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ISPs Dragged Into Swedish File Sharing Battle

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the sinking-worm-on-a-hook-feeling dept.

The Internet 120

paulraps writes "Swedish internet service providers may soon be required by law to take greater responsibility for unlawful file-sharing. Although rejecting the ludicrous idea of an overarching broadband fee which would be shared out among copyright holders, a government report published on Monday called for internet providers to be 'bound to contribute to bringing all copyright infringement to an end'. Under the proposal, copyright holders whose material is being shared illegally would be entitled to compensation from ISPs which did not ban users. Needless to say, the country's ISPs are not happy."

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120 comments

Isn't this akin to... (4, Insightful)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453473)

making roads take more responsibility for drunk drivers?

Re: Isn't this akin to... (0)

krou (1027572) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453635)

Probably closer to making the tube layers take responsibility when the tubes get filled with copyrighted material that slow your message down.

Re:Isn't this akin to... (2, Funny)

wik (10258) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453719)

One can always try to hold the roads responsible [justia.com] .

Re:Isn't this akin to... (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454255)

Do all printing press operators work to end print piracy?

Re:Isn't this akin to... (1)

Karem Lore (649920) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454629)

Wooo hooo...Great Idea!!! The police can set up loads of Gatso (a.k.a Traffic Cameras) for the internet. Place them everywhere. If your caught, 3 points on your license. 12 points and your banned for 6 months and fined £1000...All you need is the ISP to be your traffic cameras...and voila...Orwellian society awaits...

Why are you upset? (1)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455415)

This is the end all, be all of centrally planned economies... its socialism at its best... those that blame either Adam Smith or "capitalism" or "free markets" don't realize that all this is the end result of the UNFREE markets. This has been the way socialism works... surprise, it ain't pretty.

And if people are compelled to pay? (3, Interesting)

severoon (536737) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455153)

I think this is a fantastic idea. They should be very careful to spell out the terms, but provided that it's not an exhorbitant amount per person (say, 5 cents per month), think about the flip side of that deal: for say 5 cents per person per month (or whatever nominal fee they work out), copyright holders are paid. That means that all people are free to copy as much music as they want. No more need for sites like pirate bay to operate in the shadows.

I mean, surely the copyright holders don't want to be paid and give nothing in return at all. Right? Guys? ...guys?

Re:And if people are compelled to pay? (2, Insightful)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456373)

> copyright holders are paid

You meant **IA and its ilk will be paid; thousands of independent artists won't, and their own artists will almost not.

Bad idea, if only that the wrong people get the money.

Re:And if people are compelled to pay? (1)

severoon (536737) | more than 6 years ago | (#20459787)

Oh, hm. Well, whatever...long as I get to download all the free music I want. The rest of it sounds like SEP to me.

(Of course, in case you missed it, I was being sarcastic in my original post above. Just for the record, I think it's a terrible idea to mandate the state require people support any particular business model just because it happens to be otherwise unsupported. I have lots of terrible business ideas too, but I don't see anyone rushing to my aid with a bailout.)

Re:Isn't this akin to... (1)

LS (57954) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455637)

I think your analogy is flawed. While I don't agree to holding ISPs responsible for monitoring user traffic, I think a better analogy would be:

making toll road owners responsible monitoring drivers carrying contraband.

LS

Re:Isn't this akin to... (1)

ContractualObligatio (850987) | more than 6 years ago | (#20457527)

No. That's like the suggesting an ISP and a copper phone line are the same thing.

Besides, do you mean to imply that on principle, people should be allowed to drive drunk even if it were technically possible to prevent it?

End copyright infringement ? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20453521)

>>> 'bound to contribute to bringing all copyright infringement to an end'.

Does this mean they can donate to organisations that want to end copyright altogether ?

Uh oh... (3, Interesting)

revengebomber (1080189) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453579)

the ludicrous idea of an overarching broadband fee which would be shared out among copyright holders,
Next week on Slashdot: US government passes new legislation...

Re:Uh oh... (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453969)

Yeah, this sounds like something American government might do. We already do this with the (major) record labels and radio stations. We could arrange it for broadband: every broadband account has to pay extra money to the RIAA and MPAA, and then the RIAA and MPAA will at least consider going easier on the ISPs and webpages.
I wouldn't say this is a good idea: when you read about what's going on between internet radio and Soundexchange, you see how this idea will work in practice. But it's an idea...

Re:Uh oh... (4, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454633)

The equivalent has been done, and it doesn't bring relief from the media corporations. Canada for instance has a surcharge on blank CDs that goes to the media trade groups. From what I can tell very little of it goes to pay the artists, and pretty much none goes to the independent labels.

I can't imagine that it would go better here, where the government and courts are even more beholden to the interests of the media conglomerates.

Re:Uh oh... (4, Informative)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454879)

Canada for instance has a surcharge on blank CDs that goes to the media trade groups.

Sweden actually has the same kind of organization ( http://www.copyswede.se/default.asp?ML=10622 [copyswede.se] )... I think it even applies to hard drives!

That's also a pretty crappy idea, because what happens...? Well, since we became members of the EU, making online orders from outside the country became much cheaper, and I can just order 50 DVD-R's in bulk from Denmark for a cheaper price than in Sweden due to these fees, even including the shipping charges. All they're really achieving with these leives is risking making Swedish businesses lose profits due to these uncertain reports of how much the piracy even impact sales. I guess the fallacy being that Sweden is alone in the world, and they can do whatever they wish without impact to the economy. :-p

Re:Uh oh... (2, Insightful)

Crayon Kid (700279) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455441)

Canada for instance has a surcharge on blank CDs that goes to the media trade groups. From what I can tell very little of it goes to pay the artists, and pretty much none goes to the independent labels.
So... it's like a protection tax?

Re:Uh oh... (1)

vic-traill (1038742) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456103)

Canada for instance has a surcharge on blank CDs that goes to the media trade groups. From what I can tell very little of it goes to pay the artists, and pretty much none goes to the independent labels.

I think you're right on this one - the blank cassette/CD/media levy has been a schmozzle from an artist's perspective.

As I understand it, however, it has been the legal toe-hold that has made downloading of any material from a p2p network *not* illegal in Canada, so it has had an unintended side-effect that has helped avoid the RIAA lawsuit debacle up here. See the link below for background.

http://news.com.com/2100-1025_3-5121479.html [com.com]

Make telephone companies responsible then... (5, Insightful)

bartman31415 (1151439) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453601)

Seems rather absurd way to deal with the problem to me. Why not make telephone companies responsible for policing wire fraud crimes then?!

Re:Make telephone companies responsible then... (3, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454505)

Agreed, and two more things... There's probably more to it too...

1. How are they even going to successfully monitor their activity and avoid getting busted for it? I would not be a happy ISP CEO if I actually tried stopping this, much to my customers' fury, and still got busted, which will most likely happen if they just look at the customers. There's always some group of people doing illegal activities on their network.

2. If successful (which I doubt this even can be) -- won't their customers just risk opting for a cheaper, lower bandwidth offer? The ISP's risk losing tremendous amounts of revenue. In extension, ISP's could then try to raise the fees, but that could make Sweden regress its Internet presence and have a harder time convincing users of adopting high bandwidth services like Internet TV. I don't really think I'd like to see that sort of progress. I think that piracy is helping out a lot in increasing high bandwidth demand, and that can indirectly benefit other, more clean, service providers.

Re:Make telephone companies responsible then... (2, Insightful)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454877)

Make the post office responsible for mail fraud. If ISPs must inspect the contents of packets, the post office must inspect the content of mail.

Re:Make telephone companies responsible then... (2, Informative)

arminw (717974) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456069)

....Make the post office responsible for mail fraud.....

Actually they do. It's one of the jobs of Postal Inspectors. There's a whole body of law specifically dealing with crimes involving the postal system and their enforcement. In some counties, the communications infrastructure, as well as roads and railroads are owned and run by the government. In the US, the Post Office is mandated in the Constitution and was a cabinet level department of the US Government.

Re:Make telephone companies responsible then... (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455315)

Yeah, it is as ridiculous as accusing telephone companies when the government wiretaps phone conversations...
Now wait...

Re:Make telephone companies responsible then... (1)

arminw (717974) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455977)

.....Seems rather absurd way to deal with the problem to me. .......

It's not really new nor absurd. Governments have been using business to enforce all sorts of laws. Tax laws, such as withholding, immigration laws, such as requiring businesses to verify the identity of job applicants and employees, all sorts of anti-terrorism regulations for transportation businesses. So big deal, what's one more kind of business getting forced into being a policer of government edicts, in this case, for enforcing specially purchased laws? We are all getting moved towards iron fisted, universal, eventually, world wide, control of even the minutest details of our lives. Forcing all businesses to participate in law enforcement has been going on for a long time. The bigger business are either glad to participate in this, or don't really care, since they are easily able to and always do pass the costs onto the customers. The smaller mom and pop businesses, which cannot pass their costs on as readily, either die or bought up wholesale for cheap by the big boys. The end result is higher costs for everybody and less choice in the marketplace. No laws are ever passed anywhere that in the sum total, DON'T cost the population as a whole more money.

Ludicrous? (1)

alext (29323) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453605)

Actually I'm not sure taxing users is necessarily ludicrous when compared to the artificiality of DRMing content. This is what happens with Universities, the BBC etc. - it rather depends doesn't it?

Re:Ludicrous? (1)

lixee (863589) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453813)

[b]This is what happens with Universities, the BBC[/b] Yeah, we all know BBC people and university staff drive Ferraris and vacation on the Cote d'Azur.

Re:Ludicrous? (1)

lattyware (934246) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455233)

I believe that was his point.
Or was that sarcasm? It's hard to tell.

That's Okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20453619)

I'm worried about people stealing things from me, and the record companies employ people. If they don't take measures to prevent those people from stealing my property, I think I'm entitled to my share of a tax on the record companies in order to defray the costs of any thefts that might happen.

Re:That's Okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20459199)

Maybe we should attach a "levy" to the sale of luxury vehicles. Something akin to 100% of the retail price.

That's making legitimate internet users pay (3, Insightful)

jafoc (1151405) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453653)

Making ISPs more "responsible" means increasing their costs, which can only result in higher prices for internet services that all of their customers will have to pay, including those who (e.g. out of respect for the law) would never engage in non-authorized "file sharing".

Ludicrous? (1, Insightful)

Improv (2467) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453669)

I don't personally like the idea of copyright fees for media, but I wouldn't call it ludicrous.. People as diverse as RMS and corporate folk have suggested it as a workable solution..

It's kind of sad to see people attach spit words to anything they disagree with, without telling us why...

Re:Ludicrous? (2, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455159)

But what is ludicrous is to charge copyright fees on media and at the same time forbid making copies of copyrighted material onto those media. What exactly do I pay for, then?

Re:Ludicrous? (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455567)

Hmm.. that's a point. I think what you're paying for is the cost of enforcing laws pertaining to the media that you're choosing to involve yourself with... or in part the damages relating to those laws being broken.

It's not quite analogous, but I don't think it'd be a terrible thing if the cost to maintain a driver's license floated to include all costs of enforcement of driving laws and damages from that (that arn't covered by tickets and lawsuits), so those of us who choose not to drive can opt out of that particular collective responsibility of society. While I don't think that in general opting out in that way is a good thing to allow (school vouchers strike me as a particularly bad idea), given that driving is in most areas a harmful vanity (compare with public transit) and society is better served when people don't drive, it seems appropriate.

Note that I'm not arguing for media charges to recompense for activity that's still illegal (I dislike our IP protections as presently implemented), I'm just saying that this type of charging isn't ludicrous (even if we can't find a perfectly pretty argument for it).

Re:Ludicrous? (2, Insightful)

arminw (717974) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456213)

.....given that driving is in most areas a harmful vanity (compare with public transit) and society is better served when people don't drive.....

That's why many who feel like that, would like nothing better than to herd EVERYONE as much as possible into the large, crowded ghettos otherwise known as big cities. There it is much easier to make people utterly dependent on Government. Try having a decent vegetable garden when living in a high rise of a large city. Of course, there it is also possible to force people to be dependent on public transit, which is cost effective in such places.

Re:Ludicrous? (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 6 years ago | (#20459697)

There are trade-offs with big cities, true.. the ecological footprint per-person is lower in large cities, but it alienates those people further from nature. I think public transit is cost-effective in more than the largest of cities though - it's more that it's politically difficult to convince people to give up cars that holds us back there. There's nothing wrong with being dependent on other people though - we're a social species, and all the advances we've made in the thousands of years of civilisation depend on mutual trust and benefit. Some people abuse that, and there are structural problems/areas for improvement, but the state (in its myriad of possible forms) is just one more mechanism of people working together for common cause.

language (3, Insightful)

micktaggart (1047954) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453699)

So if ISPs will contribute one closed user account per year in order to bring copyright infringement to an end, will them overlords be happy? Why is it always that government reports do not use operational definitions. At one time in the report, the author talks about blocking "the subscriptions of people who use the internet to share copyright-protected material on a large scale." What does that mean, large scale? One song? Thousands of songs? One MB? Thousand MB? If you as author of a report talk about copyright infringement being a problem, without providing metrics, your report basically says nothing.

Re:language + ass-covering = zero (1)

TechnicolourSquirrel (1092811) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456017)

At one time in the report, the author talks about blocking "the subscriptions of people who use the internet to share copyright-protected material on a large scale." What does that mean, large scale? One song? Thousands of songs? One MB? Thousand MB?
Oh, that's easy. The minute ass-covering lawyers are brought into the mix, the leeway granted by any vague language rapidly approaches zero.

Oh, I feel instantly safe! (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453727)

Now that we'll soon see the post office being held liable for every mail bomb delivered.

Hey, why not? It's exactly the same. They mustn't look what's inside and are liable for it.

Re:Oh, I feel instantly safe! (1)

Xuranova (160813) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454991)

Except the PO is fed operated and the fed can't be held responsible for anything.

Re:Oh, I feel instantly safe! (1)

DDLKermit007 (911046) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455869)

FedEx or UPS then.

Re:Oh, I feel instantly safe! (1)

jma05 (897351) | more than 6 years ago | (#20457893)

> Now that we'll soon see the post office being held liable for every mail bomb delivered.
> Hey, why not? It's exactly the same. They mustn't look what's inside and are liable for it.

Because it is not the same.
"The proposal does NOT entail that ISPs will be called upon to hunt down file-sharers."

They are required to look. It only says they are, if the proof (which is hard) is shown to them and they refuse to take action. A better (but silly and impractical) example is asking the postal dept to block mail sent by xyz because he/she is mass mailing copies of copyrighted material.

That's beside point of the lack of sensibility of these DMCA style takedown demands.

False perceptions (1)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453747)

Sweden is often portrayed as a very progressive (from the slashdot user's POV), permissive state with regard to P2P, copyright and internet issues, but will that last? Judging by what I read of the Pirate Bay's battles with the government there, it seems the current permissiveness is really just an accident, something the government really resents. And the government is the agent that can change laws, not the Pirate Bay or their supporters (unless they get some serious popular support that translates to votes at election time). So even if currently the Swedish government seems powerless to prosecute copyright infringers or Bittorrent tracker hosts, give them a little time and they'll remove the obstacles that prevent them from doing so.

Re:False perceptions (2, Insightful)

Tenebrarum (887979) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453847)

Who couldn't see this coming after the Social Democrats were kicked out by the theocra..., erm, fasci... I mean, centre right coalition?

Re:False perceptions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20454717)

I make no claim that the central right coalition are better than the Social Democrats or the other way around, but the investigation that led to this proposal was actually initiated by the Social Democrats before the last election. Additionally a representative from the current government interviewed by the Swedish National Television said that they have no intention of turning the proposition into a new law.

For Swedish-speaking users my sources are this article in NyTeknik http://www.nyteknik.se/art/52077/ [nyteknik.se] and the the news program Rapport 19.30 on Swedish National Television (http://www.svt.se/ [www.svt.se] ).

Re:False perceptions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20453947)

No that will not last, since we voted in a right wing government.

Re:False perceptions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20456983)

Are you retarded? This entire ordeal was ORDERED by the former minister Thomas Bodström. A social democrat. Also known for supporting software-patents, more spying on the population of EU etc etc etc.

The right wing might not support your cosy social-cheque every month, but they sure as hell aint as bad as that it-facisto Bodström.

Re:False perceptions (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454733)

And the government is the agent that can change laws, not the Pirate Bay or their supporters (unless they get some serious popular support that translates to votes at election time).

Not only The Pirate Party is positive to our liberal file sharing laws, but also many youth organizations affiliated with our political parties. Heck, even some of our actual political parties have been cautiously positive (to not offende the IFPI etc too much, I suppose) to our existing laws.

So even if currently the Swedish government seems powerless to prosecute copyright infringers or Bittorrent tracker hosts, give them a little time and they'll remove the obstacles that prevent them from doing so.

I'm not sure, we have even had an election and change of government inbetween the rise of The Pirate Bay... If they made it a priority, we wouldn't have that site anymore.

Re:False perceptions (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456329)

I thought the Pirate Bay was in the Netherlands nowadays. Am I wrong?

Re:False perceptions (1)

Chemicalscum (525689) | more than 6 years ago | (#20457477)

Wrong

Belgian isp lost similar lawsuit (5, Interesting)

matsuva (1042924) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453777)

Here in Belgium Scarlet telecom has recently lost a lawsuit issued by the belgian RIAA (SABAM). The judge has ruled that the ISP should ban P2P traffic, needless to say Scarlet has appealed against this bs decision. All other Belgian ISP's have received a letter treathening to sue them too if the don't cut off P2P traffic.
I'm sorry for my poor knowledge of English and i am currently fortifying my house out of fear for the grammar nazi's.

ssh remote login will stop working (3, Insightful)

jafoc (1151405) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453859)

The judge has ruled that the ISP should ban P2P traffic [...]. All other Belgian ISP's have received a letter treathening to sue them too if the don't cut off P2P traffic.

This is very dangerous for freedom on the 'net. The only way to "ban P2P traffic" effectively is to ban all traffic that can not be verified to be something else.

This means for example that ISPs would have to restrict ssh remote login to hosts on a whitelist.

Re:ssh remote login will stop working (1, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454395)

This means for example that ISPs would have to restrict ssh remote login to hosts on a whitelist.

      This is what all governments want, anyway. After all, who wants the common person to be able to instantly communicate his ideas to any amount of people in the world? That would be DANGEROUS.

Re:ssh remote login will stop working (1)

takev (214836) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455519)

The joke of course is P2P traffic is any and all traffic on the internet. Every host is equal from the point of the IP protocol, and thus P2P.

Of course since the introduction of NAT everything has become more complicated, so now P2P applications have to punch through the NAT to connect to an other host, something which application didn't need to do before NAT arrived.

So if they follow the letter of the law/judge, then that ISP has to turn of their internet completely.

Can P2P be made to look like "something else"? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456667)

Can P2P traffic be made to look like "something else"?

I'm betting it can - easily!

Is not e-mail basicly peer to peer? (3, Insightful)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454235)

If so then all email must, by law be shut down. Now there is a solution to spam.

Re:Is not e-mail basicly peer to peer? (1)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 6 years ago | (#20457969)

My understanding of email is that when I click "send", the message goes to my local server. From there, it transfers to the server of the recipient. After that, the recipient downloads it from his server to his machine.

So, it's more like P-2-S-2-S-2-P.

Re:Belgian isp lost similar lawsuit (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454351)

Them danged noise horseless carriage "motor" cars are scaring women and children and horses. They should be banned, or should have someone walk in front of them with a flag to warn us decent folk.

Amazing how legislators are always the last people to understand a technology and its impact on society.

Re:Belgian isp lost similar lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20454767)

Since English is not your native language, you are above the law.

The Grammar Police can't touch you! :)

Now if you were to fail at forming sentences in Belgian, that would be another story.. :)

Re:Belgian isp lost similar lawsuit (2, Funny)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456291)

``Now if you were to fail at forming sentences in Belgian, that would be another story.. :)''

Luckily, nobody can ever fail at that.

(FYI: there is no such language)

Re:Belgian isp lost similar lawsuit (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455033)

Your grammar wasn't bad. I have seen worse. Mine can be bad. :)

The perfect temporary solution: (4, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454035)

Encryption, my friends. Govt can't censor what they can't read. And personally I believe it's ridiculous to equate a downloaded file to a lost sale - many of them wouldn't be sales, anyway. (Also check my manifesto [slashdot.org] for a more revolutionary opinion)

Re:The perfect temporary solution: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20454463)

"Govt can't censor what they can't read."

But it can outlaw encryption. Don't think for a moment you can win if the government decides to get tough.

Re:The perfect temporary solution: (1)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454935)

Steganography.

Re:The perfect temporary solution: (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455243)

Ok, so now instead of getting charged for sending encrypted content, you're charged for the copyrighted material you hid it inside! :-)

Re:The perfect temporary solution: (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455451)

But it can outlaw encryption.

Which will make more than evident how far a police government can go. Maybe then people will begin to understand the need for a new government.

Re:The perfect temporary solution: (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20458239)

Doesn't work like that. Once you have a police state, it's too late.

Ultimately, the slippery slope was started when freedom of speech became second fiddle to copyright infringement.

Re:The perfect temporary solution: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20454653)

Don't try to encrypt anything in France. They have pretty draconian laws against any encrypted data that isn't owned by the Government or the Banks.

Re:The perfect temporary solution: (1)

Loke the Dog (1054294) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456699)

Actually, the problem is that encryption is NOT the solution in this case. You see, what this here means is that if ISPs are unable to stop file sharing, they might be fined in some way. That means higher internet costs for everyone.

They can't stop file sharing, but they can make it so expensive, students won't be able to afford it...

Re:The perfect temporary solution: (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456915)

You see, what this here means is that if ISPs are unable to stop file sharing, they might be fined in some way.

Wrong. Encrypted P2P networks a-la freenet are private, i.e. they could be swapping porn, linux iso's or doing live teleconferencing, MMORPG games, etc. They'd need a warrant to ask the users what kind of encrypted info they're sharing.

In other words, ISPs only are held accountable for VERIFIED copyrighted file sharing. The lesser the detected copyrighted works traffic, the lesser the fine.

Re:The perfect temporary solution: (1)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 6 years ago | (#20458145)

Encryption, my friends. Govt can't censor what they can't read.

Why not? They can simply censor everything they can't read, i.e. block all encrypted traffic except SSL connections to known businesses like banks, etc.

fee to be shared out among copyright holders (2, Interesting)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454209)

Actually, an overarching broadband fee which would be shared out among copyright holders
might be the most sensible way to deal with this whole mess. And not just in sweden.

Why not put in systems that measure, based on statistical sampling at some representative
routers, a rough idea of the number of copies of content item x,y, or z that are making their
way across the net at any given moment, then average that out over a week, say, and use
that figure to determine the weekly share of the copyright tax.

This is essentially a financial reward for providing popular content to the masses.

We may have to get over our high-minded view of our cultural tastes, when we see how
much of the take is going to the pr0nographers, but if that's the way it is, then that's
the way it is. Let's just hope the artists are being compensated fairly, and middle-persons
aren't taking the lion's share of the loot.

I think a system like this could support artists of all kinds quite well, without the need for
a corporate distribution channel, and it could also end the
police takedowns of 12 year old copy-criminal-masterminds.

Also, it would be opt-in (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454373)

Your content file would only be measured if you explicitly opted it in to the technical system for measuring,
say by providing a copy of it with a claim to copyright attached to a central web service for receiving
those claims. There would have to be a good way of verifying the copyright claims, and a dispute
resolution mechanism built in.

If you did not opt your content in, nothing would track its travels in some kind of disturbing orwellian fashion.

Users of such content would also be made aware of the general tracking of "commercial" content going on, but
in any case the tracking would be at central net nodes, and wouldn't provide insights into what individual
people/households were watching. At most, we might learn of a strange Bjork-fan cluster in Cleveland, or
something equally disturbing, but that's about it.

Re:fee to be shared out among copyright holders (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455295)

Why not put in systems that measure, based on statistical sampling at some representative
routers, a rough idea of the number of copies of content item x,y, or z that are making their
way across the net at any given moment, then average that out over a week, say, and use
that figure to determine the weekly share of the copyright tax.

That would make spam really lucrative: Write copyrighted text, register it with the system, and then send it by mail to everyone. This guarantees that you'll get hits on every router, and a great share of copyright tax goes to you.

Re:spammers would collect the fee (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 6 years ago | (#20459521)

Then go directly to jail when they claimed responsibility for the spam
in order to get paid.

They receive enough money (1)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456315)

Actually, an overarching broadband fee which would be shared out among copyright holders might be the most sensible way to deal with this whole mess. And not just in sweden.

Yes, it is a good idea and it does work. The thing is that in Sweden, we already have these fees in place. We have Svenska Filminstitutet [www.sfi.se] , Film i Väst [filmivast.se] , subsidies from the EU, Kulturrådet [kulturradet.se] and dozens of other regional and national institutions in place to support movie makers, music artists and writers. We pay lots of money in taxes to subsidize the movie industry because it is very hard to make profitable movies in Swedish. Each movie gets many millions in subsidizes from the state which is the only reason why people still make movies here.

That's fine by me, quality often not profitable. But it is not ok when these same people decide to turn the backs on the people that, in reality, feed them and demand even more money. I think it is my moral right to download every Swedish movie I want, for free, I already payed for it. There should be some kind of rule that each company that complains about file sharers is banned from receiving subsidies, see how long that lasts.

It's just a silly debate (2, Insightful)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454225)

It's obviously a debate that is bound to generate some buzz, but how realistic is it? In my opinion, it is not a realistic plan.

- For starters, where do you draw the line? Is downloading one song enough?
- Who is going to pay for all the incredible amount of data processing?
- How often can one be 100% certain that it is in fact piracy?
- How are they going to disprove that an ISP isn't doing what's expected?
- How are the ISP:s expected to keep up with the fast pace of anti-anti piracy prevention methods?
- Why is the ISP supposed to police its customers, when it is clearly the police dep's job?
- How is this filter going to work and how will they make sure that the customer's privacy rights are preserved?

Good luck. It's probably a media stunt by some lawyer with a fat paycheck from RIAA.

Re:It's just a silly debate (2, Interesting)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456259)

``Why is the ISP supposed to police its customers, when it is clearly the police dep's job?''

Ah, yeah? Friends sharing a song they enjoy is cause for police involvement now?

The problem with the Copyright Cartel's rhetoric is that there is so much of it. Even if most of it is rejected as obvious bullshit, some of it apparently sticks.

Copyright infringement is not theft. It's breaking the law, but it's really quite innocuous. In fact, it is not even completely clear that anyone is harmed by it at all. We certainly don't need our tax money being spent on more *AA propaganda on one side, and police frightening the wits out of children on the other. It's all been blown vastly out of proportion, and this thanks to the folks at copyright monopolies worldwide. While I am willing to believe that they benefitted society in the past, I am starting to feel that society is better off without them now.

Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20454497)

Let the fun begin...

It is fairly obvious that the Internet is the greatest anonymous theft tool there ever was. Today credit card fraud is covered by the merchant with the threat that if they don't eat the loss they will lose the ability to take credit cards. That seems to be enough of a threat - so they just eat the loss and pay for expensive fraud-prevention tools.

Music and movies cost someone money. Nobody I know pays, but I am sure there are some people that actually do pay. Sweden, and a number of other countries have ISPs that actively thumb their nose at "copyright enforcement" so I suspect this is a PR move only. Only with government apathy would they get away with it today and I believe Netherlands, Sweden, China, Russia and a bunch of other places look at it with the attitude that it is only a few rich Americans losing, so what?

Sure, how can they stop it? You can't prove piracy and you can't connect an IP address to a person. So law enforcement is powerless. So are other legal avenues. Maybe a ninja hit squad would help... or get the Jamaican mafia to help.

Face it, revenue for anything that can be shared on the Internet is about over. How much advertising does Adobe do? How many emails do I get advertising Adobe products for 10% of their list price? Of course all of that goes to Russian mob guys, but so what? If it costs 10% of everywhere else, don't you think people are buying there and saving their money?

Music is free today. Movies are getting to be free - anything popular is available for downloading, courtesy of our friends in Sweden again. Oh yeah, they are just "indexing" the material not actually doing anything like making it available or anything. Right.

Re:Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20454693)

stopping it is easy. you take the highest profile swedish file sharing pro-piracy site out thee (piratebay) storm the place, and throw everyone involved in a cell for life. put it on the front page news, tell everyone else you are coming for them next, and they will also get life sentences. Its no worse than what these arrogant scumbags deserve. they are helping to destroy a global industry that employs hundreds of thousands of people, and ruining the chances of all of us getting high quality content in future.
There is nothing heroic about music piracy, its just sad pathetic little theft, and about time those responsible got dealt with.

Re:Obvious (2, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455037)

You certainly have a small mind. If I were you, I'd open it up a little and look at the damage the media companies and their lawyers are doing to individuals and legal systems around the world. In the case of the United States alone, they're helping to destroy an economy that employs hundreds of millions of people, and ruining the chances of all of us having a decent standard of living in the future. I'll not shed a tear for the demise of the current entertainment industry ... it deserves no respect.

So you're right ... it's time those responsible got dealt with. It's just not the people that you seem to think it is.

Re:Obvious (4, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454711)

Oh yeah, they are just "indexing" the material not actually doing anything like making it available or anything. Right.

Yes, exactly right. That is all they are doing: they don't host the offending files. If you want to control what they are indexing, well, now you're talking censorship to one degree or another. In some countries that would be fine, in others it will run into trouble. Google is an index, and it points to a lot of content that many would find objectionable: at what point do you decide to tell Google, "Sorry, you can't index this stuff." That's already happening in places like China, and frankly I don't want to see it happen here.

You decide which is worse: copyright infringement or the loss of the greatest medium for communication ever invented. Because that's where this is going.

Re:Obvious (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 6 years ago | (#20457169)

Personally, I'd sooner see the Internet destroyed than under the control of the copyright mafia.

Re:Obvious (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20458341)

Personally, I'd sooner see the Internet destroyed than under the control of the copyright mafia.

No difference.

isp's pay... (1)

dropadrop (1057046) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454523)

It's true this would cost the ISP's dearly as somebody already mentioned. It would not cost them because the systems needed to control users are expensive. With the amount of money telecommunication companies through into IT systems that is not significant. It would cost them because once file sharing does not exist, people won't really need 24 megabit connections.

I would imagine consumer internet connections costs in Sweden go pretty similarly as they do here in Finland (apart from the huge government subsidiaries in Sweden). The most common internet connection here is ADSL, in Sweden probably too (though they have a lot more government layed fiber). Whatever speed the customer picks costs the same amount to get running, but the margins for a high speed (=expensive) connection where a lot lower.

I used to work for an ISP, and at the time it took over a year for a customer with a slow ADSL subscription to break even and start providing some profit. If he had the fastest connection it was only a matter of months! If the government wants to cut of people with a lot of traffic nobody will take the fast connections. If they want to block bit torrent people will use something else. So I think it's pretty safe to say the ISP's will make sure file sharing continues one way or another.

Very odd... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454645)

"It is a bad proposal, ineffective and wrong in principle, and I don't understand how it's supposed to work in practice," said CEO Marcus Nylén.

"We as an operator can't act like we're the police and check where our customers are surfing. Scaring internet users is the wrong way to tackle the issue," he added.

^- I'm just happy I'm a customer on this ISP.

The purposed "law" sounds completely arbitrary, and out of touch with the modern society... People are doing lots of other things than sharing P2P, and this proposal would require the ISP to scan *all* users to be on the safe side, including those who use their account for nothing more than online banking and private e-mails. Hardly something that should ever even risk being scanned without a much better reason than someone file sharing the latest movie release of Superbad.

That they're proposing to go the lengths like these, an online witch hunt comparable only to that of pedophiles that I can think of now, if not worse, really makes one wonder where things are heading... Protection of intellectual property at all costs, crossing the boundaries of privacy and raising a pretty much impossible mountain of efforts the ISP's have to climb.

Greater Responsibility (1)

partowel (469956) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454969)

Ok....this is crazy.

So here goes :

1. All isp's are responsible for all the traffic that goes through their server. The ISP is responsible for OTHER people's actions.

2. Car Manufacturers are responsible for OTHER people's actions in how they drive, speed, etc.

3. Computer Companies are responsible for OTHER peoples actions in how they use their computer.

4. Food Service providers are responsible for OTHER peoples eating habits.

5. Women are responsible for OTHER people's actions.

Formula : Noun --> responsibility --> OTHER party --> action.

I see this as a dangerous formula. I believe in personal responsibility, personal accountabilty.

I am NOT RESPONSIBLE for OTHER people's action, choices, beliefs, etc, etc.

I am RESPONSIBLE for my own actions, choices, beliefs, etc.

To hell with anyone who thinks I am going to pay for someone else's "actions" or beliefs.

Back to the formula :

6. Telephone companies are responsible for OTHER party actions. Including breaking copyright, conspiracy, etc.

7. Slashdot is responsible for OTHER party actions, comments, etc.

8. Swedish government is responsible for OTHER party actions like the holocaust, ww1, global warming, and women getting raped.

This world is going to hell.

Let the nukes fly.

The next disaster will not be natural. It will be man made. Made by man, used to destroy man kind.

Man = homo sapien, homo erectus, homo habilus, etc.

With out an OS (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 6 years ago | (#20454989)

to run the computer there would be no online or computer piracy. They should go after the OS makers. Might as well control peoples food intake and make them too weak to think and have no enrgy to be able to use a computer..

Maybe BestBuy should require people to take polygraph testes to see if they intend to download files from the internet when they go there to purchase a computer/cd writer or a bigger hard drive. Then refuse to sell them the equipment if they fail.

If all music/movies were free then there would be no piracy. How about that.

Ridiculous

Re:With out an OS (1)

wharlie (972709) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456553)

"polygraph testes"?
Do they attach the wires to your balls.
LOL

Swedish ! take up action !!! (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455485)

Show the world that sweden was not unrightfully labeled as one of the foremost civil liberties countries.

Enough of copyright (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455517)

Am I the only one who's getting a little sick of copyright holders constantly trying to enforce their will on manufacturers, legislators, service providers, and the general public ?

In fact I'm starting to get sick of the whole concept of copyright itself, and so I ask: do we really need it ? If the "artists" can't make millions from a single recording, and if no one can build a multibillion dollar company around a singing and dancing cartoon mouse, do we really lose anything important ? And more importantly, do we lose more than we gain: the ability of everyone to freely participate in and expand popular culture without having to build a whole new world from scratch - and no, Disney, Rowling and company haven't done so, they've drawn from existing myths and stories for theirs.

Let us abolish copyright, kill the copyright cartels once and for all, and then freely enjoy the fruits of digital revolution. I assure you, art won't disappear, altought a lot of crap will.

Re:Enough of copyright (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456947)

I think that copyright is important, but too powerful right now. It's far too long to be useful, and even if it was shorter, laws like the DMCA effectively make it permanent (I can't copy my DVD, even after the copyright expires, because the tools to do so are still illegal.)

The way to deal with copyright is to watermark everything. That way, if it gets loose onto the Internet, the copyright owner knows who to contact. Let P2P thrive, let me view my content on any player I wish to use, and sue the biggest infringers. It's pretty much win/win. Only the content providers aren't happy enough with that--they want to win, and they want everyone else to lose.

Sweden (1)

KevinColyer (883316) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455645)

1. Find a IT story about Sweden
2. Post on Slashdot
3. ???
4. Profit!

Seriously - there seem to be a lot of stories from Sweden at the moment? I'm beginning to think that Lichtenstein and Andorra are not pulling their weight.

Bjork Bjork Bjork? (1)

LordGlenn (656863) | more than 6 years ago | (#20455711)

'k make up your own joke, I'm to tired.

Why is it ludicrous? (1)

logicnazi (169418) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456305)

One can't reasonably deny the importance of incentivizing content production and that means we need to pay our artists somehow. Now I think the current copyright system has *huge* inefficencies. It stops people from using the content they purchased in the ways they want, it restricts derivitive works, it stops people from using content they can't track down the copyright holder. In short it sucks.

Now it's an unfortunate fact about human nature that if you don't punish people for crime they tend to do it. If you don't like the RIAA or similar organizations suing filesharers nor do you like ISPs restricting their ability to share what do you to make sure that content producers are incentivized to produce? If people can share music and movies without consequence eventually even the people who now insist on buying the works they like will stop. Sure there will be a long list of justifications and explanations (ohh, I didn't like it that much, why should I pay when everyone else isn't, I'd pay if they just made it easier) but no one is going to want to be the sucker paying for their music when no one else is doing so. This leaves you in a bind so what are you going to do.

In my opinion the right answer is much like a broadband access fee but more extreme. Content producers ought to be compensated by the government proportionally to the popularity (and perhaps surveys indicating need/appreciation) in return for putting their work in the public domain (in that country). Sure there are inefficiencies in this scheme but much less than in the current situation. No one is denied content because they can't afford it no one is barred from making derivative works. The scheme proposed here isn't anywhere near this but it seems a good first step.

Re:Why is it ludicrous? (1)

Mr Thinly Sliced (73041) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456457)

Was a really nice troll up until:

... producers ought to be compensated by the government proportionally ...
You rumbled (exposed) yourself, at that point.

Re:Why is it ludicrous? (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 6 years ago | (#20456973)

Why? Canada already does this (with taxes generated from blank media sales), only they haven't taken the extra step to shut the media cartels up about all the p2p that goes on up there.

You could even change it a bit. Only charge the tax on Internet access exceeding a certain speed. Moms and pops don't need 9Mbps down--let's face it, 99% of reasons for a home user to get that speed is to pirate.

Summary of webcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20456709)

I just watched the webcast of the hearing of Cecilia Renfors' findings. In summary:

  * A law would only concern itself with uploads.
  * ISP's would still be prohibited to "spy" on usage. I.e. they would not be able to lawfully determine that infringement is going on or to log such activity.
  * A copyright holder would be able to initiate a court hearing with the intent of forcing the ISP to cut off or otherwise limit the offending usage.
  * It seems that the ISP would not be forced to give the actual identity of the user behind the offending usage -- only to cut them off their service.
  * In the court proceedings, the copyright holder and the ISP would negotiate in the absence of the offending user.

Seriously, it's hard to see how this could ever work. In case of a notification of abuse from a copyright holder, the ISP is limited to further notify the user of this event. The ISP would not get a permit to log detailed usage simply because a copyright holder thinks it has a case.

Effectively, a simple workaround for ISP's to protect service subscribers would be to

  * Force DHCP IP reassignments randomly to foil third party surveilance.
  * Notify users when a case is initiated. Since the ISP cannot lawfully spy prior to the notification, the user will be able to take steps at that point to limit personal risk.

The real danger is for ISP's and not users. One part of the proposal basically says that IF (a copyright holder asks an ISP to limit a user) AND (the ISP refuses) AND (the court later sides with the copyright holder) THEN the ISP may have to pay damages for the infringement. Since the ISP will not be lawfully able to present evidence (because it requires spying), the copyright holder would be able to generate infringement evidence randomly and no one could reasonably question it.

You'd understand the ISP's are a bit mad right now.

I'll take my cut thanks (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 6 years ago | (#20458793)

If the media companies are serious about having a flat fee and allowing free and legal sharing of copyrighted media, I'll go along with it. I would happily pay a monthly fee for access to all copyrighted material, as long as DRM of any kind was banned and I, as a producer of high quality MIDI music, were entitled to my cut as well.

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20459365)

... the lingerie industry will be required to impose a pantyhose fee, to be shared out among banks and shop owners.

What is more important.. (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 6 years ago | (#20459915)

Is the government agency that is going to collect that money. The Netherlands have a similar 'non-profit' agency that collects the extra levies on CD's, DVD's, hard drives, MP3-players (and everybody knows by now that mass-importing it from Germany is cheaper), it's called Stichting Thuiskopie, and recently the government noticed that they are collecting money but hardly (better yet, not at all) distributing that money among neither artists, media producers nor 'cultural' projects.
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