The dark site of P2P

Found via ArsTechnica :

Australia\’s third-largest ISP finally found itself in court this week after film companies last year sued iiNet for not disconnecting Internet users on their say-so. The case will be a major test of Australia\’s “safe harbor” copyright law that provides immunity to Internet service providers””but only those that “reasonably implement” a user termination policy for “repeat infringers.”

Apparently a one-year investigation uncovered 97,942 examples of iiNet customers distributing copyrighted films illegally via peer-to-peer networks. Only that many? The most egregious crime was a buried lead, though.

The movie Wanted was the most popular offering, while the truly execrable Hancock was second.

Ouch. Hancock is probably the worst film I\’ve ever seen. I truly hope that the film industry catches these bastards, and that innocent children haven\’t been exposed to the vile, perverted vision of reality portrayed in Hancock.

5 Replies to “The dark site of P2P”

  1. Well I sincerely hope this case is thrown out of court. Suing the ISP is the intellectual equivalent of suing a car company because their make of car was involved in a bank heist, or suing the phone company because the heist was planned using their phone system. iiNet’s stance is perfectly sensible- take the infringers to court, not the providers.

  2. I absolutely agree. This whole thing is a total farce. It’s like suing an electricity company because someone plugged a computer into a domestic socket that was used to download illegal porn.

    Or, more pertinently, suing Telstra because criminals used a phone to organise a crime.

    The government is just using this as a convenient (but horribly repressive and burdensome for ISPs) shortcut to real law enforcement.

  3. Precisely. Normal users wouldn’t believe how many of these damn infringement notices the ISPs get. It would have, quite literally, added 50% to the staffing requirements at my old company to ‘process’ them. The ISP itself has no way to verify the claims made by the third parties and arguably doesn’t have the legal right to monitor packets in that way even if they could.
    So what action, precisely, are they supposed to take? Disconnect or suspend a user based on outside commercial (not law enforcement) claims? How then do they fight the lawsuits from the users? As for somehow preventing it that can’t be done on the protocol level it would have to be done on the content. Despite being impractical/impossible take my comments on the filtering post and magnify them by a thousand.
    I really hope I haven’t breached copyright in anything I have posted otherwise vodafone (this is from the iPhone) will be in serious trouble!

  4. Also, and people joke about this, but seriously, what is to stop someone forming a company and issuing these bogus notices on the very companies that are proposing these measures? Since you don’t need proof, can’t any and all companies be denied internet service in this fashion? How could this system possibly work?

  5. That doesn’t really address the problem here. The problem is that Cease and Desist orders favour those with lawyers over ordinary people. So while a large content company could easily handle lots of C&D’s and would probably start countersuing like crazy (in order to warn anyone else who might consider tangling with their lawyers), ordinary folk like you and I would probably freak out at the legal letterhead and hide under the bed for a week.

    The whole problem with this area is the burden of proof and the way takedowns are implemented. Big Content has managed to get laws in this area drafted in such a way that they can more-or-less able to automate the issuing of C&D’s and other legal papers and sites providing connectivity or hosting are required to take down the content until the defendant can prove they weren’t violating copyright.

    Reps for Big Content will argue that automatically sending C&D’s is the only way they can deal with the magnitude of piracy on a global scale. The question I have for them is: If you are sending so many legal papers that you need a RoboLawyer to process them all, is it really appropriate that this is a crime?

    Community attitudes are rapidly changing in response to technological change. People are questioning whether they should pay money for things that can be copied for free. Laws need to change to stop the RoboLawyers and harmonise these idiotic practices with how people really think and behave, and which things in life are really worth money.