The Japanese are considering forcing packet inspection on mobile networks in order to identify, and disconnect, copyright infringing pirates. The plan requires all network operators to monitor downloads for copyrighted material. If dodginess is discovered a warning would be issued to the user, and if they persisted then their …
You say "deep-packet inspection"
I say HTTPS.
They've completely missed the memo on encrypted torrents?
Only 10 days to go...
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'Tis well o'er the yardarm, so I'm having myself another <strikeout>cabin boy</strikeout> dram o' rum!
If the governments of the developed world cared 1/1000th as much about real crime that destroys peoples lives, as they do about people downloading a song, the world would be a much better and safer place.
And 99.5% of the money/effort/resources they put into stopping piracy will disappear into a great big black hole, because like muggers on the streets, the pirates are always one step ahead of the commodores.
Oh the possibilities!
"their phone could be ... rendered unable to play music."
I like where this is headed.
Being a mere Man From Kent (or is that Kentish Man, I can never remember which is which), how fast are the mobile connections in Japan, and why do we not have that here?!
The linked story talks about the song's id being sent from the handset to a central server and the server subsequently deciding whether it was distributed legally. The Reg story talks about packet inspection, but it is not completely clear from the linked article that this is actually what is going on...
Quite what it DOES mean is not also clear - is this meta-data that is already part of the song file (because it is copy of a song file with such data added when it was sold originally, as a downloadable song) or does the handset create a "fingerprint" and check THAT with the server?
I am not sure what is considered fair use in Japan - would this prevent users from transferring mp3s they have ripped from a CD to their cellphone? Or mp3's (whatever the content) in general? My guess would be not - but there is not enough in the story for that to be clear.
It certainly seems to require the "cooperation" of the handset - both to send an id back to the server and to respond to the server's commands not to play the music.
This may just be about redistribution of songs, where the the original was sold for cellphone download, and has subsequently been copied but not re-ripped or had meta data removed. If so, it is isn't something most users will get their knickers in a twist about....
The network operators certainly have an incentive as (as I recollect...) they are making money from the sales of songs, not just acting as a dumb pipe.
By and large, relying on the Yomi for technical info is not a good idea. [For additional context: the Yomi is generally seen to be a somewhat right wing newspaper. ]
Information with Knowledge and Hind Sight Foresight is Powerful in Control of Command Systems Drive
"The plan requires all network operators to monitor downloads for copyrighted material. If dodginess is discovered a warning would be issued to the user, and if they persisted then their phone could be disconnected or simply rendered unable to play music."
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What's so special about (c) material
If they are happy to inspect your data for copyright material then why not also seach for...
1/ Kiddie porn
2/ Bomb plots
3/ Organised (serious) crime
4/ Domestic abuse
...or any number of 'important' issues. What really annoys me about the whole "copyright infringement" thing is that it doesn't actually matter. It is NOT important. Nobody is going to die as a result of someone downloading Kylie's latest single. The only people it matters to are the bods at BMG (or whoever) who are loosing some money. So what? There are FAR more important issues in the world. How has this copyright thing got to be such an 'important' issue when it is really trivia? The stupid thing is that the mobi operators probably can't scan for any of the stuff I listed above because of privicy laws or somesuch.
So even if they succeed at zero cost ...
'around 330 million tracks are sold annually in Japan, for over-the-air delivery, compared to the 400 million that are reckoned to be downloaded illegally.'
So even if they succeed at zero cost in converting the illegal downloads into legal ones they only manage to roughly double their turnover.
But of course a lot of the illegal downloads will simply not happen if people are forced to pay and of course deep packet inspection costs a lot of cpu cycles plus all the code and bureaucracy.
Plus, it will simply generate an arms race that will end up costing everyone more while producing less.
Sugoi Desu Ne!
45% of tracks are legal? Gosh! The EU/US music distributors can only dream of such a high figure.
Japan really is a low crime place.
Phorm is alive and well?
This begs the question as to what software would be used at what level for the inspections. There are other technical questions that haven't been answered here as indicated by others. I hope that this space will be updated sometime within the next 10 days with more info.
This also sounds like a bad business plan if it's even possible. (If my phone stopped working, I would quickly change my service.) However, given the cost for data downloads, assuming that music is the number 1 reason for the capability, then possible downgrading to a lower cost contract would be an option. Hit'em where it hurts. Less commercial revenue means less tax revenue; isn't Japan having budget problems due to the global recession?
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