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Belgian ISP Forced To Block P2P Traffic

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the it-could-happen-here dept.

The Courts 207

An anonymous reader lets us know of developments in a case in Belgium that has been under litigation since 2004. The Belgian copyright watchdog SABAM has forced an ISP to begin filtering P2P traffic (PDF). According to the PDF on the SABAM site: "The Belgian Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers (SABAM) has just won an important legal battle within the context of the dispute that opposes it to the Internet Service Provider (ISP) Tiscali, which has become Scarlet Extended Ltd. In its sentence of June 29, 2007, the Court of First Instance of Brussels is demanding from the access provider that it adopts one of the technical measures put forward by the expert in order to prevent Internet users from illegally downloading SABAM's musical repertoire via P2P software." The rumor is that Scarlet will be forced to deploy the same software as MySpace uses (Audible Magic) to filter illegal P2P traffic from the legal.

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I guess that creates an opportunity (5, Interesting)

OlivierB (709839) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754453)

For Relakks.com to start marketing their services to these ISP customers.

FYI, here's what Relakks does:
"- You'll exchange the IP-number you get from your ISP to an anonymous IP-number .
- You get a safe/encrypted connection between your computer and the Internet. "

How could the ISP filter or block VPN traffic without annoying the rest of the professionals who rely on corporate VPN access?

Where the FUCK is iLife '07??? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19754503)

Come ON you homosexual deviants in Cupertino. QUIT FUCKING AROUND and update your fucking software every so often. You mincing faggots are worse than Debian...

Re:I guess that creates an opportunity (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19754563)

How could the ISP filter or block VPN traffic without annoying the rest of the professionals who rely on corporate VPN access?

Unfortunately some ISPs throttle all encrypted traffic and will continue to do so, unless customers start leaving in droves.

Re:I guess that creates an opportunity (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 7 years ago | (#19756277)

I'm not clear on how the ISP could distinguish between encrypted data and any generic binary data.

Re:I guess that creates an opportunity (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#19756535)

If said generic binary data has a recognisable structure, it can probably be assumed to be unencrypted. However, the difference between random data and encrypted data is indistinguishable provided a good crypto algorithm and a random key.

Re:I guess that creates an opportunity (3, Insightful)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754577)

How could the ISP filter or block VPN traffic without annoying the rest of the professionals who rely on corporate VPN access?

They don't need to. They just need to block traffic to Relakks, then all other legit traffic can continue.

Re:I guess that creates an opportunity (2, Insightful)

OlivierB (709839) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754745)

ou are right but to that one could reply that:
- There is no evidence that Relakks customers are involved in illegal activities (unlike P2P whose unecnrypted packets you can monitor). I for instance happen to use Relakks more for Hotspot access than anything else.

- What happens if Relakks has some sort of DynDns VPN server address? The ISP could not reference this address in their DNS servers but then agin those subscribing to Relakks are savy enough to use OpenDNS as well.

What happens then?
FYI, countries like China and Saudi Arabia have been trying real hard to prevent all sorts of traffic: HTTP, P2P, VOIP etc.
None of these protections can hold up more than a few hours. VPNs are he easiest way to defeat these kind of protections.

Re:I guess that creates an opportunity (1)

zakeria (1031430) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755793)

I don't think that blocking P2P has anything really to do with illegal activities I know a lot of ISP's that would prefer P2P to not exist... its a bandwidth thing.

Re:I guess that creates an opportunity (2, Insightful)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 7 years ago | (#19756109)

trust me, it wouldn't be difficult. If you can find it easily, then they can block it easily. Matters not if you use a different name service.

Re:I guess that creates an opportunity (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755103)

Then route it through TOR.

There is no such thing as a reliable blocker based on IPs.

Re:I guess that creates an opportunity (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 7 years ago | (#19756141)

um, yes there is.

Query various name services for the crap you want to block. They'll give you an IP. Block those IPs.

Block the meta-IPs for TOR and any other such thing. At some point, you're relying upon something with a stable name/ip association. Block that thing.

Re:I guess that creates an opportunity (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19756405)

If you enjoy rolling stones uphill, be my guest. You'll have to block "random" IP addresses all over the planet.

I dunno if you know how TOR works. If not, here [eff.org] you can find the specs. And the program. And the proxy, in case you want to participate and become a proxy, too.

Re:I guess that creates an opportunity (5, Funny)

monk.e.boy (1077985) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754607)

Hey, lets all burn 3 CDs of mp3s each, and post it to random Belgans.

FILTER THAT, FUCK-WITS

:-P

monk.e.boy

Re:I guess that creates an opportunity (1)

Corwn of Amber (802933) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755299)

Okay. I'd really like only one, though : Tactile Gemma, self-titled, 2001. Can't even find it on Amazon.

Re:I guess that creates an opportunity (1)

J0nne (924579) | more than 7 years ago | (#19756113)

Great, contact me to get my address, send whatever you like...

Here's what Relakks.coms costs (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754901)

$5/month or $50/12-month period

Wasn't the whole point of the P2P stuff this court ruling targets that people don't want to pay for the content?

( Yes, I know.. "people are willing to pay for the content, but not as much as the copyright holders are asking" ..not sure how that became an excuse for "so I'll just get it cheaper illicitly" instead of "so I'll just wait 2 months and pick it up out of the bargain bin", but alright. )

Re:Here's what Relakks.coms costs (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755511)

They still get my money if I wait until it's in the bargain bin. I want to make sure that doesn't happen.

Re:Here's what Relakks.coms costs (1)

Kijori (897770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755847)

Then buy it second hand. Unless what you meant by not wanting them to have your money is that you want to have it...

Re:Here's what Relakks.coms costs (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#19756519)

My first choice is to find independent labels. If there is someone I REALLY love on a major label, then I will buy it 2nd hand, though 2nd hand shops are not that easy to find and online purchases of 2nd hand stuff are a bit shady since you can't inspect it first.

But I have no moral problem downloading the major label stuff - mostly I don't like the quality, though. If I'm going to put on my pirate hat, it is typically to go over to the library with my laptop and rip compilation CDs. The New York Public Library has an amazingly diverse CD collection, and you can even reserve stuff online - it's like a free Netflix for music.

Frankly, I would prefer it if the whole music industry went down in flames, and I like to think that I'm doing my small part by not handing them a red cent. If I save some money in the meantime, well that's just peachy.

Re:Here's what Relakks.coms costs (0, Troll)

Corwn of Amber (802933) | more than 7 years ago | (#19756547)

Fuck You Real Hard. Only the vapid tripe that evolutionary rejects like you call "entertainment" ever gets in the bargain bin. Everything I download (and it's 100+G / month) is out of .

I don't pay for software because I'm yet to see $1 in return on investment.

I don't pay for movies because, if said movie hasn't made an obscene profit* in the first week-end, it is considered a commercial failure anyway. (I'm not buying into the "rental" racket : shop-owners who pay $150 for the right to rent a DVD without bonuses and sometimes even lacking the original audio! Boycott.)

*obscene profit : cost $ 10e6, makes ten times that in the two first days. Poor, poor Hollywood. Boohoo.

I do pay for every thing that can not be copied at zero cost. I believe in capitalism : everything is worth exactly its production cost, taking into account paying everyone involved in producing said thing, so that they can buy things.

Don't even think of replying before you've read http://archive.salon.com/tech/feature/2000/06/14/l ove/ [salon.com] and http://www.ram.org/ramblings/philosophy/fmp/albini .html [ram.org]

Re:I guess that creates an opportunity (1)

cmdrTacyo (899875) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754905)

Problems with your argument:
1) The exchange isn't routed through the same isp as the encryption which means it's harder to streamline
2) The DNS setup is static and it's hard to sort through the junk to determine the actual p2p

Re:I guess that creates an opportunity (1)

Alchemar (720449) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755051)

By only blocking VPN traffic that goes outside the country for anyone that has a residential account. Most people that would need to access a VPN outside the country would need to do so from the company that they were visiting, or access from a hotel. I am sure that companies large enough to have international visitors and hotels could set up an unfiltered line. I am not in favor of this action, just given some prior thought about how this wonderful loophole was going to be eventually closed.

Re:I guess that creates an opportunity (1)

OlivierB (709839) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755495)

you assume that my employers VPN servers are based in the same country as I am. In any multinational company, they will have a central VPN server, and it sure as hell won't be in Belgium. What if I am a small company in Belgium and I oustource all my hosting to a company in the UK? Your solution doesn't work.

VPN by country (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19756759)

The comapny I work for sets up separate VPN servers for US, Europe, & China. That makes it impossible to use the company VPN to bypass the Great Firewall of China. I doubt there are enough mobile users in the PRC to justify doing that for bandwidth reasons. And the company web proxy redirects google.com to google.cn. The hotel internet is filtered too.

Boy does it suck. Try booking an airfare on a Taiwanese airline from inside the Great Firewall sometime. Lucky for me I can keep my DSL-connected Linux box running at home, and SSH tunnel to it, or I might still be stuck there for lack of an airline ticket.

Posting AC in case they are watching...

Just encrypt? (5, Insightful)

dintech (998802) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754459)

Is it just me or is this trivial to circumvent by encrypting traffic?

Re:Just encrypt? (1)

profplump (309017) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754505)

It's not just you.

Re:Just encrypt? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19755195)

The deep packet inspection boxes that ISPs buy can thoroughly block encrypted Bittorrent traffic because it examines the "pattern" of connections (BIttorrent's are unique), not the actual content.

Re:Just encrypt? (1)

anilg (961244) | more than 7 years ago | (#19756397)

Ah yes.

Re:Just encrypt? (2, Interesting)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#19756587)

But which is more expensive: the deep-inspection boxen, or the amount of bandwidth being used by encrypted BitTorrent? I would probably guess the inspection box is, but that's just me.

Re:Just encrypt? (1)

counterfriction (934292) | more than 7 years ago | (#19756623)

Yeah but you're missing the point. The goal is not to block ALL bt traffic, it is rather to block those exchanges that are illegal, and still allow the legal.
So, as dintech said, if you encrypt the packets, it would be tremendously more difficult to apply AudibleMagic or whatever.
My guess would be that they would just block all encrypted traffic in the bt protocol.

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19754473)

Let the RIAA finish building its wall around its music so the rest of us can avoid that chaff and more easily enjoy the independent music whose musicians wish to freely share it.

Re:Good (1)

bondjamesbond (99019) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755279)

...and which is better music, anyway. All their shit music is written in the Disney studios, anyway, and todays "popular musicians" are just talent-less puppets.

Re:Good (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755399)

You know... your post just made me realize why they don't play full videos on MTV anymore -- god forbid someone tape the audio off their TV. The RIAA was probably all over that one.

Re:Good (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#19756155)

Guess what? The companies don't care about people bitching as long as they keep watching.

Re:Good (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19756521)

MTV? Wasn't that the music TV station in the 80s? Wonder what become of them. Are they still broadcasting?

Zaphod Beeblebrox said it best... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19754479)

Aw, Belgium, man! Belgium!

Re:Zaphod Beeblebrox said it best... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19755415)

Belgium.
They make the French look good.

This could really hurt the ISP. (3, Insightful)

Jaaay (1124197) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754485)

It'll be interesting if they'll be able to sue for damages once P2P customers take their buisness elsewhere since this is being selective applied to them and not their competitors for now. Note that this is for a specific ISP so it's really making them uncompetitive. If it were applied to all ISPs then it wouldn't make a difference for the company but if their the odd one out you'd imagine they'll lose a lot of customers since in the reality of this situation a lot of people like to spend all day downloading stuff. Legally if this was applied it should be in a law that affects all isps to keep the market fair. Whether any law banning P2P which has legitimate users also is good in the first place is another question.

Re:This could really hurt the ISP. (2, Insightful)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754589)

All the Belgian wow players are going to be pissed.

Re:This could really hurt the ISP. (2, Informative)

arivanov (12034) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754961)

They are pissed as is already. AFAIK Belgian congestion levels due to P2P are one of the worst in Europe at the moment. So funnily enough this is likely to receive support from a large portion of the paying customers.

Yeah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19754497)

Take that America! Belgium rules!

A simple way to defeat this (5, Informative)

bunburyist (664958) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754499)

I think that our Belgian friends could simply bypass this using protocol encryption for bitorrent. Since bittorrent can work on any port, portblocking filters are useless. Packet sniffers would have a tough time detecting encrypted traffic. The major bittorrent clients all support protocol encryption. For a guide on how to get it working with your client check out:
TorrentFreak's guide to protocol encrpytion [torrentfreak.com]

Re:A simple way to defeat this (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19754783)

Even encrypted bittorrent can be detected fairly easily with simple flow analysis. That said, it takes up significantly more router CPU etc so it's not normally done (yet.)

Re:A simple way to defeat this (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19754885)

Remember, what the court asked is not to stop all torrent traffic but to stop illegitimate torrent traffic. So yes you can detect torrent traffic but if it is encrypted and the ISP blocks it and it turns out that it was legitimate, then the ISP will be in trouble.

So encrypted torrent traffic doesn't make it that much difficult to find out about the protocol used (yes traffic analysis helps). It makes it difficult to find out if it is legitimate or not.

Re:A simple way to defeat this (2, Interesting)

Animaether (411575) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754943)

The ISP wouldn't necessarily be in trouble. They'd just have to adjust their TOS to say "No encrypted P2P traffic allowed" and call upon their contract agreement with the client saying that the TOS can change at any time, and that the user is free to cancel their service if they disagree with the new TOS. After that, they can just block it - legitimate or not.

Yes, that may lose them some customers - probably less than the current order will cost them.. and even that will be puny in comparison to the total number of customers they have. Heck, they'll be free of the leechers. Maybe they'll secretly be happy about it.

Re:A simple way to defeat this (4, Informative)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755343)

It's one thing to outlaw something. It's another to enforce it. Or, in this case, it's easy to say "no P2P encryption allowed". But what is "P2P traffic"? A packet, having a valid HTTP header, trying to connect to a machine on port 0x50 is, usually, a request to a HTTP Server. It's easy, though, to use HTTP as a wrapper for any kind of traffic. Dunno if providers would be that happy about that, considering the incredible overhead.

What about encrypted traffic? How can you tell it's "P2P traffic"? How about traffic from multiplayer games that uses a completely alien packet configuration that doesn't fit any "standard" mold because the company making the game had to design their own packet format on top of TCP/UDP? How do you discriminate between "good" and "bad" packets?

You can't outlaw encryption. You'd get into a serious fight with banks that way (and, trust me, you DO NOT want a fight with a bank). You can't outlaw connecting on "nonstandard" ports, that would open another can of worms you do not want to touch.

So please enlighten me how you'd like to enforce the "no encrypted P2P" rule.

Re:A simple way to defeat this (1)

genner (694963) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755345)

I'ts more likely they will allow encryption only business lines.
Time to upgrade....or run a torrents from work.

Re:A simple way to defeat this (2, Informative)

profplump (309017) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754895)

The traffic can be identified with some accuracy, but you still can't read the content. And if you can't read the content you can't do acoustic fingerprinting on the media files, which is what they've been ordered to do.

Re:A simple way to defeat this (1)

MaxInBxl (961814) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755631)

Excuse my ignorance on the subject but wouldn't a router + port forwarding defeat this "blocking of known ports" defense?

I really don't know much about networking so I'm asking an honest question.
(oh and I live in Belgium)

Legal VS Illegal (4, Insightful)

j.sanchez1 (1030764) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754501)

According to SABAM, if all Belgian Internet access providers would adopt the technical measures proposed by the expert so that P2P software could no longer be used for exchanging copyright works, this would put an end to the illegal traffic as Belgium is concerned.

But what about the LEGAL P2P traffic, like Linux Distros and patches for various apps and games that are out there, as well as artists who promote and encourage the sharing of their works?

I hope that this isn't dragged over here to the States by the RIAA or MPAA.

Re:Legal VS Illegal (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19754587)

The acoustic fingerprint [wikipedia.org] of legal P2P traffic won't match anything from SABAM's musical repertoire.

Re:Legal VS Illegal (1)

kv9 (697238) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755203)

But what about the LEGAL P2P traffic, [snip]
RTFblurb

The rumor is that Scarlet will be forced to deploy the same software as MySpace uses (Audible Magic [CC]) to filter illegal P2P traffic from the legal.

Re:Legal VS Illegal (3, Informative)

guruevi (827432) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755425)

Well, as you know, the RIAA is trying to force ISP's and universities to use the same exact appliance (Audible Magic) to block P2P traffic. If you work at a university and get to know this appliance, basically all it is is a very expensive firewall and as their website also declares, it blocks all unencrypted P2P traffic, doesn't differentiate between 'legal' or 'illegal' use.

It wouldn't surprise me if Audible Magic is owned or otherwise affiliated to people within the RIAA and it's offshoot organizations.

Re:Legal VS Illegal (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755705)

Does anybody else find it funny that they're supposed to use a product called "magic" to block P2P traffic? Does it detect things that are zipped/rarred? How about ISOs? How about Ogg? How about VFQ files? It's nice that they have a product that is supposed to do the blocking for them, so they don't have to worry about how well the filtering is being done, but I think it will be pretty useless, and that people will just find a very easy way to get around the filter.

Re:Legal VS Illegal (1)

j.sanchez1 (1030764) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755833)

Well, as you know, the RIAA is trying to force ISP's and universities to use the same exact appliance (Audible Magic) to block P2P traffic. If you work at a university and get to know this appliance, basically all it is is a very expensive firewall and as their website also declares, it blocks all unencrypted P2P traffic, doesn't differentiate between 'legal' or 'illegal' use.

Thanks! That is what I was looking for with my question. I didn't understand how, if at all, legal & illegal P2P traffic would be filtered.

SSL for Azereus (1)

simm1701 (835424) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754515)

I get the impression an SSL standard for packet encryption is going to get put together for torrent fairly soon...

Either that or a couple of the bigger ones are going to get updates/patches/plugings so when sharing with the same client they will be encrypted...

Re:SSL for Azereus (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754833)

Azerus already does packet encryption.... has done so for years.

RC4 (1)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754871)

Azureus has supported RC4 stream cipher for a long time.

It's not as strong as SSL could be, but for the purpose at hand it's perfect.

Re:RC4 (-1, Offtopic)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755295)

The way the 'war' in Iraq is going it won't be long before more people have died after Sadam than while he was in power. and they chopped his head off.

Just think about that for a while.

I find it so interesting (4, Insightful)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754519)

That the "experts" think methods like these (filtering) work when it comes to stopping and slowing piracy when history shows that they do not. In fact, pretty much any shutdown/slowdown ever achieved created or accelerated development of newer, stealthier, more robust methods of piracy and distribution. At best it seems a scam to sell filtering software.

Re:I find it so interesting (0, Troll)

fadilnet (1124231) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754811)

Indeed. I believe that piracy itself should be viewed as crime (because it's not right now) and the notion of piracy being a very bad thing should be inculcated right from school (level when students are around 10 or so). There are work-arounds to this. Many who don't go for P2P, usually opt for free file hosts like megashare for example. It would be interesting to see how to prevent piracy when it comes to people sharing over free file hosts. Sharing and distribution of pirated products (in any form) must be stopped @ the source - the users who usually don't even give a frak to netiquette.

Re:I find it so interesting (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755267)

I believe that piracy itself should be viewed as crime (because it's not right now) and the notion of piracy being a very bad thing should be inculcated right from school
The enforcement of a law is difficult because the majority of disagree with it and people disobey it. Do you:
  1. Change the law to be in line with the majority view.
  2. Brainwash kids so that the next generation will agree with it.
I assume your point was the though the law says breach of copyright is a crime, most people do not feel that it is a crime, so we are agreed about what the majority view is.

Re:I find it so interesting (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19756065)

When you now add suggesting to have kids turn in their parents for filesharing, I'm going to invoke good ol' Godwin...

What you want is to turn our education around by pretty much 180 degrees. Remember elementary school? When you were told that you should "share" what you got with others, that it's more fun to play together instead of alone? That giving is more fun than receiving?

Now you want to turn it around? Don't we have enough greedy, selfish bastards already?

People need to understand laws to heed them. You can see that every day. "Don't kill" is easy. And understandable, hey, I don't want to be killed! So prolly the next guy doesn't enjoy it either. On the other hand, the program I wrote to solve my problem, do I care if someone else uses it? Nah. I still got it, it ain't like I can't use it anymore just 'cause he does too. Hey, I remember my elementary time, and I like sharing that program with him!

Make copyright laws understandable, and give people a reason to heed them. Current copyright is completely out of whack, it's (translated quote from a lawyer) "too complicated for use, but formidable for abuse". It's true. We actually have conflicting parts in our copyright laws, which is partly due to it getting patched more often than the average MS OS.

And give people a reason to heed it. If a law is pointing against me without offering me any benefits, my will to heed it is close to zero. Unless you can enforce it by the very root of the word enforce, i.e. with brute force, people will not care about the law. A law against killing limits me (I can't kill freely at will), but also protects me (neither can someone just pull his gun on the road and kill me without impunity). Same for stealing. Which incidentally is also heeded less by people who don't have jack. Could be coincidence, and probably is...

You will notice, though, that people were more willing to heed copyright when it was still based on "equal protection", i.e. when copyright not only limited the customer but also gave him some rights. Since those rights are eroding away, so is the willingness to heed the law.

Make fair laws, and people will heed them. Make unfair laws, and people will only ponder how to evade them.

Creates "Jobs" (2, Interesting)

superbrose (1030148) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755101)

Another somebody gets paid for implementing a technology that definitely does not offer any real solution to the piracy problem and probably makes life for the law-abiding end-user a little more difficult.

Just like those fantastic copy-protected CDs that were so safe that pirates managed to copy them instantly, while many CD players failed to read them (not to mention the reduction in sound quality)!

Instead of paying all these experts to come up with the solution, maybe prices for digital products should be lowered so much that it would no longer be worthwhile to download a pirated version.

Re:Creates "Jobs" (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19756041)

This is the problem with the Music/Movie companies. They want to maximize their profits. So they ran their numbers through some computer, and discovered that movies should cost $X and that CDs should cost $Y. These prices have nothing to do with the cost of producing the CD/DVD, because the cost of those is effectively $0. Instead they try to figure out how many people they can get to buy the product at a certain price in order to make the highest profit. However, these calculations were done a long time ago, long before P2P was widespread. People were willing to pay more for stuff when there was no other way to get it. However, now that people have another way to get it, legal or otherwise, they should lower their prices in order to compete with piracy. Piracy shouldn't be an issue. If you like a song, it should be so cheap to buy it that you won't even think twice and will just get it right away. Currently, people have to look at the price, think it over, leave the store, and then maybe go back to the store (virtual or brink and mortar) and make a conscious descision to purchase music. However, if they made CDs $5, and DVDs similar, and downloaded songs around 10-25 cents, people wouldn't even think about whether or not they should buy it, or if it was worth pirating, they would just pay for it.

Scapegoats (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755879)

Yes, but now the music+movie industry can blame the failure on the ISP, and drag them into further litigation.

The Begging of The End. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19754557)

And thus does the internet come crashing down...

Re:The Begging of The End. (2, Insightful)

monk.e.boy (1077985) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754639)

The internet will route around this breakage.

Just give it time to adapt.

monk.e.boy

Re:The Begging of The End. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19754735)

But now the "LAW" is the berrier not the technology. (See China, Iran, now Belgium, many others...)

Encryption (5, Insightful)

javilon (99157) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754673)

I will repeat what I say on this cases, and also about censorship and network neutrality issues:

The only way to assure net neutrality is to encrypt every packet and randomize the ports on all new network protocols. This is true right now for some P2P and skype.
Given the current European policy on data retention, we should do it even for mail and instant messaging. Of course you should use sftp instead of ftp and ssh instead of telnet, and your SMTP sessions should go encrypted, but that is not enough. We should rewrite every protocol and make it look like IPSEC.

This way we would avoid the following problems without the need for regulation:

- Government censorship (the China firewall becomes less efficient)
- Traffic Shaping (ISPs shouldn't have the right to decide what protocols can you use).
- Multi tier pricing (the ISP could discriminate by IP, but not by service)
- Traffic analysis (for example the European Data Retention policy. If all packets look the same it becomes much more difficult)

A technical solution is always better than a political one.

In this case, the "expert" wouldn't have suggested the filtering solution if all of the p2p protocols where encrypted, like some bittorrent variants.

Re:Encryption (5, Interesting)

profplump (309017) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754865)

Instead of re-writing every protocol to look like IPSEC, couldn't we add a layer to the network stack between the transport layer and the IP layer to encrypt the IP payload? Then we wouldn't have to re-write all our old apps, wouldn't need to implement encryption in every app, and wouldn't need to try to hide the port numbers. If only there were such an IP-layer SECurity service...

Re:Encryption (1)

zakeria (1031430) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755929)

thats a good point.. thing is how do we know whats encrypted and whats not? I'd also imagine this would rack havoc on many existing network protocols and firewalls. Perhaps a single port that opens into sub ports that match the unencrypted protocol. for example HTTP,SMTP 80,25 encryption layer port 1999 sub port 80,25 both encrypted versions of the non encrypted.

Cool, Now I Know Something About Belgium. . . . (0, Offtopic)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754715)

other than the fact that it was occupied by Germany in WWII and that a tasty waffle type is named after it. :-)

sad days to come (1)

blhack (921171) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754749)

Usenet and IRC are next, guys. All it takes is one person to show some jackass ignorant lawmaker a pie chart of bandwidth used for piracy compared to bandwidth used for information exchange.

What is happening to our intertubes?! :'(!

Re:sad days to come (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755435)

Are you referring to IRC the chat protocol, or DCC, the protocol used, among other things, to transfer large files between 2 individuals? Strictly speaking the 2 are pretty separate. The only thing that happens on irc itself is the initial connection between the 2.

In any case, a decent IRCD supports both SSLD and the ability to accept connections outside the 6667-6670 range(8080 works nicely), so no worries quite yet ;-)

Re:sad days to come (1)

blhack (921171) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755771)

By your logic, the strong arm of the law never would have come down on sites like suprnova. Irc doesn't actually host any files, or transfer them, it just facilitates it.

An investor point of view... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19754755)

As an investor I'm not betting the media corporations. They are doomed since ISPs and Telcos move around a lot more money than they do.

Also, traditional telcos trying to provide differentiated services instead of just a pipe to the internet are doomed unless they adapt.

That's what I predict, and I live on predictions... let's hope I'm right, since I also have some money on it.

Of course they live on their business, and know no other way of doing so, so I understand their struggle.

port80 (1)

wwmedia (950346) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754881)

how will the block http traffic on port80? sites where you can upload very large files and get a download ticket in return

Good, make someone else bear the brunt (2, Interesting)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754917)

It's insane that my provider can happily support my P2P traffic, get paid for it then turn around and rat me out all the while being immune from those very same lawsuits. If people want to see changes in the P2P laws then you will have to make the carriers bleed.

How stupid are ISP's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19754953)

It's only hard to block P2P if you guys keep assuming that the people running the ISP are incapable of thinking. They can hire people just as smart as any hacker or zealous P2P user and with all the knowledge.

So, while it's not insanely easy I think it's wishful thinking to assume that any current P2P is not capable of being blocked. On the other hand P2P will spend less money and time to adapt methods to get around blocking than ISP's will spend to invent new ways to identity and block their streams. For many a end user however it could result in the majority of peoples P2P client not working if a law like this was applied to most of the world. I don't think any popular P2P client's even come with encryption or random ports turned on.

Analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19754967)

Blocking P2P to prevent piracy would be like shutting down an interstate that known drug smugglers have been known to take. It hurts legit users. Why don't they tackle the root cause of piracy instead of battling it like this?

Bad news (4, Informative)

Filip47 (728436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19754997)

This is bad news for us Belgians. We have but 3 major ISP's in the country and Scarlet is one of them. Soon, SABAM could attack the other two. Scarlet was the best choice to start, as it is the smallest of the three.

But who gets the money? (5, Interesting)

KevinColyer (883316) | more than 7 years ago | (#19756131)

I am disappointed by SABAM but not surprised. I live in Brussels and we run a small bar that plays live music. It is typical European - i.e. a small venue. We pay SABAM licensing fees for playing general recorded music and for concerts we host. (And a separate fee for our shop next door's right to play music). Now we could only fit a maximum of 50 people in and yet we still pay the same fees clubs fitting in hundreds would.

When bands come and play their own original music, we have to pay a fee to SABAM for this right...
What upsets me the most is that as far as we know NONE of the bands who fall into that category have received one Euro cent of royalties from SABAM.

I (and many others here) are not impressed with this company. Their business seems more akin to racketeering than ensuring royalties are correctly rewarded to the artists who created the works.

Hmm. (1)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755031)

Wouldn't they be able to change ports until they find one that conflicts with another?

Not Necessary here in Canada (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19755049)

No, this isn't the 'p2p' is legal in Canadialand response. It's the "Canadian ISPs do this without being lobbied".

Rogers Cable throttle _all_ encrypted traffic now, as people were encrypting to get around bittorrent throttling. Your 7Meg line will get about 10KB down on a fully seeded torrent (Linux ISOs or whatever).

No worries, you'd think, in a nice open market you can just go to the competition, except that there is none. If your local copper is incapabable of decent DSL speeds, chances are Rogers are your Only option for broadband.

Go the 'free' market.

ob (2, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755193)

I for one welcome our new Belgian [zapatopi.net] overlords.

Blocking Child Pornography Too? (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755367)

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but on Audible Magic's "CopySense Appliance" [audiblemagic.com] website (what I'm thinking this is all about), it lists how it can also block child pornography -- kind of setting their sites a little high there, aren't they? Would it just be searching for some kind of file name, or what?

Re:Blocking Child Pornography Too? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755683)

Simple: Who cares if it works? The company promoting it certainly doesn't. Do you have child porn on your computer? No? See, it works!

As long as companies aren't held responsible for their claims, they can claim whatever they want. And people for some odd reason believe those claims.

SABAM meets university resistance (4, Funny)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755673)

Let's see how SABAM holds up against the Foreign University and College Kids Exchanging Music group (FUCKEM).

Acoustic Fingerprinting (2, Interesting)

holt (86624) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755691)

Many people have been commenting that acoustic fingerprinting is how ISPs can differentiate between legal and illegal traffic. What I'm confused by, though, is why files that match are automatically determined to be illegal traffic. Are MP3 files I ripped myself from CDs I purchased and still own considered to be illegal? If not, how can an ISP know whether a particular transfer is between me and some random P2P person, or between me and another machine under my control? If the transfer is between two machines I control, is that actually an illegal transfer?

The problem is that there is no way to know, simply by inspecting packets or analysing traffic flow, whether the users involved have the appropriate licenses to perform the action they're performing.

Re:Acoustic Fingerprinting (1)

Orestesx (629343) | more than 7 years ago | (#19756379)

The same argument could be made for every single P2P service that's ever been shut down. From what I remember the reason Napster was shut down was that such a large majority of its use was for copyright infringement. The VCR was legal because it had substantial non-infringing uses. Napster did not. Bittorrent has substantial non infringing uses so it would seem to be much more difficult to shut down from a legal point of view, not to mention a technical one.

Re:Acoustic Fingerprinting (1)

holt (86624) | more than 7 years ago | (#19756493)

Yes and no... The biggest thing Napster had going for it was the easy ability to search through everyone's libaries to find what that for which you were looking. The file transfer portion was not the important bit. What was shut down was the centralized index of everyone's library, which caused everyone to switch to distributed P2P like Kazaa, etc.

If the courts were trying to shut down the "searching other random people's libraries" portion of P2P traffic, then fine, my argument doesn't apply. But this acoustic fingerprinting method doesn't try to stop the searching part, it tries to stop the file transfer part. Once the file is in transit I don't see how one can infer intent. Searching others' libraries and then downloading could show some kind of implied intent, but just the file transfer could mean any number of things, many of which could be legitimate.

oh really?? (1)

pablo_max (626328) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755721)

"...forced to deploy the same software as MySpace uses (Audible Magic) to filter illegal P2P traffic from the legal." I don't remember P2P ever being illegal in any country. Perhaps trading copyrighted files are, but if I want to share my homemade sex videos or garage rock band tracks via P2P I can do it all day long..

Re:oh really?? (1)

janrinok (846318) | more than 7 years ago | (#19756571)

Not in Europe. Sharing your homemade sex videos is distributing pornography and you cannot, legally, do it. Yes, I know that the internet is full of it but that doesn't stop it being an offence, and if the police want to bring legal proceedings against someone who is passing their sex videos around they can do so, and will probably be successful. The garage rock bands should be OK but probably not as popular with the masses.

Better block IP, the internet protocol then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19755727)

Because it's P2P. By definition. And used to transfer literally all kinds of packages.

It bears repeating.. (1)

breckinshire (891764) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755735)

Was it Ludacris, or perhaps Snoop Dogg... "Belgium ain't nothin' but a bitch"

Heh... (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 7 years ago | (#19755991)

I didn't actually RTFA, but if the ruling literally states 'downloading SABAM's musical repertoire', then I guess Scarlet should ask them for a complete and up-to-date copy of their catalog, and of course publish that so their clients know what they can and cannot do. I don't know how the MAFIAA et al do things, but SABAM isn't very willing to disclose the exact contents of their catalog, as we've experienced several times. They want to you cough up for all songs you play at parties, not just the ones that they actually are the representatives for.

I will never understand... (1)

jvd (874741) | more than 7 years ago | (#19756011)

OK, I understand that you filter copyright'd material, that's fine, I guess. But how can you block all P2P traffic? Not all the traffic in P2P networks are of copyright'd software/music/videos/ etc. People also use P2P to share sutff that isn't illegal, you know.

As stated before: censorshipintherouter (1)

rjamestaylor (117847) | more than 7 years ago | (#19756043)

This is the reality of censorship in the router.

Thanks for giving them the idea, Finkelstein!

Audible Magic ... (1)

un1xl0ser (575642) | more than 7 years ago | (#19756305)

Can anyone let me know if 'Audible Magic' has a tag and rename feature? Can it download album art? I need to know more about this product!!!!!1one
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