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back to article ISPs told to keep filesharer naughty list

The details of internet users who are accused of unlawful filesharing three times will be recorded on a blacklist so record and film companies can target legal action, rules published today reveal. Ofcom has opened consultation on a draft of the code of practice for enforcing the Digital Economy Act's (DEA) copyright enforcement …

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FAIL

So...

I'd guesstimate that sales of offshore VPNs by UK customers will gradually ramp up to several tens of thousands of % of their current amount.

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Anonymous Coward

Final straw

Now the copyright mafia have managed to pressure the government to impliment a "naughty list" it's the final push I needed - I've been pondering getting an offshore VPN for a few months now, but I'm not pondering anymore because I'm definitely going to get one.

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Pirate

@46Bit

Putting your P2P client on a VPS somewhere sensible is probably a better option than sharing VPN with the hoard that's imminent....better bandwidth, its cheaper than most services, you own the logs that matter and know you aren't renting from an RIAA honeypot.

For instance, Spain has ruled that P2P filesharing is entirely legal so long as its not for commercial profit [Google for the caselaw on elrincondejesus.com] - plenty of good DCs there where <10 euros a month buys you an unmetered 10mbps.

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Anonymous Coward

First thing I thought too..

Giganews already gives away their VPN with the Diamond service, and it is VERY good.

(Although I moved away from premium usenet for now).

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Thumb Up

At last, a work from home business that actually pays

Upload a bunch of large files with various linux distributions in them named after current high profile films, albums and software to as many public places as possible.

Wait for the infinging letters, appeal, collect the rewards.

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Awesome plan!

What a cunning and quite brilliant plan! I plan to fill mine with random bytes(*) and keep them around in case I need to provide evidence the files I'm sharing aren't actually copyrighted movies. Short of the company that is making the allegation downloading every single block from me to check whether it forms a valid compressed movie, I'm sure to attract erroneous allegations. I hope the damages award is substantial!

(* and one of them definitely won't be a hidden Truecrypt volume)

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Did cross my mind that one...

5 star sir!

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Anonymous Coward

Even better

Do as suggested above but rig your BT client not to send the first block - That way nobody will even be able to decode your "compressed" file :)

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Anonymous Coward

lol

Lol I see a new con brewing. Nice of the government to make life easier for blackmailers and con artists.

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Line 'em up!

Line up those innocent Grannys with no internet, ready for legal slaughter!

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Go

I'm on..

..the case, already have some official looking headed note paper!

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WTF?

wtf happened to our legal system?!

"accused of unlawful filesharing three times"

So, Guilty until proven innocent?!

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FAIL

Sadly no

There is a Presumption of Innocence and the accused will have the option of a Tribunal.

But since the freetard is 99.9999 per cent Guilty, why bother? This just makes broadband more expensive for non-freetards - most people.

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Welcome

I, for one, welcome our new postal based IP enforcers.

I'm currently pounding my downlink (that's not a euphemism) in order to beat the introduction of this (only 41 albums I can't be bothered to rip from vinyl to go).

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Grenade

Fair usage rights?

If I went and bought the vinyl\DVD\BD etc etc, and then download the same content as opposed to ripping it myself (which in the case of Vinyl is pig to do), then as far as I am concerned, that would be fair usage rights.

Thoughts, comments, not that I'll give a crap personally, just wonder how many people will agree or disagree.

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I agree with you..

..sadly the courts likely will not, the UK has no fair usage rights. If you get a reasonable hearing/judge then let us know how it works out.

I've done exactly the same though a number of times though, downloaded tracks rather than rip them off cassette or vinyl, generally folks that know what they are doing have done a better job of it than I could.

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Bronze badge
Unhappy

How quickly we all forgot...

How quickly we all forgot MP3.com.

They tried selling you a CD and then offered to let you download MP3 versions of the exact same songs while you were waiting for to arrive in the mail. They got sued out of existence for their troubles.

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Big Brother

Nice try...

@Scuby: "If I went and bought the vinyl\DVD\BD etc etc, and then download the same content as opposed to ripping it myself (which in the case of Vinyl is pig to do), then as far as I am concerned, that would be fair usage rights."

...but you're not just downloading. The basis of P2P is that you share the chunks you've already downloaded to other 'tards while you download the rest. Thus, you're publishing copyrighted information and uploading it. "Fair use" certainly does not extend to uploading copyright content to allcomers, whether or not you may feel entitied to downloading it for your own personal use.

This'll be why they explicitly talk about peer-to-peer networks rather than just "downloading" the naughty stuff.

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Indeed

I'm also wondering this... I've brought various CD's in my past that are scratched to shit. Also CD's that are missing from jewel cases (although legally brought) so feel it's OK to download xyz album again as I've already paid for it.

Don't 'they' always harp on about it's a LICENCE i've brought not the media...?

Anyone know the legal position on this?

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The AC above

Might have a point there. If you're using a P2P client, then you're more or less (insert gray area here) sharing some bits you've already downloaded.

I'd be of a mind that if you've already paid for it then you're entitled to a free download, but (copy/paste same gray area here also).

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Anonymous Coward

Digital Economy 2.0

1) I make up a large list of random timestamps and, say, the entire IP range some ISP uses, and say they've all been seen muddling around with ch1ldpr0n.7zip, and get two of my friends to do the same.

2) we each ask for one third of the range's associated IDs

3) and, well, sell them.... profit!

I can see the businessplan in that alright. Truly, copyright holder industry innovation at work!

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Grenade

Oh!

there's a surprise

Can someone make sure ACS:Law are informed that they've just been handed the entire UK internet populations arses on a plate

Thanks

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FAIL

Penalties

So where are the penalties to be applied for false accusations ?

I suggest 10% of the copyright holders annual gross profit to be given to anybody falsely accused of unlawful filesharing.

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Anonymous Coward

I agree...

Any released and failed prosecutions should be fined, hopefully this will stop them blindly accusing everyone.

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Excellent - name and shame

So freetards who are too dumb to use crypto will become public targets? It doesn't get much better.

I now have an incentive to become a copyright holder. More fun than shooting ducks at a funfair

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And by "crypto"...

... you mean encrypting the downloading / uploading of the torrent I presume?

Which does fuck all to protect you from this sort of thing. Try looking at your torrent swarm... see them there IP's?

Offshore VPN FTW

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FAIL

but

you deserve it if you still use torrents. I mean FFS.

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Anonymous Coward

Backwards legal system.

I tend to agree with Stone Fox. This is certainly guilty until proven innocent! What a load of <insert expletive here>!!

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Anonymous Coward

Reasonable Costs

"If the tribunal finds in the ISP customer's favour, rights holders and ISPs can be ordered to pay compensation and reasonable costs."

----------------

Is that "reasonable" as in the $1,920,000 in statutory damages that record labels were originally awarded in the Jammie Thommas case?

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Bit of a difference between

what the US award and the UK, in principle though I know what your saying, and no.. They get to destroy someone's life but in return would barely get a slap on the wrist.

Reasonable costs would be phones calls you made. travel costs to get to the tribunal if physical presence is required and that pal, would be about yer lot. Fair does not come into these things in my experience.

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Flame

evidence - likely to comprise an IP address, time stamp and filename

"Meanwhile rights holders must pass their evidence - likely to comprise an IP address, time stamp and filename - to ISPs within 10 days of being collected."

An IP address along with a timestamp and a filename IS NOT EVIDENCE.

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An IP address along with a timestamp and a filename IS NOT EVIDENCE.

You really don't get it do you.

What's evidence got to do with this law?

Presumably all they'll need is a screenshot showing the details you've quoted. I'm sure some of the more innovative scammers out there will have a field day. If they can set up whole website frontends/databases to fleece concert goers, faking a few screenshots can only be a business improvement!

Still the top prize goes to any one capable of getting an MP to suffer 3 strikes. The more important the politician, the better. May I nominate Harriet Harperson (not that she's important, or ever was).

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Silver badge

"evidence ..."

Quite agree. Can anyone explain how these constitute evidence? They do amount to an accusation (at least that a file of a certain name was transferred), but they do not indicate content. More importantly, incontrovertable proof of the veracity of the evidence is needed.

The rights holders have to prove their accusation and I can't see that being possible unless the ISP can verify the transfer. And that is only possible if they log all traffic in detail for a substantial time. Can they? Do they?

If the answer is 'no' to either, then the charges should be easily defensible.

Or am I missing something here?

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Coffee/keyboard

Sharing?

The law refers to "illegal fileSHARING"... If you were to disable the uploading of your favoured client, whether this would still be classed as sharing? Surely in this instance you're simply downloading a file?

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The first letter...

Dear Ian Livingston of BT Webwise,

PLEASE DO NOT IGNORE THIS LETTER - YOU HAVE BEEN ADDED TO A COPYRIGHT INFRINGERS LIST AND RISK LEGAL ACTION BEING TAKEN AGAINST YOU.

After two instances of mass commercial copyright infringement in 2006, and 2007... we petitioned the Prime Minister, and reported your behaviour to the Police and Crown Prosecution Service.

But still you ignored our concerns, and proceeded to infringe our copyrights for a third time in 2008. You copied and processed our intellectual property without licence, and sold commercial intelligence obtained from our creative work to a spyware developer.

We sincerely hope that you are now able to resolve the issue by taking swift and appropriate action.

Thank You

The World Wide Web Developer Community.

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Anonymous Coward

Dear World Wide Web Developer Community...

I don't have to take any notice of pleb laws as my friends are more important than yours.

Its good to talk. Have a nice day.

Ian Livingstone

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Anonymous Coward

It's just an efficiency drive...

Given that neither police nor courts always have much to do with actual justice these days, they're simply dispensing with both and moving from innocent until proved guilty, over to innocent until accused. A perfectly understandable move to increased efficiency by cutting out the middle man - i.e. due process.

And - be fair - it's not as though there's one law for the powerful and another for the rest of us...

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FAIL

ISP 'monitoring' is utterly wrong

Copyright Infringement on the Internet is the new "wheel clamping" of this decade.

We all know where wheel clamping has ended up - Government 'allow it' then legislate against it when they realise the companies TRUSTED to enforce it have *surprise* ABUSED their powers....

EXACTLY what will happen here with these letters....

History repeats itself in disguise.

If the copyright is being broken then why not sue the old fashioned way like they used to??

No? Why not? Oh because they have to provide court-grade "evidence" from IT professionals with proper qualifications that have been CRB checked and are trustworthy people. Also solicitors sign their name and REPUTATION on every letter so they wont be too hasty making any "mistakes"

With the new system any old cowboy "rights holder" can log on and start threatening people. Who protects consumers from unqualified accusers saying "you're guilty because we say you are" At least with the court option you can guarantee that will be the fairer option.

ANOTHER BRITISH DISGRACE. An utterly pathetic cave in to brown enelope lobbying.

If this enforcement was to be fair it should protect all rights holders, NOT just the obese pigs of our society.

They get "all this protection" what do the consumers get? Not even a whiff of fairness.

Record label 100...... consumer NIL.... who negotiates such bullshit in their favour ?????

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Silver badge

Just cos you vote once every five years

doesnt mean you have any say in this democracy - you need the money to lobby politicians on a daily basis for that. And what better incentive than an out-moded business model with nothing to sell to incentivise them to lobby/bribe and cajole.

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g e
Silver badge

Who's allowed to accuse?

As a copyright holder, .e.g. I make some crap tune on a bontempi, can I accuse someone of distributing my tune?

Or do I have to have enough money to take someone like Mandelson on a luxury holder to qualify ?

Anyone know?

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Anonymous Coward

reasonable costs...

"If the tribunal finds in the ISP customer's favour, rights holders and ISPs can be ordered to pay compensation and reasonable costs."

Like for Libel and Slander?

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Silver badge

WLAN Meshes

So, uhm how long untill those people set up their own WLAN meshes, Cancel most of their ISP contracts and use a single line to use a foreign VPN provider?

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The moral high ground...

Record companies selling non-original tracks on compilations. Fraud.

ISPs advertising 'unlimited' internet services that have caps. Fraud.

Built-in and designed-in obsolescence for increased profit when we need to reduce waste.

And of course, record companies targeting a juvenile audience with sexually explicit pop videos.

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who sends the letter

I can't seem to find it in the article, perhaps im blindly looking over it.

In the US for instance, it's a felony to threaten legal action to someone if you are not the one that would be filing the charges against them. So for instance if im using Comcast internet and Comcast sends me a letter threatening legal action on behalf of another organization, not only is that a criminal charge but you could also sue the beejesus out of them for doing it.

It's known as extortion, racketeering, and a few other things over here. It would seem to me that the ISP would have to be the one sending the letters because if not they would be guilty of sharing subscriber information with third partys.

Subscriber information has been protected territory for a long time, alot of people believe that 99 guilty people should walk free to protect the identity of 1 legitimate person not violating any crimes.

You guys need to have the same legal system we have with this type of thing, show the bullies who the boss is.

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Gold badge
Happy

@James Woods

Interesting. Bit OT but In the UK Readers Digest (both before they went bust in the UK and following their buyout) have made a *career* of running competitions, including sending out books, then *billing* you for the cost if you keep them. this includes handing details to a debt collector. Said DC then starts sending out threatening letters of the "We will charge costs etc" type.

AFAIK this contravenes something like the "Distance Selling" act in the UK but in the US the threat itself would be illegal.

Just a nice comparison of UK and US law.

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Boffin

Libel

"following a report that your internet connection had been used to illegally share copyright material" [snip] "YOU MAY BE ADDED TO A COPYRIGHT INFRINGERS LIST"

Nope.

A "copyright infringers list" is not a "copyright infringement list".

The headline of the letter is wrong - if you send this I would expect people to sue for libel you.

A "copyright infringement list" is a list of people that a letter about copyright infringement has been sent to (as per the DEA).

A "copyright infringers list" is a list of people who are saying *are* copyright infringers.

Publishing a list of people that you believe to be anything is a very bad idea unless it has been established these people actually are. Even if you see someone infringing copyright a solicitor could argue that you didn't see them at all, perhaps you only saw something similar and thought you saw that - perhaps it was someone else? A court decision would help.

So feel free to add people to your list but don't be surprised when they sue you for libel.

Anyone want to tell me I'm wrong and explain why?

"You do have the right to appeal this letter and the report"

Evidence consisting of an IP address and a timestamp is roughly the same as evidence consisting of a car registration plate and a timestamp.

The unique registration / address is an identification, and the time of an alleged event is just that.

Proving my car should have been the only car with a registration at a given time sounds simple but my solicitor might argue the plate could have been cloned and ask for details about the car (colour, make, etc). As IP addresses can also be used to people who shouldn't be using them (BGP) I'd like to see evidence this didn't happen. (I know this is unlikely, but it is not impossible - perhaps I was one of the unlucky ones)

I'd imagine the DVLA doesn't store car records in flat text files that multiple members of staff can access / change. Where does your ISP store its RADIUS logs?

Its one thing to say ISPs needs to keep their records, but are these records kept to a standard they could be used as court evidence?

BitTorrent works by splitting files into blocks and transmitting those blocks.

If your evidence is that I transmitted certain blocks to you, then you can prove I had those blocks but not very much more; the blocks alone are unlikely to form a copyrighted work until you gather a number of them together and put them in a certain order.

If you didn't get a substantial number of concurrent blocks from me then I can likely find another file that the binary data you did get from me appears in.

Actually proving in court that people are sharing files is difficult, time consuming, and costly.

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tards

Long live the freetards.

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Unhappy

consultation

It's still open to consultation. I suggest people go here:

http://www.ofcom.org.uk/media/news/2010/05/nr_20100528

and follow the link to the consultation documents themselves, and read them.

As well as the filename, they mention using a filesize and hash (md5?) of the file to identify the copyright content. Whilst it's quite practical to manipluate any random linux distribution to have the same size and hash as a DVD of the latest hollywood blockbuster, it is a little more work...

What I would suggest though is that anybody whom is interested in this actually responds to the ofcom consultation - the more they get, the more they have do to get it ready.

As for whom can claim infringement? As long as you can provide each ISP with an estimate of how many people you are going to be accusing over the next year or so, and stump up the costs involved, then you are able to claim. Of course, this means it's of absolutely no use whatsoever for 99% of all creative enterprises out there. This is plainly and squarely aimed at the big Hollywood studios' use. Maybe this is is a point that can be mentioned in the consultation process.

I've written software, and seen it pirated.but this does absolutely nothing for me.

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FAIL

offshore VPN

It's time has come - even if you're not infringing Hollywood's precious profits, nobody should have live under this sort of suspicion-based surveillance regime.

Perhaps the new govt will have the cojones to overturn this madness before it goes too far (eg Dangerous Dogs Act).

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Anonymous Coward

Any recommendations for Offshore VPN that score well on the privacy front?

Offshore VPN here I come!

If anyone has some recommendations for good ones (with privacy a high priority) that would be appreciated.

I'm fed up with various parties (ISP Government etc) thinking that they have a right to monitor what I do online (and offline for that matter!)

I'm sure the nothing to hide nothing to fear crowd will be out in a bit, but I think we all know that flaws with that argument. Oh and I'm sure somebody needs to think of the children...

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