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back to article Judge: Big Five ISPs must block The Pirate Bay

As expected, the High Court has ordered British ISPs to block access to The Pirate Bay. Five ISPs – Virgin Media, TalkTalk, BSkyB, Everything Everywhere and Telefonica – are involved in this case, which was brought by nine record labels. In February, Justice Arnold gave the labels the green light to pursue blocking orders. Back …

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Hmm

How exactly are they meant to block these sites? A brand new system or the IWF?

It's either going to be a feature creep of an anti child pornography system or a brand-new censorship system.

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Re: Hmm

In the Newzbin case, they were ordered to use the IWF cleanfeed system.

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Re: Hmm

Remember when the IWF block list was introduced and we were told it'd only ever be used for child porn? Remember when we were told that the thin end of the wedge argument was ridiculous and the British goverment would never censor the internet?

Now might be the time for certain people to eat their words.

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Meh

It's a tricky one.

The only way that's going to usefully achieve anything like a viable "success" rate is also going to blatantly squash a whole bunch of other stuff on which the internet depends, because if it can be defeated by something like a filename change it's pointless. Ditto encryption. At which point a lot of the stuff that the 'net facilitates which is legal and contributes to legitimate business (online banking, digital media purchases, etc) suddenly become vulnerable and useless (if record label drones are given An Magic Box which lets them look at an encrypted data stream from my machine so that they can tell whether it's a Pirate Copy of Adobe CS5 or an online banking session, you can be absolutely certain I will neither be buying software packages via digital distribution systems nor using online banking or merchant services).

Which is a long way of saying - to a large extent I sympathise with those aggrieved by this, but it's going to be bloody hard to find a useful fix that doesn't also break a whole load more stuff along the way.

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Anonymous Coward

Not tricky at all. But rotten to the core, certainly.

"Criminals are using the telephone system for making drug deals. Terrorists and paedophiles are using telephones too. Telephone companies profit from this, and are thus liable."

So now we need blocks and filters and limits on how many phones you can own to keep a lid on it?

You know what criminals, terrorists, and paedophiles also use? Money. Cars. Trains. And they wear clothing. And it's like everyone else's, can't just easily spot them. And They Eat Food. I'm telling you. They go to restaurants, and the movies. And enter shops. And they wear shoes. And oh dear ghod they brush their teeth, and see doctors, and who knows what else they get up to. And all those people they do business with, profit from this and are thus liable.

You know who also profit from this? Police people. Security companies. And judges. If there weren't any perps, there wouldn't be jobs for them. How's that for profiting from crime? They make entire careers out of it! How can they not be held liable? Well?

Why is this not valid reasoning, and the judge's is? Because he's paid to reason like that, and I'm wearing a tin foil hat?

The high court already erred there. The other problem is of course that the IWF now has proven to be a dangerous precedent--as widely predicted, but the kiddie-thinkers wouldn't think of it--, and not just with the "opt-in" term inversing crowd.

If you end up with horrendously complex measures that everybody with half a clue already knows will be invasive, intrusive, a pain to maintain, won't ever work very well, and so on, then your approach is likely to be flawed. As it clearly is here. Apparently the BPI bought themselves a judge. Good for them, as it offloads a lot of cost of their fight against windmills on the rest of us. Not so good for everyone else. Thank you, dear judge, for letting yourself be swayed into someone's sheer stubborn stupidity... somehow.

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OMFG

The movie companies are funding terrorism!

They should go sue themselves right now. That should keep them confused for years

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Anonymous Coward

Is this the beginning of the end for Corporatocracy? It seems like a sign of desperation to me.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't kit yourself. The boardroom mafia are here to stay. Money is power, and those goons have all the money.

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Shall we just...

... cut to the chase? Since just about any service that allows packets of data to go from point or user A to point or user B can potentially and will probably at some time be 'abused' (quotes to indicate the use of the term is not one with which I necessarily agrre, or indeed disagree), then just get on with it and declare all network traffic illegal. Or unlawful. Or against the best interests of... um , someone. So not in the interests of, er, anyone.

No. I'm not serious. But no, it's not funny either. And trying to stop this type of activity through the courts is like legislating against water getting you wet. And yes, I do have a vested interested. I do 'create' product that may be subject to 'piracy and theft'. Strangely, I get wet when it's raining too.

Sigh.

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Holmes

Re: Shall we just...

"declare all network traffic illegal. Or unlawful."

They could simply declare that encrypted traffic is illegal, *unless* it is from a recognised retailer or bank or an official site of some description, or a proper business, the name of which you have to provide to make sure it is state approved.

After all, you are legally obliged to give up passwords to your encrypted hard disks and such like, so why should real-time data be any more private?

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Anonymous Coward

"declare... encrypted traffic illegal"

Why no, that would be a terrible idea!

Instead, only government approved cryptosystems should be allowed, whereby copies of all private keys will be held by a government approved third party. That way most people continue using a communication medium amenable to mass surveillance, and we wouldn't want to discourage that now, would we?

Unapproved cryptosystems would therefore only be used by people who were conspiring against the state. They can be classified as a weapon, and unlicensed posession thereof can be punished appropriately.

Now all we need is to wait for Capita, Fujitsu and HP to tender for the project and we can start th ball rolling!

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Alert

Re: Shall we just...

"declare all network traffic illegal. Or unlawful."

In 200AD's Judge Dredd, the Dark Judges observed that all crimes were committed by the living, therefore life itself must be a crime.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Shall we just...

So datacentres woud all be suing the government then cos they can no longer use SSH to administer their servers? I guess since this is the government, i'e a clueless bunch of career retards, it's like putting a fox in charge of the hen house, they don't realise what problems they cause until it's too late as usual.

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Re: Shall we just...

I thought that decision was made by Judge Death when he was young?

Memory must be getting faulty.

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Re: Shall we just...

Fooolsssssssssss

You cannot kiiill what doesssssss not liiiiiive!

Actually, thinking about it - you cannot block that which is not static. Blocking access to a single site in order to block the content is fatally flawed. It doesn't take a genius to come to this conclusion after just a few seconds' thought - it will just be a big game of 'internet whack-a-mole' as The Pirate Bay is blocked and immediately replaced by e.g. 'The Buccaneer's Port'.

I just hope this fool's errand is being paid for by those asking for it (greedy media companies and incompetent judges), and not out of my taxes, as it could end up costing quite a lot of money before the idiots in charge finally realise that you can't legislate against reality.

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Re: Shall we just...

Well, Judge Death was one of the four Dark Judges, along with Fear, Fire and Mortis. He was certainly the leader and probably had the idea first, though.

Judge Fear used to open the gates on his helmet and say "Gaze into the face of Fear". To which Joe Dredd once replied, in his indomitable style, "Gaze into the fist of Dredd!"

http://29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_kouopijcQr1qzgwhvo1_500.jpg

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real impact?

But, TPB only stores the torrent files, doesn't it? And those are available from a multitude of sites, not just TPB. So this is just going to stop one possible source of the torrent files, but not the actual P2P data. So instead everyone will get their torrent files from other sites (if they don't already) and it won't change anything?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: real impact?

Now it doesn't even need to host torrent files. The Magnet hash contains all the necessary info.

The judgement is fundamentally flawed to go after ISPs - they are not making any money off whichever server because they offer flatrates. If the case is that site XYZ is profiting from the activity then the thing would be to go after the site directly or particularly the advertisers as is done with spam.

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Meh

Re: real impact?

Yea, seems like they're more interested in playing a game of whack-a-mole than actually tackling the causes of the problem.

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Re: real impact?

Millions of dollars spent on lawyers, months in court, months adding the filters and three seconds for the user to type isohunt instead of thepiratebay (or any of a million other sites).

The film industry is stupid and the judge even dumber

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Facepalm

The Royal Bank of Pirate Bay

How exactly is the edict worded?

If it categorically states: The Pirate Bay, a simple name change to HSPB or Scottish Pirates Widows @Bay would thwart the fat fool in women's clothing and a seriously funny hat making such silly demands, wooden tit?

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Haa haa haa

I'm with $ky, I still get access to Newzbin. I suspect I will continue to get access to TPB should I ever need it.

Fail, utter fail.

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Re: Haa haa haa

Are you using alternative DNS servers to skys own ones as they usually 'block' access to the site by altering the DNS records rather than actually blocking the IP address so you can get around it by using a DNS server not owned by your ISP or just typing in the IP address if you know it.

Not that i see much point in TPB now as there are 1000s of other torrents site, TPB is probably just the most famous

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Black Helicopters

Re: Haa haa haa

I wonder if there are any laws being broken by chaning your DNS servers away from your ISPs ?

Or if your ISP could add a clause (prompted by UK law) to make it a breach of contract to change your DNS servers ....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: changing your DNS servers away from your ISPs

Lots of people do it, don't they?

It's the big Go-Faster-Stripes thing. Put up any broadband problem on a broadband forum, and the first six people, knowing nothing about networking, will assure you that your problem will go away if you change your DNS server.

I've been running my own caching server for as long as I can remember. It's fast, and, with some ISPs it also avoids simple typos resulting in being shown their Did you mean that you wanted to look at this lovely page of advertising? page.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Haa haa haa

I'm with TOR, I still get access to Newzbin and don't anticipate any problems connecting to TPB in the near future either :)

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FAIL

Re: lots of people do it

Lots of people smoke dope too.

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Facepalm

Right, there's that mole taken care of. What was that? Another ones popped up over there? Hand me the hammer!

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They don't have a hammer, it a cottonbud and the moles are the size of rhinos and theres a million of them

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NB

Tor.

Nuff said, also chances are that this will just be dns level so all we need is an IP address and the whole house of cards falls down.

What a crock of shit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Tor.

As long as you are dependent upon the ISP for the DNS lookup they can still screw you. Fortunately, it's easy enough to change your DNS server to somewhere independent.

Using Tor turns your own computer into a proxy so it could be argued, and most probably will, that by doing so you are aiding and abetting the criminals by "laundering" their packets.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Tor.

Lots of people torrenting on the tor network is probably the fastest way to kill it. Pirates aren't going to set themselves up as exit nodes.

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Re: Tor.

aggreed. but I think we are talking about using tor to collect the torrent file from tpb website, not making the subsequent download via tor.

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Wouldn't touch those ISPs anyway.

I'd have thought that most of the reader population of el reg were already with a privacy respecting, non logging, non IWF 'enabled' ISP anyway.. I know I am :)

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Black Helicopters

Re: Wouldn't touch those ISPs anyway.

Which ISP, may I ask, are you with?

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Re: Wouldn't touch those ISPs anyway.

Some of us are not fortunate enough to live somewhere you have a choice over ISP.

Where I live the only ISPs that can give me more than 2mbps are Talk Talk, Tiscali & AOL - ohh guess what, they're all Talk Talk, which is a bugger, as I need a good speed to work from home, and so Talk Talk is my only option

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Facepalm

Judge Green lights blocks in February, three months later it's processed through the courts.

A week later ISPs put Domain level blocks in place.

Two days later TPB has bypassed these blocks through minimal reconfig or anyone who wishes to bypass the block has looked it up and done so themselves.

I'm not coming down on either side of the piracy argument here, but what a complete waste of court time.

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Is this order in respect of "thepiratebay.org"? If so, they have already changed it.

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Are they going to block Tor as well

If not then what exactly is accomplished by blocking TPB. Arguably blocking access to the site renders it harder to prosecute pirates than if they just left it open and logged accesses.

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FAIL

morality/legal arguements aside

Isn't blocking TPB kinda like blocking Google and sending everyone to Bing instead?

Why can't the entertainment industries come up with a sensibly priced (for normal folk) easy to use universal access system for music and movies.

All the subscription models I have seen have been too restrictive or have only allowed access to a relatively small subset of media - Spotify, Lovefilm and netflix are moving in the right direction but I want 1 pass, not 3, and they wont work on my linux laptop etc.

Ultraviolet looked promising, but that looks like it's about to be chopped of at the knees as well.

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Stop

"without paying a penny to the people who created them"

Sounds like they're more of a competing record company on that basis.

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record labels clearly don't understand the problem, let alone come up with a solution to it.

saying that, if they understood the technology in the first place and did something positive about it rather than trying to litigate the problem away, maybe piracy wouldn't be so widespread...

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FAIL

It wouldn't

I see more and more stories and blog posts about how people TRY to give money to the media corps, they WANT to buy/view series xx of program yyyyy but because the media corps as so OCD about territory, release schedules, etc, they effectively say 'No you can't consume that media, we won't take your money'

Bullet. Foot.

About time a judge somewhere said 'Why can't this chap buy this media? I don't see it available for him. This is not a lost sale, you actively prevented access to it for him - come back when someone is downloading something you have provided legitimate access to in his territory instead of inciting him to download your material by withholding it. Go fix your own house first. Fined £500k for wasting my time.'

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Anonymous Coward

I have a friend who used to download alot

With Netflix and Spotify he does it less frequently, but I still unhappy with the cost of Spotify (which is basically a subscription radio station) and the content of Netflix is very poor.

He says he is happy to pay if the price is right and the medium the way I want it and some decent content.

He's a good boy really!

But says TPB is pants and finds an encrypted proxy service and other sites much better, so what next blocking proxy sites?

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Big Brother

Re: I have a friend who used to download alot

Probably a move towards DPI combined with key escrow and the outlawing of any encrypted communication where the key is not in escrow. With key escrow, encrypted communications may as well be unencrypted, and anyone not willing to give up their key is "hiding something" and will be pursued relentlessly. If the link goes outside the border, then you're a spy. Espionage charges and long prison sentences ensue.

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Anonymous Coward

"Home taping is killing music." printed on the sleeve of an 80s LP of mine

Should read: "Home taping is killing record companies exorbitant profits."

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Re: "Home taping is killing music." printed on the sleeve of an 80s LP of mine

"Home Cooking is killing the Restaurant Industry"

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Re: "Home taping is killing music." printed on the sleeve of an 80s LP of mine

Wives killing the sex industry

Whoops my mistake no they're not.

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Pint

Re: "Home taping is killing music." printed on the sleeve of an 80s LP of mine

It's actually new technology killing old technology.

It happened to theatre and music halls, it happened to wireless and it happened to cinema. Now it's happening to TV and Libraries and in a few years it will have to happen to music.

If it doesn't, we will all be pirates.

It is similar to prohibition and the sex industry. You can pass laws to make it illegal for people to do what they like but you can't pass laws to stop people doing what they like.

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WTF?

They are getting paid

They are getting paid. By the corporation that did hire them. They won't get filthy rich like the corporation that did hire them.

But this is a good excuse for internet censorship and red herring arguments.

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