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BSA Reacts to 'New' BitTorrent 326

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the usual-response dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It seems the Business Software Alliance isn't afraid of the new, tracker-less BitTorrent beta. While it concedes it will have to 'regroup', Tarun Sawney, BSA Asia anti-piracy director, said BitTorrent files could still be identified. 'BSA has traditionally sought the assistance of those hosting the actual pirated files. With or without the tracker sites, someone still hosts the infringing files.'"
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BSA Reacts to 'New' BitTorrent

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  • So what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by CoolVibe (11466) on Friday May 20, 2005 @07:58AM (#12587582) Journal
    BitTorrent was never designed to anonymize. It was designed to distribute the load of hosting a file. A lot of hoopla about a non-issue.
    • Re:So what? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Well, there is always i2p, which Azureus is prepared for anyway. Needs a bit of config, is all.
      • Re:So what? (Score:2, Interesting)

        please don't advertise i2p right okay. in a few months it will be a different story, the network is fragile right now and the lead coder is on vacation.
    • Re:So what? (Score:3, Informative)

      by w3weasel (656289)
      BitTorrent was never designed to anonymize

      For help with that... try this [methlabs.org]

      Vive la BitTorrent! Morte du le BSA!
      • Re:So what? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by rpdillon (715137)
        Methlabs' PeerGuardian does not anonymize.

        Just to clarify:there are two basic approaches to creating a protected network: making every member of the network anonymous, or creating a trusted network in one way or another.

        Projects like I2P and Tor go the first route of making network members anonymous. Freenet does this too, currently (we'll see what the future holds).

        PeerGuardian is a tool to block nodes that are known/suspected of being untrustworthy from accessing your computer using IP filters. While
      • The link you provided is snake-oil.

        This "Peer-Guardian" software does not provide anonymity.
        And it does not protect you from anyone (RIAA, Government, not even your
        mom).

        It's not much more than a blacklist. If the RIAA wants to play sherlock they'll probably just use some random AOL dialup. Go figure.

        Someone slap these kids over with a cluestick.
    • Found this on Planet Peer: http://board.planetpeer.de/index.php/topic,829.0.h tml [planetpeer.de] Rodi is a new developmental P2P network that is currently in testing. What makes Rodi unique? Many features, such as IP-spoofing for anonymity and packet-mimicking, so the P2P traffic can appear as one of many different internet traffic patterns - such as HTTP, FTP, etc - that are less likely to get blocked or throttled by an ISP's packet shaping. Unlike traditional proxied (very slow) anonymous networks (Freenet, Mute, Ants
      • Unlike traditional proxied (very slow) anonymous networks (Freenet, Mute, Ants, Winny, etc) the use of IP spoofing can allow high-speed full-bandwidth downloads while keeping the uploader's true IP address hidden from the downloader.

        If your ISP still allows IP address spoofing they need to be hit with a clue-stick.

  • Correct (Score:2, Informative)

    They're right, this changes nothing. At the end of the day someone is still hosting the infringing material, and they're in the firing line.
    • Re:Correct (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Soybean47 (885009)
      So, what? They're going to sue everyone who's seeding copyrighted material, and force them to stop? The problem with that is, legal proceedings are slow enough that by the time they go through, those particular seeders would likely have already stopped anyway, and been replaced by new seeders.

      It makes the system more fault-tolerant.
    • Re:Correct (Score:2, Informative)

      by Harinezumi (603874)
      It doesn't make it impossible for them to shut down a torrent, it simply makes it much harder. Instead of having a single site to shut down (the one hosting the tracker) in order to kill the torrent, they now have to shut down everyone with a complete copy (every seed).

      This can number into hundreds or thousands of users, with the number constantly changing as people finish their downloads. And if one or more of those seeds happens to be in a foreign country, it may take months or be outright impossible to

      • It doesn't make it impossible for them to shut down a torrent, it simply makes it much harder. Instead of having a single site to shut down (the one hosting the tracker) in order to kill the torrent, they now have to shut down everyone with a complete copy (every seed).

        I'm not sure they want to do this immediately: if they can keep enough people going through the "$3000 a pop" lawsuits, then they are generating revenue while cowing other potential sharers. Given that their figures for financial loss are p
    • But to bust someone, they will have to figure out if what they think is infringing material is indeed infringing material. To do so, they will have to download it. And by downloading it, they also share it with others, distributing their own work.

      I don't know if a court of law would buy that line of arguments, but that's the way I see it.

  • These BSA dictators are paying off politicians to create corporate feudalism. Just like it was in the Middle Ages where private power, those with the most gold, OWNED the humans beings within a certain geographical area, so too has the BSA BOUGHT a part of us. For those BSA funders, and politicians who have enabled this, this is treason, IMHO.

    All the CEOs who fund the BSA should be tried for treason, and if convicted, placed in the electric chair, and electrocuted to death. And do the same for their lapdog politicians who give them this power.

    • by KiloByte (825081) on Friday May 20, 2005 @08:09AM (#12587653)
      Yeah, but note whom would have to try them for treason... uhm, isn't that the politicians themselves?

      Democracy would fix this just fine. Except for the fact that neither communism nor corporationism don't have anything in common with democracy.
      • Yeah, but note whom would have to try them for treason... uhm, isn't that the politicians themselves?

        Yeah, whatever. But every task needs to start somewhere: an acknowledgement of the problem, a statement of a solution to solve the problem, etc.

        WE NEED TO HANG (or fry) SOME POLITICIANS. That should be really obvious by now. So, if we need to do that, we need to SAY SO, first. I am saying so.

        If you agree, then say so. We can go from there. But first we need to acknowledge the problem, and state our goal
      • i Yeah, but note whom would have to try them for treason... uhm, isn't that the politicians themselves?

        You are thinking of some form of dictatorship. In civilised countries and in the USA, the courts try people.
    • by osgeek (239988) on Friday May 20, 2005 @08:16AM (#12587706) Homepage Journal
      Lighten up, Francis.

      Software and other content developers trying to protect themselves from pirates is hardly Feudal serfdom.

      It's more possible than ever to collect movies, music, and software (that you never paid for) than ever before. Expect corporations to overreact to that theft as much as possible and for equity imbalances to result.

      If you were as vocal about protecting the rights of content producers as you are about protecting the rights of "the people", maybe there would be more balance in the situation.

      Those of us in the middle are willing to pay for what we use and ask to be paid for what we create. As usual, you warring factions at the extremes make it difficult for the more reasonable people to just live their lives in peace. Nice job.
      • Most people either download music, and/or see nothing wrong with it. The "extreme" that you mention is the norm.

        It is not possible for every activity to result in somebody getting paid. Neither is this a reasonable goal.

        There were no "content producers" for most of human history, yet people made music, works of art, and so on. It will be different, neither better nor worse, if the world returns to a state where people are not paid for making digital recordings.

      • Lighten up, Francis.


        "Don't ever touch me, or I'll KILL YOU!" /grin...great movie!


        If you were as vocal about protecting the rights of content producers as you are about protecting the rights of "the people", maybe there would be more balance in the situation.


        Yeah, there ya go! And if the antelope greased himself with lard before being eaten by the lion, it would really help the lion swallow that darn antelope. THe antelope should really be more considerate....
      • You used the word "Steal" in place of "Copyright Infringement". You clearly do not understand the issue.
    • electrocute Audio pronunciation of "electrocute" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (-lktr-kyt)
      tr.v. electrocuted, electrocuting, electrocutes

      1. To kill with electricity: a worker who was electrocuted by a high-tension wire.
      2. To execute (a condemned prisoner) by means of electricity.

      So we should electrocute them to death to death and until they are no longer livng, and also dead?
  • by arikb (106153) * on Friday May 20, 2005 @08:01AM (#12587606) Homepage
    The question is, can they prove someone has the infringing file, if they only transmit PART of the file?

    What bittorrent is about is being able to send very small but verifiably authentic parts of the file - but is that enough for them to prove the person has the infringing content?

    My guess is that this is going to be made into law in the US in the near future - that if they get a single BitTorrent packet from you that belongs to an infringing file, it's enough to convict you of a crime and haul your behind in jail.

    -- Arik

    • by syntap (242090) on Friday May 20, 2005 @08:10AM (#12587659)
      Let's say you get four friends and you each photocopy a fifth of the new Harry Potter book when it comes out, then stand outside and each sell your part for a dollar, in effect letting one person collect a fifth from each of you and get the whole book for $5 instead of the $12 or whatever the retail price will be.

      Is it your contention that by making only a part of a work available that you and your friends aren't infringing on a copyright? A "small but verifiably authentic" part of a file is content infringement just as much as a significant portion of a book would be.
      • Two dilemmas (Score:5, Interesting)

        by KrunZ (247479) on Friday May 20, 2005 @08:23AM (#12587755)
        But what if you and your 500,000 friends stand in line and each hold a letter and each will show it to people for $12/500,000 per letter. Are you infringing on the copyright?

        What if you and your 10,000 friends each stand a in line and each of you are holding a paper citing a line from the book. Are each of you just using your citation rights?
        • by !the!bad!fish! (704825) on Friday May 20, 2005 @08:31AM (#12587815) Homepage
          I haven't even got 4 friends, you insensitive clod.
        • I brought up this argument in the discussion about Bush signing a law that would jail someone distributing even a single pre-release. My suggestion was that if someone would want to distribute pre-releases but not distribute any one single file, then they should distribute parts of it. Obviously the original distributor will have to distribute the whole file to bootstrap the process, but then the file is divided into smaller pieces and nobody makes available to the public the whole file, just a segment of
          • Re:Two dilemmas (Score:3, Informative)

            by TGK (262438)
            The problem with your argument is that you're relying on a ficticious bunch of altruistic distributors who don't want anything in return for their bandwidth/services.

            In reality, the distributors want something - they want the copyrighted work. Now there is the origional altruistic individual, who donates his bandwitdth or whatever to distribute the file. But everyone else has to download the file in order to distribute it. Now some of those people might have their own legal copies of a particular work,
        • Re:Two dilemmas (Score:2, Insightful)

          by 1WingedAngel (575467)

          > But what if you and your 500,000 friends stand in
          > line and each hold a letter and each will show it
          > to people for $12/500,000 per letter. Are you
          > infringing on the copyright?


          Wouldn't that be you and 25 friends? I mean, I missed the part where there are 500,000 letters in the english language
          • The market is already floating with illegal copies of the Alphabet Song, but nobody has been jailed. I guess the Roman's IP-laywers died a couple of milleniums ago.
          • Wouldn't that be you and 25 friends? I mean, I missed the part where there are 500,000 letters in the english language

            ...your head around this: A text may have 500000 letters, but only 26 unique letters. What those 500000 people are implicitly selling, and that 26 could not, is the ordering of those letters into a book.

            Kjella
        • Re:Two dilemmas (Score:2, Interesting)

          by aquabat (724032)
          But what if you and your 500,000 friends stand in line and each hold a letter and each will show it to people for $12/500,000 per letter. Are you infringing on the copyright?

          What if you and your 10,000 friends each stand a in line and each of you are holding a paper citing a line from the book. >Are each of you just using your citation rights?

          This is equivalent to (weakly) encrypting the book before distributing it, and here's why:

          In order to verify the authenticity of the parts, the recei

        • It depends what you do with that fragment.

          If you're using a fragment of a document to cite for purposes of criticism or review, no infraction.

          If you're using a fragment in conjunction with thousands of others to re-assemble the work in its totality and distribute it without authorization, that's a copyright infraction.

          It's really pretty cut and dried.
      • by Catbeller (118204) on Friday May 20, 2005 @10:31AM (#12589125) Homepage
        Once again, sharing is not selling, is not piracy. The various *AA's want the terminology confused, and no doubt will be successful in their BS campaign. Redefine the words, and opponents have no chance in an argument because the audience hears definitions in their own minds that were implanted by BS campaigns. It's a wonderful strategy. Oppose the war? You oppose the troops. Share a file? You steal/sell the file. Oppose Bush? You oppose America. Want reproduction and birth control education in schools at an early age? You're for little-kid promiscuity. Oppose inserting religion into the government? Anti-Christian, probably satanistic, certainly anti-American.

        The analogy fails because you invoked the idea that I and my friends are selling parts of the book for a dollar. We are not selling anything; as a matter of fact, we pay for the bandwidth, tho that is irrelevant. What if we sat on the corner and let passers-by read our portions? Are we stealing then? The who **AA argument rests on the fallacy that just because it's electronic, the old traditions and laws should be junked. Frankly, they're using this to give themselves rights under law they always wanted, but never could get. They're using the newness of the technology to redefine copyright as ownership, which is NOT what copyright is about. Not to mention that the new copyrights are now eternal, which breaks the original deal the constitution's writers had in mind, which is: make cash for a bit, then the work goes into the public domain forever to enrich all. The deal was broken, so all bets are off. Change the copyright laws so that copyrights expire in twenty years after publication, and then we can talk. Right now, copyright=ownership for eternity. A free marketplace for ideas can't exist like this.
        • The analogy fails because you invoked the idea that I and my friends are selling parts of the book for a dollar. We are not selling anything; as a matter of fact, we pay for the bandwidth, tho that is irrelevant. What if we sat on the corner and let passers-by read our portions? Are we stealing then?

          Your own analogy fails because the case of people walking by and reading it, or even checking out in a library, doesn't allow someone else sell it or give it away to others as my example and the reality of pir
    • by Qzukk (229616) on Friday May 20, 2005 @08:11AM (#12587662) Journal
      can they prove someone has the infringing file, if they only transmit PART of the file?

      Yes, because the clients broadcast how much of the file they have.

      If you don't think thats enough for a warrant, go down to the local police station and start shouting that you're carrying a pound of crack.
      • Wouldnt that be like carying a pound of a component in crack ,They couldn't do anything till you have the whole thing put together .They would probably keep tabs on you though and wait till you have finished then rush in .
      • "Yes, because the clients broadcast how much of the file they have."
        But how does the BSA know that the file is actually warez in the first place? Maybe it's OpenOffice.org renamed to Microsoft Office? Wouldn't they have to download it to actually check that it is what they think it is? (And thereby upload to others themselves at the same time.)
        • by Qzukk (229616)
          Wouldn't they have to download it to actually check that it is what they think it is?

          Yes, they would.

          (And thereby upload to others themselves at the same time.)

          Not if they set it up behind a firewall. Sure, it'll be slow as hell, but they only need to request enough of an uncompressed ISO to confirm that it is what it says it is (ie, if they know where on the ISO their installer is, they can grab that chunk of data and prove that the file being distributed contains their installer, which is, of cours
      • by Insightfill (554828) on Friday May 20, 2005 @10:48AM (#12589285) Homepage
        If you don't think thats enough for a warrant, go down to the local police station and start shouting that you're carrying a pound of crack.

        In such a case, there are existing "turkey laws" that apply. Selling a pound of powdered sugar and calling it cocaine carries the same penalty as selling real cocaine. Such laws only apply to drug sales, and for any other sale, the charge would actually be simple fraud.

    • I'm sure that you can find small enough strings in any file.
      My old sig used to be: grep "meaning of life" /dev/urandom. (It never did find the answer though.)
    • Nice slippery slope fear-mongering. Nothing in the article said anything about one BT packet being able to put you in jail. It is irrelevant to the issue.

      The fact is you are *knowingly* abetting in illegal activities when you join a BitTorrent hosting copyrighted material. If part of the file is verifiably authentic, then it can be used to prove innocence or guilt. Are you actually trying to argue that a 'legitimate' BT packet (such as one belonging to a Linux ISO) might somehow also work in the context of
    • Blocks (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DickBreath (207180) on Friday May 20, 2005 @10:06AM (#12588858) Homepage
      Suppose you downloaded a bunch of Blocks.
      Each block is, say, 128 KB.
      Each block contains bits that are indistinguishable from random noise.
      Each block has a number, which is its hash. Block numbers are much longer than in the example below.
      Each block may have come from a different IP address, indeed, even through a different network protocol (Gnutella, OpenNap, Mute, Http, etc.)

      You obtain a list of reassembly instructions through another network and reassemble the blocks as follows. (Each block you downloaded is labeled with a B, and the content blocks of the reassembled result are labeled with a C.)
      C1 = B224 xor B166
      C2 = B287 xor B948
      C3 = B569 xor B982
      C4 = ...
      C5 = ...
      etc....

      Blocks C1, C2, C3, etc. taken together form a copyright infringement.

      Which IP address sent you the infringing work? Each block may have come from a different address? Each block is not infringing content.

      Which block is infringing? The first block of the infringing reassembled file C1, was formed from B224 and B166. So was B224 infringing? Or was B166 infringing?

      B224, when combined with a different block in the network results in a portion of The Declaration of Independence. B166 when combined with yet some other block from the network results in a portion of The Bible.

      Maybe the infringer is who gave you the list of reassembly instructions that told you which blocks to obtain and how to reassemble them? But this information is not directly a copyright infringement. In fact, it may be a fairly short text file.

      Note that I did use double the download bandwidth to obtain my copyright infringing material. But for that cost, I raised a whole bunch of questions about who to blame. And I did not suffer the horrible performance of Freenet. (I have not tried Mute.)

      (This is an idea I read somewhere.)

      Such a hypothetical Blocks p2p system could potentially be designed with the swarming advantages of BitTorrent. Each block could be available from multiple sources -- even multiple network protocols.
  • Arrrgh! (Score:5, Funny)

    by ale3ns (453301) on Friday May 20, 2005 @08:03AM (#12587612)
    Shiver me timbers!We can just bury the torrent files and make a map!BSA's having the Davies now! Arrrgh!
  • Why not just take magnet links to the next level: Allow anyone with the torrent to send it to anyone with the magnet link. that way the only way to curb the spread is to shut down every site that posts a line of text, or hope that a search function doesn't get integrated.
    • I agree..Magnet links are the way to go. But..just on my cursory research many people don't understand manget URI's or how they are to be used. Every time I make the suggestion for sites to list magnet links instead of links to torrent files (or in addition to) the responses make it clear that people are clueless as to what magnet links are....in addition to the new distributed hash table networks that have trackerless torrents.

      Magnet links will work eventually, heck once they start getting published you'l
  • by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Friday May 20, 2005 @08:11AM (#12587671) Homepage Journal
    Today the released a statement saying : Why should it bother us? We manufacture classic motorcycles [wikipedia.org].
  • I2P (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sbrown123 (229895) on Friday May 20, 2005 @08:14AM (#12587684) Homepage
    I2P can do bittorrents. Unlike magnetic links, the original file is hidden behind a series of tunnels. Theres some encryption in there too for good measure. Check it out at www.i2p.net.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 20, 2005 @08:18AM (#12587723)
    particular IP with that IP for disassembly at the other end. Whammo, proof of DMCA violation on the part of anyone who comes after your ass.

    DMCA violation trumps copyright violation any day.

    • Extortion n. 1. The act of extorting; the act or practice of wresting anything from a person by force, by threats, or by any undue exercise of power; undue exaction; overcharge.

      There's a lot of room in the word "undue". For instance, "I'll sue you if you don't give me back my iPod" isn't exactly extortion. Nor is the policeman who says "Put your hostage or I will shoot you" committing extortion. I'd even hazard to say that the theatre that sells popcorn for $7 isn't committing extortion, but YMMV.

      The
  • by jellomizer (103300) * on Friday May 20, 2005 @08:28AM (#12587783)
    Sure you can blame BitTorrent for piracy problems you can probably even go and make it illegal to use in most countries. But it wont stop the piracy. They will make an other program that does it differently. Technology moves a lot faster then the legal system. If they really want to cut down on piracy they should figure out why people pirate materials.

    Things like Price. $100 and up is a lot of money for the average home user. Money that can be used for car payments, paying Rent/Mortgage. And paying $100 on a product you don't even know you really want or will use for only a couple of months can be a big waist. $25-$85 is the normal sweet spot for what people are willing to pay for most software.

    Things like convenience. Going to the store and finding the product that you need now. Or going online and filling out all your personal information and getting placed on the stupid mailing lists and then paying for the product. Or go and get a pirated version with no questions asked.

    Finally no real good reason to buy. When you buy the programs at the store you no longer get useful documentations like the good old day you just get the media and sales stuff on other programs the company makes or install directions in 1000 languages. I wish every program came with a manual the explains all the features in it, and a real paper manual not a PDF or html documentation where it is more difficult to flip to some page and find a cool feature.

    Stop blaiming people who make the tools that make our lives easier the companies to think about making our lives easer,
    • Yes, the cost of software is generally out of line with the return for a home user. Business users gain far more for the use of software. Unfortunately, there's no way to distinguish the usage. Worse yet, as a business user, I'm loath to drop a large sum of money on a program unless I know it will work, and will provide a return. 30 day free trials? Sorry, there are times when I get busy and can't even try a program within 30 days...sometimes 180 days wouldn't be long enough to find the time to use it. S
  • Fear? (Score:2, Funny)

    by otter42 (190544)
    Why should they be so scared of it? Is it made to attack them? Is the stated goal of BitTorrent to attack incessently, to give no quarter to the BSA?

    Or are they just self-rightious overreacters that think that everything technological that doesn't come from them is a threat to their god-ordained, constitutionally protected business model?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This has nothing to do with Piracy, it just alieviates the scaling botlleneck that was the tracker.

    A more interesting question might be will this lead to other problems as swarms split and fragment. You may end up joining a tiny swarm cut off from the main swarm and thus get no bandwidth.

    Or stuck in a swarm with no seeds.

    Bram is very Clever though and I believe he has thought of this - can someone explain it to me though?

    Bittorrent is designed to scale well and to ease the load on the Seed.
    The problem w
  • by UMhydrogen (761047) on Friday May 20, 2005 @09:12AM (#12588198) Homepage
    I find it funny that all the anti-piracy agencies don't realize that taking down a website doesn't work. Suing/taking down torrent trackers or torrent hosting websites does nothing. When you take down 1 site, 10 pop up in its place. Look at suprnova, that went down and already over 20 sites have popped up that host as many torrents as suprnova did.

    The anti-piracy people should look to solve their problem a different way. Why are people pirating things? Maybe it's because of the price. People certainly don't get a thrill out of piracy in the same way that people do other illegal things. Stop making moves $10 to go to, stop making someone pay $1/song, stop over-charging and blaming increasing charges on piracy when that is a complete lie. It's time to attack the problem elsewhere - not in those sharing the files.

    • I'm beginning to think that these people don't even really care about piracy, they just blow smoke up their shareholders' asses to keep them happy. It doesn't make any logical sense for them to think they can stop piracy. You can't ever stop stuff like that. Just like the war on drugs. You can never ever ever ever ever win the war on drugs. So why do we keep pumping billions of dollars into fighting a losing battle? The same reason the BSA will keep fighting their unwinnable war.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 20, 2005 @10:00AM (#12588784)
      "Stop making moves $10 to go to, stop making someone pay $1/song, stop over-charging and blaming increasing charges on piracy when that is a complete lie."

      I remember when the excuse was that paying $18 for an album or $3 for a single was too much and unfair, but if only, (IF ONLY!) some benevolent content distribution god were to swoop down from the Heavens and offer music for a reasonable price like, say, $1 a song, it would grind piracy to a halt because everyone downloading illegal songs is doing it in protest of outrageous prices.

      I also remember 20 years ago when we would make bootleg copies of G.I. Joe cartoons (2 20 minute episodes to a tape if I remember correctly) from the VHS rental place because official copies started at $58, roughly the price nowdays of DVD season set (and in some cases, 2 seasons and up.)

      $20 too much to pay if you want to see a movie in the theatre? Then wait 6 months and the DVD will be available in Walmart for that much and on Amazon for less. VHS tapes used to start with a street date of over $100 so Blockbuster and others could have a safe rental window before the general public could purchase the movie at an affordable price but DVD (which is easier to pirate. No fancy TV capture cards or miles of coaxial to worry about, just software you can get from download.com) shattered that creating a $20 street price the day it's released.

      No matter what the cost is, someone is going to come along and say that's too much, I won't pay! Someone else is going to say why would I pay that when I could get it for free. A third someone else is going to say that price is fair for what I get, I have no problem paying.

      I haven't made any elaborate spreadsheets of movie prices throughout the years, but but over-all, we're talking about a 60 percent decrease in product price (lets not get into the math of accumulating season sets back then... $58 for 2 episodes times 10 or 20...) and that is without factoring in inflation. How much is a 1985 $20 worth in 2005?

      So I guess with all that said I agree with you that "increasing charges" is a lie, just not in the way you seem to feel.
  • by vkapadia (35809) on Friday May 20, 2005 @09:46AM (#12588602)
    Someone should file a patent for "a method of identifying a Bittorrent user by means of their IP address".

  • by freality (324306) on Friday May 20, 2005 @10:55AM (#12589356) Homepage Journal
    We may disagree where the boundary between stealing and sharing is, but I think when it comes to major media, that cost many hundreds of people many years to create, you can share it on a small scale with a couple of people, but, for example, posting a torrent of Return of the Sith the day it hits movie theaters, stealing is, as Yoda would say.

    If you don't like the price of a movie, don't pay it, but also.. don't steal it. There's people who make that stuff for their living. They spend lots of time and energy on it in the expectation that many people will be interested in buying a copy for personal use. It doesn't matter if you think that's a valid profession, or morally correct. it's their business. Their life. And if they wouldn't sell you the copy if they knew you were going to turn around and give it away for free to everyone you could, on a massive basis, on the world-wide internet, that means that if you do, you're lying and stealing and violating their trust.

    Sharing can't happen without trust.

    Now, if you give it to a friend, and that friend gives it to a friend, etc. etc. and it remains low-level, then it doesn't matter what they think. It's none of their business what you do with it as long as it's basically private to you and your friends and family.

    Now maybe you disagree with the particular place I've drawn that line. You may see the line at a slightly different place in the sand. Or think it's blurry. Or gray, or not so gray. That's a whole other argument.

    But I think we would all benefit us all to identify a community-determined middle area where we tread softly, and broad side areas where we firmly plant our feet. I think we should all preserve and protect the practice of small-scale sharing of everything in the world, even in the face of pressure against this by The Man. I also think we should all preserve and protect the expectation of honesty in a market transaction, even in the face of painful desire for the latest and greatest popular piece of culture.
  • I smell fear (Score:5, Informative)

    by springMute (873579) on Friday May 20, 2005 @11:19AM (#12589626)
    What are these guys smoking? The concept of the trackerless torrents wasn't created because of the need for protection of tracker servers, but for the ease of distribution... this is not about making it harder to identify trackers. The whole torrent system isn't about circumventing identification or about being completelly anonymous, and the BT author has mentioned this several times.
  • ...never actually hosted in its entirety and instead hosts portions of files or intermittent streams of the files. Sort of de-centralizing the file itself.

    I wonder how prosecution would work for someone who only had every 3rd byte of a music file which would only be assembled with other byte streams from other torrent locations. Nobody actually hosts the file itself, or even a recognizeable facsimile of the file.

When Dexter's on the Internet, can Hell be far behind?"

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