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Thread: The P2P Crackdown

  1. #1

    The P2P Crackdown

    Taken from here.

    The government is preparing a national crackdown on file traders that would crush the rogue swapping networks in the same manner hackers were pushed underground 12 years ago.

    File trading has enraged music labels and movie studios since the release of Napster in 1999. The once-popular network was shuttered a year later, but entertainment executives have been struggling to contain the swapping phenomenon since. In less than three years, 70 million people have downloaded applications, such as Kazaa, that sprang up in Napster's stead.

    Washington lawmakers have been crafting bills that would give the entertainment industry the go-ahead to identify individual users, disrupt file-trading services and prosecute anyone suspected of digital piracy.

    The fear and loathing focused at the file-trading community is reminiscent of 1990, just before the Secret Service and the FBI conducted raids in order to smash the loosely affiliated hacker organizations around the country, as chronicled by Bruce Sterling in The Hacker Crackdown.

    "They are going after the same set of folks they were going after back then," said John Perry Barlow, co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit legal fund formed to defend people caught in the hacker raids. "They are going after people who are young and want to share their ideas. They are criminalizing the curious."

    The hacker raids have faded into memory, but they shook the foundation of the burgeoning BBS scene. Bulletin boards, as they were called, were precursors to Web pages. Instead of typing in a URL, people had to dial directly into the computer that hosted the page.

    The national raids were staged in Arizona under the name Operation Sun Devil and took down 25 bulletin boards. Several hackers faced lengthy prison sentences, and many believe Sun Devil was only sidetracked when the government mistakenly targeted Steve Jackson Games, an Austin, Texas company that made Dungeons & Dragons style games.

    Agents raided the business, shutting down the computer system because they claimed it contained information on how to hack into phone systems. Eventually, they realized they had confiscated the specs for a new game. The resulting publicity took the wind out of the sails of the federal agents.

    Civil liberty advocates are wondering how far the government will be able to go in attacking file trading before the courts force the government to stop.

    "(The Jackson raid) was a situation where a federal judge said that the raid was crazy, but so far the early responses in the new era have not been particularly helpful," said Cindy Cohen, the EFF's legal advisor.

    "A lot of people thought the actual prosecuting of Americans will be the tipping point. We're talking about 70 million people who use file-trading services. But honestly, I don't know where the 'wait a minute' moment will come from."

    Congress has shown its unwillingness to roll back the charging entertainment industry, said Joe Kraus, co-founder of the rights group Proposed legislation seems intent on providing entertainment companies control over what people can do with digital media.

    Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-South Carolina) proposed legislation that would put restrictive security chips in every piece of new hardware. Sen. Joe Biden (D-Delaware) offered a bill that would make it illegal to remove a digital watermark from any media file, even if it interferes with the file's use. Rep. Howard Berman (D-California) introduced a measure that would allow companies to block people from trading files they believe to be pirated.

    Each of the measures assumes the user's guilt and attempts to create a pre-emptive solution.

    "We're basically legalizing tactics that are, for all intents and purposes, illegal for all other groups to do," said Kraus. "The media companies are launching a full-tilt assault on taking away fair use rights from consumers. The reason they are doing that (is because) they are after far greater amounts of control over how consumers use media."

    Until recently, people could be relatively safe in assuming that their ISP would protect their identity. That protection would also slow attempts by the government to stage large-scale national raids.

    Many believe that eroding that protection is at the heart of the Recording Industry Association of America court battle with Verizon.

    The RIAA asked the federal District Court of the District of Columbia to force Verizon Internet Services to turn over the identity of a user who allegedly made thousands of pirated songs available on Kazaa, the most popular file-trading application.

    The company refused to comply with the order, arguing the entertainment industry is presuming the guilt of its users without any due process. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act gives entertainment companies the ability to have ISPs remove infringing users, however Verizon is arguing that it doesn't given them the right to demand to get the identity of individual users.

    "They are trying to attack peer-to-peer file sharing on many fronts," said Sarah Deutsch, Verizon's general council. "They are trying to shortcut the proper legal process to go after users."

    The next target could be you...

  2. #2
    Ok, so if by some act of God, the recording industry does manage to stop the file sharing craze. Do they really think, that after alienating and possible jailing some of their customers, that cd sales are going to suddenly start rising? I think it's clear to say that there are some morons in hollywood.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002

    Dont give up.

    No joke! I can only speak for myself, but I am sick to death of the RIAA's bully tactics. If they want to recapture the supposed "lost business", then why not join us and come up with an innovative way to promote P2P networks and turn a dime on them. Instead they want to use the courts and political clout to force the public to play by their rules. What makes them think that if they shut down P2P networks, that we will be complacent enough to just jump on their bandwagon and buy their product again? We have shown, time and time again, that where there is a will, there is a way. We will circumvent their next ploy, and the next, and the next, hopefully until they grow tired of playing the game. To this point it has been trivial to work around their tactics, and I dont suspect anything different in the future.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    I agree with m!thr!l and am sick of the RIAA's bully tactics. I feel that some sort of middle ground can be reached if the RIAA put forth some effort. I like to download mp3's to my laptop and play them through my home stereo. I would be more then happy to pay a fee to download the music off of a central server. It seems like every other week they have come up with a new super fix to this problem. Now they want ISP's to block these P2P applications. Someone will just find a way around this, perhaps a new P2P client that works on port 80. Who knows...

  5. #5
    Everyone is missing out on a huge bit of this subject matter. The industry is trying to get money they think they are losing from p2p operations. There are movements going on now to boycott and media with handcuff ware. If this boycott catches on, and the industry starts losing money they will back off. We have to show them, the p2p business is no taking away from their profits. If they are going to push one hit wonders, that cause individuals to download one song instead of paying $17.99 for the CD to hear one song. It's their fault. If we sit down, and let this happen. It gonna happen. They pulled this same fight w/ recordable cassettes and VHS. look, they are still making money. Until people start standing up, and making themselves heard. all we can do is B*TCH about it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    I have heard of a new RIAA tactic to stop the p2p system:

    The theory of this vicious tactic is simply to inject into the p2p network (as normal users) big quantities of corrupt mp3s with a bad quality or sound problems that you can't discover before downloading the file.

    In this way, they intend to stop p2p applications or to make them like as advertisements systems in order to sell more.

    You've got the right to be angry.
    Life is boring. Play NetHack... --more--

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    I agree with Joey

    I buy on average 2 CDs, and 2 DVDs a month.

    This month that was a total spend of about 50

    19.99 for Lord of the rings DVD
    9.99 for Along came a spider DVD
    13.99 for Creed's new album on CD (I bought this album because I heard "my sacrifice" on internet radio and liked it.
    9.99 Who's last CD I bought this one because I'd hoicked some of the tracks off of P2P

    Next month I will be spending my entertainment budget rather differently, rather than going to the cinema / buying a CD or DVD, I will write to some of the media distributers with a "I would have bought your title X, but you've annoyed me" letter. and outlining which titles I didn't buy from them, and how much money they took from their own market.

    I also check that all music / films I buy will play on my PC, and if they don't, guess what.. they go back to the shop where the shop is told that it is "unfit for purpose"

    the 70M people who use P2P networks need to take a few moments to write to their representative (MP, Congressman, or whatever) and tell them that if they continue the way they are going they are getting a solid "NO" vote at the next election.

    Also on top of this, I will be actively donating time, and money in the fight against David Blunkett at the next election as my way of telling him he's an arsehole.

    I feel it's getting too late for technical fixes we need to start using our Votes, and our purchasing power.

    That's what i'm doing ... the ball's in our court.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Heh.. Ah well, it dosen't matter. Pretty soon every thing will be illegal. Even the color of your shoes. I'm sure they'll find some way that it's bad for the environment..
    - CCNA teacher on P2P issue

    Thanks allenb1963 for the links. I knoe the P2P issue has been drove in the ground but the issue needs to be addressed. Some thing needs to be done. But what?....

  10. #10
    One thing that the RIAA and other media groups are touting is that every download is a lost sale. That isn't true by any means. I don't usually listen to groups like Creed, and I doubt that I would ever buy one of their albums. But if I download a song from Kazaa and listen to it and delete it, the RIAA says they have lost a sale.

    BIG HELLO HERE!!!! I probably wasn't going to buy it anyway! I just wanted to see if I would like it. If I do, I'll might buy it. Either way its off to the delete folder.

    I'm tired of Hollywood and the RIAA blaming technology on a failing business model. They don't want to adapt, so they want to change the law.
    Time is a created thing -- to say \"I don\'t have time\" is like saying \"I don\'t want to.\"


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