more precise that it is a copyright violation, if and only if they don't have the permission from the copyright holder to do so.
As a matter of fact, without the permission of the copyright holder, downloading copyrighted material with HTTP is a copyright violation as well. The connection of P2P and copyrighted material is in itself suspicious. Using P2P doesn't add to the copyright violation, and it doesn't remove anything. If the downloading is in violation of copyright, it really doesn't matter what protocol you are using. So what most people are complaining about is the connection from P2P and copyright infringment, which has nothing to do with the P2P part of the protocol.

Assumptions... (3, Insightful)

JetScootr (319545) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829362)

The article assumed that it's ok for for security services to "manage" by monitoring, breaking decryption, and reading internet traffic.
The assumption here is that spying on the innocent is OK. I disagree. "Probable cause" in the US (used to) mean that the cops kept their noses out of situations until they had reason to believe that a criminal was involved in the situation.
"Reasonable suspicion" in the US used to mean that the cops did not hassle (or spy on) *anyone* that wasn't doing something suspicious, even when the person was in public. This meant that cops were not supposed to collar someone walking down the street and start asking them where they got the CDs for their walkman: Doing so presumes a crime was committed, and unless the cop had a genuine reason to think so, the cop was supposed to leave the citizenry alone.
The assumption that "it's ok to decrypt every frickin packet we can slurp up" throws out all of that, and privacy with it.

Re:Assumptions... (1)

caffeination (947825) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829473)

Not quite. After saying the bit about encryption posing a threat to puppies, he explains that they have to present this fairly simply because of the four minute slot. This implies that they might have further opinions on it, that there isn't 'room' for. Also don't forget that as the BBC they aren't supposed to put bias into the information they receive. If the police say that the increased encryption is a challenge, the BBC should present that as is.

Aside from all this, I actually found this article quite heartening. What it all adds up to is that freedom is winning out against security, if only for now. Seems the next big threat isn't from government, but from the sickening greed of the ISPs (whose views were put across very neutrally by the BBC, incidentally).

Re:Assumptions... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14829583)

in cycles of american legal history, if something becomes easier for law enforcement to do (such as eavesdropping), the legal barriers against it drop as well. a cop sneaking into your house to hear what you're saying to your mom can never be used against you, and even getting a warrant to do that requires some hoop-jumping, but bugging your phone is much easier and requires little more than listing the color of your skin. intercepting information between your computer and another is infinitely easier than both of the previous acts, and in turn, is almost freely done by law enforcement, and often times, the information intercepted from your computer will be sufficient for a warrant to do all the other things presupposing that the intercept was not fruit of the forbidden tree so to speak.

Re:Assumptions... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14829596)

No, probable cause is needed for the police to search your home or belongings, or otherwise interfere with you physically. It's been more than half a century since the authorities needed probable cause to listen to your unencrypted communications. What, exactly, do you think the NSA does with their huge budget?

If you need a hint, "only spy on suspected criminals" is not correct.

How can you detect encrypted BitTorrent files? (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829365)

I am not sure, maybe we can ask Bram Cohen to find out.
I do know that it is written in Python, and it uses GTK for its GUI. [bittorrent.com]

Re:How can you detect encrypted BitTorrent files? (1)

shorgs (874640) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829850)

I'm not Cohen but I believe it would depend on what type of encryption you are using.

Something like SSL will do session data only and none of the header info will be encrypted. So the type of data could be determined but not the actual data itself.

If a VPN was used in data transfer the entire packet and even a portion of the header is encrypted, everything from the IP header on. In that case neither the type of data nor the data itself should be able to be determined prior to the end of the tunnel.

Can anyone with a better background in this confirm?
 

Isn't it true, though? (2, Funny)

chinton (151403) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829367)

It is true that downloading copyrighted material using bittorrent is illegal... As is downloading it using FTP, or HTTP, or Carrier Pigeon, or any other means...

Re:Isn't it true, though? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829458)

Yep. But it's not technically theft, either. IP theft at best, but really just copyright infringement. Your illegal download in no way prevents someone else from buying the product in question, unlike if you had just lifted a copy of whatever $$$$ software at your local software emporium. It's really all just scare mongering and FUD. Stupid, really, as digitial distribution is definately the way forward, and Bit-torrent (or a similar P2P protocol) is the best way to accomplish it as far as costs go. In fact if they offered up anything of their site in encrypted form and all you're doing is buying the decrypting key, while it's a hassle, it makes it a lot easier than you buying the .torrent file which goes to an unencrypted/unprotected/(gasp)non-DRM'd file.

Carrier pigeons do not infringe copyright (1)

brlewis (214632) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829480)

Carrier pigeons are legal because no copy is made. That's just one of the ways they're superior to smoke signals.

Re:Carrier pigeons do not infringe copyright (1)

Anonymous Monkey (795756) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829541)

But they do spread H5N1. I tell you, the internet vital to the health of the nation. Without it we would be forced to use unsanitary pigeons to check Slashdot!

Re:Isn't it true, though? (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829489)

But it's not theft. And that's the word the reporter used in his story. Ironically enough, available via BitTorrent here [mininova.org] .

No, it isn't true. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14829501)

I write software licensed under GPL. It is definately copyrighted, it is also definately legal for anybody to download and share.

It is very dangerous to allow the big conglomerates to subvert the language like this and I recommend taking more care about it in the future.

Re:No, it isn't true. (1)

DeafByBeheading (881815) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829843)

Mod parent up. GPL stuff is copyrighted. BSD stuff is copyrighted. LGPL, MPL, and MIT license stuff is copyrighted. Creative Commons stuff is copyrighted. Public Domain stuff is copyr--err, wait. Never mind. But it is a good point that there is a ton of copyrighted content out there that it's perfectly okay to download, upload, and copy as you like. "Copyrighted" doesn't necessarily mean "do not copy".

Re:Isn't it true, though? (1)

mugnyte (203225) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829521)


  IANAL
  Yes, except the penalities and procedures are different than "theft". Copyright Infringement(TM) is a moving target, based on locale, time, content and method. None of the details have been worked out, althogh you'll see them asked now and again.

One Simple Example:
"Can I take content I've bought for one platform and copy it to another? (CD to MP3 player)"

US: "Historic Use" (a legal new term lately) says no. "Fair Use" (the historic standard) says yes. Got that? Fair Use is the current law, Historic Use is in lobby/committee in the US, as part of the DCMA revisions.

Re:Isn't it true, though? (1)

rewt66 (738525) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829827)

So the "historic use" isn't the historic standard?

My brain hurts...

Re:Isn't it true, though? (1)

The Mad Debugger (952795) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829545)

Yes, but the filesharers would prefer that you not call it theft so they can feel like they're not doing anything wrong. They're perfectly happy violating someone else's license, especially if it's someone they don't like. If we start calling them theives, they might actually experience some guilt over it.

Nevermind that these are the same people screaming for blood when some rinky-dink company violates the GPL, which is, of course, based on the same copyright laws.

Re:Isn't it true, though? (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829665)

Nevermind that these are the same people screaming for blood when some rinky-dink company violates the GPL, which is, of course, based on the same copyright laws.

Or perhaps the people who scream when someone violates the GPL and makes a profit off it thinks there is a double standard? It is ok for a company to violate a copyright, but not an individual?

If I download a TV show via bittorrent, I haven't stopped anyone from watching it and I haven't cost anyone anything. Movies may be an entirely different factor, but I'm talking about TV shows, shown over the airwaves. Regardless of how I were to watch the show, it would be free to me. I have not made any money, nor saved any money. This is bad and I should go to jail.

If someone like Linksys takes the Linux kernel, violates the GPL and makes a profit, then I shouldn't have the right to say that it is wrong? Even if they didn't make money, they explicitly AGREED to the license by distributing the new kernel, then violated it by not distributing the source.

I didn't agree to anything by downloading or watching SG-1 on TV. It was released on the "free" airwaves that are "owned" by the public. They are not the same.

Re:Isn't it true, though? (2, Informative)

Eccles (932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829556)

Really. Then I guess I'm going to jail for these Linux, firefox, etc. downloads I've done recently.

Unauthorized downloading of copyright material outside the the parameters of fair use is illegal.

Re:Isn't it true, though? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14829635)

Or the postal service.

Re:Isn't it true, though? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829658)

It is true that downloading copyrighted material using bittorrent is illegal...

You're downloading lots of copyrighted material by visiting slashdot.org

You better turn yourself in to the police, and maybe they'll go easy on you.

Re:Isn't it true, though? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14829689)

Actually its never been illegal to download copyrighted material. Its illegal to *distribute* copyrighted material that you dont have permission to do.

Re:Isn't it true, though? (1)

IIH (33751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829701)

It is true that downloading copyrighted material using bittorrent is illegal

Nope, not necessarily. It may be, but there is copyrighted material that is legal to download, as the holder has given permission, for example. I'm sure there is also public domain material that's illegal to download.

The BBC have also made incorrect blanket statement regarding copy protected CD's. They often state that the protection is designed to "stop illegal copies". I have pointed out that it's designed to "stop any copies, legal or illegal", but they never correct it.

Time for a new irony meter...again. (0, Troll)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829389)


'[One] answer is that we're totally scared of new media, because new media is railways and we're canals, and you all just know how that's going to end.

And near the bottom of the page:

What we'd really like to hear is a debate on the issue we did raise. If the ISPs can't now detect torrent data, then how will the security services manage it? And if they do figure it out, won't RnySmile and company just up the ante again?

And is this secret war between Hollywood and the ISPs on the one side and the P2P community on the other one that can ever end in a truce, or will the stakes just keep raising and raising to the detriment of us all?

Answers on a plain text postcard please.


Re:Time for a new irony meter...again. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829612)

How is that ironic? Unencrypted email is a digital postcard - anyone who gets their hands on the mail can read the contents. He asked for a plain text postcard - I assumed he meant plain text email, and sent one :)

Not ironic at all, look at it this way. (1)

Winckle (870180) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829746)

I'm really not getting the purpose of your post.

Your first point is to quote his statement about railways and canals, and saying it is ironic.
However, he is simply saying that new media is making traditional media obsolete, and since he works for the BBC television program newsnight, his post is not ironic in the slightest.

Secondly, it was simply a joke, he wasn't being stupid at all. In Britain a popular children's show called Blue Peter used to ask the kids to send in their competition entries "on a postcard". He was making the joke that kids no longer send in postcards because Blue Peter allows the children to email the show.

Trip, you often make some very valid points, but there is no need to reply to absolutely every discussion.

Re:Time for a new irony meter...again. (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829800)

Plain text postcards are better than HTML postcards.

Wow, BAD argumenting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14829411)

File sharing is not theft because copyright infringement is not theft? Sure, but it isn't EVEN copyright infringement if you have permission to redistribute the content, like with Linux CDs and content that you produce yourself.

Controlling information via FUD (3, Insightful)

thewiz (24994) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829426)

[One] answer is that we're totally scared of new media, because new media is railways and we're canals, and you all just know how that's going to end. So we seek to equate the internet with all bad things to scare you off it. At some corporate Freudian level, there's some truth to that accusation.

Picture what is happening today with the RIAA/MPAA, publishers, writers, etc. vs. the Internet, BitTorrent, iTunes, etc. as what happened when the printing press first appeared. It used to be the church that controlled knowledge and only gave a few "educated" people access. Then the printing press comes along and the clergy called it Satan's tool because it was something they couldn't control. Well, the corporations are going to do the same FUD spreading to squash what they perceive as a threat.

If it all ended... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14829429)

I wouldn't be shocked, and I'd be glad thay my friends and I have been burning cds and dvds of copyrighted media at a fever pitch for the last 5 years or so... I don't feel guilty, its a natural part of the evolution of the whole thing ;)

File Sharing == Copyright Infringement? (2, Insightful)

rdeadman (675487) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829434)

Note that he's still saying that filesharing is copyright infringement. First he says:

"File sharing is not theft."

Then in the next paragraph he states:

"If copyright infringement was theft then..."

The implication is that File Sharing == Copyright Infringement. What about public domain files? What about the Creative Commons? His apology is half-hearted at most.

Re:File Sharing == Copyright Infringement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14829513)

"If copyright infringement was theft then..."

Intro to Logic, second week: This is a conditional statement, known as as "if". Statements following an "if" are based on the assumption that it is true. The statement is not itself an assertion. Moron.

The implication is that File Sharing == Copyright Infringement. What about public domain files? What about the Creative Commons? His apology is half-hearted at most.

Oh, yeah, because that's what most "file sharing" traffic is, after all.

And I keep this fully-automatic pistol in my purse for sport hunting.

Re:File Sharing == Copyright Infringement? (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829699)

actually most file sharing is legit, particularly on bittorrent. Legit torrents absolutely dwarf anything thepiratebay or any other tracker does. check out bt.etree.org for some rather large files as a simple example. World of warcraft, huge amounts of data... in their updates.

Not theft. Not illegal either (4, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829466)

"using Bittorrent to download copyrighted material is theft"
Most of what I use bittorrent for is for downloading of copyrighted material.

However, most of what I use bittorrent for is for downloading copyrighted material that the copyright holder has already given permission for other people to distribute.

So here I am, using bittorrent to download copyrighted material... not only am I not stealing, but I'm not even doing anything remotely illegal.

Putting the misuse of the word theft aside for the moment, I think what they really outta be doing is putting some effort into qualifying statements such as these with the provision that it is being distributed without the copyright holder's consent. Because there's plenty of freely available material out there that has copyrights on it that are just as binding as the copyrights found on works that are not so free.

Re:Not theft. Not illegal either (1)

snarlydwarf (532865) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829543)

Indeed, the last few torrents I've downloaded were "bootlegs" of King Crimson concerts.

Never mind that I got them from DGMLive, which is owned by Fripp amongst others and that I paid for them. So not real 'bootlegs'.

It was easier and faster than ordering CD's from the KC Collector's Club.

Only 'bad' thing is I wish they'd include a 400x400 or so 'cover.jpg' instead of making me crop it out of the pdf file they supply for making your own covers (including front back and spine..).

It wasn't theft, it wasn't illegal, it was, in fact, the recommended way of transfering a dozen files that I paid for; ensuring data integrity, a complete download and continuation if interrupted.

Re:Not theft. Not illegal either (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829754)

I agree with you, but there have been several articles that have had quotes from teh MPAA/RIAA that dispute the argument that if you have a copy at home you can download a copy from the net.

Their argument being that what you are downloading from the net is NOT from the copy you own and is therefore illegal.

Re:Not theft. Not illegal either (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14829796)

NOT from the copy you own and is therefore illegal.

Where did that come from? Is downloading Linux from a torrent illegal if I've already got a CD of it? Nowhere did the grandparent mention that he was downloading things that he already "owned", he said he was downloading things that the copyright holder had given permission for him to download.

BitTorrent is a problem anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14829477)

The fact that almost all BitTorrent usage is illegal isn't really BitTorrent's problem. They addressed the real problem with BitTorrent, and that's that it uses way too much bandwidth. Consumer network connections are not designed for large uploading, which BitTorrent requires. This places massive strain on the ISP networks. The obvious solution is traffic shaping or otherwise banning the protocol.

But now people are trying to "work around it" using encryption and other techniques. This is a problem.

Should anyone else on my network segment use BitTorrent, I'm effectively knocked off the Internet. Web browsing slows to a crawl. I can't play any online game, and if I was, I get disconnected. Forget trying to download anything, since it's likely to get disconnected in the middle.

The only way to make BitTorrent work is to traffic shape it or otherwise ban it, simply to allow other people to use the network at all.

BitTorrent will kill the Internet if it can't be made to behave well and not totally flood the network it's running on. The new technologies to prevent that will kill networks.

My Internet connection is already barely usable thanks to other people using BitTorrent on the same network. And it's only going to get worse...

(Anyone know why Slashdot refuses posts from Konqueror? Invalid form key my ass.)

Re:BitTorrent is a problem anyway (1)

Buran (150348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829574)

Ah, but those connections are sold as 'unlimited' so they're simply taking up the provider on its offer to do whatever they want with the service they PAY FOR. That's their right, as it is your right to do what you wish with your connection.

The real answer is to complain to the ISP and tell them that their network is malfunctioning -- and it is, because what other users do should not have an effect on you. Write letters to the application programmers, and ask them to change their software to not be so bandwidth-intensive (they could at least change the as-shipped app defaults so that they're initially not so demanding, and force users to take the responsibility of changing them).

Or, of course, find an ISP that uses a better infrastructure that doesn't cause you so many problems.

Re:BitTorrent is a problem anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14829759)

An application using TCP/IP has control of neither
1) the network layer (ip)
or
2) the transport layer (tcp)

(the operating system controls those).

Re:BitTorrent is a problem anyway (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829675)

You should call your ISP and tell them to put port 80 higher in their QoS settings.

Re:BitTorrent is a problem anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14829723)

Your connection is barely usable because your ISP sucks! Plain old fact! Did they sell you a dedicated or garuneteed up/down speed? No? Then complain to them or switch providers, or pay more for such a dedicated speed. Slowing other people from using their connections as much as they can isn't the answer.

ISP's "unlimited" policies are the problem (1)

arevos (659374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829758)

ISPs shouldn't offer "unlimited" services if they don't intend to give their customers unlimited bandwidth. If I have a 200MB/s pipe, and I promise each of my 1000 subscribers 2MB/s, then clearly I'm promising more than I can deliver. It's no use advertising an unlimited internet service, and then complaining when your customers take you up on your offer.

The only thing Bittorrent impacts is ISPs overpromising. That's it. It's not going to kill the internet. It's not a menace that should be stamped out. Bittorrent doesn't magically use more bandwidth than the ISP allows you. It's just another protocol.

The problem lies at the door of ISPs, not Bittorrent.

Re:ISP's "unlimited" policies are the problem (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829835)

The problem lies at the door of ISPs, not Bittorrent.

I'll back this. The problem arose because ISPs invested in technology that had a limit, then advertised their connections as "unlimited". If it wasn't BT it'd be something else. If you don't place a limit on something and offer a fixed price, people will use as much as they can, be it oranges or Internet bandwidth. It's basic economics.

To the GP, I ask: how do you know your network is slowed because of torrents? I use a popular UK ISP, I torrent, many of my peers (heh) on that ISP also torrent, going by the IPs, yet I don't experience any slowness in browsing. Using your flawed logic, BT causes no problem.

Re:BitTorrent is a problem anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14829846)

Your trolling has all the art of fishing with dynamite.

And using a coat hangar... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14829517)

... to aid in the stealing of a car is theft.

Fucking coat hangars! Oh.. they have legitimate uses too? hmmm

Re:And using a coat hangar... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14829791)

Fucking coat hangars! Oh.. they have legitimate uses too?

Tsk tsk, don't forget back-alley abortions!

Not Theft, but still Infringement (1)

Logger (9214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829527)

He says file sharing is not theft, but copyright infringement is still .. well .. copyright infringement.

Of course the material has to by copyrighted for that to matter. But let's not pretend what the vast majority of data flowing over these networks are. Movies, Music, and copyrighted software. You can't tell me that internet bandwidth is being 30% consumed by people sharing Linux CDs, the Gimp, and OOo with torrents. Why would you when you can so easily download those things directly from their respective sources without searching for them on a Mule server? At that rate every computer in the world would be running Linux by now, and being refreshed with a new version weekly.

Honest but ignorant? No! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14829538)

Now we've got that out the way, let us ask you a question. Why is it that every time the media starts to talk about the internet they feel compelled to bang on about paedophiles and terrorists and generally come over like a cross between Joe McCarthy and the Childcatcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?

Well here's one answer - it sells copy. Another answer is that we're totally scared of new media, because new media is railways and we're canals, and you all just know how that's going to end.

So we seek to equate the internet with all bad things to scare you off it.


However, he admits that they were wrong to equate copyright infringement with theift, but never mentioned that most BitTorrent traffic is legit, the likes of Red Hat, Mandriva, and Star Wreck: In tThe Perkinning (which must be giving Hollywood cold sweats and nightmares).

It's also indie bands trying to get their music heard, which is the REAL reason the RIAA hates P2P.

As a man who hacked his first home internet connection back in 1994 (my then boss used his daughter's name as a password) and downloaded his first Star Trek off Peer to Peer back in 2000

So how could he not know this? The best liars tell a truth first.

A bartender friend of mine was conned out of $100 yesterday, and the cons used the same tactics as Adam Livingstone's puppetmasters.

One paid his bill, and the other asked if she could cash a hundred. "Sure," she says.

As she's counting the change back, with the hundred still on the table, man #1 says she forgot to collect from him. So he pays her a second time, and in the ensuing confusion, somehow man#1 got out of there with his hundred and change for a hundred.

As bad as it is that Cassie was scammed out of a hundred bucks she couldn't afford, it isn't nearly as evil as the lies the multinational corporations tell us through their media outlets.

(MRC?="islets")

This is news? (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829586)

So we've discovered, or they've admitted, that the mass media spins and lies?

Like this is news?

Re:This is news? (1)

webmind (715974) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829774)

that they admit this.. yes that is news :)
further more.. although the article is still mistaken on a few items, I think it's a decent reaction to all the comments the program in question did get.
Now if they only would get the facts straight and the idea maybe privacy is a -good- thing :)

Glad to see this (3, Interesting)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829606)

I'm glad to see this apology, I saw the original report and I was shouting at the television. Not only was there the "theft" line, but they also wheeled on a "former CIA security agent" yada yada. He said, and I quote, "the majority of crimes in the US and the UK are solved by the use of telephone intercepts". Which I didn't believe for one minute. He used that line as a justification for banning or severely restricting VoIP. Did people cry upon the invention of the telephone, claiming that it'd be so much harder to catch criminals now that they can't intercept their post? If by telephone intercepts he means "referral to telephone call records", well the statement might be true, although the 7-year data retention rules for ISPs should help in that regard.

Adam Livingstone, the author of TFA isn't the person responsible for the original report. That dubious honour falls on Justin Rowlatt [bbc.co.uk] , who in a fit of irony is also currently running a series of reports where he tries to live as an "Ethical Man" - first up, Justin, try checking the definition of 'theft' in the dictionary. Then stop spreading lies about legal technology.

Add that pisses me off (1)

sinij (911942) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829711)

Last time I went to see a movie they aired this annoying add - it showed guy stealing a car, person stealing a purse and person shoplifting and they equated it all to downloading movies, and all of this they showed to audience that already paid to see this movie in a theaters. Why stop here, equate copyright infringement to genocide and rape?

Punishment for cpright infringment manslaughter (1)

kostaki (932829) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829839)

In the US at least. That alone should tell us how warped the view of file sharing on the internet is. CZ

Punshmnt for cpright infrngmnt grtr than manslghtr (1)

kostaki (932829) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829864)

Correction, the greater than got taken out...

Unlimited BT traffic is simply not viable. (1)

grnbrg (140964) | more than 8 years ago | (#14829856)

While the article makes some guesses (which may or may not be accurate) as to why ISPs are attacking BT traffic, the why really isn't too relevant.

The simple fact is that ISPs must do something to block or throttle BT, or it will simply take over their networks completely. The legality of the content is secondary. They simply can't afford the strain that this traffic is putting on their pipes. And adding more capacity isn't a solution, because BT will soak up as much bandwidth as you can throw at it.

ISPs have started to throttle, and the client developers have responded by encrypting the stream. Want to know what will come next? Transfer limits. I just hope that they drop the throttling or blocking when they bring in (or start to enforce) these caps.

A few $200.00 internet bills will have people re-thinking how much they need to download the latest "Survivor" episode.


grnbrg.

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