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Content, Writing and Copyright Forum

Group Wants ISPs To Block Copyrighted Files

 6:03 pm on Sep 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Group Wants ISPs To Block [bits.blogs.nytimes.com]Copyrighted Files
Now, there are signs that one topic next year will be whether I.S.P.’s should analyze traffic to block trading of copyrighted files. At least, Hollywood appears to be preparing for that debate. And it is trying to get allies among technology companies and artist groups.

On Tuesday, a new lobbying group was announced called Arts + Labs. It is backed by NBC Universal, Viacom, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, AT&T and the Songwriters Guild of America. And it is run by two Washington power lobbyists– Mike McCurry, who was President Bill Clinton’s press secretary, and Mark McKinnon, who has worked as a media adviser to President Bush and Senator John McCain.

According to the group’s site, it wants to help “creators” (read media companies) get “fairly compensated for the use of their work.”



 7:39 pm on Sep 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

And it is run by two Washington power lobbyists

Oh good, for a second I was worried there might be ulterior motives.


 7:56 pm on Sep 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Maybe they should have the post office open and go through all the packages we sent out... just in case there is a pirated DVD in there.


 9:08 pm on Sep 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

the good news is that telcos have plenty of their own lobbyists.


 9:10 pm on Sep 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

EDIT: My eyes glossed over one line that completely invalidated everything I had to say. Ignore me.


 10:23 pm on Sep 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

this will also fire up the free speech people too. Doing it automatically might leave out a lot of real 'free speech' out


 11:00 pm on Sep 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

<sigh> The large media industries have tried to stifle technology in the past. If it were up to them you would not own a VHS recorder, CD/DVD burners, MP3 players etc. These are all technologies they attempted to stop from getting into consumer hands. They have succeeded in the past, The DAT format and portable CD burners have been casualties in the past. The more expensive "Audio" CD's you see in stores are the only types of discs that will work in CD burners other that the ones in computers. These CD burners themselves are much more expensive than a CD burner found in a computer. The reason being is they have specific electronics in them and both the burners and the CD's have a special tax applied that goes right to the RIAA.

You heard that correct, if you want to record something on portable CD burner you need to pay the RIAA for this privilege. This is the reason portable CD recorders are not available to consumers, if it weren't for this tax and the extra expense of producing such recorders it is very likely all CD players would be recorders at this point in time.

What does that have to do with this topic? If the ISP's are forced to analyze the content of what you the consumer are downloading it will inevitably drive the cost up and you'll again be subsidizing the media corporations paying to protect their content. It's their responsibility, consumers in no way should have to pay their bills which is what this will amount too.

That's beside the fact it's technologically impossible and even if it were possible people would just switch to encryption for transferring such content.

The end result for this will be the consumer paying more for the service, it will have no affect on the distribution of illegal files.


 11:06 pm on Sep 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

They need a new name and I think I have it.

Music And Film Industry Association of America (MAFIAA)

[edited by: Demaestro at 11:07 pm (utc) on Sep. 25, 2008]


 12:06 am on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

That is an insult to the Mafia. :P


 12:47 am on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Ok at the bottom of any website I say Copyright site owner. So how do we define blocking Copyright of a file? If someone was to download any web page,any image,movie,flash pdf etc. such a law would mean they have infringed Copyright. Its completely ludicrous and yet more corparate business and lawyers sticking there nose into an industry they are completely ignorant about. Totally uninforcable.

Maybe if webmasters hadn't seen there own sites attacked in a stupid plagiarism strategy the net would have been a united force online to rebuff.

[edited by: Ikinek at 12:50 am (utc) on Sep. 26, 2008]


 2:10 am on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Ok at the bottom of any website I say Copyright site owner. So how do we define blocking Copyright of a file? If someone was to download any web page,any image,movie,flash pdf etc. such a law would mean they have infringed Copyright.

Copyright gives the owner the discretion to decide how that material is distributed. You can make what ever stipulations you want. You can most certainly have a copyrighted song and give it away for free if you want. You can still make stipulations as to how its used, for example you can say you can use this freely for non commercial purposes. That would allow people to use it for personal use but not use it in a commercial for their own gain.

As far as a HTML page goes, don't put it online.

These people are not interested in defending copyrights, they are interested in defending their copyrights at the expense of others.


 2:20 am on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

I can understand the kneejerk reaction that says, "I've been plagiarized, change the universe to protect me from ever happening again." Understand, but not sympathize: why should everyone else be certainly harmed to protect you from potential harm."

The first basic fact of the universe here is: whether the content is delivered from my website or from some serial plagiarist in Florida, it's copyrighted. The same code that stops a client from seeing my page, will stop him from seeing some plagiarized copy of it: doing nobody at all in the world any good.

Sometimes I wonder how these media folk handle light switches. Probably one of those titles at the end of the movies, like "key grip boy" just means "someone who can figure out how to plug in power cords or turn on lights without a manual."


 5:24 am on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Would that make them responsible for blocking plagiarized pages of our web sites? Or is that just a "we will protect big companies because they will pay us for it". Then it's not a matter of applying the law and protecting copyrights, it's a matter of getting money from big companies to threaten their users.


 6:16 am on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

koan, I believe you misunderstand. They want ISP's to analyze the content users are downloading for copyrighted material. Videos, music etc.

They want to put the expense and responsibility of protecting their content onto the ISP's shoulders and ultimately the consumer. What is real comical about this is they spent hundreds of millions on the technology used to protect blu-ray discs and that has failed. They can't protect their own content yet want others to do it for them.

A lot of people may find this idea astounding that it was even suggested but if you have followed the past practices of the RIAA and the MPAA in their efforts to stop at nothing to prevent the distribution of their material it would come as no surprise. I think when most people hear complaints about their tactics they chalk it up to some downloader complaining about not getting free music but the fact is many of the things they do and want to do have great impact on society.

How many portable CD recorders have you seen in your life?


 6:56 am on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

In addition once ISPs are doing that kind of packet inspection the extra uses are endless.

Just think of how many terrorists we can stop if we know everything everyone does one the net!

[edit: typo]

[edited by: IanKelley at 6:57 am (utc) on Sep. 26, 2008]


 8:00 am on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Maybe they have our best interests at heart ;)

The group says “network operators must have the flexibility to manage and expand their networks to defend against net pollution and illegal file trafficking which threatens to congest and delay the network for all consumers.”


 9:13 am on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

If they could figure out a way to make illegal downloaders pay a surcharge for all of this checking, then okay. Perhaps they could use whitelists and blacklists of sites to target this, instead of examining every bit of data. But if they're planning to punish everyone for the crimes of a few, that should be opposed.


 9:27 am on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

In addition once ISPs are doing that kind of packet inspection the extra uses are endless.

Just think of how many terrorists we can stop if we know everything everyone does one the net!

I think you'll find thats already covered by National Security Agencies:)

I do understand concerns over Copyright but also see complete Hypocrisy from Artists themselves. One UK based singer got signed and became famous on the back of her myspace blog and posting her demo's there. I am sure she was fine with having her work distrubuted which lead to a record deal. Yet just a couple of years later She critised Radiohead for allowing fans to download there album via the net and decide what to pay.


 10:07 am on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yet just a couple of years later She critised Radiohead for allowing fans to download there album via the net and decide what to pay.

Radiohead can distribute **THEIR** content any way they <expletive> well want to.

If she isn't happy with how her agent/agency/record company sell/distribute her songs, isn't that primarily *her* problem?

Just my $0.02 :-)


 10:10 am on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

koan, I believe you misunderstand. They want ISP's to analyze the content users are downloading for copyrighted material.

Oh I read it as if ISP were offering this service. But, still, what I'm saying was, if big media companies force ISPs to watch for illegal downloads of their copyrighted work... why couldn't the little guys get the same protection for their web sites content being downloaded from other places than the official site? Because they're little guys? Not that I would want it to go that way, I'm just wondering why it should be limited to big companies song, movies and softwares, if it did. That's a lot of responsibilities on the ISPs shoulders to police all traffic. Why should the law only protect big corporations?


 11:25 am on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

I make content, it is copyrighted. As I control the rights, I don't mind people downloading it form my website, I just don't want other websites to offer it as well.
If the law allows the MAFIAA ;-) to excercise how they feel their copyrights are to be execued by forcign ISPs to help them, then I feel the law should allow me the same: prevent all other sites from distributing my copyrighted material. Unless of course I find an exception, then they should adapt to that as well.

Sounds silly enough?

The music industry is dying, why don't the politicians show some mercy and help them out of their misery?


 12:17 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

I Just wish I could meet one of these media companies. I would say it straight. You are completely missing the point!

The fact is that every new era starts like this. Just as commercial radio started with pirate radio stations. A new era of media has not only started but is in full swing and nothing or noone is going to stop it. Traditional ways of distributing media such as software,music and film are on the way out.

Ask anyone online and they will tell you they prefer instant access to there favorite songs,movies,games and software that the internet provides. The only reason copyright is a problem is because of a complete failure to provide better alternatives.

Who here would willing subscribe to a service offering high quality downloads (better than mp3 which is noticeable poor sound quality) games, software,movies at a fair price each month. Rather than trawl through trojan and virus infected p2p networks?

I followed a recent discussion on You Tube about one of John Lennons songs. Now some people liked it some people hated it some people it touched and some people it evoked anger and hatred. The point is for many people they heard this song for the very first time. Why, well I checked my Napster account which I subscribe to and guess what, all John Lennon songs are restricted by someone at a record company.

The internet presents a huge audience for media companies and there wealth is largely in a currently badly marketed back catalogue of films,tv and music which the internet can deliver to a whole new audience. There is a whole generation online that have never seen a Laurel and Hardy flick for instance. Or have no idea who James Dean was.

Media Companies should not fight the internet or copyright problems they should be providing a better service online for an obviously huge audience. Chris Anderson writes in his book "The Long Tail of Marketing" of the demise of the blockbuster, or hit record. Is this due to the internet and copyright problems? Of course not, its because of a complete failure of media companies to embrace a new market and benefit from it.

Media and Software companies problem is not some kid downloading off p2p,Its there fear of change and failure to embrace A New Media Era.


 4:10 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

The issue as I see it Ikinek is the business model for media for that last 40 or 50 years has been to sell you the same thing many times. Records, 8-tracks, cassette and finally CD. The record firms I believe failed to realize that the CD players would be used in computers... the rest is history. CD's to some degree have a shelf life but with the advent of the CD player in a computer the product no longer has a shelf life.

DRM is just a continuation of that business model, it gives the product shelf life.

I completely agree with you, they are missing the boat. It's ironic that lot a files passed around on P2P or youtube simply can't be found elsewhere.

I missed Palin's speech at the convention when it was live, first place I went looking for it was youtube. Reason was simple, I knew I'd find it immediately and I also knew I wouldn't have to jump through 6 million hoops to watch it. The movie industry should be looking at youtubes model and adapt it to fit their own needs.


 4:32 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

The issue as I see it has nothing to do with copyrights at all. The issue is they want to look at everything you send to see if it is legal or not.

I think some of you are missing what this entails...

To see if you are sending illegal content they have to look at the content.

This means looking at everything you do.

Every email must be opened and looked at to see if it contains something illegal.

Every file download, every PDF you open from the web.

It is like being in jail and having guards check everything you send in and out to make sure it doesn't contain anything illegal.

Now ask yourself this.

What is to stop them from recording this info? Just in case something illegal got by them and they need to check back. Or when new stuff is added to the "do not allow list" they can go back and check if anyone "leaked it out"

Does the ISP do the checking or do they send all your data somewhere to be analyzes?

Who gets to see these reports?

Will they use this info for other things like advertising?

My problem with this has nothing to do with copyrights... it has everything to do with not wanting to be spied on.

It is none of my ISP's effing business what is in any PDF I open. It is none of their business what is in any email attachment I send.

This is about privacy.

Again what would you say if the post office was asked to open ever package you ever send to make sure it contains no contraband.... Would you give up your right to privacy for this system? Have someone reading your personal mail to make sure it is not child porn?


 10:08 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

How do they propose to look inside password protected encrypted rar files ;-) ..? ..they is whistling in the dark to avoid facing the 21st century ..don't even think it's gonna scare off many emule users ( ISP's can spot P2P users easy ..and not because of the bandwidth used ) but anyone who works for the "media industries" and has told their boss that your ISP can beat even blowfish to see what's inside on the fly ..should be taken out side and DRM'd ..

Here they just tax the machines at the moment of purchase ,the storage media ..be it HD's or flash thumb drives etc .. the blank cd's and the dvds'etc ..and if an ISP spots a P2P app running massive gigs per day the gendarmerie ( police ) "visit" and later their may be a court case with high level media coverage ..( only hear about 1 case per year though ) ..and nearly 9 from 10 machines I see are running P2P so hot they could burn your hand right off and the fan noise make you deaf and the router blinking like a disco light box on meth ..even the police I know personaly are all exchanging pirate copies of vista and adobe cs etc and have avi collections of all the latest movies that fill yards / metres of their living room shelves ..or external 500 gig or more HD's linked up to their LCD widescreen home movie theaters ..

Sony make movies and records and DRM rootkits and Tivo and home DVD players that will rip other people TV programmes straight to DVD ..and no need for PC's in the copying process ..they'll all huff and puff and bribe ( whoops I meant "lobby" their friends to pass some laws for show ) then ....

Once they find a way to tax it ..they'll give up trying to stop it just like they did with booze ..


 1:16 am on Sep 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have a feeling that this "request" by copyright holders will fail when action required is tested against the ECPA (1986). Sounds like "wire tapping" to me and that requires a court order in the USA. UK has something similar, and I believe most industrialized countries do as well.

The copyright laws require the copyright holder to protect their copyright, not third parties. The laws provides the copyright holder with the ability to collect damages, some of which are codified in legislation.

I can't trust our guys at the top (gubermint) to get it right, but the courts eventually will...but it is possible that Bad Things Might Happen before that happens, should these requests against ISPs get started.

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