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United States The Internet News

Justice Dept. Raids Homes of File Swappers 1173

Posted by timothy
from the reasonable-suspicion dept.
Cryofan writes "Reuters is reporting that the Justice Dept. has raided the homes of 5 people in several states for trading music on p2p networks. The traders were, however, not arrested. 'P2P does not stand for 'permission to pilfer,' Ashcroft said. The Reuters story says that the 5 'were people operating hubs in a file-sharing network based on Direct Connect software,' and who had provided between 'one and 100 gigabytes of material to trade, or up to 250,000 songs.' 'They are clearly directing and operating an enterprise which countenances illegal activity and makes as a condition of membership the willingness to make available material to be stolen,' said Ashcroft."
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Justice Dept. Raids Homes of File Swappers

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  • p2p (Score:3, Funny)

    by xhorder (232326) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @05:53PM (#10073264)
    I thought it meant pleased 2 plunder!
  • by erick99 (743982) <homerun@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @05:54PM (#10073265)
    These were some serious downloadin' folks:

    Each of the five hubs contained 40 petabytes of data, the equivalent of 60,000 movies or 10.5 million songs, Ashcroft said.

    In order to join the network, members had to promise to provide between one and 100 gigabytes of material to trade, or up to 250,000 songs, Ashcroft said.

    200 petabytes of songs and movies! Pretty amazing.

    I wonder if the RIAA will ask the feds to turn over all of the involved parties and I wonder if the feds would do it if asked.

    Or maybe they are too busy since they just sued a bunch more customers....

    The Recording Industry Association of America on Wednesday announced it had sued another 744 individuals and refiled suits against 152 others who had ignored or declined offers to settle.

    Cheers,

    Erick

    • by diamondsw (685967) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @05:58PM (#10073321)
      This doesn't seem possible - that's what, 100,000 x 300GB hard drives? Are they really providing that much, or is this the total amount available on the entire network?
      • by samantha (68231) * on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:57PM (#10073903) Homepage
        "This doesn't seem possible - that's what, 100,000 x 300GB hard drives? Are they really providing that much, or is this the total amount available on the entire network?"

        Any p2p net out there would be really, really proud to have that kind of hardware to share. Obviously, Ashcroft inflated the hell out of the numbers as per usual and things the people are too friggin' dumb to notice.
    • by McDutchie (151611) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @05:59PM (#10073324) Homepage
      200 petabytes of songs and movies! Pretty amazing.

      The website [neo-modus.com] says the whole network contains about 1 petabyte of data.

    • by dazilla (647166) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:18PM (#10073551)
      As someone who has used the DC client before, most hubs run between 10 and 200 TB or user shares. So the idea that there was 40 PB per hub being shared is preposterous. Neo-Modus had a news item on their site when the TOTAL culmination of ALL THE HUBS sharing data reached ONE PETABYTE. I'm sure that each hub was probably sharing around 40TB.
    • by mothz (788133) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:19PM (#10073562)
      Nice math, too.

      If 100 GB is 250,000 songs, then each song file is about 400k. But if 40 petabytes is the equivalent of 10.5 million songs, then each song file must be about 4000 MB.
    • by Datasage (214357) * <Datasage@thNETBS ... ey.com minus bsd> on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:39PM (#10073761) Homepage Journal
      This requires a little explaintion, each of these people themselves didnt have that much data, but they ran hubs that had that much data over all the users.

      I have never seen any hub have a petrabyte of data, most of them have 5-500 terabytes.

      It also should be said, that most of the data is not unique, many users may have a copy of the same file or similar file. Of course the media spin is to make it look like its more than it really is.

      It looks like they only went after the people who ran some of the hubs, not the users thenselves.

      In response to one of the other comments, There are many hubs that are not on neomodulas list, in fact the ones on thier list tend to be really small, mostly only a couple hundred users. Other hubs accessible via dc++ have several thousand users.
    • by bergeron76 (176351) * on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:47PM (#10073826)
      You're missing another important number:
      10.5 million songs

      Let's see:
      10.5 million songs
      ~40 years of reasonable recorded audio

      Some simple math:
      10,500,000 / 40 = 262,500 songs every year...

      Hmmm:
      262,500 / 12 = 21,875 songs every month...

      Sounds like a hell of a stretch to me, especially considering that music wasn't as easy to record back in the 60s and 70s as it is today.

      The biggest music libraries that I've seen contain less than 1 million songs. I'm not sure where another 9.5 million could come from (unless Al Queida provided them).

    • by magnum3065 (410727) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:48PM (#10073839)
      There is something quite wrong about their figures.

      The ratio of video to audio size seems about right: 1 movie = 175 songs. So that would be about right for 700 MB Divx movies and 4 MB mp3s.

      However, based on those rates the number of movies or songs they list would only add up to 40 TB.

      Looks like somebody got mixed up between petabyte and terabyte.

      News sources should really have some people to double check their math before publishing an article.
    • by uncoveror (570620) <webmaster.uncoveror@com> on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @07:55PM (#10074359) Homepage
      If you have MP3s on your PC, fear! Jackbooted stormtroopers from Herr Ascroft's Ministry of Justice may come to your door. Here is actual footage of a raid! [overstated.net]
    • 100 gigabytes of material to trade, or up to 250,000 songs

      Ah, I see Ashcroft is using the world famous iPod scale of data density, which will some day eclipse the byte as the standard metric measurement of all data lengths and capacities.

      "Hey ted, I'm going to attach pictures of the baby to this email."

      "How big are the files?"

      "1.25 songs."

      "That's a no go, man. My mail server only allows up to .95 of a song before charging me for the soundwidth."
    • by jrexilius (520067) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @09:39PM (#10074990) Homepage
      I am still amazed that this even warranted federal attention. Last I checked, I thought the FBI was short on resources and had more terrorist leads to chase then they could shake a stick at...

      And did they pay this much attention to Enron and Tyco and obviously other large scale crimes?..

      Whats with the political sex appeal and fear mongering of kids swapping stolen entertainment?

      Call the local cops and treat it like any other petty crime...
    • by Cyberllama (113628) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @10:15PM (#10075184)
      Yes, but these were just hubs. The actual data was still stored on the computers of the people sharing the files -- and they are ultimately the ones responsible for the data they're sharing. These individuals are essentially doing the same thing Napster did -- provide a conduit by which others can exchange data (legally or illegaly by their own choice) and then not policing it to ensure the content is kept legal (or perhaps even actively encouraging illegal content).

      Does anyone else but me think that at MOST this should be a civil issue? Just becuase they've given people the means to violate copyright doesn't mean their as guilty as the people who do it. Last time I checked there was no such thing as "conspiracy to violate copyrights" charge. . .
  • by AtariKee (455870) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @05:54PM (#10073269)
    ... like go after terrorists?
    • like go after terrorists?

      Not now, we are only on YELLOW [dhs.gov] Alert.

    • by M51DPS (757403) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @05:58PM (#10073311)
      Well sure, let's just ignore all the kids downloading music for free and go after people out to kill us. Now who sounds absolutely ridiculous?
    • by TedTschopp (244839) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @05:58PM (#10073315) Homepage
      Do you have only one thing on your to do list?
    • by thedogcow (694111) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @05:58PM (#10073319)
      According to Sen. Hatch, they are going after terrorists (peer 2 peer users).
    • by EvanED (569694) <evaned@gmaiDEGASl.com minus painter> on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:14PM (#10073503)
      What's the DOJ supposed to do? Sit around and not enforce federal law [cornell.edu]?

      Not enforcing laws causes all sorts of problems.
  • Good! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TedTschopp (244839) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @05:56PM (#10073289) Homepage
    Wow, actually it sounds like they are starting to target the correct people. Good.

  • by Burgundy Advocate (313960) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @05:56PM (#10073302) Homepage
    100 GB, huh? Sounds pretty good. Link?
  • Petabytes? (Score:5, Funny)

    by JDRipper (610930) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @05:57PM (#10073304)
    Isn't that what happens to people who wear fur?
  • by Comsn (686413) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @05:58PM (#10073312)
    what were the warrants for the raids granted with?

    Authorities made no arrests. But Ashcroft warned that those who copy music, movies and software over P2P networks without permission could face jail time.


    under what penalty of law? last i heard copying things (download) never got anyone in trouble... now sharing on the other hand, is still a civil matter. (but selling is an FBI matter).
    • by DeepRedux (601768) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:28PM (#10073659)
      Sharing can be a criminal act. Under the No Electronic Theft (NET) Act, sharing copyrighted works with the expectation of getting works in return counts as "financial gain". The act makes it a felony to trade works with a retail value over $2,500 in a 6 month period. It sounds like they were well over that amount.

      The NET Act was passed in 1997 to criminalize warez trading. I do not think that the act distinguishes between software and other copyrighted materials like movies and music. Sixty people have be convicted under the NET Act, with 20 sentenced to jail.

      See Warez Trading and Criminal Copyright Infringement [awprofessional.com] for the details.

  • Worth noting.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by mblase (200735) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @05:58PM (#10073317)
    Direct Connect, for the three or four of you that don't already know, doesn't work like Napster or KaZaA. The hubs are sometimes public, but in these cases admission to the hub required you to share your own collection for free as well. So the hub owners are not only sharing music with a select membership, they require their members to share large amounts of music as well.

    They were copying, trading, and encouraging others to do the same in large quantities. I don't like seeing people's hard drives raided for any reason, but it's pretty clear these five folks didn't have a leg to stand on.
  • by keiferb (267153) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @05:58PM (#10073320) Homepage
    Washington Post link [washingtonpost.com], free reg. req.
  • A show of force... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by IamGarageGuy 2 (687655) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @05:59PM (#10073332) Journal
    The RIAA obviously took it seriously when pople said that they would go underground after they started to sue the Kazaa crowd. This is a show of force when they can bring in the feds to help in their cause. Now that the feds are in on the big ones, how long until they start to move on the little guys?
  • by Photar (5491) <photar.photar@net> on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @05:59PM (#10073333) Homepage
    I have serious trouble filling a 10th of an iPod with music I can stand.

    Its seriously sad that these people are just massing huge collections of crap to trade simply for the purpose of being "in the club" what a waste.

    It if were all porn that would be unerstandable, but just music and movies? Come on people.
  • by lawpoop (604919) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:02PM (#10073351) Homepage Journal
    "P2P does not stand for 'permission to pilfer'"

    What a way with words he has! Between that and 'Let the Eagle Soar', I say we have a strong candidate for the next national poet!

  • lol (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jugalator (259273) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:03PM (#10073358) Journal
    'P2P does not stand for 'permission to pilfer,' Ashcroft said

    No, it stands for Peer To Peer, which is unrelated to piracy. :-P

    I dunno, but that quote sounded like Ashcroft was thinking P2P = Piracy To People or something like that.
  • Be smart at least (Score:3, Insightful)

    by moankey (142715) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:03PM (#10073363)
    When your running a P2P music sharing greater than that of iTunes and you think no one is going to come knocking?

    10 million songs, 60k in movies, what did they think would happen they would be vaulted to underground geek martyrdom?
  • Diskless Servers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:03PM (#10073368)
    Times like these are when running a diskless [jct.ac.il] server really pays off. Sure, you're limited in the amount of storage that can be made available over p2p, but when they seize your server, there's no evidence whatsoever.

    Just imagine the news story for that one: "Teenage File Trader's Computer Seized by FBI, Exercise in Futility"
  • by shark72 (702619) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:03PM (#10073374)

    Starting way back when the record companies were giving grief to the original Napster, many Slashdotters and like-minded folks were questioning the record company's authority to involve themselves in such matters, and said that if Napster was breaking the law, then the feds should get involved.

    And then they did.

    When harrassment of the P2P companies by both the government and private enterprises became more commonplace, many Slashdotters and like-minded folks said that the P2P companies weren't responsible for the actions of their users, and that the record companies should go after the users themselves.

    And then they did.

    When the record companies started suing the "whales" of the P2P world (those who were sharing sufficient amount of content to nudge into the territory of criminal, rather than civil law), many Slashdotters and like-minded folks claimed that if it really was criminal territory, then the record companies should stop picking on the pirates, and let the government handle it.

    And now the government is doing just that.

  • JUSTIN BAILEY (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Graymalkin (13732) * on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:06PM (#10073407)
    'P2P does not stand for 'permission to pilfer,' Ashcroft said.


    I bet he thinks he's so clever. However I find this story a little strange, the article claims that the five hubs each contained 40 petabytes (7200 Libraries of Congress) which at my count is about 160,000 250GB hard drives. That's ~$26m worth of hard drives per hub. The article is written in such a way to suggest these five hubs were run by people in their basements while the supposed retail value of their setups is anything but basementable.

    I guess this shouldn't be surprising though. It is a well known fact al-Qaeda is trying to topple the American government by supporting music piracy over the internet. The RIAA member companies are practically bankrupt from their tremendous losses due to piracy. They're such excellent role models for young people, persevering in the face of such insurmountable odds. The movie industry is soon to be entirely out of business from online trading of hits like Gigli. I feel really bad for those gaffers that only make $250,000 a year that can barely make ends meet because someone downloaded a movie.
  • by the arbiter (696473) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:06PM (#10073412)
    This is an extremely disturbing development, seeing as these folks are not guilty of a crime, merely a civil offense. An egregious and large-scale civil offense, to be sure, but a civil offense nonetheless. Which is why there were no arrests. So why is the Justice Department involved?

    Oh that's right...I forgot. Herr Reichsmarshall Ashcroft IS the law.
    • by shark72 (702619) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:15PM (#10073517)

      "This is an extremely disturbing development, seeing as these folks are not guilty of a crime, merely a civil offense."

      I'm not sure where you got the idea that this is a civil case. If you'd like to learn more about criminal violations of copyright law, here's the relevant section [copyright.gov].

      This war will be fought with new ideas, not ignorance. Being the squillionth Slashdotter to parrot the old "civil, not criminal" meme will not help things. If you truly believe that artists have too many rights and it's high time to put them in their place, the first thing to do is to understand how the law works, so you can work to change it.

  • by Alaren (682568) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:10PM (#10073446)

    Okay, so we're cracking down on copyright infringers. Jokes about "petabytes" aside, there was doubtless a lot of infringing going on.

    But this whole thing is starting to look more and more like the enforcement of prohibition back in the roaring twenties, or like the religious persecution that started the American colonies. When something is illegal even though most people don't consider it "wrong," bad things happen. Small-time infringers are getting sued, big-time infringers getting raided, and a fair number of innocent folk get caught in the middle. Some of the Warez folk are looking more and more like the gangs of Chicago back in the day... and like those gangs, there are as many or more doing it for the thrill and the challenge than for the money.

    So when do we get a constitutional amendment? When do we get a "digital revolution?" Where are the folk who realize that there is something seriously wrong with the way we understand the words "intellectual property?" When millions of people engage in an activity that bucks the status quo yet somehow remains illegal enough to warrant armed attention from the DoJ, you no longer have a government A)of the people, B)for the people, or C)by the people of the U.S.A.

    Once upon a time, conditions like these would start mass emigrations. When the world was still largely unexplored, people packed up, moved out, and started their own countries.

    But where can the persecuted flee today?

  • More FUD (Score:5, Informative)

    by EdMcMan (70171) <moo.slashdot2.z.edmcman@xoxy.net> on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:10PM (#10073455) Homepage Journal
    I'm not sure what to think about these raids. For those of you who don't know what direct connect is, it's not like KaZaA.

    The client connects to a server (there are many), and then can share files and chat with people on that server. The server does not actually have any files; they come from the clients.

    In essence, each server acts like a mini-KaZaA, and judging from the recent Grokster rulings, would mean that they aren't liable for anything. So, basically it means this is just more FUD coming from Ashcroft.

    Although the operators weren't arrested, they probably won't see their equipment back for a long time. I guess that is the Justice Dept.'s way of dishing out justice when the law doesn't fit whoever is paying them off's will.
  • by xmedh02 (100813) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:10PM (#10073458) Homepage
    Only in USA. :-)
  • by dspisak (257340) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:12PM (#10073484)
    Not just one, but 5 places with 40 PETABYTES, EACH?!?!

    Uhm okay math time....

    1 Petabyte = 1024 Terabtyes

    1 Terabyte = 1024 Gigabytes

    So 40 Petabytes = 41,923,040 GB

    41,923,040 GB / 300 GB per drive (generous assumption) = 139,744 drives per node!

    5 nodes means 558,976 drives in use in total. Half a million 300 GB IDE drives?

    I can think of a few places with petabyte arrays, this is not one of them I think.

    Some simple math. This is assuming these people paid for the hardware and didn't just hijack a few 18-wheeler shipments from Maxtor.

    139,744 300GB HDs * $157.5 (Knock 30% off for a volume discount from lowest price online of $225) = $22,009,680 in sunk capital in drives alone per node!

    Or in total this means $110,048,400 spent on just HARD DRIVES ALONE. This doesnt even begin to include costs for enclosures or anything else.

    So who the fuck are these "people"? These numbers are ether TOTALLY WRONG AND FASLEIFIED or they busted some kind of massively well funded organization?

    (And no, I haven't even read the article yet but if those numbers are wha they said I stand by this)
    • by adamh526 (725423) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:35PM (#10073719)
      What they mean is 5 hubs, each with 40 petabytes of content available, probably shared between a few thousand members. If you're not sure how direct connect works, look here [sourceforge.net] .

      There are lots of hubs around the country hosted by people at colleges with fast connections. Those that host them think their hubs are secure since they can limit hub access to only others having on-campus IP addresses.

      I really would not be suprised if the five raids targeted people hosting university specific hubs.
  • How these hubs work (Score:5, Informative)

    by highlander123 (582572) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:20PM (#10073577) Homepage
    Guys,

    I dont' think you understand the way these hubs work. Basically, if you have a certain amount of data, you connect, and your data is added to a large pool of data (everyone's files). This means the owner of the hub doesn't host all the files, it's the users that are connecting to the hub that own the files (and as such, the hardware). It certainly is possible that several thousand users are connecting to the hub, and are sharing their files. This could easily add up to quite large numbers, without needing a million harddrives in one server/cluster.

    A wee lesson, brought to you by.. me.
  • by Dave21212 (256924) <dav@spamcop.net> on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:25PM (#10073635) Homepage Journal

    Ok, so these 5 people each hosted around "40 petabytes of data, the equivalent of 60,000 movies or 10.5 million songs" each, and made them readily available internationally via the Internet. Maybe these records companies and movie studios, with their vast resources, could learn a thing or two about delivering content.

    Seriously, a bunch of amateurs can make 10.5 million songs available but the **AA's can't ??? Maybe the RIAA should steal the technology and user base and call it even.
  • Strange wording (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TwistedSpring (594284) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:25PM (#10073639) Homepage
    makes as a condition of membership the willingness to make available material to be stolen

    Material to be "stolen", eh? Nobody's stealing stuff from me if I offer it up online for them to take. Makes as much sense as "Officer, my house was burgled after I swung open the door and yelled 'please burgle my house'". It's only indirect theft from the record companies as well. If I broke into someone's flat and pinched all their CDs, I wouldn't be stealing from the record company, I'd be stealing from whoever I just robbed. I wouldn't be making any money from the action either, so it's not like the record company is watching money that should go to them go somewhere else, all they're watching is money not go anywhere at all, and they don't like that.

    Music has to come from somewhere. Currently it's coming out of record companies, who are consistently saying "how the hell do we create an audio track that people can listen to without being able to copy it". This is a pipedream. If you can listen to it and it's on a shiney disc, it MUST go through a DAC at some stage, and that's where your entry point as a copier is. Even with a decent analog system you can make a perfectly fine copy just off the line out.

    If you download a copy of something, rest assured that at least someone somewhere must have bought it. Perhaps now the best thing for the record companies to do is auction off one single original copy of an album with bidding starting at six million dollars, wait for a community of fans to get the funds together and buy it, then watch it spread across the net, safe in the knowledge that they got a guaranteed six million dollars from an album before anyone had even heard it.
  • Dear John (Score:5, Funny)

    by theolein (316044) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:30PM (#10073678) Journal
    I am so glad that you are taking time off your busy schedule of raping the public's personal freedoms to further the cause of rapacious corporate greed while 14% of the nation lives under the poverty line.

    Yours Truly
    The RIAA and the MPAA
  • Permission to Pilfer (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LuYu (519260) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:40PM (#10073771) Homepage Journal

    'P2P does not stand for 'permission to pilfer,' Ashcroft said.
    No. It stands for:
    Permission (
    for the Injustice Department) to pilfer (your computer).

    File swappers -- even if guilty of infingement -- are NOT stealing. Period.

  • Can we... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:43PM (#10073802)
    lower the threat level to blue now?
  • Classic quote (Score:5, Insightful)

    by neurojab (15737) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:46PM (#10073821)
    >Each of the five hubs contained 40 petabytes of data, the equivalent of 60,000 movies or 10.5 million songs, Ashcroft said.

    Does Ashcroft really expect me to believe there are 60,000 distinct movies on that network? Netflix only has 25,000 movies. I suspect they counted the number of COPIES of movies in the whole network. Ashcroft loves to mislead people, doesn't he? Why does he feel the need to inflate the numbers if his goal were upholding the law? Who signs his paycheck, anyway?

  • by teamhasnoi (554944) <teamhasnoi@@@yahoo...com> on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:53PM (#10073879) Homepage Journal
    Huh? [usdoj.gov] "Today's actions send an important message to those who steal over the Internet. When online thieves illegally distribute copyrighted programs and products, they put the livelihoods of millions of hard-working Americans at risk and damage our economy," said Attorney General John Ashcroft. "The execution of today's warrants disrupted an extensive peer-to-peer network suspected of enabling users to traffic illegally in music, films, software and published works. The Department of Justice is committed to enforcing intellectual property laws, and we will pursue those who steal copyrighted materials even when they try to hide behind the false anonymity of peer-to-peer networks."

    "Today's enforcement action is the latest step in our ongoing effort to combat piracy occurring on the Internet," said Christopher A. Wray, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division. "This is the first federal law enforcement action against criminal copyright infringement using peer-to-peer networks and shows that we are committed to combating piracy, regardless of the medium used to commit these illegal acts."

    "Today we are sending a clear message that federal law enforcement takes piracy seriously," said U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Wainstein. "It is illegal to trade in copyright-protected materials on the Internet. This is theft, plain and simple. If you are engaged in this behavior, you are on notice that you are not as anonymous as you may think."

    Is copyright 'enforcement' a civil matter or not? I don't get the whole 'arbitrary enforcement' thing the DOJ is doing.

    No arrests - just confiscating your stuff.

    Vote.

    • by squarooticus (5092) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @08:09PM (#10074444) Homepage
      What makes you think a Kerry administration would do anything differently? Face facts: at this time, this issue is of importance only to a very small minority of the citizens of this country. It is likely that the DoJ---most of which is made up of lifers, not administration appointeees---will continue to execute civil forfeiture and prosecute file sharers until (a) the courts rein law enforcement in, something that has been very slow to happen with civil forfeiture in other arenas or (b) enough people are affected that it appears on the radar of general public consciousness.

      Any vote against Bush/for Kerry on this issue is consequently pointless.
  • by iamatlas (597477) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @06:59PM (#10073930) Homepage
    40 Petabyes = 42,949,672,960 megabytes


    42,949,672,960 megabytes / 60,000 movies = 715,827.883 megabytes per movie, or 699.050667 gigabytes per movie.

    All math for this comment was done using the all-powerful web interface to the god Google using its conversion feature, i.e., "40 petabytes in gigabytes" don't believe me? try it for yourself [google.com]

  • by kiddailey (165202) on Wednesday August 25, 2004 @09:42PM (#10074999) Homepage

    I'm seeding about 9GB of non-commercial, freely-distributed game mods to Gnutella (custom user-made maps for UT2004, Doom3, etc).

    Every time I see one of these reports I get nervous thinking that they'll come busting my door down on the mistaken idea that because of the bandwidth I'm using that I must be swapping illegal content.

    Of course, I have nothing to worry about, but the abuse of power is disgusting and there are much more important things in our country that need attending to.

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